Friday, July 27, 2007

Alot of Nothing

It was another fairly uneventful day. We did PT in the morning as per the norm and were instructed to return at 0900 for work call, also normal. When we came back at 0900 we realized that there wasn't any work to do. Instead of stand around until lunch, like we usually do, we were released until 1250 at just 0930. At 1250 we had to be at the Sergeant's Major accademy for another pre-deployment briefing. It was with the Chaplian for out Brigade and was probably even important except that the Lt. Col. had a voice that would make Ben Stien jealous and I promptly went to sleep, going in and out of sleep but not really hearing anything. I'm hoping tomorrow will be a nice easy day, again we don't have any work to do and Saturday starts our block leave time so it would be nice if they gave us a break.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's been a while again, lol.

I really must work harder to keep this up to date. I got a new computer and I'm making myself home on it before I leave. It was free so don't freak out, a former roommate of mine bought a system for parts. He said he had what he wanted out of it and offered me the rest. From the looks of it he only took the monitor and DVD burner, which is fine with me. It's an AMD Live 64 4200+ 2.2Ghz system with 512mb of RAM, a 320 gig hard drive, a 9 way memory card reader, 6 channel sound and on board nVidia graphics. The RAM and graphics could stand to be upgraded and once I sell my old system off I'll likely upgrade this one. So far I am very pleased though, my old system was getting, well old, and had managed to pickup some sort of bug. I could never find it despite running McAfee Enterprise edition virus scanning plus a host of anti-spam programs but now I get a clean start. I'll connect my old hard drive to this one and slowly begin to move files over I care about, as long as it can read it that is, otherwise I'll do it on CD-ROM's. That's pretty much all the news, I had another round of pre-deployment tests and shots today. Lucky for me I only needed one shot, too bad it was the second anthrax shot, those things hurt. As it stands now though I'm all set to go. I'll keep everyone as posted as OPSEC (operational security) allows, there is only a limited amount I am allowed to say.

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

4th of July Car Wash.

A friend and I did some car work today. I helped him wire his Dixieland horns up to his truck (a.k.a. the Duke's of Hazzard horn) and he brought over a power buffer and some Meguire's car polish. I'm gonna let photos speak for themselves on this one, I didn't know a 23 year old car could look this good.

Note: This was supossed to be Wednesday's post but Photobucket was taking a LONG time uploading my photos.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A little car tech talk

Still the usual nothing going on today. We worked until lunch and then took the day off, I slept most of the afternoon. So some playing with the VW was again the highlight of the day.

A brief background. I am no longer running on the original motor for my car. I instead have the motor from a '91 GTI 8v. The GTI motor runs high compression, 10:1 compression, and that requires premium fuel. Back in Michigan most stations stocked 92 and Shell was even nice enough to carry 93. The higher the octane number the more resistant the fuel is to combustion, the higher compression the motor the more prone it is to combusting the fuel before the spark plug fires, a VERY bad thing. So the higher the octane fuel the better up to the point where detonation is no longer occuring. Down here in TX premium fuel is 91 octane. Another factor to detonation is air temp. Warmer fuel burns with less compression. In english what this means is the warmer Texas air combined with the lower octane Texas fuel has ment my motor is running at less than optimal power output.

I went out in search of a good octane booster today, actually I was at Wal*Mart already and decided to check out their selection. Found some stuff by STP that boasted "the highest amount of MMT" and "barely street legal". None of that really means anything to me so I grabbed the product from Prestone. Their label says each bottle when added to a full tank of gas will increase you octane number one point. So starting at 91 octane one bottle would take me to 92 octane and so on. The icing on the cake letting me know this was a good choice was that it required photo ID to purchase. Of course I did not have a full tank of gas and had no intention of paying just to get to where premium gas is in Michigan. I had just less than a half of a tank of fuel and bought two bottles. I don't know how high a grade octane my motor will benifit from but I have run 94 through it before and felt an improvement over 92 so I was eager to try this out. By the time I pulled out of the parking lot I could feel a difference. I'm not sure how much faster it makes the car but the need to downshift to accelerate on the highway was diminished and that's good real world results.

Odds are good if you keep reading this blog you're likely to learn alot more about the internal combustion engine, it's just kinda what I do.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Not much to post today, mostly because nothing really happened today. In fact I think the highlight was when my car blew the upper radiator hose. Lucky for me it was just a pinhole leak and I was able to get home and borrow my wife's Audi to get a replacement hose. Honestly other than that it's been uneventful. Tomorrow is another normal work day but then we get Wednesday off for the holliday. Thursday we have to come in for saftey briefings before the extended weekend and then we have Friday off as well. I have big plans to do as little as possible, if all goes well I won't be let down.

Monday, July 2, 2007

It's official

First I know it's been a bit since my last blog. This was supossed to be a diary of sorts so that the reader could get an understanding of what military life is like. Of course military life is busy and there is only so much I'm allowed to post on the internet, so my posts have been few.

There is some news though, I got my paper orders for deployement -- I can't say to where, not on here -- and have already begun to pack. Friday I go in for a Barium swallow? Some sort of test for GERD (Gastro-Esophogial Reflux Desease). What with the stress of pre-deployment training a few weeks ago, packing this weekend and getting the cars up to Texas state saftey standards I plan on overloading that poor little machine. The Audi is finally all up to par and has it's DOD stickers so it won't need anything more for at least a year. Good thing too 'cuz I can't pick up my parents in my car when they arrive in a month, I only have a 2 seater.

I finally got to actually drive a HETs (Heavy Equipment Transporter System). Got 250 miles of bobtail miles, bobtail means without a trailer, and all but 18 system miles I need for my license. It's getting annoying not having it too 'cuz right now they won't even let me drive a Humvee without having a licensed driver with me. Oh right silly me most people don't know what a HETs looks like. Ok I'll try to put it to scale with words, I still haven't gotten a good photo that makes it look as large as it is. A common flatbed semi can hold 30 or 40 tons, which is alot of weight. A HETs has a cargo capacity of 70+ tons. The trailer has 40 tires and can steer, even if you've driven commercial truck before, you have to learn how to drive all over again with these trucks.

My little VW is comming along nicely too. I've got all the electrical gremlins tamed from the engine swap I did almost a year ago, I know not lightning fast speed or anything but it's done. Now I just need to replace the e-brake cables and uncobble some wiring for the reverse lights that got caught on one of the half-shafts so I can get my DOD stickers. The temps have gotten steadily warmer and there have been nights where at 9:45pm it's still 92 degrees. Cars don't like warm air, they reward it with slugish acceleration and sometimes poorer economy. I swapped a motor into this car for a better seat of the pants feeling when I planted my right foot so the warm air is upsetting me. I have a plan, not a great one, but I'm designing an air intake cooler. It'll be rough because my resources are limited but as long as it works I don't care.

Stay tuned I'll try to post more regularly.