Monthly Archives: December 2005


Just saw Wolfgang “Boot” Petersen’s Troy. I had this one confused in my mind with Oliver Stone’s Alexander. (They both came out a few weeks apart in 2004. I would have bet anything it was 2005, which just shows how fast the past 18 months have spun by.) I guess neither one was a runaway hit, but I thought Troy was pretty okay.

I haven’t read The Iliad, so I don’t know how badly they ruint it. But if these are the ruins, the original must have been outstanding. It makes me want to read it in the original Attic Greek.

elliptical trainer blues

My elliptical trainer is a ProForm 650 Cardio Cross Trainer. I got it from Sears in summer (August?) of 2004.

I have very few complaints. It would be nice if it had the features that the $4500 models have, but this way you save $4200. I use it about 30 minutes/day and the little electronic display (with km/s, etc.) is still on its first battery.

Unfortunately, the pedal axle just wore out. The steel just separated into two parts, and the pedal on one side stayed where it belonged, and the pedal on the other side fell to the floor. (It was a bit of a surprise when it happened, but no life-threatening injuries were sustained.)

The warranty is only 90 days (of course), so repairs will be on my dime. What do you suppose that will cost me?

I called Sears for a replacement part. They won’t give out actual part numbers over the phone, but my wife keeps instruction manuals, so the phone person just looked up model no. 831.285371. Page 15 of the manual has the exploded diagram you use to put the thing together, and by referring to its pseudo-part numbers I was able to explain what I needed:

* part 32 (the pedal axle) costs $20.99
* part 31 (the large bearing) costs $35.99 each, and I will need two, if I need any.
* part 30 (the lock washer) are a bargain at $2.19 each (i.e., they ought to be a nickel).

If it turns out I don’t need new bearings, then the repair will cost only about $40 including S&H. Otherwise I’m looking at the far side of $100, which is a real bummer.

In the process of taking it apart, I found that the machine screws (#15) — the ones that hold the plastic cowl on the flywheel — strip out pretty easily.

Term is OVER

The fall term is over! Hooray! Wah-hoo! Yip-yip-huzzah!

Not truly. I still have one large and two small papers to write, and I need to fake up a bunch of journal reflections I was supposed to do over the last month or so, but that’s close enough to “done” that I’ll be happy today anyway.