friday’s random questions

  1. What would cause the front tires on the car to wear unevenly such that the inside edge of each tire is worn down much faster than the outside edge?
  2. If I publish an entry in MovableType with a link to an entry on another blog, how do I make changes to that entry without sending an extra trackback?
  3. How do I add additonal search engines to Firefox? When I click on the “add search engine” option in the drop-down menu, I am taken to a page that tells me it’s possible to add more without telling me how. Can I add my university library?
  4. What’s the best way to kick yourself out of inactivity and start exercising regularly?
  5. How can I add a “Post to Del.icio.us” function to Firefox (other than just using a bookmark)?
  6. Is it better to buy a new car, or a late-model used car with a warranty from some place like CarMax or a dealer? I’m leaning toward the latter, given that one can get a good deal on prices, but I’m also wary of getting a car with problems.
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13 thoughts on “friday’s random questions

  1. We have been really pleased with the car we bought at CarMax and our experience with them – they only sell late model used cars that they inspect and guarantee. You can even return it for five days (I think). We have avoided used cars in the past for all the reasons you mention, but they have changed our opinion.

    I know nothing about cars, but problem #1 sounds like it might be the alignment.

  2. 3. http://mycroft.mozdev.org/download.html; click the search engine you want, you will be taken to another page and then you can click on the version of the extension that you desire (if there is more than one), and voila, the search engine is added to your menu. You can add your university library only if you have a web librarian who has created an extension.
    1. uneven wear often associated with tires that need rotation and/or realignment; that, or your tires are crooked (meaning the joint where axle meets tire is messed up)
    4. exercise with a friend

  3. Might help with some, but not others.
    1. Dunno.
    2. If you’re track-backing manaully (with the link pasted to the entry area rather than validated by auto-discovery), I think you can simply remove the link when you edit. The initial ping will have latched on to the tracked site, so that will remain in place (I think).
    3. Dunno. I like an exercise band for light-duty fitness (whilst on the stationary bike) for the winter months. Can play a few minutes of video games while on the bike, between reps, so that motivates me.
    4. When you login to delicious, you should see an “about” link in the header. Click on that and it ought to take you to a page of stuff which includes dragable bookmarklets for “post to delicious” and “post to delicious popup.” The popup is more convenient for some folks, but it doesn’t allow you to see that tags you’re already using. The regular post bookmarklet lets you see tags when you’re stowing the new link.
    5. Had better luck with new, and especially with Honda, fwiw.

  4. 1. Just a guess: over- or under-inflation?
    2. If you find out, PLEASE make the answer public!
    3. Don’t know; just switched to Firefox.
    4. Make a deal with someone — for eg. I just made a deal with my partner that he will pick up our son three nights a week then come and pick me up, which involves more driving for him, so that I have some extra time to work out those days — so that you will feel guilty if you don’t do the workouts.
    5. No idea — too much stuff to learn!
    6. Some late model used cars still have warranties with the manufacturer; ours did, and we have extended it. Mind you, I’m never sure if you are much further ahead because then you are obliged to get all tune-ups at the dealer’s, and to get regular tune-ups, and even an oil change can cost a lot.

  5. Click on the little triangle in the search box. At the bottom of the drop down menu it says ‘Add Engines’. But I don’t know if you can add the library.
    Perhaps the simplest thing would be to put the del.icio.us link in a tab?

  6. 6. I always get an add-on extended warranty for used cars. It’s usually about $1,000 that can be added onto the pricetag, and thus the payments. I have never needed to use it, but it’s good piece of mind.
    Also, be sure to get the Carfax report on the car. This usually shows any big problems like flood damage and what not. A good dealer will provide this for free, but you can do it yourself if you get the VIN.

  7. Re #4/exercise…Walk everywhere you can (if you’re not already). Although your work commute would take a while to walk; any interest in biking?

  8. I received this comment from red@ctor, but MT-Blacklist blocked it because of the number of URLs; I couldn’t figure out a way to override the block:

    Only able to answer two of these…

      1. Sounds like your wheels are misaligned – take a look at these diagrams: http://www.justtyres.com/themost.php

      3. To add search engines on Firefox, go to mycroft.mozdev.org/download.htmlthis page and browse/search for plugins. To install, you just click on the relevant search engine link. To uninstall a search engine, follow these instructions: kb.mozillazine.org/Firefox_:_FAQs_:_Uninstall_Search_Plugins If you want a search engine that isn’t yet available, you can either put in a request (and wait) — mycroft.mozdev.org/ — or have a go yourself: http://mycroft.mozdev.org/contribute.htmlM/ul>

  9. 2. Go into Weblog Config, Preferences, and turn off Trackback Auto-Discovery. As convenient as it can be, especially when you’re linking to multiple sites you want to ping, it’s a pain in the ass if (like me) you do a lot of editing after publishing.
    One of the things I wish that 6A would do is to allow auto-discovery for individual posts in the same way it allows individual entry comments to be controlled. As it stands, I usually go and flip it on manually if I know that I’m going to want it for an entry. Or I’ll flip it on, and go back and resave the entry that I want it for, if I’ve already published it…
    cgb

  10. 1. Alignment.
    4. Take a class, ideally w/ a friend. Or schedule with a friend. Or schedule the exercise at a “dead” time of day and start small. Modest goals. E.g., a few yoga postures in the morning before coffee.
    6. For sure used; just have it checked out by a mechanic first. Buying used in a private sale is an even better deal; a little bit of a hassle, but much lower markup. Have a mechanic look at the thing, you’ll be fine.

  11. 6. Used. I’ve had the best luck with Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and VW. If the mechanic gives the go-ahead, then I’d forget the warranty and get AAA if you’d like help with emergencies that could leave you stranded on the side of the road. FWIW, mark-up on used cars from a dealer is usually 2-3K. Dealers also mark up interest rates so it’s best to get your own financing.

  12. 4. Set an amount of stuff you’re going to do while exercising, and give yourself license to not up the required number of reps or miles biked or what have you. Ever. Unless you really want to, of course.
    That way, the next time isn’t more difficult than the last. Well, it’s working for me so far. :) Although as of today I’m upping the number of miles — but that’s because I really really want to.

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