Monthly Archive for September, 2013

Genuine Toyota Parts – Globally Sourced

Ckucke had mentioned during his voluminous research for his Taco timing set that the OEM Toyota timing belt was made in the USA by Gates. That made sense, since the truck itself was made here. What came as a surprise to me was when I got the latest set of V-belts for the FJ-80, these too were labeled as “Made in the USA”. All the belts I got since 1991 and up until now were Japan-sourced Mitsuboshi belts. The new belts looked exactly like the previous ones, with the standard Toyota part number colored field and Mitsuboshi label, but the cardstock packaging sleeve had the US origin indicated. I would have thought with the relative rarity of the 3F-E motor and associated consumables, it would be more cost-effective to still source the belts from Japan, as opposed to going through the whole design/test/contract procedure with a CONUS third-party factory. I don’t think these belts are common with any other Toyota engine, with the exception of the 2F and F, which possibly might use the same alternator belt. Gates must have given them a really good deal. Heck, they’re probably exporting these USA belts back to Japan and worldwide! Next time I have to replace them, I’ll get all Gates belts, since the pricing is better. Continue reading ‘Genuine Toyota Parts – Globally Sourced’

Smells Like Dirt

There is a traditional myth that the slimy juice from awapuhi ginger flowers can be used as a shampoo, cleanser, and conditioner.  Since the flowers were in bloom on the last ride, I harvested a selection of various levels of maturity for an empirical test.  Both small, young flowers and large, older flowers produced a slime of equivalent quality.  Regardless of age or size, all the gel produced performed the same as a shampoo – poorly.  It didn’t remove any of the oily filth of a several hour mountain bike ride, but it did leave a smooth feeling similar to a commercial conditioner.  The lingering dirt smell the fluid left unfortunately diminished the possible conditioning benefit.  Fail.  I guess it might be possible to use it as a conditioner after first shampooing, but it doesn’t appear to have any cleansing properties.  It would be nice if it smelled like ginger instead of dirt.

Past Blast

Sunday, 22 September 2013

The planning was long and drawn out for this ride. As the week progressed and the weather forecasts deteriorated, the committed participants steady dwindled down to Ckucke, Root, and myself. We were nonetheless enthusiastic, and with cool, breezy conditions, took on the leg-burning, lung-busting, constitution-breaking climb up Government Road and into tail end of Demon trail up to the melaleuca grove. There was a lot of weed growth along Demon toward the lowest extent. The dark places were damp and the water crossings were running slightly, but the general conditions were dry and grippy. There had been some hard rainsqualls early in the mornings for several days preceding the ride, but there were no issues with mud. There was, however, and issue with fallen guavas. With the hot conditions all summer, we may have encountered the second fruiting season. Ckucke was happy to find some ripe mountain apples. He was limited to grabbing what he could reach on the lower branches, but the trees were loaded with fruit higher up. Too bad there wasn’t any bamboo within easy distance. Continue reading ‘Past Blast’

2013 Fall Season Anime

Here we go again into the fray.  I’ve been neglecting my anime watching for a couple of weekends, so I decided to catch up with some summer shows that were winding down and maybe see some new ones.  There are several that haven’t started yet, but here’s the first: Continue reading ‘2013 Fall Season Anime’

It’s the plumber, he’s come to fix the…

So for the past weeks we’ve been having hot water issues. Thought it was the heater so I was mucking around with first calling the heater company since its less than two years old. Ended up then on my own changing out the thermostat and heating elements. The electric bill came with notice about the huge spike in electricity usage! What is going on? Was about to get a new heater, then the water guy came by and told us there’s been a spike in our water usage!

Damn, there’s a hidden leak in our hot water line. That explains it now. But the house is built direct on the slab, so the piping goes into the slab. So this is not looking pretty. I did some Dr. Plumbing myself with a stethoscope, could hear water running at the heater and kitchen pipes, but not much at the bathrooms, so hopefully the leak was near the heater. Time to call in the pros.

Continue reading ‘It’s the plumber, he’s come to fix the…’


So is it sad that I see a stunning woman at Don Quixotes, and can’t help but wonder how much of her is a product of modern science? Although if so, I’d like to shake the hand of the surgeon because it was a perfect job.


Sunday, 08 September 2013

The full loop of Wailuna takes a modicum of commitment.

I can’t say I was confident that my fitness level was going to be adequate to pull it off, but at least I knew what I was in for. The weather forecast for the weekend called for over 50% probability of precipitation on both days, so Jeff and the stand-up crew were out, regardless of the actual observed weather conditions. It did indeed rain like a muther on Saturday morning around sunrise, so I wasn’t particularly confident that the ride would really happen, but with no further rainfall and only partial overcast skies on Sunday, the word went out. Only Chris, Root, and I were partaking of the torture, so we decided to forego the monotony of yet another Ditch ride and see the elephant in the hills above Pearl City. Continue reading ‘Wai-loony’


Mmm… Red velvet cake x donut!

Chotto Otona Juusu

HKT48’s Melon Juice… Just can’t say anything about it without getting into some kind of trouble, even if only quoting lyrics!


Self Portrait?

OK, I give Les Stroud huge credit. A few weeks ago I took my car in for service so I was stuck in Kaimuki in the morning with no car. So I took my bike and went riding. Figured I’d have all day so I headed up St. Louis drive to Waahila Ridge State Park. With time to kill, I hauled all the action video gear up the hill. The idea had been floating around in my head for a while so I figured this would be a good chance to try it out some video shots. The only thing was I’m flying solo, so like Les Stroud, I am grip, gaffer, operator, p.a., stuntman, star. I have to set up the shot, then go back and get on the bike, ride and get the shot, stop, go back get the cameras, then set up the next shot and repeat. So from four hours of this, here is my final result, which by the way took just about as much time to edit!