Protected: Somewhat displeased

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Missed connection

Predictable, really. The fuel filter was delayed a day, and didn’t arrive until this afternoon. Guess whose car refused to start with any cajoling this morning? Guess who missed work?

Since the part was in, there was no point in waiting around. I unboxed the filter, got out my Chilton manual and my DIY pictorial from the Internet, and went to town. Getting the rear seat out was the hardest part; it took me a while to figure out that the front edge is held in with sliding tabs, and there was nothing to unbolt there – just pull hard. I had intentionally run the gas tank kinda low, and armed with warnings from the DIY, spilled almost no gasoline. The pump came apart easily, and the filter was about 20 minutes work to replace. I insist than anyone who’s ever taken something apart and put it together again can do this.

That’s when I noticed something. The electrical harness connection to the fuel pump showed signs of serious arcing. The wiring itself was good, nowhere corroded through, but the scorch marks on the plastic showed that something had clearly been loose. I bent a couple connectors to tighter positions, and replaced the harness and pump.

The car started right up, smoother than it has in months. I shut it off, and started it again – it started right up. I’ll do so again in 20 minutes as a further test.

Could the problem have never been the fuel filter or the pump itself, but simply a loose connection? Did the dealer even look? Were they about to charge me $550 for a bad connector in a wiring harness?

I’m not sorry I changed out the filter, that can’t hurt and may improve performance. But if that was the problem all along? Then I’m a little mad.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, speaking of pumps, our fridge died last night also. By an unusual coincidence, we have a backup fridge… but we now have to walk to the garage every time we want a soda.


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Protected: What The Hell, Verizon

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Protected: A round of screwups, on the house

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Protected: Arrrrrrrgh.

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Berserker mode

We all know of 24-hour viruses. I wonder if it’s possible to have a 24-hour mental illness?

Yesterday, I was a festering ball of rage and frustration, unable to calm myself with any of my psyche tricks, and certainly unfit for company. Why Starr put up with me I don’t know, but she did a lovely job of soothing me over the course of the evening, and by 10 or 11 or so I was able to talk politely and slip off to sleep like a normal person.

I don’t want to do that one again anytime soon. Not just for anyone else’s benefit, but for my own as well. I did not enjoy that.

I am going to rant now.

A friend of mine has a website she updates once a week. I have been visiting and enjoying this site for two years, chatted with her about it on Yahoo! Messenger, and corresponded with her by e-mail, We’ve exchanged pictures of spouses and (in her case) child, and get along pretty well. But she has other things to do besides learn HTML, so she has a friend build her site with updates she passes along.

And now I can’t get in her site. Why? Because her webmaster has fallen in love with the nonstandard JavaScript tricks available to Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.

I use a Macintosh. I don’t apologize for that, I love it. It’s not perfect, I can point out some of the issues involved long before any Windows user can, but it’s a solid machine that I can get all my work done on. Just about the only thing I haven’t been able to do with my Mac is play “Half-Life”, and even that’s been ported to the PlayStation 2 now.

So I write politely to the webmaster, pointing out that the latest IE I can access is 5.1, and suggesting that he might want to design a more flexible site. Heck, with JavaScript you can ask the browser who it is and reconfigure on the fly.

What do I hear back? “Can’t be bothered. Your machine sucks. Why don’t you buy a PC?”

I gently point out that there are still plenty of users out there who don’t use Windows. Heck, some of the Windows users I know won’t install IE 6 ’cause (I’m told) it’s a buggy, bloated piece of work that rewrites half your system when you install it. Does he want to block every one of those users from his sites?

Response? “Don’t care. Buy a PC so you can look at my site. If Macs were so great, they could handle IE 6 JavaScript.”

At this point, I realized, I was talking to a brick wall. I’m not bothering to respond by telling him that I can, if I want, run a more cutting edge version of MS Office than he can and get great framerate in Quake III at the same time. But I have to miss out on a friend’s website because he’s some l33t idiot who figures, “The hell with standards; it’s from Redmond, so it’s perfection and the wave of the future!”

I’m done now. I wish to point out here that in no part of this rant have I been rude about the general capabilities of PCs as hardware, or of Windows as an operating system.

Hello, you are caller…

Number Eight! Arrggh!!

and, later…

Number Eleven! Aaarrrrrgggghhhh!!!!!!

I never even get through, usually… now I get through twice and it’s wrong both times!!!

Me thinks me betta go chill out a bit.