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Old 12-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #12941
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:53 PM   #12942
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:40 PM   #12943
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Slept late, read the paper, made an omlette for breakfast, took a nap, watched a two-hour Photoshop instructional video, took another nap, watched snow come down.

IOW, pretty much nothing.

This retirement gig is all right!
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Old 12-15-2013, 07:21 AM   #12944
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Yesterday, my Cub Scout pack assembled and placed 5,000 luminarias (paper lantern made from paper sack, sand and a candle) in a local neighborhood. We had 50 boys, girls, adults working for 5 hours. A great time was had by all.
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Old 12-15-2013, 09:15 PM   #12945
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My spouse and I adopt a family every year from a school where my partner heads up a volunteer program. We always ask the school to recommend a family where at least one of the parents are working and both are involved in their kids lives. We want to know that they are trying.

Last year we had a family with seven kids. This year it is a family of four (two kids). They live in a motel.

We received a list of their sizes and what toys they like on Thursday, went shopping on Saturday and wrapped gifts today. We bought shoes, pants, shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear, books, toiletries, toys and gift cards (for a grocery store).

Every year that we have done this, the parents have never asked for anything for themselves, even though we request the information. It is very sad that there are so many that could use some help.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:52 AM   #12946
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Got car inspection, wheel alignment and oil change. Normally I do oil changes, since it was slightly overdue, it was already in the shop, had the shop do that too. Less floor crawling. I consider it a hoilday splurge.
I used to do oil changes, but no more. Our local dealer does them for ~$23 and while I could do it slightly cheaper myself, to be honest, the cost difference isn't worth the effort/mess, including taking the old oil to the recycling center.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:26 PM   #12947
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Ordered a 4-channel radio control helicopter with gyro stabilizer from Amazon. I can't believe how inexpensive some electronics stuff is now. So now I'll have a neat toy to play with on Christmas Day. And maybe I can get skilled enough to work up to a 6-channel one. Those are not for helo beginners like me.

Poor DW went to Toy "R" Us (by herself fortunately) to get some requested items for the grandnieces. Even on a Monday it was a madhouse there.
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Old 12-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #12948
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I used to do oil changes, but no more. Our local dealer does them for ~$23 and while I could do it slightly cheaper myself, to be honest, the cost difference isn't worth the effort/mess, including taking the old oil to the recycling center.
Yes, I can see this could be habit forming. Hmm, got two more coming up on the oil change schedule. Looks more inviting to have the shop do it in January
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:01 PM   #12949
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I used to do oil changes, but no more. Our local dealer does them for ~$23 and while I could do it slightly cheaper myself, to be honest, the cost difference isn't worth the effort/mess, including taking the old oil to the recycling center.
I still do my own, but take my DW's car into various places. One put double gaskets on the oil filter and it blew oil all over before she even got out of the lot. A different place overfilled the oil by a couple of quarts and blew out the PCV valve. Still waiting for the ever popular stripped out drain plug - zip -zip with an air gun.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #12950
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Still waiting for the ever popular stripped out drain plug - zip -zip with an air gun.
This happened to me and apparently a lot of other people who took their car to the same place. When I took it back for the next oil change they fessed up and told me they would pay for a new oil pan. I let them off easy by opting for a used oil pan since my car was high mileage. I think someone was fired over this....
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:28 AM   #12951
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I still do my own, but take my DW's car into various places. One put double gaskets on the oil filter and it blew oil all over before she even got out of the lot. A different place overfilled the oil by a couple of quarts and blew out the PCV valve. Still waiting for the ever popular stripped out drain plug - zip -zip with an air gun.
There is an OilDrainValve at a dot net site that I've been considering. It would make quick work of DIY since I spend most of the time getting up and down off the ground. I like to change the oil myself since I have more control over the choice of oil and the quality of the service.

Cheers!
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:06 AM   #12952
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There is an OilDrainValve at a dot net site that I've been considering. It would make quick work of DIY since I spend most of the time getting up and down off the ground. I like to change the oil myself since I have more control over the choice of oil and the quality of the service.

Cheers!
You can change it through the dip stick hole. That's how it is done in some boats, so you don't need a scuba diver to take out the drain plug.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:05 AM   #12953
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Ordered a 4-channel radio control helicopter with gyro stabilizer from Amazon. I can't believe how inexpensive some electronics stuff is now. So now I'll have a neat toy to play with on Christmas Day. And maybe I can get skilled enough to work up to a 6-channel one. Those are not for helo beginners like me.

Poor DW went to Toy "R" Us (by herself fortunately) to get some requested items for the grandnieces. Even on a Monday it was a madhouse there.
That helicopter sounds like a very neat toy to play with on Christmas Day! You are going to have such fun with it.

Since I have not exchanged gifts with anyone but my daughter on Christmas for many years, I, too, have a custom of buying myself a Christmas present at this time of year, so that I don't go into PLOM (Poor Little Old Me) mode during the holidays.

This year I decided to finally order a luxury item from Amazon that I have never had... a huge (gigantic!), soft, luxurious, high end terry-cloth bathrobe. When I was more in LBYM mode, I just figured that a robe wasn't a necessity. I cannot tell you how much I have been enjoying lounging about in it every day for several hours. So, that is what I am doing these days. Soooo decadent!
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:26 AM   #12954
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You can change it through the dip stick hole. That's how it is done in some boats, so you don't need a scuba diver to take out the drain plug.
I have been doing the topside oil change for years now. This is very typical for German cars like Mercedes, BMW and VW. Just get a Pella or MityVac like this:



On many foreign cars (not Asian) the oil filter is topside.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:15 PM   #12955
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You can change it through the dip stick hole. That's how it is done in some boats, so you don't need a scuba diver to take out the drain plug.
+1 I was just thinking the same thing. The will always be a bit of residual old oil, but shouldn't be a big deal.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #12956
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+1 I was just thinking the same thing. The will always be a bit of residual old oil, but shouldn't be a big deal.
Even with bottom side oil changes, there remains a bit of oil in oil passages, on top of the cylinder head in cast gulleys, in the sump of the oil cooler, in the turbo feed line, etc. You never get it all, but today's modern synthetic oils are good for 10,000+ miles (or longer).
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:16 PM   #12957
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #12958
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I have been doing the topside oil change for years now. This is very typical for German cars like Mercedes, BMW and VW. Just get a Pella or MityVac like this:
Does that take significantly longer? Or do you pump a vacuum into the cylinder and let it take however long it takes? I just wonder how long it takes to get all the oil through a tube thin enough to go in the dipstick hole.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:56 PM   #12959
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Does that take significantly longer? Or do you pump a vacuum into the cylinder and let it take however long it takes? I just wonder how long it takes to get all the oil through a tube thin enough to go in the dipstick hole.
If the oil was hot, it would flow like water.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:36 PM   #12960
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what did you do today?

After a long but fascinating day exploring Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza yesterday, I arrived "home" at the resort about 9 pm, heated up and ate the leftover pasta dish I had made on Sunday, appreciated the fact that my suite has a kitchen, and crawled into bed at 10 pm. Slept late this morning, did laundry, and took the bus to Playa Del Carmen. After exploring the beachfront and the town I found a nice restaurant for lunch. Torrential rain began, and since I did not have an umbrella, I waited it out with a Modelo (Mexican beer) at a covered patio bar, which rapidly filled with soaking shoppers. When the rain died down I did some shopping for Mexican Christmas ornaments, which will make great gifts if I can bear to part with them! Then to the bus for the trip back to my resort, where I am relaxing on the balcony as I write. It has been raining very heavily for two days, which is quite unusual. People are attributing this to global warming.

Felix Navidad!
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