Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Modding a Scion IQ? RIMS & TIRES

Stock from factory: 

wheel spacers/converters
Steel 16" rims
5" wide
4 lug pattern
weight: 38.5lbs with stock 175/60R16 tire

If you are wanting to reduce the weight of your iQ wheels significantly, you'll most likely have to move to 14 or 15" rims with a 185/70/14 bigger tire for instance.

You could move to 17" rims and smaller tires, but your curb weight is likely to increase and thinner walled tires are not recommended on the iQ.

You can also convert your rims from a 4 lug pattern to a 5 lug pattern with spacers.

These two piece conversion type wheel adapters are used to convert 4 lug vehicle with 100mm bolt pattern to fit wheels with 5 lug 4.5" (114.3mm) bolt pattern. They will also space out your wheels for 1.75-inch to help you get enough clearance for wider tires and rims.

A size 175/60 R14 tire weighs between 13 lbs and 14.5 lbs. 
A size 185/70 R15 tire weighs between 16.5 lbs and 18 lbs

The lightest weight wheels I've found are made by Enkei


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

viRus ...

This morning I woke up to no WiFi ...

I tried resetting my router. ❌

I unplugged everything for 15 minutes ❌

I tried a different modem. ❌

I thought, it couldn’t be the WiFi router because it’s brand new. 

It’s also their most expensive model and  guaranteed.

I called Linksys anyway to see what was wrong.

After nearly an hour on the phone, I ended up going back to factory settings. ✔️

That worked! Sort of. 

Now I had a message on all my devices stating that I needed to call Comcast to reinstate my account.

I googled that message and the error code to see if the message was legit and make 100% sure my router had not been hacked (which is a common recent issue by the way.)

Comcast stated that they had deactivated the access to my WiFi router after ...

1) Pinging it to find that the name of my network was “viRUS

2) Getting a complaint that there was a Comcast guest network named “viRUS” on my node/ in my area

I said, “Yeah. That’s me.”

I was told that Comcast doesn’t allow networks by malicious or offensive names because anyone with a Comcast account can login as a guest on any Comcast network. I was told that my tier of service/pay didn’t allow for changes.

I inquired, “But that’s my actual name.”

Service Rep: (sarcastically) “Your name is ‘virus’??? It says here your name is xxx xxxxx.”

Me: “Yeah but I go by Rus, which is short for Rusty which is my nickname that I’ve gone by since I was too young to remember.”

Service Rep: “But your nickname isn’t “virus”!!

Me: “Not too long ago I had a politician call me a virus in the community. So, yes I’m a virus and that’s what I go by. V-I-R-U-S.

Service Rep: “Well Mr.Smith, that name is one of the names on the unacceptable list of names for networks under Comcast’s terms and conditions.”

Me: “Could you email this list?”

Service Rep: “To the email on your account?”

Me: “Yes please”

(a few seconds pass)

Me: “Just for the record ... I’ve also called my network ‘FBI SURveillance’ in the past. That network name also contains my nickname. I see it too is not allowed”

Service Rep: “You’ve also gone by the nickname FBI surveillance?”

Me: “Capitalize the first three letters of SURveillance.”

Service Rep: “Clever, but still not allowed.”

Me: (kind of in a Forrest Gump voice) “Ok, I want to get off the phone now, how do I fix this?”

Service Rep: “Simply change the name of your network to something that’s not on the list I sent you.”

Me: “Done, I just changed my network name to “Rusteeze Bumper Oil

Service Rep: (laughing) “Ok”

Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Tale Of The Egress ...

Phineas Taylor Barnum was a strange looking man. He had nothing going for him. He was from a relatively poor family. He lacked higher education, but was well read. He was was baby faced and beady eyed. He was short and top balded at an early age. The only thing he had going for him was his smile. He was always able to appear to most as a friend.

He said of himself, "If I can display myself publicly as a friend, people will consider me trustworthy, and at that point, upon close inspection, I can point out the quality construction of their purse."

In his 20's, he managed to become owner of a newspaper by chance and charm. The original owner had no relatives - as managing typesetter and editor, he took the paper over but was criticized often for embellishment or sensationalism. 

He decided to sell the paper and go on tour with an eclectic troupe of people he had reported on at his former newspaper.

He later took his money and opened a museum ~ displaying curiosities such as mermaids with "documented proof". While history records that he went through bankruptcy and later emerged, this account of his struggles has its only mention in his own autobiography- which in his day - was second only in publication to the Holy Bible. <~ True Story.

The actual reason he faced financial struggle was because of his swindle of cities and their resulting lawsuits throughout the North, the economy and the general morale of time period (The War Between The States), and bad investments, mixed with opulence.

Towards the latter part of his life ~ he moved into politics - claiming to live a life of "profitable philanthropy" - a term he coined. While in office, he raised Connecticut taxes significantly to, in his own words, "do the good that people refuse to do as individuals, but also to make a name for the individual. The individual in my mirror that is."

The areas around Bridgeport, Connecticut now revere Barnum as a legend, a hero, a wonderful human being. In actuality, he was just a bizarre man, with a bizarre, narcissistic view of life.

It's strange how people are remembered. 

Here's a little known story about P.T. Barnum to exemplify his philosophies ...

Days before his traveling show would come to a town - he paid a local corner lamppost caller to shout out to passersby about the terrible "Egress" that P.T. Barnum was bringing into town. Barnum would also place ads in the local papers ...

         "Come see the terrible Egress!" 

Patrons of his traveling sideshow would tour his oddities of science and nature ~ all the while, seeing flyers and news clippings laying on the floor that read such words as ....

"Biggest Egress on record visible at Barnum's show" 

                                 &

"Egress Escape? Barnum not prepared for such tragedy!"

Sometimes, the ushers or even the sideshow bearded lady would show a scar and say, "Be careful at the end ... The Egress did this to me last year."

Finally, patrons, who had paid a hefty 15¢, got to the end of the winding maze of exhibits. A large mouth with a dark inside with the words "This way to the Egress". Occasional screams of terror could be heard. Sometimes, women collapsed and passed out were being drug out on stretchers back into the light while medics fanned them and gave them smelling salt. Sometimes, an usher would be standing by the "entrance" to the Egress with eucalyptus saying, "Smell this, it helps your fear."

The Egress was the exit. Sometimes Barnum himself would be at the end offering each patron a nickel refund to keep the Egress a secret. Others, he'd offer a full refund if they promised to tell a friend how terrifying the Egress was but that it was worth the money to see the rest of the show.

Friends, I told you this story to warn you. Today, P.T. Barnum's are born every minute. There are lots of people trying to take advantage of you - telling you they are doing good - but really - they are out solely for their own personal gain or glory. There are others that may offer you something to cover up a lie - it may be friendship, it may be money, it may be a gift, or even an occasional "hello" that makes you feel special. There are few kind people left ~ if you find a genuinely kind soul ~ cherish and reward that person with your kindness.

Note: P.T. Barnum is credited with one of the most famous quotes in history ...

"There's a sucker born every minute!"

He didn't say this, it was actually about Barnum written by a Boston Newspaper editor David Hannum.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bitcoin is quite a bit stupid ..


You’re saying to yourself,

“I wish I had bought Bitcoin a year ago, or even a month ago”

  • Bitcoin is one of the biggest scams to ever hit the internet. Yes, even more so than the Nigerian Prince wanting to send you part of his fortune. 

Bitcoin has zero value, and possibly even less considering how you can spend it. It also has no intrinsic value - you can neither sell it on the street or wear it or posses it in molded metal or cut gem form. It is neither antique nor backed by any amount of security. It also does not bear an interest rate. It cannot be collected like a toy or trading card and it’s history of who owned it isn’t visible.

It’s use and explanation is so convoluted that not even the most serious IT or hacker truly understands it. It was created in the underground by Satoshi Nakamoto. Here’s your biggest red flag. The creator just cashed out all the Bitcoin he owned. Ponder for a moment that a known hacker created a currency, and then just cashed out for millions. Bitcoin is headed for a complete crash - possibly even elimination.

Financial Investment Firm, Morgan Stanley on Bitcoin’s true value. “We remain unconvinced that Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency has any fundamental value and therefore, its price is largely driven by the supply and demand for the digital currency,” There is an infinite supply. Nothing has infinite demand. It’s kinda like stupidity personified. Stupidity is in infinite supply. Buying Bitcoin without understanding it is infinite stupidity.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Movie Review ..

2017 Movie Review ...

2017 will go down as one of the worst box office years in recent memory - not because there were bad movies, but there weren’t a lot of great ones. There were so many movies that I didn’t want to see. IE Matt Damon’s Great Wall, Transformers: Dark Knight, War For The Planet Of The Apes, and Kingsman: Golden Circle, Fifty Shades Darker, XXX. The Fast & The Furious movies have become a see it on TV if it's on kida franchise to me, so I didn't see it either. Then there were movies that just ended up being awful despite hype and decent box office performance. 

There were some bright spots however.

Here are some movies that I saw this year ...

I’ll start off with the movies that were awful.

Atomic Blonde. I wanted this movie to be great. A female James Bond is how it was being promoted. Instead, it had a convoluted plot with unnecessary elements solely to push an R rating. It also had one of the most ridiculous endings in recent memory for a movie - adding 5 different twists in the last 20 minutes of the film. Don’t even bother with this movie even if it’s free on TV.

Logan. I’m a huge fan of Hugh Jackman. I love his version of Wolverine. However, this is the first time I was absolutely bored with the X-men franchise or watching any Marvel movie. The movie was ok, but I’d probably flip past it if I saw it was on TV.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I had been hyping this movie to myself and everyone that I know for years! It looked amazing. I love the visuals of Luc Besson (director) but this movie was near painful to sit through. Artistic? Yes. Visually stunning? Yes. But, story and actor chemistry? Negative numbers.

It. I realize that some reading this don’t like horror movies. I’m not a big horror movie person myself. I do enjoy reading Stephen King and I enjoy seeing the translations of his books into visual cinematography. The original TV miniseries is one of the best adaptations and translations of any author’s work ever made in my opinion. This modern twist on the tale is just hype. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t well acted like you’ve heard and the clown - the centerpiece of the horror in the story - is downright stupid. In fact, I’d even say that this clown portrayal took away some of my fears of clowns that the original instilled. I ended up leaving the movie in the last 5 minutes it was so bad and I haven’t done that in years.

Mother! This movie is weird. It tries to be good. It was cast well. It’s just it’s director and writer - known for artsy films - tries too hard to be - ummmm - artsy.  

So-so movies:

The Star. This should have been a TV special with 30 minutes cut from it to add space for commercials. Good family movie, but kinda boring in places. Highlight: Kelly Clarkson’s portrayal of a weird lamb.

Kong: Skull Island. Good action. Good Special Effects. But just good; not great. Catch it on DVD or streaming for sure.

The LEGO Ninjago Movie. It was ok. Everything good is in the previews though.

Justice League. It was ok. It was worth it for the Wonder Woman scenes.

DownsizingNo twist. If you’ve seen the preview, you’ve actually seen all the movie minus the boring parts. You’ve also seen more in the previews than the actual movie as several scenes from the previews aren’t in the final cut.

It did bring up some interesting conversation.

Jumanji. A funny sequel that takes itself less seriously than the original. Okay. That’s about the best I can give this movie that I didn’t hate.

John Wick: Chapter 2. If you liked the first movie about a former hit man for hire getting revenge for thugs killing his dog -you’ll like this installment better.

Alien: Covenant.  I’m an Alien franchise fan and huge fan of director and writer Ridley Scott. This entry doesn’t disappoint.

Now, on to the bright spots:

The Greatest Showman

Good inspirational story that a family can watch together. Great visuals. Catchy musical numbers and decent story.

The only exception I take to the movie is that it’s historical fiction. Barnum was an odd looking man (unlike the model Hugh Jackman). He was a crooked person and swindler who later became the poster example of a crooked politician.

I was glad to suspend reality though for this musical. I definitely think this would make a fantastic broadway play. I felt like my movie price was a “twofor” - a good movie and a broadway play with a-list talent.

Beauty and The Beast (live action) - this was a perfect translation of an already perfect animated movie. I enjoyed every moment of it. I was very disappointed in the crowd that tried to destroy the experience with a made up “gay scene”. This is a family movie - well acted.

Wonder Woman. I have to admit, I was in love with Lynda Carter when I was young. I loved watching Wonder Woman and reruns. This movie was a perfect translation. I loved every moment of it. Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman was also one of few bright spots in the first Justice League installment that came out later in the year. I also personally think that my wife looks like Wonder Woman so that helps my like this movie as well. For the record, despite how you heard it pronounced, the correct pronunciation is GAL GUH DOT - not GUH DOE.

Coco. I love Pixar movies. I loved this movie too. I loved the justice in the afterlife this movie had. I loved the visuals. It was long on parts and the film tried too hard to delay the reveal of the twist. I think it’s a hard movie for children to sit patiently through. But, I still put this in my top 5 movies of the year.

Spider-Man Homecoming. This is is the Spider-Man movie we’ve been waiting for. Finally a superhero movie that didn’t worry about a backstory. Finally, a superhero movie that put Micheal Keaton as a bad guy. I enjoyed every minute of this movie. I do think it earns a true PG-13 rating though and I’d highly suggest that you stick to that age suggestion before letting kids see this movie.

Murder On The Orient Express. Perfectly acted. Perfectly directed. Perfectly cast. This is a great take on the old Agatha Christie classic. This is a great family movie too - despite the title. 10 and above will love it.

Wonder. Beautiful story adaptation of a great book. Good family movie. Be prepared to cry.

The LEGO Batman Movie. I laughed constantly during this movie. I was pleasantly surprised at how creative and funny this movie was.

Blade Runner 2049. I’m not sure how it’s possible to outdo a cult classic movie, but this movie accomplished that. This movie was better than the original. It honored the original movie, but is a perfect standalone film. Stunning visuals. Great new story. Great political allegory. Perfect acting.

Honorable Mentions:

Thor: Ragnarock. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Hella was amazing as was Jeff Goldblum’s Gamemaster. This was a fun and funny movie to see.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2. Better than the first. Funny. Adult humor. My only qualm with Marvel movies including The Gaurdians franchise - marketing to very young children - when the content is as close to Rated R as it can get. I think it’s funny and you definitely have to add context and character to the lines, but it’s embarrassing to me to be in the theater with 5-15 year olds - including my daughter and a sex or genitalia joke is cracked. Doesn’t really bother me, just in the back of my mind, I sigh.

I’m giving my movie of the year this year to Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

This ninth installment (chronologically) really transforms the narrative of the franchise and finally aims to take it into a new direction. It made me even more excited to see the next installment.

My full review is here: