A Successful day…

is a day where you have given your all to make the world a better place…

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Daily Prompt: Pat on the Back

by michelle w. on July 31, 2013

Tell someone you’re proud of just how proud you are.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SUCCESS.

How other bloggers view success:

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Now…

Daily Prompt: State of Your Year

by michelle w. on July 29, 2013

Write up a mid-year “State of My Year” post. 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.

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I have just now returned from a farm near our town. It is winter in the Bushveld. So this is my most recent photo, taken 10 minutes ago at about 16h45 local time-

ImageHow is my year going? It is quite rough and unpredictable, thanks. Like almost every other year…  I try to make a difference in people’s lives. I try to be a good husband and father.  I am not very fit at the moment- basically totally unfit again, and I pledged to myself that I will keep on cycling after our Argus Cycle tour… didn’t happen.

I am not the ME I want to be…

Some things are good, some are bad, some just are. Thanks for asking!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/daily-prompt-now/

The Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Tour Website, I have now done 19 in a row…

Chains- Sunday Stills Challenge

The Next Challenge: Chains

Posted on July 28, 2013 by 

This will be fun, wether holding gates closed, making a fence, or used in jewelry there are chains everywhere. The challenge is to make everyday chains interesting or to find them in odd places. The pic for the demo is the anchor chains from the U.S.S. Texasand those were some big chains….

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A While back I challenged my daughter to a competition, walking through a seemingly ugly part of our town, and taking photos of what we have seen. I am an amateur in every way- she is 2nd year Graphic Design student, I have an old Canon 400D, I bought her a new Nikon D3100.

This is her photo of chain around an old pot…

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 And this is mine:

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I have also previously blogged about a little piece of shipping chain that was washed out in a storm at a Cape Town Beach…

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This could also be interpreted as:

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(Still learning by playing around a little bit…)

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Starting your first journey? Read This

Some important lessons to consider when you want to start on motorbikes… you can get hurt…

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There are several elements need to be mastered before you can start up your machine and feel the enjoyment.
First thing is the mental readiness, If you are thinking that handling superbikes is all about fun, then you are damn wrong because it’s a serious thing. If You are messing with the machine the only thing that you can get is hurt. Before you enjoying the rushes of testosterone, You need a Knowledge on the bike (Type,Specification,Purposes), The course/Road (Highway,Tarmac,Gravel, and Speed Limit ), and Safety (Suitable Gear, Road hazard, Night time ride, weather). Try to expand your vision and estimation while riding. Predict the vehicle movement including mastering the driver behaviours on the road. Always have plan A,B,C,… (Emergency Contact, Nearest workshop, and emergency fund. Lastly, dont forget to polish your riding skill by attending a motorcycle riding class/workshop. Try to add your skills and confident level from time…

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Masterpiece- The Stradivarius… Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

by Cheri Lucas Rowlands on July 26, 2013

Masterpiece. No matter where you are (and where you’ve been), I’m certain you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary: a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you; or even a location or scene that’s special, unusual, or even magical in some way.

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My previous take on the challenge yesterday was more intended to be a piece of humor. But now, let’s get serious.  I remembered this: Once a lady asked me to take some photos of her violin, for insurance purposes.  I did. The name on the violin declares it to be a masterpiece. And even if it were a copy, this must be an exceptional copy, for the sound out of that violin is masterful…

And here it is, bearing the name of: Antonio Stradivarius from Cremona:

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How to service your own Mazda Drifter Pick-up (Bakkie)

The short answer is: Don’t. There are excellently trained professional service engineers in nearly every town and definitely in every city. In South Africa, just look out for the Ford sign- they go hand in glove together here…  The excellently trained professional service engineer will also use Factory produced service parts, none of that Pirates of the Caribbean stuff that will turn around and kick you in the … sump.  There is only one slight problem… they will usually also charge you a professional’s fee. Not a professional motor mechanic, rather think in the line of a professional brain surgeon, or a professional proctologist looking at your… sump.  But if you are not worried about that small detail of the labor cost and the cost of the factory built original non-pirate OEM parts, proceed to dial the number in your service manual, and make an appointment…  (If you were really rich you would not still be driving around in a 11 year old Pick-up, now would you? No, if that is your brand, you would rather be seen in a brand new Ford Ranger with a service plan. And when the first set of tires gets too worn, you just trade it in for a brand new…)

But me- I have had quite a few mechanical problems in the last few months… (Read: I am a little broke…)  I also am severely handicapped in the mechanical ability department. I was born with 10 thumbs, you see… I would never have the skill to become a gynecologist.  I just can’t feel if something is wrong in dark narrow places.

With all that information, my Mazda was way past due for a service.

In the week I bought the right kind of oil at a closing down sale of a grocery store. I really hope it is the right kind of oil, there is this huge tractor on the outside. What kind of oil is it? Those that come in the purple 5 liter container…

Then it was off to one of our local franchises of pirate car parts. I told them what year model my pickup is, and they gave me a yellow and white box, with an oil filter in it.  I was amazed to see the filter is clean on the outside, when I see them in situ, they are usually covered with an old oil layer and some dust particles.

All those things were pre-bought this week. At amazing prices, I might add.

This morning, when I woke up, it was D Day. The day. While everybody slept, I silently crept up to my unsuspecting pick-up. They also have feelings, you know, did you not see Pixar’s amazing true story of Cars? Lightning McQueen and his friends, and that sexy sexy blue Porsche Boxer…  I digress…   Never touch a pickup with cold hands in the morning, they do the same as when you try to milk a cow with cold hands… they kick and bite. Oh, you live in the city? Well, it is like when your lover is sleeping in a nice warm bed, and you creep into the bed with cold hands, and…  oh boy, there is one of my elders looking at the blog! Moving right along…

We have this ad in South Africa that says that one litre of used oil can contaminate a million litres of drinking water. So I am really into preserving nature for my grandkids’ grandkids one day, would not like Rider VI to drink contaminated water… So I have bought this plastic megafter that you place underneath the draining hole. After searching for 2 days on youtube I finally found the draining hole. It is just like a human… underneath…

I remembered vaguely that you start with the old oil filter. I inherited some tools when my father passed away, and the one thing my 3 boys have not thrown away yet, is the strap that loosens the oil filter. This I got right first time! Then the pickup, not liking my cold hands on it’s intimate parts, proceeded to squirt a stream of oil onto my face. One third of the oil did go into the blue megafter container thingy…

The oil was still cold. Then I remembered that the engine should run a little while, just to make the oil more runny. I started the pickup and listened a few songs on the radio.  Somehow my eye caught a cloud of smoke rising from the engine. I switched off immediately, and used the first fire extinguisher that was standing by patiently for just such mishaps. I have serviced my own vehicles before, and one thing I do remember, is to have enough fire extinguishers and plasters ready…

Somehow a lot of the oil that should have been inside the engine, blew out through the oil filter hole… Amazing. Lesson to my sons: never rev an engine too long without an oil filter. And make sure the fire extinguisher is ready…

I then had to use some of Mrs Rider’s towels to mop up the bed of oil underneath the pickup. It took about 12 towels, but the approximately 6 liters of used oil did not go into mini-Rider’s drinking water, I promise. Somehow, Mrs Rider saw her towels, and is not speaking to me. I did hear her call her mother, and I did hear some words that is not usually heard in a pastor’s home… well, you never understand women, I think it is that time… moving along again…

I located the oil drainage hole, right underneath between the two wheels. I opened it, and the oil again squirted into my eyes. And then some of it fell into the blue megafter, along with the bolt that keeps everything inside. I went into the house again to get cleaning material, for used oil is not good for the environment. We have run out of towels, I called to my wife, but she just yelled something that sounded like  Vark ewe…  A vark is a pig in Afrikaans, and a ewe is a lady sheep. I did not get that one. But I saw some curtains in the house that were used a long time ago. That new washing powder does say it is good with all stains, doesn’t it? Time to put it to the test… but then somehow my previously loving wife got a kitchen knife, and said something about blood stains also needing to be washed out soon…

So, finally, after 3 fire extinguishers, 12 towels, and 3 curtains,  the old oil was out of the engine. I am certain about that. Now I had to go to town, and buy a new bolt/ or screw, or whatever it is called to put into the drainage hole again. I did not have a sample, but bought one that looked similar, more or less. When I arrived home, it was a little bit too small. So I went to town again. The hardware store would not exchange the bolt/screw/ thingy, they said something about not knowing where it have been. So I bought some Pratley Quickset Steel instead. Do you know that we South Africans invented it, and it even went on Space Shuttle missions with Nasa? You get this 2 tubes, with different shades of grey goo. Isn’t there a book about that on the market- something Shades of Grey? I think it must be about how to use Quickset Steel to fix your car and all it’s holes…  Well, I mixed the quickset Steel, and applied it generously to the bolt/screw/thingy, and inserted it gently into the hole- (so that is what all that Shades of Grey is all about… Insert Gently…)  It takes about 20 minutes for the inserted thingy to harden, for good results. Then the hole was stuffed properly… Next Time I will just use my angle grinder and grind it off, and then drill a new hole into it. Problem solved!  There is this saying in my country, A Boer makes a plan… I did.

Then, it was time to fit the new oil filter. I saw it had a rubber seal on it, but you know, that rubber seal looks useful to put into that holes on my tent where the peg goes through. The rubber keeps the tent from tearing, and when the wind blow it really keeps a tent it the upright position.   So, I left out the rubber seal. Instead I applied the rest of the Quickset Steel, so that the Oil Filter will also not be falling of on the dirt roads. It will keep. I am not exactly sure how I will remove it in another 10 000 kilo’s but hey, A Boer will make another plan…

I gently opened the oil hole on top of the block. Then I had to go to the hardware store again to get a syphon… I am never sure what the right English words are for all those complicated thingys… you know, the thing that looks like a Y and you pour things into small holes…  I must look that one up in the Shades of Grey…  You need something like that, otherwise you will have oil all over your engine block. And then you will need another fire extinguisher or two, and it will smell bad inside the cabin for about 1000 km.  So, I poured in the first purple oil canister. Then I remembered that there is this one long thin thingy that must be taken out of the hole. What goes in must come out… eventually. I am not sure how the dipshit (that is what the spell checker suggests, sorry if it is wrong!) works, so I poured another purple container of oil in. When it oozed out of the dipshit’s hole, I thought it should be enough. I tightly screwed on the plug on top of the engine block so that it will not pop off on our potholed roads.

I did look at the air filter, but it was still there, so I just left it, let sleeping dogs lay, my granny always told my dad.  This is fortunately a diesel engine, so no spark plugs that I could see, needed changing, I would not know how to open all those thin metal tubes all over the place anyway.

And there you have it- how to service your own diesel engine pickup.

It took me the whole Saturday morning to achieve, but I did save a lot of money in the process- enough to buy a few beers for this afternoon’s Bulls versus Brumbies Rugby game. Now I just have to find my wife again, who has left our home with my other car, she did look a little red in the face. And then I have to phone a friend, who have read the Shades of Grey book- I need to know why my pickup is belching such different shades of Grey smoke out of it’s exhaust…

Enjoy your weekend sport wherever you are, and drive safely!  If you happen to see my wife, tell her I am sorry, I will buy her new dish cloths soon… And I really, really though those were her old panties…

Photo-  Me and my Pickup- that was not such a lekker day, hey?

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After this I feel like a Master Mechanic, so I am entering this for http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/out-of-this-world/  for masterful writing and photo of how not to reach your oil filter…  highly insightfull actually in the How To not… category…

Sweet- Weekly Travel Challenge

Travel theme: Sweet

This might be a bit naughty in some people’s eyes. If you are a sensitive viewer to the art of chocolate, please do not look further. It is just chocolate, not porn…

I saw this lovely display of the chocolateer’s art at the wonderful city of Brugge in Belgium.  I loved the theme on display in the window…

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I love chocolate!

Another old favourite is the Ice cream cone at Melkbosstrand, just outside Cape Town…  One of the best in the world!

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