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Weekly Update: Update o’rama!

The biggest news of the week: Sputtery Truck isn’t so Sputtery anymore.

For those that were playing along at home, I have a Dodge Ram 1500 (yes, I drive a big truck) and I’ve had a check engine light for a couple years. Every time I’ve fixed one thing, something else has set it off. This last round I was getting a misfire on cylinder 7. The Millican assisted me in replacing all the plugs and coils (save one). This cured the misfire issue and the check engine light.

The I got the Check Engine Light once more. Yeah, I wasn’t surprised at this point. The code was no longer a misfire (which we both thought because of the one plug we couldn’t get out. Oh, no. Why would it be that simple? Oh, hell no! Let’s be a TOTALLY different code this time that I’ve never seen. Let’s make Jay work for this one.

fuel system too lean bank 2

What? Really? Too lean? That means it’s getting too much air. So The Millican and I went back through the manifold we needed to take off to get to the plugs and coils and double checked that everything was tight and secure and we couldn’t hear any leaks. Color me confused.

The Check Engine light that has become the bane of my existence would go on, turn off after a couple days, go on and laugh in my face, turn off after a couple days. Well, being that I needed to get Sputtery Truck smogged, I took the opportunity to get it smogged during one of the Check Engine Light of doom’s down periods. The men were happy to see me as no one else was in the shop. The engine was running smooth. I was hopeful.

Hah, silly me. I new something was wrong the moment the guy came back in and said something to the effect of: “Wow! I’ve never seen anyone fail so high before. 8%! You must be getting terrible gas mileage. I have to save this one.”

Yeah, thank you for pass or free retest.

The failure at the smog place showed that I was running way too rich, not way too lean. So I bit the bullet and took Sputtery Truck to get looked at. Again. I explained to the mechanics what I’d done already (an entire history in three part harmony and a bunch of pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what it was). They were impressed with all I’d done to keep Sputtery Truck running. I felt proud. Why? I don’t know. Third base!

So they spent about 30 minutes poking and prodding around and finally determined that my O2 sensor on the passenger side before the catalytic convertor was bad. That made sense. It was reading too lean, the engine pumped in more gas to compensate, making it partially flood the engine and causing it to sputtery.

HOORAY! An O2 sensor, an oil change and some fuel injector service and Sputery Truck was back on the road happier than ever. SO! It’s been a few days and still running smoothly and no Check Engine Light of Doom! I’m going to run it for another few days to make sure it doesn’t come on, get it smogged, pay my registration, and we’ll be good once more.

My Favorite Daughter has no tournaments for the month of February. Yeah! Just lots and lots of practice. She’s busy doing her best.

Books! My Teacher is a Zombie and My Teacher is a Werewolf might, just might, find a home in the library. I’m not sure what’ll happen, but one of my favorite daughter’s friend’s mom works at the library and knows the acquisition librarian for the district. She’s going to show her my books and we’ll see what happens. They’re middle grade books and she was excited to see not just the covers, but the titles. I guess middle-school kids are big into the Zombies. WOO WOO!

I put the finishing touches on Golden West Season 1 last night. I’ll be doing some recording and I have the final two episodes written. I know I’m slacking off on that. I’m sorry! Life has been full of life type things that have prevented me from sitting in front of a mike in a quiet room.

Now that I’ve gotten that one out of the way, I’m off to finish V&A Shipping II as well as get the edits done on Paradise Palms and Billy Barbarian (My next two books to release). THEN I’ll be working on My Teacher is a Vampire which will see Stanley and the gang during summer school before the get to High School. I then plan on writing 3 books for each grade in the Supernatural Learning series. Each story is stand alone, but will build on a bigger picture. So if someone were to read them all, they’d be able to follow all the threads, but could pick up any to read.

So I might be adding more books to my publication schedule than I thought.

Oh! And just a heads up for any who really care. I’ll be using the pen name R.J. Durmock for books like Paradise Palms, Life of Lists, and other thriller type books. These will have more of an adult theme and being that V&A Shipping, Billy Barbarian, and the Supernatural Learning books are better for an all ages type of read, I don’t want a kid to pick up My Teacher is a Zombie and then Paradise Palms and go WHOA! Didn’t see that coming.

Ok, I’m off to go make some words happen, get some words recorded, get a podcast produced, and find somewhere in there to take a nap.

Until Next Week!


Daily Update: Hey!

Last night I didn’t do any writing. Darn it. I did, however, have a couple great skype chats and got a little bit of audio edited. Okay, I got a lot of audio edited. Well, the same audio multiple times really. If you’ve ever done a podcast you know that it’s not just record and post (unless it’s a chat/interview) and requires multiple takes, editing, processing, and listening through for errors. Usually it’s 3-4 times it takes to record.

So what did I edit? Well, I had recorded my part of the Action Pack Podcast the night previous and last night I got the audio edited and prepared, then I spent the next three hours producing the podcast. OH! Hey!


Enough with the yelling.

Also head on over here ( Tee and Pip’s site for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. You’ll see their latest announcement of the upcoming Tales of the Archives coming over the next few weeks. Hop on over there. Buy a book, but a short story, check out the first volume of short stories. Trust me, it’s worth it.

So, again, I didn’t get any writing done. Darn it. Yes, that Lent goal is slipping away. I’m sure I’ll be smitten (smited? Smithed? Smythed? Smothered? Whatever) due to my lack of commitment. I’m still days ahead of my annual goal and I’m not slipping there, but I’m not getting ahead of the game either. This is kind of when I wanted to punch out a lot of words during the Lent season. This weekend will see light updates from me. Sorry about that. I will update. I will get words out. Just very few.

All of my projects have my with high excitement levels. This makes it very painful to not be writing fiction. Watching the word count slip is one thing. Not fulfilling my need to produce fiction is difficult. How will I get over that? I’ll have to take a day and do some binge writing. See just how many words I can crank out in a day. This week it’s not likely to happen. My favorite daughter has a BBQ today, practice tonight, practice tomorrow, we have dinner with friends on Thursday evening, and we’ll be up at 5am Friday to head of to Lemoore to spend Easter weekend with family up there.

There’s a lot going, so I just need to find a few minutes here, a few minutes there and write what I can during this week. It’ll be challenging. I won’t have a block of an hour or two to sit. I’ll have to make use of whatever time I do have available.

On the non-writing side, I saw a clip for Space Battleship Yamato 2199. I LOVED this show as a kid. I didn’t get to watch the entire thing until I was an adult (just a few years ago) and I can’t wait to see the remake. From the looks of it, they’re sticking true to the original story/theme. It’s in Japanese so I can’t understand what they’re saying. Darn it. I’m hopeful a translation/subtitled version will be forthcoming. I will purchase this collection!

Watching it got me to thinking if this was what Battlestar Galactica used as a basis. That got me to thinking of Battlestar Galactica and Almos. That got me thinking of a story my dad told me of being at a dental convention and seeing someone that looked exactly like Almos. He introduced me to the man and it turned out he was actually Almos’s cousin. It’s such a small world. Then I missed my dad and thought about him for a little while.

You never really think about the influence some people have had on your life until they’re gone. I miss my dad. Some days more than others.

I should post another story about Uncle Bob. As long as I’m thinking about it.

Uncle Bob’s motto in life is why stand when you can sit (he used to carry a folding chair around with his) and why sit when you can lay down. When at home he will lay down instead of sitting in a chair.

My dad and Uncle Bob were roommates for a while. My dad had given Bob money to go buy groceries while my dad went to work. Bob found a great deal so when my dad got home there was a wedding cake sitting on the table. Bob had two forks (one in each hand) and was eating like there was no tomorrow.

There were other times my dad would come home and Bob, a great artist, would have drawn something like a wrench. My dad said he saw two wrenches sitting on the table holding down a piece of paper. When he tried to pick up the two wenches, he only got one. The other Bob had drawn.

Unfortunately Uncle Bob is quite insane (paranoid schizophrenic) and cannot function normally. He had joined the Navy and gotten a section 8 discharge (also called a Psyche discharge). During his testing he was dressed in a hospital gown and not one of the modern ones that cover you all up but one that’s open in the back, and he decided that he didn’t want to be there so he ran away. Down the street. And it took them a couple hours to catch him and bring him back.

Oh, I’ve got more little stories about Uncle Bob. I’ll share them at a later time. He’s a fun and colorful character. I guess I should get to getting…

Until Tomorrow!


Daily Update: Another long day.

 Today blew by! I mean I really lost track of time today. I got a lot of work done. You know that day job stuff. I demoed my progress for the client again. I’ll do the same next week. I’m happy with the progress. Fixed a few errors, corrected a couple odd and slow queries. It was one of those good days to be a geek.

 My favorite daughter decided to have a friend over. She’s going to have a beach day tomorrow. If you’re not from San Diego you think every day in San Diego is a beach day. I’m from Minnesota. I used to think that. Sure, it’s warmer here than in Minnesota this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s beach weather. The currents come from the north to feed us very cold water. The water temps are very cold year round and when you get that wind whipping up off that cold water. Brrrr!

 Yes, I wear shorts nearly all year. I also wear flip flops as often as I can. But when you’re sitting on a beach chair with the damp, cold wind steadily blowing up off the cold water. Let’s just say it’s chilly.

 The kids enjoy it though and, hey, that’s what this is all about. I’m sure they’ll have fun playing beach volleyball, rolling in the sand, things like that. Me, I’ll likely lock myself in the car at some point and record my Action Pack Segment. Our first episode dropped on March 1st, so it only makes sense to drop the 2nd episode on April 1st.

 April 1st. Hmm, now I need to think of a good joke to play on that day.

 I bought my lottery tickets for tonight. Heck, as I’m writing this I could be worth half a billion dollars. Who knows? Not me. I’ll find out later. I’m a realist. It’d be very cool to win, but I’m not going to be chomping at the bit to see if I won. I have a better chance of a shark riding lighting into my house and biting me on the bum.

 Speaking of lightning sharks. I’ve been watching Frozen Planet. Very cool (pun intended) show. Ever since I was a kid watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom I’ve had a fascination with nature shows. Not just nature shows, but things that have a great narration. Marlin Perkins always did a great job with narration and Frozen Planet has Alec Baldwin. I loved him when he did Thomas the Tank Engine (my favorite daughter used to watch that) and there’s something about his voice that just draws you in.

 Speaking of long days, I should get some fiction written. I’ll have a longer post for you tomorrow.

 Until Tomorrow!