DMOZ

I applied to be a editor on the DMOZ. I’ve added this blog and my shareware company recently and thought I’d give back a little. They suggest you try a small category. I thought maybe Recreation: Autos: Makes and Models: Mazda: RX-8.

I’ve been rejected twice now.

Guess I’m too clueless to be an editor. First I ended up applying for the Weblog editor. Then I got a slightly incoherent rejections with a list of all the things I could have done wrong. What I probably got rejected for was there was already an editor. Here’s the rejection:

Hi Ron Davis,

Thank you for your interest in the ODP. While we are always looking for new editors, I am unable to accept your application to edit in Recreation/Autos/Makes_and_Models/Mazda/RX-8 at this time. I sincerely hope you will be able to undertake some background reading and re-apply in the near future.

To improve your chances for acceptance into the project, please choose a category of around 100 sites and suggest 2 or 3 urls (3 is preferable) relevant to the category requested. Note too that this is a very small category which already has an editor. Categories may have multiple editors, but usually they are much larger than this. The urls should be working and from different sites. Please read our General Guidelines for descriptions at http://dmoz.org/guidelines/describing.html#descriptions . The suggested sites should have accurate titles and descriptions, preferably not all belonging to you. The titles should be the name of the site, firm or organization. The basic formula for a good description is: Description = Subject + Content. Say what the site is about and what information is contained on the web pages. Do not write a review on it or include marketing language and first/second person verbs. Your spelling, capitalization, and sentence structure are also being !
evaluated.

Please also remember, the application needs to be complete, including the disclosure of web sites you own or have created in the section marked ‘Affiliations’.

Thank you.

I missed where they have the editor’s name in small print. Now most of this rejections couldn’t apply to me. In no particular order. I’m not affiliated with any of the sites I suggested. There were no grammar or spelling problems. The URLs worked and were specifically related.

Here’s my three RX-8 related links as they would appear.

UK Mazda site – Official UK RX-8 site with British TV commercials.
S2000 vs. RX-8 vs. 350Z – MotoTrend magazine’s comparison between three cars with RX-8 coming out on top.
RX-8 Long Term Road Test – Edmund’s report after driving the car a year.

I may go look for another area, but two rejections tells me something.

Written while listening to “Prayer Of Saint Francis”
album Murmurs Special Release Vol 2
by Sarah Mclachlan
Written while listening to “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”
album The Best Of 1980-1990
by U2

Galveston & RX-8

My father in law took the kids to a water park today and that left my wife with nothing to do. I’d wanted to take a day off and just drive my car, but she wouldn’t let me on Monday. Today she did and we drove down to Galveston.

I took pictures of the car on the sea wall there. They aren’t that great even after iPhoto enhanced them. The sun was too bright and the sky too white. I need a polarizing filter for the camera. But hey I just bought a new car.

Pictures of the RX-8 in Galveston can be seen on my dot Mac account.

I sent the URL to my father and a buddy of mine and both are accusing me of going through a mid-life crisis. Same thing I got when I bought the Firebird.

Written while listening to “This Is The Life”
album Dangerous Minds
by Wendy and Lisa

RX-8

British RX-8 commercial.

Well I’m now the proud owner of an RX-8. I really like the car. It was painful parting with Phox, my Firebird, but the RX is a lot more car. My best friend has a Porsche Boxster and thinks mine is comparable.

Buying Experience

In the age of the internet buying a new car is suppose to be an easy thing. You get the invoice, you offer $500 more and you get the car.

It ain’t that easy.

I went to Edmund’s and asked for quotes from four dealers. None sent me a quote. They all wanted me to call them. Eventually I did call some of them, but it wasn’t easy from there.

The first dealership I talked to a guy and he said he’d send me a quote. Then I went in and they offered me $3500 for my Firebird, and asked alot of annoying questions about it. They said they’d get back to me with a quote on a lease. They finally called late that night and said I shouldn’t be leasing. That they’d send me a quote to buy via email, but they were closed on Saturday. They still haven’t sent anything.

I told a friend I was having problems. I’d gone to the nearest Mazda dealership and they hadn’t been able to give me info on a lease they had advertised. It turns out my friend’s sister had bought a Kia from the same dealer. So he knew the sales manager and called him. He called me Friday night but I was busy and he left a message. I called him back Saturday morning and he said I could get the deal I wanted on “the base model with the Nav system.”

I thought this a little weird because when I was at the dealer, they didn’t have any of the base model. No automatics at all. Turns out he meant the base of the manual. Anyway the deal was still at a payment I wanted so the Mrs and I decided to go in the next morning.

Selling Phox

Let me back up and tell you about selling Phox. When the other dealer offered me $3500 he said I could go to Carmax, but they probably wouldn’t give me more. So I thought I’d at least find out. We went to Carmax Friday night. Phox looked great because I’d just had her cleaned. If you want a true no hassle buying or selling experience Carmax is the place to go. They have a system that is very easy and, since they don’t haggle, simple. They will look your car over and give you an offer to buy it. Its good for 3 days or 300 miles. They offered me $5100 for Phox.

So Saturday morning we took Phox back and sold her. I almost cried. I loved that car as much as any since my first one. It was my first sports car.

Buying Sheila

After selling Phox, we went and put the bank draft in the bank and went to the local Mazada dealer. Here’s when something happen that still pisses me off. I will probably write a letter about it.

Remember we went to this dealer before on Wednesday and test drove. At that time we had a salesmen named Clarence. On Saturday we were going to talk to the sales manager Cedrick and didn’t want a salesman. There was the other salesman, Matt, who had seen me on Wednesday and knew I wanted the RX. When we pull into the parking lot Matt is on us in a flash. I say I want to talk to Cedrick, he says Cedrick is busy and he can help me. We walk on in as I’m trying to get away from him. I shake hands with Clarence and then Cedrick walks up, Matt introduces us and from then on Matt is our salesman. I felt bad for Clarence. And Matt really didn’t do anything special.

Anyway we spent a three or four hours working through the lease calculations. Then doing it again after my wife freaked the cost and wanted to walk. We restructured the deal to her liking and everything eventually got done.

Gratuituous Driving

I’ve put 300 miles on it in the first two days. I ended up with the navigation system which is cool. It is a bit of a distraction, so I try not to use it all the time, but I am a geek here.

First tank of gas I measured was only after about 80 miles, and it got 15 MPG. Which is low and I have to put premium gas in it which is 10-15 cents more a gallon. So my fuel costs will go up.

Its fast. I have to watch it all the time because it is so smooth you don’t realize you are going 55 in a 35, or 70 on the highway.

It seems to have a “Race Me” sign on the back. Lots of sporty cars come running up on me from behind. This morning on the way to work a Trans Am came up behind me and I got over because I was already doing 70 in a 65 and don’t have a radar detector. He pulled up next to me and I saw he had radar detector next to the nitros dial on his dash. So I figured I could go a little faster behind him. When I pulled in behind him he started speeding up. I gave it a little more gas and kept up, which made him go even faster. I won’t tell you how fast we were going when he kicked in the nitro and I let him go. My wife reads the blog.

Needless to say it was fast and I feel the car had more in it and could have gone a lot faster if I’d shifted up to sixth instead of starting there.

Oh and the car is red. People are starting to assume I prefer red cars because both our cars and Firebird are red. But really I prefer cheap cars. I went into the dealer and said I wanted the cheapest one he had, which was red. There was one $1000 more, and it was yellow, so I’m glad what ever feature it had I didn’t get. It would have tested my ability to say no.

The name comes from Red vs. Blue. The first time the navigation system talked to me I thought of Sheila, the tank in Red vs. Blue. So really it is the name of the nav system, but its been generalized to the whole car.

Written while listening to “Champagne Supernova”
album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?
by Oasis
Written while listening to “1999”
album 1999
by Prince
Written while listening to “Little Red Corvette”
album 1999
by Prince
Written while listening to “2112”
album 2112 (The Rush Remasters)
by Rush

Car Update

Well it looks like I will be leasing a Mazda RX-8 in the near future. Or at least I hope so.

You know getting information out of a car dealership is like pulling teeth. I went to the dealer nearest me and test drove the RX. They had advertised a $299/month lease in the newspaper, so I asked about it. Well the salesman was clueless. No surprise there. But they couldn’t get me anyone to talk to.

I used Edmunds for a lot of research and even asked for a quote from four dealers. I didn’t want them to call me on the phone, so I gave them a bogus phone number. Of course none of them sent me email with a quote. No that would be too easy. They did send me email saying they wanted the right phone number.

Most local dealer’s websites suck. But one of them had a special for the RX-8 that was good enough I actually called the guy. He asked a few questions and let me rant a little about the in ability of car salesmen to use email. Then he said he’d send me an email with the lease details later that night. Well we wanted to get out of the house so the whole family loaded up in the Mrs. car and went for a drive.

Just happened to go by this dealership.

We decided to stop in and check out the back seat of the car for the boys. They currently hate the back seat of my Firebird. One loved the car and the other didn’t.

Went in to meet the guy I’d talked to on the phone. Seemed like a nice Irish guy. He was busy with another family, but took time out to unlock a car for me. Given the amount of time he left them waiting I don’t think they were looking at an RX.

Anyway, he said he’d send me something late that night or first thing in the morning. Nothing. So I called this morning at 11 and talk to the fleet sales manager. I want to find out what they will give me for the Firebird. I tell them I’ll be in during my lunch hour and they can appraise the car.

On my way there I call my insurance provider, Gieco, to find out how much worse my insurance will be with a new car. Turns out is is less, which was a bit of a shock. But cool.

To make a long story shorter. The looked at my car and asked a bunch of questions that indicated to me they had run a check on it – they knew it had had body work done – but that the report wasn’t accurate. I wondered if they had gotten the right car.

Also my sales guy showed on his day off just because I was going to be there. They are closed on Saturday. So he asks me if the numbers are right if I will want to get it on Sunday, the next day he will be in. I say “If the numbers are right I’m thinking tonight.” I was nice enough to ask if that would effect him and he said it would. Which kind of sucks because I want a new car now, but it seems mean to not let him get the commission because I can’t wait 48 hours.

They had the number Edmunds had given me for trade in which was $6720, but they didn’t just agree to that. They said they’d have to call around to get me the best number. When I got back I ran Kelly Blue Book and there trade in was $5,620.

It did make a difference in payment, but would still be in the wife approved number. Of course that discussion was over 2 hours ago and I haven’t heard anything.

Written while listening to “Fallen”
album Afterglow
by Sarah McLachlan

Cars

Well I just spent $822 to get my car fixed. And my wife’s car needs $1000+ in repairs at the dealer. We’re trying an option that may get it done for less.

So I’ve decided its time to get a new car or cars. It just seems there’s a point in the life of a car where you are putting a car payment’s worth of money into the car every month in repairs, so you might as well just get a new car.

I’d like an RX-8. I went and test drove one last night. But it is pretty expensive. We also looked at Dodge Caravans. Kind of the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Probably I should look for something cheaper, but I really want a sports car. There isn’t much in the low end that is sporty. I refuse to own a Mustang. I’m also not buying another Pontiac. So what does that leave?

Anyway it is all a little stressing. We had my car paid off and the Mrs car we planned to pay off by the end of the year. Now we may end up with two payments, which we don’t need. Oh well, it isn’t going to be decided today.

The Goblin Problem

Last weekend my family and I played the first session of the Elves of Tejas. One thing I was impressed about on James Wyatt’s site was his description of the play session. I wondered how he remember everything that happen. Well he probably keeps notes. I have a bunch of stuff I write down during combat, and knowing I wanted to transcribe it, I wrote down a little more. Here’s my first shot at it.

Written while listening to “Message In A Bottle”
album Every Breath You Take- The Singles
by The Police

When the story started a large group of adventurers were sitting on the porch outside the county court house and church in Harrisburg. It was hot and humid, oppressively hot. They had just gotten out a of town hall meeting. It seems Harris county has been having goblin problems.

The sheriff and mayor spent what seemed like forever telling the collection of ten or twelve itinerate adventures about the problem. The small government knows there are several tribes of goblins that live around the county, but they are not sure where. The sheriff and the local militia have gone hunting for and destroy various strongholds of the goblins, but there is only so much time they can spend on it. So they have come with the idea that brought the adventurers here.

A reward program for those who kill goblins. Goblins 1 sp, Hobgoblins 5 sp, Bugbears 1 gp. In order to collect the reward you have to bring back the head of the monster.

The group knew they didn’t want more than six in their group. That was enough to do some damage, but not enough to have to split too many ways.

It became immediately obvious, Red was focused to bringing a party together. He went around talking to various adventurers looking for just the right grouping. Red is a monk who put aside all worldly considerations taking a ascetic vow, forgoing all worldly possessions. Though he can own a simple quarter staff, he forgoes even it, preferring to let his bare hands settle combat. He has taken extensive training in non-magical healing, this being his profession when not called into the field.

There was some disagreement about the combat usefulness of a bard, which resulted in Liza Wolfwalker Easten deciding to stay behind and ply her trade in the local bars, while her sister Katerina “Kat” Wolfwalker Shroeder joined the party. There was no disagreement from the monk the Kat’s rouge skills could be useful in the hunt for goblins. Along with Kat came her battle companion Joed “Big Joe” Bennett, a proven fighter.

Two others joined the group. Vack a Paladin that had fought against the goblin hoards before with Kat and Doren, a bothered fighter that was eager to join in the fight. Turns out Doren had a secret unknown even to him.

The group decided to avoid some of the other hunting groups, cross the Buffalo Bayou and go north. After a few hours travel they came to a fork in the road. Here again there was argument about which way to go. Finally Red called on the High Lord and his patron for guidance. At first there was no answer but after continued supplication he was told to go right.

And right they went.

They traveled the road God had pointed them along sweating like pigs and ready to be there already. The sun was beating down on them making them sweat like crazy, especially those in armor. They were suffering along in a fog of boredom and heat, when they snapped wide awake at the sound of a crossbow bolt twang.

One bolt buzzed toward Red, but he easily avoided it because of this combat reflexes. Vack too was able to avoid a bolt aimed at him. The Goblin crossbowmen’s poor marksmanship made the other two shots miss both Doren and Big Joe. As the group pulled weapons and dropped into fighting stances the rest of the Goblins rushed out of the bushes and attacked.

The melee lasted a long time as four goblins and four orcs attacked the group. Red’s martial training allowed him to quickly kill his opponent and move to help the others. At one point Joe killed two goblins at once. Vack dove into the fray attacking multiple opponents with his long sword, but he was overwhelmed and took multiple hits from the orcs, ultimately succumbing to his wounds and collapsing unconscious and bleeding.

Doren yelled out in orcish, trying to persuade them to stop their attack. But his calls fell on the deaf ears of the orcs in combat frenzy. In a panic Doren felt power leak out of him, and a number of the orcs were dazed. One of the other orcs, realizing magic had been used cursed Doren as a sorcerer. Then Doren knew his own secret, though he wished he was a fighter, he had the dragon blood of a sorcerer.

While Doren was discovering his true nature, the goblins and orcs were taking and inflicting damage. Kat took multiple hits from goblins and had to disengage from the fray, fleeing her friends, while Joed cut down orcs to protect her retreat. Red finished off a goblin and rushed to the fallen Vack. The group needed Vack’s divine healing ability, but right now they depended on Red’s professional skill.

At first Red wasn’t able to do anything that would stabilize Vack. Kat, now outside the remaining orcs and dead goblins, unslung her bow and used it to good report finishing the last of them.

With the battle over, Red was able to stabilize Vack. Only Doren had managed to remain unscarred in the battle. Kat was barly on her feet. Wolf suffered from a wound that cut her strength in half. Joe was injured but able, and even Red was bruised.

Vack might never have gotten up that day, despite Red’s ministrations, if they hadn’t found a healing potion among the possessions of the orcs and goblins. With that healing he was able to stand again and call on the help of his Patron and the High Lord to heal the other members. Because they were not fully healed, they decided to return to Harrisburg to regroup and recuperate.

They chopped the heads off all of their fallen enemies, though there was no stated rewards for orcs. Maybe the county government would give them something for them.

Poker History

I’ve decided to write down all of the poker I play and how I did. Since I’m writing it down, of course I am going to blog it.

Sunday night I got on and played some single table tournaments on pokerpages and poker room. I’m in the process of getting a neteller.com account so I can actually lose real money, but it hasn’t come through yet. So part of the reason I was playing was to get a feel for how people play on the two services. I think in general pokerpages have better players, which is logical as it is a poker school first. Poker room has worse players and worse software.

Now worse players is a good thing from my perspective. I’m not sure yet which I’m going to play. I won’t be able to play these single table tournaments because the minimum buy is in $100, which is going to be my whole bankroll. I will play some multi-table tournaments because the buy in is small and you get a lot of play. Probably spend some time on low limit tables as well, trying to build the bankroll.

Anyway, here’s the play for Sunday night.

1. Single table, pokerpages, finished 5th.
2. Single table, pokerpages, finished 6th.
3. Single table, pokerpages, finished 1st.
4. Single Table, pokerroom. finished 1st.

One thing that really sucks about pokerroom is how they handle the last hand. I won the tournament, but don’t have any idea what I won the last hand with. As soon as the tournament is over the text just says you won, not what you won the hand with. Then five seconds later it closes the window. You can’t get a hand history either.

Written while listening to “Thief Of Hearts”
album Erotica
by Madonna
Written while listening to “Just A Girl”
album Tragic Kingdom
by No Doubt
Written while listening to “Califonication”
album Califonication
by Red Hot Chili Peppers