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Archive for January, 2005

I got my car back on Thursday night. After shelling out slightly over $1,000. Remember, this is preventative maintenance. Oil change, spark plugs, and a bunch of belts. There was nothing seriously wrong with my car. That was annoying, but that’s not all the money I shelled out that night.

When I got the rental car on Wednesday, I was told that there was only a quarter tank of gas. All the documentation refelcted that. I had to initial something that said that if I returned the car with less than what was indicated, I would be charged $10/quarter tank. Pretty standard stuff. So, I get into the Sonata (with power seats, power windows and climate control–but I’ll still never buy another Hyundai!) and notice that the tank is 3/4 full. For a moment I felt like I’d won a small lottery. However, by Thursday night, my conscience had kicked in and I decided to fill the tank back up to 3/4 (I was actually at a 1/4 tank by this time). I had to guess how much to put in and I guessed a bit much, so the car was returned with nearly a full tank of gas. No biggie, right?

Then I get my car, which turns out to be just a hairline above E. Not sure what they did that took all that gas (that car actually did have a 1/4 of a tank) but the very first thing I had to do was get to another gas station. I fill up the car, grumbling because I’ve now spent almost $40 in gas alone! I briefly wonder if the credit card company is going to notice this, but then I consider that they probably don’t consider $20 here and there worth tracking.

Oh, and the kicker??? My paperwork says that I needed a new muffler. But because I just passed 60,000 miles, my warranty is expired. (I was actually at 60,037. 50 of those miles was getting to the dealership) However, as a gesture of goodwill, the dealership has ordered the part and will replace it as if it were still under warranty.

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Ups & Downs

I’m going to start with the depressing stuff and work my way to the positive because I’m trying very hard to not get down. I still have not found the USB cable for my digital camera. I may have to purchase a replacement for about $45. Grrr…

I thought that was bad but on Monday I called to make an appointment for my car’s 60,000 mile check up. g00fy_blonde claims that it still has problems starting so I mentioned that and the strange humming at 3000 rpms–not 2999, not 3001. Just 3000. Go figure. The service guy tells me that since this is going to take between 5 and 6 hours, I will be able to get a rental car at no extra charge. But here’s the kicker—the cost of said maintenance will be—$850!

Well, what can I do? I need to get this done (and I have to use the dealer because of the warranty conditions). So I make myself be grateful that I have enough room on a credit card to pay for this and move on. I dropped the car off this morning and I’m told that the cost will be $850 + shop supplies (you mean to tell me that the service amount does NOT include the supplies???) Okay, I mentally add another $100 on, hoping that I’m overestimating.

Now, I’ve received the inevitable phone call. The car won’t be done tonight because they’ve come across a couple of things that should be replaced. None of these are covered under the service agreement because not every car needs them. The labor will be free, but I’ll have to pay for the parts–to the tune of $70. Oh and my tires need balancing (even though I just had that done), but they can do it for about $35. And we haven’t even covered the shop supplies (the $35 that I’m certain the transmission fluid will cost, the oil, the other fluids and belts that are being replaced).

Now let’s focus on the good stuff. I completed the year end Campaign Finance report in record time. It normally takes 2-3 days of focus, but today it only took 3 hours. Yay!

The loaner car has power seats and climate control. (But I’m still not going to be purchasing another Hyundai).

The days are getting longer. It’s no longer night time when I leave the office.

We actually accomplished two things at the history committee meeting last night. One, there will be no suncatchers. Repeat, there will be no suncatchers! That has only taken me 4 months to defeat. The other thing was to review the dates on the commemorative calendar and select the photos. We actually got that done too! I think it had a lot to do with the president of the church council attending. She wouldn’t let our chairwoman go off on any tangents and kept the group focused on the task. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Okay, I’m feeling better again.

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I Found It!

Now, I’m going to prepare a deposit slip and get it out of the office before I lose it again!

I only wish that I could find the stuff I seem to be losing around my apartment.

Oh and I dreamt last night that Joe Lieberman was stalking me…..

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I had a very nice dinner with my mother and her husband last night where we discussed state politics and theology (specifically was Mary Magdalene the wife of Christ and how most Christian holidays “coincidentally” fall on or near pagan holidays).

I’m teaching a beginning Tarot class. There will be four sessions and the first starts this Saturday, so I started getting some materials together last night. I think I’ve almost got enough notes to feel comfortable talking about the history/background of the cards, but there is just a little more research I would like to do. Unfortunately, this class will be coinciding with the closing of the store that I read at. The owner and her sister want to buy a hobby farm and move up north. They have been unable to find a buyer for the store because the mall where it is located has already lost 3 other stores (out of 10) for various reasons (not all of them went out of business). But the mall looks dead, which has put off more than one perspective buyer.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do in order to continue with my readings. I have a month to figure it out. I don’t want to do it out of my home, or visit other people’s homes. I’m hesitant to ask if any of the coffeeshops would let me read at their locations. Maybe I’ll switch to online readings. I’ve got to give this more thought.

And now it’s time for me to start work. I’ve got a few small things that need to get done ASAP (like finding the $5,000 check that I misplaced on my desk yesterday).

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I’m not doing well on keeping up with my journal here. I am up to date on my Friends list, but after reading everything that everyone else has to say, my life seems a bit dull.

I took Friday off last week to take g00fy_blonde to the doctor because he has pneumonia. This was just a follow up to see how the medication is working, but because it makes him drowsy and nauseous, I volunteered to drive him to the Cities and back.

On Saturday, my car wouldn’t start (thank goodness it was running on Friday). So, I spent the day looking for a new battery. Fortunately, g00fy_blonde‘s brother was a mechanic and was willing to haul my battery around so we could find the right size. Hyundai refuses to list their replacement parts in any catalog–they want you to always go through the dealer—bah! Anyway, we found a battery and my car started and ran just fine on Sunday.

Yesterday was a holiday and I had a bunch of errands and plans, but once again, my car wouldn’t start. I’m starting to hear the word “alternator” a little too often for my taste. I think we’ll be replacing the spark plugs and see what, if anything, that does. Oh and I’m 50 miles from my 60,000 mile tuneup. I know I have to make an appointment, but if I can’t get my car running, I won’t be able to take it in to the dealer. I never realized how precise these 15,000 mile tuneups are.

In other news, the arctic cold is supposed to be ending and the weathermen are saying we should see snow in the next couple of days. It’s been really weird to have virtually no snow this season.

Today has been a bit of a drag as I have had to create district maps showing impaired waters for all 67 Minnesota districts. Talk about time consuming and mind-numbingly boring. And now that I’m done, I get to look forward to stuffing invitations for our awards dinner. I can hardly wait.

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I don’t think I’ve mentioned here one of the best things about my apartment. It’s been cold in Minnesota–not snowy, but definitely cold, and I have only had to turn the heat on in the bedroom. Okay, a couple of times, I turned the heat on in the living room (and once in the bathroom because I hate cold floors). But seriously, the thermostat/comfort zone thingy has been primarily off so far this winter. This is even with missing storm windows and an air conditioning unit that is not exactly flush with the hole in the wall.

The result??? A whopping $4 electric bill for December! Yes, I was home a lot. Yes, I had a lighted tree; yes, my computer is on continuously, and yes I do sometimes have every single light on.

But I’ve never had an electric bill less than $20 in my life (and I’m not sure if that number is closer to $30).

(Or maybe I’ve just “lost” the cold air that should be in my apartment)

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Losin’ It

I am becoming a chronic loser. Not in the self-deprecating, name-calling way, but in the I can’t find jacksh*t sort of way. This condition started sometime in November and has been progressing steadily.

Bear in mind, I have a small two-bedroom apartment. This stuff should not be disappearing, but to date I have lost:

  • a bright red oversized folder containing notes and historical documents for the church committee
  • the USB cable that links my camera to my computer
  • a piece of flourite
  • some really cool incense that came with my yoga set
  • eyedrops that were purchased only two days prior
  • bills that need to be paid–(un)fortunately those turned up a day after they were due
  • $40 in cash that was supposed to be deposited–this too showed up immediately after returning from the bank
  • notes for a meeting that I printed out the night before

I’m beginning to believe that there is some sort of invisible abyss in that apartment. The goal this week is to undergo a de-clutter and see what, if anything, chooses to show back up.

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