Friday, January 15, 2021

Mommy baby chill

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Gonna move a bunch of these today

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Monday, January 11, 2021

Reminding Myself about Life Under Covid-19 - Day 306


It's a new year, and the weight of COVID-19 still presses me down. For the first time in a long time, COVID-19 hasn't been the most impactful thing in my life for a week. That's both good and bad, more bad, though, since COVID-19 continues to impact all aspects of my life.

Last week I started to watch the counting of the electoral votes. A non-event during most Presidential elections. In fact, I'm not sure I would have known the date or process before this year. In any case, I watched the votes for Alabama and Alaska, and then the protest against Arizona. The reps filed out of the chamber and I went to the gym.

While working out, I saw the protests getting heated, and eventually people break into the Capital building. I went a had a slice of pizza, watching criminals ransacking the building. I was somewhat shocked, and maybe more so that the owner of the pizza place was loudly defending them as not doing anything wrong, not causing any trouble. This was before we knew the scope of the damage, but I doubt his view has changed.

Since then, the talk of impeachment, of arrests and prosecution of the insurrectionists, the pressure in various reps to resign or condemn the actions. Some have, but continue to push the narrative of a bad election. I watched the speeches, or some of them, after Congress reconvened that night. While I appreciated hearing from many reps, I was also disappointed into others that continued to press forward with their complaint. I disagree that the session was the place to do this.

In any case, it appears there may be a second set of articles of impeachment coming, and it continues to dominate the news, even as various people are arrested.

Maybe even more crazy is the banning of our President from Twitter, Facebook, et al. It certainly has made for quieter news cycles in many ways. I was surprised to see that Parler, an alternative social network, was dropped from AWS over the weekend. As of now, I think they are struggling to find a large vendor to host them over the controversy.

I have lots of thoughts and opinions, but this is more about life during this time. We had a quiet Christmas. Kyle came home, and we mostly were here with family for a few days, without much of any sort of activities. We took a break from volleyball and things were quiet.

Tia and I did go to Keystone over New Years, which was weird. We didn't ski, hiked a bit, and relaxed. Takeout from a few places, and then with some of them being able to open under the Colorado 5-star program, we waited an hour to get a table in breakfast place and eat with a waitress. That was a highlight of our trip.

Since then, we've returned to more places opening and restrictions relaxing. Jan 4 allowed lots of changes. The gym now takes 25 for many yoga classes, spread into 2 rooms, or 17 in one, so it's easier to get in and get some exercise. I've appreciate that, though it's still hard to wear a mask. I'm not used to it, though I've given up on complaining.

I hurt my back last week, which was weird, and painful. While struggling to walk, and unsure of what to do, I had a miserable night. Tia found me a chiro Fri am, but it took work. I don't know that it would have been easier without COVID, but I know so many places have reduced hours, spread out appointments, etc., that I did worry about getting in as she called around. To me, one of the major crisis of the whole pandemic is that other non-COVID issues are more problematic. In any case, I was amazed that he fixed me in a day, and I was back to normal by Sunday.

Volleyball started back up, with the whole team after Christmas. We actually practiced with everyone on Jan 3, even though we were supposed to wait until Jan 4. This past weekend (Jan 9) we went back to competition. A higher level, we got beat pretty good, but we were back in a gym, parents got to watch (still 1/athlete) and life felt slightly normal. Coaches went to have a drink afterwards up in Johnstown, and Tia and I even stopped at Casa Mariachi on the way home and got a table.

I'm going skiing tomorrow with a friend. He asked me last week and I agreed. Then we realized we needed reservations, so he started the process at Copper and then we were on the phone, him getting me a buddy pass there. The whole "plan in advance" isn't something I like, but I guess that's where we are. I've gotten used to it for yoga, so I can do this. I hope it ends sometime this year.

I do have some hope. Most people I interact with think the vaccine rollout, while slow, will help smooth things out over time. We'll find a way to start having a more normal life, more in person work, school, etc. by the fall. I hope so, and I do think it's a possibility. I can even see live events potentially in the Sept/Oct/Nov time frame.

Work continues on about the same, though there is a little more aim for thriving rather than coping (or surviving as the CEO noted). I think that's good, though my job certainly looks like it won't change for quite some time. Life will continue to be remote and in my first floor office.

The interesting thing is that my world seems to have shrunk even more, and with more stability. Work every day here, go to the gym 3-4x/week, which is fine. We likely will coach through the summer with 1 or 2 practices a week. We'll get to a few restaurants, and probably do more camping this summer with horses. It's a slower pace, but that's not bad. In fact, it's comforting in some ways as I aim to handle more projects around here.

BMW X5 E70 Rear Hatch Won't Lock

I have a 2012 BMW X5 (E70) and the rear hatch wasn't latching. I loaded the rear, lowered the hatch and started driving. I noticed that the light was on inside as I was driving. When I got home, I found that the hatch wouldn't close or latch. It would open (from the inside button, rear button, or fob), but when it closed, it would get close and the release. Slamming it didn't help.

I looked at some of the posts on BimmerFest and elsewhere, and tried a few things. I pulled fuse 121 from the rear (behind rear tail light), but it didn't work.

At this time, I started looking closer and noticed that one of the bolts holding the u-bolt in the lower rear hatch was loose. The bolt was there, but as I grabbed the u-bolt, it moved. I'm pointing to it in the image below. The u-bolt would be where the second knuckle of my index finger is, and I'm pointing at 1 of the 2 bolts that are here.

I could wiggle the u-bolt at least 1/4" and maybe 1/2". I suspect that the upper hatch tried to grab the bolt and attach, but couldn't, so it opened again.

I looked at a parts diagram to see how this worked. I could see there appear to be only two bolts, despite the fact that there are actually 4 openings, and there mechanism under the ubolt has a few pieces

I tried to screw the bolts down. One grabbed and tightened. One would not catch, so I had to take things apart. I started by loosening all the screws on the lower hatch. These are on top when this is open. They are behind the flap that folds down on top of the lower hatch. You can see these below. These need a Phillips screwdriver.

Just a note, you need to hold the flap up (it's just visible at the top of the image below.

Once this is loose, you need to prey it loose from the lower hatch. The side closest to the hinge will pop out with a little prying around that edge.

The side furthest from the hinge actually wraps above and around to the back of the hatch. There is a plastic part that is on the outside. In the image below, I'm pointing at part of the seam. This has tabs near the lower (if closed) edge of the two plastic parts. I managed to carefully pry these and pop them loose from the inside.

Once you have this piece off (it's about 4ft long, about a foot wide), then you will see some of the wiring, and another plastic piece that covers the u-bolt. The u-bolt has a plastic cup that covers it, and from this side (when the hatch is open), it sticks out.

There are 5 Torx bolts holding this down. I am not sure of the size, but they were one of the larger Torx screwdrivers I have. They've likely been in this car for 8 years, and never moved, so they were stiff and hard to remove. Once out, I could lift this panel and see the mechanism below.

What I found is that there is a metal assembly that holds the locking mechanism, and a black spacer that centers this. The u-bolt attaches to this. If I get the spacer to fit correctly inside the mechanism, I can press the entire assembly up to the hatch and my bolt will then reach the threads inside. I had to fuss with this for a few minutes to get it aligned and then have the spacer slip inside the assembly before I could get this correctly put together.  There are wires to the assembly, so I was working bent over with the ensure section only slightly lifted off the lower tailgate.

Once I did this, I hand tightened the bolts to hold things, and then found a wrench to snug them up tightly. I have no idea of the torque, but I made them fairly tight with a small adjustable wrench.

I assembled back the inner plate with the Torx screws, ensuring the wiring was placed below. Then I snapped the outer plastic back on and tightened 2 screws. I tested the hatch and it worked perfectly. I finished adding in the other 3 screws and tested again. Working hatch.

This took me about 20 minutes of fussing with panels and looking at the diagram and parts. It's not hard, but if you have latching issues, double check the bolts are tight and the u-bolt doesn't move.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Early Sunday morning yoga

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Monday, January 4, 2021

New tool is coming along

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