Checking the fuel pump in a GMC Sierra Pick Up

This Summer I had to replace my fuel pump in my truck, the gas gauge was out and the engine started losing acceleration. So, I did the research and figured out how to

fuel pump 4

change it out. It is a simple process of removing the truck bed and the pump,  and I have a video I will share that I made on youtube here

In short, all you need to do is remove the truck bed, which is just a few large bolts, disconnect the gas cap hose from the bed and lift the bed back and out of the way. Then swapping out the pump is a cinch. Watch my video and you can see how easy it is. You can grab a pump for the GMC pick up here: Fuel Pump for Silverado & Sierra 1500  

The disappointment that is Windows 8

Call it impetus, call it giddiness, call it holiday delirium. What ever you do, don’t call it a smart decision. Just a couple of weeks ago Windows 8 bounced on to the world market and like a naive child looking at candy in a candy store I bought in to the hype, lock, stock, and crazy 8 barrel.

Now, I’m no stool pigeon and I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck… I have a long history with windows, even becoming a MCSE in 2000, so I know my way around the OS. But, I must confess, since Windows Vista arrived and was simply a train wreck, I completely skipped it and waited for SP1 on Windows 7 to arrive before I dared to upgrade. I have loved Windows 7 and its stability. But, I read the reviews for Windows 8 and decided I would jump out early and adopt. I liked the idea of Metro and while I have no use, nor do most of the massive population of desktop users, to implement the touch screen features, it seemed cool. Famous last words…

What a disaster it has been
First, I can’t begin to express how ridiculous it is that the start menu is gone. I have had to create a start folder “short cut” in the toolbar just to get a horribly inferior experience. It still sucks. I know that I am going to have to buy a 3rd party solution sooner than later to fix this really bad decision on Microsoft’s part. I get it, MS wants to be cool and hip and target the tablet market, but screwing over millions of desktop users is a really bad idea and a great way to push more users over to the fruit tree company that shall remain nameless.

Fruit Anyone?

Second, to take full advantage of Windows 8, MS wants you to login with them automatically to get updates and use most of the Apps they offer as well as skydrive. Within a few days of installing W8 I was informed that I was somehow spamming through email and my account had been blocked. I don’t spam and I am not sure how they would know what I was doing that anyway with the yahoo account I registered with unless they were tracking every bit of data I moved around the internet. As a new install, there are no viruses running on my system and just to make sure I checked with yahoo to see if the account had been hacked. Clean as a whistle. So, I have no idea what they are talking about. I proceeded to try to reset my password and found out I had to email someone to get it reset and then wait… and wait… and wait. I have not heard a follow up in over a week and a half, so I have no idea what happened. My skydrive has started working again, so I assume the problem is fixed.  But, I would not be surprised if the other shoe drops and I get blocked again for no reason.

 

Third, my system has started rebooting on its own again for no reason. When I bought the system a year and a half ago it started this little game of randomly screaming out of my speakers and rebooting once or twice a week. I never clearly determined the problem, but decided it had something to do with the power supply being too small for 3 monitors. So, I upgraded it to a 750w supply and I upgraded the BIOS. Problem solved and system behaved. Now, almost a year later, the mysterious problem has returned with like a squealing pig.

Fourth, I don’t like the way the Apps behave, it is incredibly annoying that in order to use an App I have to switch over to the Metro screen to click on it, then when I am done, I have click back into windows to get back to work. All my normal programs I can find in the annoying start folder I have pinned to the toolbar, but not the “Apps”.

The Skype App is also broken and shuts down, but oddly worked for the first few days. The 8 zip app is a piece of shit and poorly designed and slow as molasses. The selection of Apps is minuscule at best and one has to wonder if it will get better any time soon. I can go on and on, but what I am saying here is that you should not upgrade anytime soon unless you have to. I was happy with Windows 7 and I am still contemplating reverting back. But, it would entail so much work.

Not to be negative Ned to the grave, I will give kudos to the fast boot time, and  to Metro. It’s an interesting idea, I just think it should be optional. MS may want to consider sliding back to two interfaces to accommodate the desktop crowd, which is its bread and butter. I do not see the need or desire to start poking my monitor with my finger anytime soon to open anything. The mouse and keyboard is my dance partner and we ain’t square dancing, so back off!

 

Cutting the Cable (Company)

Hard to believe I canceled my cable almost 3 years ago. Sadly for them, I have not missed the $80 a month they charged me to have nothing on worth watching on their shitty basic cable. So, I am saving a grand a year and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. But, don’t think I haven’t watched TV or TV shows this year. Oddly, I may be watching more, the big difference is I do it all on line via Amazon and an antenna on my roof.
I bought and installed an $80 antenna when I killed off cable, not long after all the channels went digital. The truly interesting thing is now that all the channels have sub channels there are around 20 channels free on the air of which a dozen actually have good programming. KERA has 2 good channels, NBC has 2 and WB33 has 2. Usually the second channel is older stuff, but I do enjoy old shows on occasion ( Threes Company anyone?). And honestly, almost everything I watch these days is on the big 4 broadcast channels. Sure I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but if I really want to follow a show, like Dexter, I can buy it for $2-3 an episode at Amazon. I then own the whole season for 40-50 bucks and watch it any time I want and I am still way ahead of the crap I payed for with the cable crooks.

How did I end up with Amazon On Demand? I have an Amazon Prime membership which I bought that cost $79 a year. I bought it so I could get free 2 day shipping when I realized I was ordering from Amazon almost weekly. It seemed like a no brainer. I then discovered they have a great library of movies just like Netflix and all of the lastest releases that you can rent. The real treat is they include all of these shows at no additional cost with your prime membership.  The only problem I had was that I could only watch these movies on my PC. I started looking at Blu-ray players and Sony has a great one. Its Blu-Ray models  load DVDs fast as hades and all have a built in user interface that links up to all the services that I like as long as you have a decent internet connection. So I can get Pandora, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and a dozen other options, that seem to grow every day. Oddly I rarely go out anymore to rent DVD’s. Of course, even if I wanted to, there are no more blockbusters within 15 minutes of me, but there are always redboxes, until they become dinosaurs.

So I now watch what I want, on demand, and usually free. It really is a genius concept.  Now, when am I going to be able to have my vacations and excercise come to me. Then I can turn into a vampire sloth and fear the light and garlic.

Monetizing a Blog the Easy Way

I have a few small businesses that I own in remodeling and web design.
I also offer SEO services to help boost my clients’ site rankings, thus I maintain a large network of around 80 websites on various topics which grows every month. Some of these sites also sell advertising. They do this through text link ads and blog posting. Text link ads are one of the fastest ways to  .

With a simple list of related text links on your the homepage of your blog you could potentially pull in hundreds of dollars every month. You can even have links placed on the inside pages of your site if it has enough traffic.  Another interesting product they allow publishers to monetize their site with is called hosted pages. You write a post with a link to the website they request and you get paid for it being on your blog. Seems pretty easy. I have been with them as a publisher for several years and have been very happy with the service and sales. They do a nice job of keeping most of my sites monetized for me on autopilot, which allows me to focus on my businesses. Its a great way to build passive income and if you have a site that actually has readers then you will be sure to rake in some cash.

One of the features I like best about them is they have developed an easy to use wordpress plugin that eliminates the need to crowbar their code onto my sites the old painful code laden ways of years past. I now simple add the plugin and paste the site’s id and It is ready to go.

So if you are interested, click on the lovely affiliate link or the banner below I have added to the post and check them out. You will be glad you did.

West Nile Aerial Spraying in Dallas

I live in old East Dallas and this week we were crop dusted by airplanes flying a couple of hundred feet over us for a couple of hours on Thursday. I heard one fly directly over my house and several near flybys as the evening went.The result…. crap.

First thing I noticed is the sugar ants didn’t much care for it. I hadn’t seen one all year in my kitchen, but Friday morning they were in my kitchen like a tick to a dog. Oddly, its Saturday and they have once again stopped coming inside. So clearly the spray did something.

Business as usual

The mosquitoes on the other hand apparently didn’t get the fliers being dropped from the planes that they should drop dead. I went to a client’s house and was attacked unrelentingly, then I had my morning coffee today, 2 days after the “spray” and I was getting hit left and right. Thank heavens for my tennis racket zapper. It apparently does a better job than the city’s multi-million dollar mosquito scam plan. So other than ruining my herb garden and pissing off the ants, what was the point?