What's davintosh? Mostly just the random ramblings of a hopelessly distractible… Hey, what's that?

Waitless.org

Filed under: Fun! — dave @ 6:26 pm 2007/09/27

Gadgetopia’s got some ad content going on right now that’s pretty entertaining; Sprint’s waitless.org. They’ve got a pile of Flash videos with helpful timesaving tips, along with how many days/weeks/years using that tip will save you throughout your life.

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My favorite is the Turbo Parking. Best part is watching the guys at the food vendor cart run for cover when the car slides into the parking spot ahead of them! (I’d link to it, but that dratted Flash won’t do that; just go there, hover over the “See more Sprintcuts” button, and look for it.)

Definitely worth the wait. For the Flash to load, that is…

Happy Birthday To Me!

Filed under: Fun! — dave @ 6:11 pm

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Today is my birthday! I don’t feel any older, but I guess I am; at least the calendar says so. How old? 29 (but don’t ask how many time’s I’ve celebrated that milestone!) Miss Cellania has the same birthday, and put up a big birthday post for the occasion, so I thought I would too.

Just out of curiosity, I poked around on the web to see how many notable figures we share the birthdate with; lots and lots. Some of the more notable names (at least the ones I recognize) include Google (9 years old today!), Samuel Adams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Shaun Cassidy, Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), Randy Bachman, and many others that I’ve never heard of.

Another amazing thing is how many lists of useless facts (aka: trivia) there are on the web. I found several that listed the notable events that happened on this date; the New York Times “On This Day”, Wikipedia’s Sept. 27 entry, BBC’s “On This Day”, Sympatico.ca, and others.

Somebody stop me before this gets too boring. Uh oh. Too late.

The 1920 Ford Roadster

Filed under: Cars! — dave @ 11:46 pm 2007/09/17

Saw this machine at a car show over the weekend. Drool. By far the most memorable machine there.

The sign on the windshield said it was a 1920 Ford Roadster, but it sure doesn’t look like any 1920 Ford I’ve ever seen (photos of). It may be a heavily modified 1920 Ford built up for racing, but I don’t know. I thought I had a photo of the sign so I’d have the name of the owner, but wrong-o on that count. I also missed the chance to talk with him before he hopped in & drove off with it — yes, he drove it away, down the street and onto the highway.

Sigh. Oh how I would love to take that thing for a drive.

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The boattail concept on these old racers was great. I also loved how it had leather straps holding the hood down and holding the rearview mirror on top of the spare tire.

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Look at the header coming off of the engine. It was a straight four-cylinder, and the pipes wrapped nicely around each other, melding into one big 4″ chrome pipe that was almost as long as the car. It had a beautiful burble to it when he started the engine. I wish I had been close enough to hear it when he drove off.

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Fixin’ the Dashboard

Filed under: Cars! — dave @ 12:59 am 2007/09/15

We’ve owned a 1997 Plymouth Voyager minivan for the last five years. It’s an ok van in it’s own way, but if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have bought it. It’s got some persistent rust along the rocker panels, and some unknown damage to the undercarriage on the left side that makes it pull to the right, no matter what we do with front end alignment.

One of the things that has driven me nuts is that on occasion the instrument cluster goes dead. Speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, odometer & transmission indicator are all non-functional. And of course, when it’s on the blink, no mileage registers on the odometer, so if it happens any time I try to determine gas mileage, back to the drawing board. It never lasts for long, and when it starts working again the Check Engine light is on. Strangely enough, if the cluster stays alive long enough the Check Engine light goes out on its own. I didn’t think they were supposed to do that, but this one does.

A few weeks back we had a different problem to go along with the dead instrument cluster; I forgot to roll the windows up the night before, and of course we got almost 2.5 inches of rain that night. The moisture apparently got into the headlight switch, causing it to act like the headlights were turned on constantly. So I dove in to see if I could disassemble the switch to dry it out & get it working again. I couldn’t figure out how to get the dash panels off, so I poked around online to find disassembly instructions, and in the process came across a website that not only showed how to get the dash panels off, also showed how to fix the instrument cluster! Cool! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the presence of mind to keep a link to the original page, but I did nab the copy and the photos he had up, so here is the fix, for anyone else interested. The words are his (Bob’s); I did things a little differently, but it worked out the same.

Many thanks to Bob & Tom, whoever you are and wherever you are!

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Chocolate Pudding

Filed under: Fun!,Just Stuff — dave @ 1:06 am 2007/09/13

Is there anything on this planet that tastes as good as chocolate pudding hot out of the pan? No, not the cheap crap that comes pre-made in little plastic cups. And not the instant crud that you mix with cold milk. Rather, I speak of the Real Chocolate Pudding that you have to cook on the stove, stirred into milk, and bring to a boil.

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I’ve made it from scratch, and that can be good too. But for a quick chocolatey fix, there is nothing like cheap store-brand cooked chocolate pudding. Mmmmmm. Goodness!

Porsche. Electrified!

Filed under: Cars! — dave @ 12:11 pm 2007/09/02

When it comes to electric vehicles or hybrids — homebuilts or manufactured — the standard fare tends to be boring econoboxes, pickups, or whatever. There is of course an exception in the Tesla Roadster, and other prototypes that have gained some notoriety, like the T-Zero and the WrightSpeed X1 EV, but for the most part the thought of an electric car doesn’t make your heart beat faster like a fine motorcar should.

But then the other day I bumped into the website for a company in Van Nuys, CA, that specializes in converting sports cars — specifically Porsches — to electric power. EvPorsche.com will do the conversion work on your Porsche, a new Porsche, or will source a Porsche donor car. From the photos and the specs, it looks like they know what they’re doing, and do a very professional conversion. But hacking up a Porsche to put an electric motor and a ton of batteries… That borders on sacrilege.

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The website lists several different models with prices; donor car conversions start at $48,000. A 911 or 959 runs $65,000, or if you want to go all out, spring for a Carrera GT or GT-1 in the mid $90,000 range. But wait… A new Carrera GT sells for over $400,000, and when new a GT1 went for over a million. How can this be????

Turns out that the car they are selling as a GT1 is a 911 with a body kit (compare the photos on the EvPorsche.com site with those of the real thing.) But the Carrera GT, that’s got to be real, doesn’t it? Nope, that’s an imitation also. Apparently they take a Boxter, lengthen the chassis & slap the $14,000 worth of fiberglass body parts on (front clip, hood, mirror shells, door skins, rear clip, rear lid, wing & winglid), and voilà, a poor man’s Carrera. Not good enough to fool someone who knows what they’re looking for, but good enough to fool most.