Monday, January 23, 2006


OBD2 > Car Mechanic

Okay, so my '98 Volvo isn't perfect...

Background story - I had a bad experience with a car mechanic while getting my thermostat fixed (I was charged $125!) The mechanic charged $68/hour for labor + parts, etc. and somehow caused the 'Check Engine' light to appear. He told me that it was always on... which was a lie :P He offered to take a look and told me to come back again...

Yeah.. right :-) Needless to say, I don't trust mechanics too much at this point..

So... instead of going back to the mechanic, I purchased this:

It's an OBD2 Car Reader from Equus, and I must say... it's worth the investment. There were 3 simple steps:

1. I plugged it into my car and followed the instructions
2. Read the code that generated
3. Searched Google and found that it was my secondary air fuel component that was causing the error message

It was $90, but I think it's worth it. This OBD2 reader is the same thing that mechanics use... let's hope I don't mess up my car while tinkering with it...

Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 14, 2006 entry #1.1

I couldn't resist... I wanted to share something with those of you preparing your taxes:

Beginning Friday, January 13th, 2006, taxpayers are allowed to file their 2005 tax returns electronically via IRS e-file.

Why does this matter?
By receiving your tax refund in 1/2 the time, you can put your money to work earlier. Put it into a savings account (like HSBC's Online Savings Account) and gain interest. :-)

I have never used IRS e-file, but it looks like times are changing. Electronic IRS is a centralized source for all IRS electronic options. Taxpayers and tax preparers now have a page that contains an overview of all the electronic tasks that can be accomplished online.

According to IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, "It’s the fastest, safest and most accurate way to file your tax return.”

I'll be the guinea pig and this out. I'll write the details of my experience once I'm done on this blog.


Simple Tax Errors That Can Cost a Lot

All of this information was found at


my 1st entry

Thanks, Maria, for recommending After being told about the wonders of blogging, I finally gave in and created my own. :-)

The purpose of this blog will be to share my experiences, thoughts, and hobbies with strangers. I'd like to focus on "meaty" content and actually write about things that other people can find useful. My specific interests include technology, entrepeneurship, management, investing, art, and cooking. I'm hoping that some people share the same interests! :-)

With that being said, I would like to thank my friend, Pat, for the late Christmas present. I received a
2006 edition copy of the 'Windows on the World: Complete Wine Course' by Kevin Zraly.

If you are interested in learning about wine, this is the book for you. After reading the introduction and skimming through the content in the book, I have to admit.. this is the wine bible. It is the only book you will need to get started.

One review by T. Burger on, best summed up my feelings/thoughts about the book:

This is an excellent book for the beginning oenophile. Truly, I have found that there was no greater revelation in my gustatory experience than when I first had a good glass of wine. Not a wine that had been left out and corked at a restaurant for three days, not a $4.99 bottle from the local supermarket, not two-buck-Chuck, or, god forbid, the jug wines of my parents day. That first good glass of wine opened my eyes to an amazing world that I didn't know existed.

When you have that first good glass, you seek out more, and during your search you discover that there are varietals you've never heard of: Viognier, Barolo, Carignan, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, and so many others. As you taste these wines, you realize this is a world you want to know more about.

This is the perfect book to start your journey into the "wonderful world of wine". While it is very well written, it is certainly not comprehensive (no introductory book of any kind could be!) but there are times when the author references something that 1) you may wish to know more about; or 2) you feel it hasn't been adequately explained. I would highly recommend purchasing The New Wine Lovers Companion, available here on Amazon for only $10.17 (i.e., not any great expenditure) and keep it next to you while you go through the book. It will greatly enhance your experience.

When you have finished with this book you will have a solid understanding of all of the major wine producing regions in the world, the varietals that come from them, the wines that are made, and so much more.

I myself work part-time in a wine store, and recommend this book to everyone who comes in wanting to know more. "

This is a great addition to my library. Thanks, Pat!

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