Walking Your Cat

Wilton Manors is a very different place.  There are things that happen here that we smile at and say “isn’t that cute” that if they were to happen in a different place of approximately the same social stratus you would have your house egged or worse.

I’ve found that since I have moved here, of the “locals” there’s really only one that I find what I would call reprehensible.  I’ve heard many others say the same of this person, so I’m not being too harsh.

On the other hand, we tend to be a very tolerant bunch.   I have a wonderful family down the block who I think lives a great life.  They’ve got an air boat, the kids go fishing, ride a golf cart and Dad and Mom join in.  After all you don’t often see a roughly 40 year old man stand on a skateboard and roll down the street ahead of his kids with a fishing pole in one hand waving the other arm wildly for balance while the sons are yelling “Dad slow down you’re too fast for us!”.  

That just would NOT do in Plantation, Florida, Maple Shade, NJ, or Irvine California.  No way!  It’s just not done in Suburbia!

I’m glad I don’t live there. 

Standing on a soap box aside, I had a chance to witness yet another thing that just would not happen in the Burbs.

I was waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, and since I roast my own I am thinking that is another one of Those Things, and walked to the front door of my house.   Looking out the door across the street there is an open lot.  Back in the housing boom there were two rather nondescript duplexes there and they were knocked down for “future development”.  Now there is a lot of sand and a single weatherbeaten tree.

It ends up being a semi-official parking lot on Bar Nights, and a place for the kids to run their motorized toys and for Dad to bring the quad bike.  This lot also has the unfortunate designation of being an unofficial pet park.  Many of the neighbors take their pets there so they can avoid cleaning up after their cherished friend, and I’ve warned my neighbors down the block to be careful of that sort of thing.

While looking out the window I saw someone else walking their pet there.  It was another neighbor who I don’t know well.  He runs a glass business and drives the van quite a bit faster than I’d prefer since there really ARE kids on the block like the sign on the corner says.  Looking at the pet closer I saw it wasn’t a dog.

This man with all his tattoos, shaved head, and biker looks was walking a cat.  

On the end of a long red leash there was a cat on a harness.  I should say Trying To Walk A Cat instead, since the cat really wasn’t interested in covering any distance.   Sitting in the Florida Desert Sands like the Sphinx, this tricolored cat was just going about being a cat.  That is to say it was indifferent toward doing anything other than what a cat will do when presented with a big box of sand, and it sat there doing it looking like the king of the cat hill. 

Apparently Mr Biker Dude wanted to get moving because he was gently flipping and vibrating the leash to provide incentive.  Just as the timer sounded in the kitchen he slipped his toe under the cat and tickled it just enough to get it to move forward another 3 feet.

I guess that is why you don’t see many people Cat Walking other than people in dresses that you would expect to slip between the floor boards of an old building. 

One more nudge and they moved on to their apartment after rolling in the dust just a bit more.  I walked back to have my second mug of coffee and was amused enough to check again to see if Biker and Cat were still out in the sand playing around.   They had moved on leaving me with another illustration of why living in Wilton Manors can be a gift.

Annoy Yourself, Forget the Border Collie’s Mat

I’m up before the dawn.  I have to be.  If not, my furry alarm clock is there at 6am with her head on the mattress wagging her tail and thereby shaking the bed.

This morning, I did manage to get up before all of that.  This being Friday, I grabbed all the “Dog Mats” and threw them into the washer.  Super-Hot to kill the things that may get into them after having a 47 pound Border Collie lay on them all week.  I also tossed a few other odds and ends into the washer, slammed the door, pressed the start button and walked away.

We went out for our dog walk around town shortly there after.   She had her food, and I grabbed the old time radio show that I had been listening to on the MP3 player and we went outside.

No, not an i-thing, a real honest to goodness player from *gasp* Sansa!

After doing a lap around town and wandering around with me following her with a plastic bag, we got home.  I put the player down, started the morning routine.   Within 15 minutes my mind shifted from following the dog to warming biscuits, roasting coffee, making Iced Tea, boiling water, making coffee, grinding coffee, warming a chicken pattie, and emptying the sink of last nights detritus.

All the while I was being watched.  Two brown eyes with occasional flashes of gold from the ceiling lights.

I finished breakfast while waiting for the coffee to brew in the pot, stirring occasionally, and managed to get all of the grounds put away.

Still watched. 

Thinking that she was needing attention, I pet her black head gently then reached into the freezer for an ice cube, and returned to stirring the coffee and the iced tea.

She finished her ice cube, wandered out, and back.  Sat down and watched.

About the time that the coffee was ready to be poured, the washer beeped for attention.  I put the mats into the dryer, pressed start and walked back outside to the kitchen.

I was able to gather everything up and walk to the big green chair, start the little HP laptop and chug through the beginning of the morning job search routine.   179 web pages, opened in tabs, in five browsers.  Tomorrow being Saturday, that count doubles with the weekly search.

Getting through the first set of 35 pages, I was watched the entire time.   I’m wondering why she managed to squeeze her nose in between my left leg and the chair.  Now the toys begin.  First the Rattling Cat was dropped on my left foot.  This was followed by the squeaky plush cat.

I bent down grabbed the cat and shook it and flung it out to the room.

Lettie chased it, and I am wondering what has gotten into her? 

Going back to the search, I manage to get to the second 35 pages.   She’s now got a pile of toys at my feet as I am shaking things and tossing them out for her to fetch. 

I got up and made mug number two of coffee. 

It was this time where my morning haze shook off.   We’ve been home for around an hour.  The first mug of coffee kicked in, now we’re alert.

The Dryer beeped.  It was only now that I realize why Mrs Dog was trying to get my attention.  There were no dog mats for her to sleep on and watch me from afar.   She had put herself down before on the floor and that was normal but less preferred. 

I grabbed the dog mats from the dryer, walked them into the bedroom, and set them on the bed while laying one swiss-rolled towel down for her to use.  One paw on the end of the roll, she triumphantly unrolls it out with the other front paw and plops herself down.  

Just as the water for the second mug of coffee is whistling in the tea kettle, I walk out to plop a tightly folded mat next to the bouncy chair for her to figure out how to make herself comfortable.

I guess all of this is Problem Solving in a Border Collie.   The problem was the human forgetting.   After all, it was 6AM when the mats hit the washer, almost 8 when they were done, and 9 by the time I realized what was going on.   But anyone who thinks that there is such a thing as a dumb animal has never gotten in the way of a border collie’s routine or never walked back into the house after a short spell to be greeted by a parrot’s chatter saying hello, loudly, repeatedly.

I’m still picking up the toys.   I’ll have to move the Kong since they’re in dog’s view.   If not, I had better be ready to put some peanut butter and a cookie in there.  If not, we’re going to have them dropped on my left foot again. 

Over and over.  And then I’ll be stared at.  Always the staring…

Call Center Humor From Velma

I was walking around the house today chuckling at having done this and that and remembered a conversation I had with a good friend Joe.   Joe was a Programmer who worked with and for me for 7 years, great guy who is highly capable. 

We were talking about how we’d be on the phone with the directors of the end user departments helping them through for sometimes over an hour or two at a shot.  They preferred it that way, and while it was sometimes best to walk out of the office to do a face to face, it would always make it rain.

Every time my end user from Purchasing, No’een would come up to my office, without fail it would be an epic downpour.

Velma sent me this joke about Help Desk and Call Center humor.  Some of these situations I’ve actually been through.  Others I have watched.  Enjoy!

HELLO, OPERATOR 

ANOTHER CHAPTER OF “THEY WALK AMONG US AND REPRODUCE!!

Actual call center conversations!

Customer:     ‘I’ve been calling 700-1000 for two days and can’t get through; can you help?’
Operator:      ‘Where did you get that number, sir?’
Customer:     ‘It’s on the door of your business.’
Operator:     ‘Sir, those are the hours that we are open.’
 ——————————————————————-
Samsung Electronics
Caller:      ‘Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?’
Operator:  ‘I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand who you are talking about.’
Caller:    ‘On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning.  Now, can you give me the number for Jack?’  
Operator:  ‘I think it means the telephone plug on the wall.’
——————————————————————-
 RAC Motoring Services
Caller:       ‘Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am traveling in Australia ?’
Operator:  ‘Does the policy name give you a clue?’
 ——————————————————————-
Caller (enquiring about legal requirements while traveling in Europe ) ‘If I register my car in
France, and then take it to England,do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?’
——————————————————————–
Directory Enquiries
Caller:  ‘I’d like the number of the Argo Fish Bar, please’
Operator: ‘I’m sorry, there’s no listing. Are you sure that the spelling is correct?’
Caller: ‘Well, it used to be called the Bargo Fish Bar but the ‘B’ fell off.’
——————————————————————-
Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator: ‘Woven? Are you sure?’
Caller:  s.. That’s what it says on the label — Woven in Scotland …’
——————————————————————-
 On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator: ‘I haven’t got a pen, so I’m steaming up the window to write the number on.’
——————————————————————-
Tech Support:      ‘I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop.’
Customer:             ‘OK.’
Tech Support:      ‘Did you get a pop-up menu?’
Customer:             ‘No.’
Tech Support:      ‘OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?’
Customer:             ‘No.’
Tech Support:      ‘OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?’
Customer:            ‘Sure. You told me to write ‘click’ and I wrote ‘click’.’
——————————————————————-
Tech Support:      ‘OK. At the bottom left hand side of your screen, can you see the ‘OK’ button displayed?’
 Customer:             ‘Wow! How can you see my screen from there?’
  ——————————————————————
Caller:  ‘I deleted a file from my PC last week and I just realized that I need it.  So, if I turn my system clock back two weeks will I get my file back again?’
 ——————————————————————-
This has to be one of the funniest things in a long time. I think this guy should have been promoted, not fired. This is a true story from the WordPerfect Helpline, which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department…………..
Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the WordPerfect organization for ‘Termination without Cause.’

This is Actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee. (Now I know why they record these conversations!):

Operator:         ‘Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?’
Caller:              ‘Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect .’
Operator:         ‘What sort of trouble?’
Caller:              ‘Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.’
Operator:         ‘Went away?’
Caller:              ‘They disappeared’
Operator:         ‘Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?’
Caller:              ‘Nothing.’
Operator:         ‘Nothing??’
Caller:              ‘It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.’
Operator:         ‘Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out?’
Caller:              ‘How do I tell?’
Operator:        ‘Can you see the ‘C: prompt’ on the screen?’
Caller:              ‘What’s a sea-prompt?’
Operator:         ‘Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?’
Caller:              ‘There isn’t any cursor; I told you, it won’t accept anything I type..’
Operator:         ‘Does your monitor have a power indicator?’
Caller:              ‘What’s a monitor?’
Operator:         ‘It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV.  Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on?’
Caller:               ‘I don’t know.’
Operator:          ‘Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where
                         the power cord goes into it. Can you see that??’
Caller:              ‘Yes, I think so.’
Operator:         ‘Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall..
 Caller:              ‘Yes, it is.’
Operator:         ‘When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one?’
Caller:               ‘No.’
Operator:          ‘Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and  find the other cable.’
Caller:               ‘Okay, here it is.’
Operator:          ‘Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer..’
Caller:               ‘I can’t reach.’
Operator:          ‘OK. Well, can you see if it is?’
Caller:               ‘No..’
Operator:          ‘Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over?’
Caller:               ‘Well, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle — it’s because it’s dark.’
Operator:          ‘Dark?’
Caller:               ‘Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.’
Operator:          ‘Well, turn on the office light then.’
Caller:               ‘I can’t.’
Operator:          ‘No? Why not?’
Caller:              ‘Because there’s a power failure.’
Operator:           ‘A power …. A power failure? Aha. Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and  manuals and  packing stuff that your computer came in?’
Caller:                ‘Well, yes, I keep them in the closet..’
Operator:          ‘Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it  up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.’
Caller:                ‘Really? Is it that bad?’
Operator:           ‘Yes, I’m afraid it is.’
Caller:                ‘Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them?’
Operator:          ‘Tell them you’re too damned stupid to own a computer!’

Basic Searches in Windows 7

A good friend, and a client of mine last night caught up to me when I was at City Hall.

He had a problem that many people have and that is too many files get lost in oddball places.  Sure it makes sense to have all your pictures in one spot, but then you end up having a Pictures directory in your Libraries in Windows 7 that is a mess.  If you are like me, you end up having lots of little folders sitting in that Pictures directory with names on them. 

So how do you find those oddball files that got “misfiled”?  You know, the lost ones that we all have, that got tucked away in strange places.

This posting today is going to be mostly pictures.  So since a picture is worth 1000 words, I’m going to have 4000 or more of them.

This is a picture of my desktop with almost everything removed.   Way down in the task bar there is an icon circled.  That is the icon I have on my taskbar for “Computer”.  You can find the same program that the icon represents by clicking on the start button, then selecting “Computer”.

After you have selected that icon, you will see this window pop up. On my computer the default is to show your Libraries.  Not to worry, we won’t be looking at those since we’re going to look for lost files basically “everywhere” on your C drive.

Click once on your C Drive on the pane to the left.  On this picture the spot you want to click on is labeled “Local Disc (C:)”.   I really should label the disc something more creative, but this works.
The arrow is pointing to the search box.   In the Search Box, type the kind of file you are looking for.  In this case, type “jpg”.  Once you do that, Windows will immediately begin to search for your little lost files.

The search will run.  You will know when it is done by the green bar going away in the file directory name toward the top.   While this is going on, you can make the icons you see larger or smaller by clicking on the little icon just under the Search Box.

That’s about it.  The basics that is.  There are other tricks you can experiment with.  This is a special folder at this point where you can grab all the search results and move, rename, or delete them so you may want to be careful.  It’s an easy way to move a lot of lost files into one place if you have a mind to.

Behold Chiphenge!

From the movie A Fish Called Wanda:

[Otto is torturing Ken by quizzing him on Nietzsche and sticking chips up his nose]
Otto: Guess I’ll have to ask you an easy one, eh, Ken? OK. Um… Let me think, let me think. Um… Where are the diamonds? I’ll give you a clue. Somewhere around the airport.
Ken: I’m n-n-n…
Otto: No hassle. There’s plenty of time. I’ll just sit here and eat my chips till you tell me. The English contribution to world cuisine: the chip. What do the English usually eat with chips to make them more interesting? Wait a moment! It’s fish. Isn’t it? [Dipping into the fish tank with a net] Oh! Here, boy. Down the hatch. [Eats the fish] Delicious!
Ken: You b-b-b…
Otto: Better eat the green one? OK. What’s this one’s name? Well, not Wanda, anyway. I’m going to call her Lunch. Hello, Lunch. Hello! [Eats the fish] Ew! Avoid the green ones – not ripe yet.

Every time I have Fish and Chips, I think of the movie A Fish Called Wanda and the exchange I quoted above.

Then, after a smile, I start stacking the chips up to make Chiphenge. 

Chiphenge was my being silly one day when I wanted Fish and Chips.   Tired of soggy boring chips, I started stacking them up.   When once I went to Fish Sticks, I ended up building structures of Fish Sticks like Lincoln Log Cabin from a freezer in Maine that would somewhat collapse while cooking.

At least the food would get more air around them and the breading on both the fish and chips would be a bit more crispy without overcooking them.

Now it has become an open joke with me.  When it is time to make anything remotely fishy or chippy, it ends up getting turned up and stacked like pallets in a warehouse to see how tall I can get them.

At least Chiphenge is crispy on both sides instead of Not Chiphenge which is kind of mushy on the bottom.

So Behold Chiphenge!  A Superior method of building… chip towers! Amuse your family! Annoy your friends!  Turn Lunch or Dinner into a game for your Four Year Old and build towers out of food!

Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips Recipe

The problem with buying a “bunch” of bananas is that you always end up with some that get all mushy.   I got tired of eating them like that, so I started hunting for a simple Banana Bread Recipe.  I found this one that I could make in the Bread Machine.

First, the ingredients.  I will list them in the order I put them into the bread machine bucket.  The reality is that if you make Banana Bread, it makes a batter that can be poured into a bread pan and baked or that can be made into some mindbendingly good Pancakes.  It’s all carbs, basically junk food, and good for the soul but don’t fool yourself that this is “healthy”. 

I did say good for the soul.  🙂

2 Bananas, Peeled and Halved lengthwise
2 Eggs
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

Add the bananas to the bucket of the bread machine.  Turn it on “knead” or “dough” and let it run until the bananas are smooth as you like.   I was able to puree them to a liquid consistency without lumps, but some folks like lumps.

When the bananas are at the desired consistency, add the remaining ingredients to the bucket of the bread machine while it is still stirring.   Add the ingredients one at a time and allow them to blend fully before switching to the next ingredient.   The Flour should be added slowly at a couple tablespoons at a time until fully incorporated.

After the flour is fully incorporated, begin adding the pecans and the chocolate chips. 

Once they are mixed in, stop the bread machine.

It is at this point that you can pour the batter out to bake in the oven. The rule of thumb is 350F for 30 minutes, or 400F for 20.  Mind you, this recipe is for a Bread Machine, so you will want to experiment with time and temp until your toothpick comes out clean in the middle.

If you are going with the Bread Machine, restart the machine on the regular cycle.   The picture you see is what I got on the Dark Setting.  This will yield a 1 pound loaf (plus the weight of the pecans and chocolate chips).

Here is where I say Pecans and Chocolate Chips are Optional, but are Chocolate Chips ever really optional?

The results were amazing.  I would say that the bread machine I have worked its magic on the batter well.  I always cut a layer off the top for my “reward for hard work” and it was fine.  There was a nice gooey clot of Chocolate Chip melt just under the crust.  On the other hand Your Mileage Will Vary.  Like any recipe, you will want to experiment with time and temperature to make sure the results are what you want.

For me, I think Dinner will be a slice of this bread with Peanut Butter and Jelly.  I may as well have a gooey carbo load for that meal too.

Help the Animals by Casual Gaming

Ok, we all play games from time to time.  Even I do.

If you hop onto Solitaire while you are waiting for a phone call, or just reach the end of your rope and play a little minesweeper to “clear your head”, you are a casual gamer.

You know, it’s that quick “Just Five Minutes Before I Go” kind of game.  Play a quick bit of Bejeweled on your phone in the bathroom or on the bus, you are a Casual Gamer.

Ok, I’ve done that sort of thing.  I’ll admit it an it’s a lot more productive than sitting at a PC looking angry or starting up FreeCiv and playing for hours in “background”.

If you are on Facebook, you can play casual games there, and they will donate to animal causes like feed and shelter.  The nice thing about it is that if you can get to facebook, you can help a furry friend while doing something you would be doing normally.

I just discovered this while hitting my daily clicks for The Animal Site, and thought I should share this.  So I’m nagging everyone to give this a shot.

I’m also one of those people who laughs at Farmville addicts and all those other games, so this is really quite out of character.  In fact, I block any of the normal social games on Facebook since I have WAY too much reading to do to keep up with career development sites and technology bulletins that float past all day, as well as posting things for my own duties here as Social Media Director for Wilton Manors Main Street.


Anyway, folks, I’ve been clicking on the links for The Animal Site for quite a while.  You should consider doing it too, but if you don’t want to do it there, you can follow my lead.

The Link for the description for the Casual Gaming is here, and you can read all about it.

If you are on Facebook, this link will take you directly to the page to “like” it.

Split Leaf Philodendron in Bloom – Picture

I spent Good Friday Afternoon on the phone.

Literally from when I got back from the Thai restaurant at lunch until dinner at a little past dog walk, I had a phone glued to my ear or was working on an email.

I had four different jobs shopped to me, a Project Manager in charge of Training which was fascinating enough for me to say to the recruiter that “Wow, that would be FUN!”, a senior Project Manager at a company who is known to be over picky about their positions (I could give you chapter and verse and all the recruiters here know about it), a LAMP and PHP developer position (I’m qualified to be that guy’s boss, but it’s intriguing, I’ll listen to any of these that are shopped), and an Executive in charge of Operations at a “growing South Florida company”.   That last one was almost written from my resume, I’ve worked at that level before for three years as a remote consultant (Hi Carter!)

We shall see.  Any of the positions would be perfect.  All of them have enough “meat” to them that they would keep me quite satisfied for the next 10 plus years including career growth.

As you can see it was a hectic four hours.   In the middle of all of that, I was sitting with the trusty little laptop warming my left leg and trying to figure out how to reconfigure the thing so that F5 was really F5 and not “back track” in a media player.   The short answer is check your bios.

All the sudden my email comes up with a message from Kevin and no topic.  He had slipped out while I was talking family business and having recruiters leave messages.  Nice to be invited to the party even if your phone is pretending to be Newark Airport with planes circling waiting to land.

While I returned call number one of three, I had a picture pop up of the philodendron in the back yard.   Complete with that flower.  It was a very good one from the standpoint of sunlight and positioning, but being an iPhone picture, the colors were shifted blue so I wanted to retake this one which is the picture you see above.

This split leaf philodendron in the back yard is loving life.  There are two others in the back yard, all of which are getting ready to bloom with multiple flowers.   If I get “just the right shot” I will post those, especially the one plant that has at least 6 blooms waiting to pop open.  This being South Florida, it’s in a sheltered spot and gets mostly indirect sunlight.  As a result it is huge.   This is a plant that has grown 6 feet tall and covers a 6 foot radius in the yard.  It’s a blasted hedge!   When we cut a leaf off the plant, we stick it into a vase and it lasts for a couple days or even weeks looking deep green and like something you’d see in a florist shop up North.   I’d say “like” since this is at least twice as large as I had ever seen foliage in any of the florist shops up there. 

With three of those plants, and a scattering of screw palms, bamboo, and other oddball assortments of greenery, my back yard has an almost perfect wall of greenery to shade it from the neighbors behind.  After all, if you want privacy, it is much better for the environment to have something living and green there than dead and grey and cut from a forest hundreds of miles away.

I doubt it is native, so it probably sucks down more water than it would had I planted some native grasses, but in this case, I doubt those grasses would give me the wall of green that I have here.  If we get a storm, I’m sure those big thick leaves will be shredded as they were in Hurricane Wilma did the year before we got the house.   For now, I’m enjoying sights like this in my own back yard.

31 Inch Tires on a Jeep Wrangler TJ

You might say “Bill, why are you showing me the underside of your Jeep?”.

Well, it’s a Jeep Thing…
You wouldn’t understand.

This is actually the Passenger Side, front tire.  If you’re in the United Kingdom, this is the Driver’s Side Front Tyre.

I had to replace the tires on my Jeep.  I have had 42,000 trouble free miles on him, and yes, a Jeep Wrangler is a him.  He’s my third Jeep, all of which have been trouble free. 

I say “I Had” to replace the tires because the car felt unsafe to drive.  It still had a little more life left in them, but I was beginning to hydroplane and I was not feeling safe on the road.  I’d take it over 65 (Speed limits on the turnpike are 70 MPH in parts of South Florida, and they change tires at 80 here) and he’d start to vibrate.

I’ve always been a fan of going up a tire size from what the factory put on the car, but this will be my last Jeep I suspect so I wanted to go as big as I could without doing silly things like lifting the body.  After all, the car is going to remain on the road until I get up to the Pines.  I want to do a lot of things when I go back to New Jersey, and Apple Pie Hill will see me again if I can.

The problem is that there’s a discussion of whether it can be done or not. I am here to say:

Tires measured 31×10.5×15 will fit on the original rims on a 2002 Jeep Wrangler X with minor rubbing on a very tight turning radius or severe body flex.

Why did I phrase it like that?  Because that was what I got.  When I cocked the wheel all the way to the side, I would have the front tire rub against the undercarriage.

This picture is how to fix it so there will be NO RUBBING.

Get from the hardware no more than 6 stainless steel washers with a 3/8th inch center hole.  I used 2, one on each side.

Find your socket wrench and your 9/16th inch socket, and for back up a 9/16th inch crescent wrench or a stout adjustable wrench.

Set all that aside.

Unless your Jeep is very new, you will probably have some rust on that steer stop bolt (see detail above).  That is why in the picture, there is oil around it.  This is actually just a bolt that is stuck into some solid steel, so you will have no oil leakage unless you have an oops.

Turn the wheel on the car so you can get to the bolt.   I was able to get to the passenger side without climbing all over myself to get to it with the wheel turned all the way to the right.   Reverse that for the driver’s side.

Put a few drops of a good penetrating oil on where the bolt meets the metal.  Most everyone has some around the house, I used some Tri Flow simply because I use that on my skate bearings.  

Give it a little time to soak in and try to loosen the bolt with your wrench.  If it doesn’t come loose, you’ll have to use a hammer or a breaker bar to apply some leverage.   Mine came loose with 10 taps each.  It wasn’t strictly siezed, but it was very tight.

If the bolt comes off, then put one washer on the bolt and tighten it back up just like you found it.  I went about 3/4 turn past hand tight.

Repeat for the other wheel.

To test, get in the car, drive it out and stop.  Turn the wheel all the way to one side.  If you rubbed, you need more washers.   Repeat for the other wheel.

This took me 5 minutes to put the oil on.  I let it soak overnight, then finished the job the next day in under 15 minutes.

With one washer, I have no rubbing at all.  Even when hitting that speed bump out on NE 7th Avenue at the speed limit, or turning into a parking lot.  You may need more depending on how badly your springs have sagged.

Some Random Helpful Hints

I found this file sitting around on the computer when I was going back and forth between machines the other day.  I had forgotten about some of these, hopefully they can help you too.

How many of these did YOU know about? 

  A sealed envelope – Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a   knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.   (hmmmmmm..)
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  Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them  neat  and  you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.
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  For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t  refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years!)
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  To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will  fall out.
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  Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking  soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).
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  Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
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  Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would  be  much  more economical. Now a box of S.O.S  pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I  have noticed that the scissors get ‘sharpened’ this way!
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  Blood stains on clothes?  Not to worry!  Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood.   Works every time!  (Now, where to put the body?)    LOL
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   Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for  inside  windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks.  Straight vinegar  will get outside windows really clean.  Don’t wash windows
 on a sunny day.  They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
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  Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light  is turned on.
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  Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.
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  Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning .
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  To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm! Corn meal works too.
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  To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top. No soap if cast iron. =======================================
Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won’t be any stains.
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  Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
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  When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness
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  Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead.   The throbbing will go away.
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  Don’t throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for  future use  in casseroles and sauces .  Left over wine? What’s that? 🙂
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  To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
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  Ants, ants, ants everywhere . Well, they are said to never cross a chalk  line. So, get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
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  Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
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  When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then  pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
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  Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer….. .  Clean a toilet.
 Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush.
 The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China .
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Clean a vase.
 To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
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  Polish jewelry.
 Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry  for two minutes.
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  Clean a thermos bottle.
  Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
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  Unclog a drain.
  Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain  followed by a cup of  Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.
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That’s it, enjoy!