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September 13, 2021

Changing my car's cabin air filter was a huge thrash

"Thrash" is a term of art used in medicine among doctors and nurses: civilians rarely hear it uttered.

It refers to a procedure or patient requiring major effort and unusual measures.

But I digress.

Watch the video up top — from a company that sells non-genuine Mercedes replacement cabin air filters for about half the price ($18.24) of the real thing — demonstrating how to change my car's cabin air filter.

It looks like a doddle.

Screen Shot 2021-09-10 at 10.30.32 AM

What it doesn't tell you is that you need a Torx T20 5mm screwdriver (above and below)

Screen Shot 2021-09-10 at 10.30.38 AM

to unscrew the cover of the the filter compartment.

Fortunately for me, before undertaking my auto mechanic-wanna-be adventure, I watched another video from another company also selling non-genuine cabin air filters which mentioned in the narration that a Torx screwdriver rather than the usual slot or Phillips variety was required.

That was OK, actually, as it let me put off the upcoming effort for two days until the screwdriver arrived from Amazon.

From a Mercedes dealer's website:

The cabin air filter in your Mercedes-Benz C300 are designed to clean the air as it moves through your heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system.

The cabin air filter removes allergens and pollutants such as pollen, smog, mold, dust, and hazardous fumes.

Our factory-trained technicians can change your cabin air filter in less than 30 minutes.

Seeing as my dealer charges $139.99/hour — or any part of an hour — for labor, that's not trivial.

Plus, what I paid for the part was undoubtedly much less than the dealer would charge: I'm thinking at least twice what I paid online — $44.59 ($38.59 + $6 delivery), so around $225-$250 total plus the inconvenience of taking the car in and waiting around.

No doubt the cars in the video and at the dealer are up on lifts, such that there's no need to contort your upside-down body in a tight dark space with a zillion wires and protuberances in your face, as was the case for my maintenance effort.

Nevertheless, I persisted... and my new filter is in place.

From the Mercedes service manual:

You should replace your cabin air filter every 10,000 miles in extreme conditions and every 15,000-30,000 miles in regular driving conditions.

I bought my 2010 car in 2013, no doubt after it was returned to the dealer following a three-year lease.

It had 44,000 miles on it then.

Was the original cabin air filter in place, or had it been changed per Mercedes' recommendation?

No way of knowing.

Did the dealer put in a new filter before cleaning up the car and putting it back out on the lot for sale?

When I bought it, it was billed as a "Certified Pre-Owned" vehicle by the dealer.

Though I didn't read the fine print back then about exactly what that meant, I wouldn't be surprised if indeed the cabin air filter was among the things updated pre-sale.

Again, no way of knowing.

The odometer now reads 59,000 miles (I've put 15,000 miles on it in eight years) and I'm mos def not driving in extreme conditions, so the recommendation to change the filter falls right into where I am.

The car runs perfectly and I see no need to ever buy another.

Tell you what: I wouldn't be surprised if the filter I removed (below)


was the original from 2010.

Tapping it makes clouds of dirt and dust explode into the air.

One more thing: If you're gonna go to the trouble and pain of doing car stuff yourself, do yourself a favor and get genuine parts, which won't complicate things by not fitting exactly right etc.

That way, when you're sweating and swearing and exhausted and frustrated, at least you'll know it's because you're a FAIL — not the parts.

September 13, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


September 13, 2021 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Where is this located?

Try again

Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: in the Northern Hemisphere.

Another: indoors.

September 13, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Want My NFT

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 9.27.38 AM

["Everydays: The First 5000 Days," by the artist known as Beeple, sold for $69.35 million at a Christie's sale in March, sparking a frenzy for NFT art.]

Read this article from Barron's Penta and see why I want my NFT.

Long story short: "Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital works encrypted with an artist's signature that prove authenticity and ownership."

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 9.35.57 AM

[An NFT from "Machine Hallucinations: Mars Series," Los Angeles-based media artist Refik Anadol's set of 11 NFTs which sold for $1.5 million this past May.]

The technology has moved beyond art to include unique games, music, iconic moments in sports, and tweets (Jack Dorsey's first tweet, "just setting up my twttr," sold for $2.9 million as an NFT in March).  

Screen Shot 2021-09-13 at 9.28.46 AM

Above, Tom Friedman's "Global Currency," his first NFT, which appears on the cover of the September 2021 issue of PENTA.

From Penta:

"Global Currency"... is made up of superimposed images of all the world's paper money he could find.

Although based on a direct, concrete idea, it almost becomes an ancient image," Friedman said.

A viewer may think they see things in it — faces, numbers, symbols — but in reality, those real images in the currencies have disappeared.

"It has the quality of having some sort of strange history and mystery."

Friedman's NFT is currently on the auction block and will be for 3 more days.

Make a bid here.

Wait a sec — what's that music I'm hearing?

September 13, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Taruman Mouth Exercise Training Figure — 'Facial muscle tightening beauty tool'


From the website:

The Taruman Mouth Exercise Training Figure helps train many parts of your mouth and face that you don't regularly use.

Place the little figure between your lips (use the feet and hands to balance it there) and then close them (but without clenching your teeth).


Do this over and again for 3 minutes per day.

Sure, it will look pretty bizarre but the benefits are genuine.


The unique exercise will help tighten the muscles around your mouth and jaw, fighting skin sag and other signs of aging.

This is a double set with both the normal and strong versions so you can vary the training you try daily.


Features and Details:

• Instructions: Japanese (but easy to use)

• Size: 2.1" x 1.3" x 1.3"

• Material: elastomer

• Made in Japan



September 13, 2021 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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