Zoom Zoom

So, I got my car back today, finally.

The body work is perfect. The wheels are perfect. It’s just that pesky engine and transmission that’s not working right.

When I bought the car I immediatly noticed a problem with the transmission. If I was driving hard, during the shift between 3rd and 4th if I had the engine at about 6500 RPM I would grind the gears a little bit. I talked to Mazda about it immediatly and they said to bring it in and it would be fixed under warranty. No problem. Except I needed to take their tech for a ride and do about 80 MPH and it rained for like a month straight and then I crashed.

So while it was in the shop for the crash they talked to Mazda about the transmission and Mazda recommended different transmission fluid. They put that in and now it’s even worse. Happens at about 4500 RPM and at 38 MPH and above.

Additionally, now there is a vibration throughout the car at about 1.5k unloaded and 2.5 loaded. Joy!

So I went back to Mazda and took the service guy and the body shop guy for rides and had them acknowledge the problems. It’ll get fixed, eventually, I know that but in the mean time I have to be without it again next week and find something to drive and annoy my friends and waste piles of money.

My recommendations? Don’t buy used cars. I thought I would be all awesome and save a ton of money buying a year old car but a new one wouldn’t have this transmission problem.
Also: Don’t crash your new (used) car. It’s a real bummer.

Winnar!

So, how have you been?
It’s been a while since we talked. I mean, really talked.
You know, like we did that one time? You’ve been so quiet recently. And I have too. It’s like we’re growing apart, you and I.

*cough*

So, it’s been a busy few weeks. Or months. Year, really. It’s been a busy ass life and now I’m going to tell you all about it.

Let me just see how far back I need to go…

Ohhhh yea. The night of the fateful car crash. Let’s not talk about that.

So, the weekend before last was Simucon in St. Louis. Adam, JoLynn, Scott and I packed up all our shit and plenty of booze into Adam’s car and we hit the damn road around 4:30pm on Thursday. After sitting in traffic for about 16 hours we finally started rolling and had a fairly uneventful trip across Missouri. One bit of fun was that I was able to use my cell phone as a modem to get decent Internet access the entire way. That was pretty neat.

So we rolls up into Simucon and loaded all our gear into the room. We had two coolers full of booze and when we brought those in we attracted a small train. The train stopped in our room and the liver destruction began forthright! I don’t think I can possibly describe the way things went the rest of the night better than this video so you had better watch that before we continue.

We’re particularly proud of the “money shots on the mirror”. Wow.

Other news of note is that I managed to seriously damage my hand, knee and right ankle. I love to skip when I get drunk and I skipped right off a set of concrete steps I didn’t see. Woops!

So that was Thursday. Friday was pretty laid back. There was need of recovery. Saturday was a little more of the same and Sunday we came back.

Simucon this year was much more mellow than last year. There were way less people there so they didn’t successfully take over the entire hotel. It was still fun, but it was more fun last year when there were gamer geeks as far as the eye could see.

So then there was some stuff. Work. Car. Calls to insurance. Calls to the car place. More work.

Friday! Friday I finally convinced Adam, JoLynn and Patrick to hit up some Rudy’s and we completely pigged out. I had to be up really early Saturday morning so I didn’t really drink. We came back to my place and hung out, had a few drinks, killed a few dragons and called it an early night.

Saturday morning I had to get up at 5:30am to head off to Longview Lake for the Kansas City Corporate Challenge Tug of War. That was a lot of fun and we managed to win one heat. We didn’t win the entire event, unfortunatly, but CRL has never won a single heat before so we were pretty proud. And sore. Those people take their Tug of War very seriously. Big fun.

That night we took a big gang of folk out to Ameristar Casino for Patrick’s 21st birfday. We started at the buffet and ended at Pancho’s. Inbetween that Scott and Eric both won bluetooth headsets for 50c in an arcade machine, I won and then lost $160 playing blackjack, Patrick got pretty hammered when we started buying shots and drinks before the bar closed, and we all ate mountains of food and dessert at the buffet. Since I had saved my party up on Friday night I went out with the intention of not coming home till the sun came up and when Tricia dropped me off at about 5:30am the sky was beginning to lighten. Mission accomplished.

Sunday JoLynn and I went to the dog park to let Sonja and Ty frolic about. Sonja squatted in the lake for about 10 minutes. Everyone knew she was pooping, but I think she thought she was being pretty sneaky. She looked like you do when you suddenly stop swimming in the pool and stand there trying to look all innocent for about 15 seconds.

And that, my friends, is that. Coming up next is a few concerts (One Degree Difference Thursday night woot!!!), a trip to New Jersey this weekend and Buzz Beach Ball 1 next week. And presumably I’ll see my fucking car again some time. GOSH.

Oh yea, before I forget. Please, please, please for the love of all that you hold sacred go buy Team Sleep’s debut album “Team Sleep”. It’s completely great and I love it. Or at least download it or something. Also, Necrophagist’s “Onset of Putrefaction” is pretty decent although I don’t imagine that’s your thing.

And “Where You End” by Moby on the new(ish) “Hotel” album is really just depressing as hell. Good though.

Odor?

Why do I always fucking stink after eating mexican food? Is it the smell of the food lingering on my clothes? Or is it cause I eat spicy food which makes me sweat and stink? Or is it the smell coming through my pores while I digest? Or do I always just stink and none of you fuckers have told me about it?

Assholes.

Auld Sk00l

So, I am starting this little project that will involve sending some SMS text messages from a web site. In investigating how one would do this I found three options:
1) Use a free, or commercial SMS gateway
2) Use one or more cell phones hooked up to the computer
3) Get a leased line from a cellular provider for major money

Using my cell phone from my computer sounded like a neat thing to screw around with so I started reading. This fit in nicely with the past weekend when I was using my phone for Internet access while driving across Missouri. Anyway, turns out that Sprint phones (and most phones) speak regular old Hayes AT commands just like a normal modem and that some phones even support a superset of Hayes that includes SMS commands.

I hooked up my handy, dandy USB cable to my phone, fired up ZTerm and lo and behold:

atz
OK

You all recognize that, of course!

So, I know that to get a Internet connection over Sprint Vision the number I have to dial is #777

atdt#777
CONNECT
~}#@!}!K} }4}"}&} } } } }%}&~:Ux}'}"}(}"%~~}#@!}!L} }4}"}&} } } } }%}&~:Ux}'}"}

And that, my friends, is Sprint’s server sending me PPP welcome packets. That’s completely hot and it really awes me that such new tech is using such old tech. The other cool thing is that when I run that command the phone totally shifts into data mode, showing send and receive bars and all. It’s really pretty cool.

Takes me back, it does.

Car Update

So, I figured you are just dying to hear what is going on with my car. Me too!
The damage:
Bent rear right control bars.
Possibly bent or destroyed subframe assembly.
Scratched up both right wheels.
Destroyed front air dam.
Destroyed front lower “spoiler”.
Destroyed front fender.
Destroyed front wheel well cover.

That’s all I know of so far, but it’s only been to the body shop, not to the mechanic. Body work should be done tomorrow and then it’ll head for the mechanical shop.

Progressive has paid $1900 so far and my guess is they’ll be looking at another $2000 at least. I should be getting it back either Friday (unlikely) or next week “sometime”.

I’ve been completely stressed out about this whole car thing. It makes me sick to my stomach thinking it won’t be as “good” as when I bought it. Probably just something I need to accept but it sure sucks to know I fucked up my badass car before I made the first payment. Luckily there are only 937 payments to go!