rich menga books search contact

***Secret FSR Fender guitars? Yes, they exist, and they're right here

Amazon links are affiliated. Learn more.

emotional feedback on a timeless wavelength

Title of this entry is a lyric from a song about one of the last bastions of "almost free" (as the song puts it) entertainment.


a video is worth 1000 pictures

I had a small connectivity issue with my web site so I submitted a trouble ticket to the hosting company that hosts They responded in fast fashion as usual, but it was difficult to peg down what the cause of the problem was. Instead of writing a huge long drawn-out e-mail, I decided to screen-capture a small video instead, upload it to the serv and have them check it out.

The issue is resolved, but the point is me doing that small screen capture "said" everything without the need to write a dissertation on it. 🙂


those who know drive slow

On Friday I visited Pop in Inverness, then drove the 75-mile trek home as I usually do. The speed limit on I-75 is 70mph. Being that I'm into saving cash these days (and who isn't), I decided to set the cruise control to 65mph.

Note before continuing: Yes, driving 5mph slower really does make a difference in the fuel your vehicle consumes. I learned this trick back in Connecticut when I used to drive 60mph in a 65mph zone. On average I'd get almost 100 miles more out of a tank. It still works.

So I'm leisurely driving down I-75 at 65mph. Everyone, and I mean everyone, is whizzing past me. No one is saving fuel. Nobody except me that is.

I wonder how long it will take before people wake up and realize that "speed limit" doesn't translate to "speed minimum".

When the time comes when all speed limit signs are digital (and trust me, that will happen), posted limits will be able to be adjusted accordingly on-the-fly. Then local towns and counties could lower the speed limit on specific days to save fuel, such as on Sundays and holidays.

Makes sense to me. It forces people to slow down which in turn saves fuel.

***Guitar deals & steals? Where? Right here. Price drops, B-stock and tons more.

$1,100 later

Pop said the brakes on his truck were grinding. His truck has about 96,000 miles on it.

So I tested them myself. They weren't grinding. They were dragging, meaning the brakes were shot. This vehicle was not safe to drive. This truck was going to the dealership, and going today.

I brought his 2000 GMC Sonoma to the local Chevy dealership. I knew in my mind this was going to be a costly affair. Pop is not known for having good vehicle maintenance habits, save for an oil change every now and then. He is the type who just keeps driving until something major breaks. Were it not for my insistence, he probably wouldn't even do oil changes. I knew this was going to be either major or semi-major repair work.

Initially, my guess was that the brake rotors (the truck has four-wheel disc brakes) probably needed resurfacing, and the pads definitely needed to be replaced on both the front and rear.

This is what happened after a vehicle inspection:

The front/rear pads were shot. This I expected.

The rear calipers were absolutely shot. Didn't expect this. Then again, the truck is very close to 100,000 miles and has weathered several winters.

The rear rotors were gone. Wasn't surprised on this one.

The front rotors were resurface-able. This is the only good thing that happened and saved a few bucks compared to replacing outright.

The fuel filter as I found out was never changed. Told the dealership to skip this one. He has an oil change due in 1,500 miles. Next time he gets one he can get it replaced then. I mean, heck, if it ran this long on the original fuel filter, it can run for another 1,500 miles.

The brake system needs a flush. This didn't surprise me either considering the other brake items that were worn out.

Dealership said the engine needed an "induction cleaning". This is probably a glorified term for an injector cleaning service. Told 'em to skip this as the engine has absolutely no sputtering problems whatsoever. This is a "later" thing.

After tax and all that other happy horse crap, the bill is $1,100. And being that this is a holiday weekend, he won't get his truck back until Tuesday. That being the case, Pop and I went out shopping to make sure he has enough of everything to survive the weekend. That's all taken care of now.


I write this as a reminder to all that you have to do more than just put gas in your vehicle and change the oil every 3,000 miles. Your car is a machine with moving parts, and those parts wear out. Maintenance is a necessary thing. Don't do it, and you end up paying big bills later like the one Pop is about to.


Concerning my own truck (2005 GMC Canyon), I have at least $500 of stuff I need done to it. She needs tires, probably needs front pads and a timing belt adjustment.

Note on the belt: It's general rule of thumb to have belts adjusted every 50,000 whether they need them or not.

wasted time/cash

MT 3.35.. bleah

I tried the latest version of MovableType, which at present is version 3.35. Didn't like it. My two largest gripes is that 3.35 had a bunch of crap in it I didn't need, and the supposed "faster rebuild" process was actually slower. Yeah. I wasn't impressed. So I'm back to using 3.2.

Also, I'm entertaining the idea of changing around the blog template again.. a new design may be coming soon.

"Music" CD-R's suck

Technically speaking there isn't any difference between a "music" CD-R and a data-based one, save for the fact they typically write at much lower speeds.

I bought a 30-pack of those "music" Imation CD-R's and they're all junk. Can't return 'em because the package is opened. Yeah, it's only ten bucks wasted, but hey, ten bucks is ten bucks.

And if you're asking why I'm using CD-R's instead of writable DVD's, the answer is reliability. In my experience, writable DVD's are notoriously unreliable - even when I keep them safely tucked away in a disc holder.

What do to for files bigger than 700MB? Use a file splitter like HJSplit. Works great.

🔥 Popular Articles 🔥
Why I don't like PRS guitars
Why I don't like PRS guitars
There are certain guitar companies out there who have very little concerning a guitar I'd actually want to own, and PRS is one of them.
Casio F-91W
Casio F-91W cheat sheet
A quick guide on how to set the time, date and a few other tips and tricks.
Orient Tristar
EMF radiation danger in quartz watches - time to switch to automatic?
Did you know that quartz battery powered wristwatches emit radiation?
Garmin Drive 52
Older Garmin models worth getting (updated 2022 edition)
This is a list of the best older Garmin GPS models worth getting
Fender Player Sonic Red
The reason for the skunk stripe on Fender necks with rosewood boards
An oddity is that even though a separate piece of wood for the fingerboard exists, there is still what's known as a "skunk stripe" on the back of the neck.
Casio MTP-1370D
Casio MTP-1370D, the poor man's Rolex Day-Date
The Casio MTP-1370D is the cheapest way to get a Rolex Day-Date look
⭐ Recent Articles ⭐
Jackson JS11 Dinky
Jackson JS11 Dinky, the ultimate project guitar?
When it comes to ready-to-mod guitars, it doesn't get much better than this.
Gibson L6-S, a Norlin era beast from the 1970s
Oh, no... not another Norlin era Gibson.
1960 Fender Musicmaster
Fender Musicmaster might be the ultimate retirement guitar
It's real-deal Fender vintage, it's available, and there's one other rather nice advantage to owning one of these.
Gretsch G2655T Streamliner Brownstone Maple
The easiest Bigsby? Gretsch G2655T Streamliner
When you want a Bigsby vibrato on a genuinely well-built guitar for not a lot of money, you go Gretsch.
Epiphone Les Paul Standard 60s Bourbon Burst
Almost perfect, Epiphone Les Paul Standard '60s Bourbon Burst
There is a whole lot of wow to this Les Paul.
Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster Gold Edition
Classic or tacky? Squier 40th Anniversary Jazzmaster Gold Edition
Is this a classic, or is it tacky? Let's talk about that.