Archive for the ‘Driving’ Category

Unexpected Day Off

December 23, 2008

Guess I spoke too soon about being on a roll…thanks for not pointing out my shortfall 🙂 But here I am. I now have a clean, perfectly shiny kitchen/downstairs bathroom/laundry room/pantry! Well ok, perfectly shiny as long as you overlook the cat paw & butt prints…

What am I doing mopping my floor on a not-my-Tuesday-off you ask? Funny you should mention it. You see, it’s like this….
I got up & functional just like normal for a late Tuesday today. The boy had his breakfast, and spent a peaceful morning watching Sponge Bob. I actually had a bit of peace…got dressed, got the boy dressed, told him to gather up some toys to take out to Uncle Mike’s, and he did it the first time I told him…He asked me to make the label for his DVD, which he’s been asking me to do for several days, so I sat down to do that, just to find that apparently the part of my PictureIt! program required to make labels is yet another victim of the cable installer. And if that wasn’t bas enough, I apparently have every software disc for Works! that came with my computer, except the one that program is on. Yep, that’s right! I have 1, 2, 4 &5, but no 3. Go figger *sigh* I’ll hafta to go to the Microsoft website later to see if I can get it there, without having to pay an arm & a leg…Needless to say, the labels still haven’t gotten made 😦

So, off we go, over the river & through the woods to Uncle Mike’s we go, the horse knows the way…ahem, but we do go over a river & through a woods….I dropped the boy and headed to the nail place to get my nails repolished – no I’m not that lazy, just that unskilled. Besides, in my defense, it is an unusual polish job, see..?

Nails

Wow! They say you can tell a person’s age by their hands…I must be about 80….

Anyways, as I was driving to the nail place, I was talking to Hunny, as usual. Mind you it’s a dreary gloomy day in Indiana today, cloudy, and it was just starting to rain – or so I thought. My first stop, as always, was Speedway, to get some iced coffee. (They have the best french vanilla iced latte! Starbucks..? What’s Starbucks..? You mean that over-priced, bitter after-taste stuff that advertises itself as coffee..? Ewww – Speedway’s is much better – and cheaper!)
***Background note – Hunny replaced my front rotors & brake pads back in July because every time I hit the breaks it was like being on one of those old exercise belt machines – are you old enough to remember these..?

exerbeltmach

My point is, the brakes were just replaced in July. By August, I had the same damn vibration when I hit them. About a week ago, they started grinding. When I told Hunny, he said there’s no way. Be that as it may, they are grinding.
So, as I’m crossing over the interstate on my way to Speedway, the light turned red. I hit the brakes. My car kept going. Oh Shit! It did finally stop 1/2 way through the intersection. Luckily there weren’t any cars coming off 70. Ok, I think, it’s a little slick. I hit the gas, I went fine. Traction control didn’t come on. But at the next light, we again barely stopped.
Me: “Oh great! I have no brakes.”
Hunny: “What..?!?”
Me: “I…have…no…brakes!”
Hunny:”Are you sure..?”
Me: “Well, since I pressed on the brake pedal and the car didn’t stop, it’s a safe bet…”
Hunny: “Are you sure it’s not the roads?”
Me: “I guess it could be, but I can take off fine, and my traction control hasn’t kicked in.”
Hinny: ”Is the button turned on?”
Me: “I don’t think it has a button, I think it’s automatic..”
Hunny: “It has a button…” *it does, he was right*
Me: “Well, it came on the other night when it was snowing, and I haven’t changed anything, so I would say it’s still activated.”

Turns out it was indeed the roads. Although my warranty expired a week ago, so….I limped on into Speedway, then on to the nail place. At about 25 mph. I still had plenty of time to get to work, as it was only about 12:45 at this point – though it is a good distance…see..?

map2  

I got in, got done & left. It was about 2:00 or so when I left. I was calling work to tell them I was driving on a sheet of ice and might very well be late when Hunny called to say he hadn’t heard from me & was worried. (side note – any time I am driving & on the phone, I use a bluetooth device, so I don’ wanna hear bout no “hang up the phone & drive” comments from the peanut gallery…) I got voicemail at both numbers I tried, so called Hunny back to let him know I was fine & on my way, and why I didn’t answer. At this point, traffic was moving at about – oh, I dunno, 10 mph..? He said 36 was at a crawl, too. It took me about 15 minutes to get to my turn, but I caught a break and hit it on green – although that’s not really that exciting when you’re going 5 mph…So, I barely hit the break, start to turn right, and my car turns for 1/2 second, then goes straight – straight at the median, and the mini-van just on the other side of it…Of course, I was saying “Shit, shit, shit…” the whole time, and Hunny is on the line going “What?!? What?!?!” then a big thud. I thought sure she was gonna jump the median – it’s just one of those little ones, maybe 2, possibly 3 foot across, and about 8 inches high? – and plow into the mini-van, but she was looking out for me, I guess. We hit the median and stopped. Whew. About that time Hunny’s asking “Did you wreck? You okay? Didja total it?” “Nope, just hit the median while turning at 5 mph…” “Call into work, I don’t want you driving across town on these roads.” I told him I’d be fine if I could make it to the interstate, but he said they were just as bad, apparently 74 was shut down for a 15 car pile up.

I was going to go get the boy, but he had a friend there today so wanted to stay “until Daddy comes”. SO, I am at home, no husband, no kiddo, and taking advantage of it to mop the kitchen/downstairs bathroom/laundry/room/pantry. And so we go full circle & I’m back where I started *grin* I keep telling you there is a method to my madness…LOL

Ok, gotta go, stuffs to do.
See ya laterzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

winter48blank tree.0007

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Quick Update My Car

July 31, 2008

After spending the day at one dealership or another, the determination (so far) is that the cooling fan module went bad in my car, which is what caused it to overheat.

My car overheated, which blew the head gaskets.

The head gaskets blew, which warped my (aluminum) heads….

So, I am in a rental car for Goddess knows how long this time. Essentially they have to tear my motor apart. At this rate, by the time the warranty is up (THANK GODDESS FOR WARRANTIES!) I’m going to basically have a new car, motor-wise.

It just flabbergasts me that this car gives NO WARNING! When the tranny went out last summer, it happened like this:

Tuesday on the way to work, about 10:30ish, my check engine light came on. I called the dealership & made an appointment to bring it in and get it checked WHILE STILL ON MY WAY TO WORK. It went the rest of the way to work, and back home, a total of about 25-30 miles.

Wednesday on my way to work, as I was going from one interstate to another, at roughly 50 (ok, 60) mph, my jumped out of gear and stayed that way. I had to have it trailered to the dealership. They had it for 6 weeks.

This time really wasn’t much different –

Monday on my lunch break I ran over to KMart – about 3 miles – and then back to work. When I pulled in the parking lot, the dummy light for the temp was on and my guage was in the red. The only place it went from there was home & then to the dealrship (again) All the damage was done in a matter of about 20 miles – from first warning to being "broke"

See..? No warning! Most vehicles, the dummy lights come on, and you’ve got a bit of time to get it checked out & fixed before it becomes major. Not my car – oh no, that’d be too easy! By the time my dummy lights come on, it’s too late, the car is already essentially broken!

*Sigh* Oh well, such is life! This too, shall pass 🙂

Ok, gotta get ready for work.

See ya laterzzzzzzzzz!

My Day Off

May 21, 2008

Yesterday was my day off – what a joke! I think I work MUCH harder on my days off than I ever do at work! Two weeks ago I made an appointment to have my car tuned up, ‘cuz she really needed it. At that time I didn’t have anything planned. Silly me, to think I could just schedule something like that and be able to do it unhindered…
Monday night, my hunny says:
Him: “You know they’re registering for Kindergarten…”
Me: “Now..? It’s May, school doesn’t start until September or at least August…”
Him: “Amy took Alec down to register yesterday.”
Me: “So, are you telling me I need register Shayne? Now..?”
Him: “Well…”
Me: “I gotta take my car down to O’Brien’s to get it tuned up tomorrow…”
Him: “Yeah, and..?”
Me: “Uhhh… O’Brien’s is in Greenwood, school is in Plainfield. And I have no idea how long it’s going to take. “
Him: “You’ll be fine.”
Me: “What all do I have to take to register him, I wonder?”
Him: “Amy said you need birth certificate, shot records and a bill in our name at this address.”
Me: “Alrighty then…”
Ok, so the plan is, I take him to Stacey (west side) then go to O’Brien’s (south side) then to Health Dept(near norteast side) to get certified copy of his birth certificate, then to Plainfield (FAR west). That’s the new plan.
Oh yeah, did I mention Tuesday is Karate..? And apparently I didn’t have enough to do, I was volunteered to handle that, too. Goody.
We got moving about 9:30ish. And that was pushing it…I need my morning wake up time. NEED. I am not fit for man nor beast without it.
OH, oh, oh! This is a great opportunity to mention the new addition to my morning routine! I found a great blog, Tom’s Hideaway where they have a trivia contest everyday! Trivia rocks! (That would be my inner geek talking – you know, the same one that does crossword puzzles to wake up..? *grin*) This has become a staple of my mornings. Go check it out – he even has a copy of (the only) picture of me as a child up on the site 🙂
Anyways, I rushed to Stacey’, then down to the car dealership. I told Jeff not to worry about the accel hesitation, as I didn’t have time to mess with it that day.
While sitting there, I gave hunny a call. It was then that he decided to mention that it was “Bring A Buddy” day at Karate, and that he had arranged for Alec to go with Shayne.
Me: “Huh? Why are you telling me this NOW..?”
Him: “I told you about it.”
Me: “No you didn’t…”
Him: “You should know what’s going on there…”
Me : “This is the first I’ve heard of it. How often do I go to Karate? Once every two weeks? How would I know that?”
Him: “I told you about it last Tuesday…”
Me: “Last Tuesday..? The day your boy broke his arm..? You think I heard something beyond “Your boy broke his arm” last Tuesday..?”
Him: *laughter*
Me: “Nice…are they bringing him, or do I hafta pick him up..?”
Him: “I imagine we ‘ll get him there.”
We. He means ME.
So let’s recap – I’ve gone 17 miles to Stacey’s, then 23 to the dealership, I have to go back to the house, 15 miles, to get shot records, either that or add a trip to the doctor’s office (north west side) to my already full day, then go to the Health Dept to get the birth certificate, 27 miles from the house, then out to Plainfield, approx 30 miles from Health Dept, to get him registered. Then back to Stacey’s to pick him up, 20 miles from school, back to pick up Alec, who by the way lives 4 HOUSES FROM OUR HOUSE, another 17 miles, and then back to Karate…
I have approx 4 hours to do this. Keep in mind, none of the above includes the time I have to sit and wait at each place, just the drive distance…
At this point, it was already almost 1:00. Karate starts at 5:45, and the only parts of this I have so far accomplished is the tune up. And a side trip to Shoe Carnival…(they had the cutest white shoes that I didn’t get last week, and I’ve been kicking myself ever since, so I stopped in to get them. And they had a Buy One, Get One 1/2 price sale going on, and I’m not one to pass up a bargain, so I figured I might as well get two pair since the second would be 1/2 price…Then hunny realized I was at Shoe Carnival and gave me the ‘ol guilt trip “I’ve been needing new tennis shoes for months” So I picked him up a pair, then I had to get another pair, ‘cuz I wasn’t gonna waste the 2nd pair half price…*grin*
He was right down the street at Kroger’s, so I picked up some Subway and headed over to meet him for lunch. Of course the shoes didn’t fit…and I got the whole spiel…
Him: “How many pairs of shoes did you buy..? Don’t you already have like 50 pairs..?”
Me: “Hey, I don’t wanna hear it – my three cost less than your one pair.”
Him: *giving a look*
Me: “I’ll be happy to show you the receipt if you want…”
Him: “Whatever…”
Me: *laughter*
We finished eating, he called Alec’s dad, and found they weren’t home yet, so despite having to go back to my house to get shot records, which is 4 houses from where he is, I can’t pick him up yet. So to the house I go. No fax yet. Alrighty. I also tried to print a map to the school where I have to go, no luck. Ok, the new printer is junk too. Great. I unplugged it, gave it 30 seconds and plugged it back in. Still no communication, according to the computer. I did it again. Still no good.
grrrrrrrrrrrr
I rebooted the puter, all is well, go figger. Called the doctor’s office and asked them to refax (thanks guys!). Looked for Shayne’s birth certificate, as this was the other reason I came all the way home. I knew where it should be, in the box with the cards from his birth & stuffs. But that box was somewhere in the garage – with all the other still-unpacked-since-the-move-before-last. (In our defense, we moved 7 years worth of stuff from a 3500 sq ft area to 1250 sq ft in the-move-before-last. We now have enough room, but it’s been either cold or rainy anytime we’ve had time to do anything with it….) Scary. But I tackled it, and believe it or not, I found it in like 30 seconds…the box that is. The birth certificate was nowhere to be found, which is why I found the box in 30 seconds…
It’s now 2:30. I still hafta go to the near north side for the bc, but after calling the school, I found that they are only registering until 2:45. Great, now I’ll have to spend ANOTHER day off (*snort*) to do this. I took back hunny’s shoes, and found another pair for me at $5, went & got the bc, picked up the boy, went to the house, picked up Alec, and made it to Karate with 3 minutes to spare – damn I’m good ! ! !
So, that was my day off.
Ok, gotta work 😦
See ya laterzzzzzzzz!

Daily (At Least In My Head) Traffic B**ch

April 25, 2008

Ok, let me preface this with a few questions…Why did you buy a sports car if you’re never going to take it above 30 mph? You don’t look that good in it…Why is Grandma on the interstate with a mini-van FULL OF KIDS going 75mph…and then 50mph…then 75mph? Why did you feel a need to jump into the fast lane in front of me and then SLOW DOWN TO 50mph? Can I just say GRRRRRRRRRRR!
Now I wouldn’t label myself an aggressive driver, but I definitely wouldn’t fall into the timid category, either. I like to drive. I like the feel of all that POWER under me, that I have FULL control of. I like to go fast. (insert Tim Allen grunts here). Will I run a yellow light? You betcha – providing the guy turning left from the other direction doesn’t have the same idea. Do I speed? No, I would NEVER do something like that…..(whatever). I have no problem jumping into a space I just fit into to go around the idiots other drivers that are going 20 mph under the speed limit – and that’s another thing…why is it that when you’re in a hurry, you always get BEHIND the person who feels a need to go 10mph UNDER the legal speed limit?
Now keep in mind that I have different driving styles, dependant upon who is in the vehicle with me. If I have my boy in the car with me, I am a totally different driver. I don’t speed. I don’t run yellow lights. I am responsible for him as well as myself, and while I am (in my humble opinion, and exceptional driver – I’ve had 2 accidents in 24 years, and both times someone ran a red light at an intersection and hit ME) I still won’t do it. I also have in the back of my mind that kids learn what they see much more permanently than what they are told. Speaking from personal experience I can tell you that “Do as I say and not as I do” doesn’t work *grin.* So I want to try to teach him good, safe driving habits by example. (Hey, it’s my fantasy, it can be whatever I want…)
If my hunny is in the car, well let’s just say that something about him being in the car turns me into the stereotypical female driver. I do all kinds of stoopid sh*t that never, ever happens when I am alone, or even when I have my boy. I didn’t have this problem in the early years of our relationship, but now..? I just don’t know. However, I have decided to let him drive, if at all possible, anytime we have to be in a vehicle together 🙂
Anyways, back to my original subject (I do ramble a bit, don’t I?) In my mind, there is something just wrong about a Jaguar being passed by a Chrysler…don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my car – she’s sleek, she’s fast & responsive, she has the G 3.5L SFI HO motor (found in only 28% of 2002 Chrysler Concordes) (more Tim Allen grunts here) – but she’s NOT Jaguar quality. And yet, on a nice straight stretch of new pavement, the Jag allowed me to pass it. Not once, but TWICE (I got caught behind a semi). Now please don’t think I was insinuating that there was a drag race taking place. This was normal driving. I’m just saying if I’m driving a Jaguar, I’m gonna be in front…(can you tell I’m kinda “feminine challenged” in the car department. This is one of the areas where my “excess testosterone” tends to rear it’s ugly little head *grin*). Not only did it allow me to pass it, at (for me) normal speeds, it stayed behind me for about 12 miles. Not falling behind, which would indicate a timid driver, but just tooling along on my tail. IT’S A JAGUAR! DRIVE IT LIKE IT DESERVES TO BE DRIVEN – OUT IN FRONT!
Ahem…sorry, didn’t mean to get overly emotional there…
It just aggravates me to NO END to see these beautiful, powerful, well-oiled machines, not just Jags, but any well-made sports car, being driven by people who have obviously bought them in an attempt to improve their standing or impress someone. It is an insult to these beautiful machines. Drive them the way they’re made to be driven – fast take-offs, out in front of the lesser vehicles (I will follow a Jag any day, but I’m not going to slow down to do it… *grin*).
Ok, rant done.
Oh by the way, if any of you now feel a need to give your “being improperly driven” sports car to someone who will respect it and drive it with all the speed it was meant to be driven with, just leave a comment with contact info, I’d be happy to take it off your hands.

  • Looking innocent*

See ya laterzzzz!

Road Rage

April 11, 2008

What is wrong with people..? I’ve asked this question so many times, it seems to lose it’s meaning…I admit, I suffer from a tiny bit of road rage…ok, maybe more than a tiny bit…ok, maybe a lot. But in my defense, I feel it is justified.

What is it about putting a person behind the wheel of a vehicle, that makes all common sense, courtesy, and general intelligence just disappear? Not everyone mind you, but apparently a large portion of the population. And seemingly, there are certain roads that increase this effect.

Take for example, Lynhurst Ave, here in Indianapolis. Now granted, this is not the "ritzy" part of town…not even close, more like redneck heaven, which in and of itself is not bad.

***Early defense, I have nothing against rednecks, nor am I in anyway slamming them…I’ll be the first to tell you I AM ONE, so if you are too, please don’t go getting your panties in a bunch…***

Anyways, back to Lynhurst Ave…I have to travel this road almost daily to take my son to the sitter. It is about a five mile stretch. How many stoopid people can you possibly run into in a five mile stretch..? Lemme tell ya… A BUNCH! About two weeks ago, I’m driving up this road, behind a couple of other cars, making decent time (I actually achieved the speed limit, this is a feat all on it’s own!), when all of a sudden an elderly man comes off a side road at about 30 mph (from a stop sign) and cuts off the car that is two ahead of me, almost causing a wreck. This man then proceeds to putt up the next 2 miles of road at 15 mph…literally 15 mph. Needless to say my mild road rage has been alerted to the situation, and I’m steaming. I am on a schedule…I have to be somewhere TODAY. Then, I see a light at the end of the tunnel…a stop light, a GREEN stop light, at the cross street where I turn. Woohoo, freedom ahead – but wait, the man in the lead, has decided he needs to stop at the intersection, the intersection with the green light. A complete stop. And look both ways. And creep on through. GRRRRRRR

Ok, so now it’s taken me 15 mins to go 2 miles….but no cause for road rage, right..?

Then there are the tracks on Lynhurst. I understand slowing down for tracks if you’re in a sports car, or a hoopdie that might lose pieces, or something that sits low to the ground, especially these tracks, as you have to go up a hill, cross the tracks on top, and go back down the otherside…hmm, I may get a pic…BUT, you DO NOT need to slow to 1 mph. And if you drive a 4X4 vehicle, why are you slowing down? Your vehicle was built to go OFF-ROAD, through BOGS, ROCKY HILLSIDES, and other rough, uneven surfaces. Why are you slowing for railroad tracks? Hello !?!? Your vehicle is at least 18" off the ground, probably more…do you think you’re going to bottom out..? You’re not, I promise, my car only sits about 6" off the ground, and I don’t bottom out at 30mph. GRRRRRRRRR

And let’s not forget the interstates…the speed limit is 50mph in most areas of the city. As a rule, traffic moves at about 70 mph, if you’re much below that, you’re getting run over. So, I’m driving to work, keeping up with traffic, and find a big 4 wheel drive behind me. It has a lift kit, very tall vehicle. As I said a minute ago, my car sits low to the ground. The guy is so hard on my tail that I can’t see his headlights. In order for my trunk to block his headlights from view, he has to be within about 6-8 INCHES of my bumper. Is that necessary? More than likely I have my child in the car, which means you are threatening my child’s life, as well as my own. Ummm, not healthy decision making skills being displayed there…I just don’t understand the need. If you’re in THAT big of a hurry, GO AROUND. There are at least 2 other lanes available, sometimes as many as 4 other lanes, why do you have to ride my ass? This is probably a member of the same group of people who feel it is acceptable to jump into the "safe cushion" space I like to allow between my car and the one ahead of me…at 70 mph, you CAN NOT stop on a dime. There is always (at least) one person who just HAS TO HAVE that spot on the road, and jumps ahead of me, usually without a turn signal, and puts me within a foot of his bumper, and him a foot from the car ahead of him…dumbass…

Moving forward, I want to address all the self-absorbed, oblivious, rude people who travel our (and most) city streets.

PAY ATTENTION YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON ON THE ROAD

YOU DON’T HAVE TO HURRY TO THE RED LIGHT…IT’LL BE THERE WHEN YOU GET THERE

NO WHERE YOU’RE GOING IS IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO ENDANGER ME, MY CHILD & HUSBAND, MY FRIENDS, AND YOURSELF

PAY ATTENTION

Ok, I got that off my chest, now I have some questions…anyone can feel free to jump in with an answer… Why are you in such a hurry to get to a redlight 1/2 block up the road that you can’t stop & let someone from the parking lot/driveway/side street out onto the road? On a four lane road, don’t you see the people in the other lane stopped to let someone cross the road? Is it absolutely necessary to drive in the gutter and soak the elderly man walking on the sidewalk? Do you see the school zone sign? It’s there because there are children in the area, and as adults, it is our responsibility to keep them safe, as they don’t really have the ability to make good decisions consistently yet. But then apparently, neither do you. Are you this discourteous and disrespectful in your every day dealings?

Hmmmm…..I guess that’s enough snivelling from me for now. I hope to post later, hopefully on a lighter note…