greatbear: (forearms)
I had forgotten all about this. Been busy with all sorts of way overdue tasks and projects in order to make good use of time. My apologies!

[livejournal.com profile] furr_a_bruin asks, "I know you're fond of Mayhem Manor and have your trailer for getaways - but if you were to pick someplace to have a second "sticks and bricks" home... where would it be?"

Honestly, I'm not sure these days. Generally, I've always been fond of New England-like seaside towns. I love being near the water, and prefer a quiet, low-density area. Being that most "seaside towns" are mostly, if not in the process of becoming, crowded. I've also gotten a bit spoiled by being somewhat out in the sticks yet reasonably close to a whole lot to see, do, and experience. So, if I can come up with a nice cabin on a lake, isolated enough to be silent night or day save for wildlife, dark enough to enjoy a starlit night, yet not too far from civilization (say, 50-100 miles or so), I'd be happy. A nice home base, one I can do some traveling from. Make sense?

[livejournal.com profile] maxauburn wants to know, "How is the *NEW* puppy doing?"

Right now he's at that unfortunate stage where his name should be Chewy Bitey McGnawton. Not so much tearing up furniture, but play biting when you pick him up, or attacking Kodi or Pinky until they finally snap and bite (or scratch) back, or littering the house with lots of rawhide chew things and doggie toys. He's a flurry of impossible-to-contain energy with an annoying (and dangerous) habit of not coming and staying when called. And he hasn't quite got the knack of being housebroken yet. When he isn't being a dynamo from hell, he's one of the most cuddly dogs imaginable. He usually sleeps the entire night, either in his crate or under the covers with us. He makes noises in his sleep that can be adorable or sometimes frightening. His feet, as awkward as they sometimes are, can one minute be cold as ice or delightfully warm, always a surprise when he's burrowed under the covers and pushing said feet against naked skin. He's done with all his (expensive) shots until next year. He's a typical puppy, adorable and frustrating, all at the same time.

[livejournal.com profile] meddler_inc queries, "How are you doing? How's the weather?"

I'm doing okay, after slowly recovering from a nasty, drawn-out cold-like mess that had both Jeff and I in its grasp for a while. The weather is slowly working its way to Spring, and I hope to be getting out and enjoying the weather soon, even if it's cleaning up from the past winter and bad weather. I love Springtime. So many pleasant memories.

Wanna sk me something? Go here, and fire away.
greatbear: (wwhrd)
It's "Ask Me Anything" month. So, go ahead. ask away. I'm gonna screen comments just to make things interesting. Answers will come as separate entries. The identity of those asking will be withheld if requested.

No question

Mar. 2nd, 2011 01:45 am
greatbear: (march of the pirates)
Being that I am pretty close to being the most uninteresting person on Livejournal, I am going to sit out this year's installment of "March is 'Ask Me Anything' Month" unless there is any sort of demand. It's you call.
greatbear: (march of the pirates)
According to some LJ law, March is supposed to be "Ask Me Anything Month".

So, have at it. Comments here are public. If you'd rather not ask your question in front of the entire internets, send me a LJ message instead.
greatbear: (superhero me)
I've lagged a bit, waiting for a better frame of mind to come up with good answers for the Words! meme, this time instigated by he of high hirsuteness [livejournal.com profile] furr_a_bruin.

How it works: Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!", and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your journal, and explain what they mean to you.

1: Greasemonkey - I'll admit it, I am a grease monkey of the highest order. In terms of loving to work on engines and whatever they might be installed in, I'm there. As far as not being afraid to get my hands dirty, I've thrown myself into some of the nastiest, greasiest, oil-soaked hell and come out completely covered in crud that it would make even [livejournal.com profile] mudcub feel envious. It's all good, and gives me a sense of accomplishment. The mostly permanently stained hands come with the territory.

To leave no facet of experience or life in general go without mention, and not knowing exactly if I understood Furr's intention with this question, I also use the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox to help me use the 'net the way I see fit. ;)

2: Sawdust - Somewhat related to #1 above, the result of one of my other favorite hobbies, woodworking. However, I am not actually a sawdust monkey, as I am usually trying my best to minimize sawdust when doing that sort of work. I've gotten new dust collection apparatus set up to keep the shop cleaner, and the stuff generally makes me sneeze and feel nasally miserable when around it for any length of time. It is, like the oil stained skin and clothing, a nice indicator of something accomplished.

3: Frustration - Sometimes found amidst #1 and #2 above, frustration is something that has been following me around a lot lately. Injuries and setbacks, stuff outside my control, as well as things I have complete control over have piled on the frustrations. Hobbling around and in pain, uncertainties surrounding work, loss of rest and relaxation times, problems in the world around me, it often pushes me over the edge and I blow a fuse. I still try as good as I can to handle the situations and get on with life.

4: Masculine - Ah, this one is an often loaded word. Applied to me, I would say I pretty much fit well in the definition of the word, given my appearance, mannerisms and pursuits. It's a trait I admire in others as well. But I don't see it as some kind of goal to be met by artificial means either. Be yourself. Don't act.

5: Tools - The means with which I accomplish my many tasks. And one place that some people have considered me somewhat of a crazed maniac. Anyone who has watched an episode of The New Yankee Workshop and has rolled their eyes at the sheer number of tools that show up in a typical episode (this includes me, btw) might find it hard to believe that I might actually go beyond his collection. Aside from my fairly well-equipped woodworking shop, there's my outsized collection of electronic tools and equipment and of course the garage full of tools and machinery used for my automotive work. I've been amassing tools ever since I was in the single digits of age, and I still have some from that time. I have no idea what I spent on tools over the decades, but I can safely say that it's more than I'd need to buy a second home. In San Fransisco.

Tools to me are sacrosanct. It's the craftsman's interface to his craft. Good tools can outlive their owners, can be handed down through generations and can guide a lifetime of impressive work. I don't take kindly to those who borrow my tools and don't return them or break them, a big problem I have at work. I value my tools because they are my interface into all that I do that earns me a living, gives me the feeling of accomplishment, and makes me happy.
greatbear: (my ferengi ears)
This episode of Words! brought to you by [livejournal.com profile] mark_monroe and his killer smile.

1: Minis - I was always a fan of the tiny original British Minis. Living near (and practically in) Fort Meade during my youth I had a chance to see quite a few. When I heard the cars were being redesigned and destined for the U.S. market for the first time in decades, I was pretty sure I wanted one. When I finally saw them up close and personal, it was confirmed. In March of '03, I left the house and came back with a MINI Cooper S practically on a whim. The car is still a flat-out blast to drive, very practical and economical. And with the mods I made, pretty damn quick. I fell in with a huge group of enthusiasts and have been gathering by the hundreds in Deal's Gap NC for the Tail of the Dragon and nearby drives and events ever since. Lots of great people. And every single car is different.

2: Jeff - Though I have answered this one before, it goes without saying that he means the world to me. So a repeat is more than welcome.

3: Tinkering - A generic term I used for fixing, building, modifying or just plain geeking out in my various hobbies. Not specific to any particular size or type of job either, 'tinkering' might mean putting an addition on a house to changing a light bulb. Tinkering in it's many forms for me has been around since I was very young. The term comes from when I had "Tinkertoys" and various other engaging activity toys as a young'un.

4: Mechanic - An offshoot from all that tinkering, being naturally mechanically gifted meant that being a mechanic would be both a profession and a hobby. Repairing engines and cars well before I could legally drive them, hanging out with other guys building and working on cars and being naturally curious about anything mechanical in nature has made such endeavors almost instinctive.

5: Mom - She was everything to me. A parent, a friend, someone I could confide in. She taught me so much, and allowed me to make mistakes as well as take on responsibilities that taught me well, starting off very young. I thought she'd be around forever. I never thought for an instant that I would lose her in such a horrible fashion. I still miss her dearly, and my life still feels directionless since she's been gone. Oftentimes, I still don't believe she's really gone. Love ya, Mom.

How it works: Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!", and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your journal, and explain what they mean to you.
greatbear: (Default)
My favorite Pocket Scotsman [livejournal.com profile] arktos62 gave me my next set of five words:

1: Engines - One of my many mechanical loves. I haven't yet found one I could not figure out. It does not matter what size, from the tiny Cox engines that powered the planes and cars of my young days to big, powerful diesels and race motors, I've messed with 'em all. One of my greatest pleasures is firing up an engine for the first time after rebuilding it. I have oil and fuel in my blood. That will never change.

2: Home - More than where the heart is, my home is the center of my world. I built the house we are living in, setting things up just as we wanted. I recharge here. I've experienced my greatest joy and most terrible tragedy inside these walls. When the day comes, I will die here.

3: Family - Technically, I have none. Mom was my whole family, when she died, I lost it all. In reality, I have Jeff, his parents and his extended family (this is both good and not-so-good). And not long before Mom died, I was told I have family I do not know. This is the first time I am mentioning this to anyone, and maybe one day, I will talk about it.

4: Emotions - What can I say, I have no shortage here. My empathic nature makes me rather emotional. I cry at movies or listening to some music, become angry at the drop of a hat, laugh at the silliest things. And for the most part, I am not afraid to show them.

5: Blogging - I started blogging here on Livejournal six years ago. I did not know how I would take to the medium, but over time it has become my primary interaction with people and friends online. I used to be an avid 'net chatter from the IRC days, various other services and such starting back in '94. It was a whole new world for an introvert like me. Later on in years it seemed the 'quality' of general chat had fallen, and I found the interaction through LJ refreshing. I still think this forum has the greatest potential. Many have moved to Facebook and Twitter, but my real home is here. I love you guys.

Remember: Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!", and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your journal, and explain what they mean to you.
greatbear: (memetic hazard)
I decided to participate in a meme. No, it's not one of those pointless ones like "What Type Of Chemical Food Preservative Are You?". No, this is a typical though rare one that creates a genuine discussion/discovery among the LJ denizens. The rules:

Reply to this meme by yelling "Words!", and I will give you five words that remind me of you. Then post them in your journal, and explain what they mean to you.

This set of five is courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] champdaddy.

1: Hillside - The now notorious gay male campground in northern PA. Jeff and I have been going for over nine years now, and it's always a chance to relax, have a family reunion of sorts with friends and regulars, meet new people, and more often than not host some of our friends on our site. No shortage of good food, relaxation, pool time, mens, and, if one chooses, potential encounters. Guaranteed fun. Even if it's a rainy weekend.

2: Guns/Muscles - My earliest and still strongest (no pun intended) fetish. During single digit age, I was not sure why I spent more time looking at the bodybuilding adverts in the back of the comic books rather than the comics themselves, it began to make sense later in life. I wanted to be strong like those guys myself, and I was blessed with good genes that made me naturally strong and able to get good results working out. A big pair of arms will always make me take notice.

3: Radio - Music and electronics were a big part of my life starting as far back as I can remember. I listened to the radio constantly. I eventually got a shortwave set and immersed myself in foreign broadcasts, ham radio, exotic music and propaganda. I built my own sets, restored old ones and came up with some crazy stuff in my early double-digit age that looking back, I should have patented. "Boomboxes" before there were such things, etc. These days, however, radio is an over-commercialized wasteland of syndicated formulaic tripe, right-wing nutso talk, Jesus-cramming, and pointless talk for the most part. To counter this, I have my own low-power transmitters, and crank up my own playlists or retransmit my favorite net radio stations and podcasts. There's something cool about hearing music the same vintage as the radio that plays it.

4: Hard-on - In the case of males (and some females), who doesn't enjoy a good hard-on? Sometimes they might turn up at an inopportune time, but mostly it's often the result of some of life's greatest pleasures. They come highly recommended.

5: Jeff - What can I say? He's my world right now, my only family, and I love him to pieces. I know I drive him nuts at times, and things can get tense on rare occasions, but we have each other, and that's the best thing in the world for me.

That's it for now, I have a couple more of these to post. Don't be afraid to ask away.
greatbear: (superhero me)
That cute pocket Scotsman [livejournal.com profile] arktos62 asked:

Do you have a favourite author or a book that you'd recommend everyone to read?

*blink*
*blink*

Ya know, for as voracious a reader I am, I can't tell you what was the last book I read. This is due mainly as a precautionary measure, because once I get into a particular book or novel, it will take up all of my time. I will HAVE to finish it, and as soon as possible. I will stay up late, neglect chores and tasks, and obsess over the story until it's done. That is, if it's really a page-turner. Generally, though, I seem to gravitate to technical manuals and journals lately, news and editorials, and compact stories that populate the web these days.
greatbear: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] sfmini asks a not-so-mini question:

What vehicles do you own now, and if someone were to give you another, what would you like it to be and finally, of all the vehicles you had but no longer have, which one would you want back?

My current junkyard used-car lot moneypits roster of rides include the following:

1969 Dodge Dart 383
1989 Dodge W250 Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Dodge Stratus ES
2003 Mini Cooper S
2007.5 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Duramax Diesel

There is also a wrecked '89 Dodge Shadow ES Turbo I have for parts, and there was a '90 Sundance the engine from said Shadow was going to be installed in, but that car I deemed to be in too bad a shape to economically make into a decent car to tool around in. I had thought about using it as a weekend bracket race car, but again the structure of the car was in pretty bad shape, so I scrapped it. The Dart is currently mothballed until I get other things taken care of around the house and garage that are competing for my time.

Now, if someone were to simply give me another car, I'd take just about anything as long as I could use it in some fashion. Now, if I had my choice, I have a long list of vehicles I'd pick from. Currently on the lust list are an '09 Dodge Challenger R/T, Ford GT, Ariel Atom, anything from Chrysler carrying the 2nd Gen Hemi engine (the current Hemi is 3rd gen), Dodge Viper, Corvette Z06, Peel P-50, Indian or pre-AMF Harley-Davidson motorcycles or insane critch rockets like a Kawasaki Ninja or Suzuki GSX1300R (Hayabusa)(serious envy @ [livejournal.com profile] normalcyispasse)... this list could go on forever. Since the only cars usually given to me are basket cases that nobody wants, I'm not in a hurry for the next occurrance.

Now, out of all the past vehicles, of all the ones I'd like to have back was the 1958 Chevy Impala Convertible that belonged to Mom before it was replaced with the Dart in late 69. I remember that car as being so cool, gliding along the road as if riding on a cloud. There have been no convertibles in the family since, and, who knows, maybe I'd procure one in the future. I did like the hell outta the Mini Cooper S convertible I had for a couple days while mine was having warranty work done. Maybe someone will give me one...
greatbear: (Default)
My freshly-tattooed friend [livejournal.com profile] baeritone asked:

Other than your birth, what is the most important thing that's ever happened?

If I were to take the usual definitions of "important" in this case, such as significant, life-changing, lasting,, etc, it would have to be when I lost my Mom to cancer. Though this happened in June of '06, it still feels as though it's an event still happening, and at the same time, it feels so distant. Losing the most significant person in my life left me with profound changes, and many things I have yet to resolve. Granted, this is something one would never entirely 'get over', but I think I am beginning to find my place in the world, albeit slowly.

One aspect of Livejournal, at least how it's being used by most on my friends list, is how involving it can make one another in each of our lives. And in the scant few years it's been since I lost my mother, I have seen many of you go through the same experiences of losing parents and loved ones. At each time I get immediately transported back to those last weeks and days and relive those moments. The extraordinary feelings of sadness, loss and hopelessness is something one can never prepare for. And every time it happens, it's a reset to zero. Going through it once does not make going through it again any easier.
greatbear: (Default)
The pedigreed [livejournal.com profile] kymutt says:

Just out of curiousity, what would you say is your greatest strength, and what is your worst flaw?

I think my greatest strength is my analytical nature. Confronted with a problem, I am usually able to think through a solution even when the pressure is on. Sometimes the pressure will have an enhancing effect. I guess coming in close seconds are my compassion and empathy.

Oddly enough, my worse attribute is probably my self confidence. You'd think the former would negate the latter, but I have a nasty habit of second-guessing myself at times. This has a spiraling effect. I tend to not be satisfied with an end result that would be perfectly acceptable to 99% of other folks. My low self-confidence will also make me a wallflower in social situations and put me on the losing end of bargaining situations. I need to trust my gut instincts more often and not to give a fuck what so many people might think.
greatbear: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ptownnyc asked the following:

But seriously - just what exactly are you building in your basement? You are constantly adding more servers, etc. - what's it all for?

This falls sort of in line with the previous answer posting I guess. It often sounds like a lot, and I guess to some it is, but there are in reality only two servers now and there was a big upgrade to the network that went in about the same time, this was all done in an effort to bring all that stuff into this century and make it usable for many years to come.

Some background info I guess will help here. My basement is actually set up in two sections. There is the big, unfinished part under the main house that has everything from my woodworking tools and workshop, the laundry area, a bit of a rumpus room setup, and the entire basement area itself that is piled up with boxes, lumber, old computers and electronic junk, furniture and accumulated cruft. The junk I am slowly dealing with, and as the weather gets nicer I am taking lots of it to the dump as well as to charity outfits. The smaller section of the basement exists under the sunroom, which originally was going to simply be a filled-in foundation until I figured it would actually be more effective to make an opening in the basement wall separating the two areas and make some use of the space. Since the floor of the sunroom drops a foot from the level of the house, the basement under the sunroom has a low ceiling. This 14x24ft area originally started out as a big closet space. The problem arose when my woodworking shop created so much dust it was impractical to have my electronics setup anywhere near it. I set up another workbench and moved all my electronics into a portion of the space under the sunroom. It was much cleaner there. I eventually finished off that third of the space to make it a sort of 'clean room' and to make it more comfortable in the winter as well (since the sunroom and upstairs woodstove do most if the work heating the upstairs, it gets cold in that damn basement when the heater is not running). This became known as The Lab Of Mayhem, a counterpart to the similarly named garage (and the name of my blog).

In the last couple years I've been putting forth a concerted effort in modernizing things around the house, including the home theater setup, the LAN, appliances, lighting, etc. Since a lot of this involved running lots of various cabling around, a convergence of seemingly unrelated projects started to happen. I wanted to finally have a network setup at home that was robust enough to handle high definition video, since I am soon buying a new big-screen TV for the home theater, I also added to the multi-room sound/music system at the same time, that prompted the running of TV cabling to finally bring the satellite programming into the studio and since the area where all the LAN and RF cabling was being overhauled, it was time to finally connect a phone line in the same wall plate, because I was putting the fax/printer in the hallway closet along with the color laser and running LAN cabling there as well the phone line was also added there, since the cabling was finally done in the studio I could now finish off the lights in the woodshop that would have blocked easy cable routing but now the upgraded lighting was too much for the original circuit it was on so I added two more branches and...

The paragraph above demonstrates also how my project planning goes, which usually means lots of balls in the air at one time. To make things a bit clearer, the home network is ready for just about anything I could ever throw at it, as well as being totally remote accessible. A hodgepodge of ancient computers and hubs and switches is now a tidy pair of servers, a single big managed switch and standardized cabling all at gigabit speeds. Much of the wiring for the home theater is all in place, all that is needed now is the toys. The workshop lighting is finally all installed after at least a decade, the area is nice and bright and I can work towards cleaning up and finishing off some areas of the basement. The unfinished section of the sunroom basement will become an office once all the crud is out and the drywall is up. The roof of the house and garage gets replaced this year (one of the few things I will not do myself simply because of time constraints). All this complicated-sounding work is an effort to finally simplify a lot of things here at the old homestead, so Jeff and I will be able to entertain guests and have some more free time. This is infrastructure improvements for day-to-day life. It's starting to pay off.
greatbear: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] bigreddee asked:

You've written a lot about being a "tinkerer" and someone who is fairly adept at working on a lot of different things. What is your favorite kind of project to take on?

That's actually a toughie. I guess my favorites are ones that make life a little bit (or a lot) more enjoyable, or find everyday use, or ones that I feel a lot of satisfaction in. It could be something as simple as putting up a new light fixture, or something as involved as the deck or even building the house itself. I like stuff that gets me thinking and designing, and really putting in some effort.

Note that these projects/tinkering/tasks are not just things I do for myself, but for others too. Putting aside things like car repairs and modifications I do for others, I have been involved with construction and renovation on friends' homes, for example. Seeing the extra room, garage or deck or redone interior or exterior and seeing how much they enjoy it gives me a big feeling of accomplishment. Being able to do these things allows me a sense of pride, and more importantly a big feeling of independence. A coworker was recently lamenting the need for a new water heater, to the tune of something like 1300 dollars. This was for the heater itself, the installation, and some minor upgrade of some such to the plumbing. This is something I could have done myself (and, ironically, something I should do soon since my own water heater is now 20 years old) in a few hours time. This would also be something I would do for myself at about a third of the cost, with guaranteed better workmanship and even a higher quality heater. The savings alone is substantial, and contributes to financial well-being, and, of course, more fun projects and acquisitions of tools and gear. :D

There are also those countless other little (and not-so-little) things I do just because I enjoy doing them. My hobbies are outrageous in number it seems. I've always been the sort to explore and tinker, build and learn. So it is with the electronics and computers, crazy car mods, wood/metalworking and whatnot. I've said that if ever I am somehow not able to do all these things, then my life is severely diminished. I can't just sit around watching television. If I am laid up with some sort of injury, I get stir crazy and absolutely have to do something. Maybe it's a form of OCD, but it's a disorder that has served me well for as long as I could remember.
greatbear: (four cycle)
[livejournal.com profile] kneescar writes:

I've been kind of a car guy since before I could drive. I never had any appreciation for classics and muscle cars, though. I've always liked the subtleties and the sophistication of European Cars, and the value and practicality of Japanese cars. (Big Honda fan from way back.) I used to read European Car magazine, and I wanted nothing more than to add "more power" to my 1987 Jetta GLI 16V. Since then I've owned 3 Audis and have gone back to Honda. So, here's my question, In your experience, or in your opinion, what are the most cost effective steps a person could take to add some minor power to: name your car, (Mini Cooper, Civic SI, NSX, Element, BMW 3 series) without messing up reliability and without making the thing obnoxiously loud.

Ah, car questions. I love 'em here in the Garage Of Mayhem.

Your 'classic' power adders still work with varying levels of horsepower increases in most makes. Free-flow intakes and catback exhaust systems usually net an average of 7-15hp or more depending on the enging and stock tuning. Cars with very quiet intakes and exhausts respond well to making them breathe more efficiently, and can be done without sounding like a buzz bomb if you pick the right stuff. Stay away from the APC fart can mufflers from Pep Boys. There is no shortage of every imaginable power adder for Hondas, from the easy stuff previously mentioned to turbo systems, standalone ECUs, cams, etc. You just have to pick your power and start shopping.

If you start off with a 'boosted' car, the easiest way to add power is simply turning up the boost. Supercharged cars just need a simple blower pulley swap to make a big difference. Boost control valves or an ECU reprogram work for turbo engines. The current crop of Big Three diesel engines can be boosted by 50-100hp and nearly 200lb-ft of torque from the driver's seat and without even opening the hood by using so many of the available 'power programmers'. Adding the usual crop of breathing improvers gets you even more. If you are willing to do some wrenching, adding dual turbos, injector upgrades and bigger intercoolers gets you crazy increases.

BMW upgrades are a bit more difficult in the ECU tuning department, since BMW makes life hell for aftermarket tuners. A good shop that has cracked the code and knows their shit can bring up some nice power increases. A local shop here called Lucky Dog Garage has been coming up with some incredible programming and packages for Mini and BMW rides. Anything from sane to sick.

The old adage still applies to performance: Money buys speed. How fast do you want to go?


Be a part of my very own production, "March Of The Questions", while there is still time!
greatbear: (forearms)
[livejournal.com profile] rockvillewoof strolls into the shop with this dilemma:

Q: I went to the "Jiggylube" to get my first oil change with the new (ok used but still new to me) 2000 Dodge Intrepid, and they couldn't do the oil change because they couldn't get the oil filter off without forcing it - and of course they didn't cause they didn't want the problem to become THEIR problem, and told me to take it back to whoever did the last oil change.

I got the vehicle in November, so I have no idea who was last one to do the change.

So, if the threads are stripped (shudder) what can I expect for a repair bill, and should Fitzgerald Auto Mall be responsible for the cost?


Tough one. In many cases, the filter is simply tightened way too tight causing the rubber seal to essentially glue itself to the filter base. In most cases, simply mangling off the old filter and cleaning up any residue from the old o-ring the installing a new filter hand-tight (no more than 3/4 turn after the seal contacts the base. In rare cases where the improper filter was fitted and the threaded post stripped, a new post (or base in some cases) can be had and installed at a nominal cost. As for who's responsible, you might try asking the dealer where you bought the car from, they might or might not help there. Otherwise, it's off to an independent shop to have the filter swapped. Hell, I can help out there if you want.


Be a part of my very own production, "March Of The Questions", while there is still time!
greatbear: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ciddyguy asks: Do you see yourself as a "typical bear" or not and how has it influenced your life?

Without bringing up that "What Is A Bear" discussion, when I finally "discovered" beardom in the early/mid 90s, I found that I fit the simple, spare definition that existed back then. Average guy, fuzzy, unskinny, masculine. I still consider myself fitting that same description these days, though 'what is a bear' has given rise to so many other subcategories and subspecies as people pigeonhole themselves into ever narrower categories. As for my LJ handle, it actually comes from the name of a roller coaster in Hersheypark, PA, the Great Bear. It's not that I am 'great' in any way. As far as how it influenced my life, I guess it gained me quite a few new friends over the years, and a loving partner these days.


Be a part of my very own production, "March Of The Questions", while there is still time!
greatbear: (mad rushin')
The always rockin' Steve Cozart [livejournal.com profile] scozart from The Dividing Line asks: If I were to do a secret "all greatbearmd request" show...do you think you could give me 3 hours-worth of requests?

Hell yeah I could. Want me to come up with a playlist?
greatbear: (jeff and me)
A two-fer this time:

[livejournal.com profile] baeritone asks me: Still love me? ;)

Of course, you silly goose. How could I not? Though sometimes intermittent, we've been connected for a long time and been through a lot together. Cant throw that away. Nope, uh-uh. We are almost brothers in some ways. Though I am the older one that always seems to pick on you at times. *peels pepperoni offa Harry* ;)

Anonymous asks: I'm going to ask two questions ? What do you want the Easter Bunny to bring you ? AND more important Can we practice making little greatbearCUBS more often ? : )

"Anonymous" in this case is my partner Jeff. As far as the Easter Bunny is concerned, maybe a few chocolate eggs or something else seasonally sweet. And for part two of the question, I know I've been a bit distant in the past few years as I have been coping with tragedies, injuries and losses, but your constant companionship has kept me from going off the deep end for sure. My love has only grown through the years. I guess I just need to show it some more.


Be a part of my very own production, "March Of The Questions", while there is still time!
greatbear: (Default)
A thoughtful one from [livejournal.com profile] sfmini:

Have the events of the last year drastically changed the direction you want your future to go?

Whew. As much as the horrible events of last year, culminating with the loss of my mother, has affected me, not much has changed overall in where I want my life to go as the years go on. To be sure, there are revisions and changes to be made, but I still see myself going forward, trying to do more travelling, live comfortably and be as successful as I can be. After all, Mom would not want me to alter my hopes, dreams and plans. I am, however, still finding it very difficult in dealing with this loss. It still does not feel 'real' at times. Not a day goes by that I am not beseiged with images, sounds, and feelings from my memory. This can be good and bad. I am blessed/cursed with a form of eidetic memory. People have learned to fear my presence when something embarrassing happens to them, since years can go by and I will bring up excruciating details at (their) most inopportune time. It's also the reason I can tear apart an automatic transmission, throw the parts in a box and reassemble it months later without needing a giagram. However, in my private little brainspace, it's my endless shoebox of photos, stack of grainy VHS tapes and scratchy 45s that I can lose myself in. Memories are all I have of so many things, and so many people. If I lose those, then life for me is hollow and pointless.

I suppose the biggest change has to be that I no longer have a 'true' family by definition. That said, though, I must now make an extra effort into claiming Jeff and his family as mine, as well as keeping close friends that much closer. They are all I have now, and mean the world to me.


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Phil

December 2016

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