Running Into The Spring

After a series of personal crises, injuries, illnesses, and the bad habits that result, I fell out of running pretty hard. I put on weight, and this triggered that whole depressive spiral where you don't want to work out or eat better because you feel bad about looking bad, etc. Annoying. After a false start late last year that ended after my hernia surgery, I spent the winter pretty motionless. Cold, unable to go outside, dealing with seasonal depression. But, over the last month and a half or so, I think I've managed to actually set the habit to run »

It Is Spring, Time For New Spark Plugs

My basement is slowly getting transformed into an auto parts store, so yesterday when we had a nice 55 degree day, I decided to do the first Focus ST project of the year, swapping out my spark plugs. »

Chris DeFlumeri Chris DeFlumeri on Car

It's Not Warm Yet And It's Garbage

It's the last Sunday in February, and fitting for this garbage month, the weather outside is trash. Cold, rainy, and trash. This is the time of year I seriously consider moving somewhere else, where it's warm-ish all year round, and everyone doesn't hate each other. OH WELL. On Thursday it'll be March, and we can all get our hopes up for that month to be warm, but because we live here, it won't be. I really wish we hadn't had that one 72 degree day a week ago, because it really just put into perspective how much I want to »

Chris DeFlumeri Chris DeFlumeri on Car

It Was Christmas, Time For Food And Server Maintenance

Merry Christmas! If you've been paying attention to New England specific weather reports, you might think that Katie and I are holed up somewhere since apparently Massachusetts is a frozen hellscape. But no! Since last year we've been continuing the Swap Holidays plan, and this Christmas we're in Rumson, NJ. It was a hell of a drive. We left Saturday morning during an ice storm, and I spent 7 and a half exhausting hours making our way through Mass, Connecticut, and New Jersey to arrive here. No joke, my car had ice like this on it during the drive We »

Chris DeFlumeri Chris DeFlumeri

It's Dark Out Early Now And It Sucks

It always surprises me how short the days get each year after Daylight Savings Time ends, despite having lived with it for 27 years now. Why do we even bother with this crap? Who the hell wants it to be light outside at 5:30 AM? Who wants it to get dark at 4:30 PM? Jerks, that's who. Jerks who cling to tradition like a bad smell. Jerks who are willing to spout off nonsense about the economic benefits to farmers despite this being an old wives tale. Jerks who want me to be tired. Pictured: Daylight Savings Time »

Chris DeFlumeri Chris DeFlumeri

Installed My Cold Air Intake

I'm continuing to make my way through the Make My Car A Race Car plan, and until today I had: Upgraded the brakes Installed a great big intercooler Installed a stiffer rear motor mount (courtesy of Jake, who was nice enough to replace my cracked charge pipe while I was in Europe, and also install the mount so it wouldn't crack again) The next step was to install my cold air intake. Why a cold air intake? Well, because I can't really tune the thing with the stock intake, and that's the goal. This is the last real "performance& »

Chris DeFlumeri Chris DeFlumeri on Car

Prague, Our Last City In Europe

I began my day in Prague with, I’ll admit, some trepidation. This was the first place I’d been that wasn’t explicitly… western, and lacking the Romantic and Germanic word forms I’m used to, I really couldn’t understand anything. Usually, I can hazard my way through what something means, but when the word for “attention” or “warning” is “pozor”, well, you’re kinda screwed, Kit was leaving that day, so I got up early, and headed out with him to explore the city before anyone else was up. It did not rain once the whole time »

Pilsen, A Pleasant Detour On The Way To Prague

After the tremendous 8 hours that was Oktoberfest, we awoke the next day to venture out of Germany to the Czech Republic, where we’d spend the last day of our trip. Jason had returned Peugeot Van the day before, and he met us at the Airbnb in our new Mercedes-Benz van. Was it better than the old, crappy van? Well, the engine and suspension almost certainly were, but the interior was… somehow worse. Kit, who was riding in the front seat, in the middle, at least didn’t have to worry about having the shifter hitting his left leg, »

Munich, Where Oktoberfest Happens

After our brief sojourn to Castle Wolfenstein (probably), we continued on our way to Munich. If there's one thing I've learned in Europe, it's that for whatever reason English-speaking countries totally bastardize names for no good reason. For example, Munich is spelled München in Germany, but for whatever reason we anglicize it to nonsense. Why can't we just use the right spelling for things? I can understand if we're talking about a completely different alphabet, like cyrillic, but I don't get it for most words. Anyway, we followed all the München signs to Munich, and got there in the evening. »

That Castle That Fairy Tale Castles Are Based On

We went there! On the way from Bamberg to Munich, we went and visited Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that a lot of fairy tale castles are based on. It was a bit of a drive out of the way, but it gave us a good opportunity to see the Alps, as well as one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. This, and the subsequent drive to Munich, would be my last drives of the trip, since we'd be turning in Van #1 in exchange for a different van more... suitable for the Czech Republic? Anyway, we had some pretty »