Dallas’s Carmel Car Wash sucks

Dallas’s Carmel Car Wash chain sucks for three reasons.

Problem 1: Their product is bad. I have an Infiniti G37 and a Honda Odyssey. For both vehicles, Carmel’s equipment isn’t able to get a good clean. Vertical surfaces, and some other parts, get missed unless the beginning-of-line attendant remembers to manually brush-wash those parts. Often, that attendant forgets or does a poor job.

Overall, their equipment just doesn’t do a good job. Here’s the result of a Sunday (July 14, 2019) wash on my van:

Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe that van just needed a second run through the equipment? I admit, it was pretty dirty. That leads to…

Problem 2: They don’t stand by their product. I went back to Carmel to ask for that second run on my van. (If you’re from Carmel, it is the Mockingbird Lane location. I was there on 7/16/19 around 5:30 PM and went to the left lane.) I presented my receipt, asked for a re-run, and was told they do not stand by their $7 wash, so I would need to pay for another $7 wash.

Problem 3: Plus-sales are out of control. Every time you do the basic, $7 wash, you’ll get hassled about gift cards or car-wash extras that Consumer Reports says are not worth it. This started a few months ago. I am tired of it!

We’re done, Carmel Car Wash. Not even #friendzone. Just done.

Adding books to Kindle Freetime accounts

If you want to add an e-book to your child’s Freetime account, it’s more complicated than delivering it to the device after you buy it. I cannot find any documentation, so this is how I did it:

  1. Visit www.amazon.com. Log in if you haven’t already.
  2. Hover over Accounts & Lists and select Your Content and Devices.
  3. Click Show Family Library.
  4. Place a checkmark next to all books you want to share with your child’s Freetime account.
  5. Click Add to Library.
  6. At the bottom of the Add to Library dialog, select the child you want to have the books.
  7. Press OK.

(EDIT (2020-08-07): This paragraph may be an unnecessary step. Let me know in the comments.) After that, you then need to pick up your kid’s device and exit Freetime. Restart Freetime, and when you do so, you’ll check the box for the book you just purchased.

OneDrive is throttled and slow

OneDrive has a low speed cap for new files. Uploading new files is slow.

To test, I uploaded several GB of data with Google Drive and OneDrive. I used NetBalancer to monitor upload speeds. Over 10 minutes, I averaged these upload speeds:

  • Google Drive (googledrive.exe): 2.3 MB/s
  • OneDrive (skydrive.exe): 0.2 MB/s

That’s right, OneDrive’s upload speed is about one tenth of Google Drive’s! This test was done over an 802.11n wifi connection to an unthrottled corporate network that has at least a 1.5 Gb/s upload speed to the internet. Yes, there was upload activity the entire time, although OneDrive paused uploads between files or batches of files.

Others experience slow uploads.

Also, moving files into your OneDrive folder is slow. Instead of a move, it does a copy-and-delete operation. This is painful on spinning media, especially with a lot of files.

OneDrive isn’t good. It’s slow.

Sitecore blogging song

This is a song about Sitecore blogging woes, with the answers to the woes at http://mikael.com/2013/11/sitecore-mvp-summit-team-7/. Sung to the tune of the Scout camp song “I met a bear”.

I have a blog
About Sitecore
I can’t find time
To write the blog

I like to write
About Sitecore
I don’t know what
To write about

I have a blog
About Sitecore
Nobody wants
To look at it

I like my blog
About Sitecore
MVPs want
To talk to me

I’ve got a blog
About Sitecore
It wastes my time
I need it short

Doctoral update

I have significant updates on doctoral progress for my wife and me. No, we’re not imminently graduating, but still good news.

Jennifer completed all her major doctoral steps before Ethan was born. That means all she has left is being hazed putting in her research time until it is considered “enough,” whatever that means. Then she does the dissertation.

The dissertation is around 200 pages but not as hard as it sounds. Huge swaths are already in Jennifer’s prior papers and reports. I’ll be $1 she’ll graduate in a year or less; she’s not as confident.

I am finally progressing on my own praxis. I finished all coursework in December 2007 and then accomplished nothing in the next 1½ years. Well, I did do things, including aborting an impossible praxis topic and considering switching to a PhD program.

The PhD would have been in Civil Engineering with emphasis in Traffic Management. My M.S. Computer Science and D.E. coursework matched up almost perfectly. All I would have had to do is two more 3 hour courses and a dissertation. But it is not the great deal that it may sound like.

First, I am genuinely interested in traffic operations. However, I have no other civil engineering background, so I would not have been very employable as a traffic engineer. Even then, I am not sure I want to work in a transportation department. Career-wise, it didn’t make much sense.

Second, it is enough of a challenge just to do the 12 hour praxis for my Doctor of Engineering. This is the first time in my life that I’ve had to say “no” to so many invitations for events or volunteer activities. My free time crunched a little with the arrival of the second kid (but not as badly as everyone says it does!), and praxis work easily expands to gobble any leftover time. Not only is a PhD dissertation twice as many hours, the topic is completely original–as opposed to the praxis’s practical orientation–so the work is more difficult. On top of that add 6 more course hours, and I just don’t know if it would have been achievable.

Third, the largest difference between a PhD and Doctor of Engineering may be eligibility for tenure-track professorship. My department chair likened it to the “union card” of tenure. Since I do not aspire to that, PhD has no additional professional merit for me over the D.E.

What’s my praxis topic? I am studying whether there is a statistically sound way to correlate trends in ticketwriting, motorist behavior, and safety. For example, does writing a lot of tickets cause a safety benefit? All prior studies appear to be highly localized, like trying to answer how long after seeing enforcement activities do motorist revert to non-compliant behaviors. I am attempting a broader or systemic approach. I hope my research may be good enough quality to be published in transportation journals and meaningfully guide jurisdictions.

I am collecting data on all traffic tickets written by Dallas County’s 33 jurisdictions. This includes 31 cities with boundaries in the county, the county itself, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. So far I have data from 10 jurisdictions, and several more are currently working on my request.

Most cities have been amazingly helpful. I’ve had a few frustrating sticks in the mud, but they are the exception.

Jennifer and I have come a long way, but we still have a year or so in front of us. Wish us luck!