30 July 2008

B-Day: The Day After

Yesterday was my wife's 32nd birthday. Here's what we did to celebrate:
- Last week: Suprised her with an iPhone.
- Saturday: Went out to dinner at Melting Pot.
- Sunday: Mini b-day party at her parents, with homemade Raspberry pie. *yum*
- Sunday Night: I got her car washed.
- Tuesday: She got a gift card to Anthropologie (her favorite store).
- Tuesday Night: Went to Sonic.

Her dad says that I spoil her, which is true - but she did have a great birthday so it was worth it! =)

29 July 2008

Key Failure

So, I brought in the helmet lock of my Passport to the shop on Saturday that supposedly has the original key from a previous repair. The guy working had no idea what I was talking about, so I explained to him what was told by his manager previously. I had to leave it there until Monday so they could try to match it up - no big deal, as the tank isn't ready to be put back in yet.

I called them yesterday, and they can't find a key (my key) anywhere. So now, they will be taking my helmet lock to a locksmith to have another key made that will fit it.

The saga continues...

27 July 2008

Mahna Mahna

Sometimes I get bored and go to YouTube just to see what's there. I'm not sure exactly how I came across this, but it's one of my favorite Muppet songs of all time. This one is from The Muppet Show - enjoy!

24 July 2008

The New LokiPhone!

My wife had mentioned at one point that she was tired of her cell phone and wanted an iPhone, but they were too expensive at the time - and a good friend told us to wait until the 3G version came out.

So we did! And it looked even more enticing...so I went over to MOA after work to see if they had run out yet (third trip so far). They were out of the black 16GB version, but had several 8GB in stock - so since I figured I wouldn't get the chance beforehand, I bought one for her birthday present!

My original Razr V3 was dying a slow & painful death, so I bought one for myself too. It's a great little gadget! I'm still getting used to the new-fangled way of doing things, though.

On another unrelated topic, this is post #200 on my blog! Who would've thunk it...

20 July 2008

Stoopit Cycle Shops

I was saving this for its own post. A lot of people don't know the history of my bringing the Passport back to life. It started last summer, when my dad took it to a local shop to clean it up and get it running. It took them three months. They found mice, messed around with the carb a little (including breaking the float)...and then hooked it up to a 12-volt battery (it's a 6-volt bike) and fried just about everything in it. I then fetched it and brought it closer to home to a supposedly reputable establishment here in the cities.

I'm not sure which shop hooked the gas tank up backwards, running the Main line into the Reserve input on the fuel valve. That takes real talent - as an "O" and and "R" look about as much alike as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum! *argh*

It took "shop #2" two months and half the bikes value in labor costs to get it running again. Which, I didn't complain about at first. It ran, after all - at least for awhile...and it's an old bike, so it was going to take some work. However, they replaced my ignition and kept my key - which also was used for the helmet lock and fork lock. Now I have to go back again so they can sort through their 25 keys until they find mine. Lame. They were also supposed to fix all the wiring damage from the mice and clean out the rust from the gas tank, which either didn't happen or they just overlooked a LOT of it. Also, a rubber gasket for the carb was broke by the shop and they fixed it with some silicone sealant. Sorry, but if I'm paying you $70/hour in labor you'd better be using original parts and fixing what you break for free!

My rant is done now. If I end up taking the bike to a shop again, it'll go somewhere else. I only took it in because I didn't want to spend the time on it. I really enjoyed getting my hands dirty this weekend and had a great time - even though I'm really sore today from contorting myself for six hours. ;)

Apart Again

Today I was planning on taking apart the Passport to find out why the thing wouldn't run. After sleeping in until 9am, then putzing for an hour, I finally got around to it. First task was cleaning out the gas lines and installing an in-line fuel filter. Easy!

That done, I started the daunting task of taking out the gas tank (it's under the seat) and figuring out how to "derustify" it. After sitting for 25 years, the 1/2 tank of gasoline rusted the inside of the gas tank - leaving tiny pieces of rust floating in the fuel. I had previously consulted a local Honda dealer, and they said to use this 2-step solution to remove the rust chemically. The tank is currently soaking overnight - hopefully it'll work as intended, because it's about $150 to take it someplace and blast the inside of the tank out.

Then I took off the carburetor and cleaned out all the rust deposits. Did I mention it's really handy to have an air compressor? It is! I then taped up some exposed wiring (thanks to little mice who made this bike their home over the years) and put everything back together, minus the tank.

11 July 2008

It's Official!

After dropping the wife off at work this morning, I went to the DMV to get a title and license for my 1981 Honda Passport. I spent quite a bit of time going through all the necessary paperwork with the clerk but it paid off. It's now officially registered in the state of MN!

I went "all out" by choosing personalized classic motorcycle plates and putting it in the collector class as well. By the time I'm done restoring it, I'll probably have invested the same amount as what it's worth...but hopefully less. ;)

Now all I have to do is take my motorcyle drivers permit exam and I can drive it - once I get it running again, anyway.

10 July 2008

Extended Weekend

Work wasn't as bad as I thought it would be after a Holiday weekend, but that could be because I have another extended weekend starting tomorrow! The wife and I are meeting our family way up on the North Shore of Lake Superior. We'll be staying at the Naniboujou Lodge, plus taking in some scenery along the Gunflint Trail. I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend.

06 July 2008

27 Years & Still The Same

Partially just to say that "I had four posts in one day!" for the nay-sayers, but more just to rant - I found this ad on the Internet while looking for something else one day and never got around to posting about it. Please note the EPA City/Hwy gas mileage rating in the lower-left corner, which reads 22/29.

That was bragging rights way back in 1981. However, this is for the AMC Eagle SX/4 - the sporty model that had an AWD setup and a four cylinder engine. It has no ABS, no ESP, no airbags even. But it still got decent gas mileage when the average price was $1.38/gallon.

So what, tell me, has the auto industry been doing for 27 years? Sure - we have safer and more reliable transportation than we did back in '81. We also have a LOT more power under the hood. However, my latest car (2008 Jetta Wolfsburg 2.0T) gets the same gas mileage as a 1981 AMC Eagle that supposedly drove in the 4th Dimension (as the ad states). The majority of I4 and V6 cars on the road today do as well.

You would think that Legislation and the auto industry could have spent just as much time & effort on fuel efficiency as they did on safety measures and horsepower. I'll get off my soapbox now...

Taste of Minnesota... *yuk*

On the way back from the cottage we stopped in at the Taste Of Minnesota - the local Twin Cities 4th of July celebration. We didn't like it - as usual. Not sure why we did it, not sure what we were thinking! I did want to catch the fireworks, but we didn't do that either. Large groups of drunk people can be annoying when you're sober! Maybe I'm getting old, or maybe it's just that my preferences have changed to something a little less chaotic.

Not to mention that I'm still peeved of the event's name - I'm not sure how they can pass it off, actually. Taste of MN? Not hardly...more like a taste of the MN State Fair but way more expensive.

Independence Weekend

For the 4th of July Weekend, the wife and I headed up to her family's cottage on the lake. This has been a family tradition for several years now and it's always a fun time. Her parents invite friends from their hometown of Eau Claire plus the usual family suspects. Good wine, great food and fun games for all - including Bingo! (with prizes, too!)

Going Commercial

Every once in awhile I attend the weekly "Guys Night" get-together with Adam & Friends. We have a geeky ol' time, playing video games old and new, watching a movie or just getting some good food & drink. Last week it was at Adams, and they had a collection of video game commercials playing from the 70's/80's. Hilarious! I remembered a lot of them, but what was even more interesting was some of the music they played in the background - very New Wave, very Rock-n-Roll, or just bleeps and blips. Some of the actors were famous later in life, too.