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Inside scoop on the swine flu outbreak

All weekend long I've been hearing reports about the swine flu.  Yesterday there were reported 149 deaths in Mexico due to the swine flu.

Swine flu... serious epidemic or just hype?  (CDC raised it to a level 4 alert yesterday).

BBC News has a tracker and inside scoop about the experiences of the swine flu.


Tires, wheels, alignment, and transmissions

On the way up to Tahoe, I dropped by a friend's shop who run Big O Tires in Tracy, CA.  (The reviews are off as they took over in mid-2007, and for some reason they aren't listed in Yelp, but I'll help them with that). 

So we have the expensive sports tires on the Lexus, and little did we know they are run down to the bare wire on the inside. 

Here are some tips I got from him over lunch:

1. Do regular maintenance (duh).  Keep your car properly maintained and it will last you at least a decade.

2. Dodge vehicles always need to have their ball joints replaced - expect a $800 minimum bill for that if you value your alignment.  Its only a matter of time.

3. If you had to pick all wheel drive vs four wheel drive.  Go for the four wheel drive.  All wheel drive and their complicated transmissions which try to compensate for things such as poor alignment, or uneven tire wear really stress the mechanical structure of the drive train / tranmission = expensive repairs.  With the expensive all-wheel-drive vehicles, if you have to buy new tires, you must replace all four to prevent premature wear.

4. Volkswagon Passats can only have their brake pads replaced by an authorized dealer because of the electronic controls on the brakes.

5. High performance tires / wheels really need to be changed often.  They only go about 20,000 miles so expect to change them often if you are addicted to the performance.


Snowboarding and Hiking in Tahoe pictures this weekend

I will be sharing some pics and panoramics from Tahoe this year.  I'm hoping to catch the last bit of snow before the season ends this weekend.

First some important IT visits this morning then off to Tahoe!

I'm still deciding on what equipment list to bring this time around.  I will be focusing on scenic panoramics.  Well off to finish packing now.


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