A sad sad day in the world of junk food

It is a sad sad day for me today in the world of junk food. My favorite childhood snack has been discontinued. I remember in the afternoons of my youth how many hours I spent sitting watching cartoons after school while enjoying as many Cheez Balls as I could stand until the can would be gone and I'd have to wait for my mom to buy some more. The greasy treat was so wonderful. I remember it was like two treats in one. First you would eat the balls, then when you were done you had at LEAST 5 fingers if you're a one hand snacker to lick clean of the great cheesy residue. You can still get a similar experience from Cheetos Puffs, but it just isn't the same. There may still be hope however. While shopping at Target, I saw a giant container of Market Pantry brand cheese balls. I don't know if they are up to par with Planters, but it was a giant container for $5 so I figure they're worth a try. I'll keep you updated!


Hyundai Rant

Let me start out by saying that in case the person who sold me my current car happens to read this, I hope that person or persons will know that I do not hold them responsible for any of the problems I've had which I am about to outline. I would have had problems with any car I bought and they frankly gave me a great deal on this car.

That said, I can not believe how angry I am with Hyundai right now. Let's start at the beginning. I bought my 2000 Hyundai Sonata in 2005, right after the warranty was up. And it would have been up anyway because warranty doesn't transfer to the new owner of a used car anyway. So when I bought it, there were two known issues with it: 1) the windshield washer tank was cracked, and 2) the brakes were squeaky because of dust build up (apparently a common issue with Hyundais). In the first months, I started to notice that the driver sun visor was very loose and would keep falling in my face as I was driving. Not very safe! I would often get frustrated with it and slam it back up and eventually I simply would move it to the side. Well one day as I was trying to put it back into position, the plastic piece of crap broke off in my hands. I had been meaning to take it to the dealer anyway to see about getting a new windshield washer tank and I had been, "experienc[ing] intermittent low-speed engine stalling" which I will explain in a minute why that is in quotes. So I took it in to have them run a diagnostic and give me a quote on how much it would be to fix all those things. I don't remember exactly but it was like $2500. And of course just the diagnostic cost like $80. But I asked them to itemize it and just the sun visor cost like $250! So I was like, ok screw that. I decided I could do without windshield washer fluid and I could just buy some nice sunglasses for $20. As for the engine stalling, I decided to have a family friend who has an auto shop take a look at it. He told me the engine stalling "could occur if the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor electrical signal is interrupted as a result of engine vibration transmitted to the MAF sensor connector wiring harness." Again the quotes aren't because I'm quoting him exactly but that is basically what he told me and I will explain the quotes in a second.

Let's start with the sun visor. I decided last weekend that I was sick of not having a sun visor and I knew of a salvage yard relatively close to my house. So I drove over and went in and told the worker that I was looking for a sun visor for a 2000 Hyundai Sonata. Without even checking or thinking about it he immediately said "I doubt it." He then proceeded to explain to me that the Hyundai sun visors, particularly the driver side, were prone to being pieces of garbage that just about anyone owning a Sonata has had to replace, and therefore, the pickins are very slim at the salvage yard. He told me I could check online or ask a dealer. Well I already knew the dealer's answer to the tune to $250! So I got online and searched for 2000 Hyundai Sonata sun visor and the number one related hit was 2006 Hyundai Sonata recall. I looked into it and the sun visor had been recalled due to it being a piece of junk and breaking off all the time. So now I'm thinking, why didn't they recall any other year besides the 2006 since they all seem to be having the same problem? So I called Consumer Affairs and all they would tell me was that there weren't any recall campaigns for the sun visor of my particular Hyundai. I searched and searched and can't find anywhere that I can get one. I would bet money that it is the #1 most requested part for Hyundai Sonata's on salvage and parts sites.

Onto the next problem, the MAF causing the engine to stall. Back to the future, in 2005 when I first had the problem, as I said I took it to a family friend who first replaced the MAF for $1000 and then when that didn't work, we ended up having to replace the alternator and all kinds of crazy electrical crap and then a few years later it went bad again and fried my battery. So with that history in mind, I found the following recall today as I was searching for information about the sun visor recall.


Recall Date: Sept 11, 2000

Model Affected: 2000 HYUNDAI SONATA




Potential Units Affected:


Now you understand what I was quoting from above right? This is the exact problem I was having 5 years ago that I ended up spending thousands of dollars on fixing. So now flash forward to my phone call with Consumer Affairs. I've just been told that as far as sun visors go I humped. So I decide to try my next one and I mention the above recall and I am put on hold to while the guy researches to see if it applies to my vehicle. The reason the recall campaign does not apply to my car? I have a V-4 not a V-6. So of course obviously even though the problem description is exactly the same, it wasn't a product flaw at all and I get to live with having paid for it.

I don't think I'm so much upset about having already spent a bunch of money on fixing it, but I am kind of pissed off that with a recall from 2000 when the dang car was brand new, the guys who did the diagnostic at the dealer didn't even think to check it. Or even mention it to me so I could go and tell the other auto shop what the problem was and how to most likely fix it.

So, I don't think I'll be buying another Korean made car for a along time.


This is awesome

I'm not usually one to get into the mushy feel good videos that everyone makes about whatever one YouTube. But here is a video that I can't stop watching and smiling at. What an awesome moment.


Mayor Bloomberg? More like Mayor Stupidberg

Watch the brilliant deduction skills of another Tea Party hater. How stupid can you be to just assume that a terrorist act was perpetrated by HARMLESS AMERICAN CITIZENS simply because they disagree with Obamacare instead of thinking, gee, we've been fighting a war against Al-Qaeda for like 9 years now and this is the exact tactic they've been using the entire time (car bombs)! And not to mention the fact that it was parked outside the Lion King where thousands of innocent women and children were. Yeah that sounds like another one of those evil Florida grandmas just hating on the world again. Here's the link to the video... (Oh and yes I realize that I'm like a week late on this one...)


5000 Year Leap and Utah Primaries

I had to take a break from blogging there for a while due to finals and other stuff. I haven't had a whole lot of specific topics that I wanted to talk about lately either because I've kind of fallen out of the loop with some of the current issues and feel like I'm two weeks behind. Anyway, I was able to finish reading the best book on our patriotic duties and the principles our country is founded on that I have ever read. The 5000 Year Leap. I highly recommend that everyone read this book. Especially if you feel like something is wrong with what is happening in our country, whether you are conservative or liberal, and this book will help you understand why you have that unsettling feeling. Its how I felt about Bush. I wanted to trust him, but there was always that feeling that I something was wrong. And sure enough, but I woke up before it was too late to do much about it. And frankly, I still think I would have voted for him over John Kerry, but that's beside the point. The fact is that because I've read this book and gone through this awakening period, I feel like I can make much more educated decisions about how I vote and about how I define my own political beliefs.

In other news... Bob Bennett is out, Bridgewater and Lee are in. Now I've got to do my research on them to decide how I vote in the primary. Or I may decide to not vote in the Republican primary and instead vote for Matheson in the Democratic primary so we don't get some extreme liberal representing a bunch of conservatives. Sad thing is, Matheson will probably lose the primary, which means the Democrats will lose a seat because there's no way my district will vote for a Democrat that is more liberal than Matheson. That's just my opinion though, I haven't looked at the polls or anything.


Nailed my final presentation for my HP Project

I just had to come on here and gloat a little. First I'll give you some backstory. I'm in an HCI class right now (Human Computer Interfaces) and we have been doing a project for HP where we come up with an idea using sensor technology to solve an issue in the home, when then were to implement the idea into low fidelity prototypes and test these prototypes and come up with a final version to present for a concept. My team and I have been talking about our idea for a while and were not too worried about the final presentation until about a week and a half ago when we found out we needed two rounds of testing along with a final prototype, a video, a poster, and a presentation. All in a week! And on top of all this I've had three take home finals that were due today along with the presentation and an in class final this morning.

So we worked hard. We met just about everyday since last Friday until today to go over the presentation and the testing and do new interface designs and go out and test users. Since Wednesday we've been done with our testing and worked on finishing the video and poster and presentation. I was in charge of the video and the powerpoint. Anyway, we've all pretty much been hating on HP for a few weeks and eve posting death threats as our statuses on Facebook. I don't know if I've done justice to the stress level but I'll move on.

We presented today after 7 other teams. We showed our video and then presented our powerpoint to explain the solution more in depth. After about 8 minutes we had finished explaining our product and got ready for our feedback. On feedback, we've had two feedback sessions with HP throughout our process and for the most part they have been somewhat negative and critical, so we have kind of gotten used to the fact that they always want something more than they really told us and we got to a point where we stopped worrying about if they would like it or not. So to be honest I didn't care much if they liked it or not. So we got our feedback and something ensued that I did not expect at all.

"Best presentation that we've seen to date," was said more than once. There were three reps from HP and each one said that we had the best presentation so far. "You've taken our feedback and come up with a solution that sticks to your original idea but really expands it to something that addresses all the issues." "Your presentation does well of showing a broad range of ideas in a very quick and comprehensive form." When I they asked us about our experience doing the project, one of the things I mentioned was that I had never made a video before and one of the guys said seriously that I should go into radio, which I was taken a-back by. And then to top it all off, I tripped on the stairs coming off the stage and fell flat on my face.

There have been three more teams after us and while they have all gotten positive feedback and some of them are better ideas than ours, we retain the "best presentation" trophy which I am proud of because I organized it almost by myself while my team mates provided me with some of the images we used and my ID team mate did the entire look and feel of the poster and the GUI. So I feel pretty proud of myself. Here is the video I made if you want to see it :)

UPDATE: I wrote this before the end of the presentations and afterwards the HP guys chose the three best and ours was one of them. Awesome!


Best Order Confirmation EVER!

So I just bought some small zenball magnet things online because of a sweet video I saw and they were only $10 and looked like the kind of dumb little toy I would really like. Here's the video:

Anyway, so I got my confirmation email from the company thanking me for my order and promising me fast shipping etc. The usual. Then I read the following:
After a rigorous 4 step process of verifying the quality and consistancy of each and every magnet, we donned silk gloves and placed it into a sacred padded envelope made of magic and lined with Unicorn fur, sealed the envelope with an adhesive made from strands of Gypsy hair, and wrapped the whole thing in a snazzy looking faux gold leaf paper, with elm leaf inlay from Costco. Unfortunately, by the time it gets to you, all of that fancy stuff will likely have been picked clean by the greedy postal service employees. Please don't be surprised to see just a plain padded envelope.
I trust I've just made a very wise investment :)