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Apr. 18th, 2017

Barq!

13 plus years?! Really ...



#mylivejournal #lj18 #happybirthday

Jan. 20th, 2017

Suzuki

Suzuki Repair - 50628 miles

For the past couple of months I have noticed a vibration in the front suspension of the car at certain highway speeds.

Since I head up to Springfield MA next weekend for the train show I figured I would have it looked at before the trip.

It turned out to be the left side tie rod ends - both inner and outer.

Parts               $146.00
Labor              $115.00
Alignment       $110.00
Balancing       $  80.00
Tax                 $  38.50
-----------------------------
Grand Total    $489.50

*sigh*

Nov. 8th, 2016

Kirin 01 - portrait

A request for the Holiday Season

Please.

No Cards,
No gift exchange

Oct. 5th, 2016

Kirin 01 - portrait

Purlear North Carolina - any thoughts on this area?

There is a house down there with a full outdoor ride on railroad up for sale fairly cheap.

Perlear is near Wilkesboro and about an hour north of Charlotte

May. 28th, 2016

Rog

I lost a great friend today.

J Badger passed away this morning.

I will miss him.

Apr. 4th, 2016

Mooncat

Zootopia

I just had what amounted to a private 3D screening of the movie.  4:20PM on a rainy Monday afternoon is a pretty good time apparently.  There was one young kid and his Mom sitting quietly somewhere behind me, after they settled they were silent.

It is worth it!  If you have not yet seen this movie, do so!
There is enough in the movie that I wnat to see it at least twice more just to take in the details of the city and characters.

Five Stars, The Disney animators have set a VERY high bar for animation this time - and the movie runs close to two hours.

Wow.

Also, for the Jerry Andersen fans, Thunderbirds will be back with a whole new series on Amizon Prime.

Mar. 25th, 2016

Suzuki

Suzuki Service - 45656 miles

45,000 mile service

Recall VD - Airbag seat sensor

Oil Change - Labor 11.00, Parts 23.88, Tax 3.01 = 37.89

Jan. 9th, 2016

SL Kirin Front 1 - annoyed

It's dead, Jim ..

My desktop PC is now pushin' up the daisies.  It was intermittently dying and rebooting and promptly forgetting which drive to boot from.
I finally ended up taking it in to MicroCenter and the tech who examined it said the mother board is shot.  He says he saw fried diodes on the back of the board.
The estimate to fix it would buy me a better replacement, so that is probably the route I will take.

It was a dual processor quad core (quad core dual processor? - whatever, it had eight) with maxed out memory, a heavy duty power supply and a pretty good graphics card.  I will probably be able to reuse the graphics card, but memory seems to change type every other week, so that will be "stored".  Heck, I'll probably keep the whole thing.

Before anyone suggests building my own, I do not have the expertise to choose the right parts to put something good together.  I could assemble the parts myself, but I would be stuck if anything went wrong.  I'd rather get something assembled that works.

The trouble is my budget is a bit limited right now.

Hopefully I can use my existing boot drive directly, but even if I can't the drive is still good and I can get the stuff off of it.

For now I'm using an old (slow!) Mac mini with minimal extras.  It's OK, but I have gone too far down the PC path to switch over at this point.

Here's a link to a review with the specs of the PC.  I have upped the memory to 9GB and swapped the graphics card.
http://www.cnet.com/products/gateway-fx6800-01e/

Dec. 25th, 2015

SL Kirin Right - happy

Merry Christmas!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9TTz3R5SmI

Nov. 7th, 2015

Hedgy

Computer help needed please!

I have a laptop running Windows 7 32bit.  It is dead and un-repairable with a motherboard issue that shuts it down within a minute or so of starting and then immeadiately you hit the power button.  I need to use a program on the C drive that can not easily be replaced. Call this "Machine 1"

I bought a second identical good laptop ("Machine 2") and installed the drives and memory cards from Machine 1 into Machine 2.

Machine 2 will boot up, but only into diagnostic mode.  Windows recognises the hardware change and will not start.
Several attempts at running the startup fix and various tries at starting from different restore points have not worked.

SO ...
1) Is there any way to get the software to recognise its new home and boot up?
2) Would swapping the CPU from Machine 1 into Machine 2 get the software to boot in Machine 2?
3) Is there another alternative?

Sep. 25th, 2015

Suzuki

State Inspection today

Passed!

$37.00

Jun. 5th, 2015

RR Kirin

NCC 1701/8 The Shuttlecraft Rapido

http://rapidotrains.com/shuttlecraft/

There are 40 of these.  They were auctioned off.

I got one!

____________________

Good Morning and Congratulations: You are a successful bidder for one of
Rapido Trains nc. LRC Shuttlecraft in support of the Lung Association. Our
silent auction successfully raised over
$ 20,000.00 in memory of the late Leonard Nimoy. On behalf of Jason Shron,
President of Rapido Trains Inc., our team and the Lung Association thank
you for your generous bid.
...

Your LRC Shuttlecraft will come numbered (out of 40) and with a
certificate of authenticity. Only 40 numbered LRC shuttlecraft were made,
plus several production samples held at Rapido so you have a very rare and
hopefully special locomotive. ...

Jan. 20th, 2015

RR Kirin

The 2015 Amherst Railway Society Show in Springfield MA

I will be attending the Amherst Railway Society Show again this year.
It's taking place on January 24-25, 2015

"Big E" Fairgrounds in Springfield MA
http://www.railroadhobbyshow.com/

I'll be loosely based around the NTRAK layout in the Better Living Center.

Jan. 19th, 2015

Suzuki

Suzuki Service: 37,918 miles

The second service for the SX4

Oil and Filter change $42.95 (should have been done at 37,500)
6 Year battery & installation: $169.95
(4) Goodyear Eagle LS Tires - P205/60R16: $489.00 (includes balancing etc)
Alignment: $99.95
Washer Fluid (1 gallon): $3.00

Parts total: $657.70 Labor Total: $147.95 Sales tax: $69.49 = Grand Total $885.14

I knew this was coming so I had the money reserved.

The tires and battery should be good for at least 5 years, probably longer.

Service etc at Port Tire & Auto Service Port Washington, NY

Jun. 20th, 2014

Kirin 01 - portrait

Text Messages.

So I now have a new cell phone plan with unlimited text and voice.  I was hoping to get Mom to use an iPhone (5c 32gig - free!) but she can't see the screen well enough to use it, and has to use her magnifier so she can't see and push buttons at the same time.  Oh well, back to her old phone (at least for now).  So feel free to use text messages now.

May. 30th, 2014

Kirin 01 - portrait

CryptoWall

This is absolutely f..ing insane. Mom's Windows XP computer has been infected by this thing and every document, pdf, picture file and email has been encrypted.
They want $500 in BitCoins to decrypt them. AND the price goes up to $1000 if you wait.

Wonderful. We don't have the money. So far no one has found a way to decrypt the files either. The program can be removed, but even a System Restore will not bring back files.

We don't have backups either, although some of the files are available elsewhere, from friends or my brother.

*Sigh*

May. 15th, 2014

Kirin 01 - portrait

Does anyone know Japanese?

I have purchased a sword for myself.  This is written on the base of the blade:

hilt infoHilt 2

Here's the sword itself:
swordscabbard
The scabbard is brass.

May. 6th, 2014

RR Kirin

A Railroad Switching Puzzle

I found a neat little railroad switching puzzle online and it has a layer editor.

I put together a layout based on John Allen's "Timesaver" switching puzzle.

There are also a series of puzzles that lead you through how it all works and some other user created ones.

Enjoy!!

http://armor.ag/22cHZ
Tags: , ,

Mar. 11th, 2014

Gneech

20 Jokes That Only Intellectuals Will Understand

These are fun.

http://www.tickld.com/x/20-jokes-that-only-intellectuals-will-understand


Enjoy!
Tags:

Jan. 8th, 2014

RR Kirin

The Amherst Railway Society Show in Springfield MA

I will be attending the Amherst Railway Society Show this year (yay!) Jan 25-26
"Big E" Fairgrounds in Springfield MA
http://www.railroadhobbyshow.com/

I'll be loosely based around the NTRAK layout in the Better Living Center.

Nov. 20th, 2013

Suzuki

Suzuki Service

Miles: 30204

Mounted alloy wheels, dismounted old tires and disposed of them ( I kept the steel rims )
Front brakes replaced

Total $286.00, Tax $23.81 = $309.81

Tags:

Nov. 18th, 2013

Suzuki

30,000 mile service

At 30,150 miles (appx)

$425.00 + 37.80 sales tax = $462.80

Included: Air Filter, Cabin Filter, Oil & Filter change, Transaxle Fluid change, rear differential fluid change, transfer case fluid change, general inspection.

Will need front brakes very soon.

Nov. 6th, 2013

Kirin 01 - portrait

Thor - The Dark World

I was lucky and got a preview pass for Thor - The Dark World. (Actually I got two passes, but couldn't find anyone to use the second one.)

While not the best movie (3 stars from me), it is still a lot of fun and is worth seeing, especially if you liked the first Thor movie.
It was in Real 3D format, but they didn't play games with gratuitous 3D effects just for the sake of doing them.

The basic story is the supposedly defeated and long dead Dark Elves are back and are trying to reset the universe to their standards.
Thor, of course is trying to prevent this. The story spans the nine worlds and there's a lot of world jumping.
There's also quite a few chuckles. Stan Lee does make a cameo, I'll let you find it.

Oh yeah, stay until the VERY end, after the credits.

The trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hwGggrQL2g

There was also a trailer for a new Captain America due on 4-4-14. It also looks like fun.

Sep. 4th, 2013

Kirin 01 - portrait

A new avian study:

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over
200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was
concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A bird
pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to
everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely not
Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying
colors of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. By
analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the
crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were
killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an ornithological behaviorist to determine if
there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck
kills versus car kills.

The ornithological behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause:
When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a
nearby tree to warn of impending danger. They discovered that
while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one
could shout "Truck."

Jul. 24th, 2013

Kirin 01 - portrait

It's Done!

Mom went into surgery at about 4:15PM and was out at about 8:00PM.

A bit longer than expected but all went well.

I saw her in recovery at about 9:00PM. She was groggy but talking coherently.
She has been moved to a room as of about 11:00PM

(Yes this is being posted at 3:00AM - I came home, made a few phone calls, had a bite to eat and promptly fell asleep in front of the TV. Now that I'm awake, I can go to bed - I hate when this happens!)

Jun. 12th, 2013

Hedgy

PC Woes

My PC isn't working right. It'll boot and run OK for 5-10 min and then the screen will go "snowy" for a half second and the machine will then shut down. Once, I caught a glimpse of an error message within my Google browser saying it had a problem just before the screen went black.

The power supply and graphics board have both been replaced within the last three years.
Everything is clean inside, no visible problems.

On booting it'll usually not find the C drive, but it is a choice from the F10 menu and it'll boot OK once it's told. The battery on the board was replaced recently.
Occasionally the C drive does not show on the F10 menu, but will if I cycle the power.

I'm very tempted to take it over to MicroCenter and just say "Fix it"


For now I'm working on the laptop.

May. 4th, 2013

Kirin 01 - portrait

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the 4th be with you!

Mar. 30th, 2013

Furry Forever

For those who wish to use this, - Enjoy it and Share!

Furry Forever Equal Paw

Mar. 2nd, 2013

RR Kirin

Mystery Cars Finished!

The "Mystery Cars" are finished and tested.
It looks like they will work well.



They are "iCar 4" models from Minuteman Scale Models.

More pictures and the first test movie files are here:

http://dirtdeninn.com/smrgol/Stuff/iCar4%20O%20Scale

Enjoy!

Feb. 24th, 2013

RR Kirin

Mystery Models

OK - These are two laser cut kits that I am working on.

If you know what they are, just say "I know".

If you don't know - Take a guess.

mystery


More photos here:

http://dirtdeninn.com/smrgol/Stuff/Mystery%20Model/

The kits went together very well, and it's a neat design.
Next stop paint - probably yellow or orange.

Dec. 7th, 2012

Hedgy

Armed and (semi) dangerous

I have just changed my phone over to a 4S iPhone.

I now have texting and FaceTime and all the other good "stuff".

So if you want to talk, I'm here.

Nov. 11th, 2012

Rog

*sigh*

I've just found out that my friend Stalking Cat (Dennis Avner) has died.

Nov. 3rd, 2012

RR Kirin

I CAN HAZ INTERNETZ!!

YAY!
Kirin 01 - portrait

I'm baack!

As you have probably seen from comments to other posts, I have power at home - but no cable, phone or internet. The hobby shop got power at ten last night, and internet too.

So I'm on the 'puter at work right now.

We were VERY lucky, some areas near me are still without power and have large trees down too.

So, life goes on ...

Nov. 1st, 2012

Kirin 01 - portrait

No cable, lights or internet, not a single luxury

I'm typin' on my Netbook - as primitive as can be.

I'm currently sitting outside the local Starbucks as they are the only ones to currently have internet and it's too crowded inside. We have no power at home - lost it 8PM Monday, cable went at 4PM. The Hobby Shop will be open tomorrow for the first time this week. Hopefully Neil (my brother) will stay on with Mom so that I can go in.

We got off VERY easy! Yesterday we went out to do errands and there are areas with LOTS of huge trees down, some roads are still blocked.

The gas stove burners raise the temperature in the house to about 70, but Mom's still cold.
We have hot water, so we can get a good hot shower when wanted.

The big concerns right now are 1) Mom's chairlift batteries needing a recharge, 2) The refrigerator, 3) The freezer.

We've had an offer from Kamau for the use of a generator, but he's three hours north and it can't help with heat.

We keep hoping that power will return. It's getting cold enough to store refrigerated stuff outside, which may solve one problem.

That's it for now, gotta conserve batteries.

Oct. 28th, 2012

Kirin 01 - portrait

Sandy

Only 4-8 inches of rain predicted.

HOWEVER, on Monday ...

7:30 AM until 11:00 AM (appx. times from memory)- High tides - Full Moon plus storm surge will add to 16+ feet above normal. Expect flooding.

By 3 PM Monday Sustained 50 mph winds, gusts to 95 mph. Lasting until at least 3 AM.

10:00 PM until 1:00 AM (appx. times from memory)- High tides - Full Moon plus storm surge will add to 16+ feet above normal. Expect flooding.

The flooding will not affect us directly. We are close to the water, but up over 100 ft.
I have friends who have been evacuated on the south shore and there will be low areas near me that will be impassible. A lot of the south shore and some areas of the north shore have mandatory evacuation orders. The Long Island Rail Road, the NY City Subways and NYC Buses were shut down at 7 PM tonight.

There's a good chance that we will loose power. They say 50/50 chance which means 90% probable.
We have municipal gas and water, so those should be OK.
We can use the burners on the gas stove, and from past experience we will have hot to warm water for a while (between what's in the heater tank and what the pilot light keeps warm). Mom's chair lift will work for several days (or more) on its battery. The laptop, netbook, Kindle, PSPs, DSi, 3DS, iPod and both cell phones are all charged, or will be. And I can always fall back on books and magazines.

The only worries are a freezer full of food and the refrigerator.
We are as prepared as we can be.

My days off from the hobby store are Monday and Tuesday this week, so I shouldn't loose work unless the store is without power on Wednesday or after.

It's already windy. Tomorrow and Tuesday will be "interesting".

Oct. 4th, 2012

Suzuki

First damage - one month in *sigh*

Of all the fates,
The one that's worst,
Is when your car gets dented first.

On Monday (10-1) we were out food shopping and my dear youngest brother managed to open the rear driver's side door into the side of a passing car.

There was no visible damage to that car, but about 2 inches x 6 inches of my door edge got "folded" outwards to a 45 degree angle.

I stopped at a body shop near work - it's a two day job to fix (bodywork, prep and paint) and their estimate is $450.

I'll swing by another shop near home and see what he says. It'll probably be about the same cost.

And, my brother has no money, so Mom says she will pick up the repair cost.


On the plus side, today I was able to install the window visors before the rains came.

I'm still waiting on the side moldings to come in. Pictures will come after that.

Sep. 27th, 2012

Kirin 01 - portrait

Happy Birthday LK!!

55

You've hit the speed limit. You can't get any older.

Sep. 14th, 2012

Suzuki

Suzuki - 22,500 Mile Service

Mileage: 22,680

Changed oil & filter - No Charge

Installed: Rear Bumper Protector, Door Sills, Fog Lights, Mud Flaps, Cargo Tray

Still to be installed:
Window Visors (Wrong parts shipped to dealer - will ship to me for installation)
Body Side Moldings (Missing from order sheet - will be installed on next visit)

To be looked at / repaired - misc scratches and one dent, wheelcovers.

Aug. 1st, 2012

Passat

The last Passat Post

Purchased December 23, 1999 - Mileage: 8
Mileage at trade-in: 249,515










It was a fun ride ...

KIRIN I is now a 2010 Suzuki SX4 AWD 4 DR hatchback - Mileage at purchase: 21,914
First Oil Change / Service will be at 22,500 (7500 mile intervals).







More information on the "new" car to come.

Jul. 29th, 2012

Hedgy

Statistic:

Six out of seven dwarves are not Happy.

Jun. 20th, 2012

Passat

*Sigh* Another day, another $1K - 248,816 miles

THe Passat has been running rough and throwing a flashing check engine light intermittently for the last few days.

I took it to a recommended local garage near the hobby store where I work.

It turned out to be a coil pack on the #4 cylinder that had gone bad.
Cost: Parts:62.52, Labor 98.00, Tax 13.84 TOTAL: 174.36

It also turned out that the rumble I have been hearing was a bad front wheel bearing.
So ...
Replace both front wheel bearings:
Parts: 490.00, Labor: 295.00, Tax 67.71 TOTAL: 852.71

GRAND TOTAL: $1027.07

*sigh* This will take some time to pay off.

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Kirin 01 - portrait

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