We Explored A Cool Old German Castle

I got up early during our last day in Köln, so I could go for a run. With all the walking we've been doing, I haven't had the energy to run like I should be, but I am trying to do it every other day. Our Airbnb was only a couple of kilometers from the Rhine, so I decided to make my way over there, since I figured it'd be flat, and I'd have room to go at an easy pace. Once I got there, zero regrets. The river was very pretty in the dawn light, with commuters, runners, and »

Bruges, Brussels, Aachen, and Köln

On the 5th day of Europe Trip 2017™, I find myself in Köln, in an Airbnb. Everyone else is out drinking and/or eating... somewhere, but after 5 days of being around other people, I needed a little bit of downtime. Perfect opportunity to write about the past couple of days! So that's what I'm doing, while drinking seltzer, and sitting next to a fan. After spending the day in Amsterdam with Kit, we made our way to Bruges on the train. Technically two trains, since we stopped and changed in Antwerp. Trains are exciting The plan was to arrive »

Made It To Amsterdam

So, I've finally made it to another (mainland) continent. Flying out Wednesday night at 10 pm, I arrived first in Frankfurt, Germany, after a 6 and a half hour flight. I'd never flown on a wide body jet before, and it was pretty comfortable! I slept probably about 2 hours total, which isn't bad for me, honestly, and read while I wasn't asleep. In Frankfurt, I got a coffee, irritating the German man serving me. Or maybe I just thought we was irritated, since all Germans sound angry all the time. On the second leg of the flight, Frankfurt -& »

A Big, Shiny New Intercooler

All of my new parts came 2 weeks early (thanks Cobb!), so I decided that this weekend I'd get to installing them. I ended up ordering a Bigger intercooler Cold air intake Rear motor mount Cat-back exhaust The first three are performance modifications. The stock Focus ST is pretty great, but it runs a little hot, and if you were to try and tune it (which, I am, with a Cobb Accessport), you need to upgrade some of the components to let in more air, and cooler air. This is where the intercooler and the cold air intake come in. »

Farm Shares Are A Mixed Bag

Both literally and figuratively. If you don't know what a farm share is, it's a way of prepaying for a whole bunch of vegetables, and then you pick up a box every week of more or less random stuff. It's also called a CSA, which is short for Community Supported Agriculture, because the idea is that you're sourcing all of your food from a local farm. That's kind of nice, and the price point isn't so bad when you consider how expensive food is when you live in and around Boston. We picked one that was in the middle as »

Hell Yes I Did Those Brakes

After being delayed by having to replace all of the lug nuts, I started the job on Saturday morning. I decided to start with the rear brakes, for two reasons: they're less important on my front-wheel drive car, and they were in worse shape. After getting the thing up on the jack stands, I removed both rear tires, and disassembled one brake. Turns out this is more or less straightforward, though I took a long time because I was both trying to internalize what I was doing, and trying not to break anything. Only took me like an hour and »

So I Actually Did Work On My Car Today

So, as I wrote about a few months ago, I traded my old car for a 2013 Ford Focus ST. Partially this was because I wanted to learn to drive stick (which turns out, is awesome), but it was also because I wanted to teach myself how to fix cars. I'm pretty OK at fixing stuff in general, but my car fixing experiences have so far been limited to: Changing my oil Replacing windshield wipers Putting on a spare tire Installing a new radio Changing a battery Changing an air filter Some of you are probably like "hey that's »

We're fine. We're all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?

Man, it's been two months since I last wrote something here. Two months! But hey, I'm here now, with all the boring news and hot takes you've come to crave from this journal-which-is-also-a-public-facing-website. And so much has happened! I started my new job, I got engaged, I went to the west coast for the first time, civil order and decency has continued to unravel nationwide. But hey, let's ignore that last thing for a bit, and concentrate on the first three. No time for sad sack bullshit to start off this post, no sir Around the middle of my grand »

I've Driven Stick For Four Days Now

It's been 4 days since I picked up, if not bought, my Ford Focus GT, and it's been an eventful 4 days if nothing else. The first day was just a series of terrifying and jerky starts and stops as I attempted to navigate my way around the area without a) killing anyone and b) pissing anyone off. I succeeded at the former, flipped off a couple people while failing at the latter, but overall I was just a big ball of stress. I was filled with a lot of doubt. Was this the right choice? Am I a super »

Picked Up My New (Used) Car Today

So last week, I ended up buying a car. This is what I used to drive: I love you, old car. (Quint singing "Spanish ladies") It's a great car, easily the most comfortable and performant car I've ever owned. So why buy a different car? Do I have two cars now? The answer is no, I traded this car for this: A Ford hatchback? Really? Yes! Specifically, a 2013 Ford Focus ST. I've been meaning to get a car for a while, specifically a car with a manual transmission, not an automatic. I figured if I was into cars, I »