Archive for October 9th, 2007

TV recaps – delayed

October 9th, 2007 Comments off

Much like Angie’s flight home from California, my weekly TV recaps (my most popular posts that nobody reads) are delayed.

Sunday was hectic, Monday was harried, and I ended up watching MNF, and missed all my normal shows (hopefully still safe on the DVR).  So I’ll have to put the recaps on hold until tonight, maybe the morning.

Much like Angie’s flight, and the non-closing/sealing door that ended up canceling her flight, my work projects might curtail how many shows I can watch, and thus cancel some of the regular shows.   So stay tuned.

Last week was Haiku Week, and I had a lot of fun putting recaps into verse.  This week I’d like to try another twist, and write re-caps in Seussian meter (more properly, anapestic tetrameter) but that might be a tad ambitious for this week.

I still aim to get at least one post up daily.   Also, if your bored with me, you can see what my kids are up to at the is-blogging site.  Updating daily, if not hourly, after school and homework, it seems.

20 seconds left…

October 9th, 2007 Comments off

I don’t talk enough sport on my blog. I need to change that.

One of the things I do enjoy doing is reading Gregg Easterbrook’s weekly Tuesday Morning Quarterback column that is currently a weekly feature at ESPN’s Page 2. He writes wonderfully about all the games from the previous weekends, and has some long standing rules about how football should be played, the common coaching mistakes that end up costing a game. His style is that football is still a game that should include a running game, don’t get all pass-wacky and defense and clock-management matter. With that said, I think I can predict that Gregg will touch on a few points regarding last nights incredible Cowboys comeback.

If you turned off MNF last night after Tony Romo through his fifth interception, or when T.O. dropped the game-tying two point conversion, or after the last second icing the kicker time out, you probably now know you missed out on one of the more exciting MNF games in recent memory. It was supposed to be common MNF fare (of late) where the dominant team (Dallas 4-0) gets the prime time chance to show off against a much weaker team (Buffalo 1-3). But Buffalo doesn’t get many chances to play their 90s Super Bowl rivals, and the fans were pumped. Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas were on the sidelines. Marv Levy was haunting the coaching booth upstairs. And the Bills came to play. They haunted Tony Romo, who missed an opportunity to sell himself in his contract negotiaions (though Jerry said, his stock went up…yeah, we’ll see Jer.) by plucking his passes out of the air, and running them back for scores. Their special teams lit up the Boy’s suspect return team for another score. The Cowboys were down 8 with less than two minutes left. (Though the defense only gave up a field goal all game… 21 points on INT and Kick returns, yeoouch, that’s a hole). Some how the football gods wanted to bless the Dallas Cowboys.

[update: Here is today’s TMQ, where Gregg says exactly what I’m about to say… only better with more snark…]

]But it wasn’t all the blessings of the gods, the shrewd Bills coach had a chance to seal the deal before the two-minute warning. 3:58 left on the clock, third down and long, Buffalo calls a pass-play. Incomplete. Up eight points, I think run the ball, keep the clock moving, force Dallas to burn a time out, or take another 45 seconds off the clock. That happens we don’t have the on-side kick, maybe not even the potential game-scoring touchdown and two-pointer. Instead the incomplete, stops the clock, and give Dallas almost 4 minutes and 3 timeouts to set up the craziest 20 seconds in football.

But let me also cast a sidelong glance at the Cowboys. Passing on a two-point conversion with the Predator, Marion Barber not even in the backfield??? What? Seriously, get your big men up front, have the tired and demoralized Buffalo front men set up, and shove the ball to Marion who will get into pay-dirt from two yards out with the game on the line. Passing to T.O. who dropped umpteen passes in the game over the top. They deserved having to onside.

The icing call was such the icing on the cake. The Buf coach would have been hailed as genius, even though his fourth quarter play calling kept the Boys in the game. And how great a Folk-lore has been started with the rookie kicker with ice-water in his veins. Not only hitting back to back 5357-yarders, but also changing the hike count on the second kick that induced the Bills offsides, and would have given him a third chance to win the game.

Tony, if you get a signing bonus, make sure you take that Folk kid to dinner.

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Fixerated for 1/4 the cost…

October 9th, 2007 1 comment

For about two months our AC has been living on shaky ground. An aging Condenser Fan motor wasn’t keeping the air moving, and the refrigerant pump would trip off on high pressure. So for about six weeks, I’d go out and push the reset button, to get it going, and then will the fan to start turning. I watched the fan motor slowly die. I’d gotten a quote from Service Masters for $400+ to replace the motor, but didn’t have the money to have them fix that, and really we need a whole new condenser since this one is 20+ years old.

This weekend the motor finally died. It no longer went roundy-roundy with any type of power applied. It was totally frozen, couldn’t even turn the motor by hand.  Since I can’t afford the several hundred dollars it would cost to replace the whole condenser to keep us cool for the next couple weeks, until fall finally comes, I tried to find a replacement motor online. Found a few, but lacked the confidence to really do the replacement myself. After I talked to a friend, Mark, at church on Sunday, and having him confirm my plans, I was much more confident that it could be done.

So yesterday, after I’d picked up Angie from the airport, I called up Mark, and we started searching for the motor. The first couple places we found only sold to licensed contractors (what a messed up racket that is) but Mark was able to track down a hole-in-the-wall little AC replacement parts place in Garland, that had what we needed in stock. Thirty-minute drive into the heart of Garland, to Tolbert Electric Motor Company and we had the motor for 1/4 of the Service Master’s quote. We just had to get fan-blades, since the old blades seemed welded to the shaft. (I say ‘seemed’ for a reason, its called foreshadowing) The helpful guys at Tolbert went back to find comparable blades, and came back with a set that was bent on one blade, then went back to find their whole stock was bent.

This is why the whole experience was great. The three guys in the store made it their personal mission to get my old blades off the old motor. The put the old motor into a vice grip, and with a hammer tried to loosen the blades by striking the shaft. That only drove the shaft through the bottom of the motor housing. So they cut off the shaft, and put it in a pipe-jig they had handy for just this type of thing, and proceeded to hammer away at the shaft — no dice. The blades weren’t moving. So they take it in the back and grind away at the shaft to finally free the blades, and give them to me. The cashier joked that was $119 for the labor, the motor was free. But seriously. You don’t get that kind of service at the big stores. So remember that when you’re looking for repair AC parts, Tolbert goes the extra mile.

30 minute drive back, and 15 minutes of wrench turning had the new motor and blades installed, and we packed up our tools and headed inside, just before the rain hit. A few hours later, the inside temps were 80 degrees and falling, and I went over to Mark’s house to watch MNF. But that, my friends is another story.