Friday, December 31, 2010

Ding Ding Ding! Bonk! New Year's Predictions and Resolutions for 2011

Since marrying Jesse, it has become a bit of a New Years tradition for us to listen to Coast To Coast's New Year's Prediction show instead of going out. And just like the years before, we will be settling down on the couch or in bed with a bottle of champagne and a boy in bed (hopefully) listening to the Dings and Bonks of 2010 and hearing what 2011 has in store.

On that note, I have decided to make my own list of predictions for 2011. Personally, 2010 was a pretty epic year for me and a lot of great things happened, I met a lot of amazing new friends, learned some cool new skills, worked some interesting jobs, lost one car and gained another and just truly thought it was all in all, a great year. However, I can't say I am as hopeful for 2011. I think 2011 is going to be a little bit of a challenge, not so much a total suckfest, but there will definitely be some obstacles. That aside, time for my 2011 Predictions.

- There will be a mass meat recall due to some form of tainted beef.
- There will be a big fire in the central valleys of California.
- A new species of dinosaur will be discovered Utah.
- A new species of bird will be discovered in the Amazon.
- There will be a disasterous earthquake in India and it will be felt throughout many neighboring countries causing a massive outbreak of diseases, looting and rioting and the US will throw more soldiers to Afghanistan to try and stabilize things there.
- The economy will start to show signs of recovery (not stabilization yet.)
- TSA is going to become stricter on their regulations on what you can and can't take on planes, however, the full body scanners are going to start to phase out due to costs.
- Facebook will be at the center of a large class action suit over privacy rights (they will win under the pretense people can opt how much information they choose to share on the internet about themselves.)

OK, that's all I got for predictions. Now for resolutions.
- Get rid of the 10 lbs I gained over the holidays.
- Join a gym.
- Have all our cars running in decent shape.
- Buy my CZ-527 Carbine in 7.62x39.
- Put in for deer tags.
- Learn something new (anything?)
- Go out more often with Jesse on husband-wife dates.
- Try to do a family vacation somewhere fun.
- Find new places to go fishing.
- Brush up on my knitting skills.
- Take up archery.
- Hike all (or most of) the trails in the greater Reno/Sparks area.
- Go horseback riding.

And on that note, I say Happy New Year's to everyone. 2010 was great, but hopefully 2011 is even better. Be safe out there. The weather is kinda crappy in some places. Remember the busses are free tonight. Take advantage of them!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Failure Times Two

An odd thing happened to me on Saturday. Out of the blue, my cell phone touch screen stopped working. Of course, an hour later, it worked again and all was great and fine in the world. Or so I thought. The very next day, the same thing happened and I treated the situation like the previous day and assumed all would be right again in an hour or so. Hours passed and I came to the conclusion my phone was helpless. I tried to file a report for a replacement with my phone insurance company, however, because there weren't any cracks or damage to the LCD screen, it would have to be dealt with, if applicable, through the warranty. Luckily for me, my warranty was still in effect because it turns out I only had the phone for some 9 months. After a little chat with Verizon, they had sent a replacement out next day, which in reality, was for Tuesday because the claim would be processed on Monday and so on. Now, I'm not one of those people who is attached to my phone at the hip. I use mine mostly for taking pictures, updating Facebook statuses and occasionally texting friends. Oh and calling my mom because of the whole free mobile to mobile thing. But I can tell you, when you are on a winter break of sorts and have plans to go out with friends and realize that all your phone is capable of doing is calling the last number dialed or receiving calls, well, its kinda crappy. And it only gets worse when all the phone numbers of people you know are listed in your phone and you can view them by scrolling and touching them on the screen, oh wait, the screen doesn't work! So much for that, right? All in all, everything worked out for the night and things went as planned.

Oh, but the gods of bad devices are cruel sons on bitches because it's not enough to them that my cell phone crap out on me; no, no, no... You see, yesterday, I had gone out in attempts of catching this big brown trout I lost on the shores of the Truckee River back in the spring. I had visions of grandeur that I would catch him on some cold winter morning, possibly even to find him larger. After a brief period of epic failure, I called it a day and drove home. I was going to make two stops on the way home. Wienershnitzel and the store. Well, stop one never happened because as I was leaving to get to the road, I noticed a big cloud behind me. At first I thought dust, but then I noticed it was white. I had seen this white cloud of death before. I glanced down at my thermostat and saw it jump from normal to hot in seconds. Not good. I managed to make my way to a gas station that was conveniently placed next to a Starbucks. I got out of the car and saw coolant leaking. If you know the story of my last car, the Oldsmobile, you will know that his death started with the cancer of a coolant leak that was masked by a busted heater core and by the time the heater core was fixed and the leak was discovered, it was too late and the engine was damaged. It was like some sort of bad deja vu. I walked into the gas station and asked the lady attendant if there was a payphone near by and she says near Rock or something and I ask if there's one closer, or if I can user her phone to call my husband and have him call my cell because my car died in her parking lot. She gives me the look she probably gives a bunch of druggies daily, but I was pretty frank and, come on, I don't look anything like a junkie. I just got back from fishing and was dressed like crap, but even when I'm outdoors dirty, I still have a pseudo polished look. I did just get my hair cut and it looks very awesome...

They let me call home and I left my message for Jesse. After he called back and nearly made me cry asking how I managed to ruin another car already when he's had his truck for years and I told him I have bad car juju. Because, really, I do have very horrible luck with cars. My first ever car, Li'l Truck had a timing belt break the month I bought him and cost me $500 and a month later I had to replace the engine and have the tranny rebuilt because the engine had knocking rods and the tranny was gonna fall apart. Then I got Jeepie, who was brand new from the dealership, and he was always having parts recalled then would have these weird issues where the car wouldn't start up and I think it had something to do with a faulty starter (apparently my current car had this problem too and had it fixed before I got it, whew!). After I got rid of Jeepie, I got City Truck, who was a Shitty Truck. He died a month after I bought him and I said to hell with that, I'm scrapping it and not even bothering with selling it. I then spent the next 18 months without a car before getting the Oldsmobile, who, despite argument from my mechanic, was the greatest car in the world. He died from overheating and engine damage and now I have Chrissy Car, the Ford Focus. I don't feel too horrible about Chrissy Car because he used to belong to my friend Chrissy, who took pretty good care of him. (What's that, you say? You thought Chrissy Car was a girl because it's named Chrissy? No, he's not. He's a boy. Just think of it like guys named Laurie or something. Yeah, I know Chrissy isn't an androgenous name, ask me if I care? My son named him.)

Back to the story, after an hour of plotting and what not, Jesse finally comes out with Charlie because of AAA issues and he fills the car up with water and cautiously drives home. I drive his truck home with Charlie and smile giddily because I know how to drive a stick shift now and I still haven't got over that feeling of "knowledge is power". (AUGH AUGH AUGH MORE POWER!!! Oh, Jesse told me I have to reference Jeremy Clarkson, "POWEEEEEERRRRRRRR!!!")

I'll fast forward some of the boring parts about the car sitting at home and my mom getting here and using her AAA to have the car towed to the mechanic who asked if I had a '76 Oldsmobile with a coolant leak problem a few months ago and then he did the facepalm action and the, "You sure have bad luck with coolant leaks." Yeah, I do. Blah. $340 later and some new hoses and other stuff, my car is OK for now. It needs $800 in repairs still for a water pump and timing belt (why am I drawn to cars with coolant leaks, bad timing belts, and engine problems!?) Plus it needs to have it's catalytic converter replaced, but I knew about that already. In fact, I kinda knew most of his problems when I got the car in the first place so I'm not super surprised.

Long story short, the present problem with the car has been resolved and the replacement phone is in. So, there is balance in the universe again... for the time being. I'll nervously smile till I can afford to get the other car problem fixed and until then, hope nothing else happens.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Great Scheels Fiasco of 2010

Normally I don't like to name drop in blogs but I'll do so today because I was asked to write this blog. My coworker/friend Nadia had to go to Scheels today to get a Christmas present for her son and fiance. So we drive down there on our lunch break. We find the present for her son and then go to their glasses section to get some sunglasses for her fiance. First off, no one is there and when we finally do get someone, the guy is from another department probably because he isn't sure about the product prices and if they even have the one Nadia wants. She ponders whether or not to get them so we go upstairs and play the shooting game to give her time to decide whether she wants it or not. She decides she will get them, so she goes downstairs and goes in line to pay while I look to see if they have my CZ 527 Carbine in 7.62x39 in yet. They don't. I don't even see the CZ 527 Carbines. Then, on a weird hodgepodge shelf I see the .223 one for sale now at $599. They really want to get rid of that thing. Normally it's $697, then they dropped it to $659 and well, now it's under $600 and that makes me think they won't carry them at all. The guy I asked said they're behind or something and winked at me. I guess that means they're either not paying their bills or not gonna carry it again or he's an old creep. This wasn't exactly the first time I went there and they didn't have what I was looking for in their hunting department without knowing/having a reasonable time frame of when they expected to get new merchandise. Whatever the case, I was sad. But it just got worse. When I found Nadia downstairs, she was in line, agitated because they didn't have the box for the glasses she was getting and they couldn't figure out that they could just give her the one box and make a new sku for it since all the glasses have the same exact box! Basically, we wasted 15 minutes in line dealing with poor  Scheels customer service. Eventually we got everything we needed and went back to work, Nadia realized she left her keys at Scheels because of the whole fiasco involved. She called them and they told her she could come get them from their lost and found. Forget putting her name on them and holding them. They just have a big generic box and you pick whatever you want from there. So any shmuck can go and say they lost some keys and if there happen to be keys in there they can say, "Oh! Those are mine!" and score! Hope they find your car. Long story short, we're not very happy with Scheels today. The sad part, we were really looking forward to going.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Better Safe Than Sorry: Why It's A Good Thing To Own A Safe

Every person who has anything important to them should consider investing in a good fireproof safe. Why? Why not? It only takes a few minutes for a criminal to steal or a fire to destroy valuables you spent your life gathering. Isn't it worth your money to invest in a device to protect these items?

Important Documents
Perhaps it's medical papers, car or house titles, stocks and bonds, birth certificates, social security information, loan papers; whatever it may be, everyone has their share of documents they do not want to lose. Prevent a burglar from the opportunity of cashing in on an identity theft by keeping your paperwork locked up. Avoid spending hours at various agencies and paying fees for copies of documents in the event of a fire.

Saving For A Rainy Day

There are people who have gold or cash stashed in their homes. Whether it be in the form of jewelery, coins, or bars, people still believe in collecting precious metals as an investment item to use when they need it. Some people like to keep their cash on hand instead of having it in a bank account where it is readily available to them when they need it.

Some things are irreplaceable. A fire doesn't take sentimental value into consideration as it burns away old family photos, cards, and letters.

Millions of Americans own guns. However, several criminals do too, most of which are obtained illegally via straw purchases or burglaries. It is a wise idea to have a safe to keep guns locked up in when you go out of town. It is also wise to have a safe to keep guns out of reach of people who shouldn't have access to them like children, whether they are your own or those of friends or family members. All gun owners should take personal responsibility for their firearms and consider those around them. While you may be a knowledgeable gun owner, others around you may know nothing and not have proper training or common sense to just "not touch".

You may not be able to stop a criminal or a fire, but you can protect your assets. Accidents can be prevented by taking precautions. Safeguard your valuables and invest in a good safe. There are many different kinds on the market from large vaults to small boxes, even James Bond-type "secret" safes like Secure Logic's Invisivault wall vault, which looks like a picture frame.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Picture Day

Remember when you were a kid and they'd have picture day at school? Your parents would dress you up and you'd wait in line to have your picture taken. Then when you were in high school you'd either dress up in your favorite outfit or not even care and want it to be over with? So our work had a "new employee" picture day not too long ago. I was really sick and missed it. I went downstairs for a soda at lunch and as I walked through the break room to go to the hall to the upstairs break room, I noticed it: the employee photo collage. I snickered at not being on there. Ha ha I missed it! So you could only imagine my dismay when I got the email that three employees had to go and get pictures taken. Gah! It was one of those moments of thinking I wish I knew this yesterday so I could plan an outfit. Fortunately I think my hair, make up and outfit were photo-friendly so I wasn't totally distraught. Anyway, it made me have flashbacks of being a kid and photo day and the dread of having someone take your picture, especially when the photographer is another coworker and picture day now seems like getting a picture at the DMV by someone who is going to laugh at you while taking the picture making you feel like an asshole or something. It's all good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm Going Somewhere With This, I Promise...

There are serious flaws in the infrastructure design in Northern Nevada. Most freeways and roads loop you around or send you down unnecessary roundabouts. You can imagine how hand this is in the winter when it snows or when the roads are icy. Then there is always some sort of road work going on somewhere. I'm not sure if this has something to do with the wear and tear due to weather (cars driving with snow chains, cables, snow tires, plus snow and ice in winter and heat in summer) or if they just get hairs up their butts to redo the roads frequently to keep construction workers employed. Whatever the case, there are always either too many over sized construction signs practically in the middle of lanes or no signs or lights to direct you where to go and unless you're in the know, you'll get lost.

Parking lots are like mazes. If you make a wrong turn, you can't get out unless you drive five miles around one way and wind up somewhere completely different. I think some of the lots most notorious for this set up are by the Walmart and Borders on Kietzke and South Virginia, Shopper Square, Legends at Sparks Marina, and well, pretty much every parking lot for any outdoor strip mall or shopping center. Sometimes I feel like some stoner designed the parking lots and roadways in this town while high thinking how trippy it would be to have a swirling cement island blocking what could otherwise be a very streamline route. I don't know. Maybe it's like the excessive roundabouts and some sort of sneaky means of slowing down fast drivers. Of course drivers out here are a whole other story.

I never liked driving in California because I am a very timid driver. Rarely do I go fast, but out here, it seems like I am the fast driver... and I'm just going the speed limit! People out here have a problem with going too slow when there are high speeds, or too fast when there are low speeds. When I drive to work, I take Mill to McCarran because it's just faster that way. Less traffic and higher speed limits. But no one seems to know that there is a 50 mph speed limit on Mill behind the airport! And the speed before you hit that 50 mph zone is 40 mph, but they seem to go 20 mph because they all need to go to whatever little shops are on the way before there. Then there's the 45 mph zone after the airport up to McCarran. Again, people go 20 mph slower because they don't know where they're going! Come on! You make the same commute every single day! How is it you do the same thing every day and yet you still slow down to an almost stop at every intersection as if to read the street signs to make sure you're making the right turn!? That baffles me. But I'm sure after doing it 5 days in a row they probably have developed the habit of it and thus ruining the benefits of a 45 mph speed limit for those who are attempting to make their commute faster because it would be ridiculous to take the freeway with all of the backtracking involved and the route Google Maps suggests with its millions of stop lights and school zones because it is .2 miles shorter than my high speed limit zig-zagging route that can get me there 10 minutes faster!

I really appreciate getting to work slightly earlier because that means a better parking spot. Granted there's enough parking for everyone, but I've worked at places where if you don't get a parking spot, even a bad one, it meant street parking. And if you got stuck with that, you were screwed. But in addition to getting a nice parking spot, it gives me time to do little things like get coffee or tea and go to the bathroom.

Our office is two stories. Most of the office is downstairs and uses the downstairs break room and bathrooms. Not me. I'm upstairs. I use the upstairs bathroom and break room. Partially because they're right next to me, partially because it's a micro version of my 3 mile radius habit which stemmed from my nothing outside the valley habit I grew up with. I'm like a little critter that likes to stay within it's territory. Anyway, our bathroom is pretty swanky but there are some huge differences between the upstairs bathroom and the downstairs bathroom. In addition to it being a single toilet bathroom, the toilet is also unusually tall. I can't help but feel like a little kid who has learned to use the big people potty whenever I go. You know, giddy, kicking my feet like I'm on a swing kind of. I mean, it is tall. Finally, for some weird reason, our sink doesn't get hot water. So it really sucks on mornings when you drive to work all cold and tread through the snow having to pee because you're so cold only to finish up by washing your hands with cold water.

You never notice something until someone points it out. Then you can't help but always notice it. I've been noticing whenever it's 11:33 for over ten years because one of my friends once told me in high school it was her "evil" time, that being, every time she looked at the clock, for whatever reason it was 11:33. Ironically, it's not 11:33 right now. Another case in point was that a coworker mentioned that the soap in the bathroom seems strangely far from the sink. Naturally, now I notice it is far from the sink! And, to make matters worse, it seems like every time I go in, it gets farther and farther from the sink, despite my efforts to bring it closer. What's that all about!? And as if that's not enough, insult is added to injury when you need to dry your hands after washing with the cold water, traveling away to get the soap, and going back to the cold water, only to have to go all the way back to where the soap was to get the paper towels to dry off! It's madness I tell you!

OK, it's not that horrible, but it does distract me from thinking otherwise stranger thoughts. Like how I'm desperately needing a hair cut, particularly my bangs. They're doing this weird thing, and maybe it's the weather, but they now want to fall to the side opposite of the direction of my natural part. Don't get me wrong, I think I look good with sideways bangs, but the problem is, the bangs plus my haircut make me look like the guy in No Country For Old Men. I love that movie and the character of Anton Chigur, but, I feel a little odd with sharing his hair style. Fortunately, SNL made a parody of There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men in which the character was mocked for having a "ladies haircut". So it's confirmed, my hair is alright and he has a chick do.