Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Various things

Last Friday morning my Jeep died while I was idling at a stop light.  The timing belt had broken.  Fortunately, since I was only idling and not flying down the highway, there was no engine damage.  It had also had the problem of missing badly when under stress (accelerating, going uphill), so while it was in the shop for the timing belt, I had them replace all the plugs & plug cables.  It runs great now.

My smart phone came in very handy.  I was able to use Google Maps to find a tow truck place that could get me to the garage.  So thank God for smart phones.  Also for Google Maps.

Another cool thing I recently did with my phone was when I was trying to find a meter that had been buried by landscapers.  I looked up the address on Google Street View and took a look at the old photo they had in case the meter was more easily visible in the photo.  It was.  So I was able to find the missing meter.

See it?  That's all heavily covered with grass now.  I also discovered why there's that long strip of dirt without much growing on it.  About 3 to 4 inches deep, there is an old sidewalk under there!  I kept hitting it when I was digging little test holes trying to find the meter.  The photo was from March 2011, so as I said, it's all heavily covered with grass now.

Unfortunately this isn't possible everywhere, since even all of San Antonio hasn't been "street viewed."  There's one neighborhood in particular that I've been keeping my eye on, because I was working there about 4 years ago when the street view car drove right past me.  So if they'd ever add that neighborhood, I'd be internet-famous!  But for some reason, that neighborhood isn't even on Google Maps yet, although it's been there for several years.  Wait, scratch that.  I just checked, and they have finally mapped the whole neighborhood.  But they still haven't added the street view photos yet.  I was back there about where Pleasant Bay turns into Watertrout Bay when the car went by.  There's something weird about that map, though.  It shows something called The Way Missionary Outreach, and if you click on it you see that it's in Killeen.  I don't think it's supposed to be there.

If you have friended me on FB, you know that I recently watched Forrest Gump for the first time, which elicited several notes of incredulity, mostly from relatives of mine.  This wasn't because I had something against the movie, in fact, I wanted to see it.  But I never go to the movies, partly because I just don't want to and partly because it's too frikkin' expensive.  I had decided that as soon as DishNetwork got it on pay-per-view, I'd watch it.  But they never had it.  It went straight from the theater to being shown on TV, and I wasn't going to watch a butchered-for-TV version of it.  I recently noticed that Netflix has it on their streaming service, so that's why I just now watched it.  I gave it 5 stars.  Except for the death scenes, I thought it was hilarious.

The last theater movie I saw was Saving Private Ryan when it was released, and even then my wife and I went to an afternoon matinee showing, which was very cheap compared to night-time showings.  Before that, the last time I went was to see City Heat in 1984, all by myself just because I wanted to get out of the house for a while.  I would have probably watched anything that night.  That movie just happened to be what was playing.  After the movie, I'm pretty sure I went to Hastings and probably bought a couple of records, and then went to Mr. Gatti's where I sat in dark front-room booth and had some pizza before going home.  1984 was a dark year for me.

1984 theme song.

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