Monday, July 31, 2006

Creepy..

Livin' La Vida Loca.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Everyone Needs a Hobby

Armed with my digital camera, I may engage in polluting Wikipedia with bad photography. This is not an original idea, someone is obviously doing this already. Here's a nice engine compartment. (This might be a bad example- I think they came from the factory that way.)

I might submit this nice photo for either Pep Boys, or Ford Focus.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fools!

The Chicago City Council passed a minimum wage law yesterday. $10 an hour, plus $3 in benefits.

But wait, there's more! This law only applies to retailers over 90,000 square feet whose parent companies generate over a billion in yearly.

This might be the stupidest law I've ever seen. Maybe it works- as it is, the average wage in these stores is over $7 now- and the retailers don't leave. In the three years until this law takes effect, perhaps the wage would naturally rise to $10. But in a city that starves for good jobs and good retail, why single out places that provide both? The conventional wisdon is that Wal-Mart and Target pay below the prevailing wage for worse jobs. Maybe that's true in SmallTown Rustbelt, USA, where the Wal Mart replaces the union manufacturing jobs (that took off for the cheap labor of the third world), but not in urban areas. I do a lot of driving around in the city- and I'll bet dollars to donuts that these places up and down Halsted and Western aren't paying $13 an hour. I wonder if all the aldermen pay everyone who works for them $13 an hour?

Fools!

The Chicago City Council passed a minimum wage law yesterday. $10 an hour, plus $3 in benefits.

But wait, there's more! This law only applies to retailers over 90,000 square feet whose parent companies generate over a billion in yearly.

This might be the stupidest law I've ever seen. Maybe it works- as it is, the average wage in these stores is over $7 now- and the retailers don't leave. In the three years until this law takes effect, perhaps the wage would naturally rise to $10. But in a city that starves for good jobs and good retail, why single out places that provide both? The conventional wisdon is that Wal-Mart and Target pay below the prevailing wage for worse jobs. Maybe that's true in SmallTown Rustbelt, USA, where the Wal Mart replaces the union manufacturing jobs (that took off for the cheap labor of the third world), but not in urban areas. I do a lot of driving around in the city- and I'll bet dollars to donuts that these places up and down Halsted and Western aren't paying $13 an hour. I wonder if all the aldermen pay everyone who works for them $13 an hour?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Steely Dan!

http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/07/26/people.steelydan.ap/index.html

Friday, July 21, 2006

The muse!

I've put together an audio response to CO's scooter musings. It's a cautionary tale. I call it "Saturday afternoon cruisin'".

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mopar!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8475585866504113472&q=aries

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cell Phone Update



I'm enjoying the new phone. Not sure if I'm enjoying it to the extent that it's worth what I paid for it- but to a large degree, I haven't paid for the new phone as much as I paid for my washing machine mistake.

Neat features: With a small piece of software, it hooks up to the computer via a USB cable, whereby I can enter in my contacts via the computer, upload pictures taken by the camera and download my own ringtones right to the phone. Ringtones of my own creation! Right now, the ring is Michigan J Frog singing "Hello Ma Baby".
Hello! ma baby, Hello! Ma honey, Hello! ma ragtime gal.
Send me a kiss by wire, baby my heart's on fire!
If you refuse me, Honey, you'll lose me, then you'll be left alone;
Oh baby, telephone and tell me I'm your own.
Get it? It's the Telephone Rag! On Tuesdays, it's of course the Monkey Tuesday song.

And my text message indicator is Uncle Teddy saying "Bully, bully!"

The camera is 640x480, nothing great, but has decent quality nonetheless. You can take pictures and have them appear when someone in your addressbook appears.

The voice quality appears to be fantastic. My mother has had one for a while, and it sounds great on the receiving end. Except when it doesn't. But better than most cellphones.

The bluetooth headset works wonderfully with no appreciable addition to the lag time.

Cons: it's overly complicated. Rather than having one main menu where all options are changed, there are some places where the option is changed only from a context menu within the "application". Perhaps that's more intuitive, I'm just not used to it.

Also, it's a touch slow. Nothing to really complain about, but it does take a second to respond if it's not expecting you. I'm sure it's like anything else, processing power doesn't quite keep up with software features.

Hot Dog Technology!

Craving a quick hotdog that also has that "just off the grill" flavor, I commenced to spitballing. Obviously, the main cooking would be done in the microwave. I have an 1100 watter, so it was plumping in 30 seconds. But, it still had that bland, unevenly cooked microwave malaise. That's not fun to eat. I tried charing the skin on an open stove burner, but it was taking too long. No longer! Obtain your handy blowtorch, and in 10 seconds you'll have a beautifully charred tube steak.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

But first, a number!

No music!



Some of the comments are offensive.

Another one. Chopin.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hello Moto! -or- Rage!

So, I ran my cell phone through the wash. Halfway through the dry cycle I realized this, and retrieved it. It was very hot. But it did, in fact, power up. It did not, sadly, connect up to the network. I, hopefully, won't keep writing like this. But, I fear, I think I might. Anyway, it was toasted.



So, off to the Cingular store to buy a new one. I think it's a conspiracy- all of the phones were stupid looking or had some tragic flaw that made it unacceptable. The slide chassis, for example. Except the most expensive one. Luckily, I was feeling loose with the gelt and bought one. Hello, Moto! I got the silver one. With one of those stupid Uhura-style ear pieces. Actually, it seems to work quite well, and will come in handy while driving. I promise not to be that guy and walk around with it on like I'm cool or something.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How to talk Pittsburgh!

I'd generalize this up to include all of PA, and Baltimore, hun. I can't find a submission box, or I'd submit 'fayn'. As in, "Caw me onna fayn affera Stillers game."

http://www.pittsburghese.com/

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Compute!

The magazine!

Blog!

Did $500 worth of auto maintenance in the last week.

  • New headlights (not the bulbs, the whole assembly) to replace the faded and cracked pair, which would flop around every time I hit a bump. That really classes up the car. Makes it look years younger- not a day over 4. $220 for the pair, complete with bulbs (nice touch, Motorcraft!).

  • New driver side sun visor to replace the one that cracked one cold winter morning. Plastic! Of course, before even getting the thing installed, I managed to tear the fabric. Rage! ($50!)

  • Cleaned a little servo motor that has been the bane of my driving existance since the car was a year old. Smooth!

  • And the big dog: New alternator to replaced the cracked and non-alternating factory one. Slightly disappointed in the performance of the Ford on this one. It's one thing for it to wear out, but the case actally cracked on this one. Anyway, it was a terrifying job. 8 hours. And the thing was only held on by three bolts, one of which was fairly easy. For the other two, I endured knuckle cracking, back contorting and butt scraping from dragging myself under the car. For example: I had to cram my hand in between the oil pan, a motor mount and the exhaust pipe to get the wrench on the bolt, and then to loosen it, jam another wrench onto the existing one and shove. For the other bolt, I had to lay on top of the engine, shove my arms between the motor and the firewall and take aloose the bolt one click of the rachet at a time. Say, 10 degrees of spin per rachet pull? Half an hour of that. I finally get the thing off, and now I have to remove the pulley from the old one and put it on the new one. I actually fell into a pile of tools trying to remove it. That hurt a little. Then I took it to Pep Boys, and they got it off with one 'vritt' of the impact wrench. From there is was downhill sailing. And it appears to be functioning. The car also seems faster, almost as if the broken one was adding significant drag to the engine. Oh well, I saved myself $500 worth of labor charges. And shortened my life by six months!

    Yet to do:

  • Replace the front license plate holder that I tore off while climbing onto the engine. That also hurt.

  • Replace the goddamned burnt out dashboard light. It drives me nuts that it will take an hour of my life to replace a $2 part. I pulled the dash today. Very easy. Sadly, the bulbs that the manual says are correct aren't. But I moved a bulb fom an unused indicator light (no traction control) to the burnt one and successfully brightened the dim area. Buckets of ragingly, now another one is out.

  • Fanbelt tensioner that I found to be loose, in the process.

  • A tie rod that appeared loose. Sloppy steering!

    I'm not complaining- I enjoy doing these things, and it's theraputic to have something to show for an effort expended. And it's even nicer to have a little scratch to throw around that I'm not spending on new cars or expensive mechanics.

  • Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Ozzie!

    "Jay is a garbage, he's going to die a garbage."

    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    The Internet!

    I DID NOT post this video. However, now the damage is already done, and I must share it with you.