September 25, 2006

Super Geeky Day

Finally gave Cingular the old heave-ho today and signed up with T-Mobile. After ten years (!) with one cell company, it seemed like it was the time to change. June and I got matching RAZRs and Grandma got a new flip phone. The kids are fighting over who gets the old superannuated phones to play with. I'm wondering what the right age is for a kid to have a phone?

Other good geeky thing, I fixed the Audi's braking system myself (almost) and saved 750 bucks. The ABS light was on, and after getting a $1000 quote, I looked at the audiworld forum and found a mention of Module Masters, a company that will rebuild the electronic control module of most ABS systems for $250 (including a five year guarantee). Only hitch--you've got to remove the module and send it to them. They fix the thing in about a day and a half and return it overnight, so it's gone for a little over a week, and in the meantime you have just regular non-ABS brakes. The weird part is that to remove the module, you have to remove a wheel, the wheel liner, the windshield wiper fluid tank and a bunch of Torx screws. But other than that it's not too bad, although I seem to have knocked something loose on the wiper fluid tank and all the fluid ran out.

But the good news is that the brakes work again and I feel very manly.

Which is a good thing, because the RAZR is kind of a girly phone. And the signal strength kind of sucks. Are there any better phones anyone can recommend?

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September 06, 2006

Accept No Substitutes


Thanks to 43 Folders, I now have this very impressive seal, to show my impressiveness.

Make your Own

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September 05, 2006

What Keeps Me Up Nights

My front porch is slippery. Whenever it rains, the painted concrete becomes difficult to navigate in my Wallabees because their oh-so-stylish crepe soles are just not very non-slip. I have managed to hydroplane my way onto my ass several times, and without fail, the thing that goes through my head as I fall gracelessly onto my coccyz is that it would be a particularly pathetic way to die and leave my family on their own.

I rehearse the needlessly cruel, John Irving-esque way in which my daughter will tell her friends that I died "descending", my son's refusal to use the front door to the house, my wife's insistence on gaining ingress and egress through a window. Given my extremely low tolerance for the twee irony which passes for profundity in John Irving's books, I grow depressed and descend my front steps at a pace which often prompts my mother-in-law to push me out of the way so that she can get outside, "Today, Grandpa".

Which is why I find the barb-related death of Steve Irwin so utterly enervating. That guy didn't worry about falling over in the bathtub. He probably didn't wonder if every cramp in his left arm was the sign of an onrushing cardiac infarction (with the secondary worry of where the nearest bottle of aspirin might be). And yet, ultimately, would it comfort his widow any to know that it was no common slip-and-fall which turned her world upside down?

I can't help but imagine his last moment, as he pulled that barb out of his chest, the surprise, the fear, the sense of disappointment. How much more depressing to be wondering why you chose gloss latex instead of eggshell.

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