I’ll get back to building my truck sooner or later, for now, a slightly slower method of transportation (Priority Bicycles)
I’m making an attempt to get in shape before my daughter is old enough to run around, so I picked up a Priority Classic Plus Gotham Edition. I really liked it, though it really magnified just how out of shape I am. So I ordered a Classic Plus for Daisy. I actually managed to take some pictures of the assembly process this time around, so I figured I would share.
That’s how it came out of the box. The rear wheel, belt, and crank are all mounted to the frame already. So is the front fork, sans handlebars.
After a couple of minutes we had everything unwrapped and all the zip ties cut. We dropped the handlebars in too.
Dropped the seat in, mounted the front wheel, maybe 20 minutes after unboxing.
Screwed the pedals in and tightened stuff up. Elapsed time, about 25 minutes.
Aired up the tires and took her out for the first test ride. You can see my Gotham edition in the background. The time stamp on this picture is precisely 30 minutes after the first one, and we weren’t exactly working at a frenzied pace either. I also didn’t use anything other than the tools they included, though I will have to grab a Phillips head screwdriver to mount the reflectors. Overall, a really easy experience for what I feel is a really nice city bike. I’ll report back after we put some mileage on both of them (if it doesn’t kill me).
It's a 2005 Yukon XL with the 5.3 and a 4L60. The 5.3 is going in the truck, the 4L60 will be sold to fund a 4L80, the rest of it will be parted out.
First order of business was to find out if it has a 24x or 58x reluctor, this will determine what kind of wiring harness I need and what kind of ECU. I jacked the truck up and crawled under it, but the starter is blocking the view from below.
I tried looking through the passenger wheel well but you can't quite get a good angle on it.
I tried from the top but the exhaust manifold was blocking my view.
Then I remembered I had impulse bought a borescope on woot a couple of years ago. It was still in the hard case behind my desk. I broke it out and started digging for batteries.
It even works!
Not exactly HD, but I'm still pretty sure this is a black connector, meaning I have the 24x reluctor, which is what I thought it likely would have.
Now to decide on a stock ECU with HP Tuners or a Megasquirt.
The underside of my new project is throughly coated in 35 years of dirt and fluid leaks, and the gas powered pressure washer we have at the shop is clunky and would be a total pain in the ass to drag around under a truck. I felt that was a good enough excuse to buy more tools. I almost bought a cheap Harbor Freight pressure washer, but I did some research and found this on amazon with great reviews for only $20 more.
I'll post pics and videos of it in action pretty shortly. Here's the amazon link:
Here it is on Amazon.
Finally got to work on the truck a little. Decided it would be a good idea to install my window regulator so my driver side window rolls up. Here's what I started with.
I took roughly 1848729373 little phillips head screws out, removing all of them except one. This one. The very last screw. The one toward the rear of the door inside the little arm rest pad.
I tried to drill it out and the drill bit snapped off in the screw without hesitation. I decided to poke around by pulling the door panel back and noticed I could get it off if I took off the two 11mm bolts holding this metal bracket on. So that's what I did.
I'll deal with that bastard screw later.
Neat, part numbers!
That got me to here:
I taped up the window so it wouldn't fall and started taking more bolts out.
I got my new window cranks, unfortunately I didn't get my window regulator, so I couldn't really do a whole lot with them. They look shiny though!
As much as I love my Miata, I've been seriously craving some V8 power lately. I briefly considered doing a V8 swap on the Miata, but I didn't want to be without a fun car for a year while I took it all apart and did the swap.
After a little bit of research I settled on the idea of a LSx series engine with a turbo, but I still didn't know what I wanted to put it in. I considered the old RWD Volvo wagons and E34 5 series BMW's, but ultimately I stumbled across a thread on a message board about the older Chevy Trucks. That got the ball rolling. I set up a craigslist alert, posted a want ad, and scoured eBay. I finally hit on an 82 short wheelbase 2wd chevy truck with a very straight body. Here are the pics from the ad:
After a couple of weeks of negotiation I picked it up last Friday and drove it back to the shop from Forrest City, Arkansas.
Interior is a little rough, and the 350 in it is running rich as hell, but all I really wanted was a nice straight body, and it definitely has that. So far I've ordered some suspension stuff to lower it and replace the ancient shocks on it. I'm gonna try to get that done next weekend, along with maybe a rear disc conversion.
I'm also going to try and actually document this build on my website, instead of posting a shitty update once every three months. We'll see how that goes.
I'm a case flip flopper. When I get a new phone, I immediately start looking at cases. I buy roughly 11ty of them, and then usually end up either using the thinnest one or saying "Fuck this" and just going without a case, maybe with a screen protector.
I think maybe, possibly, the Caudabe cases might be the end of that vicious cycle..
I have gotten into the habit of getting insurance on my cell phones. They've gotten super expensive for high end cell phones and I'm now at the point in my life where I don't need any interruptions in communication. In short, I need a minimalistic case. If you're looking for something like an Otterbox, this is likely not the case for you. If, like me, you just want something to keep your phone from getting scratched up, read on.
Veil vs Veil XT
As illustrated in the above pictures, the difference between the standard Veil and the XT is bottom coverage (feel free to make your own joke). The standard veil covers just the corners while the XT goes all the way around the phone. I have both and prefer the XT. I don't really care about the coverage, and the standard veil might actually be ideal for some (more on that later), but I dislike the tiny little ridges on the standard model where the coverage stops. It's where my pinky sits to hold the phone, and makes it a little uncomfortable for me.
I haven't had this issue, but my buddy Merk says the XT makes one of his third party lightning cables not work. My amazon basics cable works fine, but it's something to keep in mind. If you have an especially full figured charging cable, you might not want to opt for the XT.
That difference aside, the cases are identical in thickness and coverage on all other areas, so I'm just gonna throw up a gallery here.
This is by far the best minimalist case I've found, not just for the iPhone, but for any phone ever. The material is smooth but much grippier than the naked iPhone. The coverage, especially on the XT, will prevent any minor scratches that would negatively impact resale value without making your phone a brick.
Service and Support
I originally ordered a clear 6S Plus Veil. I was sent a smoked 6S Plus Veil. I emailed support and they replied quickly, had me send a pic to illustrate the problem, then immediately shipped me the correct case. They even let me keep the wrong one that they sent! I know it's just a $20 case, but I was so impressed by their customer service it pushed me over the edge to buy the blue XT you see pictured. I just noticed they have a Mother's Day special going on as I went to the site to get links for this article (LOVEMOM for 20% off through Sunday 5/8), so I ordered a clear XT. Now I have 4 6S Plus cases, which brings me to...
I figure I might as well share the love. Look for where I originally post this article on Google Plus and Facebook and share the post. I'll pick two random people who shared to receive one of the Veil cases I have. One is clear and one is smoked. Both are in 100% new condition, used only long enough to try them on. Whomever I randomly pick first can choose which color they want. This is for a Caudabe Veil (not Veil XT) in Smoke or Frost for an iPhone 6S Plus. It won't fit any other model. I'll pick a winner at 12:01am CST on Sunday, May 15, 2016 (So saturday night).
So I've been eyeing the new iPad Pro 9.7, and while it looks nice, I just couldn't bring myself to spend the money when basically the only improvement I would take advantage of is the keyboard. I mean, same amount of ram, same battery life, same resolution. I decided to keep my iPad Air 2 and find a keyboard case to facilitate email and writing stuff like this.
I was actually eyeing the Brydge Keyboard, but I didn't want the back of my iPad getting all scratched up. Also, Clamcase was cheaper, especially after a $20 off code for signing up for their newsletter.
The keyboard is nicely packaged and surprisingly pretty heavy, about the same weight as the keyboard itself.
The keyboard charges via Micro USB, and will supposedly last 200 hours of use and basically years of standby on a charge. So far I've only had it a few days but the battery indicator (You press a battery key on the keyboard and a light blinks to tell you battery level) is still telling me I'm over 75% full.
Speaking of charging, one little annoyance is the iPad charging port. It's sized pretty much exactly for the OEM cable, but that means that basically nothing else will fit. Like, nothing. If it's a tenth of a millimeter bigger it's not going to work.
So I'm now resigned to carry around an OEM lightning cable or take it out of it's case it charge, like a goddamn animal. I definitely wish there was a little bit more clearance.
Aside from that I have very few complaints. The keyboard is honestly as good as my MacBook Pro Retina. It's obviously smaller, but the key travel is very good and I'm having zero problems writing this article on my iPad. I kinda wish it had a backlit keyboard, but I have yet to find a situation in which I would really need it. I'm a touch typer anyway, and once I find a couple of keys, which is pretty easy from the light from the screen, I no longer need to see the keys anyway.
Build quality is top notch. It really does feel a lot like my MacBook. I don't think that's an accident based on the design.
The Clamcase (I swear to god I'm trying as hard as I can to not make clam jokes, thanks Michelle) has the stuff you expect from an iPad keyboard. Pairing is instant. It sleeps the iPad when you close it. All the shortcuts work, like CMD + T for a new tab in safari, CMD + tab for app switching etc.
The case also folds back beyond 180 degrees. When you fold it back beyond the laptop angle, it disconnects the keyboard so it can be used as a stand without getting random keyboard inputs.
As I said, the family resemblance is definitely there.
I think it looks really nice, kinda a MacBook Air Air. In my so far limited experience, it looks like this is going to be an amazing email and blogging machine. It's more portable than my MacBook Pro, and quite honestly, a lot less expensive. I would be a lot less worried leaving this in my car (out of sight of course, but still).
There are still a few niggles. It's a little top heavy when in the laptop position, it's fine most of the time but I would take a little bit more weight in the keyboard portion to make it more stable. The aforementioned charger port issue, the lack of backlit keys, and I can't for the life of me quit hitting the "trackpad" that doesn't exist. I really wish apple would allow trackpad input on the iPad. This would be an amazing experience with a trackpad down at the bottom. Even with those minor issues, I think it's going to be an amazing addition to my workflow nonetheless. I've managed to knock out this article just like I would have on my MacBook. I'm having an issue imbedding links but that's the fault of the Weebly app, not the keyboard.
It works pretty much identically to my MacBook in terms of work flow, my iPhone photos show up immediately, when I don't have an Internet connection I can just connect to my iPhone's hotspot, etc. It obviously isn't as powerful as a computer with a full desktop OS, but I often don't need that. For email and blogging, in a very portable, versatile package, this is a really compelling option.
You can find the clam case for all variety of iPads on their site and on Amazon.