Microwave– Part 1

OK, maybe the only part. It depends on when/if my landlord decides he wants to get another microwave to replace the old one. I have one in the basement of this place that we’re using, but–let’s face it, the basement ain’t the kitchen.

So, anyway, the old one he had was mounted under the cabinet and the desire is for the new one to mount the same way if possible. The old unit bought the farm about a year and a half ago– did I say when/if? and it fell upon me to figure out how to get the old one down. Here we go.

This is the old unit as it was the day it had to come down. Kinda small today, I doubt it would make a good choice for a college dorm where all you’re gonna do is make popcorn and boil water for instant coffee. I doubt that it’s even 750 watts.


I had to find a suitable support, since this device is mounted to the cabinet above. My landlord’s roller skate box fits perfectly. Good, because dropping a microwave onto my foot didn’t figure in the top-ten list of things I want to do.


Straps and screws inside the cabinet hold it up. Two straps, one on each side, four screws to be removed. The yellow thing is a Tee-shaped screwdriver which just happens to fit so you have room to make it work.



The unit removed safely and placed on the table. If you click on the photo, you’ll be able to see the four holes in the top of the microwave. These holes contain a threaded insert mounted beneath the metal, this allows the screws to securely hold the microwave to the cabinet.


Not bad, whoever installed this knew what he was about. Beefing up the bottom of the cabinet strengthens the mounting in a number of ways, not least of which is preventing the materials from bowing as you tighten the screws.

Part 2 to come— whenever.

Edit; add-on: I’ve been sizing up the situation, and it doesn’t look like a new unit is going in any time soon. At least not unless landlord is willing to spend beau-coup biggebucks. The problem is that any unit of decent size will put the magnetron right over the range, which will of course subject the unit to heat. Magnetrons do not like excessive heat, and bad things happen when they take too much heat from a stove. They make microwaves that can handle this, but they cost. Like, five hundred dollars and up. ¬†Further, to gain room for the unit the cabinets would have to be re-done. Otherwise, a unit that can be as much as seventeen inches below the cabinet will be right over the oven controls of the range– and of course this would never do.

There ARE work-arounds of course. Inventive people can find ways to make things work. When I had a studio apartment, a utility cart served the purpose of supporting the microwave and the devices you would need for using it effectively. That’s one idea, of course there are others. It depends on what you want to do and how much you’re willing to spend on it. But, as of now it looks like his ideas may die stillborn “as is”.


Edit; add-on 2: Then again— a trip to Target this afternoon resulted in the purchase of a new microwave that just happens to fit— tight, but it fits. So, now I have to figure out how to make that happen. More later— with photos of course. Might as well show everyone my wood-butchery.


Thanksgiving special.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the states, so–

I give thanks for making it home yesterday. No small thing that, the Grey Lady took a fit of rough running as I was coming through Paducah. Reason: It was starting to rain a bit, and this old van’s ignition has a weak spot where wet weather is concerned. It’s the way the distributor cap is designed, I have a suspicion GM engineers never tested this in sloppy weather because this design is particularly vulnerable.

But, anyways, by the time I-24 terminates at I-57 and I started heading North, it had cleaned up and I made the rest of the trip OK.

For the rest: I have a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back and friends who have stood by me when I needed it. Can’t ask for better than that.

Avoiding the “Black Friday” madness– an added bonus. What’s not to like?


As a man thinks in his heart……

OK, before anybody blows a gasket, I know we don’t think with our hearts. That, supposedly at least, is what our brains are for. But, it’s a bit of scripture that I’m grabbing for the purpose here, because of some other things that have come to a head.

First, you should know that I’ve been having a look at the MGTOW movement. That of course colors my thinking a bit these days. I would like to see what these guys mean by “going their own way” in regards to other things besides not trusting women– it seems most MGTOW videos can be summed up as saying “Woman bad” or words to that effect, but leaving you to suspect that these guys haven’t really got anything else on their plate besides that. The reason I consider them these days is obvious enough, I’ve been through two divorces, a bankruptcy because of divorce #2 and a few rather shambolic dating experiences in the twenty years between the marriages to the same woman. So the belief that women might be less than trustworthy is an easy one to get into.

Howsomever, this post isn’t directly about that. It’s about something that has been bothering me more and more the last few days, and was brought to a head this past Sunday during the sermon.

The Pastor based his sermon on the first couple of chapters of 1 Samuel, where Samuel’s future mother and father are going to the priest to offer up the yearly sacrifice. The father has two wives, one has had children and the other has not, and the one who has not had children is deeply saddened because of this. The husband tries to console his wife by stating how much he loves her, but to no avail.

Now, my pastor chose to comment that this was typical husband not understanding almost ape-like behavior, and that got me to thinking. It wasn’t how oafish the wife’s husband was. It was how my pastor, a man, could continually run down men by parroting the line that men are little better than Neanderthals, barely walking erect and able to make grunting noises, dependent on our angelic wives to bring us the little civilization we’re actually capable of.

That actually gives rise to another question and this is rather serious so pay attention.

Scripture tells us that as men, we are supposed to be the head of the household, the spiritual leader of our families, making sure that we do all that God commands to lead our families in the way they should go. Our wives are commanded — yes, commended– in scripture to respect us as head of household and the one she turns to on biblical matters. I submit to you that this is IMPOSSIBLE if she is also being taught– by our Christian leaders no less– that men are little above cave-men, that she should think of her man as a four-year-old who shaves (yes, I actually read that in a book written by a Christian man, supposed to help wives communicate with their husbands) and so on. I want to know how on Earth it is even remotely possible to get her to respect your authority as head of the household if she has to regard you as, at best, a playful puppy.

Now, as it happens I go on record here and now as rejecting utterly all of that nonsense. I am a man, created in the image and after the likeness of Almighty God, being formed by Him for every good work which it will be His pleasure to have me do. I am not a Neanderthal, and refuse to be regarded as one. It’s been a loooooonnnggggg time since I was four years old, and it’ll be a looooooonnnnnnnngggggggggggeerrrrr time before I date a woman who thinks I am one. Frankly, I am content to remain as I am this day rather than ever date again any woman who thinks she is “civilizing the savage” or taking over where my mother left off.

Now– I want to see some of you folk that I know are following, and that I know are reading— I see the stats– comment on this. How about it, what are your ideas? If you’re not a spammer, I’ll authorize your post whether you agree with me or not— sometimes the best conversations are with people we disagree with but agree to talk to all the same.


A social experiment? Another one? Really?

First, before I say anything else: The biggest number of visits I’ve EVER had to this blog came after I commented on a couple of social experiments on “Cute Puppy Love”. Now, as the name suggests, that blog is normally given to posting video clips of cute puppies and kittens doing adorable cute puppy and kitten things. You could probably get diabetes from the overload of sweet and cute on that site.

However, every now and then she puts up a “social experiment” video from You-Tube where a predominantly Feminist point of view might be reached. One involved an experiment where, first a man beat a woman in public, then a little later a woman beat her man in public. Question– what would you do if you passed by and saw this— would you interfere? In the video, most people minded their own business and stayed out of it– though someone DID interfere when the man beat the woman. Woman hitting the man– nobody interfered, a couple of women passing by gave “right on, sister” type hand-gestures. I commented on this one, and it got me my most visits EVER on this site. I’m guessing that many women there wanted to know what kind of man WOULDN’T cheer a woman beating on a man– but that’s just my wild guess since nobody left a comment here.

There was another one of a similar vein, I commented on it and that comment generated another, lesser but still very large, number of visits here. That one involved a video where a woman walks through New York City for 10 hours, recording incidents of “sexual harassment”. Some incidents were honest-to-God sexual harassment cases, where men were making uncalled-for remarks of a sexual nature to get her attention— but a number of “incidents” were of the type where a man says “Good morning”– no worse than that– and that also seemed to be regarded as harassment. This last one a couple of days ago I haven’t commented on there– instead I’ll do that here, then provide the link here so you can see the site for yourself. First, the link:


This involves a man abusing a woman on an elevator (gee, where have we seen that story) and the question of what you, as a witness to this, would do about it. Of course just about every armchair-quarterback here would say “If I was there I’d stop it!”, but apparently it doesn’t work out that way in real life. A lot of people move Heaven and Earth to not get involved, on the principle that “It’s no business of mine”.

Now as it happens I was a male victim of domestic violence so for me this sort of thing gets a little personal. I know all too well that if you’re a man and your wife is pounding on you, you can expect no help from anybody else. You can’t defend yourself because the instant you lay a hand on her, you’re a big bad old wife-beater and the “white knights” in our population will make you regret your decision to defend yourself. Even calling the police may be of little help, though I understand things have changed somewhat it’s still not likely to produce a good response if a man calls the police because his wife is hitting him.

So— here’s my stand on it. I think it goes without saying that if a man hits a woman, knowing that he has the size advantage and he figures she can’t take him even if she tries to defend herself, then he is a coward and a bully and frankly, I have no sympathy for him if her brother, father, other friends or the police hammer him. He’s got it coming. If a woman beats up her husband or boyfriend, knowing that he can’t defend himself because he believes that a man should never hit a woman, or that if he does try to defend himself that her brothers, father, other friends or the police will make him regret the decision to defend himself against her attack—- then guess what. She is a coward and a bully, and fully deserving of any bad things that happen to her from then on.

I really don’t care who hits who— in a domestic situation nobody should be hitting anybody. Man, how can you hit your wife and be able to shave the next morning? You have to look in the mirror to do that, and the person looking back at you is despicable. Woman, how can you hit your husband and the next morning you’re able to put your make-up on? You have to look in the mirror to do that, and the person looking back at you is despicable.

How about stop hitting each other, then let’s put these “social experiment” You-Tube videos in the trash-can where they belong.


Washer pump problem.

Last Winter, I had a failure of my windshield washer system. What happened was, the hose slipped off of the pump nozzle. This should be a simple fix, cut off the last inch of the hose and slip it back onto the nozzle. Well, there’s a problem there. GM, in its infinite wisdom(?) put the pump in just about the most inaccessible place that can be found. There is no way to reach the thing where it is (see below.) The arrow that you can barely see points to the nearly invisible pump, which is cleverly hidden way down in the dark hole. It cannot be reached either from above or below, and this necessitates removal of the entire tank to do this one simple job.


Did I say removal of the tank? Hey, you didn’t think it would be THAT easy, did you?




Of course not. At a minimum, it requires removing the brake master cylinder and quite possibly the engine-compartment electrical panel before you even think of getting the clearances needed. We’re at a couple of hours of work to do what, at most, shoulda been a five-minute job. So, I said “Nope, not gonna do it” and decided to put in a new washer and tank system. It’s mounted on the opposite side of the radiator from the old system, so hoses and wiring had to be routed to the new pump.


This of course required retrieving the wires from the old pump, a task that turned out to not be that hard– the pump is held in by a grommet and a pin, a pry bar removed the pump from the tank. After that, connecting the wiring using trailer-wiring and tap-splices completed the job. The new tank doesn’t hold as much fluid– less than half of what the old tank held– but at least if this breaks I can reach the thing and fix it.

I note that in any case, the area you have to work with in a Chevy van’s engine compartment is terribly crowded. There’s not a lot of room to do anything because so much stuff is jammed in there already. But, this job is done and it works. On to the next project.



Instrument panel lighting

I just had another round with my van, the instrument illumination had gone out. All I had was the shift-selector and the odometer, the rest of the gauges were not lit. So– I had another round of trying to remove the panel.

First, removing the trim. This isn’t hard, you just pull on it until it comes loose. Have to shift to low gear to remove the trim for clearance. Then, 4 screws hold the instrument cluster in. Remove these 4 with a #7 mm socket. No problem there.

Now the problem. Something invisible refused to let go easily. It took much prodding, shifting, jiggling and some little bit of holding your tongue just right to convince it to come out. It has to come straight out as it happens, and it doesn’t want to. The power-plug was holding it in, and that plug in turn is clipped firmly to the dash framing. But, with much persuasion it does finally come out.

OK, now I have the instrument cluster out, and on the tailgate of the van where I can see and work on it. 6 large, black twist-sockets tell where the illumination is– the other twist-sockets are smaller and are warning lights and turn signals. So– a quarter turn and the socket is removed. GM decided, in their eternal brilliance, to solder the bulbs into the sockets. Fortunately, I was told about this in advance so I bought new sockets to go with the new bulbs. 6 new bulbs and sockets installed, and now for putting the whole thing back together. This is not easy, because I don’t have tilt-wheel in this van you have to work things around and use a slight amount of force to get it in. Line up the power plug with the power-socket– not easy, you’re doing this blind– and suddenly you’re in and it’s working. Replace the 4 screws, fight with the trim– that tilt-wheel would really help here– and then run the final test. It works, I have light again.

This was a bear, but I’ve had it worse. I had a ’91 Ford Econoline which gave me fits, and finally I had to replace the entire instrument panel– with one that I built from gauges I bought at the auto-parts store. Sun-Tune and Autometer gauges replaced the original Ford panel. The oil pressure and water temperature were actual mechanical gauges, I added a vacuum gauge and a real ammeter to the package. The speedometer required a replacement cable to bring that online, then I was in business. Took a whole weekend to build up that instrument panel, and it was real sweet to see everything work the first time.