My wife thinks I’m a bit crazy.  But that’s nothing new, nor unusual.  I’m guessing if one were to ask all the wives in the world about the sanity of their husbands…that “crazy” would be the most common answer.

I’ve been working on a 1995 Isuzu Trooper, that has 237,000 on the odometer, since the beginning of February.  It failed the mandatory emissions test.  Two days later, it had a “somewhere between minor and major” fire in the wiring harness under the dashboard and it needed a new timing belt.

So, I’ve been working on it since the beginning of February.  It seems like a long time, but it wasn’t that many hours of actual work.  I get only 45 minutes to an hour each week to work on it, and that includes the time to get out the tools and put them away.

My wife was hoping it would get hauled to the junk yard to be made into more cars.

Today, the Trooper sprang to life as if it had been driven yesterday.

The Trooper greatly impressed me.  Whoever designed the Trooper must have been an auto mechanic before they became an engineer……and more importantly, the company did not tell the designer to save money.

The wiring is Teflon insulated.  Teflon doesn’t melt easily.  Had regular car wire insulation been used, I would have had to replace the entire wiring harness..  Because of the Teflon insulated wire, I only had to replace 3 wires.  Never mind I had to remove the entire dash, steering wheel, clutch pedal, brake pedal, air bags and center console.

The emissions test failure required I work on the exhaust system of the car.  I hate working on exhaust systems because the high temperatures almost weld the nuts and bolts together so removing them is nearly impossible.  Isuzu used some special steel bolts that acted like brand new bolts.  Two wrenches, some torque and…click.  After which, the bolts and nuts could be removed by hand.

And the final “impressed me”.  Normally steel bolts in an aluminum engine block “don’t get along well”.  Corrosion.  When I was replacing the timing belt, I had to dismantle the front of the engine.  No corrosion around/on the bolts…some sort of stainless steel.


And now my ADD like tendencies.


I’m cooking a chicken in a dutch oven.  I wash the whole chicken, add some olive oil to the dutch oven, put the dutch oven on the stove, get it hot and sear the chicken.  Then I add a coarsely chopped onion, half a dozen whole cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of rosemary and some chunks of celery.  I then put the lid on the dutch oven and put the whole thing into a regular oven at 225F (about 105C) degrees and cook it until it’s done.  It takes 2-1/2 to 3 hours to cook, depending on the size of the chicken.  If you get one of those monster sized chickens, it may take even longer.  An instant read meat thermometer, or enough experience to know when chicken is done, will keep you safe.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware, if you have seasoned it correctly, is the best thing for cooking. Dutch ovens are amazing things.  The combination of the two is simply amazing.





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