Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Meanwhile, the other day I was driving home from work when I saw this thing driving in front of me.
So I got closer and took a better photo. Seriously, what is it? I had to act very cool as I took the picture from my steering wheel, pointing the camera and hoping it would get a photo. I was a little afraid this funny little car would chase me down if the driver knew I was taking the pic. But, here it is in its glory. I just don't understand why people do the things they do with their cars. Note the vanity license plate and skull and cross bones. Interesting.
"Ray, your true talent is spatial ability
"Your ability to visualize objects in three-dimensional space gives you a unique view of the world. Because of this talent, you are much better than most people at imagining new designs including floor plans, page layouts, and three dimensional objects. How do we know that's your true talent? While you were taking the test, we calculated your responses to each test question and rated your skills in 5 areas. You scored highest on spatial ability.People like you are usually great when it comes to putting together assemble-it-yourself furniture or other household items — whether the items arrive with instructions or not. Your spatial skills also help you understand the finer points of how things work."
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Some winners from their site:
Client: I am able to get my e-mail, but I'm not able to get on the internet. Me: Are you behind a firewall? Client: Oh no, no, nothing like that, we're just inside a metal building.
A girl was holding a sheet of blue paper with words on it and she ask me "I don't know why my printer at home won't print white on this sheet of paper ~ can yours?"
Potential Client: You can't possibly expect us to purchase something sight unseen! You do the web site and if we like it, we'll buy it.
Client: The Internet - that's the blue thing right?
Background: I work for a national chain of business centers (ala Kinko's)
Customer: Hi, I'd like to know if you have a dot com operator, there.
C: A dot com operator. I'd like to connect to the dot com, and I want to know if you've got an operator there to assist me.
Me: Ma'am we don't have a "dot com operator" here, but we do have computers with internet access available for you to use.
C: Will these internet terminals allow me to connect to the dot com?
*At this point I decide its best to play along and not spend the rest of my night explaining the previous 30 years of network development.*
Me: Do you have a specific "dot com" you would like to visit?
C: A specific one?
Me: Yes... such as google.com or yahoo.com, do you have a piece of paper with a "dot com" written on it?
C: Oh! Yes, I have a document with a dot com written on it. *she reads it, it sounds like the website for her insurance company*
Me: Ok then... you can come in and rent a computer to go to that address on the internet.
C: On the dot com? Will there be an operator?
Me: No ma'am there won't be an operator, but you will be able to connect to the dot com. Have a good night *click*
I can't even tell you how long that was a running joke around the office.
Friday, August 26, 2005
First I'm going to tell you a little about me and my family. My name is Jeff. I am a Police Officer for a city which is known nationwide for its crime rate. We have a lot of gangs and drugs. At one point we were # 2 in the nation in homicides per capita. I also have a police K-9 named Thor. He was certified in drugs and general duty. He retired at 3 years old because he was shot in the line of duty. He lives with us now and I still train with him because he likes it. I always liked the fact that there was no way to bring drugs into my house. Thor wouldn't allow it. He would tell on you. The reason I say this is so you understand that I know about drugs. I have taught in schools about drugs. My wife asks all our kids at least once a week if they used any drugs. Makes them promise they wont.
I like building computers occasionally and started building a new one in February 2005. I also was working on some of my older computers. They were full of dust so on one of my trips to the computer store I bought a 3 pack of DUST OFF. Dust Off is a can of compressed air to blow dust off a computer. A few weeks later when I went to use them they were all used. I talked to my kids and my 2 sons both said they had used them on their computer and messing around with them. I yelled at them for wasting the 10 dollars I paid for them. On February 28 I went back to the computer store. They didn't have the 3 pack which I had bought on sale so I bought a single jumbo can of Dust Off. I went home and set it down beside my computer.
On March 1st I left for work at 10 PM. At 11 PM my wife went down and kissed Kyle goodnight. At 530 am the next morning Kathy went downstairs to wake Kyle up for school, before she left for work. He was sitting up in bed with his legs crossed and his head leaning over. She called to him a few times to get up. He didn't move. He would sometimes tease her like this and pretend he fell back asleep. He was never easy to get up. She went in and shook his arm. He fell over. He was pale white and had the straw from the Dust Off can coming out of his mouth. He had the new can of Dust Off in his hands. Kyle was dead.
I am a police officer and I had never heard of this. My wife is a nurse and she had never heard of this. We later found out from the coroner, after the autopsy, that only the propellant from the can of Dust off was in his system. No other drugs. Kyle had died between midnight and 1 Am.
I found out that using Dust Off is being done mostly by kids ages 9 through 15. They even have a name for it. It's called dusting. A take off from the Dust Off name. It gives them a slight high for about 10 seconds. It makes them dizzy. A boy who lives down the street from us showed Kyle how to do this about a month before. Kyle showed his best friend. Told him it was cool and it couldn't hurt you. Its just compressed air. It cant hurt you. His best friend said no.
Kyle was wrong. It's not just compressed air. It also contains a propellant. I think its R2. Its a refrigerant like what is used in your refrigerator. It is a heavy gas. Heavier than air. When you inhale it, it fills your lungs and keeps the good air, with oxygen, out. That's why you feel dizzy, buzzed. It decreases the oxygen to your brain, to your heart. Kyle was right. It cant hurt you. IT KILLS YOU. The horrible part about this is there is no warning. There is no level that kills you. It's not cumulative or an overdose; it can just go randomly, terribly wrong. Roll the dice and if your number comes up you die. ITS NOT AN OVERDOSE. Its Russian roulette. You don't die later. Or not feel good and say I've had too much. You usually die as your breathing it in. If not you die within 2 seconds of finishing "the hit." That's why the straw was still in Kyle's mouth when he died. Why his eye's were still open.
The experts want to call this huffing. The kids don't believe its huffing. As adults we tend to lump many things together. But it doesn't fit here. And that's why its more accepted. There is no chemical reaction. No strong odor. It doesn't follow the huffing signals. Kyle complained a few days before he died of his tongue hurting. It probably did. The propellant causes frostbite. If I had only known.
Its easy to say hay, its my life and I'll do what I want. But it isn't. Others are always effected. This has forever changed our family's life. I have a hole in my heart and soul that can never be fixed. The pain is so immense I cant describe it. There's nowhere to run from it. I cry all the time and I don't ever cry. I do what I'm supposed to do but I don't really care. My kids are messed up. One wont talk about it. The other will only sleep in our room at night. And my wife, I cant even describe how bad she is taking this. I thought we were safe because of Thor. I thought we were safe because we knew about drugs and talked to our kids about them.
After Kyle died another story came out. A Probation Officer went to the school system next to ours to speak with a student. While there he found a student using Dust Off in the bathroom. This student told him about another student who also had some in his locker. This is a rather affluent school system. They will tell you they don't have a drug problem there. They don't even have a dare or plus program there. So rather than tell everyone about this "new" way of getting high they found, they hid it. The probation officer told the media after Kyle's death and they, the school, then admitted to it. I know that if they would have told the media and I had heard, it wouldn't have been in my house.
We need to get this out of our homes and school computer labs.
Using Dust Off isn't new and some "professionals" do know about. It just isn't talked about much, except by the kids. They know about it.
April 2nd was 1 month since Kyle died. April 5th would have been his 15th birthday. And every weekday I catch myself sitting on the living room couch at 2:30 in the afternoon and waiting to see him get off the bus. I know Kyle is in heaven but I cant help but wonder If I died and went to Hell.
I have to say that while my experience with SP5 wasn't exactly what it was meant to be (my original Pal from SP5 wasn't able to contribute), Rox and her angel Barbara did a great job of making up for it.
I have always considered Mobile to be one of the more inexpensive places to buy gas. WELL! OH.MY.GOD! On the way in to work I looked over at their gas prices, I'm running low and will need to get more tonight, and I was absolutely
shocked to see their prices set at $3.06/3.16/3.26!!
It has seriously made me reconsider a hybrid.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
My neighbor, Sean, came over and scooped him out for me. I feel terrible. I'm sure I did something to bring about his demise.
She's the black widow of fish. *MU WA HA HAHAHAAAA*
Man Eater is very dark, almost black, with blue-green accents. Her fins and tail are blue-green and her bottom fin has red in it. It takes awhile to get accustomed to her because she's not all fancy looking like the males, but she's still really pretty. Today I brought Kim's fish over to visit her. Kim is on a business trip to South Africa so I brought him over to hang out with Man Eater. It's OK, he's still in his vase. As soon as they saw each other, they both flared up and turned bright, brilliant colors. It was love at first sight! He keeps showing off and flicking around his vase, while she flares at him. I brought Rey Mysterio over (now belongs to Ray, Paul also donated him) who used to be Man Eater's boyfried and she actually ignored him! She swam to the opposite side of her container and sulked. Meanwhile, Rey was trying to fight with Kim Jr. It was like a little Betta love triangle. I put Man Eater between the boys and she ignored Rey Mysterio, so I guess their romance is officially over.
Paul also brought in Neutron, who belongs to Chad. Neutron was pink and shy. Since Chad bought him a condo, he has changed to blue and has overcome his shyness. Very cute. :) Maybe Chad will post a pic on his site?
Another donation from Paul to Axel is Short Bus. Poor Short Bus, in the beginning he would wedge himself between the bamboo and the tank all day long. We used to worry about him, but later realized he was OK. Now he's much more comfortable with his surroundings and hangs out in the open like a normal fish. Short Bus is primarily with with spots of blue and red.
I'll post pics of the office betta family on here when I remember to bring my camera into work. Meanwhile, here's a pic of Man Eater staring down Gumby.
Monday, August 22, 2005
However, most of the negative marks on my report I totally deserve. It's all about student loans. Bad, bad, bad. I've decided it's time to be a grown up about this. I am, after all, in my 30's now. No more "Hey, I'm in my 20's - I don't have to be responsible" for me. In fact, that's what got me in trouble. grrrr!
Since I'm about to buy a car, I need to know my credit information. I'm like an ostrich with its head stuck in the ground, I'd rather hide or run away from my problems. Tomorrow I go to the bank to resolve some issues. Then, I make some phone calls, specifically to consolidate student loans. Scary, very scary. I expect to get a witch (literally) on the phone who will treat me like the scum I am. I deserve it, but really, I want to work my way out of this personal hell I've created. I'm not sure of the exact total on my loans (they're split within four agencies) but I'd just love to have them all paid off within five years. Wishful thinking, I'm sure, but I'll see what I can do. I think I'll set myself up for a long term plan and pay extra when I can.
*sigh* Someone, pinch me!
Saturday, August 20, 2005
"Not bad. But you probably won't win the big spelling bee. You got 12/15 correct."
I misspelled pronounciation/pronunciation, vacuum/vaccum (should have stuck with my first guess), and occurance/occurence. I deliberately misspelled these words this time around so you can't cheat if you try the test. :)
Jung Typology Test:
I'm a O53-C74-E64-A57-N37 Big Five!!
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.
What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
I particularly liked the last question in the quiz which asked, "What do you like least about knitting?" My choice from all the possible answers was: "I don't have enough room or time for all my yarn and projects. I just wish my boss would let me knit instead of work." Yeah!!
I found these on Faythe's site. I had to search her site using the internet archive internet archive to get them.
First is Daisy, my bunny that has since left us for the Great Beyond. Hope she's having fun there.
Simba looking as charming as ever. It actually looks like he has cheeks!!
And Zoe! I can't believe I got one with her eyes OPEN!
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Simba loves this bag so much, he will sleep through the night on it. He sits or sleeps on it all day too. This morning I picked it up and he ran over to me and put his paw on my knee so he could stand up and sniff it. As soon as I put it down, he ran over to it and sat on it. Cat has got some issues!!
You can also see his Nerf ball. It's disgusting! Both he and Zoe love it; they like to grab it, roll on their side and rabbit foot it ferociously and then run off like nothing happened. They also like to bite and bat it around, but mostly they just like rabbit footing it.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I'm waiting for emails from dealers letting me know they've found the car I'm requesting - I have a specific car in mind and I am not willing to compromise. They said they may have to bring the car in from LA. I'm thinking about calling and saying "dont' bother." I'd rather get my car fresh off the truck, but I'm not sure if that's possible. We'll see.
Good news though - I got my tire replaced under the roadhazard warranty. :) Yay! I paid half the price of the original tire to get a replacement and new warranty. I feel much safer now.
Monday, August 15, 2005
I took a double take and looked again and sure enough, there was a small section *ahem* that took on that thin skin look and wrinkled...just the wrong way. Like parched skin. Like the top of an old ladies hand. Like a freakin' OLD LADY!!
A friend has comforted me through that episode (seems I'm not the only one) but there are other signs of aging. For example, my nephew. Now, Ervin is a nice looking kid. He's well mannered and respectful - he's got those southern manners, you know? He is, of course, 16 years old so he does act stupid sometimes. I've come to expect it and laugh because it wasn't that long ago I was his age (yeah that's right, not that long ago - and I don't want to hear your obnoxious snickering, ok?). I remember feeling and thinkingthe same way he does.
But sometimes, he does stupid stuff. One of his most recent stupid things was wearing colored contacts. Now, I understand the fun of changing your eye color! Even if it looks stupid, it's cool - we all go through these phases! But, dare I say "Yo, don't buy them at the swap meet. Do yourself a favor and go to a doctor! Get them fitted before you give yourself an corneal ulcer!" Thankfully he has grown out of this phase. Good thing too because I was tired of looking into the eyes of a zombie. It was just weird! I'm sorry, black people don't look good with light brown eyes...especially when the pupils, due to the contacts restrictions, don't dilate. WEIRD MAN, WEIRD!
So his latest thing is a gold grill. That's right. He paid almost $400 for a gold plate to wear over his top front teeth.
The grill has fangs, not like dracula, but some weird square fangs. It looks silver in the photos, but really, it's rapper-gold. Oh, and has some criss-cross action outlining the bottom of each tooth. I guess that's supposed to give it some bling-bling. I caught him wearing his grill last night as he came home from work.
He works for an organization that requires him to wear this jungle shirt, otherwise he'd look much more off the hook. Lil' Erv represents!! But look at him with that grill. He's so....wow. Notice how he's tucking in his bottom lip so we can get a better look at his grill?
Another minor irritation is how he always has the cell phone glued to his ear. He couldn't even rip it off his ear while he begged me for a car ride. But this is a topic for another day. grrrr!
See, look, he's still a kid, he even has cotton candy in his hand! Why the stupid grill!! I know I might sound old and preachy but I can't help but tell him, "You have such nice white teeth and you look so good! Why do you cover them up?" And then I mumble tuff like, "why, why, WHY??" Hence his smiles in the pictures.
Is it just me or does he look like a washed up rapper? Or some guy living on the street? Did you happen to notice his bling bling earrings and his eyebrows with shaved designs? Seriously, I love this kid to death, but I just don't get it. I guess as long as he's healthy and not doing drugs and other things on my "don't you dare" list (we've talked about the list), then it's cool. But, I still don't get it. I guess all I have to say at this point is...
Romeo, yes that was his name, joined us and let Apollo and I test drive a V6. It was nice! Every bit as wonderful as I remembered on my first drive several days before, even though the original was with a 4 cylinder. We did notice some handling problems when going around corners, but not bad. As we walked away, Romeo got a little rude because I wasn't ready to talk about buying it right then (he had Apollo park the car in the "sold" parking slot). We asked for a brochure or something with additional information about the car and when he refused, we walked away. He followed us and tried to discuss money with me and when I asked about other colors they might have (as a way to deflect his questions), he said, "Let's go back inside and talk numbers. When we get that taken care of, we'll talk about colors." This was when I said, "I guess we won't be talking numbers then." We walked away but he quickly followed and chattered with us all the way across the lot to our car.
Romeo, Romeo, whyfort art thou so rude?
Next we visited a Hyundai dealership. The first car we saw was the Sonata Mom was talking about. I have to admit, it's a nice looking car! Tee and Apollo got excited, while I stood back a ways. I mean, this car was NOT on my research list. I didn't know anything about it. I let the salesman, Art, talk to them while I stood back and watched his body language. The guys were like little children, looking at a new toy. They even popped the hood to take a gander inside! (men!)
Eventually, we decided to take it for a drive. This time, all three of us drove it! Honestly, I loved it. It was actually better than the Camry and definitely roomier. OOH and it had a lot of pep. Apollo drove it like a mad man, making both Tee and I cling to each other in the back seat. It was as if Grandma was driving; I thought I was going to get carsick. :) Other bonuses were all the amenities! This car had all the extra's, including a sun/moonroof, simulated woodgrain trim, extra airbags, mp3 compatible stereo, electric seat and more! The Camry with the same package would be approximately $3k more.
Tee, pictured here with Apollo and the car we test drove, was so excited about this car he said that even though he didn't like sedan's he would buy this car. In fact, if he hadn't of purchased his '05 V6 Mustang in December, he would get this car. Art, our salesman, told me he would be willing to sell me a car $100 above the invoice price and would get in touch with me this week when more cars came in.
We left the Mile of Cars excitedly talking about the Sonata, forgetting the Accord and Altima.
At home, I did some research online. Edmunds.com of course has a great review about the car, including First Drive: 2006 Hyundai Sonata Korean Camry Delivers and Comparison Test: Hyundai Sonata Takes on the Accord and Camry. Both are great articles - I'm so glad Mom mentioned this car!
There may be a gratuitous visit to Nissan and Honda tomorrow to check out the last two contestants, but I doubt they're even in the game at this point.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
And of course, because no ghetto is complete without it, the guys had a sound system outside, complete with dj mixing, etc. It's funny how they think they're good mixers. LOL
Anyway, so yeah, all was going well. Various neighbors and their dogs came over to visit, the firemen would wave when they drove by...it was your classic urban get together. But then, sometime after dark, my notoriously drunk neighbor came home from a party. "Mike" was wasted. He's the one in the middle of the group in the picture, which was taken a matter of minutes before The Incident. (Note Big Mac's gigantore Caddy - that sucker is HUGE!) Mike was acting very strange, so we all sort of avoided him. We were nice, but we knew he was a time bomb.
Someone drove up to the house next to us and parallel parked her still running SUV in front of the driveway while she got her kid out of the kiddie seat and suddenly, a glass bottle came out of no where, landing near her front tire. Amazingly, it remained intact. We were all shocked and looked at each other. Who threw that bottle? (I feel like I'm writing a police report) It was dark and we couldn't see well, but we squinted into the darkness and there was Mike, standing back in the shadows between some other cars giving the SUV the snake eye. As Mike started to walk back towards us, one of my friends "Alan" walked up to him and said, "Did you do that?" Alan was actually very casual when he asked. See, Alan is a sweet, nice guy that assumes the best of people.
Wait, maybe I should give you some more background so you can see how this situation is extra-inappropriate. Mike is Mexican, in his 50's and not exactly at the peak of his health. He's averaged height, but maybe a little skinny. Alan, in his 20's, is tall and of large build. He's a Pacific Islander and yes, he fits the stereotype. As mentioned earlier, he's a sweet guy. If he asks someone a question and it sounds naive...well there's a high probability he is naive about it.
OK so Alan asked Mike, "Did you do that?" WELL Mike started yelling, "I didn't do that? Why do you think I threw it? Are you accusing me of throwing the bottle??" and getting in Alan's face. Alan started to walk away but Mike wouldn't let it go. They started to go around in tight circles, Alan with his bulk looking down at a small, old and inebriated Mexican. They kept throwing things back at each other like, "I didn't f**'n throw it!" and "Don't swear at me, I don't like it when people swear at me!" It was stupid. At one point, Alan looked at me with a funny smile on his face and started to walk away when Mike spit in his face. SPIT IN HIS FACE! First, that's disgusting. Second, don't spit in someone's face when they already want to kick your ass. With the spit dripping off his glasses, Alan reached over and picked up a folded chair.
Imagine in your head, about 15 folded chairs leaning up against palm tree's. A man, reaches down in slow motion and grabs a chair and starts to swing. This is how I saw it. In slo-mo. At the same time Mike was reaching into his pocket for something. We all knew Mike had knives, too, and this freaked us out. Somehow, at this point, the rest of the posse, Big Mac, Tee and Apollo (in photo) all were involved. Tee standing in between the two trying to keep them separated, while Apollo grabbed Mike and had his arms behind his back so he couldn't get the knife out of his pocket. I'm not sure where Big Mac was. It was a big tustle of yelling and bodies. Because Apollo was holding back Mike, he took the first blow of the chair that Alan threw at Mike. Bodies were spinning, another chair was grabbed and this time (ok things get a little hazy here because I was freaking out), it landed on Mike's head. Or, at least I think it did. I'm not sure if the chair made contact with his head or if it was the cement. Yes. Cement. Mike and Apollo fell down, and the next thing I knew there was blood everywhere! Mike was cut from his head and hands.
This all happened within a matter of seconds. It was really weird, I mean, how does someone justify picking up a CHAIR and throwing it at people? What would possess you to do that? I don't care if you're in the right! It was METAL! The guys told Alan to walk it off so he took off down the street. Meanwhile, Mike was trying to follow him and was screaming and yelling craziness. He went into the building and tried to follow Alan by going out the back door, but Apollo blocked him. Then, because he locked himself out of his apartment, he started scaling up the side of the apartment building to get into his second floor building. All the while saying, "I'm going to get him! I've got something inside for him!"
So, we're outside, stunned and trying to clean up all the chairs that had fallen on the ground, when Mike comes out, waving his cordless phone in the air and screaming something about police. *sigh* I really do live in the ghetto I guess, because it was a matter of a minute or two before about twelve police cars, two firetrucks and an ambulance showed up, taking up the entire road. I would LOVE to know what he told the 911 dispatcher to get that kind of response! Good thing we made Apollo go change his shirt, he had blood all over it and would have looked very suspicious. A couple police started questioning us immediately while others, with the paramedics, went up to talk to Mike. About two minutes later they came out and they told us that Mike was so crazy, it was no wonder he was hit. Apparently he was screaming and yelling at the paramedics and basically belligerent, so they refused to treat him.
My friend Alan must be blessed by God, because the police drove away without taking a police report! They didn't ask our names, nor Alan's name, nothing! So basically, he got to hit someone in the head with a chair and didn't suffer any consequences.
After the police drove away and the firemen ate some of our food, Mike came out again. He was screaming and yelling, "You're not my *&$@# friends" and other such nonsense. He was also throwing glass bottles up and down the clay tiled hallway in the apartment, so you know it was loud! I went for a drive and picked up Alan, and that's basically the last time we've really spoken. Sure, I've seen him a few times since then but it's always been, "Hi, how are you." I guess he's embarrassed.
Meanwhile, in the morning light we saw blood all over the place. There were blood drips up and down both hallways and on the wall. Apollo had some cuts on his elbow and arm, but he wasn't the one who bled all over. I guess all the alcohol Mike consumed made his blood really thin and drip everywhere. Later that morning Mike cleaned up all his blood and apologized profusely. He felt he deserved to be hit in the head, and people...that was really sad. I don't care how crazy you're acting, you do not deserve the physical violence he faced that night.
Several months later, Mike suffered a stroke and moved away. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if the two incidents are related. Alan and Mike never spoke to each other again. We've had parties out front since then, but we're careful who we invite and we don't allow folding chairs. While Alan isn't in any of these photos, I'd rather remember the night with this lighter moment.
From the moment months ago when I started researching you, I fell in love with you. Like any internet romance, I fell quick and hard. I even had brief love affairs with others, like the Pontiac G6 and Mazda 6. But I came back to you.
But then...yesterday I test drove you. I wanted to love you, I dare say at least like you. But seriously, my back hurt afterwards and I couldn't get comfortable while driving. Your steering wheel was oh so small, your seats stiff and shapeless, and you were closing in on me. Seriously, I cannot be in a relationship with someone who is so confining. The bumper car at the fair was a much better ride. In fact, I felt like I had just barely met the height requirement to ride, er, drive you.
Another factor I was disappointed in was the price. Due to demand, I know there's no chance I can get you below $22k, and this is if I get the basic package. With a regular car, I can haggle down below MSRP. And after crunching some numbers, I realized I could buy the much nicer regular car and it would take me four years of buying expensive gas before I caught up with just the price I paid to buy you, Prius.
On a side note, I cheated on you on my way out of the parking lot. I took a quick test drive of the Camry. Sorry Prius, the love affair is officially over. Consider this our last communication.
Friday, August 12, 2005
"Is this the right color? Would the recipient like a different shade of blue? What is the gauge? Is it soft? I neeeed some coffee. Am I getting the right value for the money? How will it look *squinting* knit up? Do I really have the money? Should I be spending the money? What if the next yarn shop has it cheaper and a better option? I'm hungry. Is it scratchy? What if this yarn is better? Hmm, I kinda like this yarn, but it's more expensive. This blue is nice though, but what about this green? Or this pink? Yes, I think I'll get the pink! Let's see, how many yards does it have? WHAT?? Dammit! OK, I'll get it anyway and modify the pattern to suit the yardage. Definitely. What are you saying, you don't have enough balls. OOOOOOH what about this yarn? Maybe I should get cotton? Or Angora? Or something with a blend? AAAAAHH!"
And then, as I make a decision, I walk by a different section of yarn and start all over. Seriously. People, I have a problem with making decisions. I just want to get the best purchase for my money and my situation. So when it comes to buying a car, I want to get the best I can get after I have researched the item to death. And I don't want to regret it later. *sigh*
Seriously, I annoy myself. I cannot be trusted with decisions. Meanwhile, I'm going to go look at a Prius today. My head is already starting to hurt! :)
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
See the white paint from the curb? Oh yeah, and I some how managed to scrape the tire and the wheel (where the hub cap should be - this is the side of the car without hub caps) on the curb too. Nice. But the best part is the hole - yeah, it's covered by a flap of rubber.
I tried to take pics where you could really see the hole. It's a pretty good size - the rubber flap is deceiving. Seriously, compare it to my sausage fingers!! HUGE!
Frankly, I'm amazed and impressed with my ability to ruin a nearly brand new tire. And this is several inches from where the tire meets the surface i.e. where the REAL damage is supposedly done!!
So, do you think this is bad? Should I have it replaced? With my wild imagination, I have envisioned the tire suddenly exploding while I'm driving down the 5 during rush hour and my car swerving wildling across the lanes, hitting cars that I'll never EVER be able to afford. Insurance rates shooting through the roof. Screaming, angry rich people. Causing a multiple lane car crash on the 5... *shiver* Oy, just the thought terrifies me.
Interesting how this is the side that I always lose hubcaps on and that has the broken parking light. Uh, yeah. I guess I'm a little "blind" when it comes to the right side. Good thing I bought special insurance for the tires. Poor Little-Car-That-Could. She puts up with so much.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Anyway, the two cars I drove were the 2006 Pontiac G6 (I didn't realize it was an 06 until afterwards) (6 cylinder) and the 2005 Mazda 6 (four cylinder). I'll drive others such as the Prius, a Toyota and a Honda, yet to be chosen, on my next day off. I originally went in to check out the G6 and was pleasantly surprised to see the Mazda's in their lot as well.
Here's some pics of the G6 I borrowed from Pontiac. I hope they dont mind...after all, I am leaning towards buying their car and am promoting their business to others:
The ride was SWEET! The car was nice and roomy, very comfortable. My first impression when I got in was "yeah!" Ok so maybe that was my first thought. The pedals move at the touch of a button, enabling long or short legged people to drive without having to change the seat location. I liked the additional features that seem to come standards on modern cars (I'm so out of date), such as automatically locking, expandable visors, the radio turning off only when I open my door, automatic headlights...well let's just say automatic everything! The panoramic sunroof was definitely a bonus. It's a bit larger than the normal sunroof, giving a faux convertible feel. The cool thing about it that isn't mentioned on their site is the dial going from 0 - 4. Each number represents a pane, meaning you can control exactly how many are open. Nice. I was also impressed with the ride. I don't recall hearing any road noise or anything that bothered me at all. There was one bad thing and two things that could be improved upon.
Bad thing: The cover for the vanity mirror was broken. It fell off in my hand. Not a good sign.
Improve please: The trunk was large, but the opening seemed a little tight. Not enough to make me not buy this car, but not quite as wide as other cars. The second thing, which I think is standard to four doors, is the B Column. This is the area where the first and second doors meet, creating a blind spot. I'm not used to this, having driven a two door car all this time. Apparently, two door cars have a longer door which increase visibility. Again, it appears this is something I'll have to learn to use properly.
While I didn't get to drive this car on the freeway for long, I did get the chance to accelerate to a good speed. The car could really move if you let it! I could definitely get used to this car.
My first thought when I got in the Mazda was..."oh." I really wanted to like this car, I did. I really wanted to appreciate the zoom zoom. But seriously, I am not a small girl. And this car is obviously made for Japanese people. After I realized the seat was elevated as high as it could go and I lowered it, I felt a bit better. I didn't feel like I was looking at the top of Richard's head anymore. But, it was still a tiny bit cramped. Because this car can really hug a turn, apparently due to its tight suspension (did I get the lingo right??), you could feel every bump in the road. It was as if I was back in my own car again. It drove nicely and yeah, the zoom zoom was there! But my passenger in the back seat couldn't even buckle his seat belt because it wouldn't go that far. And seriously...he's the size of a normal bouncer. I have high expectations here, Security should be able to fit in my car!! So, the hard ride and the sardine like quality (though it had so many nice features) sort of put this car on my "I Don't Think So" list.
Even though the Pontiac broke in my hand, I'm leaning towards it. I'm going to look at a minimum of three more models and hopefully make my decision by the end of the month, or whenever my car dies. Whichever comes sooner.
On a side note, after driving these new cars around, I got into my car and freaked out a bit due to that "loud noise!" I soon remembered it was the normal sound my car makes. How quickly I had forgotten about the road noise and how you have to yell to hear each other talk. I did like shifting though. I do love driving a manual. These other cars are automatics. Not quite as fun. :(
So, while I was anticipating my car salesman experience would be an awful one, it was actually very nice. In fact, everyone at the dealership was very pleasant. If you're in the market for a car that this dealership might have, I recommend visiting them. Ask for Richard.
While I'm looking at the Fendi purses - on the non-knit ugly list, here's another Fendi for only $2,260.
Is it me? Am I not sophisticated enough to appreciate the squirrel tail Suede Hobo for $2,040?
And pray tell, why is this Fox Fur bag with faux pearls worth $2,110?
I guess I'll never really be fashionable, when it comes to purses. To me, these are all ugly.
Friday, August 05, 2005
I'd like to point out now that I have never, ever run out of gas. I've never been stranded anywhere with a broken down car. Wait, I take that back. One of those four or five times my alternator went out....but I digress.
Since my plans for tomorrow have been canceled, I'm thinking about going car shopping. I've been planning on buying a car for some time and have finally saved up enough $ to do so. However, I'm freaked out by car salesmen. Just driving by a car lot and seeing them all out there in their cheap suits with pagers and cell phones attached to their hips while they casually lean against a wall or railing...looking for victims, *shiver* just gives me the creeps. Seriously, I just shivered. Goose bumps. (ok I just edited this copy for spelling errors and got the shivers again)
But, I think it's time I start at least looking. I'll give you a run down later of the cars I've selected for test drives. (SO excited!!) I've been reading car magazines and looking online because my poor little car...well, she's not doing good. My current feisty Japanese car has several ailments that do not bode well:
1) Must hold stickshift manually in 5th gear when accelerating (almost three years now)
2) Speedometer doesn't work
3) Odometer doesn't work
4) Ignition switch is going out ?? (it makes a terrible sound when I start it; the radio doesn't start and the air won't come on until I turn the key back a fraction of an inch)
5) Driver side window does not roll down
6) Passenger seat held in by one screw
7) Smokes white plumes embarrassingly when driven for first few miles
8) Various cosmetic problems that can be overlooked: only two hubcaps on one side, paint on hood is fading to metal, broken parking light (I hit a parked car HAHAHA), sun damaged dash severely cracked to hell, pleather seats ripped due to metal bars coming through, pleather siding on inside of door walls ripped off in places i.e. damaged beyond control, a few minor rust spots, scrapings in paint from SOS pad (not a good idea after all), small cracks in windshield.
However, the car does have some strong points:
1) It drives
2) It gets me to work
3) It has a car alarm
4) Thumpin stereo
5) Four cool blue speakers (albeit, held in by duct tape)
6) New, top of the line tires with replacement warranty
7) Tinted windows (starting to bubble a tiny bit)
Car alarm you ask? Yep that's right! GRR! I live in the "Near Ghetto" (this is a term I've just learned at work, "near" apparently is interchangeable with "approximately"), which means yes, my car too has fallen victim to thievary. I'm not sure why the thieves left it two blocks away in an alley. Was it because it's so freakin cool, they were not hip enough to drive it? Was it because the car was on empty? Alas, we will never now. (On a side note, isn't it weird that spell-checker wants to replace "freakin" with foreskin? Why? WHY?)
My car still has the scars from the break in, though. And a bouncer I call, "The Club." If a thief gets past The Club, then he just might run into his backup, "The Car Alarm." It's rather embarrassing when I'm anywhere near other people and I go out to my car and "beep." Which is pretty much everywhere because, hello, people are everywhere. So, while I love this little car that I learned to drive in, hauled wood, bales of hay, Christmas tree's and moved all my belongings from OR to SD in the tiny trunk and back seat...I would be crushed if, well, she were crushed in a car landfill *sniff* I think it's time to start looking for a solid replacement.
This replacement better drive fast. And have a big gas tank.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Thank you Chad for forwarding this article to me. Can you believe it? A digital stitch counter? I skimmed through the article and gleamed that the nubbins at the end of the needles transmit information on each stitch you make, depending on your movement. (You may get more out of the article, I was in a bit of a hurry) Very cool! I'm curious how it would work, though.
Chad suggested that it would be cool if the device counter were programmable and would tell you what to knit and when. That would rock!!
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
They have a lot more red than this photo shows. The fish on the right has a lot more green and blue in his coloring. I believe these two are considered crown tails, though I'm not positive. I got lucky and found them at a local fish store, Fountains.
If you live in San Diego, I suggest visiting Fountains. Even if you don't want any fish, it's a great place to visit as a field trip for yourself or your kids. Not only do they have a beautiful array of fresh water fish, but salt water fish as well. They're also professional and know what they're talking about.