Tag Archives: Chenbot

Three-and-a-half weeks in a Chevy Malibu…

This past summer the brainiacs at GM announced a massive hybrid battery recall on their entire fleet of Saturn Green Line Hybrid vehicles and a few of their other branded hybrids as well. Now, that seems like an easy enough fix, right? Make some new batteries (22,500 to be exact) plop them into the hybrids in question and you’re good to go.

Well, GM being the bloated, gas-guzzling dinosaur-of-a-car company that they are, it was anything but easy. We put our names on a replacement battery waiting list at our old Saturn dealer back in August — we had to switch to a new GM-certified repair shop when our beloved Galpin Saturn closed — and just now had the issue repaired. Yep, I said, August, as in, four months ago!

Initially, the wait was fine, I mean, the car ran great and we didn’t have any problems to speak of, so, we were cool sitting on the waiting list at Galpin. But when the “check engine light” began to flash every time we started the car, we began to worry. And when the “service hybrid system” light came on and the entire hybrid system stopped working while driving to the mall one day, well, we knew it was time to take the Chenbot to the doctor.

What we didn’t know was that it would take three-and-a-half weeks to get our car back. The guy at the new dealership told me to remove: “everything of value out of the car”, so, I guess I shoulda known we were in for a long haul, but, almost a month without our car? Come on!

Sure, we had a rental car (the dreaded, oldie-magnet Malibu mentioned above) and it was totally paid for, but, seriously GM, how long does it take to whip up a new batch of 22,500 hybrid batteries?

The answer of course, is, FOREVER. According to what I’ve read online, we are actually one of the lucky ones as some people have been waiting even longer for a battery. And many drivers of older Saturn hybrids (the recall dates back to any 2007 models) don’t even get a rental car, so, they’re like, doubly screwed!

And the worse thing is that there has been virtually no news coverage of this latest GM blunder-fest anywhere…not even a local news blurb. I’m sure nobody cares about Saturns anymore, but, wow, where’s crazy old Ralph Nader when you really need him, man?

Anyway, we are finally back in our beautiful Vue and it seems to be running fine, but, before I go, I just wanted to run some numbers by you. Between the cost of our rental car ($950) and the replacement battery ($1050) GM paid out over $2000 last month, just for us. Multiply that figure by every car involved in the recall and GM will have spent a staggering $45 million dollars on this mess.

Now, if they were just another lame, backwards-thinking car company with one foot in the grave, that would be one thing, but, GM, with its long, rich history of incompetence and mismanagement, received over $52 billion of tax-payer funded dollars in the recent bailout. That’s right, amigos, we paid $52 billion for GM’s mistakes, and, hot on the heels of that epic failure, they screw up again with this costly hybrid battery recall? Insanity!

So, hang in their fellow Saturn hybrid owners, your day (and battery) will come…you know, eventually. And as for you, GM, well, you can suck it. Big time! Seriously, I kinda hate you guys…

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End of summer blues…

Some people say it’s the way the days grow ever shorter, or the subtle chill in the air at night, but for the past twelve seasons, there is one sure-fire way to know that summer has ended in our house…and that’s when “Big Brother” airs it’s season finale. And seeing as that happened on Wednesday, well, I’d say the summer of 2010 is officially over.

So, goodbye road trips, plane trips and warm summer days at the beach, but most of all…goodbye to the positively radiant Chenbot.

Seriously, did any of you see Julie Chen in action this season? Chenbot was looking fine, yo. Motherhood clearly agrees with her circuitry. Wow…

Anyway…now that the show is over and all the sunny, summer distractions are slowly winding down outside, maybe, just maybe, I’ll get back to blogging again on a regular basis. Hooray!

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“Merry Swiftmas” to all…

As you know, Christine and I are crazy Christmas music geeks with KOST 103.5 playing non-stop in the casa and XM Radio’s handful of holiday-themed channels pre-programmed in the Chenbot. And though we usually pick up a couple of new songs and CD’s here and there every year, it is very rare that a song strikes a chord like the one we just heard tonight.

Recorded by Avril Lavigne’s former musical director and lead guitarist, Evan Taubenfeld, “Merry Swiftmas” is a sweet, goofy ode to 2009’s cutie of the year, Taylor Swift. And not only is it funny as hell, but it’s also a genuinely catchy song with some great hooks. And best of all, it is now available on iTunes, so, yay!

Check out Taubenfeld’s new “Swiftmas” video below and if it doesn’t have you reaching into your pocket for 99 cents, well, maybe you just don’t love Christmas as much as you thought you did…

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End of the road for Saturn…

You’ve probably already heard the sad news by now, but despite a valiant effort by the Penske Automotive Group it looks like our beloved Saturn Motors has finally reached the end of the road. Is it weird that Christine and I were almost in tears when we heard the news? Maybe, but who cares. We loved and will continue to love every single Saturn we’ve ever leased or owned…

End of the road for Saturn Motors...

And as the very proud owners of a 2004 Saturn Ion named Mr. Sark and a 2009 Hybrid Vue we recently christened,  Chenbot, we can very safely say that Saturn was the coolest, most forward-thinking car company ever.

Long live the great and mighty spirit of Saturn Motors!

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Simon Baker is “Not Forgotten” by Emmy voters!

I know, I know…more shameless self-promotion. But, hey, having the lead actor from your first movie nab an Best Actor Emmy nomination never hurt anyone, and if Simon Baker’s nomination for “The Mentalist” gets even one more person to buy a “Not Forgotten” DVD when it comes out on October 6th, well, then, thank you very much, Emmy voters!

Simon Baker in NOT FORGOTTEN

The rest of the nominees — with the exception of the animated “Family Guy” scoring a rare nod in the Best Comedy Series category — were pretty much business as usual. I swear to God, if I hear some of those same old names announced again I think I might just stop watching TV altogether. Yikes…

That said, I was glad to see the very deserving “Big Love” finally score a Drama Series nod, and it was cool to see “Flight of the Conchords” nominations all over the place, who woulda guessed that one? And even though we stopped watching “Breaking Bad” out of solidarity with a friend of ours last season, it was very cool to see the show in the top slot for the first time and even cooler to see Aaron Paul score a nomination for Supporting Actor, Drama. Rock on, Mr. Paul!

We have not seen “Grey Gardens” yet, but, I hear it’s very good and was happy for Drew Barrymore and the rest of the cast for their scads of nominations as well. Oh, and speaking of TV movies, Sigourney Weaver rocked in Lifetime’s “Prayers For Bobby”, so was very pleased to see both her and the film score nominations.

Drew Barrymore in GREY GARDENS

Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in GREY GARDENS

Was mostly pleased with the writing nods as well, especially the nomination for “Lost” scribes Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for their amazing work on the season finale, “The Incident”. And am always happy to see Michael Emerson nominated for playing creepy-ass Ben, but was very disappointed that more of his “Lost” castmates didn’t make the cut. I mean, hello, Elizabeth Mitchell’s “death” scene in “The Incident” episode was some of the finest acting the show has ever seen…seriously, blondie got robbed!

And though I was sad to see “The American Mall” shut out of the Original Music and Lyrics nominations in favor of two songs from award shows (!) I gotta say, the hilarious “Motherlover” song from “SNL” is sure to take home the gold. That shit was hilarious!

And finally, we were very sad to see “ER” almost totally shut out in it’s last season, County General deserved better, yo. And though Christine and I were both seriously bummed that the totally cinematic “Southland” failed to score a single nod for it’s very deserving writers and cast, we’ll take comfort in the Best Actress nomination for Christina Applegate for “Samantha Who?”.

Michael Emerson on LOST

Elizabeth Mitchell on LOST

I know it’s canceled (stupid ABC!) but “Samantha” was one of our favorite shows of late…fantastic writing, hilarious cast, and very sweet to boot! If you haven’t seen this show, you must run out to rent the DVD’s when they come out. Seriously, you will never stop smiling.

Love to hear what shows you guys are rooting for, so, check out the complete list of Emmy nominees here and comment away! Oh yeah, and just for the record, the Chenbot was cruelly snubbed again for Best Reality Show host! Crazy, huh? But Padma Lakshmi did score a nod in the same category for “Top Chef”, so that definitely lessened the blow…

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“Big Brother” starts tonight!

At first, Christine and I were just excited to see the pregnant Chenbot’s, um…Chenbump. But now, after totally nerding out and reading way too much about the show online just now, we are literally counting the hours till the 8:00PM debut of “Big Brother 11” tonight on CBS!

I don’t know about you guys, but, summer in our house is not complete without loads of snarky, half-naked hotties duking it out in a cool house full of cameras! And while this year’s crop of houseguests look pretty much like any other season, there are two key twists that might shake things up a bit.

"Big Brother 11" #1

One: the house will be divided into traditional high school cliques, geeks, brains, jocks, what have you. And two: there will be a 13th mystery houseguest who may (or may not) be recycled from a previous season. Awesome!! And recycling a houseguest is apparently just the beginning this year!

Jumping on the marketing bandwagon, the “BB 11” producers have decided to “go green” this season with loads of eco-friendly touches sprinkled throughout the house. Of course, once the “Big Brother” slop starts flying, who really cares where the power comes from, just keep those cameras rolling, baby!

Either way, kudos to “Big Brother” for rocking some pretty cool eco-friendly decor this year — I love that wall of recycled bottles, cans and cardboard and stuff below — and, as always, all hail the Chenbot!

"Big Brother 11" #2

"Big Brother 11" #4

"Big Brother 11" #3

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Earthquake night on “Big Brother”

Just finished watching tonight’s episode of “Big Brother” and all I can say is…wow. Not only did we get to see the houseguest’s stunned reactions to the earthquake we had down here on Tuesday, but we also got to see one of the strangest Head of Household competitions ever.

And for some totally wrong-headed reason the producers decided to end tonight’s episode with an earthquake-themed HOH competition.

Yep, you heard me, two days after the Los Angeles area was shaken by a 5.4 magnitude tremblor, “Big Brother” staged a mock earthquake as part of one of their competitions. Wow, man…that takes balls!

I’m sure they figured: “Hey, nobody died, it’s cool to have a little earthquake-tastic fun, right?” But man, talk about bad taste. After this week’s eviction — I won’t spoil it for you by telling you who got the boot — the houseguests lined up on the ledge of a two-story building facade in the backyard.

The rules were simple, whoever stays put on the ledge wins this week’s Head of Household. For you non-BB fans, that’s means you are immune from going home and actually in charge of nominating two people for eviction during your one week reign as HOH.

So, after the housequests took their places on the ledge, the entire facade began to slowly rotate forward, forcing them to hold on tight or risk falling off into the padded plastic mats below.

And then, the real shocker came when our beloved Chenbot — who I’m sure had nothing to do with this tasteless ratings ploy — uttered these immortal words: “You all felt the earthquake the other day, houseguests? Well, you should know, when there are earthquakes, there are always aftershocks!”

And then, to our horror, the building facade began to violently shake as sawdust rained down upon the startled housequests. I swear to God, Christine and I just paused the Tivo and stared at one another: “Um…are they really doing this?”

I mean, sure, no one died in Chino Hills, hell, nothing major even broke or crumbled, but still…an earthquake-themed HOH so soon after a real earthquake? Really?? What’s next, flaming wildfire competitions? Yikes…

And to make matters even worse, they ended the show without showing us the result of the competition! Which means we have to wait till freaking Sunday to see who won HOH! Argh!!

For shame, Chenbot, for shame…

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