Kids and TV

When I was a small kid, I had to worry about being able to change the TV station from channel 4 to channel 2. Or to channel 13. And how to get UHF.

I just overheard my 5 year old son: “Grandma? Can you record that show?”

I had to learn how to turn the TV station dial; he’s worried about working the DVR. I guess the older generations really are different.

The Mercedes Experience

Our Mercedes experience is less than perfect. In fact, a lot less than perfect. It is not an experience one wants to have if one can avoid it.

We have the 2000 year model of ML320, the Mercedes SUV. Granted, it is a 7-year old car. But still, it is a Mercedes. It is supposed to be a premium luxury car, not a Honda.

We have issues with this SUV since day one. In the first year, we had trouble with the running board. Then not until when we had to replace the side mirrors did we realized that we did not get the auto dimming feature on the mirrors that we paid for as part of the premium package. Then, there was the recall on the steering wheel fuel connector. Early this year the muffler had a hole and was making such a loud noise that I was embarrassed to be driving in it. Then came the last incident on July 30th.

It was Jan’s first day at work and I volunteered to drive us to the train station. I forgot to turn off the light after I parked the car. The car did beep but I thought it was the seatbelt and ignored it. I thought about it after we got on the train and rationalized that the car will turn off automatically so didn’t bother to ask Jan. When we got back to the train station on the evening, the battery was dead and we needed to jump start the car. At first Jan called his dad but then I came up with a great idea. Why don’t we ask the taxi driver at the station and see if he can help us to jump start the car. Great idea….. only if we can open the hood! We got the taxi to come with us to our car only to find out that the hood of this POS (Piece of Sh*#) wouldn’t open. I called AAA and they promised to send a tow truck in an hour. We waited over an hour and finally the tow truck came. He couldn’t open the hood either so we had to have it put on a flatbed to our house.

The next day my father-in-law came up with an idea by using the cigarette lighter charger port to charge the batter. At least we didn’t have to flatbed the car to the dealer. Jan made an appointment with the dealer for Saturday morning at 7:30.

So we went to the dealer Saturday morning and guess what they told us! There is no secret way to open the hood other than to break the perfectly OK grill, open the hood, replace the mechanism and replace the grill! I have never ever heard of such an absurd way of opening the hood but we had no other option. It would take a couple of days to get the car back because they have to order the parts. Total cost, over $1,100 to open hood. What kind of car the hood won’t open! Well, a Mercedes!

We love the Mercedes experience so much (NOT) that we decided to get a BMW X3 or Lexus for our next car which we are hoping to get in a few months. I want the 2008 model and BMW’s 2008 model year is not out yet.

Object replaces iframe (and does not work in IE7 for this use)

Making the Google embedded code XHTML Strict was pretty easy and involved replacing <iframe> with <object> and massaging some of the parameters.

This works in Firefox and Opera. Naturally it does not work in Internet Explorer 7. There is a hack that might get it to work which I will keep fooling around with.

The iframe code validates and works fine in XHTML Transitional; I’m just playing with strict for grins.

Update: Using the <object> instead of <iframe> not only does not work in Internet Explorer 6 or 7, but locks that browser up.  I’ve put back the original iframe code.

Embedded Google maps

This is cool. A really easy way to embed Google maps.


View Larger Map

Geeky, I wonder when someone will come up with a WordPress plugin to take advantage of this? The only downside to inserting embedded iframe’s is that the TinyMCE editor blows up and dies for that post.

Not a big deal, I just turned it off in my profile, edit the post and then I put it back to WYSIWYG. With one small change to frameborder=”0″ and the code becomes XHTML 1.0 Transitional. For giggles I’ll figure out what to change to make it XHTML Strict.

Stalin would be so proud

I love this statement.

“For terrorists, travel documents are like weapons,” Chertoff said. “We do have a right and an obligation to see that those licenses reflect the identity of the person who’s presenting it.”

CNN.com: Federal ID plan raises privacy concerns

The government had the identity of each of the 19 hijackers; Real ID is not a solution, it is only a way to implement more control and pretend it is security. Forcing states and the Federal government to cough up millions does not make it security.

Let’s do this instead: Let’s make a system for passports needed for traveling between cities. If you have the wrong papers you go to jail.

We can also encourage neighbors to inform on each other, pick people up off the street and strip them of their constitutional rights (citizens only and don’t worry they’re all bad guys). Best to have them picked up at night.

We can treat immigrants like illegals despite their actual status. One infraction and poof, bye-bye.

Add a little “state secrets” as a shield for holding anyone accountable and we’ll all be better off that way.

I feel safer already.

Dell XPS free motherboard exchange

Found out about this on Engadet this morning. This is cool: go here are read this and maybe this link too. Then go to http://www.xpsupgradeprogramdell.com/ and put in your XPS 700 service tag and sign up for the free motherboard exchange.

I signed up early this morning. It’s a remarkable offer and I qualify for a free exchange as well as a free installation. I’m supposed to hear from them within 10 business days and will post an update at that time.

When I ordered my XPS from Dell I had some problems. They were taken care of and I am a happy customer. To now also offer this free exchange as a way of saying “Thanks for the business” is a great way to guarantee that I’ll buy my next PC or laptop from Dell.

Now I really, really, hope that the original XPS 700 roll out taught them about ramping up for high demand.