Japan seems to have the most awesome game shows ever. I’m jealous. The Price Is Right wasn’t bad, but this game show is awesome:

Japanese Tetris

I’m not really sure why they call it “Tetris” since it has nothing to do with the objective of that game. But there is no mistaking it – this game show rocks.

On a completely unrelated topic: I finally got my convertible fixed. It had problems in the differential and was making horrible, loud, grinding and whining noises. I took it in months ago to hear the bad news that it was a bad pinion bearing – which is much more expensive to fix than a wheel bearing. I had toyed with the idea of fixing it myself. But, without a lift, adequate experience, or even all of the necessary tools, I quickly abandoned that idea. According to the mechanic, after he took the differential cover off and inspected it, the pinion was bad.

So instead of just ordering a stock pinion, I had him install a slightly bigger one – and a matching ring gear, too, of course. So the rear end ratio is now 4.10:1 (factory ratio is 3.42:1). It definitely goes a little zippier now, and it was only marginally more expensive than the work that had to be done.

I’m pretty irritated at the mechanic, however, because the speedometer is off. I asked the guy before he ordered the new gears if it would cost me more to get the speedometer fixed. I was not that interested in dumping money into this car and was only considering the new gears because it wasn’t much extra considering they were already having to rebuild the differential. He insisted that the speedometer would be fine because it measured speed at the wheels. Well, he was wrong. It measures speed at the output shaft of the transmission – which is now about 20% faster compared to the speed of the wheels thanks to the new gear. So when their shop opens again (Thursday, after Independence Day) I’ll call him and fuss at him for telling me wrong. If they have the equipment to hook up to the car’s on-board computer, they should be able to fix the problem pretty easily – and they better be willing to do it for free considering it’s their fault I’m in this fiasco (I wouldn’t have ordered the new gears if I knew it would cost even more coin to set everything right).

On the bright side, the Camaro is now mostly drivable again. The roaring bearings are gone. The rear end does whine a little bit, particularly at highway speed, but it isn’t a problem. In fact, it is normal for 4.10s to whine a little. I’ll put some gear oil additive back there to see if that suppresses it somewhat. But it is, thankfully, much, much better now that the pinion and bearing have been replaced.

I say that it’s only “mostly” drivable because it is riding on a donut right now (i.e. temporary spare tire). I have to either find a way to patch the tire or find a used tire to replace it. Like I said, I’m not interested in investing a lot into this car right now. So, despite the fact that it could really use a full set of new tires, I’m going for the cheaper, near-term solution. I’ll probably order new tires for it in the fall – and maybe new wheels, too (if I can find ones I want for a reasonable price).