Apr 302010

I would like to document this for posterity. I gave my 2001 Dodge Stratus R/T a tune-up over the last few days. It hasn’t had new plugs or wires in the last 100,000 miles, and I figured it could use some care if I was going to have it hit the 200,000 mark (currently at 130,000). Anyone seeking to do such a tune-up on this 3.0L Mitsubishi engine be warned that it’s fairly involved. The spark plugs are under the plenum, which means the plenum needs to be removed, and all the wires, sensors, cables, etc that attach to the plenum also need to be removed. Further, if you plan on replacing the distributor cap and rotor, you also need to remove the battery and battery tray. Note: I recommend replacing the rotor and cap, as mine were quite worn after 130,000 miles. I may post pictures later.

If you do want to do continue, I’d recommend bringing a laptop along and following this site: http://home.pacbell.net/fong8/gstuff/tjc_plenum.htm . It has very detailed instructions and pictures to show all the bolts that need to be removed.

Finally, anyone following along in the Haynes Manual* be warned that the order on the cap indicated in the book on page 2B-1 may be wrong (it is in mine, I don’t know if it’s been fixed in later versions). My manual showed firing order 4-2-6 top-to-bottom on the left side, and 5-3-1 on the right side. It should have been 4-2-6, 3-5-1. It was printed correctly on my distributor cap.

 Posted by at 11:41 am
Apr 252010

I’m in the conceptual stage of creating a homebrew beer plugin for WordPress. The requirements are as follows:

  • A side bar that shows a particular beer and it’s stats. It can be random, top rated, most recent, etc. It will display relevent stats like beer style, ABV (Automatically computed and/or manually entered), starting gravity, ending gravity, rating, etc.
  • A page that acts as a log of previous brews that allows users to sort by styles.
  • A grouping system to allow the user to name a particular recipe and then track that recipe through several attempts.
  • Recipe tracking.

I’m open to other suggestions, either with getting started in WordPress plugin writing, or similar plugins in other contexts that I might be able to look at as a code base.

 Posted by at 5:40 pm
Apr 132010

I ordered a dwarf Valencia orange tree for Kit for Christmas. I heard and received nothing for a couple weeks and sent an email to the company from whom I’d purchased the plant. Ty Wesley Hardin responded to my email and informed me that because the temperatures were below 28 degrees at night that they could not ship the plant. They would watch the temperatures and ship it when they warmed up. I accepted this and waited eagerly until spring.

Spring came around and the temperatures have easily stabilized in the above 40f range, and I sent an email asking if it would be shipping soon. I waited several days and heard nothing and decided it was time to call. Unfortunately, their website, dwarfcitrus.com, was offline. I checked websites that were possibly associated, including acornsprings.com and acornspringsfarms.com, and they were also offline.

I started googling and found a gentleman in a similar situation who had ordered around January. He was lucky enough to be able to file a dispute with AMEX. My claim was too old, and I had no recourse through the bank. I also found several addresses and phone numbers, but to no avail, they’d all been disconnected.

It seems like a terrible affront to human decency to me. If you’re going out of business, or filing bankruptcy, I think it’s your duty to have some humility and at least admit that you will not be filling peoples orders and that you have, essentially taken their money and squandered it… however you’ve done that.

 Posted by at 10:32 am