Sunday, January 27, 2008

Long week.

So the week has ended. Or more correctly a new one has started, this being Sunday and all. Sue gave me off, even though it's not really my weekend, because I haven't had off since last Sunday. With a little luck, I'll be back in my store, long term, starting Wednesday. Or not, as I've apparently impressed my DM.

Don't get me wrong, I like going to other stores, I actually have a lot of fun, but I also worry about what's going on in my shop while I'm not there. I'm proud of what we've got going and while it could use some improvement, it's good and it's taken a lot of work to get it there. So I'm a little protective of that.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'll admit it.

I never wanted to put myself in the position of needing to dye my hair, but I'll admit it, it happened today. I had dyed my hair a great shade of dark red brown. For fun, I was on vacation and got bored.

But I let it grow out really badly, like since early October. So today, when I got my hair cut, also after letting it go, really badly, at first I was thinking it looked really good. Then it dried. (I always airdry, the blow dryer does scary things to my hair.)

Then I got a really good look at my hair. Dark brown in the back, dark brown with some gray at my temples and my roots and funky red streaks throughout. But only on top. Where it's longer.

I look like a middle aged housewife trying to relive her teens.

So I had to dye my hair. To get rid of the rest of the red.

So here I sit, reeking to high heaven while I wait for the color to develop. I've never had dye that stank this bad and it even has an aromatic additive. My eyes were watering putting it on my hair. Can't wait to rinse out. I'll twitter how it turns out.

And hopefully, I'll never have to dye again. This should grow out ok.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

*sigh* still pooped.

I still feel kinda lousy. Like in that way where when you finally break down and go to the doctor you can't really describe how you feel. It's been like 6 weeks now where I just don't feel quite right. I think it's because I've been going full tilt since like Thanksgiving and before that we painted and so on and so on.

I'm hoping that either I'll feel better when things slow back down at work, or I'll just get really sick and get it over with. Something needs to give soon because the house is starting to be a mess again from me not feeling like doing anything. And the Christmas tree is still up.

As far as projects go:
Nibbler is half finished and on hold for now.
I need to check if the Shrek hat fits Lyam so I can finish that.
I need to make a cow to go with the pig.
Katherine's gift is stitched, but not finished.
Dave's gift is about halfway stitched.
Haven't started stripping the radiators.
Haven't started fixing the hole in the 3rd floor ceiling.
The cat got his bath.
The cat has forgiven me for his bath.
I have a long list of dolls for our collection.
Haven't heard from Troy about the Retail Hell art.
Haven't gotten around to calling Troy to remind him about said art.
Got a smidge of writing done on my short story.
Started writing down and fleshing out my apocalypse dreams.
Haven't gotten past looking at the Psionics games based on the short story.
Sarah needs to proof, edit, etc the first draft of the kids book.
I need to email the 1st draft of the kids book so Sarah could edit it.

And on and on.

I really need to sit and make a complete list. Maybe then I can make some headway. If I'm ever not tired.

On a side note, I highly recommend Narutaru if you're interested in Anime.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not again! (resolved)

So, we took the Corsica over to Ernie and Eli at A&E Diagnostic to have it looked over.

Easton Auto Body replaced the sensor at a much higher price than Ernie would have charged. In fact, they charged me $75 just for the part and Ernie said that the part shouldn't have cost even close to that, nevermind what they over charged for labor.

Easton Auto Body also left the old sensor under the hood. You know, rather than just putting it in the damn trash can.

Easton Auto Body said that they had to unplugged the torque converter solenoid in my transmission. Which led me to think that my car is basically on its last leg. I figured if the transmission is going bad, this car isn't worth putting anymore money into.

They guys we trust said that they never did anything to my transmission. The transmission is fine, actually. In fact, Ernie thought that the only reason I really have to start looking for a newer car is simply the fact that the Corsica is starting to get old. Clean bill of health for the car and nothing that looks like it would be a problem even anytime soon.

Although, there is always the chance that something weird might happen, like when the ABS sensor just fell apart.

So, no long term guarantees, but the car is safe to drive. Also, Easton Auto Body is either lying, thieving jerks, or they're incompetent. I would tend to lean toward the lying part, only because there were at least 2 outright lies that we caught them in.

(Also, the downshifting thing was apparently paranoia on my part. They didn't notice a problem when they road tested it at A&E and I haven't noticed it since then either.)

The moral of the story is: take your car to the mechanic you trust. If you break down in the Allentown area, go to A&E Diagnostic - they're good guys over there. If you break down in Easton, for the love of all that is good in the world, don't let Easton Auto Body work on your car.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not again! (an update)

So we got the Corsica back on Friday. And on Saturday, it started acting up again. Same thing. So we let it sit until Monday, because we wanted to talk to the garage before we had it towed over again.

Before I continue let me just say, I had thought that Easton Auto Body sucked, but did I ever underestimate just how badly.

Turns out that they never caught the other stuff wrong with my car because IT WAS MECHANICAL. Apparently they're incapable of noticing anything is wrong if it doesn't code out on the computer.

Now I could see if I took my car in and said "Sensor X is bad, replace it" and they did just that and then it still didn't work because something else was wrong. But I took my car in and said "It starts but doesn't stay running, fix it" and they basically stopped working after they fixed the first problem they came to.

Then they proceeded to lie to me and tell me that the check engine light never came on for them after they fixed the sensor. How is it that I'm so sure they're lying through their teeth? Easy. The check engine light has come on EVERY time I've EVER let that car run for more than 10 minutes since the day I bought it. It came on after they fixed the sensor too. In fact it still comes on.

Which means, they either lied about the light coming on, or they lied about letting it idle for 2 hours to make sure it was running properly.

And if they'd lie about something so simple, what else would they lie about?

Then they tried to prove how trustworthy their work is by providing with an example. Random female customer Ms. X has been bringing her car to them since it was brand new, with the exception of the "break in period" (whatever that means) where she took it to the dealership. She has never had any concerns with the labor performed at Easton Auto Body. The guy we were talking about then proceeded to tell us that this woman's car is about 4 years old now.

Honestly, how many times could she have possibly had her car in the garage if she bought it new 4 YEARS AGO? How much could have possibly gone wrong?

An oil change? I trust even Walmart with an oil change. It's pretty hard to get that wrong.

Spark plugs? Only if she drives a lot. And again, you unscrew the old one and screw the new one in. I can change my own. (Except in the Corsica cause they're impossible to get to.)

Anyway, the end result is, their solution was to unplug the torque converter solenoid in order to keep my car running and now it doesn't feel like it's downshifting properly.

They basically fixed one problem by creating another.

Oh and the best part! When we wouldn't take their talking in circles and refusing to give a straight answer as good enough, THEY GOT PISSED OFF AT US! "Your keys are in your car, either take it and go, or we'll tow it to where ever you want. Just go."

So, now I have to take the Corsica to Ernie and Eli at A&E Diagnostic, which is an awesome little garage in my neighborhood that we've been going to for 5 years. In short, I want the guys I trust to make sure my car is even safe to drive, while in the meantime, we'll be shopping for a newer used car for me.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Not again!

So, I just spent a little of $500 to get the steering repaired on the Corsica. The steering pump, the steering belt and the steering pressure hose has to be replaced, plus some other stuff that the steering fluid was dripping on. Apparently, steering fluid is mildly corrosive. That was like the beginning of December.

Then yesterday, on my way home from work, the piece of shit I call a car broke down. Along the side of the road. Not that it doesn't start, don't misunderstand that. Everything turns over just fine. And the engine catches. And it runs. Just not long enough to get my hand from the key to the shift. Damn.

It stalled when I was warming it up, but it has been really cold and since the engine evened out pretty much right away, I figured like ok, I'll go home the back way, so at least if it is worst case scenario, I'm not stalling out on 22. It'll would be a city street and that fucks up traffic, but isn't as likely to cause an accident, at least.

So I get out of the parking lot and across the 33 overpass and into the new industrial park. And by the time I get halfway across the industrial park, things are getting kinda ugly. So I decided to pull into the parking lot at Outback with the idea that I'll dig out my AAA card and go inside and ask to use the phone.

But by the time I get my AAA card dug out and figure out what phone # I'm supposed to call, I get a brainstorm. I only work on the other side of the highway. It's not much more than a 1/4 of a mile, certainly not even a full 1/2, I'll limp the car back to where I work, where at least I know I can let it sit overnight if I have to, and I'll call Carl from there and he can pick me up and we'll come home and talk it over and decide what we want to do.

That way, if I do need to have it towed, and least it's been a decision that wasn't all on me. But...

The stupid piece of shit Corsica stalls like 6 times on me and it's the best I can do to just get it out of traffic. So I leave a white bag shut in my door, cause I don't know what else to do and don't want to leave the 4ways on, because I don't know how long I'll be gone and I don't want to add a dead battery to the list of what may or may not be wrong, and I start to walk back towards work, because I don't have a cell phone.

Now, all I have to do is cross the 33 overpass, cross Freemansburg Ave. and walk across the parking lot. Except that it's like 20 degrees out and windy as all hell. And I have asthma. So by the time I get back to Michaels, I'm freezing cold and can barely breathe.

So I go into the office to call Carl to cancel my plans and call AAA to come get my car. Except that since my AAA plus membership hasn't started yet, I can't get my car towed to Ernie's (A&E Diagnostic in Allentown - very trustworthy, I highly recommend them) because I'm over in Bethlehem township and only can be towed either 5 miles or back to the garage that picked me up.

So, my car is currently sitting at Easton Auto Body. I can't badmouth them because I don't know anything about them an so far at least, they've been good to me. But I'm paranoid because I don't know anything about them and have had a couple of very bad experiences with mechanics. I might walk over to Ernie's this morning and see if he knows anything about Easton Auto Body that might make me feel better.

But I'll still be nervous because the last mechanic other than Ernie that we went to was a friend of a family member who came highly recommended but turned out to not be particularly reliable. He gave us great prices, but the work tended to match the too good to be true prices, or it took him days and days to get around to it.