Random Gobshite...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What $3600 looks like.

So, I'm driving to work a few weeks ago in my Subaru Outback, The Sloop Sue B. I'm on a hill on Route 80 West, trying to pass a guy who really wants to race, and trying to get around him so the other Boy Racer behind me in the Yukon with the 700ci engine can get past me. Then it happens-a violent shaking, loss of power, the usual signs that some sort of catastrophic failure has taken place. I pull over, and she quits. I try to start her, and it takes an incredible amount of pedal to make her run at all. Having endured a long losing streak with vehicles in my late teens and early twenties, I had an inkling what this was-the unmistakable condition experienced following catastrophic failure of an engine. For those who aren't mechanics, Imagine being worked over by an M1 Abrams tank, pierced through the heart like Steve Irwin, then being asked to rise and walk-THAT's catastrophic failure-everything on the inside that makes everything else work in sequence was, well, out of sequence (and most likely bent and burnt up) A tow to my mechanic confirmed my fears, and once the decision was made to replace the engine (I've only had her a short period of time and LOVE her like no car I have loved in a long time) I got a good look at the wounds once the old block was out:

(This is NOT an access panel-I managed to blow a hole in the side of the engine you can easily stick your hand through. Also, what looks like a connecting rod is poking thru at left of the hole, looking not unlike a tire valve stem.)

Aaaand from the bottom:

(Rods, Arms, Bearings-you name it, I bent, broke or burnt them.)

My choices were Option A, sell the car needing an engine-which is basically like taking it to the dump-it's a great deal for the mechanic with some skills and a spare engine, but not for a seller. I was already behind, having paid cash for the car, so that was not an option. Option B was to get a completely new factory-type engine-with labor, this would amount to more than the car had cost me. Option C was a remanufactured block with my old top end, which, though it would give me a warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles, was still out of range. Option D was my choice, a lower mileage, used motor from a junked Outback. My mechanic would put on everything new that he possibly could, including the troublesome head gaskets all Outbacks suffer from. I the end it ran around $3600, and to tell the truth I could not be happier with the outcome-the engine runs smoother than the old one and it's like driving a brand new car-almost. Three weeks with no car sucked but it was not too bad.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is what happens when car hood props fail, and car hoods meet human flesh. I have not bled so much in a long time, but I was calm, so was Dr. Girlfriend, and we were able to not only breeze through the ER, we managed to crack up the staff with our silliness in the face of injury.

Suture staples are pretty amazing-the whole process feels like Milton is back there with his red Swingline, but minus the expected pain due to a coating of Lidocaine. Wet in three days, out in ten....I may even do them myself.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


I for one would be less than intimidated by anyone with a gun on a Segway, even if it is the Chinese. Got to give this one a big "Really?!?" Plus, they all look like they have to whiz anyway.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Some disclosure

OK, so now we are in the process of writing the script, and I can tell you it is essentially a zombie flick, an hour or less, and will be unlike anything else in the genre thus far. Simultaneously, it will be an homage to many films We have enjoyed in the past. It will also be based on true events. Many movies make this claim, few will have as much annotation as ours to corroborate that statement. It is the type of script that will make a conspiracy theorist smile and even blush.

My co-director, Mike Shands and I met last nite over coffee to bang out the outline and it went like buttah-we are both on the same wavelength and looking to get the same things out of this script. Next week we'll do some index-carding and flesh out the plot more in detail...I'm very excited about this and hope to keep all posted on the progress.

Meanwhile I forwarded some contracts to what I hope to be my entertainment attorney's office-if I can afford him and it works out I'll disclose who else he represents in the future.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Time Travel?

(Hardly. To find out about this van and the rest of my Saturday on the road, check out my other blog, Wastelands of Suburbia, HERE)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Film progress...

Well, it looks like things are progressing with the film project-we are banging out a story, and it will hopefully contain a subplot I've been looking to address for some time, sadly, it's a spoiler to give it away now, so I have to stay mum on it.

In related news, we have a tentative deal to produce shorts for a yet-to-be-disclosed to you guys online film company. The deal would pay us per view, essentially, but as I said, it's tentative-I am in the process of securing an entertainment attorney to check things out for me on the contract, to make sure I'm not going to sweat and shit and toil for mere pennies. More on that later as well.

I will most likely be compiling some new posts on my other blog this weekend, so stay tuned if you are down wit da junk.

Monday, March 30, 2009

GO GO GADGET.....phone.

(Yeah I know-the seller's ID makes the post look lame-ass, but I could not find a pic without one)

So, I got a new phone. I have dealt with a POS former ATT Wireless Go Phone as my main unit for some time. I really hate being reachable all the time honestly, but when I need to reach someone, I want my shit to work. The final straw was when I needed an iTip for it and the Radio Shack guy told me they stopped making them cause LG did the same with 'those old phones'-I'm pretty sure he smirked (if I was sure, you'd have seen them taking the body out on the news). That, and the fact that missing screws inside the damned thing kept causing it to short out on me at inopportune times, like when Dr. Girlfriend had something important to tell me.

Of course, when choices abound, my needs suddenly become legion. I NEED a PDA phone, I NEED the touchscreen/stylus interface, NEED a decent camera to catch the next Phelps bong hit, UFOs and El Chupacabra should I come across them in my travels. As the list of potential phones grows, so does the notion that more of my tax refund is going to go to yet another hand-held gadget sure to completely improve and simplify my life. Fortunately, there is Frugality (and for some, its ugly sister, Cheapness) to rein in such folly.

I got looking on Ebay for starters-since my ATT Wireless account gives me a SIM card, I am able to purchase any phone I want and drop it in. Since I missed the deadline to upgrade this past September, and really don't feel like applying the Big Mark Nasty-Ass Sucks to Be You Negotiation Process at this time, I figured I'd find what I wanted easily enough for less than 200 beans, since the Bastards Formerly Known as Bell wanted $250 and up for most of their PDA-type wares.

There is one other thing about me I neglected to mention-I love having something hard to obtain, or less likely to be had in the US. Little items from far-flung corners of the planet are my Blood Diamonds. I loved import vinyl as a kid-my collection of colored and printed LPs and singles was pretty impressive. My cars had to still have things written in German on them for a time (I got off on saying my car was Schwarz or Cirrusblau, rather than plain old black or light blue), and for a while anything with Japanese or Cyrillic on it caught my attention. Most recently I discovered the taste of Mexican domestic Kahlua is better than the stuff they send us (more coffee, less sugar), and had my poor friend Brent begging his in-laws to keep me sated with the brown gold for my occasional Big Lebowski-themed drinking jags. I guess I liked the idea of feeling like I had gone to those places, and when asked I'd reply "I got it in Russia"-that subtle semantic phrase-bending could have got me in trouble, but if asked I'd always concede I meant "FROM Russia" or whatever country of origin the item happened to hail from.

With this in mind, I quickly began to turn my attention to some of the unbranded imports from Hong Kong-I have had some success with Chinese imports in the past, and since I don't eat my phone I am not to worried about lead poisoning. They ALL emit waves that are killing us, but I could get gunned down by the BATFE tomorrow if they get a hard-on for me. Eventually I found the little dealie you see above. The wallpaper is NOT of Dr. Girlfriend as some have surmised but seems to be Mena Suvari of American Beauty fame. I wonder if she knows-her pic is on the phone, the box, the manual, everything-she may have a great case for a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, the phone has everything I need-it is not as intuitive as the idiot-proof phones for the domestic market, but since MY VCR has the correct time (the very fact I have a VCR denotes I've been messing with this shit a long time, kiddies), I'm not having too much trouble figuring stuff out. And yes, I know of the holy iPhone ( I use an iBook after all), but I don't need internet on my phone, so I'm not going to worry too freakin' much about widgets and apps, as I get my fill when I'm at the computer.

Best part is this one only set me back $83 bucks US$. If I hit any snags I'll let you know, but for now I'm pretty happy with it.