How To Wash and Wax A Car

August 29, 2014

There is this way. And there is my way.

Getting the car ready for the fall means a thorough wash and wax. I had today off work and what better way to spend a morning than getting the automobile all nice and clean.

I use a two bucket system to wash the car: one bucket for the soap and one bucket to rinse the wash mitt. I work with two genuine sheepskin wash mitts: one mitt for the top half of the car and one mitt for the bottom half. I use several waffle weave microfiber cloths to dry the car. And I use Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash.

The car gets washed in the shade. Both 10L buckets are filled halfway with water. To the first bucket I add the appropriate amount of car wash and then I use the hose to fill that bucket up a bit more to add some foam.

The car receives a good rinse to clear off any loose material.

I work the top half of the vehicle first washing a major panel at a time. After each panel is washed, I rinse off the soap from the car and I take the wash mitt to the second bucket and rinse it off as well.

Once the top half of the vehicle is clean, I switch to my second wash mitt. I also clean out both buckets and refill them. One with water and one with the car soap.

Again, I work a panel at a time on the bottom half of the vehicle following the same process I used for the top half.

After the car is washed and rinsed, I use the waffle weave microfiber cloths to dry the vehicle.

The car is then brought into the garage for the wax treatment. This part of the process takes a few hours as I apply the wax by hand and I buff the wax by hand.

I prefer the look of a carnauba wax and I use Meguiar’s Gold Class Carnauba Plus Premium Liquid Wax.

The wax is quite easy to apply and I tend to do the car in four stages: top and front, passenger side, rear deck and back, and finally driver side. I use wax and shine towels. There is a textured side to remove the wax haze and a plush side to buff the wax to a perfect finish. I use four towels using only one towel per stage.

Then, once the entire car is finished, I step back and admire the result.

Everything I learned about detailing a car came from Mike Phillips. You can find his e-book here.



August 27, 2014

The late, great Maya Angelou once said that, “When you know better, you do better.” Once you have made a mistake and learned from it, you are put in a position to act out your lessons learned. There’s a reason we’re told to keep a budget to fix financial woes, or to keep a food diary when trying to eat right: self-knowledge is power.

Self-awareness is defined as conscious knowledge of oneself; it’s a stepping stone to reinventing oneself, learning to make wiser decisions, and helps you tune into your thoughts and feelings. So often we place blame on externalities because it’s the easiest excuse, when in fact we should be thinking about our thinking, reflecting, trying on different perspectives, and learning from our mistakes.

Why Self-Awareness Is the Secret Weapon for Habit Change


Gravel Driveway Part II

August 26, 2014


As we drove home, we noticed this little tractor mowing our neighbour’s yard. Our neighbours have a very flat, grassed lot of about 2.5 acres with roughly a 200 foot gravel drive. They just purchased the above Kubota B2650HSDC tractor. That little tractor sells for $30,000 with a mower.

That is one really expensive lawn mower.

We have a very diverse property of about 7 acres with a 900 foot gravel drive. Lots of trees, wetland and even a pasture in addition to the manicured areas. I’ve been trying to take care of our property with a small garden mower. And, with the recent issues on our gravel drive, I have been debating whether we have the right equipment for maintaining our land. But spending tens of thousands of dollars on a tractor and all the required implements doesn’t make much sense to me.

But do I have a choice? Not sure yet.

We did receive one estimate to repair the drive. He cautioned me in his cover letter: “Please read your estimate carefully (even a few times), it contains much more than just the price.”

Well, that it does. But I had a real hard time getting by the price to read the rest of the estimate carefully.



August 25, 2014

A machine that is also a work of art. Both of these videos provide a glimpse into the engineering and the art of the bicycle frame from one of the best in the industry, Colnago. Needless to say, I do love my Colnago bike and here is why:


I Get Mail

August 21, 2014

Just for fun, I googled “richard cleaver mushrooms” and I got this:


So now I understand why I also got this:

From: freshoyster
Date: Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 5:19 AM
Subject: Professional Mushroom Spawn Producer
To: “richard.cleaver”

Dear Richard,

We know from the web that you are selling fresh mushroom, are you grower or importer?

Our company-FUNGIMART is a leading Fresh Mushroom Exporter in China. We have been specializing in this area over 10 years, with high-quality, competitive price and professional service.

We could supply these delicious mushrooms by Air for you:

Total have 13 types:

Fresh Flower Shiitake, Smooth Cap Shiitake, White Enoki, Bottle Cultivate Eryngii, Bag Cultivate Eryngii, White shimeji, Brown shimeji, Haixian Mushroom, White Elf., Maitake, Portobella, Baby Oyster and Black Truffle.

If you are interest, feel free to contact us!

Best regards!

Must be more careful with my references to mushrooms.


The Organized Mind

August 20, 2014


Thinking straight. In the age of information overload.

The latest book from Daniel Levitin, a professor from McGill, caught my eye and I bought the dead tree hardcover edition.

The Wall Street Journal’s book review provides a couple of insights in terms of what to expect:

In “The Organized Mind,” Daniel J. Levitin, a cognitive neuroscientist at McGill University, makes an ambitious attempt to bring research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to bear on the more ordinary parts of our lives. He focuses on the daily challenges of professionals, managers and knowledge workers.


To a surprising extent, Mr. Levitin’s advice for organizing our minds consists not of learning mental tricks or doing brain exercises but of organizing our surroundings—literally, the physical world we inhabit every day. This effort can reduce needless demands on our cognitive abilities, especially on our capacity for paying attention, which he rightly calls “the most essential mental resource for any organism.”

Organizing is one of the things I can do really, really well. My daughter thinks it is because I am OCD. But really, it is because I am attempting to maximize my cognitive abilities.

A very satisfying read so far and definitely recommended if you are feeling, like I am, a bit overwhelmed with the volume and velocity of information coming your way each day.


Gravel Driveway

August 19, 2014


This is my fear. That my gravel driveway will soon look like this after a few more storms.

It already is looking pretty bad on the hill. After five years or so of living in our beautiful home in the country, I have a road that is starting to fall apart.

The road runs for about 900 feet. And some of it is in pretty good shape. For the rest of the road we are seeing a lot more issues with vegetative growth, potholes and washouts.

I found myself needing to learn a lot more about gravel driveways.

For example, how should one maintain a gravel drive?

And then I spent time watching videos on maintaining and repairing gravel drives. Videos like this one.

I called the experts at the Gravel Doctor.

I thought about getting equipment that would allow me to maintain the road. Like this Kioti CK27 HST.

I even thought about ditching my car for one of these:


Sadly, there are no inexpensive options. We either rebuild/remediate the drive by hiring a company. Or, we rebuild/remediate and maintain it ourselves. And that means buying equipment and supplies. Or I get a different vehicle.

hashtag firstworldproblems.


Microsoft Tech Support Scam

August 18, 2014

“Richard, I shouldn’t be worried about a call from Microsoft Tech Support, should I?”
“Not if you hang up.”

A dear senior at our church made the mistake of trusting a despicable scammer. In this case, a telephone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft’s Tech Support team.

Over the next several hours, they had full access to her computer, obtained her credit card information, billed her for useless servicing and installed ransomware. And they may have installed other malicious code.

This scam has been around for quite some time. Unfortunately it is still taking too many victims. Microsoft provides this warning to its customers:

Cybercriminals don’t just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

And, to emphasize the point, Microsoft also offers the following helpful advice:

Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.

Malwarebytes has a helpful page on the scam which you can find here.