Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The day the routers died

Geek humor at it's best

Monday, October 29, 2007

Project Valour-IT 2007

I had been wondering when this was going to start as Veterans Day was fast approaching. A visit to Blackfive confirmed it was time.

Time to give.

Project Valour-IT is simply a way for the average American to give something back to the brave men and women who, while in service of our great country, have lost the ability to communicate. Valour-IT provides voice driven laptops and software to those in need to help them stay in contact with their loved ones. As a geek I think this is a awesome idea and one worth funding. It is run by Soldiers Angels and, as before, the fund raising is a competition between the services. This year my money to the Team USMC in memory of my dad.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dad, My headlights don't work

That was Thing1 a week ago when he called home one night. He had gone out to his car to go somewhere and he had no headlights. Parking lights were ok, DRLs worked, and so did the high beams. But the regular lights did not. He replaced the bulbs and checked the fuses - nothing. Since he was coming home in a week I just told him not to drive at night and I'd take a look at it when he was home.

I did some research on his car and found that this is a common problem on late 90's GM J body cars. At least there was some hope of a simple solution :-). The solution was either the headlight switch, a bulb socket, or a wiring fix.

So yesterday I started poking at the car. A check of voltage at the sockets show 12.8 volts with the lights on. That seemed ok so I ruled out the switch. No obvious scorching on the bulb sockets or adjacent wiring. Ok - its probably on of the junctions that are ~1 foot from the battery. So I grab the DVM and check continuity between the positive and negative leads of the regular beams. Positive was 0 ohms. Negative was 1.3 Meg ohms. Thats bad. Thats wiring.

So I started to unwrap the harness going across the front. Got the the junction area and no problems with the negative wire. In fact there was no junction for it. Hmmm. Then I looked closely at the negative wire from the drivers side. It headed in the harness over to the passenger side rather than back to the firewall socket. So I unwrapped the passenger side of the harness a bit and counted wires. Compared to the drivers side there was 1 less. And it was the color of the negative wire. There was another junction somewhere. So I unwrapped the center of the harness. In the middle of the car, right by the hood latch, there was another splice. This was for the negative lead for the low beam lights. And it was corroded. By the time I got it unwrapped it fell apart.

In a effort to clean things up I unwrapped the whole harness and cut back the corroded wire about 6 inches on each end. A little bit of spare wire, solder, and heat shrink tubing and the lights were on. Took some electrical tape and re-wrapped the harness. 4.5 hours after I started it was done. Just in time for cake! Smiles all around.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Free Tacos!

For those interested in Baseball in general and the World Series in particular (not me since the Cubs chose to, once again, choke):

Free taco at participating Taco Bells on October 30th. See the MLB site for details.

Of course - maybe Taco Bell and MLB are really celebrating my birthday...

Christmas comes early. Well earlier

I love Christmas. Not only do we celebrate the birth of Jesus but people in general seem to be a bit more alive. The spirit of giving comes out as well. What drives me crazy is the push for Christmas decorations. They are already in some stores. Before Halloween.

Instapundit linked to a James Lileks post and one comment cracked me up:
    Well, we spend $5 billion on Halloween and put the decorations out about a month beforehand. Sooooo, since we spend $460 billion on Christmas, let's see...that means the decorations for this Christmas should be set out in mid-1999. Or maybe this is just the rolling out for 2016.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jack's back. Tony too!

Can't wait!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Advice from a Penguin

Taken at Brookfield Zoo. Perfect for Thing1.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Keep the Muir family in your prayers

Day by Day is one of my favorite daily reads. Chris Muir is an awesome talent. When I took a look at his site today I saw this:

So - if you believe in the power of prayer keep the Muir family in your prayers.

Monday, October 01, 2007

This is sad

The brilliant minds that created the Cox and Forkum editorial cartoons are calling it quits.

The story is here.