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Gone to the dark side ;)

My old workstation finally gave up the ghost – after almost 6 years of service.  A friend loaned me a machine to use for a while until I got around to getting a new system.

I’ve used every version of Windows since 3.1 – and after working on my in-laws new laptop with Windows 8, I decided that Windows 7 would be the last version of Windows that i would own.  I’ve used a few different distress of Linux, but for the new computer I decided to buy a Mac.  A 27″ iMac. Having never spent any amount of time on a Mac, it should be interesting getting used to!

imac27

Fixing the espresso machine

Andreja_premium Well, after 7 years of almost daily use, it appears that the pump has failed on my Andreja Premium espresso machine.

The machine uses a 52W, ULKA EAX5 vibe pump – and as it turns out, this is a fairly commonly used pump in espresso machines.  I also found prices varied wildly.  The dealer where I purchased the machine originally sells the replacement pump for $95.  I found a replacement on Ebay for $39.99.

Ulka_52WattAfter getting the new pump swapped in, the machine seemed to be working fine.  Then, this morning, it seemed to have stopped again 🙁

So, removed the casing from the machine and hooked the water supply back up, and this time I tested things out  with the cover off.  This allowed me to see the water flow.  Everything worked fine. Maybe I kinked a hose as I put the machine back together?

I carefully put everything back together – making sure no hoses were kinked, and tested the machine again – everything was 100%.  This morning, the timer kicked in and turned the machine on at 6:00 AM, and at 7:00, I pulled a double shot with no issues.  I think that the shot was up there with some of the best that I’ve done!

Something I came across, that might be useful in future, is this page describing the process of repairing the ULKA pump itself – with lots of photos and additional comments from other readers.  I still have the old pump just in case.  They certainly aren’t that complex!

Over-rated

dc46-failOur old vacuum was on its last legs – a canister type Kenmore, and after hearing from so many people how much they loved their Dyson’s, we bought one.   Crazy expensive they are – the model we purchased was $550.

In the 3 months that we’ve had it, it’s been a frustrating machine to use – the power head keeps stopping, and with a couple hairy pets, the canister seems to fill up in no time at all.

The power cord is only about 15 feet long, so in our average sized 1950’s era home, we have to unplug, and plug it in 3 times to complete the main floor.

There is an assortment of attachments for the vacuum, but unfortunately, none are attached to the vacuum – we keep them all in a rubbermaid that is stored in a closet.

hoover-winSo, after 3 months of frustration, I decided to buy a new vacuum – this time it was a Hoover WindTunnel model – it was on sale at London Drugs for $130.  This one has a 25′ cord, so only  have to move the plugin twice to complete the main floor.  It came with a couple attachments, that clip right to the upright vacuum, so they are always handy.  The power head hasn’t stopped once yet – and the canister is at least twice as large, which is great!

The Hoover is a little bit noiser, and weighs a couple pounds more – but I think the pro’s far outweigh these cons – and the price is 1/4 the cost of the Dyson!

Warranty is over – upgrade time?

I’ve had my Jeep for a few years now, and this year the warranty expires – so I think that a lift is in my Jeeps future ;^)

Ever since getting it, I’ve always felt that the suspension sounded noisy – and thought that might have just been ‘a Jeep thing’ – but suspect now that an aftermarket lift will resolve that. I’ve also been gradually wearing the front bumper away – well, trimming/cutting it back as trail damage gradually does its thing.

I really like the aluminum bumpers that Genright now has out for the JK – although I wish they had provisions for the factory fog lights. Still need to get around to upgrade the main headlights – the headlights are not great from the factory – sometimes they seem downright dim. On the JK Forums, there’s an upgrade path that seems very popular among many of the forum members by Daniel Stern – and IPF also has an upgrade kit available. A couple people around here have gone the LED route, although that seems a little too pricey for me at this time – we’ll see – they are coming down ;).  For the time being, I’ve simply replaced the factory H13 bulbs with Silverstars.  Wish I could find Silverstar Ultra’s in an H13 bulb. My list ;^)

* new wheels  (DONE! Bought a set of Pro-Comp steel wheels)

* 35″ tires (Ended up buying a set of lightly used BFG M/T KM’s – price was too good to pass up)

* bedline plastic grill

* bumper (There’s a Genright bumper, and a Poison Spyder one that I like)

* on board air

* wire in CB and VHF

* 3.5″ to 4.5″ lift – not sure what brand yet

 

Replacement Hinge Bushings

The rear doors on the Jeep were getting pretty stiff and not closing properly, due to deteriorating factory hinge bushings.

Found a company in Canada called TMR Customs that machines delrin bushings for the JK for $50 (for a 4 door JK).  They showed up today, and I was anxious to get them installed.

jeep_delrin_door_hinge_bushings_jk

Last weekend I took the doors off for the first time ever (abt 5years), and they were a bear to remove.  I ended up using a floor jack to lift the doors out of the hinges.  While the doors were off, I removed the hinges from the doors, sanded the bubbling factory paint off them, and then repainted using bed-liner.  Looks pretty good I think. Just have to do the bottom half of the hinges next, but that might have to wait til next spring 🙂

Anyway, this time, the doors were much easier to remove – I was able to just lift the doors off without having to resort to the floor jack 🙂

I drilled out the old metal shims and plastic bushings that were jamming up the doors with a 1/2″ drill bit, cleaned up the pins and hinges, and the new bushings pressed into place nicely.

The doors dropped back in nice and smooth, and the doors are working better than ever!