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    Wednesday
    Sep142011

    Vacation Update - Day 5

    I am determined to do nothing today that requires any mental taxation.  I am at the half way point of my vacation and so far everyday has been spent just keeping up with stuff.  Paying bills, grocery shopping, doing laundry, working on the Pathfinder, going to work for a mandatory meeting, and kitchen chores of all kinds.  Makes me think my life would come unravelled if I actually took a trip somewhere.

    My life is not unravelling yet.  Monday I had to go to work for an hour for a meeting of the Master Control Operators.  It's been a long time since I've seen such a somber bunch of people.  The bottom line was that we won't be getting all of the equipment we need to do our jobs until the first of next year.  I guess the company thinks we can keep knocking ourselves out for 3 more months.  My fear is that not everyone will keep doing that and then we will end up short handed, too.  Predicting what will happen is like predicting the stock market.  Time will tell.

    Last week I noticed one of my back brakes dragging metal on metal.  I drove it gingerly to make it to this week.

    I got paid Friday and didn't even have enough cash to pay all the bills that I would have normally paid.  There was no way I had the money to take the Pathfinder to a shop for brake work.  So I made a couple of calls Monday evening to see if I could enlist some help, tools, or place to work on it.

    I have a garage, but not many tools.

    Yesterday morning the phone rang at 7:30am and my friend Dave's little brother, Dan, said he would help me with the brakes.  I got dressed, had some bacon and eggs, then headed off to Dan's house.  We needed to know the extent of the damage and how many parts we would need.  We got the Pathfinder all blocked up.

     

     

    Luckily, the front brakes were OK, and the other side back brakes were still good.  Probably the calipers on the rear driver's side must have gotten stuck and wore the pads off.  It really scarred up the rotor, too.  We headed off to Advance Auto Parts.  They didn't have a lathe to turn brake rotors.  We went across the street to O'Reilly Auto Parts.  They said the rotor had the minimum thickness to be turned.  At least I wouldn't need a new rotor.  I caught it just in time.  They said to come back in an hour.  I bought Dan some grease for his grease gun, a quart of transmission fluid, and got the brake pads.

    It was too early for lunch, so we went through the drive thru liquor store and got two 6 packs of Shiner Bock beer.  We went back to Dan's house and opened a couple of beers.

     

     

    Dan said the front end needed grease, so we did that while waiting for the rotor to be turned.

     

     

    We got the front and passenger side back wheels put back together.  Then Dan got the brake pads on the offending wheel.

     

     

    And got the brake caliper ready for the rotor.

     

     

    I put the camera away and we went to pick up the rotor.  I only took a few pictures since Dan was suppose to be helping me, and not me helping Dan.  Truth be told, I ended up helping Dan.

    It went back together just fine.  For a total of $45.29 at the parts store, and $12.95 for beer, Dan really helped save me a lot of money.  Thanks Dan!  I learned the condition of my brakes and got the front end greased, too.

    It was fun to hang out with Dan for the morning.  We don't see each other very often.

    I don't know if, or when, Dan will ever see this post.  He doesn't have a computer, or the internet, at his house.  He wouldn't take any money for helping me, so I owe him one.  I offered to fix him up with a computer if he ever wants one.  Dan said he didn't have a computer now because he doesn't want to get hooked into wasting all his time on the internet.  I can understand that!

    The '92 Pathfinder is now back at home in the driveway, and ready to stop on a dime.

     

     

    For supper last night, me and Jacob made homemade pizzas.  I used the bread machine to make the dough.  We made 2 KILLER Beef, Canadian Bacon, and Red Onion pizzas.  Usually when I split the dough to make 2 pizzas, we can normally come close to eating both pizzas.  But hey, I'm on vacation.  We loaded them bad boys up with LOTS of cheese and toppings!

    We still have a whole pizza leftover in the frig.  Boy, was that good pizza.  It makes my mouth water just thinking of it.  So far, that pizza rates up there with one of the best parts of my vacation! 

    That, and GYSC's Friday night video he posted for me.  If you are needing a break and don't have a KitKat bar, try thisJust scroll down to Jimmy Buffett.  Technically, he posted that before I started my vacation.  But it was a great way to set the mood of my upcoming week!

    This post was not to complain about anything.  It was to thank Dan for all his help when I needed it most.  It's good to have friends.  Someday Dan might actually see this.  Until then it's just between you and me. 

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