Business end

Here’s the aft end of a Proton rocket on its way to the launch pad a few years back. Picture courtesy of me. It was featured briefly on the ILS website, but it came down pretty quickly when the upper stage developed a problem immediately after it got to the pad and had to be returned to the processing facility for rework. And a several-week launch delay. Oops.

Fine day today. I ended up staying home, and we canceled our daily 10:00 meeting due to lack of interest, so I didn’t have to think about work much at all. I did read a bunch of emails and respond to some of them, and I did time cards in the afternoon.

Also finished all the planned weekend work on the Miata. I put the window channel rubber back in its proper place and lubricated it with silicone spray. I also lubricated the other window rubber just for good measure. They’re both moving up and down much more quickly (the windows, that is, not the weatherstripping, which was the problem in the first place). I kind of wonder whether the previous owner actually worked on the windows at all, as she had promised she would do. was a great resource for how to get it apart, as usual.

I also installed the new plugs and wires and I’m delighted to say that, while there’s still just a little power drop at around 3,000 RPM, it’s running way better now, it feels a lot racier, there is no longer any misfire, and it doesn’t smell like raw gasoline at the tailpipe anymore. There’s a nice, fresh exhaust smell now.

I love the smell of freshly-burned gasoline, don’t you? I mean really properly burned, catalyzed, and muffled exhaust. Maybe I should figure out how to make air fresheners with that smell. They’d sell really well to single guys. I have a sneaking suspicion married guys probably won’t be buying much of that particular product.

And speaking of the Miata’s previous owner, I had asked her to realign the headlights when I agreed to buy it; they were pointing in pretty much every direction but straight ahead. She promised to do it and said it was done, but when I got it home that first night, the headlight aim was just as bad as before. I was trying to figure out why she would have lied about it when I noticed a picture I had taken of the car at her house before I picked it up. The headlight doors were WAY out of alignment with the hood, and now they line up beautifully. So it turns out she misunderstood me and aligned the wrong thing. No problem, though, since I took care of the headlight aim myself, which was simple to do, and I have no idea how to align the doors with the hood. I may not have gotten what I wanted, but I definitely got what I needed. Cool.

The landscapers did a bunch of work on the back yard today. The cement forms are mostly in, the sprinklers are mostly in, and the cinder blocks for the wall are mostly in. They think they only have a day or two more work to do. I don’t have any reason to disbelieve them, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if that turns out to be true. Seems to me like there’s still lots of work left out there. It will be really nice to have a pretty back yard again.

Spent most of the afternoon at an alignment shop in Stockton. The Suburban’s alignment has been pretty bad for a little while now, and we finally found the time to get an appointment. It seems to have stopped pulling, so I suspect they did a pretty good job.

Loyal Reader Number Four’s sister Melanie (link note: I wonder why Melanie is conducting college predatory classes) is coming to town tomorrow. LRN4 will pick her up at the airport and bring her here for the day. We’ll have a nice dinner and then she’ll go back to San Francisco for her conference or whatever it is she’s doing here. I’m looking forward to seeing her.

Poor Loyal Reader Number One. He’s feeling really sick today. He has a big piano competition tomorrow, and he hasn’t been able to do much practicing today, and he’s really hoping to at least not feel any worse tomorrow. I’m hoping the same thing. Get well soon, LRN1!

I think that’s enough for today. Have a great weekend.

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