Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I like to draw diagrams on whiteboard

Before implementing the unmount feature, I need to have a plan for the battle.
I could actually appreciate a way bigger whiteboard hanging in my home office, this small one is just a temporary fallback.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why I am (not) in love with my car

When it comes to cars, I think I am somehow attracting bad luck. Before my current car, I managed to basically destroy two cars, both in a similar way. That is not in an accident but by exploiting some hidden material fatigue. The first was an older Opel to which my driving on a high way burned a hole in one of the engine cylinders and the other was an older Hyunday Lantra which ran out of fuel at 150 km/hour and died. I must admit I knew I was going to run out of fuel and therefore I drove at 150 km/hour in a hope that I will make it to a gas station on the top of a hill. The irony is that I really made it there, but just before I took the exit from the high way, something cracked and irreversibly broke in the engine so that the car had to be scrapped as the repair would not pay off.

Then I bought my current car - a second-hand, but practically unused VW Polo. I have had it for two years now, but the list of issues I had with it looks more like twenty years. It all started when we were returning from a trip to Vienna. It was December 2007 (only three weeks after I bought it) and it was rather cold outside. The reason I mention the cold temperature is that it had its share in the extent of the damage that I am going to describe. I think we were already on a highway from Brno to Prague when we suddenly hit a hare. The animal must have been killed instantly, but it managed to blow out the front left fog light and the surrounding overcooled plastic grid and the fender. The repair cost me EUR 300, but only because I opted for non-original replacement parts. The original ones would have cost five times that much. Then I had a series of parts malfunctions: replacement of two ignition coils (EUR 150), switching device for the rear brake lights (EUR 42), oil pressure pump seal (EUR 33) and, finally, the servo unit (EUR 720) which broke on the Christmas day 2009. After the two ignition coils had died, I took the car to a periodic check (EUR 416). Between the switching device and oil pressure pump failures, my left rear view mirror was knocked off while waiting on an intersection by a truck in the neighboring lane (EUR 104).

Each month, I have driven about 1600 km only by commuting to work and back. One may therefore think that I have been using the car quite intensively, but still, I have the feeling that the car is causing me troubles intentionally. I am curious what will be the next malfunction and thrilled about the time it shows. The car is like a vampire - it just sucks money instead of blood.