Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 2 with the Honda

Fortunately for me, I had an idea of what I was planning on getting when I bought my car.  I wanted a 1999 or newer Honda Accord EX, 4 cyl or 6 cyl didn't matter, but I wanted it to have leather, and I wanted it to be around $2000.  Oh, and despite the fact that I LOVE driving vehicles with a manual, an automatic was a "must have" feature due to my commute that's going to be starting up in June.  Unfortunately, starting in June I'll be sitting in traffic for 20 miles each way every day to and from my new school.

Today I drove about 50 miles just running errands such as Costco, a trip by my school, as well as a stop to pick up my first textbook for the Spring semester from my friend Kenny and a quick stop by Barnes and Noble to grab some semester break reading.

The best thing about the first day out in the car is I have been able to figure out some things about the car that I like, as well as several I do not.

What I like about the car so far is the engine and transmission are incredibly smooth and quiet.  The car is comfortable and not frustrating to drive like the Volvo was.  I don't feel angry driving it like I did on occasion in the Volvo.  Having a proper trunk, rather than a wagon is also incredibly nice.  I wasn't worried about people peering into the car after a stop at a store or two, unlike the Volvo.

Now, there are a few minor annoyances.  First, the cup holders are more annoying than the ones in the Volvo, and quite frankly, I thought that was impossible.  For a 21 oz beverage (McDonalds Medium, Burger King Small, or the same size of beverage you get at the Costco food court) you almost need to stuff extra padding since they're wider than what I've gotten used to, which means my 21 oz diet cola was leaning and sloshing for the entire time I was running errands.

Second, there are a few things I got used to having in the Volvo that I already miss.  The Honda doesn't have heated seats, or a trip computer.  Nor does it have heated seats or any way to hard wire my iPod into the car stereo without pulling the head unit.

All things considered, though, I'm happy with the vehicle so far!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Death Of the Volvo

Eventually, all good things do come to an end.  While I have certainly been slacking on updating for awhile, the Volvo is now, unfortunately deceased.  While it was a good three years, the impending major surgery the car was going to require to remain on the road made it very much not worthwhile to keep the car on the road.  So, I replaced it, with another vehicle with over 100k miles.

The new car is only 3 years newer, but has about 30,000 miles fewer.  While yes, the Volvo only had 139,000 miles on the odometer when I traded it in today, the actual miles are completely unknown due to a common problem with the 850's.  The Odometer gear broke.

In the end, I survived the hottest summer on record in the DC metro region with no Air Conditioning, and the AC still was inoperable when I sold it.  The Brake rotors needed to be replaced, and the tires were due for replacement, all in all, the car needed about $4000 worth of work to get it back to perfect condition, which in a car that's only worth about $500, it was unreasonable to even consider reparing.

The new car is a 1999 Honda Accord with 138,000 miles.  This time, the mileage is actual.  So, the journey continues.  Stay tuned for a few upcoming trips!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Quick Update

No really exciting trips recently, just running errands.  The Volvo has started using Oil at a rather alarming rate (about 1 quart per week).  No other new details.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Busiest Day Ever!

Today marks a record for 2nd100k.com.  It is the busiest day for visitors ever in the history of the site.  Granted, it was only 45 page views, but considering the average of 3-4 views per day, it was an extremely busy day for it.

Driving today wasn't any near as interesting.  I have started to plan my next trip however!

The goal is a 3 reprise trip to Toronto sometime in Mid-October.  I have yet to decide whether I'll be taking the Nissan or the Volvo.  Some kinks have to be straightened out in the Volvo before I can take it.

Tomorrow's big event is going to be an errand to the Springfield Mixing Bowl.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quick Day Trip to Afton, Virginia.

Views from Afton Mountain Vineyard's Patio
So I wasn't planning on the trip down to see my sister becoming an overnight.  But, that's what it became.  The drive down to just east of Charlottesville, Virginia was...while not fast necessarily, smooth with no issues.  The route my GPS unit took me was straight down US-29, to I-64 and then off at 250.  While I knew she was near some vineyards, I previously had thought of Loudoun County (where I live) and not Nelson County as Virginia Wine Country.

I started noticing a few issues with the car.  First, this is my first big trip in the Volvo since June.  Why?  Mainly because the air conditioning wasn't working properly.  So, I found out I can charge it myself, and with the help of my friend Sohrab, I charged it.  So, now I have AC, while it doesn't get the car frigid, it does do a good job at making the car bearable to drive, where before, anything over an hour in the vehicle was downright abusive.  One thing I noticed is how much power is lost every single time the AC compressor kicks in.  It's a noticeable drop in power, that the first time it happened only 10 minutes from my house caused me to almost re-consider going on the trip at all.

Second, I noticed a horrible vibration when I was driving over rumble strips that continued after I had passed the strips, which makes me think either a shock absorber or a spring might be broken in the car.  Both of those make sense.  Third, I noticed I've had a very substantial drop in power in any performance, which makes me think the compression is off somehow in the engine.  Not only, but during the 250 mile trip it burned almost a half quart of oil..

While these items were annoying (and at a couple points a bit troubling) they didn't stop me from taking the trip.

The Volvo on my Sister's driveway.
Originally I was going to drive down to Afton, have a glass of wine, maybe a snack, play Settlers of Catan with my sister and her husband, and then drive back to Northern Virginia.   After a few hours (and drinks) I realized there was no way I could even potentially consider driving back home, if I wanted to make it alive.  I was falling asleep at the table on the back porch.  So, since they're newlyweds, and do not have a guest room, I curled up on the sofa, and woke up at about 8 this morning.

Since it was 8 in the morning, and they weren't up yet, I went to sit on the back porch.  After my sister got moving, she offered to take me to one of her favorite spots, a winery just a about a mile from her house called Afton Mountain Vineyards.

Since I'm a wine snob (there, I said it,  I'm incredibly picky, a vintners nightmare, and while I'm no expert  about wines, I do know more than the average schmo sitting down to try a glass, and I tend to show it.), I agreed to go and promptly dropped my expectations.  It is, after all in Virginia, and Wine Spectator did say that the only Virginia wine worth anything is at Linden in Linden, Virginia (and by the way, Linden is downright spectacular if you're ever on the I-66 corridor).  Since I have had nightmarish experiences sampling certain Virginia vineyards (which will remain unnamed since one of the producers at one of the said horrid vineyards has a rather litigious history), I wasn't expecting too terribly much.

Afton Mountain Vineyard's Tasting Room
We drove down the long twisty driveway to the tasting room, which is a gorgeous Mediterranean style home set to a backdrop of a beautiful lake, and the blue ridge mountains.  It is one of the most beautiful settings I've ever come across.  I still wasn't expecting much.  I didn't know what my sister knows about wines, and while the wine at her wedding from another nearby (Nelson County) producer Veritas (which I haven't yet been to) was okay, it wasn't anything to write home about, but I wouldn't (and didn't) turn down free bottles if they were offered to me (unlike the litigious producer mentioned earlier).  Free bottles of left over wine is, by the way, one of the great perks of volunteering at your sister's wedding.

Once inside, you feel as if you are stepping into someone's living room.  You make a quick left into the tasting room where you have two choices of what menu to try.  My sister and I took their House tasting (she's tried them all, she goes to the vineyard frequent enough they know her on a first name basis).  The first wine on the list was the 2008 Steel Chardonnay.  It was a very good Chardonnay, and I'm not a white wine drinker, so I don't really have much to compare it to, however, once we got past the Steel Chardonnay, every other wine on the list that we tried was downright amazing.  It was all so good that I must say Wine Spectator got it wrong in saying Linden is the only producer in Virginia worth trying.  Actually, I'll even go as far as saying that Afton Mountain is BETTER than Linden.  Not by miles, mind you, (it's very hard to be miles ahead of Linden, and from what I understand most of the producers in Virginia would definitely agree with me on that) but I strongly prefer the 2008 Reisling and the 2008 Cabernet Franc to anything Linden produces.

Unfortunately for you, I had a whole list of adjectives to describe what I was experiencing but I forgot to write them down.  So, all I can say from here is, if you're traveling through the Charlottesville area, make sure you stop there.

We ended up getting a brief sneak peak about whats upcoming at the Vineyard for the 2009 vintage.  I must say, I will be saving for my next trip down.  Just the small sample I got has me chomping at the bit for what is to come.

134,000 miles in Warrenton, VA
In the end I bought three bottles, a t-shirt, and a souvenir tasting glass.  The Gewurztraminer (2008), the Cabernet Franc (2008) And the Reisling spoke strongly enough to me that they're the bottles I decided to bring home.  I am definitely looking forward to a return trip, and hopefully next time bringing home cases.

The trip home was uneventful with the exception of rolling over to 134,000 miles.  The most exciting part of the trip, however, was definitely realizing that I came across a spectacular wine producer before Wine Spectator.  It's not every day you beat the "experts" to the punch!
8/29/10-  This post has been modified from its original text to correct a few grammar mistakes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just a normal day.

I spent most of the day today driving around Northern Virginia running errands.  After a falling out with my former bank, I signed up at a local credit union.  The problem I had with today, however is it is HOT.  At one point the temperature gauge in the Volvo registered at 120 degrees.  While I know it wasn't exactly that hot, it might as well have been.

The lack of air conditioning is starting to annoy me again...even though I'm still thrilled to have the car back, I would much rather be able to just sit in place with the windows down rather than be buffeted by 60 mile per hour winds on 28.  The big problem is, it would cost $1000 to fix, while that doesn't seem too bad on the surface, the car is only worth about that to begin with, so it's not worth the expense.  When I get a replacement car at some point, I'll keep the Volvo to drive around during the winter.  In the meantime, it's manual air conditioning and shady parking spaces for me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A quick turnaround road trip...

If anyone asks if it is possible to do 800 miles in a 24 hour period, my answer, now, is most decidedly yes.  I left yesterday morning to go to my cousins wedding in Winston-Salem, NC in the Nissan Altima I spoke about in the previous post.  '

The fact of the matter is the little bugger held up VERY well, even though it turned over to 181,000 miles on the return trip.  The trip down was miserable.  It took nearly 8 hours due to very heavy beach traffic on I-95.  It took four hours just to get to Richmond, once you add in a stop for lunch, two stops for the bathroom, and the regular 3 hours it normally takes to get from Richmond to Winston-Salem, and the entire trip down was just excruciating.  The lunch stop was at an unremarkable chain sandwich shop, so there is really no reason to expand on that.

When we got to Richmond, however, we quickly discovered that the Hotel we were going to be staying in was so new, that the road it is on was not in my GPS unit.  So, we had to guess where it was based on other places that were nearby.  Once past Richmond, traffic moved nicely on I-85.  So nicely in fact, that we made the three hour trip in only 2.5.

The hotel does deserve a mention, for one reason.  While it was just a standard Hilton Garden Inn, nothing spectacular there...Hilton has decided to change out the mattresses to a set that while in theory should be a better bet, however, they were horrid.  I have never slept on a bed that was that hard in my entire life.  I think laying on the floor on the carpet alone might have been softer.  After checking out, I found out the beds are actually adjustable, so if I wanted a softer bed, I merely needed to adjust the firmness on the side of the mattress.  The person checking me in was supposed to tell me about it, but they didn't.  So, after only 2 hours of sleep it was time for the return trip.

The return trip was fast.  Very fast.  For most of the trip back I kept the Nissan at around 80 mph.  While 80 seems fast, I was in the slow lane passing no one.  In fact, I moved to the far right lane because I was getting my doors blown off on both sides by cars going easily 20-30 miles per hour faster than I was.  I still made it back in record time, only 4.5 hours including a stop for gas, and a stop for a bathroom break.

When I finally got home I collapsed.  I needed to pick the Volvo up today because my school parking sticker is on the back window.  When I woke up from my nap, at 8 pm, I headed to Warrenton to get the Volvo.  While having AC in the Nissan was very nice, when I got back in the Volvo I realized there was a lot I missed about it.  The Volvo feels heavy and solid, the Nissan felt light.  The Volvo has a distinctive smell, one that is very familiar, it's the same smell that was in my 1987 740 Turbo.   I missed things as small as the thickness of the steering wheel.

The fact of the matter remains, no matter how nice something is that you're borrowing or renting, nothing is as nice as being  back on familiar territory.  The Volvo is just home to me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

1998 Nissan Altima

While the car isn't exactly the most beautiful thing that's ever been built, it's extremely functional.  When I go and twist the key, the car starts, without question.  The radio works, it's not the most beautiful sound, but it gets the job done.  The only thing I have an issue with right now is the air conditioning makes fart-sounds.  It moans and groans all the time.  Even with the fart sounds though, it works, which is more than I can say about the Volvo.

Yesterday was an incredibly normal day.  I drove back and forth in it to work.  I had to run to Reston, VA to take some paperwork to my old job, and in the midst of it I got trapped in a massive storm which did a decent amount of damage throughout the DC metro region.  One thing I did notice the car does not like is 80 mile per hour winds.  However, I can't fault it.  Not many cars do.  Aside from getting tossed around VA-267 by the wind, the car performed without a fault.

The thing I kept realizing about this car, is it easily has another 100,000 miles of life left in it.  The engine is strong, the transmission feels solid.  It could easily go to 300,000 miles without any issues.  At 12 years old, it's very impressive how much life is left in the car.

Today brings another normal day, so there won't be an update.  Saturday, however, is a road trip to Chapel Hill, NC.  It should be interesting :-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Catch up time and a substitute car.

The past two months (June and July) have been so busy, I can't even believe they're already over.  Since May 9th, which is my previous mileage tagged entry.  I've driven another 3300 miles putting the odometer on the Volvo right at around 133,300.

The surprising thing, however, is that the mileage on the car should rightfully be significantly less than that.  The car should only be at about 131,500 based on my daily commute.  How did it get that high up? you might ask.  The answer is 4 trips down to Harrisonburg.  Those trips alone accounted for 1000 of those miles.  Unfortunately, three of the trips were due to a family emergency, so they were not logged, and when I was there I didn't get the time to update.  One of the trips was for a wedding.

The bad part about all of this driving is the Air Conditioning decided to go out on around the 25th of May, which was exactly five days after my most post.  This summer has been one of record heat in the DC metro region which has made the car absolutely miserable to drive.  Fortunately for me, I've only been going back and forth from my new job which is only 2 miles from my house, and school, which is also only two miles from my house for the most part.  The four trips to Harrisonburg were the absolutely most miserable experiences of my life. 

This weekend, I have a wedding in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The five hour drive down and five hour drive back seemed just a bit too much to handle, so I decided to enlist the assistance of my aunt, and have borrowed a substitute vehicle for the trip down and back.  The car is a 1998 Nissan Altima GXE, which is the only car from anyone I know I could borrow which I'd be able to include in the blog.  Why?  It's over 100,000 miles.  At 180,000 miles on the odometer, the car has so far been a surprise for one, rather large, reason: unlike the Volvo, on this car everything still works.

So far, my only issue is one of the speakers has dried out giving off a buzzing sound, but after 10-15 minutes, while the buzzing remains, you no longer notice it.

While I picked the car apart for the first bit, after a few miles down the road, I realized it is a very solid vehicle, even with the extremely high mileage.  The fact of the matter is, the car doesn't feel at all like it's nearly got 200,000 miles on it. 

Tomorrow I'll get to drive during the heat of the day, and I can say without a doubt in my mind, the most exciting thing about driving this car for a few days is going to be seeing what it's like to drive a car with AC again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just a general update...

It's been about 20 days since my last entry.  I'm back in school full time and still working full time.  I haven't driven very much in the past 20 days...only about 500 miles, with 100 of them last week when I ran to Ikea to get a few new things for the house. 

The fact of the matter is, if you ever go to Ikea, a Volvo station wagon is the ideal car for you to own.  Granted I didn't buy much on this trip (only two wine racks, two end tables, and some magazine holders), the Volvo swallowed it with ease.  After getting my end tables home, I realized I'm going to have to go back to buy two more.   Actually, I'm going to have to buy more of everything I bought on this trip.  The wine racks are already full, and I still have a few bottles that need to be stored. 

On top of that, I need to get two more of the end tables for my guest room...since I've still not really done anything in there yet...oh, and some curtains :-).

Aside from Ikea, though,  I'm no longer driving to and from Annandale for school.  I'm only driving about two miles from my house four days per week...and work is still only 10 miles away.  So, my average day is only a total of 20 miles now, rather than 60 which is what it was when I was going to the Annandale campus.  That means, I'm probably going to be able to stretch another year out of the life of this car.

Sorry for a boring entry...there is a more exciting one coming up next week.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A day in the park...

Beginning Mileage: 129,962
Ending Mileage: 130,207

Today was quite a big driving day.  I hadn't realized what I was up against before I left my house.  It being Mothers Day here in the US, of course, I went to see my mom in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  I left my house at around 10:00 AM and got to Gainesville, Virginia before realizing I had left my wallet at home...which meant turning around and heading back to Sterling to pick up that essential piece of traveling equipment.  Once retrieved, I headed back in the direction of Harrisonburg.

The drive down was uneventful.  It struck me several times how amazingly beautiful the day was.  The cornflower blue sky was only dotted with a very occasional cloud.  There was very low humidity, so when I got down to the Shenandoah Valley, the mountains were absolutely amazing.

Right at the end of I-66 the car rolled over to 130,000 miles.  45 minutes later, I pulled into Harrisonburg off of Exit 245.  For those of you familiar with the Shenandoah Valley, that is the exit for James Madison University.  Having grown up in Harrisonburg, I was rather surprised.  JMU's Bridgeforth Stadium is undergoing a massive renovation, which actually made me alter the route from my grand parents house back to my parents.  So sue me, I wanted to see what was going on.

After lunch with my grandparents, a quick stop at my parents to load up some hiking gear and get on the road.

Driving in convoy is challenging.  Most regular readers know I generally travel alone, in my car, with no one following or leading.  Since I was going to be going down one side of the mountain, and my parents would be going down the other to get home, it became necessary for us to use two cars.  So, my mom and I loaded into my Volvo, my dad into their Chrysler Sebring, and we headed up to Shenandoah National Park.  It only took five minutes on the road for the Sebring to disappear in my rear view mirror.  Not being one to like to doddle, I told my mom to call my father and tell him to catch up.  We couldn't reach him for awhile, so we assumed he was on the road.  By the time we got in touch we were in Penn Laird, VA and he was in Broadway...10 miles in the wrong direction.  We decided to nickname him "Captain Slow"  as a tribute to James May.

So to kill time (we had 20 minutes) we stopped to get gas in my car, and get it washed.  No offense meant to anyone who might be from the area, but people from rural Rockingham County do not know how to properly handle a gas station.  For the record, proper filling station technique requires you to pull through the pumps to the first available pump, in the same direction on both sides of the pump.  Since the Volvo has the filler cap on the correct side of the car (passenger) and all the American garbage that was filling up at the same time has their caps on the incorrect (driver) side.  I had to wait...not in queue, rather, far back from the pumps hoping someone wouldn't slip in from the other side.  Finally a pump opened.  It amazed me when I finally pulled up to a pump how incredibly cheap gas in the Shenandoah Valley was.  I'm used to paying $.50 more per gallon here in Northern Virginia.  When we were finally filled, Captain Slow was still nowhere in sight, so we pulled through the car wash, and got the Volvo cleaned up a bit.  About the same time we pulled out of the filling station, he had caught up and up the mountain we went.

About half way through the climb, I noticed a Jeep Grand Cherokee gaining on me.  With US 33 being much more inclined to a Volvo Station Wagon than a Jeep Grand Cherokee, I decided there was no way that bastard was going to pass.  So, in to the floor went the pedal, and up the mountain we went.  By the top of the mountain the Turbo Charger was glowing red.  It was downright exhilarating.  The Jeep did not catch us (it's likely that he didn't know we were racing)...but in the process, we lost Captain Slow, again.  The final score was Volvo 1, Jeep 0.  Yes, Mr. Jeep.  You just got pwned by a 1996 Mommy Mobile.

At about 2:30 we entered Shenandoah National Park.  I purchased an annual pass in hopes to motivate me to utilize the national treasure we have up there more than I have in recent years.  I used to spend almost every Saturday up there with my best friend in High School.  There are not many hikes I haven't done along Skyline Drive between US 33 and VA 211.  After discovering that my favorite Way Station was closed permanently (Panorama) we elected to hike from Skyland rather than there.  Mary's Rock was what I really wanted to do today, and after hiking to the overlook that we went to, I realized how incredibly out of shape I now am, and that I never would have made it to the Mary's Rock summit.

It ended up being a perfect day for a hike.  We hiked to Miller's Lookout near the Skyland Resort.  It was a great length for a few hours in the woods, and culminated with a magnificent 360 degree view.  Since the hike to the lookout point was mostly down hill, to return to the parking lot we had to hike mostly back uphill.  Note to self:  hiking up, then back down is preferable to hiking down and then back up, especially for those of us who's waistline has expanded a bit in recent years.

After returning to Skyland, we had a much welcome dinner in their restaurant (which I highly recommend).  I had a glass of Cabernet, along with some absolutely divine fried chicken.  My only complaint about the dinner was the portion of mashed potatoes I was given rivals in size what I used to eat in Elementary school.   After dinner we loaded back in the cars and continued north on Skyline Drive to VA-211.  Along the way, we got behind a Ford Escape who decided that while the speed limit was 35 miles per hour, the better speed to drive on Skyline is actually 25.  Rather than doing the polite thing and allowing us to pass, he slowed to 20 and kept moving.

Coming from Skyline Drive and heading down the mountain towards Warrenton is by far one of the most beautiful, exhilarating and fun driving roads on the east coast of Virginia.  Unfortunately for me, the Escape was heading down the mountain in the same direction we were.  So rather than getting to have fun on the way down, I was stuck behind a lumbering Ford Escape driving close to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit.  Despite having many opportunities to pull off and let us pass, he continued down the mountain at 20 miles an hour below the speed limit.

Finally just passed Sperryville, VA a section of road that allowed passing opened up and I was able to blow past him.  With the turbo needle pegged at max, I hit nearly 70 miles an hour when I was going around him.  My mom was not impressed.

Finally, we reached Warrenton, VA where we met up with my Aunt, my Uncle and his new wife at iHop to say hello for Mothers Day.  The rest of the ride home was as expected.  Typical Northern Virginia driving.  At 8:00 pm I pulled back in my parking spot.

Edited:  5/11/10:  For clarity and added beginning and ending mileage.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Catching up...

Current Miles: 129,699

It's quite amazing really, It's only May, and I've driven the car 5000 miles since my last entry.  Quite a bit has happened.  I got to experience a hard winter in the Volvo.  As most realize, we got hammered with snow here in the Washington DC Metro Region.  Overall, we ended up with six feet of snow.  I learned, that even without all wheel drive, the Volvo can drive on any road that has had any traffic.

Six feet of snow, though, took it's toll on the car.  As time went on, what was a nice hard packed surface, got pitted, and potholed.  Even though the solid surface below the packed snow wasn't, it did a nasty number on the suspension of the car.  I ended up having to get new\ ball joints, and another new alignment.  The worst bit of damage was actually the cheapest to fix, however...at some point during one of the snowstorms a wheel balance weight got knocked off.  If you've ever driven a car with an unbalanced wheel, you'd understand

Finally, the snow melted.  Just in time for the check engine light to pop back on.  As it turned out, the evap system for the car went out.  $1500 later and I got the car back.

After a few days, though, it started to warm up.  I quickly learned that the Air Conditioner was out of coolant.    Two days after getting the car back from the evap system, I had to put it in for the air conditioning, and (embarrassingly enough) a turbo hose that ruptured while I was enjoying the car at full power.

As far as where I've gone and where I've driven...Aside from one trip to the GW Parkway for a relaxing afternoon, I haven't strayed too far from my normal stomping grounds.  Reston, Annandale, and Sterling.  In the next two weeks, however, I've got a few possibilities for a day trip planned, including but not limited to Philadelphia, Virginia Beach or even a potential return to Pittsburgh.

This past semester was a bit more hectic than I thought, which is part of the reason for my absence, however, I will not make any excuses and just be a lot better from now on.

That's all for today.

Note:  This blog was edited at 10:21 PM on May 2, 2010 to correct the mileage on the Volvo.  The original post incorrectly posted the car's mileage at 29,699 rather than 129,699.  It was also edited so it'd include tags.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A new year

2010 started off with a bang, and the car started off with 125,310 miles.  So far the big thing that happened with the car is the check engine light has now popped on twice with the same code.  Apparently, my ECU is fried.  Either way I can fix that tomorrow.  It's not an urgent repair.

I have one entry in queue still from 2009 that I haven't yet published.  I took a road trip in the last few days.

As far as 2010 goes, I decided that I'm going to be eating out less and cooking at home more.  I bought two new cook books.

First on the list was Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1.  Quite frankly, I realized after the first thing I made out of this book, that it's going to be quite a money saver, however, my waistline is almost certainly going to suffer.

Second, I bought a road trip suitable cookbook.  "Manifold Destiny"  Which is entirely a guide to cooking on your car engine.  Now I'll be able to prepare a meal at home, throw it on the engine and have a fresh cooked dinner when I'm half way to my destination rather than running through McDonalds.

Links to both books are at the end of the entry.

Most importantly however, I've decided I'm going to kick it up a notch on this blog.  The goal for 2010?  At least one entry per day.  Since I don't drive every single day, it'l be tough...(so far today, I've not gone anywhere...) but I think it will make this a whole lot more interesting.

And here are the links to my latest books!