Archive for the ‘personal’ Category


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So yeah, I’m still not so good about posting regularly. But I set up the WordPress app on my fancy new smartphone. Maybe that will encourage me to post more. Our maybe not. We’ll see.

Helping those stranded on the roadside (err, “parking lot”)

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Outside the Sprint store tonight, I saw a minivan blocking traffic.  So I walked over, and the kid asked if I owned the parked car he was also blocking (why he didn’t roll into a spot instead of just rolling into everyone’s way, I’ll never know).  I said “no, I’m just here to see if you need any help.”  His van had died, so I started pushing uphill.  He got out to help, because I guess he didn’t think that steering and brakes were important to the rolling vehicle.  I had it pushed back up the hill by the time he got to the back of the van – which, again, I’m not quite following.  I needed to push it backwards first, so it’s unclear what he was going to do out back.  Maybe he thought that I was making it look too easy, and wanted to make it more of a workout for me.  Anyway, I was holding the van from rolling back down the hill, and asked him to get back in, push down the brake, and turn the wheel so he could steer it into the parking spot while I used a little momentum to push it uphill again (he had come to a stop in sort of a valley).  For some reason, his reaction to my telling him three times to “push on the brake and then turn the wheel” was to turn the key to start it.  This was yet another entry in the list of incomprehensible things he did – but strangely, the van started right up.  So, he’d been sitting there confusedly blocking traffic (well, not quick blocking – people could drive around, albeit inconveniently) for at least 10 minutes.  He was occasionally turning his reverse lights on and randomly mashing the brake, but it seemingly hadn’t occurred to him to attempt to turn the key.

Oh well.  He got the car running, I did my good deed, and the people who were annoyed at him would have probably been annoyed at something else later anyway.  So I left and went home.  I don’t know if he got his coffee or if the van started afterwards.  I do know that the Mexican cleaning lady I helped (her brakes went out on her way to work and she stopped the van by ramming into a pile of snow right in front of me) last winter – the one who spoke about four words of English – was better at following directions and explaining her problem…

Time to clean the cars

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It’s Springtime again, and time to fix up the finishes on my badly neglected cars.  There are currently 5 cars and a bike outside my house, which means I’ll be polishing for a while.  Because I had to buy some more materials, I thought I’d put together a list of the stuff I use in the Wagonlicious store (it’s through Amazon, so you can trust in getting good service).  Yes, this is a shameless plug, as I get some small percentage of purchases.  But I also wanted to put together a list of products to answer people who ask me what I use; print it out and take it to your local auto parts store to buy there if you don’t like buying things on-line.  They’re good products whether or not you get them from my store. :)

Basically, I really like Meguiar’s products.  With any polishing compounds, you really need to use a system – Mother’s and 3M also make really good stuff, but they’re not as easy to find (though I do use 3M stuff on fresh paint, because it’s easier to find at paint suppliers that in larger quantities, and I tend to use more when wet sanding a full car).  I also added links to the DA tool and polishing pads I use.  You’ll have $150 in the buffer and pads, but you just can’t get as good of results by hand – and you’ll probably kill your arms if you try. :)  The Porter Cable DA polisher rocks; I can’t say enough good things about it.  The Meguiar’s pads are well-built and readily available, which is the main reason I use them.

I also put the Turtle Wax wheel and interior cleaners I use up there, because IMHO, they’re the best products for those two tasks out there.  I’ve not used everything available, of course, but I’ve used several, and the stuff I have in my store is the best I’ve used – and is mostly the best price.  Also note that just about everything is eligible for Super Saver shipping – so if you spend over $25, shipping is free. I think it also respects Prime shipping, if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

finally figured out hard drive issue

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So, I recently put a separate drive controller in my primary workstation. This seems to have resolved the issue where too much drive activity would make the machine crash. So, I guess I don’t need to buy a new machine after all. I still may, but it’s nice that I don’t have to…

Perhaps it’s time to move the 3Ware RAID controller into this machine, then, since this machine actually has 64-bit PCI slots and I feel bad having the back end of the controller hanging out of a 32-bit slot in the other machine…

Joined Amazon Affiliate program

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So, I joined the Amazon affiliate program.  I occasionally talk about products I use here, and I usually lik to them on Amazon, so I figured it’d be worthwhile to provide links that might actually make me some money.  I get a few percent of the purchase price, so if you’re gonna buy the things anyway, why not help me out at the same time? :)

Beyond the inline links within posts, I’ll try to remember to aggregate them in my Amazon store.  Go to the store at and buy stuff.  It’s run through Amazon, and they’ve got a pretty good track record.  I’ve always been happy with them, anyway.  The link will also be over there in my sidebar, when this post eventually gets rotated out of the front page. :)  


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So, I’ve been meaning to do a blog for a while now.  Partially becase I need a place to easily put up notes on how I made something work, and partially because friends regularly want to hear about what’s broken on my cars this week.  This site should be good for both of those things.  Maybe.