Keeping it Real

Sitting here eating lunch and i notice this blurb on the package of my favorite tea, “100% real ingredients.” WTF is that supposed to mean?! You mean theres food out there with imaginary ingredients? Virtual ingredients?



Beer Is Good – Full Sail Imperial Stout

Dang he wasn’t messing around, yet another imperial stout gift! This one from Oregon’s Full Sail. Pours opaque dark dark, practically black, brown, very light head. The dark kinda peaty smoke aroma immediately detected from opening the bottle. Bourbon and cask detectable from the start. Dark malt, but surprisingly not that heavy on the roast flavor, bitter pretty modulated. The astringent stays on the tongue for a little while, but it doesn’t have the bite of a heavy hop. The 9.5% ABV is not as masked in this as the other imperials I just had, it doesn’t have as much sweet covering things. Mouth feel is medium, not as heavy as might expect, but the carbonation is light. Like most good stouts, it takes well to warming, but doesn’t seem to really bloom much either. Oh myyyy, that ABV is kicking in now!

A solid 3 out of 4 casky monkeys.

Beer Is Good – Belching Beaver Horchata Imperial Stout

Next up on the dark train is this Imperial Stout from relatively young brewery Belching Beaver. I’m normally not a fan of what some call “gimmick” beers, and this really sounds like one, name of brewery, brew and the label really. Horchata is a sweet milky drink made with ground up nuts and/or grain of some type. May or may not have actual milk. So this is basically a hopped up milk stout. Pours opaque dark brown with red tint, medium light head. Dark chocolate aroma and touch of spice. Sweet dark stonefruit, like prune, touch in middle tapering to a mellow bitter and smoke. Medium thick mouthfeel. The 9% ABV is hidden pretty well, dangerously easy drinking. This is like an ultra premium dark chocolate liquor fruit truffle, in a glass. It actually went awesomely well with the Azteca mole enchilada I had the other night.

4 out 4 belching monkeys.

Cutting Gaskets


 Received gasket other day from for the gas level sender. Shipped promptly with no minimum, Amazon had this exact same but would not ship it without a minimum order. There were online review bits saying they did not fit their Toyota, so I was a little doubtful. On the night I received I tried it out. The sender is easily accessed through a panel under the rear seat. The gasket is the proper size, but the bolt holes did not line up. If you try all the positions, there was one orientation where all but one hole lines up. I took a leather hole punch and made a new hole and all is good. If the gauge reading 1/4 tank all the time starts really bugging me, I guess I can order the replacement unit, but $6 vs $200 is good for now!

Beer Is Good – Clown Shoes Undead Imperial Stout

Part of rental tithe for my bike bag, I received this since I told them I’m a dark beer guy. Pours dark opaque with light head. Dark malt aroma, a bit of dark chocolateness, nicely balanced smokyness, evenly distributed bitter, medium thick mouthfeel. High ABV, 10%, but you don’t immediately detect it.

It may have a goofy name, but this is an excellent beer. 3 out 4 undead monkeys.


FX Progress


Oops, old post from November that was hiding in the drafts box!

Here’s the cleaned up top end back from the machine shop. Not sure if I mentioned I took it to Ted’s. From what I can see they did a good job. Once again, not cheap, but I had the full treatment done, and the head work for the valves ended up being pretty extensive. The 20 valve head is not a US market engine, parts are harder to come by, so the shop took the extra shims I had and machined them down to size as needed. And the shim design is under bucket, meaning you have to remove the cam every time you want to replace a shim. Over bucket like the early 4AGE you can just push down the bucket and pry out the shim. But that also means at high RPM, overbucket shims can fly out on their own too. Performance wise, under bucket is they way to go, one step further is shimless, but that’s yet another level of PIA as you replace the entire bucket with one of desired thickness. Continue reading ‘FX Progress’

Deutsch Hose

Received my order from Prompt processing, shipping and reasonable rates. They specialize in metric hardware, of which hose was what I wanted. Hard to find metric hose, usually just end up buying the closest sized standard size hose. Hose stretches so you can make it work, but usually if the OEM used spring type clamps, they won’t clamp tight enough. This is for fuel lines, so even more so I wanted the correct size. Thus these lines from German company Flennor. There seems to be some noise about timing belts from Flennor not fitting correctly. I guess we shall see about the quality of these hoses. They look fine.

And I should probably not mix languages, that titled would actually be German Pants.

Beer Is Good – Sam Adams Noble Pils

Part of Sam Adams latest variety pack, of which I did not buy as it did not have much I was interested in. Pours clear medium dark yellow with medium head. Hop forward aroma, bitterness that lingers throughout. Hint of citrus note. Clean mouthfeel.

I can’t say this is one of my more likeable pilsners, no skunk funk and not overly floral, but still a bit more hoppy than I’d like.

2.5 out 4 noble monkeys.


Pump It Up

Haven’t gotten the new hoses yet, but I put back together what I had and replaced the worst condition hose with the closest non-metric last night. Put some gas in and fired it up. Pump is definitely quiet now. Driveability is harder to determine, there does seem to be more power. The standing start freeway merge gets pretty nutty when you bang it all the way to 7500 before shifting, it makes the tires burnout when you drop into second. Unfortunately the dying out when clutching in coming to a stop came back. At first I though it was cured, but alas no joy there. There should be half a tank of gas now, despite what the gauge says. That’s another common problem of Corollas of this vintage, the gas level senders go bad. I tried taking it apart and doing the bend the armature trick, which helped. Oh yeah, another little rant. Finding the fuel sender gasket is proving to be impossible! Found an aftermarket, but it’s dubious that its the correct size. Finally found somewhere to order it from, it’ll be a $6 experiment so no big loss. It’s not available separately from Toyota, you need to order the entire sender, which isn’t cheap. So for now it’s back together with the slightly torn original. It’s not too critical as its not under a lot of pressure and does not seem to be leaking.

Anyway, if I can solve the stalling at occasional stop problem, it’d be pretty nice.


RI found out Ckucky just got a little 3D printer, and I had the perfect small project for it. Every FX I’ve owned has a problem with the headlight aiming. What it is is there is a ball and socket joint at one corner where the plastic socket piece cracks. Junkyard doesn’t do much good as chances are more than good that they are all cracked, if you can even find it. Haven’t tried Toyota parts, body parts this old generally aren’t available anymore. I’ve just used zip ties till now, it kind of works. Continue reading ‘3D’