ellyssian: (Default)
Kids these days... I am not really a fan of a lot of the tuners out there. I have lawn mowers that sound like they have more power and presence than some of the tinny, high pitched gurgly little tuner cars out there.

My automotive background did begin with some interest in stock car racing and drag racing. For the most part, there's been two cars that have been my focus: the 1969 Camaro and, later, the 1978 Lamborghini Countach. My favorite configuration for the Camaro is to set it up for Trans Am racing: wide tires, suspension tweaked so it can turn corners, and so on.

Back in elementary school, I had a subscription to Car Craft. I also had many issues of Hot Rod, CARtoons, Super Stock, and a number of others. I read and re-read every one of my dad's Road & Track magazines. I think I had a subscription to that at one point, but I'm not sure.

In elementary school, I hung around a garage, drawn there by the owner Fran's pro stock 1969 Camaro, named "Obsession". It didn't hurt that Fran also owned a pro street 1969 Camaro called "Procrastination" or the restoration-in-progress and (I think) unnamed (big surprise here) 1969 Camaro. I helped out, handed out tools, did some stuff around the shop, and some time in late elementary to early junior high, I stayed late at AutoCraft to help them tear down the engine of an early sixties Corvette. Another time, I biked a dozen or so miles to a car show. When I went to high school, the intention was that I would be in the automotive program.

So you figure with that kind of background my cars would be muscle cars or sports cars, right?

My first car was a gift from my parents, a 1976 Dodge Aspen. To say it had issues was putting it mildly. I never owned it, but I did drive the Mercury Marquis. Next up was my parents 1991 Ford Taurus. When we moved down to Pennsylvania, Deb bought a 1982 Chevrolet Citation from her stepmother. I did all the work on that car except for inspections and the water pump. Rebuilt the carburetor on it, even. I think that's when my parents got a minivan, and they gifted us with the Taurus, later named Bessie. When my grandfather died in 2001, my grandmother gifted me with the 1998 Ford Contour, almost never called by its name Mithril.

When Bessie was ailing, we looked into something safer, more stable to cart the kids around and get back and forth. The car would be Deb's, so I mostly kept out of the decision making. She picked out a 2006 Subaru Forester. It was ~ still is ~ the only car I've bought new. I drove it at times, when the Contour was in the shop or when it was snowy. Loved the handling on that, and she often wondered why I didn't drive it more. Partially, it was because I figured the more I drove the newer, better car, the more I'd want to keep driving it, and partially it was because even though I liked lots about the Forester, I wasn't too into the whole wagony SUV thing. Well, I kind of had already picked out my new car, a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT Limited. It just never got to the point where we could afford to get a new car.

A key point, to me, about the Subaru was the all wheel drive. It handled beautifully in all weather situations. It also kind of spoiled me. I'm not sure I could bring myself to buy a vehicle without AWD. Although this does rule out the Camaro and the Countach, it does still leave open the possibility of a Gallardo or MurciƩlago sometime down the road...

So that's the history...

I'm very appreciative of all the gifted cars ~ wouldn't have been able to get around without them ~ but, at the same time, I've never had a chance to choose my own car.

Until now...
ellyssian: (Default)
The posts today will be Legion.

I thought about writing them all out and spreading them across a few or a dozen days, but hey, maybe I'll just flood the market.

Food will, of course, take up most of them. Some measure of all, really. Even the two posts on architecture and home design (from the How to Tell if ... are from Another Planet series... see the other episodes here and here) will be related to food preparation. There will also be six recipes: three main dishes, one sauce, one component, and one overall Plan for the entire meal.

I've mentioned before that I get into things in waves. I can be really intensely focused for a while, and then I'll move on to other things. Obviously, the food wave is cresting now. Thursday had the recipe for sweet lemon cod and winey 'zo 'n 'zo. Saturday had the Valentine's Feast that will generate all the food posts mentioned above, and was previewed here and had results depicted here. Yesterday, there were egg rolls which also works fairly well as a stir fry recipe ~ thought I had posted a stir fry one before, but if I did, I failed to tag it with either food or recipes.

There's likely to be more food recipes ahead in the near future. Maybe. I have some hamburger, and I'm likely to try something different for making burgers, so maybe something on that at the end of the week. Everything else for the next week or so will involve less of the recipe and more of the open-package-and-heat variety, unfortunately. Although I've seen some newspaper articles claim that healthy, fresh foods are cheaper than the pre-processed crap out there, Deb goes into conniptions when I get into a cooking phase because I like to work with ingredients instead of heat-n-serve stuff, and, apparently, her issue with this doesn't involve taste or health, rather money, of which we have, well, none.

In other news, [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas drove to college today. All by his own self. Next step will be him getting a job ~ beyond the part time work with me* ~ so he can pay for gas.

~ ~ ~

* He's very restricted on what times he can work; even if he doesn't have high school classes or college classes, his working permit is based on the school district we live in, not that he attends... so no work while they are in school, even if he is not. Which pretty much limits any landscaping help to the summer vacation ~ can't exactly do that sort of thing in the night time, or, even, schedule it to start late enough in the day to take him along. I suppose now that he's driving, he'll be able to come out in the afternoon for a few hours a day... hadn't thought of that until typing it... but that may work, although it means two vehicles going to the site... =)
ellyssian: (Default)

My oldest kid is now a licensed driver.

ellyssian: (Default)
There's a clump of stuff in the middle that Deb needs to sort through. She had said it was all mine, and to just throw it out, but her hammock isn't mine... her hiking boots aren't mine... so I think she needs to take a look and make some judgements. There's a dead Mac monitor that we need to get to the proper recycling type folks.

We took the PVC pipes up to the attic, spread around the boards that were up there, failed to get the large plywood sheet up there, cut it in half, and then put it up there... and then we put the ladder hooks up, got the ladder up on the wall and out of the way, and cleaned up the rest.

We've been here five years, and we're finally going to get a car in the garage! =)

(There's no hope on getting the other one in, not until the company gets it's own place to live, and, even then, possibly not until we also get a shed.)
ellyssian: (Default)
Here, on Road & Track.

I actually almost like it. Sort of.

And the turbodiesel or hybrid possibilities are interesting...
ellyssian: (Green Man)
Now I'll have to see about getting the company I own to hire me... =)

I'll have to go up before the entire board for the interview process... that'll be rough. I know so much about me already, I'm really not sure what kind of questions I should ask myself...

Big step. Many appointments coming up. Need to get everything ready to go because it's showtime...

In other news, I'll be giving my car some much needed R&R on Monday. Put winter wipers on. Leave it at the garage until it has good oil and working turn signals. 60-70 miles a day, five days a week for five years is enough to wear out any piece of machinery. Maybe even get the check engine light fixed, for once.

This weekend, much to do. It looks like a good chance for plowing tomorrow morning. Have to assemble the wheelbarrow. Put the brush blades on the heavy trimmer and the split-boom trimmer. Need to assemble the new spreader, give it a quick trial run in the snow and see how it does. The old one - maybe 20-30 years old? - is too fragile now, and it would slip way too much. Also, it's a drop spreader, and much lower to the ground than this one. The new one has big ol' pneumatic tires instead of solid plastic ones. Both those will factor into how good it runs on snow in general and in this meadow in particular.

To continue this fragmented style of post, I installed the Slushbusters. Had to warm the truck up for a while - the adhesive likes to be above 40 degrees when first installed. So I sat around, listening to tunes and waited. The supplemental heater really, umm, heats things up, so it wasn't that long until I could pop on all the lights, squeegee the window dry, and install the strips. Gave it a few test runs and I think they'll work. We'll see if it's still snowing tomorrow morning!


Feb. 13th, 2008 02:11 pm
ellyssian: (Default)
It's always the SUV's that I see on their side (or upside down!)

Didn't see the one in that link, allegedly caused by the storm here. Personally, I expect it had more to do with someone unable to compensate for road conditions than from the road conditions themselves.

Seriously - in the first winter I was here, I saw three large to mid-sized SUV's in compromising positions. One was spinning around on its roof. Two were involved in a cross-collision that resulted in one a pregnant driver going into shock and the other driver losing their arm (at least. I saw it pinned, so I know that much. Whether or not the person attached to it pulled through, I do not know.) Unfortunately, I've also seen quite a few others - in corn fields, up the side of a hill, rolled into ditches, and more - since then.
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According to my brother, this is standard operating procedure: Authorities Warn of Thin Ice, Snowmobilers Learn the Hard Way.

During the winter, many residents also park cars on the lake. Once spring thaw hits, one or two always end up down below. Each day the car is underwater, additional fines are levied.

I understand that it gets a wee bit colder, and ice is - or used to be - thicker, but still, you'd think they'd have a bit of respect for it?
ellyssian: (Plow)
Ummmm, yeah. Just a little excitement.

Not enough to plow. Yet. Looks like it's heading that way. I even had to use 1st & 2nd gear on the ride home, and spent a half hour on a stretch of road that usually takes 40 seconds.

One car had made a left turn to a side street to avoid all the traffic. He finally ground to a halt after spending about 300-400 feet plowing through some yards. Apparently he hadn't realized he was parallel to the road and not on it. That's actually giving him more benefit of the doubt than anyone deserves. Judging from his trail, he took the turn too fast, dropped over the edge of the road, and, being a moron, tried to keep going and make it to the driveway and back up to the road (at this time his roof was level with the road due to a bank).

Two other cars were pulled one to each side of the road a bit further on. The bright pink lowered, flared, and wannabe-racified little import had its hazards - four-ways - whateveryacallums locally - on in back, and his tail lights as well, but the entire front of the car was lights-out. The bright yellow mini-SUV was not rolled over in a ditch - I say this, because SUVs from the tiny Suzuki's to the hugeous Expeditions are what I usually upside down in a field - but did have a deep impression in the drivers-side doors that rather matched the boxy front grill of the pink thing. My guess - the SUV pulled out of a driveway, possibly cutting off pinko, possibly just taken out by the get-off-my-racetrack speed of the pink thing, which had no doubt been chortling along with an exhaust note similar to my bargain lawn mower (the big DR has a much deeper sound than those modified mufflers lend the import crowd).

But soon... soon! Plowing! =)
ellyssian: (Default)
Why yes, I do have a surplus of Ss, why do yous asks?


The Contour is on fire. And not in a good way. Nothing as spectacular as what happened to [livejournal.com profile] sidhefire's truck, but Something is Melting, if not going down in flames. It's intermittent - was so bad I had to drive with windows down; then fine for a week; bad enough to make Justin and I gag on the long ride up our driveway last night; and gone today.

Of course, it also needs that $4000 fix-check-engine-light repair looked into. Yes, I should have taken it back when it first happened. Sadly, it's tough to spend a whole workday commuting back and forth every week - in addition to the required forty hours of typity-typing - and still manage to get a car to the garage. I'm debating bringing it to the dealer here - who will shuttle me over to the office - but it does need to go back to those guys on the off chance I don't have to fork over another few thousand I can't afford.

And an oil change.

~ ~ ~

Rachel is one of the smartest kids in her class - the teachers say this often enough. Yet, she couldn't place minor hamlets in tiny insignificant little countries. Geography is apparently not taught anymore. That's the beauty of Nickleby - they're not leaving one child behind, they're ensuring they all stick together, in the far recesses of the severely uneducated. I suppose it's not that important - I mean, really, London, Madrid, Rome, Moscow, Berlin, and other small villages don't figure much on a global scale, so why should Americans bother learning about them?

At least she knew Venice, Cairo, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. And, as of yesterday, she knows where Babylon was.

In other news, she will have no further math homework. They're stopping learning things so they can make sure the students are ready for the PSSA test. Wouldn't want any of them to fall behind, or, god forbid, test on their own merits of what they learned. Teach how to take tests, and you create a group of people who do multiple choice beautifully but Don't. Know. Anything.

All this - and her frustration with out-of-control students talking when they shouldn't and otherwise distracting her from schoolwork - seems to be leading to us pulling Rachel from fifth grade (at the middle school) and homeschooling her.

She is concerned she wouldn't be able to continue with the band, but she'd rather learn something. There's also a chance she'll be able to continue with the band even if she's not attending. That may not be so bad. This morning, while we waited for the bus (which has fifth grade girls seated with high school boys - what could ever go wrong?) at 6:30am this morning, she mentioned she didn't like quarter notes - the director wanted her to hold them out longer. Of course, a bigger problem, which she went on about, was that they had to play the William Tell Overture with eighth notes, instead of sixteenth notes as it was written. She takes it as a personal insult that they're not allowed to play faster, that they have to play a simplified arrangement of the tune. =)

~ ~ ~

One of the interesting bits with the return to homeschooling1 will be coordinating activities with getting Justin to college on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Rachel will be able to do work during his class by bringing things along for the ride, but it might get sticky if that time overlaps with when she's supposed to be in band.

He starts his first class2 this coming Tuesday. He'll be attending at the college. And, when he graduates high school in 2010, he'll have an associates in science.

In other news, Justin was able to learn an entire segment of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition - Il vecchio castello is packed closely enough that he can play the work as written without running out of octaves on his keyboard. With the other pieces, he can play the bass part or the treble part, but not both without transcribing.

~ ~ ~

1: Rachel was homeschooled for three years, K-2. Justin was homeschooled during those years, for grades 5-7. After that, Justin began attending a cyberschool and Rachel wanted to try public schools. And, not entirely coincidentally, that very same September, Mr. B arrived on the scene.

2: Only one class this semester, two over the summer, and, I believe, three in the autumn, when his regular eleventh grade classes will kick in.
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Unfortunately, I won't be able to get to the Poetry Circle tonight at the Moravian Book Shop. Too much going on. I do have the one new poem - and another one whispered to me on the ride in. I'll have to see if I have time later to write it down.

Although I have long known this, two of my fellow commuters saw fit to remind me that those funny red signs with the letters S, T, O, and P do not, in fact, mean stop, as those silly DOT folks might want you to think. In fact, they have multiple meanings: the first being: Almost But Not Really Pause and Don't Even Slow Down Because You're More Important Than Those With The Right-Of-Way.

I have several different posts in mind that will help resurrect Pieces of Me - not to mention the ones I had planned to write just before my father was diagnosed, declined, and died. Although that particular series - on religion - was originally planned for the holiday season, I think I'll still get to those posts, but just mixed in with other topics.
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A challenge to the automotive design engineers who read this (who number, to the best of my knowledge, somewhere around exactly zero individuals):

Whereas windshield wipers (hereafter referred to as Wipers) are not mounted in the trunk nor are Wipers mounted under the dashboard by the heater nor are Wipers mounted on posts in otherwise deserted tropical islands;

Whereas Wipers are quite often found on the exterior of automobiles, trucks, trains, helicopters, and other such exterior applications;

Whereas exterior applications are, by their very nature of being exterior and not interior, exposed to the elements;

Whereas elements have a tendency, on a somewhat seasonal basis and driven by a chaotic system, to vary in such ways that include Wet or Cold;

Whereas certain regions have, at certain times of the year, the habit of experiencing both Wet and Cold at the same, or closely alternating, instance in time;

Whereas Wipers are designed to move by electrical and mechanical means;

Whereas those means may be halted in their tracks by even a small quantity of Wet that has become Cold;

Whereas at least one flavor of heat-application doesn't always reduce enough for the Wet to get out of the way;

Can you please design the frickin' Wipers so they don't burn their motors out or snap off their linkages or keep forcing their way in one immovable direction without resetting safely and calmly and waiting to try again later when the situation may or may not have changed; resulting in eventual success when the Spring Thaw happens or when whatever heating technology you allegedly have actually does what it allegedly should.

While you may consider it entertaining to design things in such a manner as they currently exist - akin to including a failsafe in all jumbo jets that forces the engines to prepare for takeoff any time they're started, even if that means flying at force into the nearest terminal - I'd really rather not have to replace any more wiper motors or wiper linkage or anything else involved in a fairly important piece of safety equipment.

A common problem - that of the blades freezing to the windows - would also be less painful if the wiper motors didn't continue to strain at the leash. This issue is the one that seems to be addressed when "frozen" and "wipers" are the query; sadly, this is easily handled manually, and a quick scrape and the basic windshield defroster can handle the issue. There's also these, designed to cope with the situation.

That low hanging fruit, the frost glazed squeegee stuck to glass, is not what I've been experiencing these last two years. Over a quarter century of New England winters and I've not experienced what I'm seeing now down here in the tropics. All three vehicles have had it happen this year, it's like an epidemic. All visible surface ice can be removed, everything you can get at without disassembling grills and so forth can be cleared and this problem still occurs.

It's one of those design issues that just shouldn't happen. Why, having those motors designed to hope against hope and commit suicide makes about as much sense as making commonly replaced items, such as headlights, difficult to replace. Or mounting sensitive electronic components in an environment exposed to extremes of heat and cold and oils and vibration, such as those experienced in the engine compartment of a car. Or knowing for at least thirty-five years that energy efficiency is a Good Thing and, instead of increasing both efficiency and performance, pretending that you can only do one or the other, and having delusions that the former can only happen if the car is butt-ugly.
ellyssian: (Default)
The snow around here looks like someone poured molten shiny plastic. Our driveway was barely even scuffed when I drove over it last night with 3165 some pounds of Subaru. It's kind of like having a paved driveway, really. No more gravel - just all this white asphalt. Which would be healthier for my snowblower if the gravel hadn't already eaten the chain in the Thursday round of snow.

Molten plastic. I thought of this on the ride in, as I noticed that down here in the tropics of the Lehigh Valley, along with the mirror sheen of the poured plastic stuff, there were footprints. You could see where people went to get some mail, or drove a car. Apparently they got a more brittle mix way down south.

Of course, the whole molten plastic obsession could really be coming to mind because today - and last Friday - my preheated car smells an awful lot like an injection molding machine that's in use. Ahhh! the smell of molten plastic in the morning... Not sure what's on fire, yet. But it hasn't fully burned away. Yet.

I know, without a doubt, that it's not the windshield wipers.

You see, last year I discovered that Deb's pre-heated windshield wipers were the first I've ever found that freeze motionless and still try to work. One of two things then happens. Whatever's frozen thaws, and the wipers can complete their cycle ~or~ the motor on the wiper burns out and the wipers can't complete their cycle.

Turns out my car, with its lack-of-special-pre-heater-that-thaws-ice-so-it-seeps-in-and-freezes, has been spending too much time around Deb's car. Justin and I managed to cut most of the ice block from around the car, and, as I completed that bit of work, Justin made the ice-cement berm from the township plow into more of a ramp - wouldn't want my pitiful little front-wheel drive car to go belly up and hang their helpless, front wheels spinning. After all that, I managed to get around the corner, flip the wipers on, and watch them stick. Straight up.

That position is commonly known as the "Hey Officer, Look! My Wipers Don't Work!" position. At least when the wipers on Deb's car stuck, they stayed down. Didn't help clear the slush and grime on the window, but weren't dual flags sending coded signals to law enforcement officers. I pulled over, cleared every last little bit of ice from around them - not that it should have hung them up; they made it all the way to the top and were on their way back down - and still no change.

Called Justin up to put on some water for tea and headed home. Two teakettles of boiling water later - and, Justin on his way back for a third while I squinted at the engine compartment, looking for smoke or flames - they suddenly leapt into life.

~ ~ ~

In other news, I have the CPAP machine and I can now breath. Except for all those burning plastic fumes I sucked up on the ride in...

Turns out my sleep apnea was officially labelled severe. I had something like 46-51 episodes per hour, on average. I suppose not breathing and forcing myself to snort myself back into gear close to once a minute could interrupt the sleep a wee bit...
ellyssian: (Default)
Attention Sir Mr. Big-Man-In-Suit, from Connecticut,

You'll notice that when I approached the red light this morning, that I slowed and stopped. This is generally considered the preferred behavior, as opposed to your actions of slowing, then accelerating through the red light.

You'll also notice that this running of the red light served many purposes, namely at the second light away, it left us side by side once again, and, at the third light, you were falling behind.

Please, though, feel free to continue to think you're more important than the rest of us. Right up until you kill or injure one of us in an accident, it provides no ends of entertainment.

~ ~ ~

Dear Kelli from New Jersey,

BMW might be sadly disappointed to find out that the turning circle of one of their overly-well-thought-of automobiles was actually far worse than that of an average city bus. I know this explicitly because the bus that followed you cleared my front fender with at least a car length to spare, while, for you, I was in the process of shifting into reverse. And here, all this time, I thought that left turn lane was set back to allow trucks and buses to make the turn without hitting the few cars that actually stop on the line instead of all the way up at the other lane's stop line. Turns out it's just for blondes in BMWs. Who'd have thought it?

Then again, it could be that you were just too engrossed with that strange, cellphone-like growth on the side of your head to actually bother turning the wheel enough to avoid hitting me. If it wasn't that, and it was actually that German engineering is critically flawed, I might have to advise the city to move that line back further so you can make your turn in safety.
ellyssian: (Default)
Somewhere along the way, I managed to make my way through the entirety of the Michael Hedges tune Ursa Major. I can play about half the material semi-competently, while the other half remains in the semi-incompetent stage. There is, however, hope.

I also managed to stumble across the Legend section of the Study Notes on Rootwitch.com which clearly indicates what I'm supposed to do with notes represented thusly: (9) Somehow I had missed the existence of this section - or glossed over it - while I was able to determine much of the rest of the stage directions from the individual study notes and from the MPEG tutorials. Of course, I discovered that this morning, and I played the song last night, so the twain should meet as soon as I can get a guitar in my hands. The technique here is simple: play the notes so softly that you can barely hear them; the attack of the pick is louder. Of course, for this particular tune no pick is used, so I'll have to play around - and listen to Michael play the piece - to determine exactly how to play the part.

Without any further documentation, I was able to do the tap harmonics, although they're a lot harder to produce than the slap harmonics. On the surface, they seem to be identical techniques. The slap harmonic is sounded by thwaping the strings with a finger - usually index or middle - over a fret to get the harmonic to ring out across multiple strings. The tap harmonic also involves striking over a fret, but it uses the tip of the finger instead of the length. The difficulty with the latter involves getting the note to ring out as a harmonic - it's too easy to just tap the fretted note. That's a common technique, brought to fame - although not invented - by Eddie Van Halen. Getting the quick attack needed to play the passage and combine it with the right touch - a bit softer than usual - isn't as easy as it looks.

Part two of last night's 10 minute practice section was As the World Falls Down - just the vocal melody. I've managed to learn the chorus, so now all I have left to learn are the vocals following the second chorus - essentially, more bits of chorus and ad libs. Such a simple and beautiful melody over a 3/4 waltz.

I didn't even attempt to work further on the music itself - I was half asleep when I went upstairs, and just played through the songs before lying down and drifting off. Actually, I think that's what helped with Ursa Major: I was playing quietly to avoid disturbing Rachel and Brandon, and the song benefits from a light touch.

The day before, I did realize a goof with the bass part I was working on - for the first four measures the bass clef is replaced with the treble clef and I hadn't noticed that. That changed the notes played, and because the fingering was different, helped me realize that the bit is a set of variations on the same arpeggiated chord structure used in the Police's Every Breath You Take. That realization made it easier to play, but both nearby fingerings cause some difficulty with the intro melody. That melody on its own is exceedingly easy, but the two parts just don't fit together - as written - on the same guitar neck. With one of the fingerings, I lose the signature slide if I want to hold the notes that are supposed to ring out; with the other, I'm not even able to get near the melody part. I'll still have to mess around with it and see what compromise works out the best.

~ ~ ~

This afternoon I have to take care of Justin's birthday present. We won't be giving it to him unitl his birthday - a week away - but I have to take steps to get it ready. Next year at this time we'll have to see if we have a spare car lying around. Of course, I watched him and his cousin - who drove up after dropping [livejournal.com profile] dragonflypug at the Schoolhouse with Deb and [livejournal.com profile] 1jadedhart - play GT3, and after seeing them bounce a Dodge Viper off wall after wall after other Viper, I'm not quite sure how he'll do on the road...

~ ~ ~

In other news, Brandon likes to go "out-ide" so we've been spending more time doing so. This can be difficult for Rachel, especially, who wants to Catch 'em AllR. Justin is generally happy to go out, provided someone is there to toss a baseball or frisbee or kick a soccer ball back and forth - which generally means "not me" because I don't like to let Brandon wander alone around the yard, more so after the close call last year with the bear. I really don't want to find out how good - or bad - I am at bear wrestling. Rachel doesn't like baseball much after she tried to catch the ball with the side of her face and then, a few days later, her wrist.
ellyssian: (Default)

Mad Max (Special Edition)

The Mad Max series of films has always been a favorite. The post-apocalyptic atmosphere, the cars, and, most particularly, the reluctant hero wandering off on his own at the end.

Perhaps least over the top and arguably most realistic, the first one often seemed a bit too quirky. I would not have suspected that this had its basis in the language being dubbed from Australian English to American English, an act done to remove quirkiness of one sort.

Watching it with the original language track - which, of course, keeps all the visuals exactly as they are - makes it seem a different film. It seems more of a complete package, less of a hacked attempt. It is still made on the same budget, yet somehow doesn't seem to be as low budget as it was. Even when the excess was in the visuals themselves, it seems more fitting with the proper language - even more ironic because it doesn't differ all that much.

I suppose if you absolutely hate the dubbed version, this edition won't make you love the movie - but then you might be pleasantly surprised at the difference. If you're anywhere else on the scale, from ambivalent to an ardent admirer, check this out and I think you'll find yourself suitably impressed.
ellyssian: (Default)
Or, The Story of What Happened to the Windshield.

Of course, we're really not sure *exactly* what happened to the windshield. What we do know, is that a certain teenager known for being overenthusiastic (he snapped two ice scrapers while clearing ice from my car after the last storm) was brushing snow off the windshield of the Subaru. I made it down the end of the street before I realized that the funky line going from left to right about 4-6" up from the bottom of the windshield was a crack. We suspect the involvement of a rock-pock-mark right along the line (with moisture worked in, and heated to the snapping point).

It will be about $500 to get it replaced, which is much more than when we had to get the Taurus window done 5 years or so ago. The insurance will be covering it, or at least most of it, but still, less than fun. So, I have to use another PH today (no more working from home for me). At least I'll be here when the HVAC guys come by to finish off the supply vents in Justin's room, as well as look into sealing off the basement/former returns and getting the heat to spread out better along the front-to-back plane.

ellyssian: (Default)
Beware the Ides of March. And 30' box trucks that scrape against Jersey barriers, drive over yellow line, white line, yellow line, change lane no signal, drift left, drift right, hey!

I actually exist. My car is silver, it is supposed to be visible. Do not shift lanes to the right while I'm there, Mr. Old Guy with Entire Clan in Car. If I hadn't stopped, I would have your license number and insurance information written down, and would be filling out police reports, which is not fun.

On a completely different subject, I actually exist. My car is silver. You were stuck in a left turn only lane a half a mile from the light and I was travelling at 55 MPH straight, almost, but not quite, within spitting distance of the right turn only lane which didn't exist when you cut right, forcing me to powerslide down the highway to avoid parking my engine somewhere between your trunk and front seat. I'm sure the whole collapsing car trick would have totalled both of our cars, and, quite possibly, your sorry ass. And I'd likely have a police report to fill out.

And now for something completely different. Speaking of ass, I have an incredibly cute one. Two days in a row, I've had a Personal Fan Club member decide they couldn't be parted from me. The guy today kept looking pissed off when he passed me (once we made it to four lane roads,) so apparently I may look somewhat feminine from the posterior view. The blonde the day before loved me so much that she stayed even closer - she was actually closer than most normal human beans get when they're stopped at red lights. She maintained this lack of distance even when I slowed in the passing zone, with no other traffic in sight. Given that last factor, I actually rolled to a stop. And still, she stayed glued to me. I am hot.

I suppose, if I drove a Lamborghini or a Ferrari or some other slinky Italian number, or maybe even some ugly pseudo-nice car (which covers most of everything else over the $50,000 price tag,) I could understand, but this is a Contour. Nothing sexy about it.

On a similar note, having nothing to do with any of the previous junk, much work has happened at the house these past two days. The project post has been updated and progressified to contain the latest and greatest facts. Our water is now soft and squishy, my hair no longer feels like a brillo pad, the crud in the shower feels like it might actually decide to come off if cleaned, and I have hope that the rest of the plumbing is happy with this nice, friendly H20 running through its veins. The basement already smells better, which is a marked improvement considering all the PVC pipe and sealant (think: airplane glue) used down there - in fact, it's barely noticeable today, despite more pipes going in today than yesterday. So, the dehumidifier works.

The radon fan is in a holding pattern with Fed Ex, which seems to have trouble getting clearance to land, something about a big fat guy in a red suit. Hopefully, that will be in tomorrow and Dave will finish up.

The holiday lunch at work went great - lots of compliments on the ribs, and a few requests for the top secret recipe (both of which were responded to with links to the entry detailing said top secret recipe for the whole entire world, or whoever happened upon it.)
Tomorrow: half day, and last day of the year for me at work - =)
ellyssian: (Default)
...that Micro$oft Windoze is actually built upon DOS, we are served with this reminder:

"Please restart your system for the changes to take effect."

For reference purposes, this would be like having to go out and crank start your Hummers and Lexii and Mercedes and Orang-utans and Porsches and BMWs and all other cars that presume to be spiffy, elegant, or made since, oh, the 1920s or so.

Stone age software, coming soon to a Vista near you...
ellyssian: (Default)
The Contour, she lives again!

$550 dollars later, and, after a handful of fits, she started. May not start in the morning, but we shall see. As the battery report came back good (and the battery was definitely good when it came back after drifting slowly to sleep along a highway and side road) it should recover well. The battery light did go out, as did - miracle of miracles - the check engine light.

So, maybe it will be okay.


ellyssian: (Default)

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