Posts Tagged 'car'

New car

Introducing The Beast, Emmy, or Ken’s new car.


It’s a 2000 BMW M5 with 87k miles on it that Ken found in Santa Fe.


We had the most ridiculously difficult time buying the car. Turns out it’s nearly impossible to get your hard earned money out of a non-local bank account. It took us nearly two weeks and it was a major cause of stress.


Happily, the seller held the car for Ken. And now it’s ours. 400 horsepower looks suspiciously like a whole bunch of plastic.


Ken couldn’t be happier.



Sometimes I can’t do anything right

Lest you think I have it all together:

On Saturday I changed my oil, except when I started the car several quarts of oil spurted out from the filter. Ken tightened it more for me. Oops.

On Monday when I drove the car I noticed it was still leaking. I couldn’t then get the filter off even with the wrench, so Ken had to do it. He discovered the seal from the old filter still on the car, thus the leakage issues. Oops.

While he was under my car because I was too weak to get the dang filter off he handed me his brand new glasses for safekeeping. I had to put them down for a moment to give him a hand, and somebody stepped on them while they were down, bending them and scratching the lenses. I don’t think it was me, because I don’t remember stepping on them and I was on the other side of the car, but the other possible culprit is Heidi and she’s not that clumsy. Oops.

That same night I was making lunches for us and cut my finger in addition to the bagel. Oops.

This isn’t my mistake, but Monday evening was supposed to be spent stripping beams, but we had no water except what was in our pipes because they were putting in a new filter at the well and didn’t bring sturdy enough pipe and blew things up, so we couldn’t shower. So no stripping beams if you can’t shower. Hence the beams we wanted to have totally stripped in our upstairs bedroom so we could sleep up there from now on aren’t done yet and we really need to start cleaning this place tomorrow night.

The past two days I spent 13.5 hours working on a particular image analysis program, saving my results to the server computer as usual. I always back up my files at the end of the day to my computer, but yesterday I was in a hurry to leave and I forgot. This morning I checked to see if I had backed them up. I hadn’t, so I went to get them off of the server and they were gone. Of all the days for them to wipe the server… So… spent today repeating my work from the past two. Oops.

Whew. Good thing I am taking all of next week off of work. Also good thing we are planning to start cleaning up the thick coating of sawdust (it’s nearly a quarter inch in some places) tomorrow. I don’t know how much more I could take.

China cabinet

I have decided that nothing makes me feel old and grown-up like buying a china cabinet. Ken’s opinion is that buying a house should have made me feel like an adult, but I think a china cabinet is the true symbol of maturity. Everybody’s got to live somewhere so buying a house isn’t such a big deal. But once you have china that needs to be stored in a designated cabinet… That’s the true sign you’ve become old and lame.

On that note, we bought a china cabinet.




Another great furniture item brought to you by Craigslist.

That set of photos is misleading, because you think I put all the junk on the table into the cabinet. Not so. I don’t keep angle grinders, work lights, watering cans, vacuums, Windex, and tablet computers in the china cabinet. They’re stored on the dining room table… Actually, I did put them away, so now the table is clean for the 2nd time since we got it. I bet it’ll last about 24 hours, which is when we next return home from work.

We also stripped a bunch of beams, made the biggest enclosure for compost on the face of the planet, made an apple pie with lard in the crust (delicious), and I changed the oil in my car. Twice. Because I apparently didn’t screw the filter in enough and oil came spraying out everywhere when I turned it on. So… had to add more. Oops.

BMW fixed!

We went camping with some cool new friends in the awesome Jemez mountains. It was gorgeous, I put up some pictures on Facebook. That was a week and a half ago now though. Time flies.

This last weekend the important project was registering the BMW. For posterity (and any other 1984 BMW 533i owners whose engine mysteriously won’t rev up): The Tale of the Broken BMW.

1. Car fails emissions test spectacularly by having many times the allowed hydrocarbons coming through at idle.
2. Ken messes with the idle control valve (ICV), the idle control unit (ICU), and the car brains (the engine control unit, or ECU).
3. Ken puts everything back the way it was and the car refuses to rev up.
4. Ken tests sensors, orders new ICU,ICV, and ECU. Replaces all, plus at least two new sensors. Tests all the connections to the ICU to make sure they work and are hooked up correctly. No dice.
5. Ken tears out hair. Despairs.
6. Checks wiring to the ICU. It is totally wrong. Fix wiring, plug in old ICV,ICU, ECU. Car works! Still smells of gas when idling.
7. Turns idle mixture screw lean until the car starts idling poorly, then turns it back slightly until it runs properly.
8. Replaces spark plugs – they were pretty grody from the super rich idle.
9. Smells exhaust. Has me smell exhaust. We agree, with our diminished brain cells from exhaust smelling, that it is considerably less gassy than it was previously.
10. Pass emissions test with flying colors.
11. Register car here. For the first time in ages the license plate matches the insurance matches the title. Amazing.

We don’t know how it was running at idle and revving fine before all this nonsense. However, it now idles better than it ever has, and since it’s not dumping all the gas out through the tailpipe at idle, maybe it’ll get better gas mileage. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a huge relief to finally get it registered.

Next up: get the welder going – should be getting the final fittings this week- and fix up the exhaust properly, then give it a proper paint job so it doesn’t look like a chalkboard.

Then – sell it? I think Ken may be reaching the conclusion that he has more fun things to do with his time than work on this particular old car, as scintillating as it may be.

Good ol’ bullet points

  • I got a strawberry augua fresca at a street fair on old Rt 66 and it’s my new favorite drink. I’m pretty sure it’s water, crushed strawberries, and sugar. Delicious.
  • If the past two churches we’ve visited have been any indication, the Presbyterian church (USA) will be approximately 1/8th its current size in 15 years.
  • We had a house inspection on Friday. There are a few minor issues that we hope the sellers will either fix or give us the money that was written into the contract to fix potential problems. Septic, well, and insect inspections are supposed to be this week. I’ve been refusing to think about this house as ours, because that way if it falls through I won’t be disappointed, but soon I’m going to be unable to suppress the excitement.
  • Apparently you need to have 3 sources of credit to get a mortgage. We both have really great credit ratings (from one card each), but that’s not enough. We’re having to get letters from our landlord and auto insurance provider to count as credit lines. So we should have made our lives more difficult by getting more than one credit card therefore increasing the chances of forgetting a payment, or we should have lived outside our means by leasing a car instead of driving old beaters, because that means that we are more responsible and credit-worthy. Seems to me that something’s wrong with that picture.
  • Our stuff is getting moved out of Cleveland tomorrow, and Ken’s BMW is getting picked up on Tuesday. I cannot wait to be re-united with my bicycles and have a few more clothes available so I’m not continually doing laundry. But that’s all I miss. Guess we don’t need too much stuff!

Weekend re-cap

I had a very productive weekend. That is what I like in a weekend: productivity.

Made (mostly Ken here, but I helped) and cleaned up from a BBQ for the whole department
Cleaned out (and vacuumed!) the car
Topped off various vehicle fluids
Re-insulated the car’s exhaust hangers
Swept the garage
Stuffed the cats into their carrier for acclimation twice.
Did all the normal weekly stuff: cat boxes, laundry, bathroom, kitchen floors
Returned a non-functioning item to Walmart (on bicycles, so that counts as exercise!)
Fixed my laptop cord by soldering two broken ones together (all by myself!)
Played music for church with friends
Made food – BBQ on Friday, steak and eggs for breakfast Saturday, biscuits and gravy for Easter breakfast at church, angel food cake, mushroom risotto, candied yams, asparagus, fruit salad, ham, and some teensy lamb chops for Easter dinner.
Went for a walk (sorely needed after all that food)
Watched the rest of 30 Rock Season 2 which needed to be returned to the library.
Listened to the tail end of Anne of the Island while looking at pictures taken by sewer/subway explorers. Weird combination of activities, I know.
Talked to Mom on the phone about their trip to come visit (Which is in only 2 weeks!!!!)

Not bad.

Up this week:
Preparing bikes for a bike-camping trip (I got ridiculous new bar-tape for my bike, and I can’t wait to see how silly it looks with it.)
Maybe packing a few boxes?
Dinner with our roommate
Cutting Ken’s hair? It is getting a bit ridiculous…
Orchestra on Thursday (if I get tickets).
Heading to Pittsburgh to go bike-camping!!! Hope it stops raining.

Not so brilliant

The brilliant idea to run the errands now which you were planning on leaving work early to run this afternoon in order to give the atmosphere time to warm a few degrees is only as brilliant as the 1984 BMW’s ability to start when it is 5 degrees. That is: Not brilliant.

January 2019
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