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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Resignation from Boy Scouts

Last night was the night I have been dreading for many days. I finally responded to the Scout vote last week and sent in my resignation to my local Pack.

Before I wrote my resignation email, I sat down with my son and explained why he and daddy needed to leave Scouting. I tried to explain the vote in simple terms without getting into specifics. I told him that the Scouts had adopted policies that were contrary to what Jesus taught us. He was not satisfied with such a vague reason so I tried a different tack.

Then I said that marriage was between one man and one woman. He agreed with this. Then I asked him about the principal at the school where mommy worked. I said he is a man and is married to another man. My son understood that this was wrong. I said the Scouts have changed their policy to permit such behavior and said that this is OK.

At this point he began crying. I asked him why? His response was that he could never be an Eagle Scout and that would make it much harder to be President when he grows up.( He wants to be President so he can undo all the bad stuff that Obama has done to our country.) I told him that instead we would have “daddy scouts”; I would have to take him camping and fishing and do more stuff with him. I told him that some people were trying to organize a Christian replacement for Scouting but I don’t know how far they will get by the time school starts up next fall. He was happier with this explanation. Then I sent him to bed and sat down and wrote my letter to the Pack leader.

I told the Pack leader that I was leaving but offered to allow time for a second signer to be added to the checking account. As Treasurer I support the two signature rule on expenditure of funds. Yes I know I’m showing more grace to the Scouts than they showed to me but I don’t directly blame the local Pack for the turmoil caused by the national organization. In my letter I stated that we would be at the meeting tonight to watch my son advance to the rank of Bear. He earned it. (This advancement was supposed to be last week before the vote but was changed at the last minute.) Following the meeting tonight, I will be done with Scouts.

Today I sent a letter to my son’s private Christian school to ask them to prevent Scouts from using their facilities unless the Pack breaks away from the BSA. This will be interesting to see how the school and its sponsoring church handle this situation. The Pack has been permitted to use the school facilities as long as some members are from the school—many children in the Pack attend local public schools.

Prior to tonight’s meeting, I will see if I can find some information to give to parents about the vote. The national organization kept the local scout council in a virtual news blackout leading up to the vote and no information was circulated to them or to any of the local Packs. The policy change was engineered in secret because it was the only way that advocates could get it passed. This vote also flipped scouts from a grassroots organization to a top-down one. Look for the BSA to consolidate this power in the coming months.

Posted by william on 05/28 at 03:00 PM
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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Last of the Boy Scouts

Sometimes I forget that the only institution that will go on forever is the Church. Other institutions ordained by God like marriage and the United States of America have expiration dates.

Yesterday, another human institution that I valued greatly died. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) committed suicide and barely anyone noticed. The silence of conservative pundits and the media leading up to yesterday’s vote was deafening. The passing of the Scouts from traditional and dare I say “biblical values” to the toxin of tolerance and openness cannot be undone. Moral relativism claimed another victim.

Scouting is dead. The national leadership is celebrating the passing of the old values. The death of Scouting as measured by declining membership will not be seen for several months. The Pack that I am leaving as Den Leader and Treasurer does not renew its membership until January of next year.

With so many other youth options where homosexual lifestyles are not forced on me or my son, I think we will do fine without BSA. I think I will be doing daddy activities with my son to fill the vacuum. I’m calling what I plan to do “daddy scouts”. We will join other youth activities and do some family camping.

The really sad part of all this is that the people that killed Scouting have no interest in making Scouting a better organization. They really hate any organization that holds to the belief that homosexuality is wrong and that children should have an environment where they are safe from being exposed to it. 

The corpse of Boy Scouts may be around for several more years but the goodness and life that once animated it are gone. Maybe a representative of BSA can do a walk-on during the next season of “The Walking Dead”. A bullet in the writhing corpse would be a quicker end than the one we will see as this plays out.

Posted by william on 05/24 at 06:59 PM
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scouts Vote Tomorrow

Today might be the last day that the Boy Scouts of America can claim to be morally straight. Tomorrow, the institution that once exemplified the America of Norman Rockwell is expected to commit suicide in the name of political correctness. Like many, I think only divine intervention can stop this madness; however, God may not withhold His judgment from yet another fallen institution in a nation that has turned its back on Him.

Posted by william on 05/22 at 07:51 PM
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Monday, May 13, 2013

2006 Jeep Liberty Ignition Switch

Over all, I like my Jeep Liberty but I have had a few vehicle problems during my 106,000 miles. Some were manufacturer defects and a few were just wear and tear.

The first problem that I encountered was the tail lights. I used to go thru light bulbs as often as every three days. What I finally figured out is that the plastic inside the tail lights was touching the bulbs. The heat from the bulbs touching the plastic inside the light fixture caused the plastic to melt to the bulbs and they would break the bulbs—probably due to vibration—and the bulb would need replacing. Over a series of months, I used needle-nosed pliers to break out all the loose plastic inside the light fixtures. Once all plastic was removed, the bulbs worked properly.

The braking system was made using cheap parts. I had to replace rotors and pads after a few off-road trips. They go too hot and warped like crazy.

Also, the rear window motor on the driver’s side went out. The dealer charged $400 to replace it.

I have experienced the infamous key getting jammed in the ignition and not being able to remove it. This appears to be a frequent complaint of Jeep owners. I found many complaints on the Internet.

My latest adventure began with turning the ignition key and not being able to start the vehicle. Then the next time I would try, it would start right up. The last time this happened, my Jeep ran fine for two weeks before giving me trouble again. The only thing I noticed was that I had to turn the key as far as it would go and it would then start. The key movement was not right.

Well finally this week-end, it just died on me. I went to the local auto parts store and they advised me that intermittent problems—especially electrical ones—were the worst. The advice I was given was to bear with it until something failed completely and check the Internet for others experiencing similar problems.

Well, yesterday evening, the key mechanism failed completely. There was absolutely no resistance when I turned the key. Whatever happened, the break in the ignition system was no longer intermittent. When this happened, two lights on my dash board and the radio came on. I knew from reading the Internet that I needed to disconnect the battery until the issue was repaired.

I went only the Internet and found this entry. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ignition-switch-pin-actuator-repair-1378503/  The problem that I experienced was the actuator pin assembly was broken. The URL above described my problem and it includes a link to a video on how to remove and replace the broken part. The vehicle in the video, however is a PT Cruiser and not a Jeep. I would like to explain the differences between the video and the Jeep Liberty.

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Broke Actuator Assembly—Metal Shard at Top—and Key Cylinder


First, the housing around the steering column is attached with two T-20 screws. They are recessed in two square holes on the bottom side of the cover, closest to the steering wheel. The top cover has some wires attached so it must be pushed out of your way.

Next difference from the video, the assembly for turn signals, wipers, etc. that is shown with T-20 screws in the video, just sits on top of two pegs on the steering column.

You need to remove three T-10 security screws to complete the disassembly. One screw is in the starter switch. This is the square box on the left side of the steering wheel with lots of wires running to it. The actuator assembly has two screws holding it in place. I found a small mirror came in handy when looking for the screws. I could remove them without crawling under the steering wheel.

Once I removed the assembly and inspected things, I noticed that the metal portion of the actuator was broken-off where it goes into the ignition switch. I required some needle-nosed pliers to remove a broken piece of metal from the switch. For some reason, I was unable to locate a second piece that was broken off of the actuator.

In total, it took ten minutes to locate the tools and remove the actuator assembly. I am writing this blog while waiting for the part to be delivered from the warehouse to my local auto parts store.

The part arrived from AutoZone an hour earlier than promised. Aligning the key cylinder with the actuator was a pain. It took several attempt to get it aligned. Once both pieces are inserted into the steering column, you do not get all key movements. You get both Off and a large, slushy On zone. After the ignition switch has been installed the movement gets better, but not until the actuator cover is screwed in place will you get all the proper key positions. Please note that the spring that must be installed with the cover must be correctly aligned or the cover will not fit over the actuator properly. Also, the tiny pin in the cover kept falling out and I had to hunt it down at least twice on the carpeting of the vehicle.

I hooked up the battery and the Jeep started just as it should. Then I had to program the radio and clock and now I’m back on the road. Cost of my part was higher than the Internet prices. Including tax, I paid $44.27. Elapse time was less than an hour.

Posted by william on 05/13 at 06:45 PM
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Review: Ice Age Village

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Ice Age Village, based on the popular movie franchise, is a fun way to waste hours on your phone or tablet device. It is a game that is fun for the whole family. Best of all, it’s free.

I’m running the game on both my Windows Phone and Kindle tablet. The Android version is a bit slow on my first generation Kindle Fire. The game has a slight lag and catching Scrat is difficult. The experience on the Windows Phone is smooth and the display allows you to see more of the village on your screen at one time.

You purchase or earn various little animated animal families or entertainment venues for the animals in your village to enjoy. Based on your village configuration, you earn revenue from each thing in your village except items that give you bonuses. A family is complete when you have two adults and two children. It is somewhat disconcerting that all animals reproduce from eggs in this game but it does allow for conversations with children when you explain that Pandas and Llamas don’t really lay eggs.

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Windows Phone 8 Screen Capture

The Social Network portion of the game is buggy and does not work as it should. Also, if you get your village up to a Five Star rating in all areas, it will reportedly crash the game. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Getting acorns in the game is difficult and clicking on items that you can’t afford will take you to a screen offering to sell you acorns for cash. Password the ability to purchase via credit card before turning the gaming device over to your children.

Below are two links with further information and cheat codes to get some quick cash early on in the game.

http://www.wpcentral.com/ice-age-village-guide
http://www.wpcentral.com/ice-age-village-review-windows-phone

Posted by william on 05/10 at 01:14 PM
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