Not talking about the food … however they are good. I’m talking about Lydia’s dog Bear. Since we have two indoor cats the dog can’t come in and it being pretty cold out we decided to help out Ratdog…that’s what I call him anyway. To start we got a dome light with the clamp handle and it was OK but the slightest breeze would blow out whatever heat was in his house so I slept on it and came up with a bright idea. Since we have a full basement with windows I took out a leaky window and filled the hole with plywood and caulked around it then I cut a 2″ hole in the plywood and a 2″ hole in the ductwork in the basement, then put the doghouse against the window and cut a 2″ hole inline with the other hole then ran 2″ PVC from the ductwork thru the wood covered window into the back of the doghouse. Now Ratdog is a Hotdog
. It is Nov. 29th 2014. Caleb is here this weekend and it is also the weekend to get a Christmas tree. So we decided to go today and as luck would have it Lydia’s bestest friend Morgan spent the night last night and went with us to pick out the tree for this year. Around 12:30 I told the kids to get ready that we were heading out shortly. Lydia wanted to wear pajama bottoms and I told her to put on something more geared for cold weather as we were headed UP into the mountains and if you remember when Caleb left Charlie at the tree farm…well that’s where we were going. Turns out I was right about dressing for colder climate cause we noticed a little surprise along the way. Shortly after passing Lovers Leap Wayside, well Lydia noticed it first…Dad? Is that snow… why yes that is snow…however it was not as noticeable when she first saw it… took a couple of mikes for me to get this picture. So yes it was a nice surprise …if you know me at all then you know I love snow. Any who it took about 2 hrs to get to where we were going and we stopped along the way for lunch…may I recommend if ever in Hillsville Va….. Perfect Pizza on Main st. The pizza was really good and was two thumbs up by Caleb as his mouth was full and he could not verbalize how good it was lol. Sorry back to the task at hand. We arrived at the tree farm and again it was quite a sight. after parking and talking with the owner and getting directions to the better lot of desirable trees we grabbed a bow saw (wouldn’t let me bring my new chainsaw) we headed down the trail. Either the kids were cold (told them to dress warm) or just in a hurry to get home and decorate it, we didn’t go for before we decided on a nice tree…Caleb took first turn then Lydia and of course I finished it off. So here it is tied to the top of the mighty Tracker and here it is in the house…decorating comes the day after.
This post is not about Caleb …sorry monkey. Its about my mode of transport. Its a 2002 Chevrolet Tracker ZR2 convertible. A few months ago the transmission started to make a whinning noise which tells me its the bearings…no problem with shifting, so I decided to take it off the car and take it to a shop for repair. After removing it from the car I loaded it in the work truck and took it to work with me. During the course of the day I took it to three different shops to see about getting the repair made, and all three said the same thing…” I don’t want to mess with it “…I’m sorry is my money not green enough for you? So I decided to take it apart myself and see what I could do. Never before going inside a manual shift or automatic for that matter I really wasn’t sure what to expect. So after a couple hours of deconstruction I had it apart with everything all labeled and bolts bagged and marked. However when I pulled the transmission and the transfer case apart 7 ball bearing rolled out on the porch. Hummm could this be the problem, yes but not the only one.. turns out the afore mentioned bearing was located at the rear of the countershaft also the middle countershaft bearing was the one making all the noise. So after two weeks and $165 in bearing I had all the needed parts to repair it but I needed a press to remove the bad bearing and put on the new ones. I took the countershaft and bottom half of the transmission shell to Chevy to have the press work done and they could not get the inner race of the middle bearing off the shaft…so I thought about it on the way back to the house with a disassembled countershaft. I decided to use a dremel and cut a slice across the bearing and it came off like it was its job. I called Chevy about reassembly and they said as long as it was less than an hour of work it would be $95. I thought about it and decided if they couldn’t get it completely apart they were undeserving of my money to reassemble it. So I called around and got it put back together in 10 minutes for a whopping $20. So now with the countershaft back together I sterilized the remaining gears, bearing and synchros and reassembled the transmission ( Caleb was a big help here ) I bolted it back on the car. After getting everything hooked back together I started the car to warm up the inside so I could get the gearshifts and console back together. Turns out after idling about 10 minutes it just cut off and after investigating I found I had pinched the wire going to the crankshaft sensor….behind the flywheel, so once again I had to not only take the whole works apart again I had to remove the pressure plate and the flywheel to gain enough access to the wire that was damaged to make a repair to it. Needless to say it is back on the car and sounds and drives great…not sure why nobody wanted to do the repair it seemed easy to me but stuff like this usually does and has since I can remember. Oh the reason I decided to repair it instead of replacing it …rebuilt replacement or having mine rebuilt was about$1800 and the closest used one I could find was in Pennsylvania and they wanted $950 plus shipping…maybe another $200. So total cost of parts sealant and gear oil…$205. Sounds like a winner to me..here are some pictures of the situation. First pic is part of the transmission shell between the trans and transfer case, the second is of the input-output shaft, next is where the bad bearing were…the dreaded captured countershaft then the inner bearing race i cut with the dremel, next includes the transfer case right after disassembly, next on the t-shirt is one of the failed bearings and last but not least is the mighty Tracker…how do you like my lift…yeah i drive it there, it is after all 4 wheel drive.
Caleb is now 9 and doing fine…he will be here this weekend so let’s get some more recent photos. Actually we went to the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston last weekend so here are a few. First up is Caleb and his step sis Lydia in a Canary (I think) cage. The arm from the right is Lydia’s bestie Moegan….she was here so much over the summer I’m debating claiming her as a dependant.The second picture….yep its a funnel cake.
Well it has been a while….we are all fine Caleb is doing great in school …I have remarried and moved. Hopefully things will pick up here as this email s about my son,so bear with me and I will see if I can post more. Here is a double rainbow from the storm this past Thursday.
Caleb was here over the holiday and Santa hooked him up …he got a lava lamp …now what kid wants a lava lamp at 8 years old , anyway he got one that has blue water and red lava with a silver base which is pretty cool, I haven’t seen one since we had one when I was a kid. He also got an Air Hogs Helix, its remote control and its kinda like a helicopter, it has 4 separate blades in a kinda square pattern, usually I have told caleb that RC toys from Walmart are not the best idea because when they break parts, there are no replacements to fix them with …however the way is is designed it seemed like a good idea and he really loves it. The first trip outside was kinda incredible, I walked out the door and he was looking at the top of the house and I thought it was on the roof but no it was about a hundred feet in the air back behind the house, fortunately it didn’t get stuck in the trees. I told him then not to fly it so high and keep it close to him in case something happens, we would be able to find it, so the next day he comes in the house and says ….”dad” yes son “my helicopter is stuck in a tree” ok, how did that happen “the wind blew it” … yeah it was about 50 foot high upside down wedged in the fork of a branch. Now… here I am looking at this tree trying to figure how to get it down…now the tree is not big enough to climb and support my weight to get it down, so I’m thinking who has a chainsaw I can borrow so I can kill this tree for capturing his Christmas toy, no wait that’s a really bad idea … not only not a good idea to cut the tree down because I like trees but because its only about 15 feet from the house and I’m no tree expert, fortunately there are really big vines growing up into the tree and after about 15-20 minutes of pulling the right one and shaking the top of the tree enough, it shakes the helicopter loose and it falls to the ground…so the score is dad 1 tree 0. Caleb also got a Zoomer robotic dog and I had never heard of one until he ask for one for Christmas. Zoomer is a robotic dog that needs to be trained and he will obey your commands. Zoomer has wheels instead of feet and his body pivots in the middle and his legs bend and his head can move too ..oh yeah he looks like a Dalmatian but like I said he has to be trained to do several thing like sit, play dead, lay down, follow me, watch me, speak, protect me and get this …go pee yeah you read that right…go pee …Zoomer will find an object and lift his leg just like a real dog. My favorite however is protect me… Once given this command Zoomer will kinda crouch down and begin to growl and bark and if you get within a couple of feet Zoomer he will bark like crazy and chase you off …literally. Zoomer has sensors built into his chest, now if you don’t give Zoomer a command after a few minutes he will act kinda crazy and wonder off and do his own thing. Now Zoomer has to be trained like I said he won’t just do these commands, like any new puppy you need to tell Zoomer several time before he will get it and continue to do as he is told and by the way Zoomer is a one kid dog, only one person can give commands or he will get confused and need to be trained again. Caleb also got a Lego mine set, some night vision goggles, a Star Wars calendar and a game for his Nintendo 3DS plus a few smaller thing in his stocking….
Caleb with his soon to be sis.
Fun at Burmil pool
Cali with Chewy…another adopted calico, she is named after Chewbacca from Star Wars