Welcome the new addition

ted | driving | Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

…to the garage.

My wife and I just got a 2000 NB TDI to compliment our 2006 Golf TDI. That’s hers on the left, mine on the right.

Car is originally from Arizona and has been here for less than a year. After some SERIOUS interior cleaning by us, a tank of fresh ULSD-B11 with a big dose of Stanadyne and a boatload of work by JasonTDI Sunday (TB/serp belts & ancillaries, intake/EGR cleaning, figuring out there were not one but TWO TDC marks on the flywheel, new round of filters, Amsoil Euro, fresh G12, tightening all the loose axle flange bolts, replacing the AC compressor bolt that was hanging by two threads, plugging in the reverse light switch and perhaps a hundred other minor fixes) the car is almost right as rain and drives MUCH better than before.

All was not skittles & beer, however – we had a little run-in with a guardrail near Janesville, Wisconsin in a horrible snowstorm on the way up.

VERDAMMT! At least it’s all contained to plastic – nobody was hurt altho the two of us were both shaken & stirred. Lesson learned: the stock Michelins are complete crap in snow and the Wisconsin DOT ain’t too swift with the salt & plows.

Next on the agenda, after a front corner painting, is another round of interior cleaning, brake fluid flush & bleeding, intercooler repair (chafed from the plastic bumper) and an engine washing.

Mostly, if you’ve got a VW or a TDI and you’re within 5 hours of Madison, Wisconsin, TALK TO JASON. He’s fast, he’s talented, he knows these cars inside and out and he’s an all around nice guy. Tell him Chicago Ted sent you. And always, always, always bring your mechanic beer.

Back in the day

ted | junk | Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

It must’ve been the summer of 2000. One evening during that long hot summer in Atlanta, I found myself in an elevator with Robert Anton Wilson. I didn’t say anything to him, as he seemed pretty tired. I was on my way from one party to another party in this particular hotel.

Seven years later, it’s interesting that this one random encounter is the thing I recall most fondly about that night. Time is perhaps the longest distance between then and now, and I like it that way.


ted | junk | Saturday, January 13th, 2007

“News” reports are spotty at best, but it seems as though Robert Anton Wilson shuffled off his mortal coil 11 January 2007 @ 0450 at his home.


Well, that was horrible

ted | bike | Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Normally I ride approximatley 3-3/4 miles due east in the morning over to the Dan Ryan (the part of I-90/94 south of the Circle, north of the junction with I-57 and isn’t the Skyway) where I meet my buddy Kevin, fold up my Dahon Boardwalk 1, put it in the trunk of his Honda and we have a lively rappaport the rest of the way to work.

In the evening, he drops me off about half a mile south of the pick-up point, due to onramp closures, and I ride just over 4 miles home, most of it due west.

If I ever take Metra, I have to ride over to the 63rd street station. Being on the southeast side of Chicago is weird, since many of these streets don’t exist on the northside. Crazy lake curvature. Going to that station is pretty much 6 miles exactly, perhaps a little more.

I rode/carpooled in like normal the other day, but K had a dentist appointment, so I got a ride to the end of the Metra line and rode that up to Chicago, got off at 63rd street and bundled up for the six miles and change home, all of it due west.

I was not entirely prepared for the wind.

It wasn’t that cold – 26°F (-3°C), balmy for this part of the year – but a 21 mph headwind gusting to 31 mph made my progress slow and very labored. I was bundled up fairly well, but the bandana I was using as a facemask made my glasses fog up regularly and my nose run almost continuously. It did a fine job of protecting my delicate facial tissues from the biting wind as well as warming and humidifying the air I was gasping in, but needless to say it got soaked very quickly.

Even though the fierce headwind nearly stopped my forward progress at times, I worked through it and kept pedaling. And pedaling. And pedaling. Exhausted, soaked with sweat, I finally made it home after nearly an hour of the most hellish riding I can ever remember.

My “good ride” metric was also fulfilled: I did not get passed by a bus. Hell yeah. I was suprisingly sore this cold morning. Nice, for a change.

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