Quick Book Review – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

nvrwhrI really wanted to like this book.  I’ve heard such great things about Neil Gaiman.  He was even on The Simpsons.

Having just come down from reading all the Harry Pottery series for the second time, I needed something else that could hold my attention.  Neverwhere came up in my search so I thought I would give it a try.

Alas.  It just didn’t work for me.  I struggled through the first half of the book where random stuff happens and there appears to be absolutely no story line.   The premise seems to be that a regular guy gets sucked into a strange underworld where he wanders aimlessly until I just stop reading.

I’m not entirely giving up on Neil Gaiman yet.  Maybe his other books are better.  I want them to be.  Any suggestions?

 

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10.5 Years of Blogging

tnyrckI just noticed that I’ve been doing this blog for 10 and a half years now.  WOW!  That’s a lot of words and thoughts.

My first entry back in April of 2007 was about crippling loneliness.  I haven’t cracked that issue yet but I’ve come a long way from what I was back then.   I’m only lonely.  Not crippled about it anymore.

I’m not depressed anymore.  That was a bitch of a fight but I won!  This blog was a crucial tool in helping me work through it.  I’m sure I would be dead without it.  Thanks WordPress!  You probably saved my life.

A lot of neat stuff has happened and I built a lot of things.  Certain pages have become very popular but most are lost in the noise.  Every once in a while I go back and read and enjoy all the great writings I did.  It’s all for me anyway.  If you happen to see it and it makes your life better, then Bonus!

Here’s to another 10 years!

 

 

Prius brake actuator luck out!

prusbrkactrMy wonderful good luck has helped me out yet again.

The other day a bunch of indicator lights lit up on the dashboard of my 2008 Prius.  I stopped at Advance Auto and they, always being so wonderfully helpful, scanned my OBD and the results indicated that I need to replace my Brake Actuator.

I planned on replacing it myself with a used part since a new one would cost $1200.  I found one on eBay for $189 so I bought it.  It arrived and I got psyched up to work on it but further research indicated that it was HIGHLY unrecommended that it be done at home.  Special tools are needed to complete the installation.  Bummer!  I psyched myself to pay $2300 for a new one plus installation.  I guess I can sell the part again on eBay and get a little money back.

My luck kicked in when I did further searching and found that Toyota has a special extended service warranty on the part that is good until December 30th this year.  Only a month away!  YES!!!   I printed out the Toyota Memo and took it to the shop.  Sure enough, it was covered.  They took the car and gave me a loaner.  They even had the part in stock.  I should be getting it back today if not tomorrow.  No cost.   Damn sweet!

I bought a lottery ticket but my luck doesn’t seem to extend to the lottery for some reason.  Only 1 number.  Oh well.  I saved $2300!  That’s like winning the lottery anyway.

 

 

Memory – Wishbone Cheating

wshbnYou’re supposed to take a wishbone, make a wish and break it with someone.  The person who holds the larger piece gets his wish.

I was a bad little boy when it came to wishbones.  I always broke it with my little brother but I always won because if you look at the center part of the bone, one side has better structural support.  Therefore I totally cheated.

I was mean to my little brother.  Big brothers are supposed to let them win and take care of them.  Shame on me.  No wonder we are not very close.

 

Power Outage

pwrotgI woke up this morning and all was well (as it could be for having to get up and go to work.)  As I was walking down the stairs the light went out.  Damn.  Burned out bulb.  I got downstairs and saw that the battery light was on as I turned off the alarm system.  Hmmm.   It was then that I noticed that the power was out.

I made a bowl of cereal and wondered about it.  After eating I grabbed a little hand cranked radio to see if maybe the EMP was finally here.   The usual interminable crap was blaring.  Music and stupid talk about some messed up relationship.  Nobody cared about the power outage.  Guess it’s not the EMP.  I’ll have to go to work.

I went out to the garage and opened the door manually, pulled the car out and closed the door.  How crude!

As I looked around, I noticed that it was another one of those tiny outages that affects only my block.  The people across the street had their lights on.   This micro-outage seems to happen every once in a while.  I wonder what the deal is.

Free Weed Whacker

A co-worker gave me an Echo SRM-210 Weed whacker.  He had used too little oil in the gasoline and the engine had seized up due to lack of lubrication.

He bought a new one but knew I could fix things so he asked me if I wanted it.  I didn’t need or want it but I’ve always been interested in freeing a seized engine so I took it as a educational project.

It sat in my garage untouched for almost a year until recently when I bought some land out in the country.  I’m still waiting for the closing on the deal but when the time comes, there is a lot of brush that is going to need to be cleared.  Searching the internet on means to clear land I came across using a weed wacker with a brush cutting blade.  BINGO!  I have just the thing in my garage!

When I got home from work, I Youtubed freeing seized weed eater and found a video showing how it is done.

I removed the spark plug and filled the cylinder with some air tool oil that I happened to have on hand and let it sit for a few days until I would have time on the weekend.   When Saturday finally came, I emptied the oil from the cylinder and took off the string started unit.  I clamped on some vice grips and expected to have to torque on it pretty good but it almost instantly freed the piston.

No Way!!!    I put the string starter back on and it pulled freely.  I reinstalled the spark plug and put some gas/oil mixture in the tank.  After a few pulls, it started!

That just saved me $219 or more for a new unit.  I immediately ordered a brush cutting blade kit for $44.00.  I’m all set now!

Providence strikes once again.  Things I need automatically come to me.  Sometimes before I need them.  My luck is amazing!

 

Please Reply!!!

ysnoNothing annoys me more than not getting responses to my emails.  I don’t know if it is a societal thing or people are just assholes.  Maybe both.

There was a time, when you asked a question, that you got an answer.  Now people just ignore you.  Even businesses where you are prospective customers.

I guess there are ways to be obnoxious about it until you get a response.  Maybe that is necessary today.   You just can’t seem to get people’s attention anymore.  Technology is the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

As far as email goes, maybe adding, “Response Requested” or “Awaiting your reply” will help.  I kind of like to go with a passive-aggressive option.  If I don’t get a response, I send the exact same email again in a few days and repeat until something happens.

I am thinking on Yes/No questions I might include the above YES and NO Graphic to try to make it easier for the weak-minded.

What do you think?