Sunday, January 27, 2013

13-26 January, 2013 - Vehicle Repairs, Birthdays, Dehydrating Food, New Books, and More...

It's been awhile since my last post. The only excuse I have is that we've been busy!  I finished up my book The Beginner's Guide to Reloading Ammunition (With Space and Money Saving Tips for Apartment Dwellers and Those on a Budget).  As part of the research I did some checking on reloading equipment availability and prices.  Lee no longer makes the original Lee Loader for shot shells but they do make the Lee Load All.  I thought it looked a little hokey but the reviews were very good on it so I ordered one in 20 gauge (I already have two, 12 gauge shot shell loaders).  It's definitely worth the money (I got mine at Midway USA for under $60.00 with shipping included).  It does a nice job crimping and comes with all the bushings you'll need.  The choices are 12, 16, and 20 gauge.  I wish they had one for .410.  I like them but the ammo is horrendously expensive for what you're getting!  You can get conversion kits to use it for other gauges for less than half the price of a new loader.

Set-up is easy but don't do as I did and turn it over.  There's a bunch of parts in the top cover and they'll spill all over the place.  A bunch went behind the counter and I had to get my mechanical fingers and a long magnet to fish them out.

I was doing some photos for the book and Scott wanted to help out so I put some things on the counter and he played for quite awhile (while I took pictures on the other end of the counter). I purchased a 30/06 Lee Loader and a Lee Hand Press to try out some portable and low-budget methods while writing the book.

I was checking reloaded ammo for fit and Scott spotted the rifle.  Our policy with all the kids has been that they can hold the firearms, etc. as long as we are there and they are careful.  We have the same policy with Scott.  We don't want them to fear guns but we don't want them to be stupid with them either.

I got my fill of auto repair work this week.  I replaced the plugs on the Cherokee a couple of weeks ago but they sold us the wrong distributor cap and rotor.  We exchanged them for the right stuff so I put them on the Cherokee.

New wires, cap and rotor.  It's nice to have something that's easy to work on!

The old wires had some corrosion in the connectors to the distributor cap.  Like most scavengers, I have them stashed away ... just in case!

Scott's helping with the U-Haul.  It needed a blower motor and as usual they made it harder to do than was needful.  It's really not too bad.  I have three nuts to take off in the engine compartment and the whole assembly comes loose inside.  If it had A/C it would have been a two-hour job just to get to the blower motor.  (And they could have remedied that very easily if the engineers who designed it hadn't had their heads in a deep dark crevice.)

Well, just to show that things never go as they should I broke the inlet tube to the heater core while getting the assembly out from under the dash.  Once it was on the bench I could understand why.  There was very little solder holding it in the core.  I fixed that though when I re soldered the tube(s).  I built up more solder around the joints to make it more solid.  I also patched a couple of places where the tubes had been rubbing on the steel housing.  (Then I took a round file and enlarged the holes in the housing so that it wouldn't happen again!)

The old padding was pretty much gone so I cut up a foam backpacking pad and used it to hold the heater core in place.  Hopefully it will work for another 30 years.
I put the blower motor in the housing along with a new squirrel cage.  The old squirrel cage was nylon and self-destructed when I tried to remove it.  I wasn't surprised.  Plastic parts tend to do that after thirty-years.  The new part is steel.
A daughter and SIL were having problems with their vehicle so we made a trip in to fix that.  They'd started to but ran into problems.  I ended up taking their battery home with us to charge and test it.  I put on a new battery cable end while I was there.  The starter passed a bench test so I'm hoping it is okay. The battery passed the load test so they picked it up yesterday when they came to see Scott  and took it back with them. 

Scott's helping his monkey learn the ropes on a computer.  When he was little (okay  little-er!) he was afraid of it.  Now they're best buddies.

Ah yes!  Susan and Scott getting in some "tramp time."

Scott giving his monkey a ride ...

... Scott waiting for the monkey to give him a ride!

Two birthdays this month.  This one is for Barbara ...

This one is for Emily.

Susan has been getting things ready for our trip to Nevada.

She's canned some sausage to take with us.

And some Pepper Jack cheese ...

...and some butter.

She uses small jars so that we can use them up before they spoil since we won't have refrigeration.

She also dehydrated some Cream Cheese.  We will take it with us to Nevada but she was also writing a book on food preservation.  (It's finished now.)

She put the slices on drying racks behind the stove.

It didn't take long to dry them (about 12 hours).

Then she ran them through the blender.

This was once eight ounces of cream cheese.

It's now 3.2 ounces (the cup weighs 1.2 oz.).

And now it's living in its own little jar all ready for a trip to Nevada.

She also dried a carton of sour cream.

It was "pasted" onto parchment paper but wax paper would work better.  When it was dry she crumbled it into a jar.
We've both put up more books in the last couple of weeks.  My most recent one is The Beginner's Guide To Reloading Ammunition.  It's available in Kindle for $5.99 or in print for $10.99.  It's already in the top 50 for Kindle books in the hunting and shooting categories.  It's over 150 pages and loaded with photos.  The easiest way to find it is to click on the link above or type in "Steven Gregersen" at the Amazon Books website.  It's listed in two places on the page that will come up.  Of course they put the Kindle version at the bottom of the page because they make more on the print version.  The Kindle version has color photos and the print version is B/W.  The rest of my books are on there too.
My book (The Gun guide for People Who Know Nothing About Firearms) consistently rates in the top ten in Kindle in the hunting and shooting categories.  It's also available in print.
Susan's most recent offering is:  Food Storage: Preserving Meat, Dairy and Eggs.  It's selling well already too and is available on Kindle now and should be available in print soon.  Again, the best way to find it is to click on the link above or type in "Susan Gregersen" in the search bar on the Amazon Books website.
Be sure to check out Susan's blog at Poverty Prepping

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