Ford says “Drive One.” — I wish I could

So here are the Facts as of today, September 24, 2009:

We bought a Ford Freestyle in May of 2007.  We changed the oil and performed the routine maintenance according to the maintenance schedule.

July 2009 - Vehicle’s transmission light came on when starting it, vehicle died, restarted, light went off.

August 2009 – Vehicle’s transmission light came on when starting it, vehicle did not drive correctly until it was restarted.

September 2, 2009 – Brought the vehicle in for service, local Ford dealership could not get the vehicle to mess up; recommend bringing it back when it is messed up, without shutting it off. (I don’t fault them for this, they had good advice to bring it straight there)

September 18, 2009 – Vehicle’s transmission light came on when starting it; took it to the dealership for them to diagnose the problem

September 21, 2009 – Informed the bad part was the “Throttle Body” and that it was not covered under the 60k power train warranty.

September 23, 2009 – Talked to local dealership and told the part is NATIONALLY back ordered UNTIL DECEMBER 2009.

Praise to Ford for offering to:

  • cover the cost of a rental car
  • trying to expedite the part replacement
  • cover all but $150 of the repair

Major Criticism to Ford for:

  • Not covering a rental car for the entire time we are without our car. They will pay only up to $550, translation not much more than two weeks.
  • Trying to expedite the replacement part – sounds good, but the millions of Freestyle owners having the same problem are probably being told the same thing?
  • Not covering the cost of the entire repair.  This part was so poorly designed the supplier went out of business.  The new supplier is redesigning the part. I would call this a defective part. I was told because it is not a safety issue; there can’t be a recall on it. I understand that, but this same car had crappy brakes, and Ford extended the warranty for them, they could do the same.

More details:

  • Ford has killed the Freestyle (which was renamed the Taurus-X for 2008 and 2009 models).  The 2010 line up does not include the Taurus-X, which has killed the resale/trade-in value. This problem leaves us up-side down in our payments if we wanted to try to replace this vehicle.
  • This vehicle was our 6th (and our last) Ford between Jennifer and myself (others including Escort, Explorer Sport, Explorer Sport Trac, Explorer, & a F150).  None ever had any major problems and routine maintenance was done on all of them.
  • While I appreciate what Ford has offered to do to help us, it is not enough when we are paying a $500 note for a vehicle to sit at the dealership and continue to depreciate for the next 3 months.
  • Please feel free to share my experience with anyone you know.

Somewhat Healthy Pancakes

We have these pancakes on a regular basis.  Jennifer shared with one of her friends that we had “healthier” recipe for pancakes and a request was made for the recipe.  So of course, I blogged it, ha!  Enjoy!



  1. 1/4 c egg substitute
  2. 1 1/4 c low fat buttermilk
  3. 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  4. 3/4 c bread flour
  5. 2 Tblsp olive oil
  6. 1 tsp honey
  7. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Pre-head griddle, test heat by sprinkling a few drops of water on the griddle, it should bubble and roll around when just right, if it evaporates right away, it is too hot.
  2. Put butter substitute or olive oil spray on the griddle
  3. Mix all dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients and mix until batter is smooth
  4. Use about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake, turn pancakes when puffed and full of bubbles (before the bubbles break)

    Facebook Quizzes Aren’t Just for Fun

    Quizzes, quizzes, and more quizzes.  They are everywhere on Facebook.  You can’t scan your news feed and not find out if someone knows their 80’s hair band lyrics, if  they were raised in church, or if they know when they are going to die?

    While most people find these quizzes fun, entertaining, and amusing, it turns out there they could be sharing a lot more of your Facebook profile information with the creators of the quiz than you might realize.

    How much more? Almost everything in your profile: your religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, pictures, and groups.

    Facebook quizzes also have access to most of the info on your friends‘ profiles. So if your friend takes a quiz, they could be giving away your personal information too.

    Think I am being over cautious?  Take this quiz and find out.  The ACLU of Northern CA has created a quiz to show Facebook users how much of their information is being shared.  They state they have a privacy policy and strictly adhere to the policy.

    Has this freaked you out enough that you don’t want to take this quiz or any other now?  Here is the questions, the answers, and additional information from this quiz. It is the only quiz I’ve ever taken on Facebook:

    acluQUESTION 1: When you take a quiz on Facebook, what can the quiz see about you?

    Answer: Almost everything on your profile, even if you use privacy settings to limit access.

    QUESTION 2: What info about you can a quiz see when your friends take a quiz?

    Answer: Almost everything on your profile, even if you use privacy settings to limit who can see that information.

    QUESTION 3: There must be safeguards somewhere, right? My information is safe because:

    Answer: None of the above – and that’s a problem.

    QUESTION 4: OK, that sounds like a real problem. So what should I do?

    Answer: Demand the right to control my information without sacrificing the right to use new technology.

    Additional information (include from the quiz):
    The only protection Facebook offers by default is its Terms of Service, which state that developers must collect only the information that they need and use it only in connection with Facebook.

    But all it takes to be a developer is an email address, and so few of even the top developers have a privacy policy at all, it’s hard to believe that Terms of Service will hold them back if they want to collect information, and (as this quiz has shown) they can access a lot of it.

    And once details about your personal life are collected by a quiz developer, who knows where they could end up or how they could be used. Shared? Sold? Turned over to the government?

    What’s going on with these quizzes just isn’t right. It’s time for Facebook to upgrade its privacy controls so that you decide who gets to see your personal information.

    That’s where you come in. As we’ve seen before, Facebook does respond when users protest. So we need to make some noise!

    Don’t let Facebook’s default settings force you to silently pay with your privacy when you (or your friends!) use Facebook. Demand that Facebook upgrade its privacy controls to give you control of your personal info. Demand Your dotRights!

    Feel free to share this with anyone and everyone you know.  If you are reading this on Facebook, it is also linked on my blog at:

    Caden’s New Ride

    Caden recently came into the position (thanks to Great Grandma) of a 24 volt John Deer Tractor (with a trailer, not shown). I can’t wait to put him to work (once he figures out how to drive it)!