Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

We had a last minute abort by our primary trick-or-treater. He’s decided to hand out candy instead. Considering the cold-wet weather (see picture below), it’s probably just as well that we’re not out farming more candy.


I think K’s pumpkin is a bit surprised and shocked to see his new white hairdo.

A New Car!

Saturday, October 30th, 2010


Yes, I finally pulled the trigger on a new car. I’ve had 13 good years with my Integra, but it’s finally time to let it go. We pick up the new car Monday.

So what did I get? A 2010 VW Jetta TDI. That’s a 2.0L turbo diesel for those not familiar with the VW branding. The diesel wasn’t a primary selling point, since in my calculations it’s about a wash relative to the unleaded models. Better mileage, but higher fuel and oil costs.[2] I don’t drive enough miles in a year to see a huge cost savings, but the range is pretty amazing with something like 600 miles on a tank. Lots of nice interior features in a metallic grey exterior and a black/grey interior. 6-speed manual, Bluetooth interface, iPod data connector, 115 VAC accessory connector, moonroof, etc.

Here are some mug shots courtesy of K’s iPhone:
2010 VW Jetta TDI Right Front

2010 VW Jetta TDI Left Front

2010 VW Jetta TDI Interior

  1. Think Price is Right []
  2. VW specifies a fairly exclusive synthetic motor oil for the TDI engine, but then they claim you only need to change it every 10k miles. []

Best Birthday Quote Ever.

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Regarding my birthday cake, which he helped decorate, Nate said:
“…and it has candles with fire on them!”


Thursday, October 21st, 2010

It’s official, the American Red Cross doesn’t want my blood. Some poor vampire will go without this Halloween.

Apparently, Isla Roatan in Honduras is a location for immediate deferral due to risk of malarial infection… Even though I spent less than a day there.

It’s rather impressive how detailed their geographical database actually is. Simply identifying “Belize” wasn’t sufficient. I needed to identify specific geographical locations. This is a problem, since I literally do not know exactly where in Belize the cave tour bus actually took us. Regardless, it wasn’t Belize that caused the deferral (perhaps because I could only identify Belize City), and even if it did, the restriction would be the same.

The deferral is for one year from my last day in Roatan. I suppose that assumes I don’t come down with malaria in the next year.

Expectations are everything.

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
  1. When dropping off medical samples at the lab for analysis, expect to be met in an open room filled with lab technicians.
  2. When you try to reorganize the files on your computer, expect this to break things that seem utterly unrelated to the files you moved.
  3. When you replace the brakes on your car, expect the vibration you were certain was the brakes to persist.
  4. When you attempt to fix that nagging problem (caused by #2 above), expect to accidentally reinstall the entire operating system.
  5. And on a brighter note: When you have regular backups established, expect to be able to quickly restore your user setting, email profiles, etc. after number 4.

Once again I am reminded of the phrase:

There are two kinds of computer users in the world: those who backup regularly and those who are about to. – Attribution unknown.

50 miles in the books.

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Today’s ride was awesome: outstanding October weather, the fantastic Limerick Park (in Limerick, PA), the well-organized, well-marked and beautiful ride and -oh my- the food!

K had a (relatively) easy time with the kids while I cruised eastern PA. It took me just a few minutes over three hours to complete the 50 miles… so if you were waiting for me to pull it off, you can still donate!

Thanks again to Linda and the rest of the Lifesavers for the great time and for inviting us to support this great cause. Our team made it’s goal (although I fell short of my personal goal) with $10,610.00 posted and a few more checks still trickling in. That’s outstanding! The entire event earned over $125k for Ataxia research and related activities.

Also a fun time was had with my sister and her family in NJ Friday night and Saturday. The kids are well and truly exhausted and K&I are right there with ’em. Thanks again for the hospitality and the rounds of Castle Panic.

Ready to Ride!

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Well the Ride Ataxia weekend is coming up quickly. I got out for 40 miles on Saturday, so I’m as ready as I’m going to be.[1] In case you didn’t see the earlier post, I will be riding 50 miles on Sunday in the hilly Philadelphia suburbs to support FARA. Check out the route with elevation profile! The highest and lowest points on the loop are only separated by about 300 feet, but the total climbing is over 3000 feet, which is a lot of up and down.

If you want to support me and this great cause, there’s still time to donate! Please help if you can!

  1. I crossed the Cazenovia Hill Bender race, which was 39 miles in basically the same terrain, so I’m sort-of bummed I didn’t know about the event in advance! Something for next year. []