Monday, October 02, 2006

"This car has three speeds, and the third is disappointment." -- Wolfgang @ VW

Two frisky wildlifesGreetings, people! We have stupid shit aplenty! I've been saving it up, sorta constipated-like. First and foremost, the biggest stupidity of the day is Charles Carl Roberts IV (let's bring shame and disgrace on four generations) going into an Amish school and executing three girls -- which is the third school shooting in a week. Even one in a lifetime is very very stupid. He dropped off his own kids at school, then went to another school to mess with someone else's kids. The 'reason' given is sort of vague but it involves something that happened to him twenty years earlier somewhere else with other people. Geez, and people think I'm passive-aggressive; I at least take my spite out on the folks who created it. It's not easy to drive to work when the news on the radio makes your tummy turn and your eyes well up, and I did express a desire for the world to stop momentarily so that I could try a different planet.

A happy note to offset some of the previous paragraph: We're still tweaking on our bathroom. Bill Ding cartoon #55 relived I have ordered a new tub spout and in-wall toilet paper holder, both in brushed nickel -- and those turned out to be a little harder to find than you'd expect. A reminder to all to try for all your washroom needs. And then in IKEA last night we noticed the (apparently discontinued, I can't find the full series on their website!) LILLHOLMEN satin nickel set of bath accessories so bought a double towel rack, a toilet paper holder for use as a hand towel rack, and a shower rod -- ahh, not only does this rod match the room's style and metal scheme better, it was easier to install than the previous one and didn't chew up the paint (which we still haven't fixed). A reminder to all to try IKEA for all your washroom needs. Also, it was shop cleanup time so I put up a pegboard over the workbench in the shed and spent a couple hours going through the toolbox sorting tools from stray bits of may-need-someday effluvia, then sorting the fastening items which had accrued at the bottom of the box. If you would have told me five years ago I'd one day be sitting on the kitchen floor putting washers and U-shaped fencing nails in glass jars and separating the big nails from the little nails, the big bolts from the little bolts, the big screws from the medium screws from the small screws, I'd probably have looked you straight in the eye and said "and it's about damn time!"

Another improvement in my home is the vehicle seen here -- my lovely wife Paige has finally chosen a new vehicle, after many a test drive and plenty of reaseach: Our Scion a 2006 Scion xA, which gets 31mpg city / 38mpg highway. [ info] Sixteen original miles, eight of which she'd put on herself in test driving it days earlier. It wasn't a hard choice for me, having looked at the storage space and fuel economy. She was being wooed by a couple other vehicles which cost more but had lower mileage, and it turns out the final factor that influenced her decision was financing. We'd been given a certain amount of emphasis (read: pressure) by a couple dealers, and the second-to-last place we went ran a credit check which qualified us for seventeen percent financing... Not only no, but hell no. A used car would have been lower, and the pre-bankruptcy rate we paid on my 2002 Saturn was 0.9% -- Toyota (Scion's overlord) offered much better financing, 11.4% as-is or 9% if we bought the extended service plan for $18 more a month. (Scions have one of the shortest stock service plans on the market, 3 years / 36,000 miles, so doubling this was worth our while, with the perk being a 2% drop in the financing rate.) One thing I noticed when he showed us our credit report and the criteria sheet for deciding financing rates... we were two beacon score points from getting into the next tier, so technically had we waited until the end of the year we may have gotten 9% without buying the extended service contract. Oh well, at least we now know our credit score. :) I've driven it about a block so far. She woke up this morning wanting to return it because her back hurt, but happily she didn't (or couldn't) and I suggested the pain came from how she likes to stick her legs all the way out when she drives and the seat in this goes almost that length but not quite, and there is plenty of legroom in there, so she's just not used to the slight adjustment in position; I pull the seat forward when I drive despite having long legs, which drives her nuts. This morning she went to the dealer to the floor mats, the AM/FM/CD with external input (yaay, MP3 tunes!), and the 6-spoke wheels installed. Yes, we went to IKEA to inaugurate the beast but wound up not buying any boxed build-it-yourself furniture (or As Is furniture which isn't flat) that needed the extra trunk space.

Now for the trivial stupdities. #1 - When we were coming home with the new car around 10pm, I get out of my car and there's this young Caribbean woman wandering into my back driveway, asking if she can use our phone. She was supposed to go to someone's house who was in the middle of a domestic dispute so she wanted to know if everything was cool there yet. Er, sure. Soon we come to realize this chick is experiencing better living through chemistry. It's not even plumbed yet and... (Kids, stay off meth.) She's telling us about Jesus, she's talking about her car dealer license and her landscaping business and how computer keyboards are going to be obsolete when her offshore startup company gets into the game and... I got 50¢ out of the call, what the hell. So we escort her out the front door, still smiling as she yammers on, and then went out back to lock our vehicles up Just In Case. Two minutes later the doorbell rang a couple times and we decided we weren't going to answer it, figuring it was her again. About fifteen minutes later after the storm has passed I get online, and there's an email from my bud Wayne from the other side of the state, saying that he'll be over at 10pm. Uh, was that chime him? I replied to his mail to ask that, and he confirmed a couple hours later that it was indeed him whose visit we ignored -- and that he'd seen the woman "but didn't stick around to discuss things with her" -- so he understood why we didn't answer. Sorry, dude! // #2 - Previously seen on this channel, I mentioned we were bidding for new shifts at work, using this swell new online tool, and the results would be posted the following Tuesday. Last week we all sat waiting for the duration of the week, wondering where the results were. Finally they were made available on Friday, and -- many people including myself couldn't tell the difference. Other people got stuff they didn't bid on, thus confusion ensued. In my case, the only thing that changed was that my lunch and breaks moved 15 minutes in one direction or the other ("because Workforce Management can" is my belief). So this sort of nullifies my complaint earlier about how there was only one shift available duplicating the one I'm on now; two or three dozen people, including myself, are still on that shift despite all the hooplah. The only thing not in this publication of results, though, was whose teams we would be on, and at this rate I might speculate (since this was the stated goal by the Workforce Management folks) that we might not be changing teams afterall. Or me anyway. Unless they decide to screw with us, which would not come as a surprise because that's what they do. // #3 - I'm going to be visiting friends in Portland at the end of this week, and as yet one of them (one of my sister's classmates, used to live across town from me after I moved across the state, great guy but never take his word as gospel because he will lie about the most innocuous stuff) hasn't responded to instant messages, cell phone messages, and email asking whether we can hook up. Jeff M., you putz, I wanna see you this Friday! Hopefully he'll respond to me before the end of the week, he has no reason not to and every ability to. // #4 - Josh Blue, the winner of Last Comic Standing season 4, will be playing the Paramount Theatre in Seattle on December 1, and we wanna go see him. Little did we suspect tickets went on sale at the beginning of September. So when I finally got around to buying some online... 2nd balcony, row V. Everything closer than that has been sold. Grrr! // Not so stupid as an explanation of the photo above: A couple weeks ago we were at Lowe's and they were having a 75% off sidewalk sale, which included a small vanity with top for what worked out as $20. We jumped on that with both feet, we want to replace the too-big vanity with cheesy top that's in the other bathroom. So I put it in the familyroom to wait for the project to happen, and Cheddar walks in. He knows a sink when he sees one. And whoosh, into it he went. Paige and I just stood there dumbfounded. So that's why there's a vanity/sink without fixtures sitting in the library, and why the cat is already perched in that sink.

I may be sitting in front of my computer but it doesn't mean I am awake... glad to hear Paige has the new car! hope she's gonna love it.
So far, one backache aside, she does. And now that the stereo has been set up, she'll really dig it.
Cheddar looks quite happy there. Paige's new car looks cute and cool at the same time.

The murders at the Amish school made me sick to my stomach. Evil truly does exist in this world.
I admit that I was glad the man killed himself so we didn't have to endure seeing his face on the news for months on end and hear about all the excuses his lawyers would give as to why he murdered little girls.
I was going to add, the pictures are fun, you have some real pretty snails there, and the sink fits Cheddar nicely. I wish more people payed attention to harmony when maintaining their homes!
Cheddar is always happy when he's in a sink. Paige commented that he seems to like the new main-bathroom sink better than the old one... it's more rounded so it better fits the curvature of his body.

The car is a wonderful piece of mechanical engineering. She says it's growing on her. But she hasn't had to drive more than ten miles in it since the weekend. :)

I'll agree on the harmony thing, Ariel. I can't say we're perfect here, but in watching "Save My Bathroom" on HGTV there are definitely worse... tonight's episode: the sink and toilet and half the floor were avacado and olive green, yet the tub and tiles on the wall and half the floor were several shades of pink. It was like 1950's meets 1970's for a battle to the death.
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