Chevelle wheels

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So, I’ve been considering getting some original-style Chevelle SS wheels for a ’70 Chevelle. Well, technically it’s a ’71, but I like the’70 wheels.  A few companies make 157, 158 and 1510 wheels that look like the original 14s, so I can get actual modern tires.  This post on suggests that a 1510 with 5.5 inch backspacing can fit a 295/50R15 under the stock rear wheelwell.  That’s an 11.2″ wide tire, which should be adequate. :)  I’d like to find a Firestone Wide Oval or Goodyear Polyglass or similar reproduction tire, but it looks like just running a BFG Radial T/A will be the most likely way to get that size.

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…


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“Pulling through the space” fail.



Pizza delivery

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Just out of curiosity, does “no parking: fire zone” have an implicit “unless you’re a pizza guy” in MO? Or maybe he just didn’t like the way the parking spot *6 paces away* looked…


This has bugged me for a while now. Several eateries have credit card equipment which is smart enough to print “merchant copy” and “guest copy”. But almost none of them can seem to omit the signature line, which is really the only difference; the only reason to differentiate between the two. Why in the world would a programmer do extra work to actually make the receipts *less* user-freindly?

Fixing Frontier’s busted DNS

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So, I have Frontier DSL service. Which means I have their ADSL service; they don’t offer a useful thing like SDSL (much like most providers). But what the do offer is DNS servers which respond to any invalid query with the IP address of one of their stupid search servers. I can’t believe that there are still ISPs out there who think it’s cool to return a result for an invalid DNS query, but I guess that’s the kind of logic that leads someone to buy Verizon’s former land line services. :/

Anyway, I run DD-WRT on my router behind the Frontier DSL router, mostly because I don’t trust any of their crap to protect my network. And I like using the embedded device as my DNS server.  Out of the box, the DD-WRT device uses DNSMasq as the DNS server (and DHCP server).  Reading the DNSMasq man page, I found that there’s an option to make it return “failed” when the upstream DNS returns a stupid search page like that.  In my case, the upstream server returns both and for those bad queries.

So, to fix that, you just go into your “services” main tab on the DD-WRT admin page, click on the services sub tab, and scroll down to the text box which says “Additional DNSMasq options”.  In there, paste this (substituting whatever IP you want to have trigger the “not found” response):


on a line by itself (you can put several lines in there, if needed, though for this you just need to pick one of the IPs returned).  Click on apply, and then test a known bad domain to see if it works.  Assuming you get “not found” now, you’ve resolved the problem; lookups which should fail, do fail.  Hooray.

While you’re in there, add a line for your local domain so it will stop asking the public DNS to resolve stuff.  Assuming you use “” in your internal network (which, BTW,  means you do terrible things you should not be doing), add a line (in the same box as before) that says:

The wagon lives! Sortof.

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Well, I finally tracked down the reason the ABS light was activated in the wagon.  Apparently, battery voltage is one of the tests performed by the Bosch system used in the ’95 Caprice and friends.  Thanks, awesome website!  Anyway, my leaky air shocks were running the battery down and causing the low condition, even though the cool gear-reduction starter GM used on the LT1 (which, as long as you have the bigger flexplate/flywheel, you can also use on a Gen 1 smallblock or any of the big blocks, BTW) was cranking it over just fine.  So, the Battery Tender took care of that.

But I still have a problem with the transmission, and a power steering leak.  The steering leak is easy enough; I just have to replace the lines.  I’m gonna go ahead and put in the cooler return line used in the cop cars, since it has the extra loop of line which works as a steering cooler, and only costs a few bucks more.

The transmission is weird, though.  I blew the pump up a year or so ago, and just fixed it recently.  Now it runs, but what’s happening is that the computer tells the transmission to enter second, the transmission says “hey, I’m in second” – but it stays in first.  And since the shiftpoints are controlled by the road speed (which is annoying when you change tire sizes / gears / etc), you have to continue accelerating to the speed where it would normally do the 2-3 shift – except that you’re actually still in first.  So, the engine’s screaming,but the computer thinks all is fine because you’re supposedly in second.  Once it shift to third, the 3-4 shift happens as normal.

Now, I’m trying to figure out what’s going on.  I’m a tad concerned that I’ll have to pull the transmission back out an rebuild it.  But I don’t want to take it back out.  I’m considering just changing the shiftpoints to just skip second gear.  The thing makes enough torque that, with the better rear gears, I could drive it that way – or probably sell it to someone a little less mechanical.  But that’d be mean, and I’d probably feel bad. :)  So, it’ll get fixed.  Anyone with thoughts on how to do so is welcome to contact me. ;)


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Spelling is an important skill, even if you sell gloves.


As it turns out, it s just as annoying to have your air suspension switch fail in the “too low, need more air” position as it is to end up in the “too high, remove air” position. :/

Bouncy ride home…


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There are a number of things I like about my wife. The way she always arranges my food in some way is one of those (the fact that she makes me food is another). It’s a little thing, but I appreciate it. :)

Testing Windows Live Writer

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I brought my Windows 7 machine (yes, I have a Windows machine – mostly for ripping DVDs) up to date this evening, and thought I’d try out the Windows Live Writer interface to see how well it works for blog editing. I don’t like the way the theme works, but I do generally like the idea of a local editing tool. So, I’ll give it a shot for a while. It’s not like I post on my blog all the time anyway. :)

Anywho, let’s see how it works…


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95 Caprice wagon