Monday, May 19, 2008

Perception of American cars

While on vacation in Florida I rented a car.  I was expecting somewhat sporty Pontiac G6 but was dismayed when Budget told me  they ran out but could either give me a PT Cruiser or the Chevy HHR. What I ended up with is the HHR.

This has got to be the ugliest, most embarrassing, shitty handling car I've ever driven. It's a cross between a gangster-mobile and a hearse.

Towards the end of our vacation I got used to the embarrassment partly because I saw other people driving one (most likely renters as well). Despite it's seemingly large appearance from the exterior it barely bit our two suitcases and a stroller. The dash feels like it's made by Fisher Price and the window controls are strangely placed on the dash. Wiper controls are located on both the stock and the dash. Everything seems like and afterthought.

There's no need to wonder why Japanese cars outsell Domestics.

Grilling Season

It's time to buy a new grill for the deck. 

I believe it's time for a old fashioned charcoal grill. Based on cost, taste, fun, and portability I believe charcoal grills are superior to the made plethora of propane BBQs that have flooded the market over the past few years. I also can't stand driving to the gas station to fill up the propane tank.

Gas grills are so cheaply made (made in China) that they are probably meant to be disposable.  Despite covering the BBQ, each year either the cooking grate, vaporizer or venturi rusts out. The cost to replace is upwards of $40 each so the math is simple.  

Here's the math ... A classic 10 year warranty Weber classic charcoal kettle grill costs about $130, a propane grill of acceptable quality will cost between $300-$500.  Charcoal is cheaper per meal than propane. There are no parts to replace on a kettle grill. Easy Peasy.
The cons of charcoal, are: More fuss to start and clean up and the perception that charred food causes cancer. The fussiness can be overcome with experience and I have yet to hear of anyone e dying of BBQ cancer. 

And it comes in blue!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


I'm installing recessed (can) lighting in the basement.  I thought the hardest part was to figure out how far apart  to place them to create even light coverage. 

Using a electronic stud finder I located the floor joists so that I wouldn'tt be cutting a hole smack dab under a joist. As you can see from the photo that's exactly what happened. Apparently the stud finder is fooled when two woods of different densities are beside each other; the previous home owner doubled-up the original joists using 2x6 pine, the original joist was some other species.

I chose another location and made another hole. I guess I'll have to patch up the other one :-(