Dueling Car Washes
Monday the 19th
On the way home from grocery shopping yesterday afternoon I decided it was time to wash the car. We had just driven home from Hilton Head in the rain that morning and the car looked ugly.
Just a couple of days before I bought the new Miata, our neighbors got themselves a new car too (the word car is in quotes because they bought a Dodge Durango.) When we pulled into our driveway, Omar was in his, washing the Durango. He had his bucket and sprayer and was going to town.
I parked the car in the driveway and we unloaded the trunk of groceries. I came in and swapped a load of clothes (taking one out of the dryer, putting the one from the washer into the dryer and reloading the washer.) I then went back outside with my bucket and sponges to wash our car. By now Omar has been at it at least 15 minutes and I didnt know how far along he was, but as I filled the bucket with water I hollered over saying, I bet Im finished before you are.
I washed the Miata from top to bottom, stem to stern. I rinsed it off a second time with a low pressure stream to aid in sheeting the water. I dried the car. I shook out the mats. I wiped off the interior dust with a damp towel. I washed the windows inside and out with Windex. Finished, I pulled the car into the garage. When I walked back out to get the bucket and reel up the hose, Omar was just finishing up washing the back of the vehicle, all he could do was shake his head and smile.
Is That A Snack? Gonna Share?
Thursday the 12th
Every morning for nearly all our married life, my wife packs up my lunch for me. It usually consists of a fresh made sandwich, a soda, some cookies in a plastic sandwich bag, a few ounces of carrots in a sandwich bag, half an apple cut up in slices in a sandwich bag, some raisins or maybe grapes in a plastic sandwich bag and a snack pudding. I kind of graze all day, grabbing a plastic sandwich bag of something every couple of hours. Im a lucky guy.
Donna recently changed purses, replacing an old one with something a little smaller. She used to keep all her make-up stuff in a see-thru case on one side of the old purse for easy access. Donna would take it out and fix her face as I drove us to work each day. The see-thru thing was a little too big for the new purse and not wanting to lose the ability to see what she had; Donna put the make-up stuff in a plastic sandwich bag. Now, each morning on the commute when she pulls out that sandwich bag, I, having been conditioned like Pavlovs dog from years of snacking from those same types of bags, dont think lipstick, but cookies, etc. I dont have to see it, just hearing that faint rustling sound and I wonder if she will share some of that food with me.
Painting The Town Garnet Red
Monday the 29th
I bought a new car in November. They sent me a survey to fill out rating my experience with the purchase. I thought about throwing it out, I now swear that thought is true, but Mazda thinks I filled it out. As a way of thanking me they sent me a bottle of touch-up paint. That was the end of January. About a week later I got a second bottle, it was packaged differently and included a couple of other items, but the main content was a bottle of touch-up paint. This last Saturday, a familiar envelope arrived in the mail, thats right, another bottle of touch-up paint. So Sunday I emailed them:
From: Brian Bogardus
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2004 10:35 AM
Subject: Stop it. You are creeping me out.
Dear Mr. Customer Assistance,
November 24, 2003 — Purchase a new 2003 Garnet Red Miata
January 28, 2004 — Receive bottle touch-up paint as a thank you for filling out a survey I swear I threw in the trash, but must have completed.
February 7, 2004 — Receive a second bottle of touch-up paint inside a miniature steering wheel replica along with some other things, including a letter that welcomes me to the Emotion of Motion.
March 27, 2004 — Receive a third bottle of touch-up paint with what looks like the exact same letter as accompanied the first bottle.
Thanks for the first bottle as I already have had a use for it, but stop already, one more bottle and Ill be able to paint my wifes Civic Garnet Red to match the Miata. If you feel a further need to thank me for buying your product a $10 gas card or similar would be nice to offset the cost of the required premium fuel.
Today I got a reply:
To: Brian Bogardus
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 04:33 PM
Subject: Re: Stop it. You are creeping me out. (KMM203077V95587L0KM)
Thank you for contacting Mazda North American Operations. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.
Thanks for alerting us to the additional, unintentional mailings that you received. I have forwarded your comments to our Marketing contacts to ensure that no further welcome packages are sent.
Again, thank you for contacting Mazda. It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please feel free to reply to this message with any further questions or comments.
Please take a moment to give us your opinion about our e-mail service. Click the link below to complete a brief, online survey.
Specialist, Customer Assistance E-Business
Oh no you dont, filling out a survey is what got me into this mess to begin with
Wednesday the 7th
On the way home this afternoon when we got to the exit of the parking lot at work, Donna said, Go left. As we normally go right, that phrase meant, lets take the long way home. This is a great stress reliever for both of us, I like the drive and Donna likes the ride.
I proceeded to wind my way home via some of our usual back roads. It was a warm afternoon, but it felt good to be out driving around. The dogwoods are blooming along with the azaleas and everything that is not flowering is turning green. Even though there were a few more cars on our route than usual they didnt diminish our enjoyment. About 3 miles from home on a relatively lightly trafficked road we passed a little girl selling lemonade along the side of the road. We looked at her as she looked at us as we went by.
It is spring break for the local schools this week and both Donna and I envisioned this little girl telling her mom she was bored and her mom saying, Why dont you go sell lemonade out in front of the house, in an effort to keep her entertained and get her out of moms hair.
We got about 200 yards down the road and Donna said, Do you have anything smaller than that ten? I pulled out my wallet and sure enough there was a single in there too. We turned around in a driveway a little further along and headed back. The lemonade was 50 cents a glass, so we bought two. We drank it right there at the side of the road and chatted with her a bit. It was from a mix and not too cold, but it did hit spot. When finished we turned around in her driveway and drove off with a wave and toot of the horn.
I think we kind of made her day, I know she made ours.
3 Laws of Humanity
Wednesday the 26th
Ive always been a lover of sci-fi. Growing up I had a few favorite authors and one of them was Isaac Asimov. I was eagerly awaiting this summers release of a movie based on his robot stories, I Robot. After seeing the first trailer with its The Who soundtrack and its Apple-likeness (I wonder how much they had to pay Steve Jobs for that?) I was stoked. But the newer ones aimed at drawing in the action crowd seem so against type from my memories of Asimovs books/stories that maybe I wont enjoy the flick at all. That may just be me though, as from all the trailers the movie looks awesome.
All this got me thinking about those 3 Laws of Robotics the Asimov wrote way back when. Maybe, just maybe, this world would be a lot better place if we just changed the word robot in them to human being:
1) A human being may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A human being must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A human being must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Exciting Day At Work Today
Monday the 21st
I got my new electric pencil sharpener. This puppys got a cord, no more wimpy, battery operated, hold it just so, slow poke. This thing will make dust of a full size pencil in just under 2 minutes. I know, I timed it.
Of All The Gin Joints…
Saturday the 3rd
…in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
The Masters Miata Club was hosting a cruise in at the Sno Cap Drive-In in North Augusta tonight. We had about 8 of our cars and a smattering of other cars in attendance. About halfway through the evening, in pulled a blue Miata that wasnt a club member. Hey, wait a minute, that car looks familiar. Sure enough, it was Donna and my old car. I went over and said hello to the new owner Shannon Vick and her son. She and he were in North Augusta and he suggested going to the Sno Cap for something to eat. They had no clue that we would be there. Boy that sure is a pretty car.
You must remember this;
A car is still a car,
A sigh is just a sigh ?
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
You People Are Pathetic
Sunday the 29th
While watching Fox News this morning I could see some people on the sidewalk out the window behind the anchors. The usual suspects were there, including a couple of folks that deserved to be culled from the gene pool.
Person #1 is holding up a piece of cardboard of about 12″ x 24″ and he is holding it up so his message will be broadcast all over America and possibly the world. Only trouble is that he probably wrote the message in 1 high letters with a ball-point pen. You couldnt tell if there was anything on the cardboard all. I didnt get your message dummy and no one else did either.
Person #2 has a cell phone in her one hand and is waving madly with the other. She has obviously called someone she knows, to tell them she is on TV, because when the camera moves or zooms the person on the other end directs her which way to move so she can still be seen waving madly. It takes them a couple of times to get it right, because when she should move to the left, she goes right first. They finally get very adept at this so she can be seen waving madly constantly in the background whenever the one anchor is talking. She even manages to duck appropriately to get underneath the LIVE banner that appears periodically in the upper right hand corner of the screen. I hope she was on her way to a Cuddle Party because she needs some attention.
How Cheap Can You Be?
Wednesday the 8th
As a favor for a friend I sell his Brake Lite Blinker to out of the country buyers. He doesnt want to make a trip to the Post Office and fill out the customs forms, etc.
Tonight he forwarded me a request from someone in Canada. He had a few questions about size and power, etc. His last question was would I list the value of the item as $10 so he wouldnt have to pay as much customs duty on them. Come on, the things are $15 to begin with. How much can he be saving on duty? I wrote him back:
Im sure there is a very miniscule chance of anything bad happening to me if I did that, but for all I know you actually work for the U.S. Customs and are trolling the internet looking for violators of federal law, so, no I wont do that. They are valued at $15 US each. Sorry.
Well see if he still wants them after that…
Didnt You Check That?
Friday the 1st
The Emperor is in the shop for a Technical Service Bulletin relating to the clutch, so I was given a Mazda Tribute as a loaner the other day. When I was driving with it back to my house, about 5 miles from home the low fuel light came on. The light was on, but it still read about a 1/8 of a tank. Not knowing which one of these indicators was more correct, I decided to put $5 worth of gas in it. The 3 gallons approximate, sent the needle to just below a 1/4 tank and ought to be enough to get to work and then to Rader the next day. Not only is this Cute Ute low on gas, but it is filthy too, I think the last person to borrow it was testing its off road capabilities. Not only do they not check to see if there is gas in it, they dont even take enough pride to wash it off or vacuum it out before they loan it out to someone else.
About 8:15 AM this morning Kelly, my service advisor, called to say the Miata was ready. Seems as if the technician finished up just before going home yesterday. I told her Id be over as soon as I got off work and mentioned she should get five bucks from petty cash to reimburse me for the petrol. I made it over to Rader a little after 5 to get my car. Kelly went off to get someone to bring it around. While we waited I popped upstairs to run the Masters Miata Club newsletters through the postage meter. When I came back down the car was there, but she didnt have neither the $5 nor the paperwork. She couldnt find the paperwork because the tech who did my work was not in today (no wonder he finished up yesterday, he knew he wasnt coming in.) She also said she would have to talk to the service manager on Monday about getting the money to me. We ran through this routine when I wanted to get reimbursed for the tow charges on the 95 when the timing belt broke. I wonder if it will take nearly two weeks again?
When it was time to go, I got in the Miata, dropped the top and crept out of the dealership lot, the clutch felt real smooth. Hung a right onto busy Washington Road and sped off the 1/2 mile before turning off. A short stretch and then right on Riverwatch Parkway to head home. As I got up to speed and shifted into 5th I looked down to check my speed and discovered I was going ZERO MPH! The speedometer cable is hooked to the transmission, I bet my just finishing up in time to go home technician had forgotten to hook up the cable correctly (or not at all.) Hang a right and then another and pull back into the service area. It is 5:35, they go home at 6, so I figure we can get this done and Ill be on my way. Wrong. The advisors stay until 6, the techs go home at 5:30, so there is no one there to fix my speedometer. Luckily, they work on Saturday morning, so it should be solved tomorrow. I put the top back up on the Miata and Kelly gives me the keys to the Dark Teal Metallic Tribute, again.
I get 5 miles from home and the low fuel light comes on, again…
Tuesday the 2nd
I feel that I have to post something here tonight besides the joke from earlier. Although I found it extremely funny when I got it via email this morning, I dont want all 4 of my readers to think that I didnt take todays election seriously. In yesterdays post I recommended you vote an obscure 3rd party candidate, well that was sort of tongue-in-cheek and advice I didnt follow. Although, I did vote for the candidate that every poll in the country is calling an obscure 2nd party candidate in South Carolina.
I just couldnt endorse a man who got us into this Iraqi mess just because the whole Middle East war thing worked so well for dad. Instead I picked a guy who supposedly roots for my favorite baseball team, but cant name anyone on it (and when he tried he combined the first name and last name of two players) and when he threw out a ceremonial first pitch at a Yankee Red Sox game last July, used the pitching motion of a little girl and couldnt even make it to the plate without bouncing it while throwing from in *front* of the mound.
I leave you with a quote George Will used to lead off his column in this weeks edition of Newsweek:
PRESIDENT, n. The leading figure in a small group of men of whom, and of whom only, it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President. — Ambrose Bierce, The Devils Dictionary (1911
Wednesday the 1st
Just saw a commercial for the new Buick LaCrosse with the background song of Aerosmiths Dream On. Good song, IMHO much better than their more current work, I can only hope that the same is true for Buick. Somehow though I cant imagine that that car will be the car of anyones dream.
This is not the first time Buicks advertising has dipped into the classic rock bag of tricks to try and sell cars. I dont know how many more Rendezvous they sold because of the pairing of that SUV with Edgar Winters Frankenstein, but I thought the song was dead (no pun intended) on right for the vehicle. It looked like it was made various parts of other cars and pieced together to form a whole vehicle, but it wasnt cohesive.