Chri's BLOG

Rants, Reviews, Thoughts and Info

What does a “Tune-up” mean today?

Today, some people still bring their vehicles in for a “Tune-Up” to their mechanics.

Fortunately, the days of the actual Tune Up are actually gone. In days gone by with vehicles that had carburetors, several things involved a tuneup, including:

  1. Adjusting engine timing;
  2. Adjusting the carburetor;
  3. Adjusting distributor points (70’s and older cars);
  4. Replacing the spark plugs and/or spark plug wires;
  5. Replacing the air filter, PCV valve, etc.;
  6. Adjusting other emissions components, if necessary

Today, a Tune-Up basically involves only two, sometimes three, of those: The air filter, the PCV valve, and the spark plugs, if needed. Otherwise, the biggest part of a Tune-Up is a Fuel Injection flush service. That includes running a solvent thru the engine to dislodge and break up gum, varnish and carbon deposits that have built on the Fuel Injectors and Throttle body causing poor performance and rough idle – in the industry, it’s typically called a “De-Carb”, or De-Carbonization. You can easily find more info online about this procedure – also known as a Fuel Injection service, Fuel Injection flush, etc.

So if your’e curious what a Tune-Up involves today, that’s pretty much it!
Most spark plugs don’t need to be changed for half the life of the car or more, and plug wires for the most part don’t even exist these days. Check your car’s maintenance guide for the proper maintenance schedules, and follow them. By following them at the recommended intervals, or sooner, you guarantee a car that will work well for many years.

And if you have a Check Engine light – don’t ignore it!
In the world of computer-controlled everything, if you have this light, your fuel economy is likely suffering, and if it’s flashing at you – STOP! A flashing Check Engine light means the engine is causing severe damage to your Catalytic Converter, and that will cause you to FAIL emissions testing, as well as cost a bunch of money – so take it to your mechanic IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise, with the light on steady, take you car to your mechanic as soon as possible. The faster you fix the issue, the less it will cost you in the long run – that includes regular maintenance. However, many automobiles today also illuminate the light based on different things outside of emissions, but even if the car feels OK, you might be flushing cash down the drain! Get it checked out ASAP.

I suggest visting Scotty Kilmer’s website at for some general Auto help and info.

Also, find a mechanic you can trust. Ask friends, family, etc. for a mechanic recommendation, or see if your local shops are BBB Approved or an BBB Ethics Subscriber.

Getting to know more about your car, and cars in general, may just save you money down the road!

April 21, 2014 Posted by | Cars | Leave a comment

Why are Razor blades so expensive? Here’s why, and solutions…

Many people today know the cost of their razor blades are absolutely astronomical. How can 4 or 5 cartridges be $22?
And we all wonder why they could be this expensive, and would like a reason why companies like Gillette are charging so much for something that doesn’t last that long.

The simple reason:fusion

Because they can.

There is no reason outside of corporate greed and the knowledge every man has to shave that razor prices are so high. Recently, an article in the UK broke down the cost for Gillette to produce one single Mach 3 cartridge. The price? 12 cents. It’s only a few pennies more for the Fusion.

You pay 2000%+ markup on ONE cartridge.

Some companies such as Shick provide comparable razors, but the prices are still very high for what they are.

There’s several solutions to this problem. The first is to purchase razors from Dollar Shave Club, or direct from Dorco, a South Korean razor manufacturer. Many users state they get just as good of a shave, and sometimes better, than their Gillette razors.

The second, and my preferred, solution is the good ol’ Safety Razor (or for the daring, the old-fashioned Straight razor). Many men of all age groups are re-discovering this 100 year old tool that fathers and grandfathers used for decades.

With a small initial investment for the handle, you get a razor that will likely outlast you. Blades can be had for as little as 9 cents a piece, with the best going for about 50 cents a piece. You can get 3 or more shaves from each blade – and that equates to as little as 3 cents a shave.

Many people also recommend a shave brush and soap – no canned foam or gel. The shave brush and soap have natural ingredients unlike the canned goop, and the brush helps exfoliate the skin lightly. Both of these contribute to better skin.

I get a shave that is much closer than anything the Fusion or Mach 3 ever did for me. Even with multiple passes, the Mach 3 or Fusion will leave a rough spot on my chin. Using the Safety razor (properly), it’s like I have no hair at all there.

Gillette techNow, with Safety Razors and Straights, there is a learning curve, and it takes a little more time to shave. The first few times, yes, your probably going to cut yourself. It can take months to master it, and no one says on the days your in a rush you can’t use your cartridge. But if you hang with it, the rewards are:

  • Better Shave – hardly any or no noticeable stubble – exactly smooth face
  • Better Skin – less or no ingrown hairs – multi-blade razors are notorious for causing these. Some people even have their complexion improve.
  • Saving Money – costs are thousands times less.
  • Environmentally Friendly – you are throwing away no plastic, only a metal blade that degrades into Iron naturally.
  • Enjoyment – many people who switch report actually looking forward to shaving now and having some fun

There is plenty of information and people willing to help out on forums on the Internet, as well as many instructional videos on YouTube if you need help.

Now, if your interested in trying it out, check out some of these links:

Learn to Shave like your Grandpa – The Art of Manliness
Shaving with a Safety Razor – The Grooming Lounge

And if you have any questions or want to get more info – head on over to Badger & Blade – you’ll have any and all questions you need answered!


April 21, 2014 Posted by | General, Health & Wellness | Leave a comment

Verizon Wireless Internet blocking UDP

For all of you who use Internet applications on your phone, you may be surprised to learn that Verizon Wireless is actively blocking UDP packets – and it’s not selective – it’s ALL UDP packets.

I tried over a period of a week to setup OpenVPN and SSH on my router – but OpenVPN would NOT work until I changed it to TCP mode. Same thing with SSH – but there is no way to change that to TCP.

Just a piece of info for those of you who may need to use your phone’s Internet connection to access stuff at home – if it’s Verizon, and it’s UDP – it’s BLOCKED.

Comments and/or Suggestions?

August 9, 2013 Posted by | Computers | Leave a comment


Weird song but it’s got a beat…

Originally posted on Writing Bareback:

I’m not Dr. Tom, so take my opinion on this tune for what it’s worth, but I am diggin’ it. BTW, if you haven’t been paying attention to the Dr. Tom anthology that’s been building over the last couple of months, it’s pretty impressive. Here’s what he’s thrown up in 6 posts (with my opinion on best to worst):

  • Grouplove (3)
  • The Cinema (5)
  • FUN. (1)
  • Childish Gambino (6, but it was for Hip-Hop Friday, so duh (soda?))
  • The Early November (4)
  • Butch Walker and the Black Widows (2)

Anywho, as you may or may not have seen, I was completely enamored with the Dollar Shave Club commercial, and wasn’t too surprised to see that I was one of thousands that searched out the song from the spot on YouTube. So it’s posted here for you to enjoy too, along with the lyrics.

One last thing: now that I’ve heard…

View original 203 more words

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Opinion on Marijuana Legalization

I watched an episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit today on Marijuana and thought I’d post my thoughts.
I agree there is substantial evidence that is being ignored by the Government and hard-line Medical community that Marijuana has medical benefits. Medical Marijuana should be available at any Pharmacy with a Doctors prescription for side effects from Chemo, etc. that help alleviate Nausea where all other treatments have failed. And guys, I’m sorry – IF ALL ELSE HAS FAILED, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK – PAIN IS THE MOST FUCKING HORRIBLE THING – AND NAUSEA AINT MUCH LESSIF IT STOPS PAIN AND NAUSEA, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT IT ISGIVE IT TO THEM TO STOP THEIR SUFFERING!. Cannabis seems to do it for those conditions. So as far as I’m concerned, end of argument there.

On the area of total legalization, I am still torn, but heavily leaning for it. For years I have been totally against Marijuana. Never liked it. As I have gotten older and wiser, when I look at Marijuana compared to Tobacco and Alcohol, I see something that is basically in the same realm. It’s not creating dangerous or unruly behavior as Alcohol or PCP, for example, can. The behavior it creates seems to be almost non-dangerous – just like one drink or a cigarette. Even when used in excess, compared to Alcohol, which IS legal, the person’s behavior continues to be non-violent. If you can put Alcohol or Nicotine into your body, why not Marijuana? What makes it so damn bad compared to Alcohol or Tobacco?

We have those that say crime will go up if we do, people will be stoned everywhere, etc.

I’m sorry, but I don’t find that argument very persuading. People drive drunk despite the law. People smoke Marijuana despite the law. Furthermore, Alcohol use isn’t tolerated by employers, and Marijuana use would (and does) face the same stigma. You don’t go into Work drunk, so you don’t go into work Stoned. Nothing changes except it’s now legal.

And for the issue of more kids will be interested in it – hogwash. All parents have to do is dissuade their children from trying it or using it just like they do now – and Alcohol and Tobacco – again as they also do now. The more and more you look at it, in a way, nothing changes with legalization…

I also feel we are throwing too many users of Marijuana into Jail & Prison, or ruining their lives with a criminal record because they chose to toke a bowl in the privacy of their own home, and forgot they kept the extra in their pocket or something and get pulled over & searched. Unfortunately, what the Government want us to believe is the typical marijuana user is a pothead without a life. I’ve found this to be the exact opposite – many professional people, people with kids and working a white collar job – everyone who’s your average Joe – is the majority who use Marijuana.

Still, I don’t like the way Marijuana makes me feel (only tried it twice when I was younger). I personally could care less if others smoke it, as long as it’s not TOO strong around me (i.e. Clamming). And regardless of my opinion, I still respect the law – and what the law says at this time is it’s illegal. Hopefully as time progresses, and newer doctors and politicians come on the scene, we might see the law change.

ADDENDUM 1/3/13:
I’ve gotten some emails on whether I would report smoking since I “still respect the law”.

I have friends that smoke weed regardless of the legality. I don’t care. I’m not going to report them. Period.
I drink…If they want to toke a bowl, fuck if I care. Let them chill if weed is their thing. Like I said, I’m starting to see it ain’t no worse than Tobacco.

January 6, 2013 Posted by | General, Other, Politics | Leave a comment

Recipe Book: Mushroom Garlic Pork Chops


I got some great emails liking my Beef Bake post, so here’s another one I have pulled out of the quick and cheap meals section that’s also another household favorite: Mushroom Garlic Pork Chops. This recipe is courtesy of Campbell’s.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops, thin cut (about 1 1/2 pounds or 4 Chops)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic Soup
1/2 cup milk
OPTIONAL (We don’t use): 1/2 of a 12-ounce package medium egg noodles (about 4 cups), cooked and drained
OPTIONAL: Add more sautéed (must be done separately) mushrooms

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook for 6 minutes or until browned on both sides. Remove the pork from the skillet. Stir the soup and milk in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the pork to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Serve the pork and soup mixture (with or without the noodles)

Serves 2

Suggested accompaniment:

Fresh Steamed Green Beans
Garlic Butter & Onion Roasted Red Potatoes (available from Birdseye Frozen)

Of course, feel free to experiment!

Bon Appetite!

December 23, 2012 Posted by | Food | Leave a comment

Review – Corner Store Fresh Choices Beef Jerky

I saw a free coupon for Valero’s Corner Store “Fresh Choices” Beef Jerky in my mail. Because I buy gas usually from their station (although I prefer Chevron), I decided to give it a try.

I’m a very fair minded person and usually give a lot of leeway to things. I picked it up hoping to enjoy a good package of their “Peppered” variety – cost without the free coupon for 3.5oz: $4.99 + tax.

I cracked it open when getting home. First piece: Shoe leather. Second: same. Third: same. The rest – well, we’ve been over that.

I don’t expect Jerky to be soft as meat. But I don’t expect it to hurt my teeth trying to chew it, either. I also don’t understand why it costs 5 bucks for that tiny 3.5oz amount of meat..for that price, I can get a giant fucking 5 pound log of the same cheap full of fat shit they use to make it in the grocery store – ground up – which adds even more cost – for not much more than the cost of their 3.5oz package.

PROFIT GREED…again. (Here I go off on a tangent…) All companies need profit to expand and survive – but near EVERY company today is destroying product quality to squeeze every last penny out…what is wrong with a decent profit/decent product? Why does it have to be MORE, MORE, MORE MONEY/SHITTIEST PRODUCT?

December 20, 2012 Posted by | Food, General, Other | 1 Comment

We need a GUI Wikipedia editor like MS Word!


Sometimes I edit Wikipedia articles to correct spelling, format, grammar, flow, etc. in articles.

While I love Wikipedia, the editing is confusing as HELL.

There are more tags, change operators, this that and the kitchen sink too that I can’t figure out. Some you can get used to quickly, but there is so many – not to mention the help pages are either:

  • Buried;
  • Buried under more buried pages;
  • Non-existant;
  • With so much stuff only a programmer could understand


  • Just plain unhelpful,

It’s just not worth the time investing in doing some real good for Wikipedia. It seems whoever created Wikipedia was a mad-scientist type programmer who required everything to be in cryptic syntax for formatting with poor help pages. Seriously – it’s like having to learn a programming language to edit text articles. As it’s use by the public has grown, noone has done anything to make it more user friendly over the years. I don’t have time nor the interest to sit down for hours per day to figure out how to make a info box with all it’s ~~~’s and {{ }} for formatting when all I want to do is add a small section or a new basic page.

I’ve looked for some GUI editors, and none seem to exist. I was dumbfounded. There’s a addin for Word that doesn’t seem to do anything useful except convert the page and save it (howabout just some C&P code for the editor box?), an addin for Firefox that just inserts the tags but you don’t know how they will appear without going thru more steps…sigh.

It would be nice to have just a simple GUI editor that shows you what it will look like – WYSIWYG. You can see the code for yourself, and can click a button for it to copy all the code for you – or better yet, let’s get rid of the code and just go to rich text with a few special formatting switches. It’ll make all our lives easier. Smile

December 20, 2012 Posted by | Computers | Leave a comment

Opinion on recent Mass shootings and Guns

Today, December 14th, was a dark day in Amercia. Some nutjob asshole decided to kill 18+ kids in an Elementary school for no good reason. Innocent kids for christs sake…only a disturbed madman could do such a thing. This is a shooting that actually made me shed a few tears.

Of course, the first thing everyone starts yelling is “more gun control”. The fact of the matter is that this guy STOLE the guns from his mother. No law is going to stop someone hell bent on stealing or getting a gun and killing people, and no gun law can identify what a person is thinking of doing with a otherwise lawfully obtained firearm. I’d like to know why, though, knowing that she had a mentally deficient child in her home, why the guns were not secured in a safe or such.

We continue seeing these mass shootings being committed by individuals who have severe mental illness that was never treated or recognized. In the 1960’s and before, mental illness was dealt with properly. If someone was suspected of being even the slightest bit off their rocker – off for evaluation they went (and typically treated – not just given a revolving door) In the 1970’s a huge deinstitutionalization push was in place, and many patients ended out on the streets. Instead of receiving care in a hospital for their illness, they now became the problem of the police and prisons – because of the crimes they were committing. This sad state of affairs is the same today.

There are tons of individuals who show signs of mental illness – whether it be very mild to full-blown psychotic – who never receive treatment. Families, friends, etc. don’t recommend treatment for a variety of reasons – from fear of offending the person, being wrong, etc., and 99% of the time IF they do recommend help, the person refuses it believing there is nothing wrong with them. A sick mind can’t tell it’s sick. In these cases, we need to start doing involuntary mental health treatment – including up to commitment. We also need to get family and friends to start getting more forcefully involved in notifying authorites of possible dangerous mental health behavior (and at the same time authorities more forceful of investigating these allegations) – before it comes to their attention in tragedies such as these mass shootings.

However, at least one thing that can be done is to start adding these people in-mass to a deny list if they have been involved in ANY kind of mental health treatment. While this certainly will get in to a murky area with rights and what could constitute a danger, I think that’s the way to go. A person can petition the court or other authority to allow his right to purchase to be restored, but it has to be supported by doctors that they are not a threat to public safety.

Outside of that, please pray for the families this Holiday season. I can only fathom how much grief these parents are dealing with and the trauma the kids & adults experienced and are going to go thru in the aftermath. May God bless them and hopefully ease some of the suffering. Sad smile

December 14, 2012 Posted by | Guns, Other, Politics | Leave a comment

Proper time for Stouffers French Bread Pizza in the Microwave


For those of you who love those great slices of pizza goodness, you know Stouffer’s doesn’t give straight Microwave directions. There’s nothing wrong with cooking it in the Microwave, but (here’s your warning) you are definitely not going to get the crispy-crust you would from the oven – it’s more like soft French bread (which I prefer), and it’s not going to be cooked the same way like in the oven, but it’s still very good.

But if you still want to (I always do) cook it in the Microwave, just hit it for 3:10 on HIGH. You might need to adjust up or down depending on your Microwave, but in mine that cooks it just right.


December 5, 2012 Posted by | Food | 9 Comments


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