Changed the oil and rotated the tires today at 38,500ish, or about a hundred miles overdue. And for the second time in approximately 50 Miata oil changes I used a non-OEM filter. I realized I needed to change the oil somewhere on the road home from FLA last weekend, but the fact slipped my mind until like Friday night. By then it was too late to order it from my usual on line haunt and I just can’t bear to travel the 50 mile round trip to the nearest dealer (for several reasons) to buy one. On our Saturday morning shopping trip we went in to Advanced Auto and picked up 4 quarts of 10w30 Penzoil and a filter. Some schmo was monopolizing the jumbo book of filter compatibilities, so I asked at the counter. I gave the man the particulars and he asked which brand I wanted, “Fram, Puralator, Mobile1…” I said, “Whatever, they all filter oil, right?” I got a Fram, I think because it was first alphabetically.
After the Miata servicing we had just the right amount of daylight for a walk in the Woods. To change things up we drove to the other side of town to enter at a different spot. We had walked this particular section a couple times or more, but when the trail turned right to head further into the woods, Donna said, “Let’s go straight.” To which I replied, “That’s no a real trail, it ends right there.” But as I spoke she kept walking and I had no other choice but to follow her down the rabbit hole. The map I carry showed no trail, but sure enough, what looked like the end, merely resembled one as it turned into a narrow, windy, little used path down a hill. I was no too worried about getting lost as we were traveling along one edge of the woods and the railroad bed that was to our left was still there, just that it was now 30 feet above above trail level when it was once slightly below it. The map showed if we continued only this route we would come to a trail spur that would lead us back into the woods proper or if we continued past that we would come to the eastern edge of them and several officials trails. When we hit the spur we thought in for a penny, in for a pound and continued along in the uncharted territory. Unfortunately after only 50 yards or so we were confronted with an ugly 20–25 foot drop-off to a stream with a corresponding steep climb out on the other side. We quickly returned to the spur trail and finished our walk in a civilized manner.
Had I realized the Top Transition count was going to end where it did I just might had gone out in the garage and put it up before calling it a night.
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 399
We took the Christmas decorations down though…
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 397
Bought a laptop from Dell recently. They are forever running special promos; free this or that or free upgrades in an effort to entice a sale. I bit on the slightly above basic laptop and what contributed to it was $150 savings, free printer, free internal wireless and upgraded shipping. The same unit is $100 more without the printer or wireless right now, but maybe cheaper next week or at the small business store or by checking the /tv store.
I hooked up the free Dell 720 color ink jet printer tonight to replace my old Lexmark Z12 which was like $30 when new several years ago. Of course the free printer included the trial size ink cartridges which made me leery about running the alignment test and sample page for fear of using most of the ink up. Dell was nice enough to include some software that will let you know when your ink is low and instead of just popping a warning from the task tray it will launch IE and take you to the Dell supply page…
Last couple of years at tax time I have used H&R Block’s Tax Cut. I used to use Turbo Tax but switched after reading about Intuit’s digital rights management features that were crashing PCs of a couple years ago. I am happy with Tax Cut and was thinking about getting it again this year. But I don’t have to think anymore, in today’s mail was a silvery looking DVD sized case with Tax Cut Deluxe and one standard state program. Plus all the usual free with rebate software and/or electronic filing you normally get. I just have to load the CD and give them $29.95 off of my charge card. No going to the store and maybe choosing a competitor’s product…
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 395
Wire free that is. I have managed to muddle my way through setting up my own wireless network at home. I got the cable internet into and through the router no problem, but was having trouble getting the laptop to connect.
Tonight to make sure there was nothing wrong with the laptop’s wireless card we cruised downtown Aiken looking for unsecured networks. The Hotel Aiken was wide open, but the signal strength was not too hot. Connected to their network no problem, but internet access was iffy at best. The Holiday Inn Express near my house house was much better, wide open and could surf the net better. Using the Holiday Inn Express network they start out IE with it going to the main Holiday Inn web site, but after that you can go where you want to go.
When we got home I disabled the security on the router and sure enough I could connect. I really didn’t want to live that way, so I re enabled security with different settings and BINGO we were in.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 394
Decided to spend the last of the Christmas cash on some newly required essentials. The new $500 laptop has beget a couple of required purchases, a carrying case/bag and a wireless router.
I started at staples.com and quickly filled my shopping cart. A cheap-o polyester computer case for $29.99 and a Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router (Model# WRT54G) $57.94. The router came with an instant $3 off coupon and a $15 mail in rebate bringing its cost to under $40.
Six hours later I received an email:
Please be advised that due to the high demand and current “Special Buy” our stock has been depleted and cannot be re-ordered, back ordered and no substitute is offered. The quantity ordered will not be shipped and please note that you have not been charged for this item. The item may not be returning to stock. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
So I figured seeing as I was actually having to leave my house and go shopping, I’d cancel the computer bag too. There is no way to do that online, you have to dial the 1–800 number (how so last century.) The CRS who answered after a short wait was friendly, efficient but no so helpful. Through no fault of his own, mind you, but because the computer bag was direct ship from the manufacturer he said he would try to put a stop order on it. Because the order might be to far along to stop, I’m thinking that is doubtful because the estimated delivery date was 1/9, I had two options; refuse delivery when it arrives or accept delivery and return it to the closest Staples.
On a whim and because we were going out to get a gallon of paint for the bathroom tonight we swung by Staples the store. I thought for sure they would be out of the router as well, but there were 4 on the shelf. I picked one up and headed for the check-out figuring the worst could happen was I was going to miss out on the $3 instant coupon, but when the cashier rang me up it came to the same price as I had online. The three bucks off was listed right there on the receipt. Now I just have to fill out the rebate form online — again.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 393
All I had to do was reboot the cable modem.…
Almost forgot to post that I washed the car today.
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/05: 392
Or he had a very good lawyer because my laptop was delivered on Friday morning. I had it delivered to work because a signature was required and chances were no matter when it arrived I would not be home to sign for it. The plant was technically closed on Friday, but when that happens the Security Officer does the signing.
This morning after we had some muffins from the New Moon Cafe in downtown we drove out to the plant to pick up the packages.
First thing I did when I got it home was spend about 2 hours deleting all the extra crap that Dell tosses on the hard drive. Knocked the system tray icon tally from a dozen down to 4. It came with a built in wireless 802.11 b/g card. I guess my next purchase will be a wireless router so I can surf the web on the screened porch in the spring. It also had built in NIC so hooking up to a high speed connection in a hotel should be a snap. Should.
When Donna’s family was here over Thanksgiving one of her brothers brought his laptop, so he could check email, etc. When he plugged in the cat5 cable from my cable modem to his laptop he couldn’t get connected. I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t work. He spent 3 hours trying all sorts of shenanigans and couldn’t make it connect. After a 2 hour dinner break he went back at it, while the rest of us watched “A Christmas Story” in the living room, after about another hour or so he managed to get it hooked up. I snickered to myself, thinking it couldn’t have been that hard, because he is some sort of computer geek in his own right. Well the jokes on me. Plugged the cable into my new laptop this afternoon and I can’t get it to connect either.
Checked all the obvious settings and can’t for the life of me see what is wrong. Guess I’m going to have to email my brother-in-law and see if he remembers what he did to get it to work…