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Hi, Hoooo... Yeah, off to work... Hoping that the GM will call the day real early. After all, it is Men's Shopping Day, that time of year when the ladies are all home with the kidlets (who are off from school and already bored), and we are free to peruse the malls and shops looking for just the right cordless drill for the lady in our life. ...short though that life may be if the drill is actually delivered.

Hmmm... A word to the neophytes out there: just buy the drill and use it yourself; otherwise it will just gather dust in the closet next to that socket set from several years ago. No, buy her something she'll like. Notice, I didn't say 'use'; I said like. It's kind of like looking for the last army man for that set you never really took out and played with after the incident with the firecracker... You just liked to know that you had it. ...and still have it in that box in the garage. Still, she does deserve something...

...and ignore those TV commercials; that's all marketing hype: they don't have a clue what a real woman wants. ...'course, neither do you, so maybe that drill would be a good idea after all. Good luck!

...and Merry Christmas!



When you are watching the football game today.

...and they give you that end zone shot.

...and there's this guy holding up a sign.

...and it reads "John 3:16".

Remember how this part of the story starts:
Luke 2:1-11

The reason for the season...



Remembering 09/11/01


Plan "A": take the day after Christmas off to allow for recovery from the lack of sleep and too much activity away from the homestead at Christmas...

Plan "B": use the day to smog the van and change out the garage door opener that ate its own gears on Christmas eve...


If you haven't got the word yet, Blogger's been hacked. If you're user, Ev has updates here. If you're a reader of a Blogger-driven site, don't expect updates for yesterday or today just yet. If you use Blogger to post, you're hosed for the moment... The hack affected passwords; if you need details, e-mail me; otherwise hang on. I betcha' Greymatter downloads and installations are red-lined today <g>.

...and with that, it's time to tackle a door opener!


The Great Garage Door Opener Adventure... Oh, yeah; it was quite an experience. Things started on Christmas Eve as I was installing some new blinds for Shelley; at one point I wandered out to the garage and triggered the door figuring I'd take that short cut back in through the front door. Funny grinding sounds... No door action... WT???

I opened up the cover to the opener to find a bunch of snow. What the heck, it's Christmas time; snow's okay. Wait; I live in Central California. No snow. ...especially not inside a garage. ...double that for inside a mechanism inside that garage. But, it was so white and fluffy! Further inspection revealed it was the remains of the teeth of the driven gear... Great.

Wednesday's project was to replace the unit with a minimum of fuss. Let's see... Sears Craftsman? Sure; ten years plus on the old one... Why not. ...and maybe some of the mounts and such will be interchangable. <Sigh...>, it must be all the time with my Optimist over the holidays. Heck, I thought I had it made when the store's display showed the same type of rail as my existing installation. Whoohoo!

Whoohooey. Nope, new rail. New rail mount. K', to work. Rail done, mount changed, line up the opener with the old bracket: Double hooey... No go; there's just enough difference to hose that idea. ...and it got worse: I'd caught a break years back since a joist happened to run right where I could lag my brackets. By moving things back a few inches, I needed to figure out a new mount... Off the the hardware store for some angle stock. Back home and a little work with the Sawzall and... I need a helper. I can't see to line things up. I pulled Daniel away from his Christmas loot long enough to help. Cool...

Ready to test! Not even: "Can't use your old switch; gotta use this new one."WT? It's supposed to produce the action of a single-pole, momentary-contact switch... Ahem, it appears the new version not only controls the door opener action, but can also turn the lights on and off, lock out the remotes and change the partridge's cage paper with the same two wires... Fine, I'll change it out. Okay?

Not okay: my old 'electric eye' that keeps the door from crushing kids (and kids from crushing cans) won't work with this new-fangled stuff. Okay, I've had it. You, the horse you rode in on, and the partridge. I am not running new wire... I will hang the two sensors an inch apart on the blasted opener before I string twenty feet of wire through the attic. ...especially since I've already st r u n g . . . Wait a minute. Are they duplexing this like they used to??? Oh my, yes! I'm supposed to pull a wire run from each of these units to the opener... But they connect to the same terminals! ...and I already have a pair run there from the old system. ...and wire from the sending unit to that point. Bingo. It's all in parallel; it matters not where they merge (unless they're doing some sort of impedance thing; in which case I'll take a four pound sledge to the entire project and nail the garage door shut).

Nah, it works fine. Now for testing, alignment and calibration. Easy, I dragged out the oscilloscope, the signal generator and the spectrum analyzer and went at it for a bit. Then I had Daniel stick his leg under the door as it came down. Some bruising, but he'll be okay. ...and he won't have any problems with the other leg since I tweaked things a bit more before the retest.

Man, it'll almost be good to get back to work...


Short version=(The Usual TGIF Lament)^2... Then again: good things come to those who wait. The boss wandered in with a news flash this afternoon: We're off Monday! Oh, my.

What to do; what to do? Ahem: Sleep. Finish the garage door opener cleanup. Sleep. Take the car in and get the alarm changed out. Sleep. Church. Sleep (no, not in church. Sheesh). Work on some cleanup? Heh... Sleep. Watch the local team play Michigan State Monday at noon (likely one reason for the release on Monday: a significant number of the staff will be in San Jose for the game). Sleep. Take down lights. Sleep. Take down the tree? Build a box? Read the last week's worth of papers? Not even! Post that cemetery story? Sure. Sleep...

I'm not boring you, am I?


Thanks, JHR; I'll take that advice to heart <g>! ...and where did you come up with the Squirrel Fishing one?

I did eat today. ...and before I read John's piece <g>; but it wasn't until early afternoon. We got up more or less on time as we had my car scheduled in for an alarm changeout at 1000. At 1030 were at another vendor as the first guy didn't seem to have the concept of "appointment" quite integrated into his business plan as yet. Then I found out that the new Sam's Club is on the way back to our house from that part of town...

Ah, well; Daniel and I trolled the food samples while Shelley and Bradley shopped. I guess I'll call that 'breakfast' and the omelet I made after we came back 'brunch'.

Then nap time hit until they called to say the car was finished. Cool... Now if I can get to bed early tonight, maybe I can consider myself caught up. Say, to last July...

Hmm... I may need that sleep; I just got a phone call: somehow I've ended up as the head usher at second service in the morning.

No problems there; we're not what you'd call 'organized religion' <g>...


Dodgin' raindrops... Yep, I caught a break today between the storms and got out and bladed for the first time in a week or two. Yeehaa!!! Maybe some endorphin release will help motivate me.

It's been raining for the last few days with more scheduled in. ...but I noticed when I went outside late this afternoon the streets were dry; that was a surprise, as our fog generally follows the rain here and I'd only seen wet cement when I'd looked out back.

Well, that put a stop to taking the deceased tree outside. I told Shelley I'd be back in a while and strapped the blades on. Oh, my; no doubt I hadn't bladed in a while. ...but it was 57F outside and that's T-shirt weather for me. Funny thing, though: it seemed even warmer by the time I got back, even with cloud cover late in the afternoon. Sure enough, the rain started soon after...

The rain now may be a good thing: this storm system may pass through tonight leaving clear skies for Monday's bowl game up in San Jose...

Yep: that's another nap scheduled for noon tomorrow <g>...

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