29 June 2009

tasha yar

if you google "tasha yar", this image comes up on the first page.

28 June 2009

taking a poll

which color palette looks the best? the main house color will be blue. the white primer (ignore that) separates the two palettes. the palette on the right also includes two existing house colors: the mahogany around the window and on the door, and the cream accent in the door.

this was taken with my iphone, so the colors are just a little more muted because of that. but the right-most palette is definitely the brighter of the two.

thoughts? current backyard-voting stands at 2-2.

update: left: 6, right: 6

(please note this is a non-binding vote)

update 7/2: saw the colors at night -- the blue on the right looks almost black! bit of a negative for me.

27 June 2009

full-service auto repair

i found this note pinned to the wall of my local diesel mechanic, among all the other letters and postcards they have pinned there.

when in need of a low-carb crust...

why not use prosciutto? that's what the gf did when making this quiche -- genius! delicious genius. (sorry for the low-quality, iphone & florescent photo)

26 June 2009

cool old Scirocco

i saw this next door to where i take my car sometimes. damn is it in nice shape. Not sure what year... '84 perhaps?

lincoln square travesty

aside from Meyer's shutting down a couple years ago, the ruining of Lincoln Square continues: a horrible building has replaced the old Big N Tall store and its adjacent parking lot. it really makes the square with the fountain feel like a canyon. i disapprove.

21 June 2009

i have the Magnus

yes, Basil, I have the Magnus. I always have. not that you'll ever read this...

eucharistic congress!

this was in my house when i moved in, 13 years ago. (!!!!)

i did not attend the event.

19 June 2009

i sense the impending death of my turbo

despite two cleanings, my overboost problem has not subsided. i'm also experiencing too-high EGT temps, i reckon as a result of the overboost.

last night, in addition to the overboosting, suddenly i was getting inconsistent boost. i would push the pedal, the car would move forward a little sluggishly, then BAM it would suddenly find its boost and jump forward.

i may have also detected some additional whining from the engine area, but i'm not certain.

so i shall take one more chance, and drive it the 30-some miles to my new mechanic, who will install for me a brand-new turbo. one that's bigger, can handle higher boost than the stock one, and has a larger exhaust side for running cooler EGTs. it should still work well with my tune, though i'm aware i won't be taking full advantage of its power capabilities. that's okay, i want my car to run and run within safe parameters.

it's a Garrett VNT-17/22 hybrid turbo, for those keeping track at home. it can handle 26 psi boost sustained, versus the 19 psi spike of the original.

can't wait!

comcast is... awesome?

a year ago, i finally broke down and got cable. i had it briefly in 1994 or so, but thought it too expensive and not worth it. that's when i still had dialup.

after several years of declining earthlink DSL service, and desiring a couple more channels on the TV, i ditched DSL and grabbed a year-long cable TV / cable internet promotion. about $85/mo., including DVR and some premium channels.

i knew my year was up today, when I opened the bill and saw it had jumped by $100. an amount i find absurd.

free Starz was part of the original promotion, which i didn't mind ditching. but once on the phone, after establishing that the jump in price was due to the promotion ending, i thought i'd have some fun and request a continuation of the promotion.

and they agreed.

only Starz had no promotion available, so i ditched it. but HBO, the package with BBC/America and DIY, the DVR, the internet, all of it was eligible for another year of promotion.

i'm shocked. that's gonna save me $1200, until this time next year when i request it again.

10 June 2009

oops, i have done it again

i went for my post-dinner piece of dark chocolate, not realizing that the chunk i grabbed was from the same 100% cacao baker's chocolate bar that i took a bite of a couple weeks ago. only this time, i wasn't expecting it.

08 June 2009

new beetle meets scirocco?

i just came across this photo of a prototype of a possible future NB. i do think the NB shape is pretty darn tired and that VW should have killed it off a couple years ago. but i do like this new shape, even if i am unconvinced about Scirocco 3. then again, i was unconvinced about Scirocco 2, as the original Scirocco shape is fantastic, i think.

07 June 2009

judaism defined

i've been combing through food is love posts recently, a blog i'm really enjoying. i came across the following, in this post of hers:

Judaism, as I recently told a friend, is built on two basic principles: 1) Treat other people the way you’d like to be treated, and 2) Onions and potatoes taste really good cooked in chicken fat. The rest, as Rabbi Hillel sort of said, is commentary.

04 June 2009

adding insult to injury in the insect world

from here:

There are numerous parasites and predators of cockroaches, but few of them have proven to be highly effective for biological control. Wasps in the family Evaniidae are perhaps the most effective insect predators, as they attack the egg cases, and wasps in the family Ampulicidae are predators on adult and nymphal cockroaches (e.g., Ampulex compressa).


Ampullex wasps sting the roach more than once and in a specific way. The first sting is directed at nerve ganglions in the cockroach's thorax; temporarily paralyzing the victim for 2–5 minutes, more than enough time for the wasp to deliver a second sting. The second sting is directed into a region of the cockroach's brain that controls the escape reflex among other things.[28] When the cockroach has recovered from the first sting it makes no attempt to flee. The wasp clips the antenna with its mandibles and drinks some of the haemolymph before walking backwards and dragging the roach by its clipped antenna to a burrow, where an egg will be laid upon it. The wasp larva feeds on the subdued, living cockroach.

"get down there, little doggie!"

... i said as i flushed for a second time.

01 June 2009

i saw my first Ariel Atom

was heading out to Michigan this weekend, and on the Boorman near Chesteron, I saw a string of fast cars heading west. one was a Lambo, followed soon after by a black Atom.

it went by quickly (naturally), and it was a lot bigger than i expected. black was a pretty cool color for it, as well. gf gave me permission to buy one, after verifying it had 2 seats.