It Lives!

This weekend, Dad and I got the 1983 VW Jetta Turbo diesel running again.  After sitting in my garage for almost a year, and sitting at Emelie's old apartment before that for another year, it runs again.  The main problem was that the prime had bled down in the injector pump (which also draws the fuel from the tank-- it has no fuel pump).  So by re-priming the pump with diesel, we got it started.

We also have replaced the glow plugs, the battery, the injector heat shields, the fuel filter, the thermostat and we did a oil and coolant change.  There are still some issues I will need to address in the near term-- it needs a new driveshaft where a CV boot has failed, and the radiator needs to come out (it leaks a tiny bit).  Plus new shoes are in order with winter coming upon us.

Aside from all that, it will be nice to have a second car so Jakki can work and get to her practical nursing classes.  Tonight I'll try to put up some more pictures and post again.

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2223 Irrigation Station

Boy am I tired.  When Jakki and I bought this house last year, it came with a non-functional sprinkler system.  This weekend I finally got it mostly running.  At first, I thought the only problem was that the water service was not hooked up to the 5 zone manifold.

Saturday-- first trip to Home Depot: bits to connect the water line and two new gear drive sprinkler heads (one to replace an obviously damaged one, and one spare).  I got the service connected after much swearing at the pipe wrench and the half-assed previous owner.  I went inside and hit the button.  Water started to flow!  Jakki and I mapped out the zones using walkie talkies and discovered new problems in the system.  Mom and dad showed up and we went to dinner.  The sun sets...

This morning (Sunday) I got up and was at Home Depot 15 minutes after it opened (7:15am).  I got some couplers to fix a break and return the sprinkler heads I bought the day before, as they did not fit. At this point only zone 1 really works.  I dink around with zone 2 and discover a dead solenoid on the manifold valve.  One more trip to HD.  I bought a new head for zone 2 and a new head for zone 5 plus some soaker hose for the newly discovered soaker head.  At this point new sprinkler heads, buried under dirt and lawn are making their presence known.  I fix two more breaks caused by the $%@*#^@ previous owners and head back to HD for more couplers because even more breaks have surfaced (starting with a swelling in the soil, ending in a full-on geyser).  I think I've finally got it down, the service lines are 1" and the feeder lines are 3/4", and I have a new Oetiker tool for crimping on hose clamps.  All zones produce water at this point. 

The break I just fixed in the hosta bed in back has another break not six inches from it, and I'm out of clamps and couplers, so time to make the fifth and final trip to HD.  That does it.  I have plugged the mysterious end on zone 4 that appears to go to the neighbors, and fixed all breaks in evidence.  I have a brand new racheting hose cutting tool at this point as well.  Jakki and I do one final test of all the zones.  Everything is working and and I'm the walking dead at this point.

That was 30 minutes ago, and after a shower and a nice couch to lie on, Jakki and I can make it rain in our world any time we like.  Anyone want to start a irrigation installation company? 

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K & P Mainland Bound

My aunt and uncle, Paul and Kristi, who are living on their boat currently in La Paz Mexico have begun their seasonal journey to the mainland to have their boat hauled out for hurricane season.

Here is their announcement:


Hola Extended Family,

Just a quick note to let everybody know again that we are indeed departing La Paz this morning.  We will be out of internet access for up to 5 weeks, but will write when we can.  Our first anchorage today will be Caleta Lobos, about 12 nautical miles away.  An extinct volcano that flooded with sea water several million years ago, with lots of caldon cactus around the caldera.  Then tomorrow we will enter the National Park islands of Isla Espiritu Santo and Isla Partida and do some hiking and snorkeling.  Eventually we will work our way half way up the Sea of Cortez and over to San Carlos.  Then fly to Seattle by mid-June.  See some of y'all in Eitzen for Beth's birthday and the 4th of July parade!

Hasta luego,
Kristi & Paul 



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Tough Week

Well, this past week was pretty tough, especially for Jakki. Her father passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday the 28th. We made an emergency dash down to Arkansas to be with her family and take part in the funeral. Jakki's dad wasn't in the best of health, but he had a great year of hunting, fishing and raising his daylillies. The obituary can be found at this link. Using photos from his life, some of which were taken by Jakki on her visit last July, the funeral home created a short video which can be viewed at this link. The weather was good for the service and the interment, and we got to see lots of Jakki's family.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Jakki and her family during this tough time.

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Back In The Saddle Again...

Well, this weekend marks the one year anniversary of going to the hospital in Little Rock with acute pancreatitis. And wouldn't you know it, I'm back in the hospital again. Shortly after filling up the last load in the moving truck, a fever hit, and we went to the Deaconess Emergency Room (yep, the place where I work). After a CT and some blood work, they said I should be admitted because I was having a pancreatitis attack, and my white blood cell count was high. So I'm looking at the prospect of having yet another drain put in to empty a pseudocyst. Plus possibly a trip to Virginia Mason in Seattle for some surgery to clear this up once and for all. Right now, I'm feeling fine-- no pain, no fever and they are letting me eat until midnight, when I have to fast for my drain placement tomorrow. Mom is here and I found a WAP to get internet access. Jakki, my sister and dad are coming up soon. It's kind of interesting being in the hospital again, but feeling pretty good. I'm able to walk around as much as I want (as long as I bring my tree of IV antibiotics with me) and I'm able to notice more of the world around me. Last night was a rough night's sleep, with lots of beeping and a phlebotomist jabbing me in the arm at 4:00am. Mom also wanted me to mention the music they play here. I can hear it over in my office, so I guess it never struck me as interesting. One of the things this hospital does, and it might be because we have more babies born here than any other facility in Spokane, is play a tinkly little tune on the PA system when a baby is born. Mom just thinks it's so sweet. Maybe we can take a walk down the nursery and check out the buns, fresh from the oven. So that's all for now-- more tomorrow after the anethesia wears off and I can see the keyboard again. Wish me luck!
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Mo' Pho-Tos

So here I sit, editing down some photos and listening to Jakki's Rwandan music for her Intercultural Communications class. We just planted some honeysuckle Flo gave us on our recent trip to Seattle to see off Paul and Kristi. It was a great trip, we got to see lots of family and friends.

Here's some new pics to enjoy (click to open in a new window):

Mom trying on hats at the Genesee Renaissance Festival

Jakki and I messing about on my parents old hay rake

Tigger sleeping in Joyce's (Jakki's mum) Mother's Day present

Purple flowers at Manito Park

Jakki and the cactus

The Japanese garden at Manito

Me in the Lilac Garden

Everyone at Bob & Linda's

The gang at Shearwater (Paul & Kristi's boat and home)

In other news, work has been going great. I really like the people I work with, and I'm settling in fast. Taking the bus is proving to be OK as well, especially since I got a new laptop bag from Timbuk2. This weekend, Jakki and I are taking a break from it all and staying home for once. Maybe we'll BBQ some sort of critter.

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New Curtains!

We have new curtains! Jakki and I have been laying awake at night because of the brilliant arc-lamp across the street. Today, we decided to make curtains to solve the problem. The blinds would have worked, but the cats tend to bend them trying to get a view out the window. So we went to the fabric store and picked out a neat flamingo and tree pattern. Then we came home and sewed them up-- actually Jakki did all the hard stuff, I just downloaded the sewing machine manual and measured things. Here are some pics of the end result (we are quite proud):

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