Thursday, January 31, 2008


Monday, January 28, 2008

Land Cruisers are Awesome!!

I recently tried out this website I've know about for some time now. It's called Specter Off Road. They specialize in all things Land Cruiser. I just ordered some little things that I needed to give them a try. It was a fairly complicated order with lots of little parts and it was perfect.

The great thing about Specter is that they aren't just there to supply parts, but to further the cause. By that I mean spreading the good news of Land Cruiser. I mean, just listen to this slogan: "Specter Off Road, Drive a legend." How can you argue with that? Lots of people who drive these things drive them at least partly because of what they are--an icon. Check out this picture of an early Land Cruiser, an FJ55 to be exact. Vehicles like this conjure images of the African or Australian bush and this picture would not look amiss if it was in an arid climate and also pictured a tiger or kangaroo. Though Land Cruisers have become very luxurious, the heritage still lies in the bush. Specter Off Road has a great section on the history of the Land Cruiser. You should check it out.

Now back to my Land Cruiser. It's time for a little service. I need to replace some of the front axle drive components as the existing ones are worn out. It turns out to be a pretty time consuming job according to my sources. By the way, my "sources" are hundreds of posts on one of my new favorite websites, This is an online forum for owners of Toyotas (mostly 4x4's and Land Cruisers) that has become a valuable resource since I'm the type of guy that likes to get under the hood every once in a while. For some time now I've been stifling my mechanical urges because I don't have a place to work them out, but my stifle tank is full and it's starting to spill out into the house and on the street. Most of the guys on this forum elevate Land Cruiser ownership from utilitarian maintenance to a very enjoyable past time. These many posts have helped me to have a good understanding of what I should expect when I'm up to my elbows in molybdenum grease. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Direction for the Future

Now it seems my years of school are paying off. This weekend I was offered a job at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. It's all very exciting. Chelsea and I have often thought that if we were presented with the opportunity to live in Washington, we would take it, and we are going to. Now all I have to do is finish my last semester at school. I will probably start in late August, so we still have some time to get things together after school ends.

Working at the shipyard will be an excellent way to start my career. Training is very important for the Navy and my first three to four months will be spent at different types of training. Also, the nature of the work at the shipyard is very diverse so it will offer lots of different experience. Since so much training is required, they don't like to lose employees and as a result, they tend to be open to allowing engineers to move around to different departments.

As part of the visit we were taken around the shipyard and shown some of the interesting sights. One of the more interesting parts of the tour was a descent into dry dock where a Nimitz class aircraft carrier was getting a refit. The ship was the USS John C. Stennis. (For more info on it go here or here.) We were able to go underneath it. Aircraft carriers, particularly Nimitz class, are enormous. They are more than 1000 feet long and 250 feet wide. When you are under it, it seems much larger than that. The flight deck is four and a half acres.

So now we have some more direction in our lives. This weekend we spent some time cleaning the house and took some stuff to DI. Now we are working towards a date instead of just assuming something will be coming along soon. For now nothing will really change. We just have to finish school and wait for the calendar to do most of the work.