Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cheaper than eating out.

Prepared up a new batch of salmon for the smoker. Usually I like using the Steel Head Trout from Sam's as it is a bit firmer and has the skin on and that works better for curing and smoking. But they had none, so we settled for farm raised Chilean salmon instead.
The usual cure, 50/50 salt and brown sugar, an handful of garlic powder, pepper and a good bit of dill. Wrap it all up in sarran wrap, and weighted down for about 12 hours. Next morning rinse and set to dry for a couple hours on a rack with a fan in a cool place.
Made some modifications to my smoker cabinet as we wanted to try using just some cherry shavings without using a hot plate to get them to smoke.
Jonathan and Noah came up with this little neat perforated kitchenware container from Ikea that could do the trick. Stuffed it full of cherry wood planer shavings and lit it with the torch enough to keep it smoldering without flaming up. A bit of a trick to do on a windy day.
The results after about two hours looked and tasted great, though due to the wind we had a hard time regulating the burn and the temperature and it got a bit hot on us so it cooked a little bit as evidenced by the white protein oozing out of the top center piece.
Even though it was cooked a bit, It washed down well with a couple of beers.
 Ended the day with some lamb chops on the grill.
All in all a bit of money, but still way cheaper than eating out and had left overs for the rest of the week.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Damn Zombies ! ! !

The crap you got to put up with to earn a living . . .  Zombies were everywhere on Monday .
Right there on India St. in Portland, they smashed one up between an old Caddy and a taxi cab.
Got him good too.
There was blood and gore all over the place.
And at about 12:30 when things seemed to quiet down a bit, I walked down to the corner to Amato's for a sandwich. I just got done paying for my order, when I turned around and Blondie Junior and a couple of his buddies were there right behind me all covered in blood and guts. Just about made me jump out of my skin.
Seems they were filming some scenes for a movie titled "The night of the Living Deb" due out this fall. A romantic comedy built on the backdrop of zombies. Something about a girl falling in love with a Zombie.
Meanwhile I was trying to install some shelving in an apartment in the building with the white top at the end of the street.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Gutter Lettuce

Keeping it in the mud room as it has been raining latlely
Flowers seem happy.
Tomatoes seem to be doing well in the wood shed
Got to keep them in there or they get burned by the sun or drowned by the rain.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Doddgy Dodge Transmission

After our trip down to Hampton, New Hampshire on the 17th, the transmission in the pickup truck started to act up a bit. Seems it does not always want to up-shift out of second gear. It takes releasing the gas pedal completely to get it to shift and sometimes even that is not enough. Then in order to make it shift in to third I must put the shifter in to Neutral and back in to Drive to get it to shift. So a bit of exploratory surgery was in order.
So I cleared the garage work bench of sundry Toyota parts, bought six quarts of ATF-4, a filter and gasket kit.
Put the truck up on the ramps and gathered my courage to undo the transmission pan bolts. Thank you Dodge, you could have put a damn drain plug on the thing.
A look in the oil pan confirms my fears.
The magnet is covered by metal filings that are, I understand, a sign of normal wear for a vehicle with 146 thousand miles.
A considerable amount of sludge with signs of something a bit more troubling.
Chunks . . . . mostly copper about the size of fingernail clippings.
A look into the pan I drained the transmission fluid in to shows more copper.
Copper chunks.
More chunks.
 The filter.
More copper and aluminum filings.
Transmission looks deceivingly clean.
Cleaned out pan with a new gasket ready to go back on.

I replaced the filter with a new one, buttoned the pan back on and refilled it with fresh ATF.
Clearly a rebuild is in order. This one goes beyond my ability to repair. So it's time to make some calls to AAMCO and see what they can do for it.