Paul Straightens Out His Jeep

This little Jeep tale is best told in photos and video.

Damage to Jeep from sliding on ice

Paul slid on some ice on a mountain trail two weeks ago

Removing the Jeep grill

Today Paul straightened out his Jeep. Daniel removes the grill

Floor jack and chain

This contraption will pull the bumper free that is tangled in the body

A chain is attached to the Jeep bumper

A chain is attached to the bumper

Floor jack up a tree

A floor jack is attached to our tree

Video: Freeing The Bumper

Video: Removing The Bumper

Bumper is removed from Jeep

Once the bumper is removed the body can be pulled clear of the wheel

Freeing the Jeep body from the wheel

The chain is attached to the body

Video: Freeing The Wheel

Jeep Wreck

Now don’t you weep
Over your Jeep.
In just a day or two
It will be good as new.
Beep, beep. Beep beep!

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How to Build a Snowman in 3 Steps

This is for today’s youth that can’t build anything without first looking it up on the Internet.

  1. Roll large, medium, and small snowballs.
  2. Stack vertically.
  3. Add eyes, nose, and mouth.

A Simple Snowman
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Taking The Jeep For A Spin

Have you ever felt like you were going around in circles? That all you were doing was spinning your wheels? That the next round that life dealt you would be just the same as the last? Well no, not normally. That is until today when Paul asked me if I’d like to get out of the house and go for a spin in the Jeep.

A few minutes away was the Centerville City ATV Area where you are welcome to drive your vehicle in the “dike” as long as you don’t deviate from the marked area. I took some short videos while we were there.

This is what making those circles looks like from inside as a passenger. The initial filming is of the view from the side window. I don’t mind telling you that it made me a little sick. There is a reason why I work on F-16s and not fly them.

I had had enough of the circles so Paul drove up and around a bank.

This is what it looks like from the inside:

And now you know why I don’t carpool with Paul to work.
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Spiral Jetty At Rozel Point

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. This is a view of the Jetty from the dirt road.

Last Tuesday afternoon found Paul and I heading north to visit Spiral Jetty at Rozal Point. It was a warm day for Northern Utah in November. We drove past the Golden Spike Visitors Center and followed the signs to Spiral Jetty. The dirt road was being graded in places as we traveled closer to the northern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Google Maps on my Nexus didn’t know about Spiral Jetty but responded to Rozel Point.

I took several photographs of our visit. Click on the images to enlarge.

In 2008 it was announced that there were plans for exploratory oil drilling approximately five miles from the jetty. The news was met with strong resistance from artists, and the state of Utah received more than 3,000 e-mails about the plan, most opposing the drilling. Shown here are the remains of prior exploration just a few hundred feet from the Spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake which is only visible when the level of the Great Salt Lake falls below an elevation of 4,197.8 feet. Paul stands by the Spiral entrance to give you some perspective on its size.

Spiral Jetty

Due to a drought, the jetty re-emerged in 2004 and was completely exposed for almost a year. The lake level rose again during the spring of 2005 because of a near record-setting snowpack in the mountains and partially submerged the Jetty again. Here are the ruins of a building right by the Jetty. Whether it was built by the pioneers or was used for oil exploration, I know not.


Notice how sand has filled in the spaces between the rocks. The current exposure of the jetty to the elements has led to a controversy over the preservation of the sculpture. There is a proposal to restore the original colors with the addition of more rocks, noting that the Spiral will be submerged again once the drought is over.

I did a 360 degree video at the top of the hill overlooking the Spiral. The issue of preservation has been complicated by ambiguous statements by Smithson, who expressed an admiration for entropy in that he intended his works to mimic earthly attributes in that they remain in a state of arrested disruption and not be kept from destruction.

I shot this on our return. It was a smooth ride once we were a few miles from Spiral Jetty. The wipers quit working so the windshield had to stay dirty.

Spiral Jetty

The Spiral is built entirely of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth, and water. This is the end of the long arm of the Spiral as it makes its first curve.

Spiral Jetty

At the time of its construction in 1970, the water level of the lake was unusually low because of a drought. Within a few years, the water level returned to normal and submerged the Jetty for the next three decades. Seen here is Paul standing on the innermost spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Lake levels have receeded and, as of fall 2010, the Jetty is again walkable and visible. Originally black basalt rock against ruddy water, it is now largely white against pink due to salt encrustation and lower water levels.

Spiral Jetty

The Spiral was financed in part by a $9,000 grant from the Virginia Dwan Gallery of New York. A 20-year lease for the site was granted for $100 annually.

Spiral Jetty

The only other visitors were a couple walking south of the Spiral towards the waterfront.

Spiral Jetty

Paul stands by a relic of some past exploration activity.

Spiral Jetty

To move the rock into the lake, Smithson hired contractor Whitaker Construction's Bob Phillips of nearby Ogden, Utah, who used two dump trucks, a large tractor, and a front end loader to haul the 6,550 tons of rock and earth into the Lake. The Lake edge is currently several hundred feet from the Spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Smithson began work on the jetty in April 1970. Construction took six days. Smithson died in a plane crash in Texas three years after finishing the Jetty.

Spiral Jetty

The sculpture is currently owned by the Dia Art Foundation of New York, acquired as a gift from the Estate of the artist in 1999.

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Work On The Jeep Is Winding Down

Jeep instrument panelsPaul wanted to have gauges instead of idiot lights on the instrument panel of his Jeep. The upgrade was supplied by A Howell’s Auto Wrecking in Ogden. In the photograph above you can see that the odometer is missing — and for good reason. Paul has to rollback the miles to match the odometer that is being replaced.

Stepper motorWhy not just switch the odometers? Because the replacement has a trip meter. The odometer has to be rolled back 108,866 miles (256,673.9 minus 147,807.9) and Paul explains how it is to be done.

The odometer is driven by a small unipolar stepper motor. The motor is so small it can be driven directly by the Arduino using the example code found here at Arduino. The four pins on the motor were wired to the Arduino and swapped until the motor started turning.

Unfortunately the odometer’s maximum speed appears to be only 600 mph (10 miles a minute) and so it will take about seven and a half days to rollback to the original mileage.

The trip meter has to be disabled as it will eventually halt all backwards progress.

Odometer connected to Arduino

At the equivalent of driving in reverse at 600 mph it will take 7.5 days to rewind back 108,866 miles.

This video is a little out of focus but you can see the general idea.

Everything is under control, typical of one of Paul’s projects. But he’s forgotten one important event to watch for. What is it?


Paul put together this live odometer streaming video which will rollback to the required mileage (147,807.9) some time on Sunday 24th October 2010. See if you can estimate the time, assuming it is running continuously.

Since last week additional mileage has been driven to bring the mileage to 147,950. The time this was reached was 10:48am on Sunday. Live stream discontinued.
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Jeep Cherokee

Jeep CherokeePaul decided it was time he took up four wheeling so he bought a 1993 Jeep Cherokee. There was one problem — there always is: when Paul tried to shift into 4-wheel drive there was “a grinding and crunching noise,” as Paul described it, coming from the transfer case. This newly acquired 4-wheel drive vehicle would not go into 4-wheel drive.

Jeep Cherokee drive chain

Jeep Cherokee drive chain

Paul inspected the transfer case and found that the drive chain was loose. If you click on the photograph of the chains side by side, you will see that the old chain has stretched a good 3/8 inch longer than the new chain. Once the replacement chain was installed Paul had a 4-wheel drive Jeep that could actually drive four wheels.

There were a few minor issues like replacing the 90% water antifreeze with a 30% water mix, fixing the blower motor, and two new window winder handles.

Of course a quick test was in order so we headed to the mountains to check Paul’s repair work. It looks like he is good to go, judging from this superb video I filmed. Click here if you cannot see the video.

I took several photographs with the sun low in the sky which gave the Cherokee a definitely uncool pinkish color look.

Jeep Cherokee at sunset
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Give Your Tree A New Look Videos

Steven visited yesterday evening and with his brothers gave my tree a new look. We made three short videos so that you can see how it was done. Slash and Drag would be a good name for the process. The first video shows Steven and Jake Slashing. Next we have me Dragging the branches away for later disposal. Lastly Jake (he really likes to pan) illustrates on film our handiwork, ready for Jill to see in all its glory.

If you cannot see the videos, click here.

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Give Your Tree A New Look

Give Your Tree A New Look
Give Your Tree A New Look

Steven visited yesterday evening and with his brothers gave my tree a new look. Above are before and after photographs. The women were safely occupied with General Relief Society Meeting so we wouldn’t be disturbed for two hours. Fir sprucing up my conifer I wood need tree handsaws and three sons.

Give Your Tree A New Look

Aurora said it would be OK to prune the tree just a little

Give Your Tree A New Look

Steven said that if we do it wrong it will grow back in ten or twenty years anyway

Give Your Tree A New Look

Paul didn't say anything

Give Your Tree A New Look

Jake said you all will need a drink

Give Your Tree A New Look

I said this will look really different

Give Your Tree A New Look

The tree said this is not a good thing

Give Your Tree A New Look

The Visiting Teachers will probably say they have some shade while they wait for Jill to get home

Give Your Tree A New Look

Paul still didn't say anything

Give Your Tree A New Look

Collateral damage

Give Your Tree A New Look

Too bad this is not covered under lawn care

Give Your Tree A New Look

Later in the evening we began to drag

Give Your Tree A New Look

Mission accomplished

I had a request to post any videos I had of this project. I will publish them in a few hours. Jill walked past the tree in the dark four times last night to help load Steven’s car. She didn’t notice that we had given the tree a new look. This morning while Jake and I were watching the tree videos she heard “Tree” and “Chop” in the same sentence. Jill went outside and saw the results of our efforts.

Jill said she was astonished by our work.

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Paulelbel’s Canon

Below is a one minute video of someone many of us know who is teaching himself piano. Can you guess who it is? The identity of the musician is revealed at the end of the video. The title to this post also gives you a clue. The arrangement was purchased for $1 from the Jon Schmidt website.

Pachelbel’s Canon, also known as Canon in D major, is the most famous piece of music by German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel. It was originally scored for three violins and basso continuo and paired with a gigue in the same key. Like most other works by Pachelbel and other pre-1700 composers, the Canon remained forgotten for centuries and was rediscovered only in the 20th century.

Several decades after it was first published in 1919, the piece became extremely popular, and today it is frequently played at weddings and included on classical music compilations, along with other famous Baroque pieces such as Air on the G String by Johann Sebastian Bach. (Wikipedia)

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