Trump Immigration Official Leaves Bar After He’s Berated by Former Presidential Candidate.
A couple of things about this caught my eye: Martin O’Malley used to be my governor, and before that, mayor of my city. Ken Cuccinelli is an ethically corrupt fuckstick. And the Dubliner is just around the corner from my office.

Date posted: November 28, 2019 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Remember the $9000 Scout deal I linked to in August (one “good tub” and one parts Scout)? Well, the tub is gone and the parts scout is still for sale: $1900. That’s still about $700 too high, if it’s as rough as he says.

I’d love to offer him half that amount and drag it home for parts.

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Date posted: November 26, 2019 | Filed under Scout, Sightings | Comments Off on Price Drop

Oh, this is fucking swell. ICANN, the people that have overseen the .ORG subdomain since it was founded, eliminated price caps for domain owners after asking for public comment on a proposed new contract. While most of the comments appeared to be in favor of keeping price caps, they eliminated them in the new contract and promptly sold the registry to a private equity firm. The new owners swear they’re going to only raise the price 10% a year. If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Update: I’m moving this out into the main feed, because it directly affects the registry of this website. As it turns out, Ethos Capital is owned by three billionaire Republican families. The EFF has a page with information about what we can do, and there’s a petition to sign. What this might do to stop things, I have no idea.

Date posted: November 25, 2019 | Filed under geek | Leave a Comment »

One of our local Scout friends sent out a call for help this week via text: he’d located an original International Harvester fridge and was asking if anyone could help him move it from a basement in Woodlawn up to his house in Timonium. Intrigued, Bennett and I answered the Bat-Signal and we made plans to meet up at the house on Sunday morning.


For those that might not know, IH produced refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners for a short period of time directly after World War II up until 1955, when they sold the division to Whirlpool. (The fridge on Friends was an IH model). The idea was that they would use their existing distribution channels to sell products to rural communities that had just been electrified, which is pretty clever, actually.


Bennett picked me up in Heavy D and we met Stephen in front of a 1950’s saltbox off Liberty Road. The house, and neighborhood, had clearly seen better days, but George, the owner, welcomed us inside his cramped, neat little house and led us down to the basement where we found our subject: a 1951 Model HA-84 refrigerator in very good condition, lined up against a wall. After measuring the doorways and the unit, I found a way to remove the door and we pulled all of the interior parts out—All either made of enamelware steel or glass, no shitty plastic here.


With George’s heavy-duty furniture dolly, we got it out the back door, pivoted in a tiny area, and then hauled it up the basement stairs to the backyard. From there it was pretty easy to move down the driveway, and the three of us deadlifted it up into the back of Heavy D’s bed.


At Stephen’s house, we brought it up the back stairs and into his dining room, where we stood it upright and put all the parts back on. It’s really in fantastic shape—all the internal parts are present and not broken, which is amazing. The steel on the outside is faded but will probably polish up well after a cleaning. The chrome is all in excellent shape. And from what we understand it runs perfectly.

We hung out and shot the shit for a while, including looking over Stephen’s IH Cub tractor and his new Scout 80 project, then grabbed some lunch before parting ways. All in all, a fun way to spend a gloomy Sunday, even if it wasn’t directly truck-related.

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Date posted: November 25, 2019 | Filed under friends, Scout | Comments Off on Furniture Delivery

top off

I had an afternoon to myself yesterday with the dog, so I put her on the long lead in the backyard, set up a portable heater, and pulled the soft top off the Scout in the driveway. At this point it takes about 10 minutes to get that off and then about 30 minutes to lower the hardtop down onto the bedrails, adjust it to the bolt holes, and then another 30 minutes to get it secured in place. It’s not easy to do as one person, and as I get older I’m sure it’ll take longer, but I’ve got a system that seems to work well.

I took the time to put the fiberglas panels in on the sides, which I’d pressure-washed this summer, and I was pleased at how clean everything looks in there. I need to pick up another box of stainless machine-head screws for the interior bits.

The other thing that needed attention was the driver’s door window. It ceased to function last weekend when Finn and I made a breakfast run. More generally, it’s always been a pain in the ass to raise, requiring a forward-and-backward method of cranking the window up that was just irritating. I had my suspicions about the reasons for this.

I pulled the door apart to get to the bottom of things. As I suspected, the two round retaining clips at the bottom of the scissor mechanism had popped off, which was a pretty simple fix. While I was in there, I looked over mount for the crank, which has always been missing a bolt since the truck came to me. The metal around the hole has deteriorated for reasons I can’t figure out, and thus never had a working bolt. I rummaged through my bench stock and found a spare, put a thick washer on it, and tightened it down. Then I buttoned the door back up.

Now the driver’s window rises as it should; the missing bolt left enough play in the scissor mechanism to bind it up as it rose, which required the odd method of cranking the handle to both load and release tension. Why I didn’t add this bolt in the scores of times I’ve had that door apart still escapes me.


With that success, I took her out for a shakedown cruise into Ellicott City. I opened the heater valve from inside the engine bay and within minutes the cabin was toasty warm. She’s running smoothly with no stumbles, although it might be time for a new battery.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: November 24, 2019 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Topped

So Tesla unveiled their Cybertruck last night, to the resounding shock of, well, pretty much everybody. While the specs sound fantastic (more towing capacity than a F150, better ground clearance, etc.) the whole thing is wrapped up in a body that looks like lousy origami or a first-year automotive design student’s initial study. When compared to the graceful curves of the Model S or 3, this looks unfinished. And there are practical considerations ignored that look like they never studied how real people use real trucks: that tailgate will be rendered useless after one trip to the Home Depot.

And what a terrible fucking name.

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Date posted: November 22, 2019 | Filed under design, Scout | Comments Off on Cybertruck?


Hazel is home from the vet minus stitches and life preserver. Apparently she’s got a clean bill of health to run and play as much as she wants, but she’s not allowed to roughhouse with dogs for a week. This is good and bad; she’s been cooped up so long without any other canine activity that she’s absolutely spastic during the day and pulls like a sled dog when it’s time to take a walk. However, she hasn’t visited any of her usual haunts for several weeks, so the hound part of her brain shuts down all other inputs besides her nose. A SQUIRREL HAS PEED HERE. I MUST INVESTIGATE. This makes each walk feel like a rush hour cab drive through midtown Manhattan: moments of frantic, barely contained activity, followed by a jarring stop and a long, boring wait staring at my phone. Last night I took her out after I got home and we spent a moonlit half hour crashing into each other as she followed meandering squirrel trails in the woods, doubling back on herself and tangling the leash between my legs.

Her strangest new behavior is the rotating poop: She’ll sniff around for a while and her posture will change ever so slightly, from I’m-following-this-squirrel to I’M-GOING-TO-DROP-A-DEUCE, and then she’ll quickly assume the position and then start vibrating. Her legs start moving and she tippy-toes around in one direction until she’s made a 360˚ Circle of Feces, only barely avoiding stepping in her own production. I don’t know if she’s having a seizure or attempting to summon a Shoggoth on the lawn of the church. At least she’s doing it on someone else’s property; it’s hard to sell a house with a portal to hell in the backyard.

Last night, I dragged the second crate up into the spare room and set it up next to the futon. She was demoted from the bed to the crate so that I could actually rest, and apart from some initial whining and a brief episode at about 2:30AM, she was quiet in there. I will be happy to have her back on a regular schedule, because last night was the first good night’s sleep I’ve had since the middle of October. I think moving the heating pad in there did not hurt; at this point her sleeping arrangements are more luxurious than ours are.

A side effect of weaning off the sedatives has been that she found her bark hiding under the couch somewhere; what started as a BUFF  and a low growl has now graduated to a full BORR-RORR-RORR-RORR whenever a door closes, a car passes or a dog barks a half a mile away. Her anxiety is at an all-time high, which means she’s tuned to the danger frequency even when she’s snoring. More than once over the past week I was woken to a BUFF and a growl next to my head in the darkness; I would wait until she let out another BUFF and then put a hand on her flank or her head and quietly tell her to go back to sleep. Falling leaves will set her off. Jen and I joke that the house is surrounded by Chupacabra and Hazel the only one who can see them. I don’t know what she’s going to do when it snows; I don’t think there are enough drugs to calm her when Chupacabra start falling from the sky.


Date posted: November 21, 2019 | Filed under hazel | Leave a Comment »

I don’t play bass regularly enough to justify buying any new equipment, but I like to look at what’s out there. Reverb is a marketplace of new and used gear, and what they have is beautiful. Additional note of interest: the average price point for the Steinberger XP2 is somewhere between $1500 and $3000. As a matter of fact, there’s currently ared XP2 listed for $2800 that’s identical to mine. A 400% appreciation in value isn’t too shabby.

Date posted: November 21, 2019 | Filed under bass, music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

It’s pretty clear that I lean leftward when it comes to politics; however, with the flood of Democratic candidates out there to choose from, it’s hard to know where they all stand on things. The Washington Post has put together a handy guide to learn who aligns with your particular politics. Looks like I agree most with Joe Biden and Jerry Yang. Sobering, because I wasn’t that impressed with either of them.

Date posted: November 20, 2019 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Finn and I got the Scout out on Saturday for the first time in two weeks to go get breakfast. She took a little time to get started but once she was running everything sounded good. It’s been averaging around freezing temperatures for the past two weeks, so my window to enjoy the soft top has slammed shut. To celebrate, the driver’s window on the Scout has stuck itself at the bottom of the well. No amount of coaxing would get it to come back up, so we enjoyed a blustery ride down to Ellicott City with the heat blasting on our feet.

That window has always been tricky. At some point the PO did some butchery to the doorframe and drilled out one of the mounting points, so there’s more give to the scissor mechanism than there should be when the crank is turned, which translates to resistance in the mechanism. The passenger’s side goes up and down like butter (I took them both apart and cleaned/lubed the channels a couple of years ago), but the driver’s side takes more work. I’m going to have to break the door down and see what’s going on in there when I get a reasonably warm day and an hour’s time.

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Date posted: November 19, 2019 | Filed under Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Bundle Up