car finalé

I have a car again!

My mechanic couldn’t find a rim quickly, so he put the bent wheel at the back of the car, where the vibration is less noticable. I picked up the car last night (I took the GO train to Langstaff, then took a GO bus north; I miss the GO train!). The brake lines weren’t quite as bad as we had feared; he only had to replace them from the middle of the car back. As for the radiator, apparently it’s common. The antifreeze that Daewoo used was unusually acidic. It eats away at everything; he’s had cylinder blocks in the shop that look like swiss cheese… It’s a good thing I did the cooling system flush when the lube guy recommended it, or my car would be in worse shape than it is!

Anyway, total damage <$1000 taxes included! (sigh of relief).

posted at 8:28 pm on Thursday, April 28, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on car finalé

car update

With the brakes ($600) and leaking radiator ($300) fixed, the mechanic took the car out to investigate the other problem: a vibration in the front end. Turns out that there are two problems: the left front wheel bearing is loose and needs replacing ($100), and the left front rim is *bent* ($unknown).

Maybe I’ll have my car back on Thursday :-). Ah well; safety first, right?

(I’m still ahead of the game; I did get the car cheap, after all…)

posted at 7:06 pm on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on car update


My car died on Friday. The brakes failed, because left-rear steel brake line had rusted through and ruptured under the pressure. It turns out that all of the brake lines (front and rear) need to be replaced, from the master cylinder on out. The mechanic’s going to be busy for a couple of days (it’s about an eight hour job, apparently; about $600).

We were both astonished; we’ve never seen that level of corrosion on a five year old car. It looks like they’ve been soaked in a salt bath and then fired with a blowtorch! I’ve seen this level of corrosion on cars that have been dumped at the back of the junkyard, but never on a young car! The rest of the underside of the car is in good shape; it’s just the breaking system. Very strange…

Anyway, I’m carless! Meanwhile, My wife and I still need to get to work; the kids have an Art and Music Festival on Tuesday afternoon; the roofer is coming on Tuesday to inspect the raccoon damage and give me an estimate; and I have a service appointment for the *other* car on Thursday (which I’ll probably just reschedule).

And on top of the new car repair expense, I owe money to CRA this year. *sigh.

posted at 10:23 am on Monday, April 25, 2005 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    Here’s your chance to rent a car worth owning and try ‘er out, although having located near public transit might make that opportunity seem expensive.

Rocket Robin Hood

Gareth’s synopsis:

bq. Cheesy!


bq. Ok, cheesy and predictable!

The classics of my childhood, disemboweled by an eight-year-old… :-)

posted at 8:47 pm on Saturday, April 23, 2005 in Humour, Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Nita says:


    Oh, *ow*.

    Yah, my childhood smarts today, apparently.

The Twelve Man / Thirteen Man Problem

Eureka! I finally understand :-). The picture at the bottom, with the men reördered by height, did the trick for me.

defective yeti: The Twelve Man / Thirteen Man Problem

posted at 4:16 pm on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on The Twelve Man / Thirteen Man Problem


So my daughter was excited about today’s Da Vinci Google logo; apparently they were talking about his birthday in art class today.


Should I be afraid that my 6-year old knows how to “Google”: ?

posted at 8:02 pm on Friday, April 15, 2005 in Links, Personal | Comments (2)
  1. StickHippo says:

    These days, I think you should be afraid if she _doesn’t_. ;-)

  2. Jeff K says:

    Y’know in the early 90’s retailers were avoiding programs that required much typing and also totally shunned mice (because the employees they hired had no such skills). Today, computers are in day cares all over the place. As for worries? Well my 9 year old asked me how to make the SIMS2 families have babies (!!!) but in the sense of bringing a baby into the family to take care of! Auuuuggghhh. The 3 year old said, “Make him go potty” about one of the characters in SIMS2. Google ain’t the half of it. But you can be afraid. It’s the parent thing to do.

Fox and SF

That’s it; I refuse to watch anything on FOX anymore. They badly mishandled “Firefly”: and then cancelled it. now they’ve cancelled “Point Pleasant”:

I have to wonder: Why are they ordering these shows to begin with? Are they grasping at straws for another ‘hit’ like “Buffy”: Are they just looking to tease SF fans so that they’ll all go by the (profitable) DVD box set after cancellations? Or maybe they’ve just got it in for “Joss Whedon”: and “Marti Noxon”: :-)

Anyway, I don’t get it, and I’m not going to play anymore…

posted at 8:56 am on Friday, April 08, 2005 in Rants | Comments Off on Fox and SF


Some lowlife types broke into our car last night, tried to hotwire it (which you can’t :-), and so instead stole some makeup, my wife’s handsfree phone adapter, and the ownership, registration, and insurance papers. Grr.

The cops don’t think that identity theft is likely; the thieves want the ownership papers so that they can bleach out and replace the name on the paper with someone else’s. The cops don’t normally check VINs at traffic stops, so this helps them legitimize a different stolen car of the same make and colour.

Still, I’ve been on hold with Trans Union for over half an hour now, waiting to put a “fraud protection” flag on my credit info. (Equifax answered the phone right away :-)

posted at 10:12 am on Thursday, April 07, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on Again?

Toronto Star

A couple of weeks after we talked to the Toronto Star and said “Please, please, stop sending us your free newspaper, because we’re just throwing them into the recycle bin” they upped the frequency from just the weekend to seven days a week!!!

I’m really tired of throwing out massive amounts of newspaper. It’s bad enough that the Mirror is delivered three (four?) times a week, but now I’m getting the Star too! aaaah!

(I already have a box full of newspaper in the basement for arts & craft work, so that solution is out…)


posted at 4:01 pm on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 in Rants | Comments (2)
  1. Nita says:

    You do know you can toss that paper into your composter, right?

    I mean, if you’re going to have to deal with their crap to begin with..

  2. Seonaid says:

    Hey! Maybe we need a HUGE papier mache art weekend?

Daylight Saving Time

Man, it was hard getting out of bed this morning. To make matters worse, I couldn’t get to sleep at any reasonable hour last night; probably fretting over the lost hour of sleep :)

I’ll bet that the people who are complaining about DST in April won’t remember in July and August when they’re enjoying an extra hour of afternoon/evening sunlight.

posted at 4:13 pm on Monday, April 04, 2005 in Random Thoughts | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    Those would be pretty slow moving people. The little ones were out yesterday with the sidewalk chalk, skipping ropes and bicycles, however in 3 year-old time it comes out as “Why did you come home early today?” The kids also seem to shake jet-lag better than I do, actually.

more snow

It’s a good thing I was *planning* to stay home today (and do laundry :-), ‘cos it’s wintering outside!

Ok, so it snowed in mid-April last year, too. Still, I’ll be happy to see spring _really_ start…

I’d take pictures, but we seem to have misplaced our digital camera. I really hope we didn’t leave it in Ottawa somewhere (the hotel doesn’t have it, sadly).

posted at 1:25 pm on Sunday, April 03, 2005 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    My cellphone once hid in a bag of potato chips for a few days. Since the bag had aluminum in it, the cellphone could not be called (or if it could, I didn’t hear it), however typically only coloring books wander into hotel room drawers on trips.