Brian Yee

Neither Here Nor There

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Replacing a 2008 Town and Country Rear Wiper Arm

I’m posting this to save someone else some trouble since I had trouble figuring out what exactly needed to be done.   I had a 2008 Town and Country (and I assume these instructions are the same for the 2008 Caravan and Grand Caravan) that had the rear wiper arm begin to turn freely.  I also found through researching that the OEM plastic arm had been replaced by Mopar to be a metal arm (which isn’t surprising since the failure was the plastic housing cracking releasing tension on the motor arm).

I ordered the replacement parts on (and Amazon says they do not fit, but in fact they do):

Wiper Arm Cover Cap: 99-04 Jeep Grand Cherokee & 08-09 Caravan T&C Rear Wiper Arm Cover Cap MOPAR OEM

Wiper Arm: Mopar 6807 8306AA, Windshield Wiper Arm

New Wiper Blade: Mopar 6807 8307AA, Windshield Wiper Blade

The most difficult part was removing the metal ring from the old arm still attached to the motor shaft.  I had a hard time figuring out that this was a separate piece and not just part of the motor shaft (anyone in the comments that says this part does not fit did not remove this part).  For an explanation of what this is and how to remove it (I also used a hacksaw), watch this video — which is for a Passat, but the process is the same.  VW and Chrysler must share parts.

That was it, put the new arm on after making sure it has been reset to its “Off” position.  Tighten the nut, put the cap on, and test it.  Not so bad.

Please leave a comment if this has been helpful.

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Tracing Jersey’s Matchers

Finally found the answer to what I looking for: How to figure out what the heck Jersey was doing when matching resources.  This answers it nicely:


Jersey now supports the same feature implemented in 1.1.5-ea-SNAPSHOT. Adding the following servlet/filter initialization parameter enables tracing:



Easy Peasy:


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Building a fire truck.


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Juno Photographs Earth-Moon System

I’ve posted about this in the past, but this type of photograph is my favorite.  Juno, the recently launched probe to Jupiter, recently captured a single frame in which the Earth and the Moon were both visible.

I love this because it gives you a radically different perpective on the moon when you look up at in the sky.  It seems so close, but in this photo you can see how far away it really is.

I love this because it clearly demonstrates the vastness of emptyness that surrounds us.

I love this because it describes vividly how far humans themselves have been able to explore, from the dot on the left to the dot on the right at its full extreme.

Take a minute to look and ponder.




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Just Your Average Swedish Supermarket


Loved this slideshow from Serious Eats depicting a swedish supermarket.  Featured: lots of things in tubes.



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The Perils of Allowing Your Kids to Grow Up

As parents, we often look to certain growth milestones with longing.  Asking ourselves “When will my son start walking?” or thinking out load “Boy, it would be nice if my daughter could talk” — unknowing to the fact that once a child starts talking they never, ever, ever stop.

It’s this latest milestone that my daughter has reached that has begun this whole cycle anew: reading.

When your child can’t read yet, it’s easy to control the information they receive.  If you don’t want them to know about some of the options on the menu, you don’t it read them.  You get used to have this superpower…and then everything changes.

Today I was walking through Target with my daughter when a non-descript package caught her eye. “Cotton candy?!  Dad, that says cotton candy.  Can we get some?”.  Great.

Oh, I remember the good ol’ days when my daughter was illiterate.


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Big Plane, Little Plane


A DC-8 at KYIP, and my little C-152.

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First Solo Cross-Country Flight, Complete.

(First a note: for anyone not familiar a cross-country flight is anything where the straight line distance between the landing point and the point of departure is 50 nautical miles or more)

I had been trying to find good enough weather to fly to Marshall (KRMY) for some time — it had been a very rainy and windy spring, so this had not been easy.  After almost a month of waiting, I found a day where the weather was supposed to be good, and I could go — a tough combination.

Unfortunately, that morning the winds at original destination were no good (stead at 16 knots, gusting to 24 knots — ugh), so my CFI and I decided on a quick replan.  I had come up with an alternate plan to an airport in northern Ohio, but CFI didn’t recommend that unless “I wanted a challenge”, since it would be more difficult to find in the middle of farmland. Hrm, I don’t need a challenge on this flight — so I quickly planned a flight to KPHN while the CFI preflighted and filed my flight plan (wow, what a great guy).  Checkpoints, enroute times, fuel burns, and I’m all set.  I get endorsed to go with a signature in my logbook and after a few last questions, I’m off…

Once on course and level I set up to call up Lansing radio.  “Lansing Radio, Cessna, XXXX. Listening on the Salem VOR 114.3”.  And I open my flight plan at :55 past the hour.  Easy.  Talking on the radio isn’t really that bad.

The rest of the flight is flying via pilotage: verifying my position on the map with what I see out the window. It’s easy through the first leg as I’m more familiar with the area. I skirt around some tall towers in Southfield and Oak Park and soon I’m clear of the class B shelf and ready to climb to my real cruising altitude.

I start making CTAF calls at my destination about 14 miles out. There seems to be a few planes in the area, so I figure earlier the better. There’s one plan doing a practice IFR approach to runway 4 and as I get closer he asks for my position as he goes missed.  There’s also a King Air transitioning along the river just east of the airport. I can’t spot either from my distance, but I can picture where they are.  

I overfly the airport to from south to north, directly over 10/28 and then make a descending right turn to enter the pattern on the 45 for runway 10.  There is 1 plane just landing as I’m doing this and I can see him turn off and taxi back.  I make the radio calls all the way in and as I turn off, he begins to take off again.  The landing at St. Clair is not too bad, actually pretty good given that I’m not familiar with landmarks in the pattern (and what’s to come when I arrive back at Mettetal).

After the take off at KPHN, turn to downwind and exit at cross wind on course and work my way back.  Having just seen these checkpoints, things are easy and uneventful on the way back. I descend under the class B shelf and get ready to arrive at my destination.

At this point, I can see the home field far off and start to position myself to enter the pattern and I try to call up Lansing radio again to close my flight plan.  No response…  Hrm. One other guy is trying to get a response as well and after a few attempts I call it off and switch back to CTAF. I’ll call on the ground.

So I set up for a midfield crosswind to 18 and everything looks good on final — didn’t turn too late or early.  I set up the crab angle (winds are quartering at 12, but the crosswind component isn’t too high), on short final kick the rudder to line up with the centerline but float in the flare.  At this point I start drifting to the right — as I dial in more aileron to counteract, I don’t put in enough rudder to keep aligned and touch down with sideload. Yikes. Not good. The plane kicks over and finally settles down.

Man, that sucked.  I definitely need more practice.

I want to try again and do it right, but decide another trip around the pattern isn’t what I need right now.  Let’s get the plane 
parked and try another day.  Taxi in, park, shut it off.  I’m done.


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Your Taste Disappoints You

Great interview with Ira Glass (from This American Life) regarding storytelling, but more generally…creating.

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.

Don’t give up.

He goes on to say that the most important thing you can do to get over this is: do a huge volume of work.  Basically, practice.

So, I’ll try not to judge myself too harshly and keep working at the things I love…

(from Kottke)



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