Jujutsu, Bees, and Automotive Hygiene

I hooked up with our local jujutsu instructor here in Portland for a brisk round of highly precise joint-tweaking and mat pounding. When I arrived, I was greeted by a large white dog with a dead baby rabbit in its mouth.

I chose not to take this as an omen.

One of this instructor’s Old-Skool mats is actually woven reed on the inside, and, needless to say, hurts more than the foam ones. 🙂 Since the headquarters has reed mats, it’s probably good practice. I’m very grateful to be able to continue training both on my trip and here in Portland. Our system is small one outside Japan, and I’m very fortunate to have dojos pretty much everywhere I want to go.

True to form, the Metro crapped out while I was trying to leave after class. Even after finding the missing vacuum hose and putting it back, it was running very rough and stalling frequently. However, I discovered that what I thought was a vacuum check valve (which only allows pressure to flow one way) was actually an air filter. This meant the MAP sensor wasn’t getting the right pressure, which causes no end of grief. Once I realized my mistake, I put the old filter back on, and, aside from the grievously leaking radiator, the car is idling low and slow, accelerating (to the degree that’s possible at all) smoothly, and generally behaving itself. I figured that maybe one reason it was unhappy was that it’s so dirty after the trip and weeks of getting internally hosed down with ethylene glycol, so I gave it a bath!

Turd Polished

This may be the first time it’s gotten two in one calendar year.

On the radiator front, I contacted http://www.car-stuff.com and got an RMA started. They asked for pictures of the problem, which I sent, and will refund my money once they get the unit back. Here’s the green Niagra Falls that is my radiator:

Niagra Falls? Nope! My radiator!

In the meantime, I got a great deal at AutoZone, my favorite commodity parts place, on a new one. I like AutoZone because poor people shop there, and they really know how to work on cars. Unlike the one I just ditched, it has a limited lifetime warranty, and I got a 20% discount, free shipping, and it counted toward my rewards card total. I have to wait a few days to get it, but that will simply encourage me to bike more.

Amanda pointed out that her artichoke plant was awash in busy bees, and I managed to snag this shot while helping with the watering:

Busy Bees inside the Artichoke Flower Forest!

Perhaps I can find a way to get them to help me with the Metro…

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