Thursday, September 27, 2007

Learning to shift

Well, I did it. It was not the fiscally responsible decision, but I've got no family and nothing to do with my life, so here it is:

I had some trouble shifting yesterday. I'm not good at first gear.

Did much better this morning. I stalled once pulling out of my neighborhood on the way to Reveille Club, and then I stalled once on my way to work sitting in stop-and-go traffic on the 610/I-10 interchange, but that was more because I was playing with the clutch and trying different things. I used to ride the clutch like crazy in stop-and-go on the motorcycle -- just letting it pull me forward a little and then pressing it back in. I guess I shouldn't do that in this car. I guess I should wait for space to let it all the way out when I pull up instead of just riding the friction point a few yards at a time.

The car rides like a dream. The only downside is that you're so low you can't see traffic lights and signs around SUVs and tractor trailors. Big cars pretty much block all view of what's ahead. I can't remember having that problem in the Mustang, but maybe I did and just don't remember.

I'm going to turn on the mpg monitor this afternoon because I've already burned over a quarter tank since filling up yesterday. I'm guessing that my shifting and choice of gears isn't too efficient yet. It's supposed to get 18-25, which is better than the Escape, but to burn that much gas that fast I think I'm getting more like 10-15. Then again, I haven't exactly been taking it slow when the opportunity allows me to open up the throttle.

I keep finding all these interesting little features. For instance, there's rollbars hidden in the rear deck that only deploy if the car senses itself hit a certain angle or lose all contact with the road. There's also sensors in the rear bumper that measure the distance to objects behind you. When you get within a certain number of inches, it sounds a tone, and as you get closer, the tone changes. The windows also crack themselves when you open the door and then roll back up when you shut the door like the Mercedes do. The stock radio has a detachable face, but that really doesn't matter because if you disconnect and reconnect the radio, it won't work without a 4-digit pin number. I'm trying to track that down because it didn't seem to be listed anywhere in my manuals. I may switch that deck out for a bluetooth-enabled deck with an input for my iPhone though. I just have to figure out how and where I'm going to mount the iPhone, so I can still read the Google Maps display, but so that it doesn't cause all that phone interference with my speakers.

The hardtop has a rear window defroster and speakers built into it. It just pops on, and all the electrical is connected through the rear posts that secure it to the car. It has heated seats although I doubt I'll ever need that in Houston.

I emptied the Escape last night, but now I've got to scrub it down. Did you know Target doesn't carry those "For Sale" signs anymore? What the hell is that? All stores used to carry a bevy of pre-printed black and orange signs that ranged from For Sale to Beware of Dog. Now you can't find them anywhere. Surely Wal-Mart still has them -- I hope. I may just have to print my own signs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I kind of miss the bird

I kind of miss the bird. The bird’s mess is still all over the kitchen table and floor because for some reason it took joy in constantly flipping bird seed out of its bowl and all over the kitchen, so that’s a good reminder of why I let the bird go, but I still kind of miss it. It brought a little life into a now very empty house. It feels really cold and quiet without the bird. At least it does until I let the dog in. The dog is having problems of her own though.

As Emily was moving her stuff out, she came across some old chew treats we’d bought for the dog months ago, but forgotten about. Well, I started giving the dog chew treats the past couple of nights. She has the WORST gas I’ve ever smelled. I don’t know how a stench so horrid could come out of a dog so small. It’s terrible. Plus she’s being really needy because Emily isn’t there anymore, so she’s always trying to climb on top of me, but she’s constantly ripping ass so bad it makes my eyes water. At least she has stopped waiting by the door and getting up at night to look for Emily, but hopefully in a couple more weeks she’ll finally forget about her altogether and calm back down. I don’t know how many more nights I can deal with a dog that just constantly freaks out unless she’s laying on my face.

As if the dog farts weren’t bad enough, her poo smells just as bad if not worse, and I hit a landmine this morning when I took her out. It took me half the drive to work to figure out where the smell was coming from. I was really starting to wonder if I had somehow unknowingly crapped myself because the reak of poo was just overwhelming. By the time I got to work, I had finally located it on my shoe, so I stopped off in the bathroom to scrub it down. I managed to get most of it off, but there wasn’t really anything in there to scrub with or to get the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately if I raise that foot to cross my legs or something, the stench still comes wafting up. If I wasn’t so broke from buying that iPhone, I’d just throw these shoes away. I’m broke though, and I have a meeting this afternoon anyway. It would look rather strange to show up to an executive meeting in socks. But then again, is it worse to show up wearing socks or to show up smelling like poo?!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I bought the millionth iPhone

The $200 price drop finally tempted me into buying an iPhone on Saturday, and then this morning Apple announced that the 1 millionth iPhone had been sold. Yeah, that was me. I got 1,000,000.

Let me tell you, this thing is sweet. I'm still getting used to typing on the touch screen. It can be a bit tricky, and you definitely can't text while driving because you have to look at the screen to know where the keys are. However, the screen works absolutely great. I thought you had to have a WiFi connection to get your e-mail, use Google maps, and surf the web. I was wrong. Everything on the phone is fully functional whether you've got a WiFi connection or not. It's totally sweet.

To make my weekend even better, Led Zeppelin announced a reunion tour. Yeah, I'm jammin' Zep on my iPhone. Life is perfect.