Product review: Timing belt kit

Last week I replaced the water pump on my 2000 Audi A4 Avant 2.8l.  Because this is such a big job it’s standard practice to change the timing belt and all associated tensioners at the same time.  It’s also standard practice to have someone who knows what they are doing do the work.  Rough estimate for this job would have been ~$1100.  At this point I have to thank my neighbor John for helping me with the job and my father-in-law for letting me use his car while mine was out of commission.  The first time I had this done I chose not to attempt it myself because I didn’t have the room in my garage or a way to get around if I didn’t finish the job in one weekend.  This time I hadn’t even considered doing it myself.  Then one weekend I happened to see my neighbor out snowblowing and I told him about my car.  He emailed later with an offer to help me do the work and we could even use his much cleaner garage. Read More

Are you smarter than a helium filled balloon?

Yesterday Ian discovered inertia, sorta.  He had a helium filled balloon weighted down with clothes pins and one of his sisters small hair scrunchies.  He put the scrunchie on top of the balloon which was about chest high and asked his mom and I what we thought would happen to the scrunchie when he hit the balloon.  We asked what he thought and he said it would go flying. (hypothesis)  He proceeded to hit the balloon and the scrunchie fell straight down just like Newton said it would. (test)  “Wait, wait.” he said as he reset the test thinking he did something wrong.  Over and over the test “failed”. (test again)   The only way he could get the scrunchie to fly was to hit it at the same time as the balloon.  (alter test to provide desired result)  Then he decided to trick his sister and ran downstairs to fool her as he had been fooled. (peer review?)  When he came back up we asked how it went and he said that Sylvie thought the scrunchie would fall straight down so he had to cheat and hit the balloon and scrunchie together. After several more tries he finally proclaimed, “Hmmm, you can’t outsmart this thing” (conclusion) and resorted to hitting the balloon and scrunchie simultaneously in order to get the result he wanted.

Lets review:

  • hypothesis
  • test
  • repeat test
  • alter test to achieve desired result
  • peer review
  • conclude that the balloon is too smart

So his scientific method needs a little tweaking.  I’d say it qualifies for pseudo scientific method so if he wants to be a chiropractor or dowser he might be OK.


Hello?  Is this thing on?  Yeah well, I guess this is my first post.  I wasn’t sure I would ever do this and I’m not sure I will again.  I haven’t figured out a theme for this blog or if I could possibly have anything worth saying and I haven’t figured out why I think anyone would want to read it.  I’m thinking if this lasts it will be a blog without a theme, whatever I think I need to spout off about I guess I will. So, welcome.