Bob and Marilyn's Weblog
January 2017
Jan 22
Il est bien malaisé (puisqu’il faut enfin m’expliquer) d’ôter à des insensés des chaînes qu’ils révèrent. 

From one Frog to Another
Being the good bilingual Canadian that I am and in keeping with our PM's intent to speak only in French I am not going to publish an English translation.  Suffice it to say that this somewhat ancient quotation perfectly sums up the vacuous support that too many millenials are currently bestowing on the dauphin prince.  We have to put up with the arrogant little prick for at least 3 more years but I'm afraid we are doomed to a longer purgatory because too many low information voters think sunny ways and borrowed prosperity are more important than fiscal responsibility and a functioning economy.  I don't think western separation is an option any more than I thought Quebec separation was a real option but I can certainly understand why many westerners think it is worth looking at.
Jan 21
Davos & the oilpatch
Nitwit on Tour
If anybody doubts that the bloom has gone off our Liberal government and the dauphin prince in particular they need look no further than who was not in Davos this week.  Davos Switzerland, in case you hadn't heard is where the jet setting world elite get together to ponder how us normal people should live our lives if we would just let them organize the world to their master plan.  The opportunities for selfies with international luminaries are unlimited and the photo backgrounds would be stunning.  Instead our little Canadian nitwit is touring Canada "to re-connect with the middle class".  As if he'd recognize a middle class voter if he met one serving drinks at his country club.  Or give a damn if he did.

Unfortunately (or maybe I should write "very fortunately") the Liberal apparatchaks who organized the tour forgot that when you turn JT loose and let him talk unscripted anything can happen.  And sure enough "anything" happened on the first day of the tour when he bragged about his goal to close down the oil industry in western Canada.  And then only a few days later the arrogant little prick refused to speak English to an English citizen.

So in the same week when Hanoi Jane called him nothing more than a pretty face for approving pipelines to carry western oil to market, he announced that his real agenda is to shut down the oil industry.  Some people might think it difficult to get both the oil industyr and the whacko antis solidly against you but the lesser of 2 trudeaus seems to have achieved that. And the tour has just begun.  Bring it on.  This is nothing more than a campaign tour on my dime but if it consists of Justin unscripted I'm more than willing to pay the nitwit to destroy himself.

The point of the tour was to divert attention from the Libs cash for access problem - that's where they sell multi-thousand dollar admissions to dinner with cabinet ministers or the PM - and from JT's Christmas holiday on the Aga Khan's Bahamian Island.  The cash for access thing may have had some staying power but our next election is still a long way off so I'm not sure it would have lasted and the Christmas vacation was obnoxious and stupid - he should have simply cleared it with the Ethics Commissioner before leaving - but neither would/will be a game changer.  His uninformed remarks about the oilpatch won't be enough to get him fired either but they've got a lot more staying power and they're on tape.  The language thing is at best an annoyance but he is travelling on the taxpayer's dime so he's at least somewhat bound by the need to speak both languages. Bi-lingual means TWO languages. 
Meanwhile back in Saskatchewan
We picked the coldest week of the year (at least i hope it doesn't get worse) to be in Saskatoon.  I haven't been to the full meal deal Crop Production Show for many years but I went to many of the meetings this week and wandered around the show three days in a row.  We took the yellow Lincoln because, as it turns out, I stil DO NOT have heat in the gray one.  Cleaning the heater core may have helped but there's no way around it - I'm going to have to drop the dash and change the miserable little bit of plastic which Ford calls a blend door actuator.  On the bright side the yellow one appears to be cured of whatever caused it to puke out parking brake parts so I guess this time the mechanic got it right.  It really sucks to be your own mechanic because there's nobody to blame.

It looks like a major disaster in the shop right now.  And who knows, it may be the end of the road for the gray Lincoln if I can't remember how all the bits go back together.
There's a little plastic box with an electric motor and some plastic gears inside it that runs the "blend door" deep inside the heater.  To get at it you start out by dropping the steering wheel.
I can actually see the miserable little bit of plastic in this picture and if you look closely you can also see the heater core.  I figured if I was that deep inside the dash I might as well change it at the same time.
I think the old heater core was probably still OK.  It definitely wasn't leaking but they don't last forever and it likely is at least partially plugged.  It is 30 years old after all.  The miserable little plastic blend door motor is on the bench in front of the old heater core.
I think there's a more than even chance that I can put the car back together but it looks pretty bad right now.  I've got the back seat tore apart as well because I have been procrastinating installing a new radio.  Ford's injuneers were on a roll from 1995 to 1997 - if you bought the "premium" sound system in those years you got a radio in the trunk.  All the stuff on the dash looked the same but the guts of the radio were actually in the trunk.  That means if you want to put in an aftermarket radio you need to get the wires from the radio in the dash to the trunk where the important connections for the speakers and the antenna are located.  I didn't realize what i was getting into until after I had bought the radio (and the guy who sold it to me clearly didn't know).  Its only a small subset of Ford vehicles of this vintage that have this stupid design.  Clearly it wasn't one of Ford's better ideas so it is unknown to most people and I would be a lot happier if it was unknown to me as well.  As it is I figured if I had the dash pulled completely apart I might as well get the radio stuffed in at the same time.  Right now its kind of a toss up between parting the old girl out or putting her all back together.  
Actually its colder than hell outside
Jan 2
..... but I've got heat in the new/old Lincoln.  The replacement EATC (climate control computer) showed up and made exactly zero difference to the heat output.  I hope it has cured the erratic switching between C & F display but only time will tell if that is true or not.  The heat thing was pretty easy to test and the test result was a huge disappointment which left me thinking perhaps I was going to have to drop the dash after all.  I was really not looking forward to that so I tried one last thing.  This morning I stuck a couple of short hoses on the heater core and filled it up with CLR.  Before I put in the CLR I blew the coolant out with air and there was a bit of shale sludge came out so that gave me modest hope.  I gave it a couple of flushes with CLR and I got lucky.  When I filled it up with coolant again I had heat - pretty robust heat too.  We haven't actually gone anywhere but just driving around town I could feel a huge improvement.  
Got Heat
Tomorrow I'll take the old woman I live with to Preeceville - that will be a solid test of the heat output.  It was -30 when I got up this morning so we'll know for sure whether we have heat before we get very far out of town.  Marilyn has found herself a new doctor in Preeceville.  I kind of like the old fart we've been going to in Saskatoon but he can be a major asshole when he wants to and he wanted to once too often for Marilyn's liking.  When he's on his game he's been really good to me so I'll stick it out with him although I expect he'll retire any day now.  Anyway, part of the new doctor dance that Marilyn is going through includes getting all her tests redone with the new doctor so she needs to be in Preeceville sometime this week and I have some parts at the Ford dealer.  He won't likely have 100% of the parts I'm waiting for but maybe I'll get lucky.  

The 2001 Lincoln came off the hoist, made one trip to Preeceville and promptly went back in the shop.  That doesn't speak very well for my wrenching and I'm at a loss as to what I did wrong.  I replaced all the rotors and pads, the rear wheel bearings and seals and the parking brake hardware.  I drove it around town a bit and it seemed OK so Marilyn took it to Preeceville.  She got a light show on the dash (ABS and Parking Brake warnings) and there was a strong burnt clutch smell when she got home.  When I opened up the driver side hub there was bits of brake shrapnel falling out all over the shop and the rear parking shoe had relocated to on top of the front shoe.  It was a hell of a mess & I haven't the faintest idea what I might have done wrong.  All the parking brake hardware was trashed and it destroyed the ABS tone ring so it took a while to round up all the bits and pieces.  Until I get them back in I won't know whether I've done any better on the 2nd try than I did on the first but it is hard to imagine how I could do any worse.  

Community service
I had my Genie lift running in November to install new lights in the skating rink.  The old boy who does Wilson's electrical put off coming all summer and finally showed up when it was cold enough to be bloody unpleasant doing wiring but we got it done and then I put the lift away for the winter.  Or so I thought.  Then our village benefactor, the G.W.Construction founder, bought new lights for the old school gymnasium.  The old school is now the community centre and its a very active place.  The current lights in the gym are mercury vapour and about 1/3 of them are burned out.  It looks like its the ballasts that are pooched and they're so old that they would likely be difficult to source and expensive if we could find them.  They also are better heaters than they are lights so changing  them out seems wise from an economic standpoint.  So when George was willing to buy them the mayor jumped on the opportunity.  The mayor kind of has the inside track with George because they share the same last name.

The lights arrived a couple of weeks ago so now we're back to waiting on the antique electrician to come install them.  Last week I got a half assed commitment out of him that he would come this week so on Saturday while it was still relatively warm I got the lift running and moved it over to the school.  It was a tight fit getting it in the door but Clifford showed me how to fold down the sides and we got it in with about an inch to spare on each side.  I was worried that it would spin out on the ramp and slide into the door frame but we got lucky.  This morning we fired it up on propane and took the ceiling fans down so we know everything will work if the electrican ever shows up.  The ceiling fans were in pretty rough shape from years of kids throwing basket balls at the fan blades but it appears that they will straighten up pretty easily.  
It was every bit as tight a fit as it looks.  I walked along beside it holding the control box.  Folding the sides down turned out to be dead simple.  I doubt it took us a total of 5 minutes to fold them down and back up again.