Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baby Dog Teeth

Did you know that dogs lose all their baby teeth? Vinnie lost all his front ones, and has recently started losing the others as well. Here's what we've found so far.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Beep Beep... Bought Another Jeep... Wait. What?

Well, it feels like only a month ago we bought our first Jeep. Wait. It was LESS than a month ago that we bought our first Jeep! So what happened?

We took our first Jeep in a couple weeks ago to do some regular maintenance and get a baseline of what needed to be repaired in the future. That's when we got a call asking us to come down and check out the Jeep - we had a major issue.

This is what he showed us. The passenger-side back corner of the frame was completely rusted away. That oval piece connects to the leaf spring which holds up the WHEEL. The only thing keeping that oval piece in place was the pressure of the body and the wheel (ie, gravity). If we hit a large enough bump, it's very likely that oval piece could have fallen off. Needless to say, this was a major safety issue.

It gets worse.

We didn't see this when we bought it for one big reason. Someone had gone ahead and put mesh with bondo over the spot (think of it as paper mashe for cars - looks pretty, but zero structural strength). See what looks like white scratches along the frame? That's where the paint from the bondo is coming off - yeah it's a solid 18" of false repair work.

Crazily enough, they actually make a part to fix this section of the frame. I guess it's a common occurrence for the frame to rust away here because of the wheels kicking up debris. Unfortunately, the Jeep is just old enough that the cost to replace that section is SIGNIFICANTLY more than the whole Jeep is worth. This, I guess, is because it's old enough that when they start messing with this section, adjacent sections will also likely need to be fixed.

It gets worse.

Since we bought the Jeep from a private party, there's very little we can do (there's still one thing we're looking into). So that's a bummer.

OK. Now it gets better.

Instead of wallowing in our failed purchase, we decided to go test driving for a new Jeep. We came across this one and decided is was what we wanted. This time we went through a used car dealer, and the whole process felt much more official. We were also able to trade in our "old" Jeep. So it will be properly documented and dealt with.

So, now we have a 2002 blue Jeep with a hard top, air conditioning, and an AC plug for our phones. We were also able to keep the wheels off our "old" Jeep because we like the logo rims. Jessi also won her first eBay auction to replace the door mirrors (they were moved, and we're putting them back to the factory location).

From this, there's one major lesson we learned and wanted to share:

When buying a vehicle, no matter where it's from, have it inspected. Our issue was something we never would have caught ourselves. However, a trained professional looking at the vehicle (jacked up 4 feet in the air) was able to catch it. It costs about $100 to do, but is worth the insurance of knowing your vehicle is safe to drive.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Safari Omnibar

A little background on my browser choices:

My personal computer is a Mac, and I use Safari.
My work computer is Windows, and I use Chrome.

Why not download Chrome on my Mac? I don't have any good reasons other than Safari is pretty good and if I can avoid downloading another app, I will. I also tend to run pretty light on extensions in my browsers. When I add one, I tend to go for minimalist options.

On Chrome, I have 6 extensions: Adblock & 5 buttons which are really just mini-bookmark scripts (like a url shortner, for example).

On Safari, I have 2 extensions: Adblock & Gentle Status Bar (It pops up a little bar at the bottom showing me the url destination my mouse is hovering over - something Chrome does natively).

So, when I choose to download an extension, it has to be something pretty special.

The one feature Chrome has is the Omnibar. It's a single box at the top that allows you to type in urls or do a search (see the picture above for what it looks like). It's smart enough to either send you to the website or do a search on Google - very cool. Safari never had that feature, and it's the one I regularly missed.

Well, today I found a Safari Omnibar extension (thanks Lifehacker) and it works just like the Chrome Omnibar. Very exciting! I just had a share. Now my Safari browsing experience is complete. You can download it on Github. Scroll down to the installation section and click on the installer link.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Look At All The Vinnies!!

Here's a fun kid story.

I was at a friend's house when one of his kids wanted to see pictures of our dog, Vinnie. He had met him before and wanted to know where he was. So, I pulled out my iPhone and switched it over to the album with all my Vinnie pictures and showed him how to swipe to new photos.

He was having a blast looking at all the photos when he came to this one:

Suddenly he exclaimed in pure joy, "Look at all the Vinnies!!!"

Ha ha. So true, those are lots of Vinnies! It never even occurred to me that if Vinnie was the only dachshund he's seen, and we introduced him as Vinnie, then all dachshunds would be a "Vinnie".

Cute kid. If I were his parents, I would stay away from Dachshund breeders unless they're planning on taking one home.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Beep Beep... Bought A Jeep

One of the things I like about Jessi is that she has really practical dreams. Some people, like myself, have crazy dreams like wanting to own an airplane and staring up a farm to raise cattle and sheep. Jessi, on the other hand, dreams of things that are actually attainable. Case in point: she wanted a dachshund. That's reasonable. Another dream of hers has been to own a Jeep. Again, reasonable.

Last month, after much planning, we were able to get Jessi's dream dog. I've already shared about Vinnie and his exploits. This month, with considerably less planning, we were able to get Jessi's dream Jeep.

We had been talking about it for a while, but never really had an incentive to pull the trigger. After all, Jessi current car ran really well and was practical. Then one day at work an opportunity presented itself to sell Jessi's car. It was an opportunity to help someone else, and help us achieve our dream. Win-win.

So, we took the plunge and sold Jessi's car. We figured since Jessi had the summer off, we could take our time looking for the perfect Jeep. Of course, Jessi found her perfect Jeep in less than a day and after a quick ride fell in love with it.

So now we're the proud owners of another white vehicle, neither of which is actually a car. This probably isn't the most practical decision we've ever made, but sometimes you need to be a little crazy when it comes to fulfilling dreams.

This is Jessi's "golden year" - she was both on the 27th and she's 27 years old. Normally it's just a golden birthday (again, same day as years), and she extended it the entire year. And it's shaping up to be a great year for Jessi. Fulfilling dreams is a lot of fun - I recommend it.