Friday, February 29, 2008


hey dan, need a new bike?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

shifter fix

I was driving down the freeway on the way to work and the car all of a sudden refused to go into 2nd gear. I was a little worried, but since work has been so hectic it didn't bother me all that much. then I noticed 4th was gone as well. I thought through my feeble understanding of the linkages and had a notion reverse wouldn't work either. I pulled in a parking lot and confirmed that reverse was gone.

symptoms - no 2nd, 4th, or reverse, the shifter was no longer centered, but resting about where 4th usually is. I could still shift into 1st, 3rd and 5th, but the play was very much reduced, and it took work to feel the gears.

solution - I didn't have time to monkey around, so I went to the local VW, only a few miles away. I've been treated so poorly at my old dealership I had made a personal vow to never set foot in one again, but I was in trouble. at 8:30 i walked in and I was out by 9:30. no appointment, and minimal hassle. This got me thinking the dealerships were back on the up and up. the $110 diagnostics was OK, and the $63 in parts was ok too, but the part i didn't like was that the dealer did not have the parts in stock, and refused to put the $110 diagnostic fee towards the actual installation of the parts. they wanted me to come back, and pay another $150 (this would have brought the total cost to $325). the mechanic was very knowledgeable and agreed to do his best to get me back on the road, which i was very appreciative of. I feel the $173.04 I payed for the quick diagnostic and the parts was reasonable.

Root cause - shifter weight stripped the grooves so it no longer made good contact on the transmission. reason - wrong bolt installed before I got the car (it had 20k miles) when the last owner had a new clutch put in. it now has 163k.

the parts came in, and I drove around for a few more weeks, and today decided I'd give it a shot to install the new part. the hardest part was getting reusing the bushing from the old part. I finally took a pair of pliers and pried it off. I was pretty sure I'd break it, but it did pop off. it took me about an hour.

if you had another bushing, you could do it in about 5 minutes. all you need is a 13mm socket. reach down, unbolt the old one, undo the shift linkage (make note of where it grips it, mine was so dirty it was obvious where it went). the weight was stripped, so mine was not hard to pull off.

resources I used:

Parts I used:
1J0-711-051-D lever $60.88 from dealer
N-909-083-02 Nut $2.16 from dealer
1J0711761A $??? had I known, I would have bought a new one

it looks like this has happened to others, check the 13mm nut and make sure its tight. maybe you can avoid what I went through.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

peas and carrots

In the darkness of a fridge packed with a lot of maggot. One of them is not aware of his future life as a fly ..

Friday, February 22, 2008

size matters

star trek, firefly, starwars, farscape, babalon 5, atlantis, and even the internation space station get measured up

It Isn't Gone

usage of encryption software can be thwarted by simply looking at the ram. what i want the nerds to tell me is if the ram would be cleared if i dismount my encrypted files and then play a game of say minesweeper? or am i thinking too simply. i forsee a new add on to encryption software that will write random junk to the ram before the machine shuts off.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Where's the PMI

so my understanding is that pmi is insurance for those higher risk loans where people can't put down 20%. so people get around that by taking out two loans, a first and a second. apparently pmi is totally ineffective for even the cases where people don't figure out how to take out two loans because here we are in a market where risky loans are folding left and right and yet pmi is not ever mentioned in the news as helping out the mortgagers. so either the news is reporting it (possible) or pmi is just another waste of money that is totally ineffective in even doing what it claims (quite probable).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

elephant seals

We drove up by the Hearst Castle and saw the elephant seals. they don't seam to mind humans all the much. we walked right up to a few of them to say hello. state and federal law prohits touching them, but it didn't appear as though they would of minded to terrible much. the males (the ones with the trunks) weight from 2-2.5 tons. when the move, they look like slugs.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

towel art

The cruise a few years ago was awesome. I almost forgot about the towel animals.

This site shows how to make a

3am party

outstanding post.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

focus music

simply hired

it seems is some how related to I think the same guys started it or something. at any rate, it is interesting to look at job trends and this site seems to be a pretty good meta search for jobs and job salary information. for example, just to check up on my old neck of the woods i did a search for all jobs with minden nv and learned that theres some new engineering gig in town at belcan (it looks super crusty old school). GE is still on the map too. searching for GE Minden shows me HR is expanding, more engineers and technicians are needed, sales has openings, lead engineer, manufacturing engineer, mechanical engineer, sales application engineer. a Product Line leader and a lean six sigma black belt for OC. wow.

I don't remember having a clean view to all the openings in GE when i worked there [let me be clear, I don't remember having a clean view of all legit, available jobs. just because they are posted external doesn't necesiarly mean they are real jobs, but its more likely as it costs to publish external]

Simply hired passes my first pass test.


for some of the less faithful nerdytales followers, or for the nerd that forgot I will point out that you can get some pretty spectacularly useless information from the sitemeter link up under the title. as everyone is already aware, I periodically go in and see which post suckered in the biggest number of netizens. today i found yet another reporting tool in the sitemeter which revealed 4% of the nerds are running NT (I presume 3-4.0?). now thats just sad. who is it anyway?

vista SP1

I was reading microsoft tech net to see what the future of vista holds with SP1. theres some pretty sweet technology coming our way. i'm not saying that as a fan of microsoft, but from the perspective that microsoft has to make their product work with all kinds of technology so they could be more if an indicator than small companies. i'm looking at it more from the view that if they are building in support, the tech is coming. improvements to filestructures, banwidth usage for remote desktops, all the way down to temporarily resize the screen for a projector. some may view it as lots of little things, but its all the little things that add up.

it always makes me feel better to find type-o's in these things, it makes me feel better about my disregard for such detail to know that others don't care.

Improves reliability of IPSec connections over IPv6 by ensuring by ensuring that all Neighbor Discovery RFC traffic is IPsec exempted.
SP1 RC has completed testing and it is projected that SP1 will be released at the end of Q1, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

super soaker goes heat engine

His toy profits have funded his research in advanced battery technology, specifically thin-film lithium-ion conductive membranes. Johnson, a nuclear engineer who holds more than 100 patents, calls his invention the Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Conversion System, or JTEC for short.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


i know it isn't an adventist tradition but i think a good one. so this year i am going to celebrate lent by giving up deserts (except on Sabbath). anyone else want to celebrate lent?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

concept mapping

there's some really good usage of concept mapping out there... i'm thinking hyperphysics.
today i was looking up a term in the IUPAC goldbook and saw they had implemented some form of concept mapping and thought i should look into what was used. there are times that i think there should be concept maps for things but i have never taken the time to get software and try it out. from the examples it looks like a fairly functional program. so next time i think about making one i think i'll check out graphviz.

Another Way to Motorcycle

for those who want to climb up a snowbank in all wheel drive that is two wheel drive you can build your own hydrostatic two wheel drive motorcycle. check out the blog post over at the kneeslider. it actually looks kinda fun and i do think using something other than the usual belt or chain drive on a home brew motorcycle is pretty nifty.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

big dig

Spokane local news KREM 2 promoted a cordinated event in at least 5 locations to dig out neighbors after an unrelenting week of snow. Alodia and I made it to their website slide show - including our friend Drew.

that yellow shovel has dug out jen's jeep, my subaru, and someone with rear-wheel drive just last week.

Big Dig

and US!

deki wiki

i've been up and running wiki on a stick for a few months now but i've about outgrown what I can do with it. there a few limitations which make it inadequate for what I need.

1) there is no simultaneous editing of content, as each browser loads the file and then if you save it while someone else is editing, then your saves won't be reflected when the other person saves. this makes perfect sense, and is a good example that this fulfills the personal wiki, and not so good in multi user environment.

2) you still need to do some html editing, which for me is no problem. but i'm extremely hesitent to ask anyone else to add content as most people don't know html, or even wiki markups. (shocking i know)

the tentative solution to these problems is deki wiki (also on sourceforge) which is about the coolest use of virtualization thus far. just download the virtual machine (linux) that already has it installed and configured, and then download the VM player (from vmware of course) and your up and running in no time. its really more of an appliance, the way good apps should be. I'm looking forward to trying to take it up a notch and deploy this.

for those of you venturing into virtualization, give this bad boy a look.

Fast Flash!

I'm one of the masses of people working on this... It's fun to see the press release.