Ford has issued a Speed Control Deactivation Switch Recall (09S09) on a number of trucks and SUVs. They sent me a letter to about my 1997 Ford Ranger and suggested I have it fixed as soon as possible.
Ford cannot be confident that over many years in service, a speed control deactivation switch installed on your vehicle will not leak brake fluid, posing the risk of a fire. This condition may occur either when the vehicle is parked or when it is being operated.
This risk exists on vehicles equipped with or without speed control.
Ford Motor Company has authorized your dealer to perform the repairs under this program and your dealer on your vehicle free of charge (parts and labor).
Your dealer may be able to perform this repair while you wait; however, due to scheduling requirements, your dealer may need your vehicle for a longer period of time.
Please call your dealer without delay and request a service date for Recall 09S09. Provide the dealer with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of your vehicle. The VIN is printed near your name at the beginning of this letter.
Until you have the recall service performed, park your vehicle outdoors away from structures to prevent a potential fire from spreading.
I took it to the local Don Chalmers Ford who was able to get my truck in immediately. They had my truck for about 6 hours and gave me a receipt. Total cost of the repair charged to Ford was 28.89. I realize Ford has millions of these to pay for but I have never taken my truck to a Ford dealer and had such a cheap repair. If I had to pay for this myself, I wonder how much it would have cost me.
A few days ago I wrote about Google using goats to control grass on their property. Techcrunch didn’t seem impressed and was worried about the jobless human mowers.
The city of Mesa, Arizona has used 70 goats for the last 50 months to clear vegetation around a water reclamation plant. They expect to save $10,000 by using goats.
Besides being cost effective, it reduces the use of fossil fuels, toxic chemicals and pesticides. It’s a pollution-free way of ridding the three retention ponds of compromising vegetation, Satter said.
Goats’ bodies break down plants in such a way that they won’t grow back when it becomes waste, making the job more permanent than what a machine can do.
It’s not mentioned how many people it took to mow the grass with machines vs. taking care of goats. I suspect goats are more labor intensive that mowers.
The links I post daily are surprisingly popular, and have become even more popular since I started adding small summaries to them.
I use the social bookmarking site del.icio.us (del.icio.us/gregjsmith) to gather all my links. I post them throughout the day then had Delicious post them to my blog. I didn’t really like letting Delicious have control of the posting and recently found the WordPress plugin postalicious. Postalicious pulls the links from Delicious (it also works with ma.gnolia, Google Reader, Reddit, Yahoo Pipes and Jumptags) allowing me control over how the post looks and when they are posted. I could post every hour if I wanted, thought I think that would be too much.
I didn’t like the way the link posts looked on the front page, so I disabled the Delicious category from appearing on the front page (using the Simply Exclude plugin) but they will still post on the RSS feed. If you get updates to Greg In The Desert by visiting the site, I suggest you subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe by email or visit the category.
Check out this local news report of a balloon crash in Rio Rancho with some pretty graphic video. This balloon was taking part in the Balloon Fiesta this week. Overall, I believe the safety record of the Balloon Fiesta is pretty good but these crashes highlight just how little control the balloon pilots have compared to a plane.
I was trying to sleep in on my day off this morning only to be awaken about 10am. The noise sounded like someone was pounding on the side of my house with a hammer, WTF? After listening to it for about a minute I started to think, no, it can’t be. It can’t be what I think it is, can it?
I manage to get some clothes and shoes on. I walk out to the back yard and there are a shitload of birds all over the place. And what do I find attached to the side of my house? A wood pecker. It’s removed a large swatch of stucko from the side of my house, just under a window.
I guess it was time to get up anyways.
Update: Apparently it isn’t uncommon to have woodpeckers attack buildings in New Mexico. I found this PDF from NMSU on how to control them.