The Audi was almost 12 and a half years old. It lived a tough life in the Cleveland winters. The outer body doesn’t show it as much, but 12 years of salt has taken a toll. The rear shocks were pretty much shot as was bits of the electrical.
Today she was traded in for the Subaru Outback that you see up there.
We needed a car that was more reliable and could do a better job of hauling stuff around. The Subaru fit the bill while simultaneously being a car and a hauler. It’s not an SUV; it’s a wagon.
We considered something from BMW or Audi to be the replacement of the A6, but with our present situation of not really driving around that much neither of us thought that dumping extra cash into a car like that would be worth it for real.
We still have the leather seats and all the fun stuff… but we left the badge behind. Seeing that we might tow something in the future (something like a SylvanSport Go for instance) we got the bigger 3.6l engine.
So far, so good… I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the future.
A year ago we were mid-move. All of our stuff — well, most of it for the most part — was on a truck en route to a warehouse.
When the furniture, among other things, was finally delivered it came with mostly covered with scratches. We got the estimate for repair. The mover’s insurance paid it.
A few months ago we enlisted Gabel’s to fix it.
Today the result arrived back at the house.
Working with wood is an art form, more so when it comes to finishing it. These guys have it down. The furniture that came today was as good or better than when we got it the first time around.
From working a bit with wood I realize how hard it can be. It’s hard to get a smooth finish. An even finish. A finish that matches the rest of the wood. Knowing how to work with the specific species of wood (mostly cherry in our case). All sorts of questions, techniques, and experience.
I’m just happy we have our storage space back!
A year ago we were getting settled in the small apartment overlooking the Sound and the train. A year ago I just came home from my third day at Amazon.
It’s amazing how time flies.
We had two new people we were adding to the team — one intern and one full time — and we were doing introductions. It was a weekly team meeting and it was my turn. I realized then that I was at Amazon for one year and one day. (Right after another co-worker Andrei walked on his hands…)
It’s been a fun year.
It’s been a big year.
It’s been a stressful year.
It’s been a good year.
Tonight I tore into the bike again trying to root out the cause of the bike woes.
Online I heard a suggestion that the throttle position sensor might be screwed up. That was an easy check. I pulled the connector and threw the multimeter on it. It’s a simple potentiometer and simple to check with the ohmmeter. 4.3k rail to rail with the center tap going from 1.2k to 4.1k. Right around in spec.
Next up was the fuel pump again. Further tearing it up I got to the fuel pump.
1.1 ohm across the leads seems low, but the final test is current draw. I rigged up a janky setup and tested it.
For a brief instant I saw 15A on the Fluke. Thankfully it is specced to handle 20A for 30s so this wasn’t a problem. The 7.5A fuse inline fuse blew on cue.
The pump is, essentially, a dead short.
That would explain no gas getting pumped.
I guess I’m in the market for a new one now…
While I was down in California the fuel pump controller bypass cable arrived in the mail.
To recap, what this does is hook the fuel pump directly into power — more or less as direct as you can make things.
To verify that power is in fact there I double checked with the power on and the cable plugged into the aux power jack on the bike:
Sure enough, power is flowing. Looking on the bike seat you can see the controller I pulled off the bike. This one is a new-style one that’s fully potted.
It hooked up no problem…
The plug closest is the fuel level sensor plug. Hidden behind the bodywork is the fuel line itself.
Even with the fuel pump connected directly I didn’t get anything. I got brave and pulled the fuel line. If things were working I would get a fountain of raw gas shooting out the now vacant hole.
This pretty much rules out everything except the pump itself.
At this point I have to decide if I want to replace the pump myself. It’s a $150 part along with $100 of specialized tools. It’s still cheaper than the BMW-branded pump plus all the dealer markup.
Oh… and if I got a tow to get to the dealer…
Grrr… this is just my experience in the past two hours driving to the airport and getting to the gate. This is a rant. You may as well skip it.
So, driving from Newport Beach to John Wayne Airport in my rental I needed to get gas for my rental car. The first station I pulled up to didn’t have card readers on the pumps. Strange. Even in the boonies I found card readers. I go in to the office. Either cash — up front — or a credit card with a $2.50 up-charge (which I think it’s against the rules anyway)
Ok, next station.
Card declined at the reader… huh? Ok some fraud detect or something. Into the office.
“How much do you want to put in?”
“A full tank.”
“So how much? $50? $60?”
“It’s a rental I don’t know. A full tank.”
“I don’t care. $60.”
Like I said… just a rant.
I know I’m an odd bird.
I found out more about my oddness over the weekend. If someone gives me a good problem, there’s little I can do to not try to solve it. En’s uncle is the founder and CEO of Bambeck Systems, Inc. They make combustion control systems for industrial applications — they include things like refineries, paper mills and beer brewers in their portfolio.
He’s facing a couple of engineering challenges that I won’t go into great detail over. Most of these are things that I’ve never really pursued in any great depth before. But they are problems. I solve problems.
Thousands of hours of reading random crap, looking at designs and teardowns, reading wikipedia… they all come together to almost make it seem like I know what I’m talking about.
I have to say that I’ve never really thought I’d use anything read about materials science and manufacturing in real life. But I guess somehow it works.
Driving from John Wayne airport up to my brother’s place I noticed something on beside the highway.
On the way back down I took a picture of it.
I was of the understanding that crossfit is supposed to be anything but lax.
Ennie and I are in SoCal visiting my brother, her uncle and mom and dad.
This is the first time that I got to see Pete’s condo. I was originally worried that he was in something looks like LA — you know, the LA that you see when you leave LAX. Thankfully, Thousand Oaks is not at all like that. He told me, but I guess it took seeing it for real to internalize it.
Now, we’re on our way down to Newport Beach — going through the dreadfulness that is the LA I don’t like.
But this isn’t what I’m writing about. Not directly at least. Talking to Pete was cool. His love of the area made us think about us.
For the first time when we’ve been away from home we feel the draw of not just our home, but our city. Both of us have a possessiveness for Seattle that just didn’t exist for Cleveland. Sure, it’s nice to get home and have your stuff back (and our case our kitties!) and be in the familiar. The draw of home never applied to the area we lived.
Driving around down here in California made us realize that both of us are longing not just for home, but also for Seattle.
I think we found home.
- = -
Incidentally, one year ago today we landed in Seattle.
Security is an interesting arena. Half the time you seem to want to gather privileges, the other half you seem to want to get rid of them.
A good example is access to a production system.
Sometimes it’s awfully nice to log into the production box to diagnose a problem. It’s a convenience that is sometimes even taken for granted.
Then, when there is a security breach of some type, it’s just as nice to know that you don’t have the password and you couldn’t have been the one to blame for it. The simple knowledge that you are no longer “one of the usual suspects” is a way of resting a bit easier.
The same can be said for auditing. Having a “paper” trail is a good way to make sure you’re not going to get blamed for a screw up. It cuts both ways though — if you are responsible, of course it’ll point right to you; it gives you incentive to not screw up.
This is just coming up from me locking down stuff at work.
Locking it down and almost throwing away the key. That way I’m no longer one of the usual suspects. (Ok, more broadly, none of us are!)