Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hey Gang!

Happy Thanksgiving! This year, I have a whole lot to be thankful for. More than I can even say on the blog!

Enjoy your day. Stop a moment and think about those who aren't able to be with us today, especially those who are serving our country.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Engrish. The attempt for people that don't speak or write the English language well to speak/write something that others find funny......

I was having lunch with C yesterday at our Favorite Thai place. C is half Filipino, and we used to work together. Anyway, we both appreciate good food, so we meet up for lunch and then laugh about our Asian heritage and catch up. So we're looking over the menu, and C points out something, I look and chuckle, and she asks "Where's it going?" which sent me into a roar, loud enough for everyone in the restaurant to glance over.....Thanks for the good laugh Cyn!

I ordered the Pad Thai, and asked her to make it spicy. It came out, not spicy enough, so I asked for some chili sauce. I should have kept my mouth shut. This was one of the few times I haven't been able to finish a meal because it was so hot. I was sweating profusely, and when I returned to the office, I could feel the spicyness eroding my stomach!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Retro Commercials.....

I love them...I can't help myself....heres one from 1980!

Love the clothing and music!

Free Parking?

Well, Network Geek finally has his entire driveway back!

A little history....

In 2005, I bought NG's old car, which had been sitting idle for a while, with the intention of fixing and selling. Fast forward to November 2008, NG is having a get together at his house on turkey day, and I owe him a Entertainment center that I promised him from March of this year. I decided to stop procrastinating and bring him the stand, and when I went over there, I saw the car, sitting with layers of grime and dust, lookin kinda sad. Thats when I finally decided, well, 3 years of free parking and no efforts to get that thing running, NG's trying to get his house cleaned up for Turkey day, so I'll help the effort by removing 2 tons of steel off his property.....
So off she goes to the world of Craigslist. And what do you know, within 1 hour of posting, a guy from 2 hours north of here is coming to get her! To top that off, the new buyer found a set of wrenches that I had bought and left in the car back in 2005. I always wondered where those things went off to! ;)

He arrived an hour before he said he'd be there, loaded the car and paid up, and left! Thanks again NG for the free parking for the last 3 years!

I've actually been paring my fleet down little by little, so much to the point that I'm getting a little nervous about how many vehicles I'm down to! I'm sure this will be a temporary situation of course!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Cookin

I love Sunday nights. My mom used to make a big deal out of Sunday night supper. So now a days, living on my own, I still like to make a nice home cooked meal on Sunday nights.

Heres one I tried a week ago. Home Made Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes (from Scratch not a box you lazy guys!), Creamed Corn and a Salad. Really? There wasn't a lot of prep involved. This was an easy meal to make.

Heres the meal in progress....

And the finished product......

Probably not the healthiest choice with the Fried Chicken, but a nice home cooked meal really feels good on a Sunday night!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

2nd Gen Lexus GS300 Valve Cover Gaskets

Heres another technical post for you car nuts out there. This past weekend, I replaced Valve cover gaskets on my friends 2nd Gen Lexus GS300.

"Gasket(s)?" You ask? On a GS300? Isnt that an inline 6? Why yes, yes it is. But Lexus has separate valve covers. One for Intake Side, and one for the exhaust side. So I went ahead and ordered the gasket set from Oreilly Auto Parts, which carries Fel-Pro.

For this project you'll need:

-Standard set of tools, specifically allen wrenches, 8,10,11, 12 mm sockets, a ratchet
-in-lb torque wrench
-Gasket Set
-RTV Sealant
-Brake Cleaner/Carb Cleaner

Here you'll see the view of the intake assembly. The intake tube, throttle body and "Y Pipe" all have to come off, but you have to take each piece off, remembering to mark Vacuum hoses and electrical plugs if you can't remember where they go. Note the water bypass hose. Remember to put the clamp back on when you slide the hose back. The "Air intake chamber" Does not have to be removed to do this job.

Now that you have all that out of the way, you have easy access to both valve covers. You may have to unplug some of the ignition coils or the spark plug wires. BE VERY CAREFUL: these plugs are brittle from heat cycles and could crumble!!

This is also a good time to replace the plugs if you haven't done so in a while. I like NGK or Denso Plugs in Japanese cars.

Remove both valve covers and use the cleaner and a rag to clean the mounting surfaces of the cylinder head, paying attention to the front of the cam where the RTV sealant is.

Next, remove the old valve cover gaskets. This car has 180,000 miles on it, and the gaskets were hard and brittle and were no longer doing their job. Clean the seating area of the valve covers well and if you like, apply a gasket sealant to the inside of the valve cover where the gakset rides, and insert the new gaskets.

Go back to the car and apply some RTV sealant where the cams ride near the timing chain to help promote a good seal. Let this set a few minutes (10-15 in warm weather).

Now, we're ready to put the covers back with the new gaskets. Sit the cover on the cylinder head and replace all the bolts and 2 nuts, finger tightening each one and then using the in-lb torque wrench to snug to 95 in-lb. Start from the center and criss cross the bolts all until snug at 95 in-lb.

Now, throw it all back together. The Y Pipe has two very small vacuum lines and a larger one on the firewall side. Dont forget about them. Reinstall the Throttle body and the coolant line, make sure you put the clamp back.

Now for the intake tube. Plug all the electrical connections back in and you're ready to go!

Start the car and check for leaks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Believe it or not, I love to cook

It may come to a surprise to some of you readers, but I actually DO enjoy cooking!

Recently I picked up some Pork Chops on sale at HEB. I usually grill the pork chops, but now I have an easy and tasty way to make em!

Preheat oven to 350.

Thaw them out, I let them season with Fajita seasoning for about an hour in the fridge, covered.

Rub with olive oil, then coat with Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Then put the chops on top of a 2 layered pan, one with the vents on top, to let the juices run into the lower tray.

Bake 15 minutes on each side at 350. Serve em with whatever you like! Sorry boys and girls, no pictures. I'll take some next time!