20 thoughts on “November 11, 2019: 光棍节”

  1. Still having a hard time wrapping my head around the Gophers being ranked 7th in the nation in the AP Poll. This is the first time in my lifetime that they've been ranked in the Top 10. They haven't been to the Rose Bowl since 10 years before I was born, which came in the offseason after the first year for the Twins. In 1962, they were 10th at the end of the season. Since then, the Gophers have finished the season ranked at all just twice, and their highest rank for a season was 18th.

  2. Truck time, gentlemen and ladies. Last week Mrs. Twayn called me during the evening rush to say the Town and Country had overheated. Fortunately, I've got her educated enough about cars that she always pulls over and stops at the first sign of trouble. I grabbed a gallon of water and a gallon of anti-freeze from the garage and drove off to the rescue. When I checked it out, there was almost no fluid in the radiator, and very little sign of a major system leak. I filled it up and drove it home. The next day I hosed everything off and dried it out with engine heat and an air compressor. Since they are the cheapest of the cooling systems components, I started by replacing the thermostat, gasket and upper radiator hose. I ran it up to operating temperature and pressurized the system. After five or ten minutes I started seeing wisps of steam coming from the radiator on the filler neck side. So. Pulling the radiator wasn't all that hard. Drain fluid, remove headlights to gain access to mounting bolts (I slid the bulbs into some rubber gloves to keep them from getting contaminated), remove engine compartment cross member, plastic cover, top mounting bracket, and both fans. Remove upper and lower hoses, overflow reservoir hose, and finally pull out the radiator. It was at that point that I noticed there are three coolers stacked in the front of the engine -- AC condenser, ATF cooler, and at the rear the radiator. The ATF cooler sandwiched in the middle is mounted to the engine compartment on the passenger side by two long L-brackets. The brackets are riveted to the cooler on the top and bottom. Unfortunately, that turns out to be bad design/engineering, because over time those rivets break off, allowing the ATF cooler brackets to wiggle around and rub up against the radiator until it wears a teeny tiny hole in it. So. I call O'Reilly Auto and order a radiator. Pick it up and take it home the next day. Unpack it and compare to old radiator to make sure it's the right one. It is, but I notice that on the bottom there's a slot cut into the C-bracket (for holding a rubber bumper) that goes all the way up into the fins and core. (Heavy sigh, muffled curses). I picked up another radiator yesterday and after a thorough inspection I went ahead and reassembled everything. The cooling system seems to be working fine now, but I did notice a pretty substantial ATF leak. Fortunately, it doesn't appear to be related to the ATF cooler, it seems to be coming from around the transmission fluid pan. So, when the weather warms up later this week I'll be replacing the transmission fluid filter and gasket and filling it with new fluid. The van has almost enough miles on it to reach the moon, and I have no idea if the tranny filter has ever been replaced (I'm thinking probably not). After that, I have an oil leak to diagnose, although I'm pretty sure that's just the valve cover gaskets based on a visual recon. That's also not a hard job, just time-consuming as you have to take out all of the air intake components and pull the throttle body off the head to get access to the rear valve cover. When I do that job, I'll most likely go ahead and replace the spark plugs and wires since I'll have access to the three plugs in the the back of the engine. Today I tested the anti-freeze mix to make sure it offers adequate freeze protection. I'm good to -47 degrees. But if it ever gets that cold here, I won't be leaving the house unless it's by ambulance or hearse.

        1. I'm sure it's perfectly clear to someone who understands that sort of thing, but auto mechanics is a closed book to me. You might as well be speaking a foreign language.

  3. I thought he would have been higher, 3rd or 4th

    1. John Means has a good argument that he should have won because he had 4.5 rWAR compared to Alvarez' 3.7. I think I still would have gone with Alvarez since he was so good just in a shorter time but surprised he won it unanimously.

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