Friday, November 30, 2007


I'm Not As Dumb As I Look

Last night as I was returning my rental car, I stopped at a gas station at a very busy intersection to top up the tank. A few guys pulled up in a Hummer and I heard the driver casually say to one of his friends, "I don't know, I'll ask."

"Excuse me," he said.
I was thinking, 'please don't ask me for directions, I don't know the area.'
"Yes," I replied.
"Are you interested in a surround sound system?"
I looked at the guy with an 'are you really that stupid to think I'd fall for that' look.
"It's an awesome system."
"No, I'm good, thanks."
"We can make a really great deal for you."
I put the nozzle back into the pump, turned to the guys and said, "I may have been born in the morning, but it wasn't this morning."

With that they drove off looking for their next mark.
A blond girl filling her VW Bug at another pump was looking at me with a quizical look, wondering what was going on.
"Trying to sell me a hot surround sound system."
"Either hot merchandise, or empty speaker boxes, you know how it is."
"Scammers are everywhere. I'm sure they'll get someone to fall for it."
"Sadly, I think you're right."

Had I thought about it at the time, I should have taken their license number and called the police. As I pulled out of the gas station, I saw their Hummer in the oncoming lane, looking for a fool willing to part with his money. Unfortunately, I wasn't in a position to turn around and get their plate number. I hope someone does.

Let this be a lesson to everyone out there to beware of this scam. I've heard about it many years ago. Some sucker hands over a few hundred bucks and gets nice wooden speaker boxes with crappy little Radio Shack speakers, if any at all. Or a receiver box with a few bricks and newspaper stuffed in so the bricks don't slide around.

Sad. Just sad.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


A Few Minor Issues

Last night was the night to pick up the new (to me) car. I arrived at the appointed time, met with my salesman and signed all the required paperwork.

"One thing I wasn't able to do," he said, "was to touch up the chips in the paint that we were going to do for you because it's too cold to do it right now. The paint won't dry and cure properly. So here's a bottle of touch-up paint that you can use when we get a warm day or if you have a garage you can do it in there."

Alright, not a big deal, I can dab with the best of them. Ya, I know, the thought hit me later... they're a freakin' car dealership. Surely they could have pulled it into a bay for a bit to do that like they said they would.

They also replaced the front windshield because the old one had a small crack in it. Bonus for me because man, is it ever clear. That reminds me, I have to see when I can remove the lovely masking tape that keeps it in place until the silicone sets up.

The night we took it for the test drive, the light that lets you see the clock, radio and heat settings was not working. The salesman made a note for the service department to fix that. Yep, that's right, it still isn't working.

"Try the heater and make sure it's working," he said.
"It's working," I said, "I just can't tell what temperature it's set to or what mode it's on."
I told him that it didn't feel like any heat was blowing from the central vents.
"Switch to recirculating."
"And how do I tell if it's on recirculating without being able to see it?"

We'll make a note of that little problem. It was a bit of a pain driving home and not having my central control system working. What radio station was I listening to? Do I have my heater on the right setting? Now I know what blind drivers feel like.

OK, it's all a bit frustrating. I have to go back today when the business partner gets in so they can work on it. I'll have a loaner for the day...or until they get it done. I'm sort of dreading what that loaner might be. I remember one time, at band, that's another story entirely.....many years ago a part of a tree fell on my Nissan (pieceofcrap) Pulsar during an ice storm, and I had to have some work done. You know, new hood, new paint job. While it was in the shop, they provided me with a "loaner". In my opinion, anyone who would drive such a car would have to be a "loner". I think it was something like a Pacer or Gremlin or some such thing. It was about eight tones of brown, due to being Frankenstein-ed from many, many other vehicles. It had an AM radio that gave nothing but static, and the heater didn't work. This was in the middle of winter, folks. In Canada. Holy cow, where was I?

When I arrived home last night, I thought I'd just look at the owner's manual and perhaps find that it might just be a fuse causing the lighting problem. I opened the glove compartment and there was....nothing. No owner's manual. Stay down, blood pressure, stay down.

So I have a little list in my hand of the things that need to be addressed when I go in today. If they can't get it fixed today, I'll have this loaner until Saturday. As long as it's not that same car from many years ago I'll be OK.


All is well. I took the car in, they gave me a nice new Civic as my rental, and I made my way back to work for an hour or two before they called to let me know my car was ready. The control panel is working, and now that I can see the heater modes, I discovered that the central vents do, in fact, work. I just needed to know what setting it was on. I'm just waiting for a manual to show up. The salesman told me something interesting. He said about 1 in 5 cars that gets traded in has the manual with it. I was stunned. Where the hell do people put them? Doesn't everyone keep them in the glove box or is it just me? My business partner told me that the manual for their new car is under their bed because his partner has been reading it in bed. They drive a Mini...maybe they just needed the extra space. ;o)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


So God, Told Dave, To Trade In The Arky, Arky...

It's official, and perhaps a bit sudden, I have divested myself of my Ark. My land yacht. My hugh-freakin'-bungous behemoth of an uncomfortable, fuel-sucking SUV. Yes, I am now in my final week with my 2003 Honda Pilot. Don't get me wrong, I didn't totally hate it. Just about 90% hated it. Pretty much from the week I bought it last October. It started with the uncomfortable steel bar in the seatback that pressed against my lower spine. The dealership I bought the thing from dicked me around. I wrote some letters, got some response, but after a couple of attempts to take the Ark back to have the problem resolved, I was left unimpressed. What really irked me was that this dealership is about half an hour or so from home, so it really chapped my ass when I made the trip one day only to be told that the guy who was going to help me with the problem was off sick that day. Thanks for the heads up.

Anyway...moving along. I bought the Ark as perhaps an over-reaction to the fact that I needed to have a 4 door to lug the kids and their stuff around. Getting stuck in the back seat of the 2003 Accord Coupe (I LOVED that car), while tending to Brynn last Thanksgiving was what got me to think it was time for a 4 door. As FWIG can attest, getting in and out of that back seat of the coupe was no easy feat. Once was enough for me. Now that my baby-mama moved the kids to Hooterville, getting there and back every weekend in the Ark is nothing short of an assault on the environment, not to mention my wallet. With gas prices on the rise again, and oil reaching an all-time high, it seemed to be the time.

Last night I dragged The poor cold-suffering Squeeze out in the rain with me to a dealership to look at a car I found on-line. When we got there, we were told that car had been sold, but another was just traded in that day and it fit the bill perfectly. It's a 2004 Accord Sedan, fully loaded, and most importantly, it was also a 5 speed manual transmission, which I really wanted. If I'm going 4 cylinder, it's got to be a stick. More fun to drive and better on gas. They need to clean, safety, and certify it and it should be ready to go hopefully Monday. Driving that car last night was so comfortable and familiar, and most importantly, no steel bar across my spine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Eww! Eww! Eww! Eww! Ewwwwwwwwwwww!

Yesterday, like every morning, I dragged my butt out of bed and proceeded to the kitchen to take my pills and vitamins and grab a bowl of Mini Wheats (wheats, wheats, la la la la la la laaaa...sorry, couldn't resist. Damned catchy commercials.). In an attempt to minimize using every glass in the house, The Squeeze and I each keep a small Tupperware cup on top of the water cooler in the kitchen. Every so often we toss them in the dishwasher, but since it's our own germs we're dealing with, it's not really a worry to us. When I was a kid, I remember we kept a yellow Melmac teacup hanging on a hook by the sink and my whole family used it to get a drink of water from the kitchen tap. Perhaps that explains why many in my family suffer from coldsores. Who knew?

Anyway...where was I? Oh yes, I was taking my pills. I popped the pills into my mouth, grabbed my green cup, held it below the water-cooler nozzle to fill up, brought the cup to my mouth and took a drink. Something wasn't right. I felt something crawling on my lip. I pulled the cup away and there in my cup was a yellow sack spider. Needless to say, I threw the cup, spider and all into the sink, followed by my mouthfull of pills, while I screamed like a school girl and did the "Icky Icky Icky" dance around the kitchen.

What have we learned from this story? Many things:
- I don't like spiders, especially on my lips.
- I have the ability to scream like a schoolgirl.
- I shouldn't do tasks in a dimly lit kitchen.
- I should look into my cup before filling and drinking from it.
- There are many benefits to individual bottles of water.
- I may require therapy.

On another note....

The weight loss thing seems to be at a standstill. I've made it down to 284.5, and have upped and downed 3 or 4 pounds in the last few weeks. I had a 24 hour flu bug last Sunday, which kind of knocked a lot out of me, so I was off the treadmill for a few days. Add to that the fact that I was going to have company over that day which of course I had to cancel. That means that The Squeeze and I had a large amount of cheese and crackers, guacamole & chips, and other munchies I planned to serve my guests. I'm not sure when I'm going to have another free weekend day to have them all over, but it likely won't be before the new year. And nobody likes blue cheese....unless it's supposed to be blue, and then I'm all over that. So anyway, ya, we've been snacking.

But I'm back on track now. (That means the snack food is gone.) But Christmas is six weeks away. To bake or not to bake? It just isn't Christmas without my butter tarts, empire biscuits, peanut butter balls, key lime squares and all the other goodies. Of course I'd have to give them all away. Oh my god, I think I just gained two pounds typing that out!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Oh No They Dih-hnt!

This is just too funny to believe.

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