A Faster JayceLand

A month ago a friend of mine wrote a blog titled The real Killroys. In it she outlined how social media sites are, essentially, the nightmarish big brother we once read about. Basically, if you put a Facebook button on your site, whenever someone views your site, Facebook knows jee was there. In other words, Facebook has a dossier on every one of its users. And it doesn't matter if you log out of Facebook, you're still tracked. The same goes for Tumblr, Google, Digg, and all the others (but man, especially Google Analytics.) She noted that site owners either didn't know or didn't care that this was going on.

I also recall that Chris Guillebeau once wrote something about how when a website visitor sees ads on the site, jee naturally assumes that the site owner endorses (if not at least vets) the quality of the products advertised. I have been using Google Adsense which theoretically produced a few pennies of revenue, but I never got any control [well, technically, a little control] over what ads were placed.

And then there was the speed issue. I would often notice that although stuff from JayceLand.com would load quick, if the page stalled, it would be "Waiting for" digg.com, or google-analytics.com, or ecx.images-amazon.com, or pagead2.googlesyndication.com, or googleads.g.doubleclick.net — but almost never JayceLand.com.

So I stripped all that stuff off. I left the Weather Underground image. I know they also track, but at least it's something directly useful. So now it loads fast.

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Nearly 15 Years of "Sassy"

Today I went to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (2199 E. Henrietta Rd., Suburban Plaza) and surrendered the license plates to my 1994 Honda Civic that Ali dubbed "Sassy" (largely because of its temperamental handling in its old age). [And I asked, but they wouldn't let me take a picture of the ceremony.] I bought it on June 5, 1994 from John Holtz Honda (3925 W. Henrietta Rd., Henrietta) with 53 miles on it and drove it to 170,530 miles.

As I wrote earlier, the ratio between the cost of ownership and the benefits of ownership was getting worse and worse. This year, I strongly believe it would not have passed its New York State safety inspection as it has numerous problems ranging from a rusted gas filler and a semi-operational windshield wiper switch to a warped disc rotor, non-existent rear shocks, and a noise that's indicative of a failing constant-velocity joint.

So rather than wait for something to fail catastrophically (and in the process, continue to pay insurance on a vehicle that I seldom drive), I opted to take it off the road for good.

My plan is to disassemble the car piece-by-piece. Some parts I'll keep for other projects or souvenirs, but most I'll either sell them, give them away, recycle them, or — if need be — throw them away. I'd also like to maintain a blog of the process with an associated database, documenting each component part.

See, I'd like to get more experience with MySQL and this is the kind of project that has the ideal combination of sufficient complexity and low risk to conquer such an endeavor. Plus, I'd like to apply some of the things I learned from Chris Guillebeau's book, The Art of Nonconformity: 279 Days to Overnight Success … perhaps applying some of that to JayceLand someday.

But what to call it? I'll register a domain name for the project soon and I'm leaning toward something like "Goodbye Sassy" and specifically avoiding things that mention "Honda" or "Civic" in the title. So get out your creative fingers and drop a comment. With some pestering on your part, your comment makes you eligible for miscellaneous pieces and trinkets left over, or an invitation to the Airbag Detonation Experiment.

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