May 29, 2005

Cheap Insurance

Wendy went shopping at Costco for steaks, which meant me Bar-b-queing, which means fire. She walked past an aisle with fire extinguishers and got one -- not a bad idea since we had use the last one about five years ago. She studied the selection and grabbed the second biggest extinguisher that First Alert makes. Forget your wimp 5BC or better 1A-10BC jobs -- this one is 3A-40BC rated. Only $18.95. Cheap insurance.

A fire extinguisher is one of those "Better to have and not need, than to need and not have" things. It is mounted just at the entrance to the kitchen, where it's predecessor expired upon meeting with a fat fire in the oven.

Posted by at 05:58 PM | Comments (1)

May 25, 2005

Yahoo! DSL

SBC Yahoo! DSL van -- click to enlarge 5XWas pulling into the Company Garage just as the Yahoos were pulling out. "Cool Van!" "Haven't you seen it before?" "No I need to get a picture to post on the Internet -- hold up a minute." I get out and get my camera from my backpack in the back of my van. "You're not kidding!?" "No, picture will be up on the Internet before evening."

SBC Yahoo! DSL is one of the great bargains in life. 1536/384 Kbps for $20/month for a year on a year contract, free setup, free modem, free self-install (which is now easy!)

Posted by at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

No Class 2

Removed the "Suzuki" name from the sides of my big single cylinder motorcycle and added Thumper's picture. If you can't have fun it's not worth doing.

I picked up some water slide decal paper, in inkjet white since my inkjet doesn't print white, and have personalized a couple of items. My helmet now has the Chessknight, as do the doors of my company van. And the thumper has Thumper.

Posted by at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005

L.A. Traffic

KCAL Channel 9 got the pictures, but they'll let it expire off their servers so I'm going to keep a copy:

What happened is, to me, obvious. The lead car stopped. The middle car applied brakes and got into a tail up/nose down position. The rear car also applied brakes and got into a tail up/nose down postiion. The rear car was going faster and the nose down went under the tail up of the middle car and up-ended the middle car.

Really, really neat application of physics.

Posted by at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2005

Big Savage

Everything is relative. 40 years ago a 650cc motorcycle was considered to be "big." It's the largest displacement motorcycle I've ridden as the BMW twin in the late '60's was a 500cc and my interstate tourer in the early '80's was a 450cc twin. The Savage's 652cc single is larger than the engines of some four-passenger sedans. The bike even looks big parked next to some cars.....

Posted by at 05:35 PM | Comments (3)

May 04, 2005


Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Posted on a forum yesterday that more than one case of trouble is rare. Specifically if the brushes on a starter are worn most likely the armature will be good after a little cleaning.

So naturally my first job today proves me wrong. The complaint was no dial tone (on a key telephone.) What I found was:

The line card was hung up to the extent of keeping the lamp on. Which I discovered after replacing the burnt out lamp. Resetting the card fixed that problem. The handset was bad, but it may be that since this was an idle position someone swapped their handset rather than call in for repair. Somewhere along the line the 25-pair connector was kicked loose.

Fortunately for the trouble report this can all be summed up as "condition."

Posted by at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2005

The girls want me to get my own laptop -- so I will get off the main house computer.

Looked around, decided on the Acer Aspire AS1363LCi-XPP. $820 plus shipping at So I order it. On Wednesday, April 27th. I get a call from New York, a guy at mpsuperstore tries to talk me out of the Acer and into a *refurbished* Toshiba. I don't think so.

Saturday Wendy informs me that dinged the credit card, on Wednesday, April 27th, for $844.90 -- the price with shipping. This is good since in their FAQ (at says "Once your order is ready for shipment we charge your credit card" -- since they charged the credit card they have my laptop ready for shipment. Unless, of course, they are lying to me.

Wednesday -- ready for shipment.

All day Thursday -- nothing.

All day Friday -- nothing.

They're open Saturday and Sunday, but maybe the shipping department isn't.
I called them this morning -- am told that "ready to ship" means three days processing; but the laptop will ship today.

All day Monday -- nothing. The website still has the same "This order is in the final stages of processing" that was there FIVE DAYS AGO.

I am beginning to think that my order was not ready to ship when they charged my credit card; contrary to their stated policy.


Edit: Tuesday 0820: Order still not Shipped. Assured it will ship today -- same thing I was told yesterday. Which means I was lied to yesterday. I don't mind the delay - but don't fucking lie to me.

This is the sixth day since they charged my credit card; the sixth day since (per their policy) my order was ready to ship.


Edit: Saturday. The UPS tracking site is finally following my laptop. It was picked up at 5:31pm, Friday the 6th. Over nine calendar days, seven working days, from the taking of the order and the charging of my credit card.

Posted by at 05:00 PM | Comments (1)