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Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'...


I was over at Winding Road Magazine just a second ago (no link, I was there because it's the slowest loading site in my favorites, bloated and hard to read...) and there were two discussions going on that I really wanted to join in.

1) Are VW's really unreliable?

Yes, unless you get them used. All new cars are unreliable. When you pay what you pay nowadays for a new car, if anything breaks, that's a problem. I own one of the cars that is legendary for being unreliable, a 2001 Volvo V70 T5. Look it up. It's probably the worst car you could ever own. It's not, and I'll tell you why. When you buy a used mid-luxury European car, buy it from a specialist. You buy it from a local Volvo shop, or used Euro car specialist, you'll get a great car that has had all the bugs, recalls, maintenance alerts, little tiny fixes and niggling details worked out. It might have higher mileage... you might pay more than you would at Carmax, but the guy who sold you the car knows every little thing there is to know about the car you're buying and will detail you to death. I've had my car for six years, it's over 130k miles. I've had one major malfunction and two sets of tires (my fault on the tires). Regular maintenance, oil changes and such, get done by me, the 100k service gets done by the independent Volvo shop. things that would kill me to have to fix on my wife's car, I can let ride on mine. Broken trim, a bad turn signal, a burnt out LED, a broken rear wiper. I can let that go until I fix it myself. If my car was new and the turn signal flashed fast? I'd freak. BUT... I bought the car from a Volvo nut. We spent hours talking over the recalls, the software upgrades, the replaced bushings, etc...

Now, my son bought a Jetta. The Mass Airflow sensor failed, the dipstick tube cracked, there's a couple of issues that need to be sorted... BUT... he'd been driving on sludge and fumes for weeks, he had about a quart too much oil in it and he's 16, so he drives like an idiot. Still, a little maintenance and the car works fine. A little on line research and parts can be found for pretty cheap. A couple of minutes with a manual and small fixes are pretty easy to do. Reliable? It works, would I buy a new one? Prolly not. Used? Maybe.

2) Would you buy a wagon?

Yes. I did and would again. As a matter of fact, there's a '91 240 wagon I have my eye on for under $2k. I might buy it and store it if I can get clearance from maddmom. Seriously, you have no idea. My last one was an '89, I sold it for $5k in 2006 when I bought the new one. If I didn't have to report to anyone, I'd have that car in my driveway right now.

I'm in lust. With a wagon.

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Close call


Minor freakout. The template I've been using since 2006 changed when I changed to the new Blogger interface. I just noticed because my analytics reported a flat 0 for the second straight week. Normally I would use that 0 as an excuse to whine about my horrible friendless existence, and I still might, but this time i knew the number was wrong. So I went to my blog and it was baby blue.

Good lord.

So I tried to upload my template backup, which I made in 2006, and of course Blogger shit all over it. So I tried to fix the new template to look like the old template, and I just don't have time to mess with it now. For a few seconds I decided that changing the background to my old paisley would be enough, but then all the stuff on the sidebar would still be missing. I didn't want both of my readers to think I had deserted my only fake internet friends. I panicked for three seconds at the thought of not getting my two weekly page views, but then I found a button to revert to the old template.

I guess I'll eventually have to update to the new stuff. Maybe I'll work on it tonight. Probably not. You'll take what you get and like it.

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I was just talking to a group of people. (Shocking) No one in this group was a scientist. Not a one. Not even an engineer. Quite honestly, none of us were even exceptionally smart. I would like to think that since I was there in a consultative capacity, that those in the group thought highly of, at the very least, my skills, if not my intelligence.

I will say that there was no doubt as to the groups opinion of their collective intelligence.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH they thought they were smart. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH they thought they were sophisticated. OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH they thought that they were witty and clever.

One of them even said that "The average American nowadays can't tell the difference between science and magic." To lots of guffaws and self satisfied grunts of masturbatory pleasure.

I let it go.

I know that "science" to the average American is exactly what they learned it was in school. You take a hypothesis, and through observation and experimentation, you prove it wrong or right. But what it comes down to is simple. Science isn't "guessing".

To the decidedly un-average Americans in my conversational group, "science" is guessing. A credentialed "scientist" reports a study that supports a theory that gets reported on the news. That theory is proved. SCIENCE! An acquaintance relates an anecdote... PROOF! The first paragraph of an article reports results of a judgment sampled survey. Those results are extrapolated to the entire population.

Statistics and surveys aren't science. Science is observable fact and repeatable results. Gaming, modeling and estimates are interesting and fun. They can even lead to "science". But until they are proved, they are not and never will be settled science.

You can believe some of these theories and anecdotes and studies to be true, I know I do. But they aren't settled science.

Anyway. It was a long meeting and eventually I had to tell them that the report they gave me (based on a sample of documents from a single repository) was not accurate because, while the whole number of items they reported was a pretty close approximation, he failed to take into consideration what type of user was using each repository and the type of files those users would put into said repository. That's why their shit don't work. In other words, close is for horseshoes and hand grenades assholes. You want results? Count. Read.



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antsalysis pantalsysis


That's the scientific term for wanting to do something so much that you can't figure out how to get started. It's really a super pain in the ass. "Barriers to entry" is the nearest buzzword to what I mean. When you look at the target and you break down all the steps you have to complete to get there and you freeze. Most of the time the freeze is caused by a time issue. Not that there's a deadline, but the amount of time it will take to go through each step, in turn, freaks some people out. Other people see procrastination, It's not procrastination. Is it procrastination when a deer freezes in your headlights? No. It's fear. Feeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr. Blah. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of missteps, fear of being poisoned (by a serial killer who puts some kind of luminous poison in your truck stop coffee when your back is turned and then texts you that he's kidnapped your family and you have to spend your last two days on earth trying to find them with the help of the spunky, young waitress who you shanghaied into driving a stolen car after the truck you think might belong to the serial killer but actually doesn't, instead it belongs to the cement company that is owned by the man with whom your wife has been having a torrid affair while you've been on the road working to keep her and the kids in the style that she's been accustomed to ever since her estranged step-father, who started the company you work for and will leave controlling interest to you when he finally passes away from ALS cut off her allowance because he thought she was a "round-heeled", over tanned, spoiled brat. ), heck, just plain nervousness. Whatever you call it, it's annoying. Mostly because when you do finally make the call and start moving things along, your "wants" conflict with everyone else's "needs" schedule. Blah. Sometimes forward movement calls for a bit of selfishness on the part of the mover. You're never going to get where you're going if you let every other car merge in front of you. The mergers won't respect you and the people behind you will get pissed off and go around you.
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Uh oh.


Blogger changed things. I like the new editor, I just hope it doesn't mess up my classy blog thing here. I honestly don't want to spend the time it may take to change, repair, back up or otherwise fix this thing. In other news, I've been informed that not having my meatspace profile on facebook is probably not a good thing for my career. Listen. I've seen facebook, OK? I find it hard to believe that facebook is good for anyone's career except for the people who work for facebook. Still... I was told that someone was looking for meatspace me and couldn't find me. I don't believe it, but what can you do? Maybe I'll get a facebook profile... But then I'd have to change my sidebar. Changing my sidebar would mean messing with the blog. Messing with the blog would mean spending time on it. I spent my time. Back in 2004. I don't want to have to update anything. What if I lose my cool "last decade" vibe?
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