I guess this is why you work on your own car.

Gone Bad, Projects

I’m a pretty good driveway mechanic. Which means that if it has bolts I can pretty much remove and replace it on the car. It’s never as easy as you think it’s going to be, but in the end you save the labor costs and you end up fixing the car. Unless…

Something goes wrong. Which if you were at the shop they wouldn’t tell you and they would just say. Urrrm, there was another broken part, more money please.  Not, “my bad I slipped and fucked this other thing up” this one’s on me.

So I’m changing out the timing belt in the Subaru because we didn’t know if the last guy had it done.  So I finally got the balls to remove the belt and start to replace all the pulleys and gears that came with the kit.  I replaced the water pump and was bolting everything back on.  When I committed the cardinal sin of driveway mechanics… I started feeling good about myself.  Then the bolt slipped on the tensioner pulley and stripped out the block.  I must have cross threaded it because I wasn’t anywhere near the 35lbs of torque it’s suppose to get.

But on the bright side if I had to break something… this part is a separate bracket that comes off the block. So I just have to go to the dealership tomorrow and get a new one.

Fingers crossed on the price…

Update: $55 bucks for the bracket. Probably could have gotten it cheaper online… but wtf.

Adventures in Coffee Bean Roasting

Gone Bad, Projects


Maybe it’s because Laurel has been out of town for two weeks. Maybe it’s because I’m getting bored watching a South Park marathon. Maybe it’s because I’ve been driven crazy by a steady diet of turkey sandwiches with spicy sweet mustard and Giant brand seltzer water. Anyway, today has been a Saturday filled with projects. I saw some coffee on sale at giant last night. It was Fair Trade, Organic, and in a recyclable steel container. So I knew that Laurel would approve on all accounts! What I forgot to notice is that on the outside of the container it said “Unroasted”! So this morning when I opened the can I was surprised to see hundreds of little green coffee beans staring me in the face.

So out of boredom or possibly the desire not to clean the house I decided to see if I could roast the beans myself at home. I googled it and found this page on my first try. It suggested that I could in fact roast them in the oven!

How hard could this be!

Hard! (Or maybe not that hard and I’m just not that good at it)

Gone Bad: maybe?

Gone Bad, Projects

So a few weeks ago I published a photo of two skulls that I sold to a couple in Maryland. They had the order in for a long time, but I hadn’t finished them. For some reason I was having a horrible time deciding if they were cool enough yet. I think it’s because they were the first ones that I did in black with colors instead of a normal dark in the eyes kind of thing. Here are some pictures of it in progress. I really like the finished products, but I think there’s something to be said about the gloss black and gloss red. I just need to get it right and figure out how to use oil paints better.

Gloss black and red

Gloss black and red

Yo Estoy Phone killer

Gone Bad, Projects

So while trying to fix my phone from the last time I killed it I’ve made things worse. First I got a loaner phone that was pretty good so it distracted me from fixing my 8125 quickly. So I decided to paint the 8125 and make it cooler. I’ve modded controllers so I thought that I might be good at painting small plastic parts… turns out phones are slick… and painted with some kind of teflon. So the paint turned out to be a minor disaster. Well at least the phone works right… well, no. The screen works… which was the problem in the first place, but not the keyboard dosent work right and the earpiece is broken. So I can only use it on speakerphone… then while trying to fix that I broke off the usb connector, so I can’t charge it.

I’m pretty sure I’m just going to buy a new phone, I might still try to fix this one, I don’t like to give up on projects. I was thinking of fixing the treo 650 so that I would at least have a backup phone if when this happens again. But now I have doubts that will workout right, it did get run over by Laurel’s car. I think I need an indestructible phone. when I get a new one Im going to ge the biggest titanium case for it.



Switch… to Linux…

Gone Bad, Projects

So last night I thought I’d try something that I’d been thinking about for a while. I read an article about Linux MCE, specifically Ubuntu and Myth TV and thought I’d give it a try. Especially since my copy of Windows may not be as genuine as it should be. So I downloaded the Ubuntu installation and got ready to go. I put my hair in a pony tail and put on my most ironic t-shirt. It had been a while since I played around with Linux so it was nice to see that the installation process had been sped up. You could boot from the CD and try out the environment without installing and then choose to install it if you wanted, which is much easier than installing windows. I was very excited.

I set up some basic options, it comes with some software pre-installed, Firefox, Open-office, all stuff that I’ve used before. I was thinking that I’d be over at Micro-Center(nerd hq) in no time conversing with my new friends about how great Linux is. But then they pulled the bait and switch on me. They make it so easy to get started but when I wanted to do the simplest thing it suddenly got very complicated. All I wanted to do was install a program, MythTV. On windows there’s an executable file… not in Linux. Which is fine. On Mac OS you just unzip the files and put them into your programs folder… not in Linux. Ok then how do I do it? So I did a little searching around and found a guide on how to do exactly what I wanted. After following the first 5 steps which involved using the command line and setting up permissions for new users and installing MySql… well I sort of gave up. I will be back because I think Ubuntu has promise. But it’s kind of like decorating a moped like a Ducati. You may get 95mpg, but you’re still a dork.

Now let me just explain that I know computers. I do Java programming for a living. I work on computers every day, I have websites, blogs, I have a degree in computer graphics. I could and will probably figure this out. But it should be easier, my recommendation for now… If you want to switch… switch to Mac.


UPDATE – it turns out mythTV isn’t just a program, its a new front end for the operating system.