Monday, February 12, 2007

Farewell, Lil' Blue...

I dropped by Jack Miller today to drop off my down payment check on the new minivan. Afterwards, I pulled into the Price Chopper parking lot that overlooks Jack Miller's back lot. There, looking all forlorn in the rain, sat my old Kia Sportage. I'm sure glad cars don't have feelings - I'm such an old softie.... Anyway, as I had the camera with me, I couldn't resist a farewell photo. Hopefully it will have an easier life - and maybe someone will eventually figure out it's check engine issue. I don't have to deal with it anymore!

Today was a gloomy, rainy day for the new Caravan's first day at work, but it handled everything beautifully. The CD player is nice (although it doesn't seem to like the LightScribe disks for some reason), and the stereo sounds great! I have lots of room, so I'll be taking the camera with me most of the time. I have a nice place to stash it to keep it out of sight, and it's easily accessible in case a UFO lands in front of me or something.

Looks like I'll be heading back to Chillicothe sometime in the next few days. I don't mind customers that call in for every little thing most of the time, I just wish they weren't 135 miles away. Oh well, as long as they keep those mileage checks coming....


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our New Ride

I've posted a few photos of our new minivan. Just click the title above, or the February 2007 link to the left (if you're on my website).

At only 34K miles, this is the "youngest" vehicle we've owned in many, many years. I think the Kia had the least miles on it previously, at 57K. It ended up with 117K, so in just over 2 and a half years, I put another 57K on it. Hopefully, I'll get several good years out of this minivan. It's not an easy life for a car, being owned by a field service technician. At any rate, it's great to be back in a minivan!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

New Wheels!

Well, it's done. The Kia is gone.

Today we traded for a nice, 2005 Dodge Caravan minivan! The minivan has 34K miles on it, and still has some remaining factory warranty as well. That's the lowest mileage car I've purchased in many, many years! I'm hoping I'll get many years of good service from this minivan. It sure feels good to be back in a minivan! It's a beautiful silver color, and it rides so smoothly - and it isn't underpowered like the Kia was. That poor Kia had to work so hard going up an incline of any length, sometimes I wondered if was going to make it to the top. Of course it only had a 4 cylinder engine; the Dodge has a 6. Hopefully, it'll have an easier life now; it certainly earned a rest.

Oddly enough, I hadn't intended buying today, but I got a pretty good deal on this one, so why not? When we first got to the dealership, I was pleasantly surprised when the salesman approached. It was a guy I worked with many years ago at Modern Business Systems - Bill Holbrook. Bill's a good guy, and I'd much rather buy a car from someone I know. He's been with Jack Miller for years, and I know he'll be there if I need anything. If you are ever in the market, drop by Jack Miller on Vivion Rd. and ask for Bill. Tell him Rod sent you. I promise he won't throw you out!

I'll have some photos of the new Rod's Lair ride tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Major Changes Coming

The renewal for my domain, is due in August of this year. I have thought long and hard about what I want to do with it, and what the future of Rod’s Lair will be. Although I’ve sold a few back issues of Playboy magazine, among a few other items, it has primarily been a “hobby” website.

I fully intend to renew the domain name if for no other reason to keep some unwashed pinhead spammer in Hong Kong from taking it over and putting up a bogus “search” placeholder page rife with spyware and popups as happened with my old ill-fated site when I decided not to renew the domain. Presently, my domain registrar is Network Solutions, and my site hosting is with Both have served me well (other than a few episodes of no FTP access, and my website being down for several days), and the decision I have made has nothing to do with being dissatisfied with either company. It has more to do with plain old economics. By consolidating both my domain registration and website hosting with, I can save well over $100 a year, and get about 20 times the web space, and 10 times the bandwidth.

The target date for these changes will be April, 2007. I will narrow it down to a precise date soon. I am still researching some things, but as far as I can see, there is no reason not to go ahead with this. When this transfer takes place, Rod’s Lair will probably be unavailable for a couple of days during the “propagation” process. This usually takes about 48 hours.

Once it’s fully back in operation, it will actually be segregated into two sites. Rod’s Lair will continue to be a showcase for my art, photography, and other esoteric things. There will be a few sections of the site that will go away. There will be more artwork and photography. I am also planning an e-commerce site where I will be marketing many different items, including some of my decorative and lighting creations among other things.

We will be embarking on the search for a new vehicle very soon. The piece-O-crap Kia’s check engine light came on again, today – right on schedule. It’s been two weeks since it’s last trip to the shop, and it seems that 2 to 6 weeks between repairs is all I can expect from it anymore. They just cannot seem to track down the issue. And, frankly, I don’t care anymore. The damn thing is paid off, now, and after spending over $1800 on this stupid issue, I have no intention of spending any more money on this money-pit on wheels. I also have no intention of ever owning another Kia.

Stay tuned to this news section as things continue to develop!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Whose Country Is This, Anyhow?

After a wonderful outing today, I was inspired to add a new rant. Check it out by clicking the "February" link to the left (if you're on my website), or clicking the title above.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Where to begin…..

It’s been a while since I’ve updated with anything of substance – besides my ranting about my piece-O-crap Kia or various mentally challenged cretins (like spammers) of one sort or another.

There are a number of things going on around the lair; some good, some not so good. Mostly the news has centered around the continuing, unrelenting medical issues in the family. It seems like there isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t get news of someone going into the hospital, someone being diagnosed with cancer, or other depressing news. Sometimes, it’s just plain difficult to get into the mood to type a few paragraphs with any kind of enthusiasm. I guess it’s to be expected since the previous generation is rapidly approaching the century mark. It doesn’t make it any less painful, though.

There is some good news, however. The troublesome Kia is now paid off!! We had a little windfall thanks to my dad, and that, coupled with a recent raise has left us in pretty good shape as far as purchasing power for a new set of wheels. The search has begun. Someday soon, you’ll see some photos of our new ride. It will be a minivan!

Things have been – as usual – busy as hell at work. Friday, I had to drive 135 miles to Chillicothe to work on some equipment, then another 75 miles back to St. Joseph for another call. Then it was another 50 or so to get back home. I should get a pretty decent mileage check in a week or so!

Once we trade, and get back in a minivan, I’ll probably start taking my camera more often. Not that I have a lot of time to shoot photos, but I learned a long time ago to always have a camera handy.

The weather has been brutally cold – forever, it seems. I know this is the longest continuous cold spell I can remember for many years. Of course I have trouble remembering yesterday sometimes. I can’t wait for milder weather to get here. I’m chomping at the bit to fire up the grill and do some of those steaks we have in the freezer. Not to mention all the plans I have for the back patio, and garden I want to plant around my telephone pole in the back.

I’ve also gat a few more projects going in the shop, and I’m working (as always) on some new stuff for the website. Speaking of which, I’m still looking at some different hosting options. My domain comes up for renewal in August, and I may well switch registrars and hosting services at the same time. I can save a bunch of money by using for both. We shall see.

Well, I’m just rambling on, so I’ll say farewell for now!