It looks like the tire problem has caused many owners to look to alternative size tires from stock (205/50/17)


The change in looks is probably way too subtle for many enthusiast owners, but I went with 215/50-17 Contis for my first set of replacement tires. These are slightly too large in circumference, making the odometer under-record by 1% or so, but have the advantage of making the speedometer ABSOLUTELY accurate, compared to Garmin GPS just taken on 8800 mile road trip back east from Seattle. Plus, they give a slight clearance improvement for driveway nose-scraping, and slightly improve the “economy” aspects of gearing (our is manual, and 2800 rpm 60 in 5th is plenty high for me)



I recently purchased a used 2009 Mazda5 Sport, with manual transmission. I was curious about the (to me) high RPMs I was experiencing driving it home from the dealer, when I ran across this on edmunds forums:

The gearing is somewhat high, although it feels smooth to me (sometimes I forget to shift up to 5th) on the highway and then notice it when I look at the RPMs). I only saw your question now, so I can give an inexact answer. When I drive around 65, the RPMs are in the low 3000’s (3100 – 3200). Doing the math would get you a bit under 3000 for 60 MPH and a bit under 3500 for 70 MPH. I sure wish it had a 6-speed manual so highway driving could be down around 2500 RPM. My 2000 MPV automatic did around 2700-2800 at 65 MPH and my 2005 MPV with the 3.0 engine was around 2200-2300 at the same speed. Did C4C with the 2000 MPV to get the M5 Sport Manual.


Other things to watch out for:

  • Premature tire wear
  • Rear strut wear
  • Rear sway bar wear
  • Road noise due to flattened tires (after being stationary for a long time)
  • Replacing OEM tires with more durable quieter tires



Finally back

After almost a year, this site (and its sister site) is finally back up. I have recovered the previous posts before this site was attacked by the malware site


Attacked by Malware

This site was attacked by a WordPress exploiting malware. Beware of any links to! They are a malware site!

I have cleaned up all malware links, updated WP, and hopefully everything will be back to normal.



I must admit, this might be offensive to some, but I think it is a pretty cute idea.

I might want to put this Google Gadget on the right side of this page, unless it offends too much.



I’ve lately gotten very interested in RV’ing. While my circumstances do not permit me to own one yet, I am learning as much as I can right now about RVs and intend purchase one when the time is right.

Sportsmobile is a very interesting company that allows you to custom-design your own RV on a van chassis. They even have a nice on-line tool to do so. Here are some results of my dreaming and playing around with the tool. All use the Dodge Sprinter chassis.

  • RB (Regular Body) Design. Very bare and minimal but at a little less than 20K (not including the price of the van)  the most practical and most likely one I will get.
Sprinter EB Design

Sprinter EB Design

  • EB (Extended Body) Design.
  • LB (Long Body) Design.

WordPress and Comments

I admit I am sometimes very lazy to get things done. I have been ignoring the solutions that are available to prevent wordpress comment spamming, and had effectively turned off comments.

Having taken a second look, I see that Akismet should do for now, and I have activated it and commets again. I’ll see how many spam comments I get before going further.

For those non-bot commenters, thanks very much for your comments! I promise from now on to be more responsive.


MRI pics

I recently had an MRI done. I will post more pictures later, but this one was particularly cool because you can clearly tell my eyeballs.


Unfortunately for my critics, who undoubtedly think I am somewhat brain-dead, everything checked out fine.


Dwell Clicking on Windows

Like most people in the IT field I have been experiencing pain in my hands and arms when typing and especially when using the mouse. I have up to now been dealing by taking breaks and using two mice, moving one with the right hand and clicking on buttons with the left hand.

Recently I was playing with a linux laptop that had an interesting feature called Dwell Clicking, which clicks the mouse for you automatically when you hover the mouse over something. I thought that was a great feature, and google’d for something equivalent in Windows. There are a few, but the one that came  up first and I like is the following:

It takes a little bit of time to get used to, but after a while it becomes natural. I originally set the delay before automatically clicking to a really small value, but that was affecting a lot of menu selection operations, so I have set it to a more moderate value and have trained myself to be more patient.



rtmpdump is a utility to save to file video streams using the rtmp protocol. does, although recently they have changed their site to encrypt PIDs to easily do this.