Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Almost Trip to England

This really happened to my friend JM. All of it.

Speeding because of Sculptures

On a recent trip to Vermont for a sad but really worthwhile visit, I found myself driving near Platekill, NY. I like odd named things and also to find odditites while traveling. But my timeline did not allow for stopping. So when I saw a field of metal sculptures that appeared to be brothers with the newest (er?) giangator sculpture along the ben franklin parway in Philly, I became distracted. In fact, I was so distracted that I failed to look for cops.

I received a "conduct interfering with orderly/safe traffic flow" which I received due to my unfailing honesty (Yes, officer, I was probably speeding) but smart omission that I wasn't paying attention (It was because I was looking out the window trying to figure out what those brightly painted hunks of metal are in the that field over there) and the impeccable driving record I have.

Thank you Cornwell Township Policeman whereever you are for given me a semi-warning in lieu of the many points you could have instead bestowed. I will gladly pay my fine (worth a third of the total ticket) and penalties for court interaction (worth the other 2/3) once you mail it back to me.

Turns out the sculpture farm is Storm King. I thought that was the name of the horse.

post script: I have been following all speed limits religiously from that moment, much to the chagrin of the people following me thru Vermont and then NJ on the way back home.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Funny That Unlucky #1 Should Mention the Passat...

Yesterday, the main blogger to this site left town for a week. In an attempt to help out costs in this economy, I volunteered to pick up the Passat in the Economy Lot of the airport so only a days worth of parking costs would accrue. I, Unlucky #2, work at the airport, so this seemed like a very easy/no stress kind of chore.

After getting passed by 2 buses taking other passengers to lot, I decided to just walk to the car. Seeming to be an easy enough task, I began chatting with my mother to distract me from the fact that it was freezing as I wandered through. About 30 minutes later, a bus pulled up to me and the driver politely asked "Are you lost hunny?" And he gave me directions to walk over the nearest bus shelter and a bus was going to pick me up and take me to the section where Unlucky #1 had told me I would find the car. I quickly ran over to the shelter and told my mother I would call her back as I stepped onto the bus and slipped my phone in my pocket. This bus driver was not as polite but he could me to the correct bus shelter nonetheless. About 30 seconds later, bus driver #2 said "This is your stop ma'am. Watch your step." As I jumped off the bus he pointed to the sign that said G22 which of course was right near where I was standing at K10-ish.

Once the bus pulled away, I began searching around section G22 for The Passat. I finally found it (the alarm was either very quiet or decided not to register that evening) and I unlocked it, sat down and proceeded to call my mother back to let her know the bus driver didn't kill me. I pat myself down and couldn't find my phone. I emptied my bag and couldn't find my phone. I started the car, turned on the lights (I forgot to mention this was around 10:30 pm) and searched the ground near the parking spot for my Nokia 6205 (which I never wish anyone to own). I traced my 1-minute journey from the first bus shelter to The Passat and found nothing.

After 30 minutes of searching I gave up. I proceeded to the exit toll lanes to pay/ask if I had any chance of finding my phone again. The toll booth manager was surprisingly helpful. "Hunny just make a U-turn and drive to the other end of the lot to the bus depot. There's a trailer there with lights. Ask one of them if they've seen it." So I proceeded to drive to the depot. On the way, I passed bud driver #1 who pulled over to me and said "Hunny, are you lost again?!?" I explained what happened and he told me that the bus driver #2 had it and had been trying to find me and to wait there and in about 8 minutes I would have my phone back.

By 11:45 pm, I was in my bed falling asleep...finally. Thank you to the Philly Airport Economy Lot Bus Drivers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What a difference 2,007 miles makes...

On Sunday evening, after an event that will take too long to blog right now, I found myself driving to the grocery store to replace groceries. When I came out, got into my car and started to drive away, I noticed people flashing their high beams at me. Startled, I checked my headlight dial which was on and chalked it up to my missing headlight. You see, my car had a headlight out and had begun telling me this Monday of last week. But when I turned onto the residential side streets, I noticed that both my headlights must be out. I go to work at 6AM. It is dark then. I knew Monday was about to become a day off.

On Thursday evening (Christmas Eve) of last week, the check engine light came on. On Saturday morning (the day after Christmas), my windshield washer fluid light came on. Now I am all for Holiday lightshows, but this was ridiculous!

Knowing that we have a trip to Boston planned, I decided to try to get the two things fixed at once and managed to schedule an appointment for Monday afternoon when I called on Monday morning.

Why, you might ask, did I not change my light bulbs myself? The answer is part bc you basically have to remove part of the engine to replace them in a Passat. (google it- you get 91,000 results) So $80 for headlights that cost around $8 a pop coupled with the check engine light automatic $98 "finder's fee" for figuring out what was wrong started off the trip to the repair shop. But when they checked the engine light and came up with a PCV Valve problem and the bill went up to $440, I thought great! I have a warranty! ONLY....

My warranty ends at 50K- my car has 52,007. I am almost certain that Karma is out there laughing hysterically right now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Operation Agua

I began my attempts to install the waterline from my basement to my in-fridge ice and water dispenser about two months ago. By begin, I mean I made my dad hole saw thru the floor and then I randomly purchased accoutrements when I remembered in various trips to the store. Last Thursday, I decided enough is enough and in anticipation of Halloween and potential ice needs, I began anew with a trip to Home Depot. (Normally I am Lowe's but we have a gift card.) Operation Agua commence!


My home has a water manifold system and all I wanted on Thursday was:
1) A plastic connector to make the 1/2" pex pipe ($16) that I bought on one of my previous trips for Halloween supplies in order to attach the pex to the port.
2) A reducer/connector to go from 1/2" pex pipe to 1/4" line on the back of my fridge.

Instead, twenty minutes later, I came home with standard plumbing items of the following:
1) 5/8" compression nut with insert $2.77
2) 1/4" compression nut with insert $1.52
3) 5/8" compression nut x 3/8" compression nut both with inserts $4.70
4) 25' of 1/4" poly pipe $6-something

Now, I blame myself partially for not having rechecked the sizes but when he hands me each package after a detailed discussion of what I needed, I left the store and came home full of vim and vigor. Only 3/8" inserts don't fit in 1/4" tubing.

So, I proceed to spend Sunday with the plumbing apprentice aka BS, my boyfriend and every tool we have in the house. Turns out the standard size 5/8" compression nut doesn't actually screw on to the port when you insert the pex into the compression fitting and as we realized this we proceeded to drop it onto the floor and break the nut so I find myself taking a trip to Home Depot to replace the two headed nut and we take the $2.77 loss plus our time plus more gas from my already low tank.

At Home Depot, I return my 5/8"x 3/8" part for store credit and head back to the plumbing aisle. I stare into the boxes of PEX related parts until the man using the threading station notices my bewilderment and proceeds to come to my rescue. Standing there with hands full of all the appropriate parts, I couldn't figure out how I was going to crimp the pipe back at the house..


And lo and behold, Rich, the Home Depot savior, pulls out the crimper..to "show me how it works in theory" and with a wink, continues to make the above, a 1/2" PEX compression fitting (the one on the left) crimped copper ring, PEX pipe link, crimped copper ring to 1/2" male adaptor... swipe the bags and grab a bag of Sour Patch Kids for my mental stress and I am out $9.30 less the $4.70 credit but am a solid hour ahead in work.
We chisel out the wood to fit our new reducer onto the manifold and turn the water on... LEAK! Guess who forgot pipe tape?? So out to Sears Hardware for $1.05 and back to re-connect the pipes and turn the water on.... LEAK! Turns out the 1/4" compression fitting has some sort of issue in the nut that is allowing water thru coupled with my shrinking patience and I find myself holding three pieces for what is a two piece component. Off I go again, back to Sears for a new compression nut and nylon sleeve with insert ($2.63).
It is now 4:00. I have missed the Steelers game, I have installed a new compression fitting and we turn the water back on....
SUCCESS!

Total Spent:
6 hours including driving time and $39.37 not counting gas but I will never need a Brita again.

Nightmare on ELM AVE..

video

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bike Accident

My friend GB of stolen bag fame has had yet another run in with bad karma...
Yesterday while riding in DC, GB was hit by a woman who the cops referred to as "ancient". He was riding in Washington Circle and thus had the right of way. The ancient (and potentially blind) woman failed to yield and instead hit him, knocking the bike and GB several yards away skipping across the pavement like a stone across a lake.

He emerged unscathed due to proper helmet, long pants, long-sleeved shirt and other bike accessories. The bike, however, did not.

handlebars- check the handlebars..