Showing posts from April, 2007

Idylls of the Combs

I sequestered myself all weekend. It was wonderful! I'm lightly sunburned, but my grass is mowed and I rotated the tires and flushed the brakes on my car, as well as washing both of 'em.

I organized the garage a bit, so I can (once again!) get both cars inside.

Review: Pearl Harbor

(In other news, my life now revolves around Kate Beckinsdale movies)

I loved this movie the first time I watched it. It was called Tora, Tora, Tora and Thirty Seconds over Tokyo.

Many of the supporting cast are an unexpected delight, particularly Cuba Gooding, Jr as Petty Officer Miller, and Jon Voight as President Roosevelt. The main love triangle...meh. Not plausible in the least.

Additionally, yeah, a P-40 outmaneuvering six Zeros? Sure. :-)

Power bleeding the brakes.

Image, when using your snazzy power bleeder from bavarian automotive, you note the following:

1) You're unable to get the pressure in the bleeder past 10 psi, no matter how hard you pump the cylinder.

2) You're hearing a strange hissing, dripping sound

3) You peer past the master cylinder and reservoir to note the large puddle of brake fluid pooling beneath your car.

Sir, you have two alternatives:

(A) You just asploded your 17-year-old master cylinder by pressurizing the system past the seal tolerance

(B) You didn't tighten the pressure cap on the reservoir, and it's been spewing out the top the whole time like an over boiled lobster thermadore.

I'm the bonehead who didn't tighten the pressure cap. The rest of the bleeding procedure went like a charm.

"Code Monkey"

Vague ramblings and hope

Sometimes, you just take a don't know if it's the right one, and there's really no way TO know.

Next week should be interesting, to say the least.

We goin' Beamer...we goin' beamer


Dear __________,

We’re thrilled you'll be taking part in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure drive.

Your reservation for this worthwhile cause has been confirmed for the following date:

May 8, 2007

Don Jacobs BMW


Review: Daddy Day Care

How is it possible that I adored School Of Rock and liked Cheaper By the Dozen and yet, I hated Daddy Day Care? Some movies even alcohol can't save.

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for formulaic "family" comedy...I don't know. There were many funny moments, but they lay at the periphery--Steve Zahn's Marvin was a real treat as the Star Trek geek that "gets" kids and their thought patterns, and the scene where Phil's traumatized by changing diapers was awesome. Also the central theme of the movie is awesome--do work that's fulfilling, not what's lucrative.

Meditation: Coffee

Black like my mood.
Black, the absence of color, yet hot, alive.
Liquid black.
It gives awareness, replacing stupor with its flowing life.
It owns my thoughts.

Any day involving jackstands, rust, and a ball peen hammer...

Image a good one :-)

There's a very vocal minority who read my blog just for the "What's broken on his car today?" aspect. Not to disappoint: I came out of the office last Friday to see not only the usual weird-piece-hanging-down, but a whole buncha things hanging down. Looked under the car and it looked like the whole heat shield was loose.

"Not a problem", I thought. Bolt probably fell out or rusted through. Should be simple enough to fix.

Well, simple to fix. Wrong diagnosis, though. I got under there to see:

That, friends is a catalytic converter heat shield, RUSTED IN HALF, from stem to stern. Oddly, I took great joy in this. I had gloves. I had many different hammers and pliers, plus a creeper and eye protection. Nothing quite so visceral as clanging in your garage :-)

Here's the after pic:

And here's the rusty bits:

Review: Thank You for Smoking

Thank you for smoking is (nearly) pure satire, similar to the Tim Robbins pic Bob Roberts. It pokes fun at Big Tobacco (natch), but mainly, it skewers our victimization culture of poor education and worse parenting.

It's oddly flat, in the same way I found Bob Roberts flat--the central character is an anti-hero, so as the action 'rises', I found myself more depressed--we are that dumb as a nation. Yes, we do fall for straight lines like that. Yes, we're eager to believe anyone who'll tell us that the road to Nirvana is smoking a pack of cigarettes per day, chugging Coca-Cola, downing three meals of McDonalds, watching 10 hours of TV, and playing PS3 the remaining 12 hours of our impotent (in both senses) existence.

The message here, to me, is be wary of those selling something too good to be true.

Mini review: Underworld



Take Blade, remove the throbbing soundtrack, satisfying action sequences, suspension of disbelief, and credible (!) backstory, add Kate Beckinsdale in a catsuit.

You have KATE BECKINSDALE in a CATSUIT for TWO HOURS! How the freak do you make a movie this bad?

On Imus

(That title sounds vaguely Latin...)

Let me be as clear as possible: Imus a curmudgeon, a former coke-fiend who disdains ALL humanity. He's mean. He's ugly.

He's also intelligent, incisive, and provocative, in a way that brain-dead Howard Stern CAN NEVER BE. Not that I've not laughed at some random Howard Stern bits that I'm too ashamed of to post on a blog my mother reads. (Google 'Sybian' and 'Howard Stern' if you're feeling particularly raunchy)

...Back to Imus. I hate what happened. I hate that Al Charlatan won and that Jessie Jackson achieved relevance. I hate that I can't rant about how much I HATE DON IMUS'S CURMUDGEONY WAYS.

I particularly like the fact that the governor who was trying to glom-on to the publicity of this nation-gone-mad, Political Correctness charade was karmically smacked-down while not wearing his seat belt on the way to the coup de grace of this sad affair.

I think Mr. Dilbert said it best:

I removed today&…

Why I'd be a bad housewife

(I'm too tired to sleep, so here goes)

At 2am today, my wife decided to void the contents of her stomach all over the sheet, thanks to some stomach bug. As said contents were large, recognizable quantities of spaghetti, the resulting smell and stain is left to the reader to imagine.

So, from 2 to 5 am, I cleaned that up, did laundry, and supported my wife as she retched uncontrollably, unable to keep even Gatorade down. Then I slept until 7ish, when I had to feed my daughter, who I'd just fed at 2 and 5 am.

Called in to work and laughed about how I should go in, just to write some REALLY bad code given my mental status.

At that point, I hadn't had coffee. I wouldn't get any coffee until after 2pm.

The rest of the day was a blur, swaying between a very grumpy maria and a very sick Whitney, while trying to pay at least some attention to Joey.

In other words, I had a typical day for a housewife.

Sign-me-up for the foreign legion. At this point, I can't remember how …


MINIs set record

'Cause we got a mighty convoy
Rockin' through the night
Yeah, we got a mighty convoy
Ain't she a beautiful sight
C'mon and join our Convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this MINI convoy
'Cross the USA

02 Apr 2007 --> The day the auto died


The Supreme Court has charged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with protecting us from ourselves, limiting the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions from sources like power plants, cars and trucks, and those methane factories known as cattle.

What does this mean in real terms? More expensive everything. Most of the power produced in this country is from fossil fuels, and cleaning these plants and/or implementing 'cleaner' solutions. Energy costs like that will ripple through our economy from top to bottom. Costs of production and OpEx for every company will rise.

What will this do to the auto industry? "So long, and thanks for all the fish..." If Detroit was on the best footing possible (as it was during the EPA reforms in the late 60's and 70's), it could weather it okay. As it is, it's the death knell, IMHO. They don't have the capital to absorb those sorts of changes on any sort of timescale. Even "clean" automakers like Hond…

The worst meeting ever...

I've been through many bad meetings at LXK, but my 3 o'clock yesterday ranks right up there as one of the worst. Ingredients

* Meeting shouldn't have happened. It's a meeting that should've been a whiteboarding session between me and one other guy.
* Six people, each with a slightly different agenda.
* No common manager, hence no one to make a decision if there's a conflict.

Anyway, so it's a meeting past my threshold of exhaustion (I suck at meetings after's too late in the day and my brain is tapioca.).

So, it was a total trainwreck. I did get a nice quote of the day candidate:

"If [the widget] isn't easy to configure after it's built, then it's a boat anchor"

Easily offended programmer: "DID YOU JUST CALL ME A BOAT ANCHOR?!!!"