Saturn went belly-up a few months ago, but it looks like GM is at least trying to make an attempt to hold on to its customers. Jen got a very well-designed envelope in the mail the other day on Saturn stationery which apologized for, um, going out of business, and contained vouchers for a year’s worth of standard maintenance (or four visits, whichever comes first). Even though I was impressed by the rental Malibu I drove in San Francisco a few years ago, I doubt I will ever buy a GM-produced car in my life, new or used—unless it’s something that’s older than I am. As much as the Jeep has been a solid performer, Chrysler can go suck it, and Ford… well, Ford has some sweet-talking to do before I’d ever consider anything beyond a full-size truck with the blue oval attached.

This, however, is a pretty stand-up thing to do from a company with a history of sitting down. We will definitely take advantage of the offer (the Slattern is just about due for its 3K oil change), and the ice around my heart for GM has been melted just a wee bit.

Date posted: April 30, 2010 | Filed under cars, money | Leave a Comment »

Steve Jobs wrote a love letter to Adobe today, and predictably, the internet is losing its mind. It seems like people land on one side of this argument or the other: Flash is a security hazard/resource pig/aging dinosaur, and Apple is closed/proprietary so this is the pot calling the kettle black. Personally, I’m agnostic about Flash either way, but I do know that it slows my Mac to a crawl (when it doesn’t crash my browser) and chews up battery power like a pothead in a convenience store. Adobe’s claims to the contrary are pitiful.

Date posted: April 29, 2010 | Filed under apple, geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’d really, really be happy if I could find a reason for why my MacBook Pro decides to wake itself from sleep at some point on my way into work every morning. I’m annoyed because sometimes I won’t know about it for a half an hour, after which I pull it from my bag and find that it’s been cooking itself to dangerous temperatures without going back to sleep—something which exacerbates the issues I’ve been having with the display. I’ve found some mentions of the problem here and there, but a year’s worth of sleuthing has turned up nothing conclusive.

At this point, I’d really just like to have a new laptop.

Date posted: April 29, 2010 | Filed under apple, geek | Leave a Comment »

While Mama was out this evening, Finn and I enjoyed our weekly wednesday bath night together. She’s getting better about having water poured over her head, and we’ve worked out a new system for washing that doesn’t involve a meltdown (she doesn’t like being laid on her back in the bathtub anymore). Once she was dried and bundled in some warm PJ’s, her eyes got heavy so I put her right to bed. I cleaned up around the house a bit and then went out to the garage (stopping only to haul 15 bags of yard waste to the curb) to finish installing the Tuffy console in the Scout. Now that that’s securely in place with stainless hardware, I can carry some basic tools and other gear without fear of it walking away when I’m parked. I also went through my bin of bolts and found two sheetmetal screws to fit the inner door latches, so that one doesn’t have to roll the windows down and use the exterior handles in order to get out of the truck. I also remounted the passenger side inner door skin, figuring I probably won’t get to replacing the window mechanism anytime soon. It think, given the forecast, that Friday will be a Scout day.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: April 28, 2010 | Filed under finn, Scout | Leave a Comment »

I’m noticing a trend on The Facebook these days: the people who used to be the biggest trustafarian hippy wanna-be hardcore druggies at my college are now the ones spamming my news feed with right-wing links from FOX news, Glen Beck, and every Tea Party nutbag out there. Seriously, guys?

I’m slowly continuing to add content from the static archives into WordPress. I’m noticing that I used to write more back in the day.

I picked up a set of TORX bits in preparation to remove the sunroof from the Slattern sometime this week(end). Hopefully I can get it back down and into place without having to dismantle half the interior of the car. Hopefully. I also picked up a bag of locknuts for the Tuffy console in the Scout; it’ll take 5 minutes to get that bolted in permanently.

I stumbled upon this last week and found it too good not to share:

This is part one of six. Shane McGowan looks like an absolute mess (and this was filmed five years ago).

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: April 27, 2010 | Filed under cars, humor, music, Scout | 2 Comments »

For some reason, my hosting provider’s pipes have been incredibly slow lately, which means this site is slow as dirt. That makes adding old content that much more time-consuming. It took me an hour to add the second half of September 2004 this evening, while jumping around doing other things.

I’ve been working on a WordPress-based portfolio site for a friend of ours, and over the course of the last couple of weeks I’ve dipped a toe back into working with PHP, which has been fun and challenging. This evening I was able to pull some snippets of code from here and there, make some educated guesses, and get a spiffy category display page working in the way that I’d originally imagined—something that I wasn’t entirely sure I would be able to do. The site is coming together really well, and our friend sounded excited about it when we talked to her on the weekend.

Meanwhile, the simple fix I thought I had planned for the Slattern is not so easy after all. I read that simply manually cranking the sunroof motor would seal the window, but I couldn’t get it to budge on Sunday. So I have to pick up some Torx screwdriver bits and tear down part of the sunroof in order to slide the tracks back into place whenever the sun decides to come back out this week; in the meantime, I’m back in the Jeep. I guess it’s a good thing we haven’t sold that yet, huh?

Date posted: April 26, 2010 | Filed under art/design, cars, CMS, geek | Leave a Comment »

This is getting funny. Police Seize Jason Chen’s Computers. To recap: this guy is an editor at Gizmodo, which bought a prototype iPhone that someone mistakenly left at a bar, from the original finder, who never really meant to did a piss-poor job of attempting to locate the original owner. These guys (Gizmodo) bitching about “invalid police procedure” is just humorous.

Date posted: April 26, 2010 | Filed under apple, humor, shortlinks | Comments Off on Police Seize Jason Chen’s Computers

Date posted: April 24, 2010 | Filed under finn, humor | Leave a Comment »


Date posted: April 24, 2010 | Filed under finn, photo | Leave a Comment »

This morning I found myself at the entrance to Crazy Ray’s just after opening, tools in hand, looking for a Saturn of comparable vintage in order to pull the moonroof switch and motor. I had almost given up finding one in the GM section when I stumbled upon a dark green SC-2 tucked away next to the motorcycle heap, and as luck would have it, it had a moonroof.

Pulling the switch was a 5-minute project, but getting the motor out was another thing entirely. I wasn’t worried about saving the headliner, so that came out easily with a boxcutter, but the mounting nuts were small and hard to access, and I didn’t have a socket set. some elbow grease and the pliers on my Leatherman started the nuts, and within ten minutes I had it in my hands.

I had a little time to kill, so I browsed the SUV and import section for anything that might be useful for our existing fleet, and to see if there was anything new and interesting, but pretty much struck out.

After paying $21 for the switch and motor, I returned to the parking lot and plugged the new switch in to see if it worked; unfortunately, there was no response. The winding screw does work, so I’ll have to have Jen help me push the glass up the track while I wind the motor in order to close and seal the top completely.

Date posted: April 23, 2010 | Filed under cars, projects, tools | Leave a Comment »