The Spaying

Bailey with Cone of Shame

January 10, 2020. 3 years ago today. The day we got Bailey spayed. Poor thing. I have never felt more sorry for a dog than I did with Bailey that week. Especially the first time she had to drop a deuce. She was crying and whining the whole time. Scared me so much I took her to the vet again just to be sure she was OK. She was.

She was a good sport about the cone of shame she had to wear for over a week. Out of our three dogs, she is the only one that we have had since she was a baby. The other two were already spayed by the time we accepted them into the family. Both of them had about 4 years under their belt when we adopted them.

On the intelligence side of the house, Bailey is the smartest of the bunch. She learned how to use that cone to her advantage real fast. She was able to run and power herself through the doggy door to get outside. The doggy door! With millimeters to spare on each side, she knew just at what angle she had to hold her head to make it work. And she ran through it at full speed. She used it to secure her food. Drop some food on the floor? PLOW! She would get that cone over it, sealing that cone to the floor, protecting that piece of food from the other two vultures.

Compare that to our middle baby, Abby, who had to wear a cone for a few days last week to keep her from licking her cut foot. She couldn’t even make it through a human door with her cone on. Literally. The cone hit the side of the door frame and she just looked as us like None Shall Pass.

Fixit Yourself – Stabilizer Edition

Driver Side Rear Stabilizer

2021. December. While at Big Bend Ranch State Park we must’ve hit the the driver side rear stabilizer on something and bent it a bit. I torqued it back into place and used it. As a result, it no longer went up/down very smoothly. Forget about using a battery powered drill to raise and lower. Hand crank required. Not only was it harder to put up and down, but it wagged back and forth as it did. Still usable. Just harder.

When we returned to base camp I dug into it and found some replacement ones on Amazon for around $80 for a set of 2. That got me to thinking. Weighing my options. $80. Or a little more effort. 80 bucks. Work. Being a cheap bastard, I chose to use a little more effort. I could use the work out anyways. Who cares if my right arm ends up being larger and more tone/fit than my left?

2022. December. While at Big Bend Ranch State Park we must’ve hit the driver side rear stabilizer on something and bent it… no, scratch that. Tore that mufucka right off on the frame side. It was hanging by the one bolt on the cross bar that runs from left to right. Just a swingin’, like John Anderson and Little Charlotte. The wings that come off the stabilizer where it bolts through to the frame actually tore right off. Old bolts still holding it in place. Ain’t gonna be no torquing that thing back into place. To continue our FTX, we just held the jack in place and raised it until it was supporting that corner of the trailer. The pressure of the trailer held it in place. Which brings up something I think I’m going to do: Buy a regular old scissor jack and just store it in the storage bin. If we ever demolish a stabilizer, we’ll at least have that to hold in place for that camping trip instead of having to call EndEx.

Maybe I should start trying to figure out which part of that rugged road is making that happen and approach it at an angle if possible. Anyways… Now it’s no longer a choice to weigh. Unless I’m weighing stabilizer or no stabilizer. This time when we get back to base camp I had to look up that part again. And of course the price is a wee bit higher than it was beginning of 2022. For a 2015.5 year Model 1995, that ended up being a BAL 23222 set of 2 “C” Jacks with handle – 22” if you were to do an Amazon search. I picked the set up for just over $100 with tax.

For a minute I considered a scissor type stabilizer from Harbor Freight. But the frame of the trailer is not big enough to accommodate the bolt pattern.

The new C-Jacks arrived Thursday and I replaced the old one. I used another scissor jack to hold one end of the C-Jack up to the frame while I bolted the other end on. Interestingly, the supplied self-drilling bolts that come with the jack are a bit smaller in diameter than the originals. The t bolts on the main frame lined up just right and I used the old bolts to secure it. The bold that mounts towards the center of the trailer did not line up. I ended up using one of the new bolts to secure it. Works perfectly. A new handle to raise and lower the jacks comes in the package as well. Since the set came with 2 C-Jacks, I now have a spare to keep in the storage bin. Just in case.

Custom GMRS Radio Install

Hailing frequencies open! Finally got my FCC license for a GMRS (General Mobile Radio Services) radio, making me legit now. Call sign is WRVD394. VD? Seriously? Oh well.

I’ve always enjoyed having a big ol’ honkin CB radio in my vehicle. My entire life. Big. Chrome. Knobs. Backlit dials and screens. Amplifiers (why, that’s highly illegal, Corey and Trevor). This time around I took the plunge into the GMRS world and when choosing a radio I wanted one that would not be out in the open. For a couple reasons. First and foremost, I’m tired boss. I’m tired of finding places to mount a big old radio someplace other than on my dash. I’ve had them under the dash. I’ve had them in a console area. I’ve had them mounted to the top of the ceiling. I’ve even permanently removed sun visors (who needs them when you have sunglasses?) in order to mount my CB radio in it’s place. Someplace where I can easily see all those gorgeous knobs and dials. Getting your radio installed in these positions usually involve some type of electronic/aesthetic fuckery to get the power and antenna wires routed without being noticed. Secondly, Since I’m getting a new radio, I might as well upgrade from CB and hit the next level – GMRS. Had a HAM radio years ago. Too amateurish for my likings. Wanted something a little more mainstream.

This time around, I wanted a professional (interpret: stock) looking installation. As previous installs, I did NOT want this on the dash. Too many lookers and sunshine. I also did not want it in my usual places. I wanted to keep the Laramie looking as stock as possible. Because, damn… it’s a fine looking interior as it is and I don’t want to cheapen it’s look. So that left me with getting a radio with all the controls on the mic, while the radio itself gets tucked away somewhere where it won’t be noticed. I decided on the driver’s side, under the dash, but on the side of the console. Easy place to mount the bracket as well as have the wires well hidden. I chose the Midland MXT275.

Midland MXT275

The mic, I wanted in a handy location. Before drilling into my dash to mount the mic holder, I chose to drive around for about a month in some temporary locations. Needed to see where I liked it and where I did’t. I was hoping to be able to just have it hanging from a visor hook or something. They have these mic holders on pull out strings that you can clip to anything. Didn’t like those too well. Eventually decided on the dash between the instrument cluster and the controls on the console. At first I thought I might get away with the self-adhesive 2-sided tape that accompanied the holder, but no. That El Paso Sun had the mic sitting on the floor every day. I did like the spot I had it, so I drilled a couple small pilot holes through the holder and dash and secured it there. Perfect.

Mic location

I installed the radio with included antenna early November. Came in real handy for our Thanksgiving and Winter camping trips. Also got a couple of new GMRS handhelds to go along with it that charges off USP port – real handy for charging while in the RV. The antenna I wanted (MXTA25) was not available but was on backorder due to the export/COVID issues in China. Eventually I was notified that it was back in stock in limited supplies. Ordered it along with a low profile antenna cable (MXTA24). Arrived just before our last trip but didn’t have the time to do a proper install. Instead, that provided me with enough time to think about where I wanted this new antenna. I had the included antenna already temporarily installed and attached via magnet. This new one could go on the roof. On the hood. On the bed rails.

I decided to mount it on the roof. Towards the back like the stock FM radio/satellite radio/GPS antenna, and centered. Ideally, I’d want it center mass on the roof, but I didn’t feel like removing the entire headliner to get there. Putting it 6 inches from the back, I still had easy access through the third brake light, and I could easily loosen the rear portion of the headliner inside to be able to work the cabling through. So there I was drilling a hole in my roof. Just enough for the RF connector to fit through. Gaskets were included in the mount. The Antenna screws down onto it. I included another gasket between the antenna and antenna cable just to be safe.

MXTA25 3dB low profile 3dB gain

 

Teslation

NOUN-

A general decrease in the valuation of your company when your main boy thinks he can buy and run another company – but instead fucks it.

NPR is reporting that Tesla stock not only lost 65% of its value in 2022, but 12% in a single day in 2023. Also provides four reasons why. Here are my four.

1. Elon Musk. General fuckery.

2. Elon Musk. Banning accounts.

3. Elon Musk. Unbanning accounts.

4. Elon Musk. Bitch can’t even pay his rent.

I know it’s probably going to recover that and then some as most stocks do. But, damn. Until then I’ll just sit back and enjoy the shit-show. It’s nice to watch a good crash and burn without being in the goddamned thing.

Amazon To Get A Bit More Suckier

Amazon is laying off more of their employees. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a downward spiral in that industry over the last couple years.

Used to be, when I’d ordered something as a Prime Member I would have the options to have it here by next week, in 3 days, or I could choose to have it shipped overnight if it was a Prime item for a very small fee. $2 or $4 I think it was. Those were the glory days and are far behind us.

Now when I order something, Amazon tells me it’ll be here sometime between Valentine’s Day and Labor Day weekend. It’s not too fuckin sure. It remains in a “Preparing to ship” status for several days. Get this – even when the goddamn item is sitting in a warehouse, right here in El Paso. WHERE I LIVE!

Wasn’t Amazon building/opening these warehouses all over our United States in order to minimize the time it takes to get from the warehouse to the doorstep? Silly of me to think that. What’s happened instead is, I place an order on a Monday. Amazon thinks about it for a couple days. Tells me it will arrive sometime between next Monday through Friday. The order remains in “preparing to ship” status for the entire week. Saturday I’ll get notification that it has been transferred to the local carrier (USPS). The local Post Office receives it and delivers it on that next Monday.

To make matters even better/worse, Amazon has created their own shipping company. Instead of paying UPS or FEDEX to ship our goods to us, Amazon uses their own. You’ve seen all them Amazon Freight-liners on the highway. They transport my shaving soap from Maryland to El Paso on an Amazon Prime branded truck then deposit it at the local post office for final delivery.

This takes me to my perfect storm. Building all these warehouses along with creating your own shipping line theoretically increases your game, right? Wrong. I ordered an item that was sitting in our local Amazon warehouse right off I-10E. It should’ve been handed over to the post office that day and maybe delivered the following. I was provided the tracking info. I watched it literally get on the truck in El Paso and then head out of El Paso. It was placed on an Amazon truck headed towards Dallas. Item made it to Lubbock (I think it was) before they realized the error. Gotta give them some street cred for that. They realized they fucked up. And fixed it. Amazon removed it from the truck, sent it back to me via USPS from that location and provided me with a new tracking number.

So yeah, Amazon. G’head and cut more people. It’s got to get better? Right?

Quote of The Day

“REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH! ” – Said the man who should know a thing or two about a giant and embarrassing defeat.