Archive for October, 2015

31 Oct 2015

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Those Saxon Dogs!

What’s the best comic ever?

There are lots of ways to answer that question. What comic strip do you read every day? What comic do you remember most as a kid? The way I look it, the best comic is the one that survives the longest on your fridge. By that logic, this is the best comic ever:

Borg-Saxon Dogs(4x6)

This comic has a long history on our fridge. I think that it actually started out clipped from a newspaper and pinned up in my office cubicle. Eventually it got photocopied and enlarged and found its way home and onto the fridge of our first house in Cold Lake – probably around 1990. Due to a pretty complete lack of interest in taking photos of the fridge, particularly in the days before digital photography, it’s pretty hard to come up with exact dates. However, in this picture, taken on my birthday in 1991, you can see the comic displayed prominently:

1991-06-24 Daves Birthday (Borg)

Even today, that same comic is on our fridge – not quite so prominently, but still there making us smile after more that a quarter of a century. It’s a bit dog-eared and stained, but retains it’s place as probably the best comic ever.

wP1150007 (Borg)

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20 Oct 2015

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Great Scott!

Happy “Back to the Future” Day!  In “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty McFly travels to October 21, 2015, to save his children, yet to be born in “Back to the Future’s” 1985.  Celebrate by falling off your hoverboard!

Great Scott


The future has finally arrived. Yes, it is different than we all thought. But don’t worry. It just means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. Just make it a good one.
–Emmett Lathrop “Doc” Brown, PhD

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08 Oct 2015

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Mr. FixIt

Forgetmenot Pond


w20150920_140911Forgetmenot Pond is at the far end of highway 66 into the Elbow River valley past Bragg Creek and today was a fine fall day – warm and sunny. Brenda’s motorbike had been in need of some serious care and attention this summer. Although I had it running in the Spring, it didn’t see any use until after our vacation to Europe. The battery died first and it took a while trying to get it to take a charge, and failing, before getting a replacement. Then it wouldn’t run properly, idle was all wrong and it would stall at the slightest provocation. I figured it was a fueling problem, so I siphoned out the old gas and coaxed it to the gas station for a tank of premium.

25 km of laps about the neighbourhood later, it was really no better. Must be gummed up carburetors. Unless it is a fouled plug or other ignition problem – best to check that first… Must be gummed up carburetors.

Messing around with carbs – particularly when there are two and they will need to be synchronized if I touch them – is a bit daunting. And, which carb is the problem one? The bike does run, although poorly. After some procrastination I finally raised the fuel tank and took off the airbox to have a look. So, which one is the culprit? I don’t want to mess up the one carb that is working. So, I start the bike and seal off the throat of the front carb with my hand. The engine slows a fraction but keeps turning over. When I seal off the rear carb throat the engine stalls immediately. Definitely the front carb is just not working.

w20151008_202017Fortunately, at that moment two things happen to save me from what was sure to be hours of work and heartache disassembling the carb. First, I found a very old can of STP Carb and Choke cleaner and second, Brenda calls out to me in the garage to say that lunch is on the table. So, I figure, “what could go wrong?” and spray a quarter of the can of carb cleaner into the front carb, in all the openings and nooks and crannies. Then I head into the house, wash up and enjoy lunch with Brenda.

Once lunch is over it is time to face the music – back to the garage. But, before I grab any tools, I start the motorbike, without much hope. But, a miracle has occurred thanks to the magical powers of acetone and xylene. The engine starts and idles normally! Except for the cloud of smoke from the exhaust. Sealing off the front carb with my hand, the engine goes back to the same lumpy idle as before – and the same thing happens when I seal off the back carb. Woohoo!

I gave the bike a good run that day and all seemed well, but there is nothing like a ride to somewhere with no cell coverage to really see if things are ok. So today it was off to Forgetmenot Pond – about 165km for the trip and the motorbike worked perfectly.

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06 Oct 2015

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Mr. FixIt


crop20151005_160845 I discovered this stuff a bit by accident a couple of years ago when I needed to make a quick, inexpensive repair to some scrapes in the paint on one of the vans that we had. I paid about $20 for “QUIXX repair system” at Ukrainian Tire and was pretty impressed with how well it worked. It’s a German product so it likely has a bucketful of engineering effort in its creation – it even comes with some 3000-grit wet&dry sandpaper for use with touch-up paint.

I’ve used it a few times since – before we sold the BBB and the A4, I went over each of them and dealt with all the little rubs and scrapes. The product is basically a 2-part system with a light compound and a polish that are applied by hand with a reasonably high amount of force. For scratches that are only in the clearcoat the repairs are pretty much impossible to see afterwards.  Deeper scratches into the paint layer don’t fully disappear, but 5 or 10 minutes to compound, polish then a light coat of wax on top and the results are pretty good – really hard to distinguish from an arm’s length away, unless the light is just right. Of course, anything that goes through to primer isn’t going to go away without paint – but even those look a lot better after treatment with QUIXX.

Sometime last winter someone/something dragged across the front bumper of the new Lexus and left a flurry of scratches in the paint.  About half of them through to the paint.  It really didn’t look very good and I finally got after attempting the fix yesterday.  The set of pictures shows the results from about 6-inches away in bright sunlight – the scratches are still evident in the final picture, but standing a foot or two in front of the car only the large, deep scratch still shows.

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