felis_lupus: TADPOLE. Joe Cartoon (tadpole)

Roughly T-19 hours until I have a shiny little turquoise car! EEeeeeEEEEE! Drove it tonight, love it! Financing goes final tomorrow, I sign papers as soon as I can get to the dealership after work. Pictures, I promise.

My criteria for searching for a new vehicle? Blue. I wanted a blue car. Fell in love with the 2014 Nissan Versa Note via an ad on the internet. I'll admit it. The biggest selling point was the color. Mystic Peacock. Which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. The used car market is not so good. Anything worth buying was close enough in price to the brand new car to make it not worth even looking at. Anything in a lower price bracket wasn't worth looking at.

One more trip with my Rosie to work, then out to pasture she goes. She's been a damn fine steed and travel companion these last 10 years. But she's done, my girl. Rust is eating her rocker panels and undercarriage, the A/C cracked sometime between last summer and this one, so no cool air has blown for a while, and the rear end is pretty loose. Got every penny's worth of miles out of her. I found the original paperwork last night while looking for the title (who knows where that is). Originally purchased April 12, 2003, 27,415 miles. She'll be just over 211,300 when we roll into the dealership tomorrow night. Those were some good miles.
felis_lupus: (Default)
Apparently, at 180,100 miles, the explosive bolts go off in a Hyundai. Some of them, anyway.

Went through the tollbooth tonight on the way to dinner with the in-laws, got a very spirited and passionate rant from the toll-taker about his blood sugar, and how I should make sure to never, ever get diabetes (do I really have a choice in the matter?), went to roll the window up, and heard a loud and final-sounding "THUNK". Ah, crap. Window did not move, no matter what...

Got to the restaurant. Said hi. I think. Maybe I just went right into "my window won't go up, something is broken". Cue emergency in-law car repair service. The guys went outside, Bobbi and I stayed in, had a nice chat, and realized it was quite a while they'd been gone... Frank came back for duct tape. Oh dear lord. [personal profile] kurlon and his dad managed to get the window back up. It is now duct-taped to the doorframe. The rest of my door is in my backseat. The white bits are pieces of an envelope stuck to some truly nasty adhesive that I didn't want to get stuck on. Apparently the cable that drives the window got bound in the motor, and finally snapped/gave out/broke. Sigh. Oh, Rosie. She's 12 years old, and really has treated me well... only other major broken part was the alternator, about 8 years ago. Just... why did this have to break now, right when there's a $1,000 maintenance already on the books for this month? Argh.

Further exploration tonight shows that this is pretty typical of this car, and I was lucky to get 12 years before it went boom. I need a $40 part, probably about an hour's worth of labor to get it all working and back together again. Till then, I will possibly be crawling out the passenger door, since I don't want to put undue stress on the cables, since the door handle is not exactly properly attached and doesn't work very well at the moment. Will be taking the HiHy to the Fort this weekend.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
The spinach wins! 8 days after planting, 4 inches of rain yesterday and a nice sunny day today worked their magic, and I have at least a dozen or so spinach seedlings. YAY! The rest of the plants are hopefully not too far behind... carrots will take a little while... not sure on onions... hoping for some peas soon...

My potatoes came yesterday, and are now sitting happily in a box upstairs in the library so they can wake up and maybe start sprouting, and I will hopefully get them in the ground next weekend. I don't know if there's enough to do the full fun potato tower, but maybe I can do a mini-one. I may have more potatoes than I think I do... when they all fit in a little 8x12" box, it is deceptive.

Also got the Bletilla orchids in the mail today! Probably going to grow them as houseplants, even though they're supposedly hardy to zone 5. Two came sprouted and growing very happily in little tiny pots, the third was bareroot... tiny little shriveled thing, with a few roots, and a pathetic looking green sprout flopping about out of the top... I thought "I paid $12.95 for what, now?" but have done the right thing and used up the very last morsels of potting soil and put little Rickey Bletilla properly in a 4" pot, watered gently, and will wait. Patiently. It will be worth it when he finally blooms: The species B. striata has a flower spike on it. Hopefully the stress of shipping and new environment won't shock it and it will still bloom. Thank goodness for easy-to-understand care sheets, too.

Delivery of three Attar of Rose geranium that I have finally, finally been successful at rooting will happen this weekend too. One is a surprise. :) If anybody out there wants a cutting, let me know. I've figured out how to make them grow and be happy. Not as far as I know a medieval-period plant (earliest date I can find is 1690), but quite lovely nonetheless. I've made rosewater, rose-flavored sugar, and a rose-flavored cake (take clean leaves, lay in the bottom of a cake pan, pour white cake mix over them, bake. Delish. And not overly-flowery). The leaves are apparently edible, but I haven't ever munched on them...

And in other news... my li'l red car turned over 180,000 miles today. Good ol' Rosie's at 180,040 on return to the house tonight. Keep going, little car! You have new brakes and will have a new timing belt and other maintenance-worthy internals next week! We'll keep driving for a few more years at least!
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Regal Geranium
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Spring is coming.

Despite the weather yesterday, spring is coming. I have baby plants in the greenhouse, the geraniums came in yesterday, some with blooms on them, and I've had my hands in soil for the last two days. It is wonderful.

February is not, however, going out without a fight. )

My vacuum also came on Thursday! It's purple. It's beautiful. It sucks. In a good way. Didn't pull up nearly as much crap from the carpets as I expected it to, maybe the old vac was doing a better job than we thought. But this one definitely has better suction and sucking power. It was pulling kitty tumbleweeds in on the hardwood from a couple inches away from the beater bar (which can be turned off! So the floors won't be scratched! Joy!). The machine itself is also lighter than the old vac, a little bit quieter (though the high-speed whirrr of the beater bar is kind of annoying) and it moves much easier. I may even vacuum more than once every 6 months with the one...

Off to meet N & M for lunch today, N is bringing me a set of new-old speakers, to replace my old Logitechs. They were free, I've had them for at least 12 years, so I think I've gotten my money's worth... the right side one has developed a horrible electronic squeal that just gets worse the longer they are used... The new ones should be much better. Little cubes from Cambridge Soundworks, a few years old themselves, but based on the ones that N has had for years and years, they'll be a definite upgrade. And at $0.99 plus $15 shipping from ebay, can't beat the price...
felis_lupus: (Default)
Kind of a boring update... skip it if you like. ;) )

Looking forward to tomorrow, my one day off. Weather is supposed to be beautiful. I have a Plan for the gardens. It involves weed killer (for the pathway), compost (for the beds - ohgod do they need *something*), and weed barrier cloth (to go over the whole thing, and maybe starve out at least some of the sumac and raspberries). I intend to dig out the barberry and put a giant hosta in its place, which will be an incredible improvement. Perhaps will be able to plant the cutleaf coneflower as well. I think I have the spot picked out. We shall see how it goes.


Dec. 11th, 2009 11:21 am
felis_lupus: (Default)
So... took Rosie in for her yearly inspection and an oil change, and got a call from my mechanic. Done, got the sticker, but there's one thing we need to take care of...

Apparently, after a year and a half, and definitely NOT 50K miles (maybe 25K), I need new tires. This is a problem, not so much on the money end (though I can certainly think of other things I'd rather spend almost $400 on right now...), but because that's maybe HALF of the wear they're rated for. This makes me rather grumpy.

I need to find my receipts, and documentation of 'yes, I did what I was supposed to and got them rotated every 6K miles', but I doubt the shop (not my awesome local mechanic, who I should have gone to in the first place) is going to do anything about it... Ron's looking for the highest snow-rated all season tires he can find, and I think I'm proably just going to suck it up, refund/credit (unlikely) or no, and go get tires from the guys I should have gone to last March...

Talk to me, LJ... how much recourse do I have in getting something back, or will going to the tire shop do nothing but serve to satisfy my righteous indignation and frustration?


Nov. 8th, 2009 10:06 am
felis_lupus: (Kirara Smush)
Yesterday was spent in the company of friends, some of whom I do not see nearly enough, playing our fingers off on plastic instruments, and having one heck of a time. I likey my new guitar. I even managed to let go of it a few times and let other people play... :) Beatles came out after most people left, we finished the story, and then I sang Beatles songs till I couldn't anymore at 11:30 last night. And it was GOOD. The harmony bit on Beatles RockBand is really, really cool ([livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom03, you and your Mr. will definitely have to come over sometime, bring a USB microphone, if you have one. ;) I share the happy.), but again proves I cannot sing harmony on the fly. At least not very well. Unless I do it while I'm singing along anyway. Gah. :)

Today is yet another gift from November, and I finally will wash and wax my car before winter sets in. May also make the appointment to get my headlights repolished (only to have them sandblasted away in winter again...). We will see.
felis_lupus: (Kirara Smush)
Thanks again to my brother... Meet my new car. EEEEEE WANT. More realistic a goal than the last one, too, maybe...

EDIT 08/27/2009 - new video... hopefully this one stays working.


Jul. 2nd, 2009 09:09 pm
felis_lupus: (Default)
I... I... aaahhh... *faints*


In other news... it's still raining... might be sunny tomorrow. I'll believe it when I see it.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)

Potted Herbs
Originally uploaded by gshower7
And Star Wars Day... May the Fourth be with you!

So nice to have a day off. The garden is gardeny! Stopped into work to buy some fabulous pottery and soil that I neglected to pick up yesterday, as I was exhausted... The Haus Wanderstamm Traveling Herb Garden is in full swing! From left to right, back to front, we have Oregano, Thyme/Parsley, Chives, Lavender, Chocolate Mint, Sage, and Rosemary. Still need to add Basil (started and growing in itty bitty pots!), and perhaps some potted lettuce. Was awfully nice having fresh lettuce for sandwiches last year (gad, we're spoiled). Discovered also that Kohlrabi was known in Europe in the 1500's, so we may have a new side dish for GNEW this year. We'll see how my timing on the plants is.

The rosemary pot is wonderful, as is the one I picked up for the lavender. Not period, that one, but gorgeous. I have another HEAVY green glazed one that I need to put something wonderful in, but not sure what yet... perhaps the Basil. Lots of Basil. I realized I had not reserved a pot for that when I had to go digging through my stash in the basement to find one for the Chocolate Mint. Picked up a few annuals earlier, too, for my front porch pot, but will need more soil before I can plant them... So tempting to put the tomatoes out too, since it hasn't been below 40 at night in a while...

RosieCar is washed and waxed in preparation for the pouring rain tomorrow... Looks so much nicer, and I swear she runs better when she's clean. Neighbor Rob helped buff out the wax, as it looked like it may start raining before I would finish. Good neighbors, he and Gary, if a bit loud during sports games (for which he apologized, completely out of the blue)... I told him, as long as they shut up by 11:30 or so so I can sleep, we've got no problems. :)

A day...

Mar. 17th, 2009 05:58 pm
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
A day that started much, much earlier than I would have preferred, and turned out a lot more enjoyable, though not necessarily for a good reason.

Up at 6:30 to get my car to the mechanic before 7. Need a new wheel bearing, as Rosie turned into quite a noisy little car a week ago. All set there. Boss was picking me up there, at 7AM, so we could go up to Augusta for a seminar on Lakeside Landscaping. Not reeeeealy looking forward to spending a whole day with just him, but there we go.

He was asleep in the front seat of the Tahoe when I pulled in, and jerked awake when I knocked on the window. Sort of amusing... I climbed in, and he then told me that I would be heading up to Augusta by myself. Eh? Concern outweighed my happiness... He and Mary didn't sleep much last night, thanks to their very old dog, who they finally made the decision to have put to sleep this morning... :( Not a very fun time. Poor Pellet had not been doing well for a while now, but last night apparently made Mary realize that she had to do the most difficult kindness there is... Pellie was a good dog.

Took Joe home, and up to Augusta I went. Bad Irish jokes on WBLM kept me entertained. Got to the Civic Center, and was greeted by a former co-worker of mine. Yay! Somebody to sit with and talk to! Jeff and I had a good time. Was good to see him; it'd been a while. The seminar itself was pretty good, very informative. I am certified "lake friendly" and can now landscape around water. Go me. Ran into one former classmate from UMaine (whose name I could not pull up right away... embarrassing), which was nice. I figured there had to be at least one other of us there.

Returned home, tired, and got a call from Jess, who made me panic a bit, when she said she'd left the office around 11:00 this morning, and that I should probably check the greenhouses. ACK. NOT GOOD. Potentially frozen little babies! One zooming trip down the road later (when we finally move, this will become more of an issue...), all was well, as Alec (or somebody) had closed the doors and windows, and made sure the heat was on before they'd left. Thank goodness.

Soon, there will be delicious corned beef for me. [livejournal.com profile] kurlon put it all together this morning, and it was spitting all over the counter when I got home, but that's been cleaned up and it is burbling happily again. NOM.

More Robin Hood movie news! Ridley Scott's Robin Hood will feature a lot of singing. I don't think that means it will be a "musical", per se, hopefully just lots and lots of AlanGreatBigSea Wonderfulness. :)

And, though I am not a drop Irish, 'tis St. Patrick's Day, and I know folks who are Irish, so...

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
And may you be half an hour in Heaven 'fore the Devil knows you're dead.
felis_lupus: (Purr)

Abbi in the Sun
Originally uploaded by gshower7
With my camera, of course... Abigail was a wonderful model for me this past weekend, and the sunlight made it all just perfect, and I want to do more. Cats in the Sun, Maine Style. Might have to wait till summertime, though, as it's too dark to shoot in natural light and keep the camera steady when I go visiting now...

As [livejournal.com profile] kurlon posted, too, we has a new car. A HiHy. Blue. Limited edition. Heated seats, sunroof, teh werks. Is comfy, but even riding in the passenger seat, I feel like I'm in a giant bus. He's happy, though, and we're back under warranty, and he got full value for the Subaru, and we're not upside-down on the loan. So... another 5 years of car payments... but for a quiet, warrantied, hopefully reliable (it's a Toyota, after all...) vehicle.

In other news... ) At least it happened today, and not tomorrow, when I get to give my snowshovel tour (4-8" expected maybe?), and then be alllllll done with shoveling.
felis_lupus: (Default)
It is so nice to be rested... I have so missed my brain. I accomplished things today! Go me! Cleaned the fishtanks, cleaned (kinda) the bedroom, re-organized and chopped back a few plants, so there is more room (for more!) on the windowsills and they are not crawling across the floor, threatening to consume all in their path... Still a bit of work to do on that end.

Last night's Tree Burn chez [livejournal.com profile] mylisant and [livejournal.com profile] kr4sh was delightful. Nice and warm, bright burning fire, met some lovely people, had a few marshmallows, and there was good company all around. A good reminder... water those trees while they're inside, folks!

[livejournal.com profile] kurlon and I are headed north tonight to see his parents and (a month late) deliver their Christmas gifts, while father-in-law's is still relevant... not a whole lot of use for an insulated Carhartt suit in the summertime, I don't think. Have stocked up on Zyrtec, so the kitties will not make me die... There are only three of them now, though, so maybe allergies won't be so severe.

WHAT we use to head north in, I am not sure... J's new car itch has finally come to critical levels, and I think that before the day is out, we will have some color of either '06 or '07 Toyota Highlander Hybrid... The Subaru, for as reliable as it's been (still running...), has developed new squeaks and rattles that are driving J nuts, and the door is broken, and the breaks aren't wearing right, and and and........... Upside is, that it gets around 30 miles to the gallon, I think, which is better than both of our cars at the moment.
felis_lupus: (plant kitteh)
In which I am called out to shovel LESS than a quarter inch of snow. Didn't even get a nice sunrise or cloud color this morning... the sky kinda turned from dark gray to light gray.

Oh well... it's an easy three hours worth of work... I just wish it didn't happen in the middle of my last REM cycle. Blugghhh.

Got a little bit of sleep catch up in the lobby of Windham Automotive... I have been there way too often lately. But my car is fixed (again). Thermostat this time. Noticed that even though I'd been driving it for long periods the last couple days, and the ambient temperature was up a bit, she still wasn't quite warming up to where she should be. New parts and fluids now. Maybe this will fix my gas mileage.

I think the winter holidays and weird being-home-times caused my aquariums to go without a water change for a bit long... Fish are all still alive, but Levi has a slight case of pop-eye. Scared me a bit. Poor li'l guy. Epsom salts are clearing it up nicely, and he'll be OK in just a few more days, hopefully.

Shower now, then back to work to get the rest of my day in...
felis_lupus: (Howl)
And ends. Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009. Don't expect it will be that different, really, than 2008. Sure, there will be some changes. New TV (probably...). New house (maybe...). Same car. Same Job (at least through October. I do enjoy it in the summer.), different schedule (most likely). Same wonderful friends (with some new ones, inevitably! :) ).

The snow has started. Did about 9:30, and has been constant and light ever since. COLD again, so it will stay light. Only 1-3" expected, but I am preparing the Midnight Supply Bag, filled with sparkling cider and a couple cups, for Michelle and I to enjoy during a break in our shoveling and frozen misery... sigh.

There is much happening in the celestial realm in the next couple of days, all of which I will probably miss, because it will be cloudy (and snowing. sigh.)... those of you not in the northeast, however, may have a chance to see Tonight's Celestial Show and Saturday's Quatrantids Meteor Shower. Both of which are supposed to be be really, really cool...

I am off, at this moment, to go buy RockBand2. WalMart had a copy yesterday; I wanted to make sure there was no guitar-game combo for the Wii, because that's what I really want (there isn't). I will pick up the new guitar at some point, but for now... :) Must also stop by the mechanic's this afternoon. The new flex pipe they put in a week ago has actually been louder than the other, leaky one, so they get to check the welds for me... Could just be different resonance in the new pipe, but I'd rather be sure, than have the whole thing fall off going down the road.
felis_lupus: (Default)
Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I can think of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
 So... there we are. Historic election. Historic turnout. Historic results. Talking with a co-worker today while on an install (away from the shop! but boy am I going to hurt tomorrow...), he mentioned that he hopes we (as a country) won't have "buyer's remorse". Heh. I think we might, but it's all but inevitable. I'm not sure how anybody can successfully live up to the pedestal we've stuck Mr. Obama on, but by god, I am willing to see him try.

In other news... my car came back. :) All fixed, hopefully for a good while. Just two little metal bumps on the rocker panels, one on each side, but nicely smoothed and painted to match. He took care of the bit of rust building up on the window in the back, too. Anybody needs body work done, I think I can safely recommend these kind folks. (a look in the light tomorrow morning will be more telling, but I think I can safely say my Rosie will not be rusting away anytime in the near future. At least at those points.)

Ok. So this was my second political post. I think I'm done after this one, though. Back to silliness about cars and flowers...
felis_lupus: (Purr)
So... since it seems I've got a good start on it anyway, I am going to do my best to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). A month-long meme. And that will be the one and only time I ever type that string of letters. Gah. We'll see if it works; there are some days, I've found, that I'm just not on a computer for long enough to form coherent thoughts.

Today was a day off. Yay. Except for going in at 8 this morning to figure out how November is going to work. Boo. No sleep in. Got the truck, though, so I am not confined to these 4 walls, at the mercy of anyone I can beg a ride off of.

Baked rolls today, brought some over to the auto shop guys as a thank you for not charging to fix the stupid clunking. Had lunch with Syd after we took a ride with Ron and determined that she needs new tires, but probably not $400 worth of engine work on top of it. Fencing tomorrow will be (hopefully) my one longer-than-back-and-forth-to-work trip in the gas-sucking pickup. Rosie should be done sometime on Wednesday, if all goes well.

Made favorite soup for dinner; [livejournal.com profile] kurlon has lunch for the rest of the week now. Skipping singing practice tonight. Tired. Going to watch more Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in a bit. I fell asleep through an apparently important episode last night, so will re-watch that one before continuing.
felis_lupus: (Swedish Chef)

It's Aliiiiive
Originally uploaded by gshower7
Two full days off... what to do? Anything I want, darn it!

Went to lunch in Portland with a former coworker yesterday, caught up on stuff, was wonderful. She is very very happy in her new, extremely low-stress job... Did some shopping afterward, found wedding gifts for a couple of upcoming nuptials, vegged out at home, played laptop courier, and vegged out at Alec & Ninian's, and played RockBand to the wee hours (ohgodohgod we all made it through 3 songs on Expert... eeeeeeeee!) A good day.

Made a Dutch Baby for breakfast/brunch this morning... a success. Light, fluffy, and delicious. Found that the delightful Buckwheat Honey also goes very will with German Pancakes. om nom nom.

Today I decided to spend some quality time with my car. Washed, washed inside windows, Rain-X'ed the windshield and rear window (I think; the wipes were old, and seemed a bit dry...), and waxed. Shiny, red, CLEAN car now. All sparkly. Happy car, happy me.

I did find one thing that made me rather unhappy, however. A small hole, and upon closer examination, a large amount of proto-rust and rust on the rear passenger side, on the underside near the wheel well. Well Crud. Something will have to be done before winter, or else I believe I shall have a much larger repair bill... Oil change is due in a few weeks, I'll make it till then and have the guys at the garage give it a once-over and deliver the bad news...


Mar. 28th, 2008 06:07 pm
felis_lupus: (Default)
I'd post pictures, but they're too depressing... agh. 5" of wet sloppy snow this morning. After 3 days of 50+, waking up to white cotton-covered pine trees did not make me a happy cat. Only consolation is that it will go away quickly. The roads are clear, it was wet and soggy, it will turn into water soon enough. Not a pretty snow.

Not a pretty snow that causes one's vehicle to spin into the wrong lane of the road, either... aiee! Said some things I shouldn't have, but were acceptable, given the circumstances, I think... thank goodness nobody was coming the other direction, or this note may have turned out differently. Ironically (?), I was on my way to get new tires, as my other ones were quite done. And that's the way things go; pay off the car, it starts costing me money. Tires were expected; two new tire studs were not (#@$^* VIP cross threading my lugnuts. AGAIN. No more VIP for me. grr.), and the explanation for the slight shimmy I've been noticing in the steering wheel is a loose tie rod. Lovely. Still cheaper to fix than get a new car. As long as it stays that way, I'm all set.

felis_lupus: (Default)

Originally uploaded by gshower7
100,000 Miles worth of stones, actually! No real rocks were involved, unless you count the one that dinged my windshield last year.

My beautiful, wonderful car, my Rosie, has traveled over 100,000 miles in her lifetime. Over 73,000 of them were with me behind the wheel. This means, of course, that in the 4 years, 7 months that I have had my car, I have spent (assuming an average speed of 55 mph) approximately 1,328 hours in my car... that's just over 55 days. Around 12 days a year. Not too bad, considering... having a 5 minute commute certainly helps.

She's still running as good as the day I drove her out of the lot, too. A few new bits, alternator, steering wheel switch so my highbeams still work, a faulty shifter switch (which will eventually be repaired, for now easily bypassed with a very stylish ballpoint pen), but otherwise just fine. Like me, it takes a little while to warm up on those extra cold mornings, and she grumbles a bit, but all in all, we should be able to go for another 100,000. :) 5 more payments and she's all mine.


felis_lupus: (Default)
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