It’s wet. Rain Rain Rain. Rain Rain. Rain. Rain some more.

Wet and crappy.


I mean, if it’s springtime, and it’s gonna be wet, could we at least have a little lightning and thunder? It’s bad enough being wet and crappy without it also being BORING.

Bleargh, again.


Monday — and International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Wretch Day.

Snurched from all over, but in particular kradical: As it is now 23 April, as declared by Jo Walton (papersky) and inspired by a rather ridiculous rant by Dr. Howard Hendrix, it’s International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Wretch Day!

The idea is that them who want post some pro-caliber written work on the Web for free. I’m distinctly lacking in pro-caliber written work, so I’ll just raise my pixel-stained fist in solidarity with all my writer friends.

So, how did I spend my day? Calculating hoop stress in a die-cast aluminum alloy oil pump cover. Whee. Tomorrow, it’s pump-sizing and catch up on paperwork day.


Nice, bright, sunny, warm day. Started with our usual Sunday morning breakfast run (we’re now “regulars” — it’s good being a regular), followed by Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s grocery run.

Then we got out the bikes — including K’s new one, a Trek 3700 mountain bike. This was also the first real trial for my new saddle and rack/bag combo on my bike — we got her bike and the new stuff for mine a few weeks ago and then the weather went back to winter.

Rode down to the West Bloomfield Rails-To-Trails route, did a total of about 10 miles all told. Which for a first serious ride of the year was maybe pushing it a smidge. Had a couple of minor things to deal with on K’s bike, all stuff I was able to do quickly (move kickstand so crank wouldn’t hit it, ditto loose cable end on front derailleur) without tools.

May have been a bit much for a first ride of the year, but I was okay at the end of it and probably could’ve gone more. My new saddle is great, and K likes her new bike.

And we’re still trying to sell K’s old bike, a ’99 Schwinn Cruiser Six, women’s frame. It’s in superb shape, but nobody’s bit on the ad yet. It’s not a financial hardship to keep it, we just don’t have room for all of them (and K and I each have a bike in our storage locker Elsewhere in Oakland County, along with my ’65 Mustang and all the other stuff that won’t fit in our house from when I moved in). Interested? In the Detroit area? Drop me a line for more details. Added On Edit: Sold it today; the Craigslist ad finally worked. Got what I wanted for it, the buyer thinks he got a good deal, and it’s going to a good home.

When we got home, it was Housework Time! This is also a regular Sunday activity.


From my “Classic Dave Barry” page-a-day calendar, the entry for Sat/Sun April 21/22:


The Phlegmtones
The Federal Duck
Decomposing Tubers
Diminished Penile Sensation

There are several of these scattered throughout the calendar. “Phlegmtones” sounds like a college fraternity house band name…

Saturday is Detroit Sports Day, apparently

Today we went to the Tigers/White Sox game on a couple of very cheap tix K scored from the community college. We ate junk food. We watched the Tigers do fairly well — and some stuff was remarkable, as relief pitcher Joel Zumaya’s first warm-up pitch was 99 mph, and he had a bunch of 100+ mph pitches with the fastest clocking 104 mph — only to have some little stupid things (errors) that resulted in the Sox taking the win 7-5 in the 10th inning.

This was at Comerica Park (much discussion locally about renaming the place now that Comerica is packing up its corporate HQ and moving it to Dallas after 160-odd years in Detroit), first pitch at 1:05 PM. Next door: Ford Field, where the Lions (theoretically) play football, was hosting an AMA Supercross motorcycle race meeting, practice/qualifying started at 12:30 PM. Not sports-related, but also across the street, Dora The Explorer’s buddy Diego starred in “Go, Diego, Go!” at the Fox Theater, with shows at 11, 2, and 5. All these venues share parking. Whee. We, thankfully, got there early enough to get a good spot in the Grand Circus Park underground garage for the low-low flat rate of $15.

Meanwhile, a short distance away at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings played Game 5 of their 1st-round playoff series with Calgary, puck dropped at 3 pm. It so happens that our first choice for post-game dinner was Cheli’s Chili right next to Comerica Park, which is owned by Red Wing defenseman Chris Chelios.

Ha! Forget a line, they had a big party tent full of people waiting for tables. Hockeytown Cafe next to the Fox? Packed to the gills.

(Note that the Fox Theater, the Red Wings, and the Tigers — and the Hockeytown Cafe — are all owned by Mike Ilitch, the founder, owner, and CEO of Little Caesar’s Pizza.).

So, listening to the Red Wings game on the radio as we drove, we wound up in Royal Oak and had dinner at Memphis Smoke, which had the game on the TVs — and we got to see Calgary come completely unglued in the 3rd period, including their backup goalie get a game misconduct slashing major and be ejected. Got home in time for the next round: Game 1 of the Pistons/Magic NBA playoff series, in Auburn Hills (both the Pistons and Red Wings have home advantage through their conference championship rounds), which tips off at 7.

So the scores:

White Sox 7, Tigers 5 (it’s early in the regular season, no cause for alarm)
Red Wings 5, Flames 1, Wings up 3-2 in best-of-seven
Pistons 100, Magic 92, Pistons up 1-0 in best-of-seven

In other words, Detroit wins the ones that matter. 🙂 Now, can we borrow some accuracy for Fernando Rodney’s throwing arm, please?

And the other score: largest expense today: food (dinner, mostly, as I refrained from the $8.50 Bud Lights at the ball game). Second largest: parking ($15 in Detroit, $2.25 in Royal Oak).

The weather was delightful, and tomorrow should be even better. We’re getting the bikes out for a ride. K will get to ride her new Trek over a little distance for the first time.

Okay, so I can meme, too

Snurched from kradical , who also snurched it. It’s a serial snurching.

1. Introduce yourself:
Jim Crider
2. It’s Wednesday at noon, where are you usually doing?
Leaving the office for lunch.
3. What kind of laundry detergent do you use?
Presently All Free and Clear, sometimes with a Clorox 2 chaser.
4. What brand of shampoo is in your shower right now?
There are many, but I use the Pert Plus.
5. Did you ever get into a bar and drink before you were 21?
6. What countries have you been to?
Canada, Mexico, Japan, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (okay, so it’s the US), US Virgin Islands (ditto), Antigua, Dominica, St. Maarten/St. Martin (Dutch/French, respectively, on the same rock), Barbados, Martinique (technically France), Aruba, Curaco, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria (although we only visited a VW salvage yard in Austria).
7. Do you watch MTV anymore?
I sometimes watch “Pimp My Ride”. Is that so wrong?
8. What do you think about Oprah? 
She’s in danger of losing her Most Overexposed Person in American title to Rachael Ray. 
9. What’s your favorite mixed drink?
Jack & Coke.
10. You need a new pair of jeans… what store do you go first?
I drive to the nearest Dilard’s (in Toledo, Ohio), because they have a Big & Tall section that has stuff for those of us who are one or the other but not necessarily both.
11. Did you ever watch The O.C.?
12. What kind of car do you drive?
Daily driver/Tow Beast: ’99 Ford F350 Crew Cab diesel. Playtoy #1: ’99 Mustang Cobra. Playtoy #2 (in deep hibernation): ’65 Mustang I’ve had since I was 15. 
13. Honestly, is that car insured? 
All of them are. Even the ’65, which has comprehensive coverage while it’s in storage. 
14. Do you like sushi?
Mmmmmmm…. sushi. Is there nothing it can’t do?
15. Have you ever been to Tiffany & Co. or Saks 5th Ave? 
I’ve been in *a* Tiffany & Co. store; I’ve been in two or three Saks stores, but not the mothership stores in NYC. 
16. Did your parents spoil you growing up? 
Mostly, they didn’t resist when my grandparents spoiled us. 
17. Do you like roller coasters?
18. What magazine(s) do you buy regularly or subscribed to?
Oh, lord: CAR AND DRIVER, ROAD & TRACK, AUTOMOBILE, AUTOWEEK, MUSCLE MUSTANGS & FAST FORDS, SPORTSCAR (comes with SCCA membership), GRASSROOTS MOTORSPORTS, 4WHEEL & OFF ROAD, MICHIGAN LIVING (comes with AAA membership), INSIDE THE OVAL (comes with Team Ford Racing membership), AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING, a couple other trade-pubs I get free subscriptions to at work, and THIS OLD HOUSE. I pick up any of a number of other magazines — usually Mustang-related, as there are several titles devoted to the marque — as the need/want arises.
19. Do you remember when the WB shows were popular? 
I stopped watching the WB after they axed BUFFY.
20. When you go out do you prefer to go to a dance club or to a bar? 
If all I can do is go to one or the other, give me a decent bar/pub. If I have other choices, I’d probably go to the indoor race kart track and drink a beer after I’ve run two or three sessions.
21. Would you ever run for elected office?
Not a chance in hell.
22. Who do you think will be the next president? 
See previous post on the masturbatory nature of the current campaign. Waaaay too much time between now and November, 2008. 
23. Are you registered to vote?
24. Do you own an iPod?
Yes, a black 4GB 1st-gen nano. 
25. Is your bathroom filled with beauty stuff?
Not really.
26. What kind of cologne/perfume do you wear?
27. Do you like Carrie Underwood? 
She shore does look purdy, and she sangs real good, and she’s from my home state of Oklahoma. But I don’t do country as general rule. None of her music is on the aforementioned iPod’s  890-odd songs.
28. Been to “The Vegas”? 
I’ve been to Las Vegas many, many times. Usually in the hottest part of the summer, as we base-camp there for test trips. The Las Vegas afternoon rush drive cycle in late July/August is a tough one to meet, incidentally.
29. How many CDs does your stereo hold?
One. Mostly we listen to the iPods, though: we have speakers.
30. Are you happy with your job?
31. Where do you work and what do you do there? 
At an automotive supplier in SE Michigan. No, not one that’s in Chapter 11 or even close. We’re actually doing quite well, thanks, ’cause we sell to EVERYBODY. I design cooling system and front-of-engine bits, primarily water pumps, engine covers, the occasional oil pump. In the past, I’ve done complete cooling systems. You might have some of my stuff on your car.
32. What did you get in the mail today?
It’s Sunday. No mail.
33. How do you like your steak cooked?
Lightly killed and with an interior temperature just approaching blood heat. With prompt medical attention, it could moo again.
34. Britney Spears? 
You can take the girl out of the swamp, but you can’t take the swamp out of the girl… or something like that. Her behavior is somewhat consistent with some other barely-educated swamp folk I know. 
35. What do you usually order at Taco Bell?
#6, beef supreme on the gorditas, crunchy taco, with a bean burrito adder.
36. Have you ever sat all the way thru Gone With the Wind?
To the best of my knowledge, Senator, I cannot recall.
37. Have you ever been to Mt. Rushmore?
No, but I’ve been close (Rapid City, SD)
38. Is it just me, or was The Marine (w/John Cena) a really horrible movie? 
It probably is just you, but I suspect the movie (which I didn’t see) was pretty bad. I’ll probably watch it late some night on TNT or FX. 
39. Are surveys like the cocaine of myspace/ live journal?
40. Where is your favorite place (that you have actually been to)? 
Tough call. I like SE Florida except for the hurricane threat and the mosquitos. I like Tulsa but can’t do what I love there, and I’ve kinda outgrown it. I like the Phoenix/Scottsdale area except for the insane prices and photo radar. I’d love to have a vacation place on Grand Cayman or Aruba or St. Thomas.
41. What is your favorite candle scent?
No candles – we have a cockatiel.
42. Do you believe places can really be haunted?
300,000+ really cheesed-off ghosts in Hiroshima can’t be wrong, can they?
43. Do you smoke cigarettes?
44. Have you ever been to NYC or LA? 
Yep. I was actually born in LA. 
45. What format radio station is your car stereo set to?
Rock & alternative.
46. Do you think 50 questions is enough?
47. Are you currently planning a trip?
48. Is Ryan Seacrest gay?
So what if he is?
49. Do you take sleeping pills? 
50. Have you ever googled your name and found out somebody famous or semi-famous shares your name?
The most “famous” Crider out there is B- or C-list actress Missy Crider. As far as Jim Criders go, there’s a philandering doctor in Washington State, the guy who has the James Crider domain is not me and not someone I know, and there are a few others around including at least one guy serving in Iraq, a professional rodeo cowboy and a guy in Arkansas involved with various Chamber of Commerce-type stuff. You’ll find the first actual mention of me near the bottom of page two of the listings, a reference to my old online presence as co-sysop of the Delphi Automotive Forum. If you keep digging, if it’s automotive-related, odds are it’s me. If it’s not, odds are it’s not me. Searching “autojim” gets a lot more of me, except there’s a 23-year-old kid in Denver now using my nom de net on a few fora, but who is not me. Don’t worry, we’ll cross paths soon enough. Heh.