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:


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.

Viewing Recommendations


Magnus. WATCH THIS. It’s a documentary about Magnus Carlsen the world chess champion. It’s exceptional. This is my top recommendation for you today.

Supertunnel. This is a short Nova show on the new London subway tunnel. Fairly interesting and exciting from an engineering perspective.


There Will Be Blood. For a movie that we weren’t huge fans of, Jen and I sure did talk a lot about There Will be Blood. It won a bunch of awards when it came out in 2007. Still, I wouldn’t recommend it for a casual Sunday afternoon. It feels like something you’d watch in a college sophomore year film class.


Dallas Buyers Club: Really good! Between this and True Detective, I have a newfound respect for Mathew McConaughey.

American Psycho. I’m surprised I hadn’t already seen this. It was decent. Between the two, I think There Will be Blood has more academic depth, but American Psycho certainly provides plenty of brain fodder.

Library DVD:

Sully. Really great! They got a lot of movie out of that event. Two thumbs up.

Bridge of spies. Interesting because I knew nothing about it… but mostly just decent.

The Walk. Entertaining and light. This is a decent Sunday afternoon movie.

Anyone have recommendations of what they’ve watched and enjoyed as of late?

Generally speaking, yes. I can believe it’s not butter.

The internet is bursting with cooking substitutions – many of which are targeted at people seeking healthier eating. Ever since my high cholesterol diagnosis I’ve been painfully aware of my diet. Begrudgingly, I’ve started considering these alternate eating options.


Banana ice cream for Real Ice Cream – DISAPPOINTMENT
Skim for fatty milk – TRAGIC
Popcorn for Potato chips – DEPRESSING
Brown white for white rice – BLASPHEMY

When I give one of these substitutions a shot, I admit that suspicion eclipses my excitement. I know it won’t be as good. I know it.

And so it is with vocal astonishment that I announce that Plain Greek yogurt is LEGIT a good substitution for Sour Cream.


I used it in a soft taco. A TACO! I can imagine it working in a chili where it doesn’t play as important a role… but a taco? This is the real deal! I admit this is not a perfect substitute, but it’s super close. It lacks just the slightest of tang. But otherwise it’s great!
It works and it works well!

I’m awestruck.

The immovable object vs the unstoppable force

An amazing drama unfolded before us on the carpool ride to work today. On the back roads of East Haven a school bus stopped, its lights flashing, stop sign extended, and door open waiting for a late student. A row of cars began lining up on each side of the road.

Suddenly from behind us blared the siren of an approaching ambulance.


As we obediently pulled over to let the ambulance by, the door of nearby house opened and an elementary school child began a slow trot towards the bus, his large backpack bouncing back and forth with the pace of his stride. THE KID WAS DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO BEAT THE AMBULANCE. I could feel every driver holding their breath. Who takes priority? The child? or the person in desperate health need?

The ambulance screamed up to the bus… and applied its brakes!

Siren blaring, the ambulance waited anxiously as the kid trotted across the lawn!! The little kid started boarding the bus. The bus promptly killed its flashing lights and retracted the stop sign. The bus started rolling forward, presumably trying to pull over more so the ambulance could pass. The ambulance, its patience exhausted, BLARED its horn screaming at the bus “DONT DO ANYTHING, I GOT THIS,” swerved around the bus and hauled towards its destination.


Unnatural Frustration

I have an unnecessarily acute distaste for license plate holders that boldly advertise the dealership where the car was purchased. You just spent tens of thousands of dollars on an incredible machine with precision components that can generate 100’s of horse power and there’s a cheap plastic holder for your license plate that says “BA-BA-BA-BARNIES CARS IN BARVILLE”

I guess I have to applaud the companies that pull it off. If you can stick an advertisement on the back of a Lexus and the owner never bothers to take it off, good on you.

Potato Update

CONFIRMED: The Potato button on our microwave is a miraculous wonder. We’ve tried it with plain potatoes and sweet potatoes. Our massively successful attempt required stabbing the potato with a fork a handful of times and hitting the button. We’ve even done TWO AT ONCE, by appropriately answering the even more convenient “how many potatoes” query.


I’ve been converted.

J. Atlas update

J. Atlas’s smiling face is cartoonish in its expression of joy

He’s been pretty excellent so far. While still not quite sleeping through the night, his consistency has dramatically improved. He has two teeth, eats like a champ and is at the point where he’s cruising around constantly with his walker.

Things J. Atlas loves:

Shoulder rides
Playing the piano with his butt
Chomping my nose
Stealing Jen’s glasses

Game Update

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


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.