Archive for the 'Misc' category

Honda Transmission Failure

September 14, 2010 5:57 am

The automatic transmission on my 2003 Honda Accord LX V6 packed it in.  I was surprised since Honda has a good name for quality and I own a 1997 Acura 1.6EL that is a great little car.

Another one bites the dust! I have a 2003 Accord LX V6 with 109,000 miles. Running cold was OK, but once warm, the revs shot up without shifting and then abruptly downshifted which dramatically slowed the car down. Twice when stopped at a light the car came totally out of gear. Since the problem was intermittent the dealer charged me $50 and said they don’t see an issue but to monitor the situation. Of course, on the way home, the problem occurred again. Went back to the dealer and they now seemed very interested in making the problem go away. The service adviser brought in the service manager who denied any defects with the transmission and that the 2004 recall couldn’t have anything to do with the fact I needed a new transmission. The dealer quoted me $6300 for a new Honda transmission and also got me quotes for a used and a rebuild ($4200 and $3200 respectively). When I said that the price for a new transmission with tax was ridiculous and that for that price I should just cut my losses they were very quick to get the used car manager to call around (he wouldn’t take the car since the tranny was broken) to get quotes (the highest was $2700). As I said, they seemed very eager to go out of their way to make the problem go away without costing them anything and they wouldn’t go to bat with Honda for me because of the service records (don’t get me started on that one!). I didn’t press the issue and found an independent transmission shop to do a rebuild for $1800. The owner there said that they see a lot of transmissions from V6 Honda’s (Accord, Odyssey, and Acura TL).

After doing some internet research it does seem like there are some major problems with this car.  I found a good page here.  A very interesting discussion of what the problem is can be found here.  I was also surprised to see that the car was the fourth worst vehicle third worst vehicle at  The majority of the issues reported there were transmission related.  Also, the NHTSA has 440 complaints (as of Nov 1, 2010) regarding this car’s transmission.

I’m very disappointed in my car because I thought it would be more reliable but I’m really disappointed with the way Honda is ignoring this issue;  I won’t be buying any of their cars anytime soon.

Amazon Product Announcement

October 4, 2007 10:43 pm

As anyone who has bought anything or even used Amazon knows, they have an active product announcement program. This is where they notify you of new products via email. Sometimes these are extremely popular items with mass appeal (e.g. Harry Potter) but more frequently they use your history to find items that you would probably be interested in. In my experience, this works very well. I can’t say for sure whether I have bought anything based on their emails but I’m usually interested in the product and will browse to find out more information.

With that said, I was really surprised to receive the following from “We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Sergio Leone by Christopher Frayling have also purchased Moments Like This by Donna Hill.”

A Moment Like This

At this point I’m confused. The cover doesn’t look like something I would usually be interested in. At the bottom of the email it indicates that the book is from the Subjects -> Romance category. Now I know I’m not interested. At all.

Then a funny thing happened. No, I didn’t buy the book! But I did start wondering how this could happen.

  • Are flocks of huge Sergio Leone fans really buying this book? If so, why? Leone films barely have any female characters let alone actual romance.
  • Maybe one person who bought Sergio Leone actually bought the book? It could have been a gift?!
  • Could it be a bug with Amazon’s software?

I’m secretly hoping that it is the third option — the other two options are too damaging to my world view.

Implicit Association Test

February 24, 2007 11:07 pm

I recently stumbled upon a site that uses visual images to test peoples implicit assumptions. Or in the words of the project, “The IAT measures implicit attitudes and beliefs that people are either unwilling or unable to report”.

Check out the site and take one (or more) of the tests.

I’ve taken the tests and the results seemed to be accurate although I’m not sure if they actually are. It seemed to me that when answering a multi-category section that was in conflict with my opinions that I could actually feel the mental effort required. If that doesn’t make sense, then take the test!

Survival of the Human Race

July 7, 2006 1:55 pm

Recently Dr. Stephen Hawking posted on Yahoo Answers a question: How can the human race survive the next hundred years? Here is my quick answer. Obviously this short answer can’t address all topics and polemics but it’s a start:

To survive we must use the faculty which is the key to the human race — reason. And in turn we must also embrace its corollaries: science and technology. I admit that it does feel like we are in a chaotic time but from a longer term perspective the overall (or average) life of a human is much improved over the last centuries (you, Dr. Hawking are a perfect specific example). I have confidence that if we apply ourselves to our problems that we can arrive at solutions.

Imagine that 80 years ago we didn’t know about penicillin and 65 years ago we didn’t have any commercial penicillin. Infections we don’t think twice about now could have killed you. A bird flu pandemic is obviously on many peoples minds and this would obviously be very bad. Some people might even blame science for these diseases and “superbugs” but the alternative is to just sit back and accept whatever nature happens to throw at us. And history has shown us over and over again nature can be extremely cruel towards life. e.g. Volcanoes, diseases, floods, tsunamis etc. Perhaps some diseases would not exist today without our use of antibiotics but the alternative is literally just to sit back and whither. That is the true path to destruction.

We must to continue to apply our rational thought to our problems if we are to arrive at solutions, survive and even thrive in the next hundred years.


Where did May Go?

June 8, 2006 12:19 pm

Just looking at the site and noticed that there was nothing for the entire month of May. I guess it was because we finally went away to Cuba for a week plus the pre and post vacation work and just taking care of the kids. Anyway, if you want take a look at our Cuba photos.  Speaking of Cuba, we should post a review at Trip Advisor.

Going to Cuba

March 10, 2006 12:05 am

Well, we found a good deal for a trip to Cuba so we booked it. We got a very good deal on Sandals Royal Hicacos Resort which we couldn’t resist. It looks very nice and we don’t have extemely high expectations so it should be good. Also, it’s nice to go on Air Canada and avoid the Air Transat and its ilk of charters.  *shudder*

Welcome to

March 9, 2006 11:51 pm

The new and improved is open for business.

I’m not actually sure what the mission of this site is but over the next whie I will try and figure it all out.