Wednesday, October 25, 2006

California Emissions

My Jeep. It has been quite the topic of interest in my life. Many hate it, some love it, I refer to it as 'The Albatross'.

I got my registration renewal notice in the mail a little wile back, and I have to get it smogged this year. Major pain in the ass. So. After the requisite amount of freaking out, I take it to a mechanic that I drive by everyday, does smog checks, and has a stellar reputation on Yelp. Literally 10 minutes after dropping it off dude calls me and tells me that he couldn't do the smog test on my car because the check engine light didn't light up when he plugged in the computer. He goes on to tell me that it will cost about $200 to rip open the dashboard and determine whether or not it's a burnt bulb, or (more likely) if the electrical system is failing in the dash. This, to me, is the death knell for my car.

Craig is not convinced, so he calls his mechanic (the guy who has been taking care of my car for the past almost two years, and who doesn't do smog checks). His mechanic confirms that you have to have a check engine light to get a smog check done, but tells us that he'll figure out what the deal is with the light for $75. Craig and I figure it's worth it to know whether or not I need to scramble to buy a new car and agree. We take it in, and he proceeds to call me periodically throughout the day to ask me strange questions: did the other mechanic run my VIN number through the system, what exactly did the other mechanic say, and so on. Finally his assistant calls me that afternoon to tell me that my car's ready and I can come pick it up. But, of course, she can not tell me what the hell's going on with it.

So the next morning I walk in to the mechanic, where he hands me my keys and a smog certificate. Evidently, he never had to tear open the dashboard - after some research, it came to light that my car was manufactured 2 months before the Clean Air act took effect in 1990. So I didn't need a check engine light. And he only charged me $100 for the whole ordeal (smog checks run from $35 - $50 a pop).

3 days later my registration sticker arrives in the mail from the DMV - and the whole time I have an exhaust leak and a whole in my muffler so big that I set car alarms off as I drive down the street. I take comfort in the fact that the world is a better place with California cracking down on air-polluting cars like mine. ::grin::

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Smaller Is Better

My good frined made this. And the cat's name is Lucifer - possibly one of my favorite cats of all time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Google Buys YouTube

I can't believe these yahoos got 1.65 BILLION dollars. Two Kings? Are they high? Are they in front of a TGI Friday's?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

This is a .... barm

'Barm'. It's gotta be one of the wierdest words ever. And some of the oddest looking stuff, too. Basically, it's starter that you've fed, let get all frothy, fed again, and then let ferment (preferably as slow as possible to get a more 'sour' flavor). I let mine ferment for about 12 hours in the fridge, and then pull it out and let it sit under the oven light for a few hours until it comes back up to roomish temperature. And you know it's gotta be good, because the stuff actively bubbles while you watch it.