The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 26, 2008

Have You Wished You Weren’t Driving a Ford Lately?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 2:12 pm

Let’s say that your job involves driving around a work truck, but the one that the company gave you runs afoul of whatever brand loyalties you might have for such a vehicle.  What do you do?  I caught this, er, creative solution to the problem in the rear view mirror while I was waiting at a stoplight earlier today:

Just take the front grill off something you found in the junkyard, add a few zip ties, and nobody will know the difference, as long as they aren’t really paying close attention anyway.  Call me crazy, but I get the sneaking suspicion that this particular individual would probably rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford.

BeagleFest 2008: Wait, Didn’t I Live Here at Some Point?

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: , — Brian Lutz @ 9:37 am

It is now day 3 of BeagleFest 2008, and so far, everything seems to be going well.  The dogs managed to get themselves a bit wound up before last night’s trip to the dog park, but seemed to be just fine while we were there.  The weather has gradually improved over the past few days, so last night the dog park was rather busy.  Fortunately, Imola and Minardi seem to be pretty good about keeping track of where I am and usually remain reasonably close.  Imola tends to wander a bit more than Minardi does, but if Imola comes across something that catches her attention Minardi will follow her pretty quickly.

As for myself, part of the deal was that I am staying at my parents’ house while they are gone to take care of the dogs.  Even though I lived here for ten years while I was growing up, a lot has changed around here since then.  For one thing, me and my parents are the only ones in the family who live in Redmond anymore (I’ve got a brother and sister and brother-in-law who live down in Provo Utah, and my other brother and sister-in-law live in the small town of Sultan in Snohomish County, as do my other sister, brother-in-law, their two boys and two beagles of their own.)  This, combined with the fact that I remain single for the time being meant that I was the only one who was really in a position to take care of the dogs.  The house itself has seen an extensive remodel in the past year, and although it is still easily recognizable as the house I grew up in, a lot has changed as a result of that remodel.  This includes a number of shiny new appliances with all sorts of bells and whistles, although I’m led to wonder if that’s always a good thing.  In the apartment where I normally make my home, the stove is a fairly basic model, and is rapidly approaching an age where it would be old enough to vote if the 28th amendment to the Constitution happened to grant suffrage to household appliances.  This means that you’ve got a total of six knobs (one for each burner and two for the oven.)  The recently purchased new stove at my parents’ house, on the other hand, has a control panel that looks like this:

So far, I haven’t even bothered to try to figure out what half of those buttons are supposed to do.  So far, I think I’ve figured out the “incinerate” and the “show seizure inducing flashy patterns on the display” buttons, but I haven’t ventured too far beyond those basic functions yet.  In what may be one of the greatest feats of dubious engineering in the 21st century, somehow they’ve even managed to complicate the temperature knobs for the burners on this one, providing two different low/high scales for the front burners.  It’s not just the stove either;  The toaster’s encrusted with more than its fair share of buttons (I’m trying to figure out exactly when people decided that toasters needed “cancel” buttons to pop the toast back up instead of just lifting the slider back up, but that’s another story,) and i haven’t even tried to operate the dishwasher yet.  I’m dreading the inevitable day when refrigerators start coming with “open” buttons instead of handles to open the doors…

Fortunately, I think there’s enough cold cereal here that I could probably survive off of if I can’t figure out how to cook anything else without setting it on fire, and if worse comes to worse, I’m only about a mile from my apartment anyway, so I’ll probably not starve.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go see if I can find the manual to explain how to get the front door open again… 


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