Flowers from my fathers garden.

Recently, my father has been able to start walking again. He was unable to for a period of time, and had great difficulties moving around. The prayers at the shrine seem to be paying off, and he is able to to walk again. He is using this time off walking to be able to do what he loves best, which is taking care of his garden.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my fathers garden.

Constant Updates to the Website

Here is yet another update to the website discussing the updates, and my future plans for the website despite the fact that there doesn’t seem to be much progress being made. Perhaps the point of talking about the updates to the website is the point, with an endless juxtaposition being made towards the constant promises towards better tomorrows, but in reality the website hangs in between this flux of hovering between being set up for better tomorrows, versus the constant background thoughts of just shutting it down, and giving it up.

In reality, this website takes a lot of time and effort to run and maintain and there’s no immediate benefits that I discern from the efforts that I put into it. I’m not sure if anybody even reads it, and there’s no promise that the information that I do put on here isn’t going to be held against me in some future, predisposed time. Indeed, the fact is that the internet, which was once a mechanism for free speech and enduring ideas, has become a very hostile, dystopian landscape where you cannot even determine if the people you interact with are real individuals or bots, with just pre-scripted talking points ready to shout you down if you stray from the corporate pre-determined talking points, which honestly is very hard to track as it seems like the scripts constantly shift and reality has just lost the narrative.

The danger that I feel like I’m running into is that I’m just flat out getting outdated with outdated ideals and mannerisms that don’t seem to mesh well with the hyper-partisan and continuously radicalization of the internet to push narratives that don’t seem to have any definitive conclusion or realistic destination. It’s just a constant march towards chaos with no real anchor point, or solid foundation of known truths to which people can base their decisions and handle the impetus of change regarding. In truth, we do not know where this is going or even how I fit into it, or even if I want to fit into it. What’s the reward, and the end game?

I guess the whole point is that were all in it together trying to figure it out, together.

Doing body work on my 2012 Chevrolet Cruze

I have a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze that I am currently hosting on the peer-to-peer car sharing site Turo. I discovered Turo when I was on vacation with my girlfriend in Hawaii, and we found ourselves in a very sudden and dire need to find a rental car. Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, there was an extreme shortage of rental cars. My girlfriend, being very smart and able to communicate as well as she does with her peers, managed to track down a solution in the form of a peer-to-peer car sharing site called Turo.

Turo gives me the opportunity to make some money on my car while simultaneously providing alternate means of transportation to those that do not want to deal with a rental car company. There are people in need, looking for a good deal. If you’re open to loaning your current car out to somebody else for an agreed upon price, then Turo might just be what you’ve been looking for.

The key thing about Turo is that it is primarily focused on peer-to-peer transactions as opposed to rental interactions.

The Turo journey in Hawaii is for another blog entry, but it got the gears turning in my head to see if I should try hosting a vehicle on Turo myself. I own three cars and one of them is paid off; a perfect candidate to attempt to test it out. With some trepidation, I listed my first vehicle and I immediately had a booking that evening.

Nearly 8 rentals later and a perfect hosting score of 5.0 stars, the experience of loaning my vehicle out of the Turo peer-to-peer car sharing site seemed to be progressing very well. I was making some side money and the guests seemed to be taking very good care of the vehicle itself.

Finally, on the ninth rental, tragedy struck. I had a guy from New York fly in and want to borrow the car for five days. He told me in messaging that he would take care of the car like it was his own, which immediately sent off warning bells in my head. Anybody who needs to tell you that they are going to take care of your car probably aren’t. Afterall, taking care of cars should be a secondary nature and doesn’t need to be implicitly alluded to during the communication process.

A common stereotype of drivers in New York City is that they are often incompetent or very negligent. Drivers are often seen as reckless and aggressive. Not only do the drivers pose a danger to themselves, but they also pose a danger to the pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Now I had a New Yorker wanting to borrow my car, which lead to the second situation of deciding whether or not to allow him to drive my vehicle. Thus, the next issue of Turo comes to a head, which is the acceptance rating and its inclusion into your All-Star hosting status.

Essentially, the acceptance rating is designed to try to minimize the discrimination factor in peer-to-peer sharing applications. If you start cancelling or not accepting rides due to bias and prejudices that you may have, then you will probably start falling off the rankings very quickly and you will not have much success gaining All-Star hosting status. Additionally, since I was so new in the Turo arena my hosting numbers were very low so I really needed to make every single rental count.

So I went ahead and approved the rental, and the gentleman came in and kept the car for about five days. I was gone away with work and I felt like things went relatively well.

I was feeling very fortunate too because I was making some money off of this rental, and I had another long term rental lined up for my vehicle. It wasn’t until the next person went to pick up the vehicle that I found out that there was an issue. The person whom took possession of the car after the New Yorker complained that the car was reeking of Marijuana and the bumper was damaged.

When It came time to pick up the vehicle, indeed, the rear bumper of the vehicle was dented up. Though I am not a body work professional, I decided that this car needed some extra care to be made into a beautiful machine again. So over the course of two afternoons, I did my best to make the most out of what little tools and knowledge that I had with me.

It’s hard to put on paint work to a car panel.

The process of painting a piece of plastic well can be described in four steps: preparation, masking, priming, and finally painting. The first thing you need to do is prepare your surface by cleaning it and removing any bumps or imperfections. Once it has been prepared what you want to do is mask off any areas that you don’t want painted so that the primer only goes over the correct area. Then prime the surface with sandpaper and liquid primer (for a smoother finish) with some sealer product for less durability than normal primers. Finally you paint the bumper.

The final step is paint and the vehicles bumper was carefully painted silver. As much as I wanted the color match, there were several places on my vehicle where I couldn’t do that so it was something that had to be done in order to make me happy.

The next step would be to use a final coat of primer which is for the first time coating. Primers contain very little pigment which makes it easier to see peeling off and imperfections.

Also the availability of paint was tough as well. My car is a 12 year old GM that originally came with the paint code WA636R Switch Blade Silver, however, the local O’Reilly auto parts only had the more modern Silver paint.

In this case, I used a heat gun to try to smooth out the bump on the vehicle bumper. A heat gun is generally used to melt plastic. With a high enough temperature, it will cause the surface tension of the plastic to change and the rough edges of the plastic bumper are melted down.

In order to wet sand, a mixture of water and soap usually is used as a solvent for the paint, you can then start with a coarse grade of sand paper. This will remove all of the scratches and damage on your surface so that only new paint is left behind; this step does not need any extra preparations done consisting in cleaning or removing bumps in order to achieve cleanliness and flawless work.

It’s also best if you keep track on what kind of grades of sand paper are needed so you can step up or step down the abrasion as needed.

However, with time being critical as the car was due back out on the fifth, I went ahead and picked up the can of silver and the clear coat and proceeded to do my best job of taking care of this car.

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Hand car wash in San Jose

Sunday morning in San Jose California, on the corner of Seacrest and Tully road there is a hand car wash that is run by the Vietnamese community. Everybody teams up and gets together and makes these cars clean, which provides jobs and side income so everybody can keep getting what they want in life.