The blog is moving.
The ‘diecastcars’ moniker in the url meant nothing and was only derived from a little toy car that was sitting on my desk 3 years ago when I decided to experiment with blogging and signed up for an account. It felt like the right time to make the change because much of my ancillary content (like links and pages) got really stale. Still working on the new header, I need to get out and take some new pics. All my old posts moved over, but they’ll stay here for the time being too.
The long-term solution to the bushing problem was taking a turn for the worse. I was doing some research, and the official Saturn solution is to replace the whole cable – a $400 part. Lucky for me a little more research found someone who had the same problem, has a cnc lathe at his disposal, and an entrepreneurial spirit on hand.
$20 on eBay and it appears to be solved very well by a Improved Saturn Stick Shift Shifter Cable Bushing.
I wish there was someone around with this kind of initiative when I had a nearly identical problem with the wiper arms on my wifes’ car 6 months ago.
While I’m ranting, I hate the way auto manufacturers seem to revel in leaving little ‘time-bombs’ in the designs of their cars to frustrate those who want to keep them for 100k miles or more. The bushing in the wiper arm on my wife’s car was designed to snap ‘up’ into the ball joint it connects into. When it wore out, it just dropped out of the socket. If the designer had just turned the socket 180°, it probably would have never worn out at all. If it had, at least it wouldn’t have fallen out so quick.
Oh yeah, from yesterdays post, one more thing…
The guy who invented zip ties should be nominated for sainthood.
I’m keeping a handful of these things and a Leatherman Multi-Tool with me everywhere I go for the rest of my life.
The last week or so has been a pain. It started out after we got off for work for the holiday weekend last Thursday. We went to run some errands and found a nail in one of the tires on the wife’s car. Turned around and grabbed my car pledging to fix it Friday. Once in my car we didn’t even get out to the highway (thankfully) before a little plastic bushing in the shifter broke on mine. After 15 minutes of wrestling with it, I got the console apart and jimmied the car into gear so we could drive home in first. Well, maybe we’ll do the errands tomorrow I thought. I got up early to fix the tire on Friday and do some banking. Strike 3 was when I checked my balance and realized my visa check card was compromised and there was over $1k in fraudulent charges to my account. Ok, if $1400 is going to disappear from my bank account overnight, the least I want is to have a new bike to show for it… The last week has been spent trying to sort all of that out. Sunday, I went to install the window in the basement that I ordered over a month ago. I must have measured the frame 100 times diagonally, top, bottom, on each side. The algorithm Home Depot’s American Craftsman brand ordering system uses to calculate their window sizes from rough openings is terrible to say the least. I opened up the package and dry-fit the window in place… 1.75″ too skinny and .5″ too short. (strike 4) at this point I was so tired of looking at the plywood I had blocking the hole I just built in the frame. I can’t imagine how furious I’d be if I had ordered multiple windows for the top of the house ‘n they’d been that far off. They just silently lost a customer for all time. Oh, and I lost Tuesday to jury duty (strike 5). Is it Friday yet?
On the good side, the weather has been nice, I got a small ride in this weekend on Sunday, and another one Wednesday morning to the store and back before work. When I drove down town for jury duty (in first and third mostly because the zip ties I have the shifter rigged together with bind up when I use second and reverse ), I plotted out a better route to get into south Baltimore by bike, and I found where Baltimore Bicycle Works is, which is “Baltimore’s only worker owned and operated bike shop”. I’ve been aware of for a little bit, but haven’t visited.
||Long Haul Trucker
||Mtn. / Misc. miles
Not riding as much as I wanted the last month, and I stalled out with weight loss as a result too. I spent a bunch of the time working around the house, math homework, and prepping stuff for my volunteer work at Vent Camp. Everything turned out great, and it was lots of fun. Now time for the summer riding season!
We’ve been doing the summer schedule where we work 4 long days and get a Monday or Friday off for 2 years now. It seems that we never actually DO anything though. Well for once we bucked the trend and got out for a little bit. The NCR trail was fairly empty and the weather was beautiful, so we packed a small picnic lunch and rode up to Monkton. Just a little out and back, but after a full weekend of work it was nice to take a few hours off, go for a ride, and lay in the grass staring at the clouds.
Aaah, if only all Mondays could be like that.
Thanks to George over at Pedalling Along, I’m the proud owner of a nearly-new IXON IQ. This exact model was on my wish list for a long time, and it’s nice to have some real light up front.
The new light is bright and the batteries are a sound improvement over the nimh batteries I was putting in my Planet Bike SuperSpot. Added bonus was that my old light and new light use the same handlebar attachment so now I have a mount for every bike, and I can switch the lights up for whatever I need them for.
The only tweaks I needed to make were moving my LHT’s wireless computer to the downtube just above the shifter bosses. I knew it was coming because I got occasional interference from even my SuperSpot. I’ve ridden around with the computer out of sight for a few days now, and it’s kind of liberating. The first rides had a little vibration in the light at the mount, but I made a few adjustments and it’s fine now.
Two Thumbs Up!