Car Wash

I took Maxwell to a car wash today.

Many people might not understand what that means to me and how hard it was to do. I'm a hand-washer. I always have been and would prefer to die that way. However, thanks to our level four drought response declaration I no longer have a choice. I finally decided (after months of not washing my car) to head down to my local Carnett's. One of the few things that I could imagine being worse than this is dropping you child off for daycare for the first time. It was awful.

Anyway, the folks at Carnett's are super-nice and helped guide me through the process of getting what I wanted done. I basically wanted a thorough wash, NO waxes or sealers, and a hand dry. That's pretty much the "Full Service" wash package. They took Maxwell away, vacuumed his innards and then into the tunnel he went.

It must have been two minutes of hell in the tunnel but it seemed like ten.

In any case, the machines did a pretty reasonable job. At first I thought they had scratched the finish on the back of the car, but then I realized it really just didn't get all the dirt off the boot. I can't really fault the machine, I'm sure is geared more toward the average sedan. The back of a MINI accumulates more road grime than any car I've ever had. It's insane. It will be dirty tomorrow after I go to the store to buy a chicken.

I cleaned the boot by hand manually with a spray bottle and a microfiber towel. It came out pretty well. I then went all around with a coat of Z-5 and then a coast of Z-2 with Z-6 in-between all applications (Zaino is LOVE BTW.) Then the seats got some Z-9 and Z-10 and the tires a nice coat of Z-16. The only thing better would be some sort of dirt-repelling force-field.

Then I topped it off with a shiny new NASCAR sticker.

All-in-all it turned out pretty well. I think next time I'll try Carnett's Indian Trail location which is a hand-wash only facility. That might do a better job on the boot. My other option would be to just let Sweating The Details come do the whole thing... Zaino and all. I'm not quite there yet... I still like doing some of it myself.



Auburn introduced me to a place called Guthrie's. Guthrie's became my definition of "chicken fingers."

A while back I discovered Zaxby's. Zaxby's did not fill the hole that Guthrie's left but it was fairly close and... it's all we had (stay away from their wings BTW... not pretty.)

A genuin Guthris opened up a while back off Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. not too far from work. Today I figured I'd give them a try for lunch.

It's pretty much what I remember. Limited menu. Good stuff. I even got an extra Guthrie's sauce. I was thinking Zax sauce was pretty similar... it's not even close.

Info from a coworker and a little poking around on the net say this is what's in the sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
lots of black pepper
I'll have to try this for a sauce to go with my fake-chicken nuggets I sometimes make at home.


Behold! The Christmas Eve Buffet!

Yes. The Foodarama cookbook strikes again.

Who can't get enough of the "creamed diced ham, oysters and mushrooms?"

The mustard salad molds speak for themselves.

I'd probably try the pie.



Come on in and stand a spell

Today we added some new seating.... umm.. I mean standing to our office. Meet the Stand-In.

My parents got this "chair" at an auction back in '83. I spent my high-school years with this thing in the dining room. It's in our office now for the comfort and pleasure of our visitors.

Here's a little background info on it:

I've done a little poking around and it looks like a Westnofa still exists. They make foam mattresses now but it sounds like they may be related. I also found some stuff on the net that claimed Westnofa was a marketing firm as was also responsible for getting Ekornes over to the US. This makes sense to me. I actually have an Ekornes couch at home. It one of the few you can find that has three separate reclining sections.


NASCAR Withdrawal

Thanks to Sean at Double Crown for pointing this one out to me.

I'll watch it a few times this weekend and all will be well.


Spin Cycle

My old washer died Sunday morning. I probably could have had it fixed... maybe. It was born in 1992 or so. I did some poking around and that seemed to be a reasonable age for such an appliance to start failing. We went out Sunday afternoon and settled on some new LG units. The washer is one of those new front-loading ones. It uses half as much water as a traditional toploader and a lot less energy too. Maybe our water savings will help keep some water in Lake Lanier.

I used to just set the size, water temp, cycle and then push the button. Now I have to turn it on (causing it to play you happy little greeting) then set a cycle, adjust water temp, soil level, spin speed and 3-4 other settings I haven't learned how to use yet, then push "play."

I watched a whole 20 minute "speed-wash" cycle this morning. It starts out with a few casual spins to determine the size of the load. The manual says it's "weighing" the load so it can adjust accordingly. I'm guessing it's doing some sort of rotational speed sensing after giving it a spin to get started and then it figures out something from there. Then it starts adding a little water... blasting it through the soap dispenser to add the detergent. Then it gets on with the washing. The machine uses a direct drive motor and is incredibly quiet. Even when spinning at 1000+ RPM it's still almost silent. It bugs me that there no agitator to beat up the clothes and slosh things around. It just rotates one way and dumps the clothes into the water, then the other way. Repeat. Does it work as well as an agitator? I don't know. We'll see.

Once it's done it plays another happy little song (I'll try to record it later) and you start a similar process with the dryer.

What these things really need is a wired or wireless network connection and a web-based monitoring application that simply shows you the data on the machines' displays. That would be really handy for when you can't hear the happy songs. Maybe I can install a webcam on my local network. I'd be able to at least see what they're doing.

Coming up: HE Detergent