Category Archives: A Day In The Life…

Ford Service

I really enjoy my Ford Fusion. And, until recently, it’s been problem free. This changed a few weeks ago when I noticed something funky happening with my transmission. I brought it to a local dealer, Hammonasset Ford, for an investigation.

The bad news? I needed a new $4,000+ transmission.
The good news? It was covered under my extended warranty. Woo!

The repair work took about 10 days which included some time waiting for insurance assessment etc. In the interim, I was given a rental car. Like any warranty claim the interactions were stressful at times, but overall I would describe the experience as smooth. I got the car back about a week ago and all’s sunny.

Yesterday morning Sander pointed out the really bad news:

WITHOUT MY PERMISSION THE DEALERSHIP PUT ONE OF THOSE STUPID LICENSE PLATE ADVERTISEMENTS ON MY CAR.
NOT COOL HAMMONASSET FORD!

I am passionately against those stupid license plate advertisements.
Unless under extreme duress, I assure you I will never return to Hammonasset Ford.

Not cool Hammonasset Ford. Not cool.

The Red Headed Woodpecker

When it comes to bird watching, Jen and I clock in somewhere around Vireo. We know what a vireo is, but I wouldn’t be able to pick one out of a lineup of lookalikes. BUT, when we see a new bird we are quick to jump up, take pictures, and look up the details in our Peterson guide (thank you Tom & Mykal).

So it was a few weeks back when Jen, in a startle, pointed to the window and exclaimed “WHAT IS THAT!?”

That, it turns out, is a Red Headed Woodpecker. What made this an extra exciting find is that the Peterson Guide didn’t even reference is as local to Connecticut. AND, where it was local, it was listed as uncommon!

Was this a truly once in a lifetime sighting?!?! Well, no. The bird came back twice over the next few days. BUT! when we notified our local Audubon society, they got Giddy. We sent them our pictures and they promptly posted them on their Facebook page.

Further, they sent our address (with our permission) out to a few of their birding colleagues who voiced an interest in coming to our street to see if they could also find the bird.

I think it’s marvelous that we can be surrounded by unique gems of nature, but be completely oblivious to them. If this bird had visited us a few years ago, we might not have noticed at all. And if we had, it might have been not much more than a momentary curiosity.

I’m glad we were able to celebrate its uniqueness. Thanks for visiting us, Red Headed Woodpecker!

Hand Update

Warning: pictures and recounts of mildly gnarly wounds to follow

ANNOUNCEMENT

Remember when my hand got caught in a roller and my fingers got smooshed? Yesterday, the pinky fingernail finally fell off! Hurrah! This is exciting because until now there was a constant risk of it getting snagged on something and causing a frustrating zip of pain or a tearing of the nail bed. Now instead of risk of injury, it just looks really weird-sauce.

The ring finger is mostly healed. There’s a mega lump on the top and side of the front knuckle that is slowly going away, but otherwise it’s okay. And despite much concern, my guitar playing is mostly unaffected.

Fun fact: did you know the end of your fingers are officially referred to as the Distal interphalangeal joints?

Extra fun fact: In traditional scrabble, at 15 letters long “Interphalangeal” would span the full length of the board. That means it could potentially hit THREE triple word scores. The E and G would fall on double letters. You’d obviously have to build it off of conveniently placed other letters since your tile rack is only 7 letters deep, but the potential score is 648 points.

 

Ford Fusion

Recently I hit 100,000 miles on my 2012 Ford Fusion. Always an exciting event, these mileage milestones demand close observation in those last few miles. Jen and I were glued to the odometer as the tenths ticked by:

99,999.7
99,999.8
99,999.9
100,000

WOOOO!! EXCITING! Wait… what?

The tenths position disappeared. Ford chose to limit the digital display to six characters instead of allowing for seven. This is mildly annoying. I used the tenths place all the time. “Take exit 42 in 6.5 miles” Dang it.  Sander pointed out that I could still use the trip gauges, but I reset these at gasoline fill-ups and oil changes to monitor the car’s performance.

Ford sold about 250,000 Ford Fusions in 2012. If we guess that the extra character would have cost Ford 5 cents more per display (maybe this is high) then in 2012 alone, their decision to use one less odometer character saved them $12,000. BUT, that’s only one year. I bet they used the same display in proximal years and similar models. This four second decision by some random engineering manager in Detroit could have saved Ford $100k.

I think I would have made the same decision.

Good call, Ford.

Game Update

We are officially 2 hours into T.I.M.E. Stories.

Wow.

Jen and I, who outside of a brief exploration of Role Playing Games as Thelonious the Monk in 2003, have never played any games so rich with plot and mystery. T.i.m.e. Stories (hereafter without the annoying periods of a weak backronym) has been extremely unique. The basic concept is this: You are something like a futuristic police officer who must travel to certain destinations in time to prevent Temporal Faults that ruin everybody’s fun. Each Time Story is one such mission.

The mission that comes with the box takes place in a psychiatric asylum (nice.) So far, the game play is fascinating and it’s been wonderfully immersive. The biggest complaints online were that for the cost ($50ish) you don’t get a lot of game play time. And since it’s a lot like a choose you’re own adventure book, once you know the plot line and the best path then you’ve pretty much exhausted the game –  the first time through the game is the best time through the game. Replay is unexciting at best.

As we’re only about 2 hours into the game, I can’t speak yet to how many hours it will take to triumph – but at least so far it’s been a joy ride.

Lacerations

I smashed up my hand in a pretty gnarly way last week. My ring and pinky finger on my left hand got squeezed between a roller and a metal plate – Ouch. After some grimacing and furious first aid, I zipped over to a local clinic where I got some stitches and care.

The ring finger had a shallow laceration about 30mm in length. Four stitches fixed that one up. Those stitches come out late this week. Total recovery time is a few weeks.

The pinky… that one got gross. The nail pulled out from its root and there was a short laceration at the edge of the nailbed that the doctor opted not to stitch because of its location. It’s pretty gross, but luckily there’s nothing permanent. The finger tip looks kinda like what you’d expect a mushed pinky to look like. Recovery is a few months.

Fun vs Funk:

Fun – only that the injury wasn’t worse.
Funk – Mostly the whole thing. Especially that its my guitar fingering hand.

Mythical Creatures in Space

The other day I was casually considering where various mythical creatures would thrive in space. Here were some of those thoughts:

Werewolves – any moon of Jupiter: There’s almost guaranteed to be a full moon somewhere amongst those 67 orbiting bodies. It would be perpetual werewolf.

Vampire – the dark side of a planet tidally locked with its sun. Convenient but for the likely lack of food.

Zombies – As far as I can imagine, Zombies really have no limitations in space. Though I wonder if the cold of deep space would freeze their postmortem animation. Jen points out that the Reavers in Firefly were kinda like Zombies. Great point Jen!

Sirens – Space Sirens sound like they could make for an amazing sci-fi story, although probably more along the lines of Kirk’s star trek than Picard’s. I’m not sure how Space Sirens would work. A quick google search reveals that apparently there’s an adult video game called Space Sirens. Way to be innovated adult industry, way to be innovative.

Chupacabras – What with their dependency on goats and other livestock, I think these are fated to stay on Earth. Again, google returns results: a comical children’s play called The Secret of the Space Chupacabra!

And that’s about where the thought experiment ended. Like the Chupacabras, most other mythical monsters seem to be bound to Earth in one way or another: Loch ness – specific to that lake in Scotland. Mummies? Consistently Egypt. Headless horsemen? Sleepy Hollow in the 1800’s.

A fun topic of thought regardless.

Sneaky Pete and other Streamables

Jen and I splurged and got a new television. LG OLED!

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! WHAT?!

It’s true. And exploring the UltraHD television/movies has been joyously relaxing. Here are some of our recent watches:

  1. Westworld – HBO: Pretty good! A little weird. Like, why the western theme? If I were to build one of these, I think I’d build something that had different genres in different sectors. Then again, perhaps there’s a SouthWorld and NorthWorld that have Sci-fi or Horror themes that we haven’t learned about yet. There’s potential here HBO. Strong Potential. Sometimes the show feels like an over ambitious blend of Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. Everyone’s wearing cowboy getup, but look out! there are probably cylons amongst us.
  2. Sneaky Pete – Amazon Prime: DAAAAANG. So good.  Way better than I expected. I wasn’t a huge fan of Giovanni Ribisi, the lead actor, but now I consider myself converted. The acting is great and the storyline is rich. It has Bryan Cranston in it, so it’s probably not coincidental that the show has a strong Breaking Bad feel to it. Each episode feels like the characters keep adding Dominos to an already precariously long row of Dominos, eager to tumble. Two Mike D thumbs up.
  3. Zootopia – Netflix: Hilarious.
  4. Midnight special – HBO: Ehhhhhh, I was so excited for this movie! It seemed unique and different and mysterious. When it showed up on our HBO feed I begged Jen to add it to our watch list. But mostly it was just okay. It rides a fun concept, but wasn’t particularly riveting for me. Eh.

Any fun shows/movies you recommend we explore next?