KIA Soul from Russ Darrow Wauwatosa Review.

We bought a KIA Soul from Russ Darrow Wauwatosa in 2015.  It is basically a good car with some problems.

The central control console goes totally blank on rare occasions except when it is at the dealership for maintenance.  You can still drive the Soul without a radio and back up camera but it is irritating.  I telephoned an adviser at Russ Darrow Wauwatosa while the car was still under warranty and he said he would make note of the problem so that I would still be covered if the problem persisted beyond the warranty limit. How nice I thought.

Now the warranty has expired but the problem still persists on a very infrequent basis.  Of course the new Russ Darrow adviser I talked to after warranty says there is no record of the promised note so they can’t make free warranty repairs.  I suppose I just can’t trust what a Russ Darrow adviser says on the telephone.  This will be the last KIA I buy from Russ Darrow.

If you do buy a car from Russ Darrow Wauwatosa I recommend against buying the maintenance package.  The prepaid coupon book is really not that impressive and they typically send out mailed coupons that seem to be just as good for free.

The actual car maintenance service work at Russ Darrow Wauwatosa is excellent.  They saved me a significant amount of money on my brake maintenance.  I had let the brakes go far too long without maintenance and they were able to salvage the situation.

The price on the KIA Soul was right for me when I bought it and it is a sturdy little car in most respects.  It is comfortable even for someone of my size and bulk in spite of its smaller size.  It is clearly well engineered ergonomically.  Any car can have a little bit of flaky electronics but usually the warranty period will catch problems of this type.  The problem I had with the central radio/back up control console happens too inconsistently to catch easily.  It hasn’t gone blank for several months now.



At least we got the car out of the garage.


Garage door with broken spring that will not open.

It’s not real inexpensive to fix an old garage door with a broken spring.  We finally got the car out by doing a double lift on the heavy door then having one of us hold it in place.  Plan to lock the thing in place and let it sit until I can scrape up the cash to fix it.  The garage door opener itself also looks fairly ancient and will probably go next.

Would like to get a Ryobi garage door opener with some of the extra features.  It has a bunch of great accessories including fans, laser parking assist, bluetooth speaker and camera security system.  Yes, I know I’m dreaming because my wife would never let me use that much cash on a garage door opener.  It’s OK to dream.  Maybe one of my readers could buy one and let me know about their experience.


The Best Cat Litter Box in the World.

Cat Litter Box
The right way to design a cat litter box.

Cats have to do their business someplace.  Cut a hole in a rubbermaid container with high sides and set it in half a cardboard box.  The hole should face the interior of the cardboard box.

This arrangement is cheap and works far better than anything I have ever seen.  It works well for even giant size cats if you get a big enough container with high sides.  The cat is forced to walk on the cardboard which tends to get rid of any litter before he gets on your floor.  Accidents are almost totally eliminated.  I am sure the idea is not original to me because it just works too good and is too obvious.  Expensive cat litter boxes are just not worth the money.



Garage Door Springs Do Not Last Forever.

wp-1506269946448.jpegI guess my garage door spring was not made to last forever because it broke today trapping my car inside.  Doesn’t look like I can lift it temporarily by myself to get the car out so I’ll have to get a repairman in here.  I am willing to bet they won’t be inexpensive.   I don’t think it’s a good idea to work on this old bucket of  rusty bolts by myself because it looks like an accident waiting to happen.

I suppose I could try to lift it up with Tony and hold it temporarily while we get the car out.  I am a little leery of this procedure because this thing is really heavy and I don’t want it knocking someone’s head off.  Better to get a local pro to take of it next week.

Legacybox service review.

grandfathernose - Edited
Grandfather Sellnow with nose glasses

Legacybox service review.  Legacybox is a company that takes your old old personal media and converts it into modern formats.  It handles films, audio and pictures of almost any kind and produces a DVD, CD or Thumbdrive.  It is not necessary to pay full price for the Legacybox service if you sign up for their emails and wait for one of their 50% off sales.

I am morally opposed to all types of disk media such as DVD’s and CD’s because I am fairly certain they will become obsolete within my lifetime.  I have tried unsuccessfully to eliminate all DVD’s from our house but the rest of the family have stopped my clandestine attempts at totally purging all DVD’s.  At least I have been able to eradicate all CD’s.  I would always get the thumb drive option because this type of media is easier to convert to the latest media.

I have long ago converted all my immediate family’s old pictures into files that can easily be manipulated by software.  I like to use the pictures on this blog.  I did this using a scanner and computer which is a very slow tedious painful process.  It is always necessary to manipulate the scanned picture at least a little with software or it looks unprofessional.  I am sure my results are not equal to the quality that can be achieved by Legacybox using the latest equipment at a rapid pace.  Judy has a bunch of film reels sitting in boxes that I have no way to do myself so someday we may even take a look at a Legacybox conversion for this video.  Right now I can’t afford anything because there was a recent hole in my roof and I was in an accident with a flying board on I-94.  I consider Legacybox a fair deal if you take advantage of the 50% off sales and have money to spare.

Roof Damage is Uncool.

Roof damage 8/29/2017

Something hit my roof and gutter making this damage.  My best guess is that a weak branch broke off and went flying during a past windy storm making a temporary pitstop on my roof. Figured out that we had damage when water came dripping through my kitchen ceiling.  Kind of a bummer but I suppose that’s life.  Got it fixed before serious damage from rain occurred inside.

C & K roofing repair man was courteous and prompt once he learned about the problem.  One of the secretary’s at C & K was mildly irritating when she responded to my call but her supervisor was able to help me.  Apparently their Time Warner Cable communication system was broken down so it was difficult for them to do anything.  I persevered and eventually they were able to reach someone capable of fixing my roof.  I suppose C & K isn’t too bad but the secretary’s could use some additional training in customer service. I know I am not a big customer and they have a lot to do but your job does not stop just because a little modern technology breaks down.  Minor detours but problem solved.

Twigby cell phones are a good deal.

iphone-6-458155_1920Twigby cell phones and service appear to be a good deal if you don’t need unlimited data.  We are going to give them a try for our cell service.  Cell service is available in reasonable price increments starting at $9 per month.  They have a data plan that will operate on WiFi only for free that works with any of the smart phones. Now they are beginning to get into my price range.  Some of my relatives have them and they haven’t had any problem with coverage.  Higher data level plans are also available.  If you need an unlimited plan then I would recommend  Boost mobile instead but I you have a little self control you can save a lot of cash with Twigby.