Friday, September 29, 2017

USA volleyball

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You can't tell but sweat drips off the brim when I bend over after September #5kamonth

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Watching the lone high school player on my team

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

First car i bought. Looked way cooler in my memories

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Potato soup and zucchini fries

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Back for the weekend

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Friday, September 22, 2017

I guess that's it for summer

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saving Money, Accomplishing Work, and Learning Things

I finished a rear brake job on the BMW today. I’m a bit proud that I did this myself, without help. Hopefully things work ok and I’ll keep an eye on the car for a few weeks, but so far in a short test drive to the gas station and a trip to the gym, things seem to be fine. Nothing overheating, no pulling, no strange marks on the rotors.

A few months ago the Suburban needed brakes. Rear brakes, calipers, rotors, e-brake. The local shop I often go to wanted $1300 to do all that. It’s a lot of work, but I wasn’t sure how much. My wife’s helper said he could do it and used to be a mechanic and it wasn’t bad, so I priced parts. About $300 in parts.

What?!?!?!? $300 is way far from $1300.

I started investigating. I’d changed pads a long time ago as a college student when I was trying to save money and learn about cars, but never rotors. I wasn’t even sure how to change a rotor, much less a caliper. It sounds hard.

Thanks to YouTube I found it wasn’t hard. I pulled the parts off of the Suburban, took some down to the local O’Reilly, and purchased new ones. I wanted to get them from 1AAuto, whose videos helped, but they were out of stock. I’ll go there next time.

I watched the guy do the work and found it wasn’t hard. So when I had a $600 estimate to do the rear brakes (pads and rotors only) for the BMW, I decided to tackle things myself. I found a few videos on YouTube and one blog, ordered parts (around $250) and got ready. The parts were here for a week before I found time, but Monday afternoon I managed to get things going. I had to hit the auto parts store for a few things, and spent another $200, but it was a good learning experience. I managed to get one tire done and ready, but couldn’t loosen a couple lug nuts on the second.


I ran the car up to the local tire guy, going slow with one new set of pads. They used an impact wrench, but couldn’t remove the lug nuts. With a long breaker bar, they could get it off, but the nuts were a mess. I was thinking I’d have to find a way to get to the store, but they called a parts store and had some in about 25 minutes. I had to wait, but I didn’t have to chance a dicey drive.

I got home, and then started to take things apart. The cleaning of the calipers and carrier is slow, so I quit last night to hit the gym. This afternoon I got back to it. With things cleaned, I managed to get the rotors ready.


In a bit of a hurry, I didn’t take more shots since I had gloves on. However, I managed to grease things up and install the pads and rotors.

About a $450 job, so not a lot of savings here, but I learned a few things, and I’m ready to do brakes on the Prius, the Suburban, and Kendall’s Stratus when needed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Someone wants to play

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One side

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Friday, September 15, 2017

All mine today

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Breaking out the big gun

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Just another day at the ranch

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Back to work

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Back home and back to chores

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Coffee is for closers. First talk of the day

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017


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Ready for the night stream

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sunrise in Cambridge

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

The horses are following Kendall around

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The Sun Basket this week. Cauliflower steaks with sweet potato hash and fried eggs

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Chores, chores, chores

It’s a busy fall at the ranch. I went out to rework the front gate electric fence. Uma left yesterday, and the charger didn’t seem to be working. I think it was in too much shade when we just got it set before India, so I disconnected the charger, which wasn’t working, moved it on the other side of the fence in the sun, and let it charge.

After the gym, it was hot, so I reconnected things.

Now it’s grass time. I need to get the dog area clean, and do the front again with fertilizer as a last cut before winter. The front is growing somewhat crazy with sprinklers working well this year.

However, I wanted a little break, so I came inside and ordered brake parts for the BMW. After doing the parts and helping the guy do the Suburban, I don’t think I want to pay a local company $500-600 to do my brakes and rotors. Ordered parts for $210, and they’ll come while I’m traveling. Hopefully I can get things fixed then next week or the following one around Tia’s clinic. I’m down to about 500 miles on the warning sensor, so I need to get things done.

Tomorrow the plan is to get the mower tires off and the bead broken on one. If I can clean things up, hopefully it will seal and I can knock that off the list. I also need some time in Tia’s arena to clean up the edges more and get rid of weeds before her clinic. That won’t be fun with a 91F day planned, but I need to spend a couple hours at least getting things done.

Then it’s a week off, traveling, with lots and lots of meetings.

Last outdoor swim of the season. A good one ,a bit over a mile

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My wonderful daughter made me iced coffee so start the day with a little work. Thanks, @kendallaj26

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