Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category


April 3, 2013


Well I am 31 and I nearly missed it.  Nine days before my birthday our son, Callan, was born.  Needless to say my birthday party was the least of my concerns.  I remember being tired on my birthday, kind of like I am tired now…kind of like I have been tired since March 12, though I shouldn’t complain Callan has been a great baby.

The day after my birthday I did decide, fairly abruptly, to sell my car and buy something different…a 2006 Mercury Milan.  It doesn’t have quiet the prestige of the BMW but I got it for a good price and it has leather seats and a manual transmission.  With the money I got from the BMW we will be able to pay off the Subaru, hence the real reason I sold the car.  I do like the Merc but I die a little inside every time I tell someone I drive a Mercury Milan.  It is an old man’s car, I should be wearing a hat when ever I am driving it, because old men love to wear hats when they drive.

I guess I have always enjoyed the old-timey ways of doing things and I have been told on more than one occasion that I have an old soul, so now I have a car to match.  Rest assured I will own something far less sensible in the future, but right now sensible is the best course of action.

Not sure how this post about my birthday turned into a post about my car…maybe I am getting senile.  Anyway, thanks everyone for the birthday well wishes and if you see a Milan going way too fast in reverse it is probably just me trying to find the brake pedal.

P.S.  See me loss weight and hair through the ages here: 30, 29, 28, 27


Frosts in Bavaria: Love the cars, hate the payphones

September 1, 2011

The plan to help us acclimate to the time change was to have Brandon and Erika tour us around Munich immediately after we got off the plan and then bring us back to their house for dinner and keep us awake until about 8 pm.  It was a good plan and as Linda, Gillian, Elena, and I stepped off the plane we were all raring to go, at least I know I was and Elena was running back and forth under the ropes leading up to customs so I know she was as well.  We got through customs surprisingly quickly, grabbed our bags and headed out to where Brandon and Erika were going to pick us up.  They funny thing about going to a foreign country is when you get there your cell phone doesn’t work and when your ride is running late they really have no way of telling you that they are stuck in a “stau“.  So I waited there with three women that were all starting to get hungry and when Gillian gets hungry she starts to get a little impatient, this was a trait she inherited from her mother and passed on to her daughter…lucky me. 

So in an attempt to do something and to get away for a group of women that would surely start yelling at me for no reason any minute, I took my laptop and wondered off to find wifi.  I had an e-mail with Brandon’s cell number, I am not sure what calling to tell him we are here was going to achieve, he knew we were here, but again this was more of a self preservation move than anything.  So after signing up with T-mobile in German and paying 6 euro for an hour of internet, which I think is like $130 US, I got Brandon’s number and made my way to the pay phone.  Now, I am not sure I could operate a pay phone in States successfully, if I could even find one, but trying to do it in German was a futile effort at best.  First off phones don’t ring in Germany they beep, so when I put my credit card in and dialed the number and pressed the button that I thought looked the most like “send”  I got a few beeps then nothing.  I also wasn’t sure how many of these numbers I had to dial since I was not calling from the States.  Anyway, after some struggling then an overly gestured conversation between Linda and a pair of shockingly attractive female police officers, I was able to get the phone to do the German version of ringing only to get the voicemail of a very husky sounding German man that was not Brandon. 

Two minutes later Brandon and Erika should up, so I had accomplished nothing but entertaining the ladies for about 30 minutes. 

At this point the plan was back on track and we made our way the parking lot to put our bags in the car, this is where I saw the true beauty of Germany…it’s cars.  Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches for as far as the eye could see and these where German spec cars, so they are just better than the ones we can get in the States. Those watching the Flickr updates may have noticed a lot of pictures of cars, some parked in garages, some on the street and some in museums, the later being the topic of another post, if you don’t understand why I was doing this then let me enlighten you.  Germany does many things well, beer, chocolate, scary sounding dialect but first and for most is das auto!  Nowhere else are they making all wheel drive, manual transmission, wagons designed to go 155mph and that 155 mph is electronically governed because any faster and the windshield wipers rip off…or something.  I will be honest I am a bit of a BMW fanboy, we bought Gillian our BMW about 5 years ago and about two years ago it became mine, thanks Elena!  Even though it is nearly 8 years old I still prefer my all wheel drive, manual transmission, German sports sedan to nearly everything new coming out of Japan, Korea, Italy and the Unites States.  In Germany though my car would be nothing, about as boring and common place as a Toyota Camry. German cars are just better, except any new Volkswagen. Hell, even the “American Cars” built in Germany are better.  Brandon rented a Ford Galaxy, no not a mid-60s sedan, it was a minivan with manual transmission and a diesel engine, and it would go at least 120mph!  Why can’t I get one of those here in the states, I mean it is a Ford.             

Okay, so this was supposed to be a post about our first day in Munich and I really only got to the parking lot of the airport and then made a hard left into a rant about cars, that never happens, so Munich will be the next post.  I’ll give you a little taste though, Munich is where I learn the word “Dunkel”…though I had a hard time remembering it.


Well, There’s Your Problem

January 22, 2011

So, Gillian had a rough afternoon!

17 Month Long Valve Job

October 12, 2010
After waiting for over a year, I finally have the cylinder heads for the Falcon back from the machine shop and when I say “back” what I mean is, these are entirely  different heads, from a larger engine, that should fit.  Yes, this will be a post devoted to cylinder heads and my car, so if you couldn’t care less stop reading now.  For those few still reading, this is the Tale of the 17 Month Long Valve Job….

2010 Subaru Outback: Cargo Carrier & Hitch

August 31, 2010
I decided we needed a cargo carrier for the Outback, not that the Outback doesn’t have enough space, it has plenty, I just wanted one.  My thought was it would make it easier to haul “baby stuff”  for weekend trips, along with luggage, Gordie, and of course Elena…well, Gordie and Elena would go in the Outback, not the cargo carrier, but you know what I mean.  I also had a trailer hitch installed, now we can haul the whole family and a place to stay…we have become “Those People”.

Parking Perfection

June 13, 2010
This weekend was Gillian’s baby shower.  Chris and Kathleen also came down for the weekend.  The ladies did their baby shower thing, me and the men (Chris, Retzer, Santi, and Dustin) hung out at Dustin’s house, ate pizza, drank beer while playing Polish horseshoes and Ladder ball.  Before I left to let the women do whatever you do at a baby shower, I made sure the driveway was filled to capacity.  For those of you keeping track at home that is a Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat, Subaru Outback, GMC Sierra, and a Scion tC.  The fact that I was able to park this many vehicles in my driveway made me far more pleased than any man should be, about parked cars.
I was told the baby shower went well, and it was good to see Kathleen and Chris and the weekend went by way too fast.  Gillian is now 35 weeks pregnant so our lives will be changing in big way sooner than later and all the gifts will be a huge help.  Thank you to everyone who came out for Gillian party!

R.I.P. Mercury, You will be missed…I guess

June 2, 2010

mercury macro, originally uploaded by atomicshark
It was announced today that Ford will be discontinuing the Mercury branch at the end of this year, following in the footsteps of Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn.  It is always sad to see a car brand fade into the history books, but in the case of Mercury it is more like finally throwing out the expired milk.

2010 Subaru Outback: First Oil Change

May 24, 2010
The odometer on the Outback turned over to 4400 miles, so I decided it was time for its first oil change.  The following post is how to change to oil in a 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i…or at least how I did it.

Family Wagon

March 30, 2010

Last week Gillian and I bought a new 2010 Subaru Outback.  It makes us feel like adults, with a family vehicle.  We needed a vehicle that could fit both of us, a car seat, the dog, pull a camper, and still be fun to drive.  That last part is something most people just don’t really understand.

Automotive Design

January 9, 2010

The 2010 North American International Auto Show starts on Monday. I have never gone, and I am not going this year, but I would like to ramble incoherently on the topic of automotive design…you have been warned.