Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The Mustang is not gone, it's going for an overhaul of the engine. This is going to take some time, so I need wheels. I'm proud to introduce to you my Jeep Grand Cherokee.

When you are entrenched in the automotive world, everyone scruitinzes your decisions regarding automobiles as you're presumed to know everything out there about cars. So why did you choose a Grand Cherokee?

Many many factors. While very fond of the 2000 F-150, that would have been an easy choice to go back to. However, the gas mileage is very miserable, it's difficult to park (even in Texas) and it just won't fit in the garage. My driveway takes on the full force of the Texas sun for 12 hours a day and any vehicle would just bake. It's very Texas to own a pickup, so thankfully when I need one, I have no shortage of friends who will lend me theirs.

This is the second Jeep Grand Cherokee I've owned. I did have a 1995 model for three years. Despite catching on fire, it was a great car. The Grand Cherokee is what I call the SUV for one. Jeep knows this as well and has refused to make it any larger or add a third row of seating. Grand Cherokee owners are single professionals who want an SUV for the utility, but have no need for the mass of an Expedition/Tahoe. There is a Grand Cherokee with a third row and it's called the Commander. It's such a failure for Jeep, that it's being pulled from the lineup after 2009/2010 according to industry gossip. Jeeps are nimble, capable off-roaders and not large leviathans. My model has the Quadra Drive 4x4 system so it will be able to handle the occasional off-road adventure.

And yes, it has the V8.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This Doesn't Mean There's A New Pope

What a weekend. My friend Billy came in to help me work on the Mustang. It was supposed to be a simple job, but I'm waiting to hear what went wrong.

Every gasket/seal eventually needs replacing on a car. My 'stang being 17 years old, needed new "O" rings on the fuel injectors. Simple job, just take off the upper intake manifold pull the fuel rail and pull the injectors. Put on new rings and seal it all back up. Something's gone wrong in the rebuild and after 10 times of puting it back together with new gaskets everywhere, it's not working.

So the white smoke ensues. Coolent is making it into the intake. Off it goes to the shop for a more professional diagnosis.

Stay tuned....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sleepy Puppy

This will be somewhat of a lame posting. I'm kinda busy working on some projects.

As Baxter is a little under the weather, he sleeps a lot next to my desk. I bought him a soft bed, but I'm not a good judge of size as you can see. As he has kennel cough, I won't take it back and risk giving that to another dog.

Maybe dog number two will be a little smaller.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Home Office Companion

During my lunch break yesterday I cruised down to Town Lake Animal Shelter and picked up Baxter. He's not fixed yet due to a case of Kennel Cough. Pretty common in pound dogs. He's not taking his medication well, but that's to be expected. He cried a little last night. I haven't heard him bark yet, but I'm not complaining!

So far his favorite place is under my chair while I'm working. He just curls up and falls asleep. A very good dog.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

You're The One That I Want

I'd like to introduce my new buddy, Baxter.

Here are a few photos from our "get acquainted" meeting today at the shelter. Baxter needs to get fixed on Monday and then I get to take him home.

He's tons of fun, unfortunately that does not relate to camera shots. He's happy and always moving around. Typical for a six month old puppy. He is very affectionate and of course, being a Lab, chewy. So far my arm was his favorite chew toy.

More adorable puppy pics and adventures to come. It's very clear that I'm going to need to get a pickup truck rather then a sedan. He's going to be at least 60 pounds of fun.

Friday, February 09, 2007

What's In A Name

The Pontiac G8. Someone please just put the "R" inbetween "G" and "8" and get it over with.

Wasn't this the new 2008 Five Hundred Last Month?

Sadly for Pontiac, which debuted the G8 sedan at the Chicago Auto Show, the biggest news at the show was the return of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable.

The Sable had been off the market for more then a year, the Taurus just a few months. Ford had sold over 7 million Taurus models during the production run from December 26, 1985 to sometime last fall. The end date is a bit muddled as the car was avaliable to fleet buyers only for a time. As a fleet/rental vehicle it was Ford's best selling car for 2006. There are an estimated three million Taurus' on the road today.

The name Taurus has a lot of brand equity in it. The day the last Taurus was produced was so newsworthy it made the nightly news. No one lamented the passing of Chevrolet's Cavalier that way. In the end, I guess it's a smart move on Ford's part to rename the updated Five Hundred the Taurus. It was not a horrible car who's wheels fell off or the gas tank exploded. It was just bland late in life.

And now for the Pontiac G8.

So good bye Grand Prix and Bonneville. Both names relate to great races. G8 is 27 less the Infiniti's G35 Coupe. Or one letter short of the discription of Frosted Flakes. Pontiac disposed of the name Grand Am to the ho-hum name of G6.

Thankfully Mustang is a name no one dare touch.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I've Been Coke Free For A Year

Let's not get carried away here. It's been Diet Coke.

One year ago I was at the Chicago Auto Show and could not find a Diet Coke anywhere. Rather then lower myself to drink a Diet Pepsi, I just went without. This stubborn streak of mine continued on for two whole days.

Two days became 365 days this week. While I have most certainly run across Diet Coke during this time, I have not had one. It was amazingly easy to give it up acutally. I was a heavy Diet Coke drinker, consuming 2-3 cans a day. I gave up the beverage and replaced it with water for the most part. An extremely healty thing to do for someone who is not prone to extremely healthy behaviors at times. Can you say "Taco Tuesday!"?

In the end I think this was more a test of my will. And I'm happy to say that I passed. However, I still have my vices.

Don't think of getting near my chocolate and peanut butter.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ice On My Plane

What a wonderful day to be traveling to Chicago. Yes it's another set of media days, this time the Chicago Auto Show. Like a dog in a bacon factory, I don't know where to go first.

It's about 4 degrees here. Having lived in Chicago for two years this comes as no surprise. Landing here was a breeze, but getting to the gate was another matter. They had run out of de-icing solution and the gates were taken with frozen planes waiting to depart. Forty-five minutes after landing, I had a gate. Could be worse.

I sure don't miss this weather.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ice In My Veins

Nothing makes you feel more like Cruella DeVille then leaving the dog pound without a leash in your hand and a dog on the other end.

Today I completed my application at the Austin Town Lake Adoption Center. I was approved, which was not difficult, to adopt a dog today. Due to my upcoming travel schedule to Chicago for the Auto Show, I thought it best not to bring a dog home then throw it in the kennel for a few days while I'm away.

There were many that stole my heart, I would take everyone home if I could. There were old dogs, puppies, quiet and shy dogs, happy dogs and very scared dogs. The latter steal your heart as they tend to the dogs that are a few years old that long for their master. They bark and howl and lack the carefree indifference of a puppy. As I left I could here an abandoned Alaskan Malamute singing.

If you ever think you have it all together, leave a dog pound without a new friend in your car.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Insert Dog Here

And some grass and a few trees...

Here is my backyard. It's the only bad part of my house. I do need to get on the landscaping thing this March. I promise.

It's been exactly two months since I left Los Angeles. On Dec 2nd I made it to Round Rock. I'll admit the big empty house is getting to me. I enjoyed my parents flying in for a visit a few weeks ago and giving this place some life. I have friends that I have lunch with on a regular basis, but now it's time for a dog.

I knew I would be getting one, just a matter of time. So the search begins. Be ready to be inundated with adorable puppy pictures.