Mounting a GPS to the Overhead Console in a Land Rover Discovery II

I wanted to mount my GPS without having cables all over the place or having it somewhere that doesn’t seem well-integrated. Fortunately, the overhead console in the Discovery is a perfect location. The real advantage is that the device is hidden from obvious view outside the car, so thieves won’t be tempted by it.

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My wife and I picked a Disco S7 because it didn’t have sunroofs. Since I keep cars and trucks for a long time it seemed a bad idea to get something with more parts to go bad. The other advantage is that the panel for the sunroof buttons is blank.

The other goal is to add a backup camera. Our Garmin Nüvi 65 supports the BC-30 backup camera, and I’ll cover installation of that unit in a separate post.

So, how do you mount this thing?

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Replace Missing Land Rover Discovery 2 SAI Studs

I think I’ll do a little article about SAI later on. There’s a lot of confusing information out there about the system and whether it can/should be removed.

But in the meantime, let’s assume you’re keeping it and dealing with the massive hassle of the brackets. The mounting bracket is attached to metal flex pipe which makes adjustment very difficult.

The original design used 2 6mm x 1mm studs per bracket to attach the mounts to the valve covers. However, on mine, the studs were missing which I suspect is happens often.

It’s nearly impossible to align the bolt holes to use regular bolts. So I suspect a lot of folks leave the studs or replacement bolts off. This can lead to problems, though, because vibration and the stress on the hoses will cause leaks and, potentially, a larger failure.

The easy fix is to install a couple studs on the valve cover if they’re completely missing. This helps align the bracket and pretty quickly put the whole thing back together.

Here’s what you do:

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New Land Rover Discovery 2

After 20 years of being a Land Cruiser guy I’m making the switch to Rover. My old truck has an engine problem I could easily have fixed years ago, but with a kiddo and limited garage space I think it’s time to let it go to someone who can give this truck the love it deserves.

So, I’m kind of hitting the reset button and starting fresh like I did with my FJ-60. Just like this truck, it’s 12 years old, in pretty good shape, and it’s the last hardcore four-wheeler by their respective manufacturer sold in the US.

There are some differences, of course. The reliability isn’t up to old Toyota standards, so the common wisdom is that it’s as reliable as a 30 year old Cruiser. On the other hand, the interior is nicer, it’s a seven seater, and I’m partial to the black exterior.

Hopefully over the next 20 years I’ll build this up like I did the Cruiser. I’ve missed going out on trails and that old truck was getting too fragile and rare to do it. Let’s hope this new one gets stuck a few times.

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Doctor Who Doctor Review: Colin Baker

Oh Colin Baker, who’s fault are you?

I had wondered before starting in with his episodes if I would agree with the common wisdom that he’s the worst of the doctors since I tend to disagree with Who fans about what makes a good episode good.

But yes, this is the worst of the doctors, however, that doesn’t mean he’s bad. He’s just not right.

Let’s forget the idiotic coat (which Colin Baker opposed) and focus on his unpleasant nature. Perhaps JNT, et al, wanted to return to the ascerbic and authoritative doctors of Hartnell and Pertwee. Perhaps they just wanted to update the doctor to a more “’80s” type of character. Whatever the reason, he’s generally a bit of a jerk and a largely incompetent one at that.

On the other hand, he does serve as a good transition between the thoughtfully intelligent Peter Davison and the unassumingly clever yet threatening Sylvester McCoy. You can see that they were trying to go somewhere with this character but hadn’t quite worked it out yet. It would take another 20 years to find the balance they were looking for in Chris Eccleston and see it truly come to fruition with Matt Smith.

Ultimately I feel sorry for Colin Baker as he seems to be a better actor–if only marginally–than his performance as the Doctor displays. His performance as Commander Maxil in Davison’s Arc of Infinity is still camp but enjoyably so. But as the Doctor he spends his time whinging about stuff and yelling all of his lines.

But perhaps he yelled his lines just to get Peri and Mel to shut up.

On to the current ranking of Doctors of whom I’ve seen all episodes:

  1. David Tennant
  2. Peter Davison
  3. Jon Pertwee
  4. Chris Eccleston
  5. Paul McGann
  6. Colin Baker

I only have one episode of Patrick Troughton to go, I just finished Tom Baker, and I’m nearly done with Matt Smith. I’ve decided to jumble these up a bit to get a better perspective on these guys.

Doctor Who Doctor Review: Peter Davison

Time for another Doctor Who Doctor Review: Peter Davison

I’m waiting to watch the last available Patrick Troughton episode before I review him, and still have season 16 of Tom Baker to watch (which I forgot). But, I’ve also moved through the Davison years and am in the midst of Colin Baker now. And boy, there’s someone to be in the midst of.

Anyway, Kate is totally right in her assessment of Davison: He really is quite good. Despite his youth and some of the foolishness associated with the JNT era, Davison makes an excellent Doctor who displays a concern for others not properly seen since the Trought. This ties in well with my pondering a more realistic ordering of Doctors based on behavioral age–despite his youth he is one of the most mature and thoughtful doctors.

This is particularly apparent in the way he handles the almost singularly awful companions saddling this era. Peri? Tegan, to a lesser extent. Pretty bad. Awfulbot, of course (aka Kameleon). And Adric. Even Wesley Crusher cheered when Adric couldn’t stop that ship from crashing into the Earth.

As I think it’s fairly apparent that the actors have some say over how the Doctor behaves, I believe we can attribute the fifth Doctor’s kindness and quick-wittedness to Davison–at least to an extent. After all, this is the guy who played Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small. Indeed, this Doctor seems less like an eccentric playful alien a la Tom Baker and more like a kindly country veterinarian.

It also helps that–despite the JNT-ness of it all–Davison enjoyed some of the best episodes of Doctor Who. I’d argue that season 20 is one of the best seasons all around with compelling and original episodes like Arc of Infinity, Snakedance, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors, and the excellent Enlightenment. Other terrific episodes include Kinda and The Caves of Androzani which fully deserves the praise it gets.

So, here’s my current ranking of Doctors of whom I’ve seen all episodes. I realized I forgot to include Paul McGann last time, so I’ve added him and taken off Tom Baker until I see season 16.

1. David Tennant
2. Peter Davison
3. Jon Pertwee
4. Christopher Eccleston
5. Paul McGann

Honestly, though, I think I can safely say that the Trought might take the top spot or at least number 2.

Doctor Who Doctor Review: Jon Pertwee

I’ve just finished watching all of the Jon Pertwee episodes of Doctor Who. While there are no bad doctors, per se, I find his portrayal to be one of the weaker ones. His bad qualities of being rather patrician, snippy, and generally a bit insulting sometimes outweigh the fact that he’s one of the few cool Doctors. The gadgets are a bit silly, too (Whomobile).

On the other hand, he is fun and rather charming–there is definitely something plainly likeable about him. When paired with Sarah Jane Smith he became more enthusiastic, but how much of that is Elisabeth Sladen?

My current ranking based only on Doctors of whom I’ve seen every episode:
1. Tom Baker
2. David Tennant
3. Jon Pertwee
4. Chris Eccleston

On to the Trought, who I suspect will rank highly. I also need to finish one season of Matt Smith, but he’s probably above Pertwee for me.

Handy Milk Substitution Chart

For those times when you’ve got two milks and need something else….

Add the following to 1 cup of skim milk to approximate 1 cup of:

  • 1% Milk:
    1.5 tsp heavy cream
    1 Tbsp light cream
    2 Tbsp half & half
  • 2% milk:
    1 Tbsp heavy cream
    1 Tbsp + 2 tsp light cream
    3 Tbsp half & half
  • Whole Milk:
    2 Tbsp heavy cream
    3 Tbsp light cream
    4 Tbsp half & half
  • Half & Half:
    5 Tbsp heavy cream
    5 oz light cream
  • Light Cream:
    9 Tbsp heavy cream

You can basically halve the amounts if you have 1%, quarter them if you have 2%, and so on. More info… Continue reading

Emco Compact 5 Mill/Lathe

I have an Emco Compact 5 Mill and Lathe combo I purchased from a friend. However, I’m not sure what standard fittings it uses. So, I’m using this page to keep track of what they are as I find out.

Mill Collets:

ESX25 or ER25

 

More to come as I figure stuff out…

Chicago Pizza Recipe

Chicago Pizza Recipe

Prep Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 7 hours

Serving Size: 9" pan serves 2 people. 12" pan serves 4.

This Chicago deep dish recipe has proven to be surprisingly authentic and quite delicious. It has been compiled from notes found on various recipe sites and has been largely informed by someone who appears to be a professional Chicago pizza chef.

Ingredients

    Base dough recipe. Multiply quantities as needed (see note 1)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6-7 Tbsp warm water (note 2)
  • 3 Tbsp oil (note 3)
  • 3/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • Dash of cream of tartar (for Gino's East style)
  • Base Pie Ingredients (per cup of flour):
  • 3/4 cup shredded Sorrento whole mozzarella per cup of flour (note 4)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Sorrento skim mozzarella per cup of flour (note 4)
  • Approx. 1/4 can 6-in-1 Tomatoes
  • Other toppings (e.g., pepperoni, prepared sausage)
  • Crushed garlic
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Grated parmesan
  • Lou Malnati's 9" Pan quantities:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 13 Tbsp warm water (192 mL)
  • 3/8 cup corn oil
  • 3/4 tsp EVOO
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Sorrento whole mozzarella
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Sorrento skim mozzarella

Instructions

    Crust Preparation:
  1. Mix sugar, water, and yeast in large mixing bowl. Let stand while prepping other ingredients until the yeast begins to bubble.
  2. Add flour, oil, and salt and mix for 1 minute
  3. Knead for no more than 2 minutes.
  4. Let rise for about 6 hours. Can let dough rise in cool oven with light on.
  5. Punch down, then cover and let the gluten relax for 10-15 minutes or so.
  6. Pie Preparation:
  7. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  8. Grease pan using either corn oil, olive oil, or butter (for Lou Malnati's-style crust)
  9. Press crust into pan or roll out crust for Giordano's-style pie.
  10. Parbake at 500 until very lightly browned.
  11. Set oven to 450 degrees.
  12. Even spread the cheese in the parbaked crust
  13. Add meat and other toppings on top of the cheese
  14. Spread a layer of 6-in-1 Tomatoes
  15. Sprinkle garlic, oregano, basil, etc., on sauce.
  16. Bake at 450 for around 30 minutes. Experiment with time and rack placement because home ovens act in very different ways.
  17. Let cool for five minutes before slicing to allow cheese to harden slightly.

Notes

1. One cup of flour is listed as a base. Multiply quantities as needed. 12" pan = 3 cups. Lou Malnati's 9" pan = 2 cups (available here: http://www.tastesofchicago.com/category/lou_malnatis_pan_spatula).

2. The amount of hydration depends on the age of the flour, humidity, etc. I usually use 6 1/2 TBS. You can add more flour or water as necessary.

3. Most Chicago restaurants cheap corn oil. Some people prefer extra light olive oil, but you can also use a mix. Gino's East, for instance, uses 95% corn oil and 5% EVOO. This mix seems to give the best flavor. Canola is acceptable as well.

4. Use a total of 1 1/2 cups cheese per cup of flour. Sorrento is readily available and a 50/50 mix of whole and skim is very good. Sorrento comes in blocks and is easily be shredded using a food processor. Other options include: Stella or Frigo Mozarella 70-30 Mozzarella/provolone blend for Home Run Inn style

http://www.mphtower.com/?p=381

Getting closer to importing Emax disks into my ESI-32

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For a while now I’ve been trying to find a way to recover my old Emax floppies. Here’s the deal: The ESI-32 can import Emax stuff but can only do so via the hateful SCSI. So, I have to take the floppies and import them via OmniFlop to an old computer and then transfer them via EMXP then, hopefully, export them to a SCSI drive.

My dad had this SyQuest 135MB EZ Drive sitting around and, heavens to Betsy, it worked! At least, it connected to the E-mu.

Now to try loading the EZ Drive disk with samples via the computer.