Journal of inexperinced driver of classic 100% mechanic car (2)

Hail to the Lord! I just drove out of my hole. No burning of clutch, no other problems.

I know that to those with modern cars it is not a problem, same as to those with experience with old ones, but to someone who has not driven a classic in 18 years it is definitely an accomplishment.

It seems my gear box, well it is 24 years old, is a bit worked out, especially on the 1st ‘tooth’ in the 1st gear. So, before I managed to add enough gas, the gear would pop out and leave me on loose… aka no climbing out. But now that I know what that pop feel I was getting before is, I will be sure to get proper hang of it.

To celebrate my victory over my own limitations I am now drinking Somersby  and will have some apple-pie ice-cream after dinner.

Tomorrow will be doing that again.


Ohh, btw I found out that back in the 80’s there was number of aluminum wheels sold here via Pewex as special addition to 126p. They are not of Fiat or FSM production, but they were official enough to be offered as optional for those cars. If all goes well, I will be getting a set for my red-devil B.M.W. (in Polish this amounts to abbreviation for  very small vehicle).  Here is photo they are ugly as hell but I like them


Beaurocratic nightmare – starting studies in EU after having done HS and 2degrees at American Uni.

Recently, I decided to go back to university and study something that has been on my mind for years- law. I have to say that I did not expect it to be such a huge bureaucratic nightmare as it turned out to be.

I was aware I will most likely need my High School Diploma. That I did have. I also had my transcript. I had my University of Maryland diploma and transcript from there as well…. and guess what

I went to research the possibilities of getting accepted as University of Warsaw to start with. After 3 weeks of struggle I gave up. The personnel was neither helpful not pleasant.  Cost of weekend studies was not much lower than some other options I had. And they did not even want to take a look at my case, which is not standard this-year-HS-graduate situation.

I also did some research on the classes and study conditions at this place and I was shocked to discover that lectures are way overcrowded (up to 3fold of what a room was designed to hold) and access to professors is close to none. Tuition would cost me slightly less  than what I chose in the end.  Level of teaching also has declined. At this point Law faculty of Warsaw University is 5th in the country.  Combining this with the attitude I was getting from the dean’s office and unwillingness on their part to cooperate even on minimal level… made me choose a different school.

I was considering several places, to finally decide for This is, according to the ratings and opinion I got from professor of University of Warsaw, the best school. Teaching/learning conditions are way better. No over crowded classes, easy contact with professors, helpful admission officers and tuition not higher than my original choice.

I have the golden rule of not saving on education and health, especially with difference is such tiny in this respect.

Comfort of study, access to teachers/lecturers and vast library via which I can simply borrow the textbooks that I do not desire to own have made the scale tip in their favor.

Plus I have been offered aid and clearly instructed on what I need to get all the paper work done. Of course they can’t do in my stead Apostille from the Secretary of State of NM, and it is required by EU educational rules (though the documents state point-blank that it was a Public School), but I have been provided all and detailed instructions on how to get it, plus a grace period for delivering the missing paper work. Something that University of Warsaw did not even want to hear of.

This kind of twists the whole matter back to my work -IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER SUPPORT/CARE.

ps. in another post I will describe what a student doing what I wanted to do has to go through paper-wise

My journey with my first car (part one)- Journal of inexperinced driver of classic 100% mechanic car

I have recently bought my 1st car. It has been 18 years since I got my driver’s license and it is more than shameful that I have not had a car of my own until now.

I decided to go for old-time classic Polish Fiat 126p. It’s tiny city car now considered a hatchback. I have much sentiment for those cars, as that’s precisely the car I have learned driving on. Plus, I do know a thing or two about its mechanics and if need be I can fix it almost on my own. The car is 24 years old and it still runs with suction. Ohh, hell that is a trip, I admit.

I love driving, but that start-up on cold engine is my personal nightmare.

Finally, after much initial struggle and incapability to start that lasted about 2 weeks (true I was not there on daily basis, but every 3-4 day), I did get it to work as should. I think I have now pretty good. I start the engine on 1st or 2nd go and I’m able to keep it on quite well.


Now on to the challenge no.2. driving out of the sloped  garage (15 degrees nose up). Although I know how to make it run on flat… the slope is the problem (or more it is me, I over-think it). The engine is only 24 horse-power and carburetor based.  I need to get the grip of the right combination between releasing clutch and adding gas. For now stuck on adding too much gas = flood the engine; or letting clutch too soon = choking the engine.

I know it may seem weird to some, but I feel better letting the steam off in writing. It gets me more relaxed and more concentrated. Foremost, I stop over-doing the thinking.

I love New Orlean Jazz

I’m listening to almost any kind of music, but one of my favorites since like forever is New Orleans Jazz. That music is never dull and almost in 100% lively.

Just listen to this version of Game of Thrones cover



It is also great addition/background music for driving vintage cars 😉 I will definitely hit my car’s SD-mp3 card this week. Enjoy!

An example to follow.

Yesterday Tesla Motors CEO has published the following post

I strongly support this kind of initiatives, including patenting as preventive measure for corporations greed (just take a look at what Apple, Microsoft, Google and so on are doing). I believe this goes way along with Nicolai Tesla’s own approach to his own inventions and I would just the same had I invented anything.


All hail to Tesla Motors!


ps. One day I will own a Tesla. Have been their fan since the 1st car release. My collection of dream cars is growing… though I just got my 1st own vehicle (126p Fiat 90′). Tesla is 3rd on my list, right after Mazda RX8 with Wankle engine.

Use your brain

Life is full of examples of people, whom I observe, and can’t help but wonder where did they leave their brains today.

Maybe I’m biased or judgmental, but why ask for instance “what are labels used for?” … labels are used for precisely that.. labeling. It seems like everyone is using them to mark the files into which documents go, to mark food containers in the fridge, to mark clothing of their kids and so on. Why would you think labels in project management application or email system would be any different?

This is just one example of a question that simply throws me off.

I call those questions by a group name “what is the use of underwear”

Ok, I grant that, asking one such question just to make sure is fine. But I really do not get it, why some people just keep asking tons of questions like that one-after-another instead of going online and checking information provided in form of Help Page, FAQ and so on. Can some please enlighten me? My brain seems to small and inferior to grasp this kind of indolence or  mental laziness.

Beaurocratic nightmare 2

Here is what a person who is applying for university in Poland has to go through.

Situation:  Polish Citizen. Graduate of HS in the US and having double B.A. also from American university.

First of all No Polish University is able to accept you just based on your degree from foreign university. Even if you have obtain official recognition of your title over here. YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. But that is not the end of it.

To go with your High School Diploma you must have the following:

A. your transcript

B. Apostille from the Secretary of State  of the state where you have completed your HS.

C. Document stating that the diploma has been recognized within E.U. issued by  Polish Ministry of Education (name changes depending on years in question).

The B is the huge nightmare, especially for Europeans. Going to the US Embassy here won’t help you, they will just ‘pack you up and ship you off’ directly to office of your local Secretary of State. Here is what you will need to get it done.

1. Notarized transcript from your School District back in states ( I had to get that specially ordered, because normally you get sealed envelope with not notary-certified copy)

2. cover letter which you will find at the site of Secretary of given State

3. 3$ check….. oh, this is a nasty one, you need to go to a normal, physical bank (best PKO BP or something of this sort)  and file with them a plea for issue of such check.. the fee for it is way higher than the real value of the check

4. you have to create an account with FedEx or some other  Int’l Shipping companies as you will also need to provide the Office of Secretary of State with pre-paid premium shipping envelope (list przewozowy) so they can send the document back to once it,s issued. Atm. it is about 350 PLN to get that.

Once you have all that ready you can send it to the Office of Secretary of State…. by normal ground mail signed-in-for. Which is about the cheapest solution and still secure as it has a registration number which can be tracked.  Supposedly, the document takes up to two weeks to be made and shipped back to you.

SideNote to pt. 3. It turned out to be a massive nightmare. Only BANK PEKAO did it for me almost without problems… almost  – for even their own clerks did not know there were two separate forms to get it done… one for bank’s own clients and the other for external use.