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Today I swung by Adventure Outfitters to find out how much longer Yakima bars would cost me for Samurai's car. I'd been annoyed with myself because my grand scheme to get her a rack system that would let her use our existing J-cradle kayak holders seemed to have been foiled. (Backstory here: )

I learned that the Yakima Spring 2009 technical manual (that the staff uses to advise customers whether things will work with their cars or not) had CHANGED some of the dire warnings! Now it says only that "the Stacker" kayak cradles should not be used on her Saturn. So the J-cradles are OK, and I can use them with the 48" bars (I would have needed longer bars to have her carry two kayaks belly-down on the cradles. The J-cradles take less roof room because they hold the kayaks on their sides at an angle.).

The only difference (and this had also been spelled out in the instructions I already had) is that the front and back of each kayak must be secured to the front and back of her car, as it says any long load must be.

The weight limit for how much the rack can carry had been reduced in the revised instructions from 100 to 75 pounds, but the two kayaks won't weigh that much.

The very nice salesperson also said that as far as the cargo box went, yes, the 2009 notes still say to use only the smaller Spacecadet, but she said that's because of the weight issues. As long as our longer Spacebooster is only used by Samurai to carry light things like skis and jackets, it would be fine. Just don't load it down with heavy stuff from her dorm.

This salesperson COULD have been all "this will void warranty," "this would be dangerous," etc., and convinced me to spend more money on longer bars and new kayak cradles, but she did not! I told her she'd been terrific, and walked out of there without having spent a dime. The accessories I already had should work with both cars, albeit with some limitations in the case of the Saturn.
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I spent a considerable sum buying the "Q-towers" and clips so we could put a Yakima rack system on Samurai's Saturn. It was her Christmas present. The boxes have been sitting in the living room by her "spot" since then. I intended to install them today and use the 48" bars that had originally been on my Corolla (but which were too short for the wider Prius). The idea was that she could use the cargo box we bought in August to cart her goods to Suffolk (on my Prius) to cart things back and forth herself in the future, as well as carry her ski gear. AND, to be able to transport our two kayaks herself (especially when she and Mai are on the Cape with us this June) without hijacking my car. In theory, she'd just have to transfer the J-bars from my car to her rack system.


Wherein I get annoyed with myself for not doing my homework )

Last night I made a recipe from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. I'd ordered two copies at the same time I'd ordered the small rice cooker for Samurai, had everything shipped to her to save on shipping charges('cuz I'm cheap that way), and asked her to bring the second copy home with her during spring break. There are some very interesting recipes in there! It includes "small meal" recipes, which means you aren't just cooking the rice, but vegetables and meat or other proteins at the same time. Kind of like a casserole or one-pot stovetop meal, only steamed instead of baked. And then there are other recipes for the use of the above-the-rice steamer basket.

Today was a lovely spring-like day. We could walk around without our coats, it being in the low 50s. (Of course, in a few months, we'll be thinking that is chilly!) Samurai and I went to the UU service, which was unusual -- "Jazz Theology: The Creative Pulse." Alison made some fascinating analogies between jazz and Unitarian Universalism, and all the music was jazz.

We went to the Route 9 Diner for a late breakfast, brainstormed places she might check out this week to see if she can get an application in for a summer job now (and came up with the same place at the same time, which she said meant we were reading the other's mind again; in this case, I think it's just because I know her interests). I shared [ profile] starseeking 's comment about her not getting the RA position -- that something bigger and more suitable for her was waiting -- and she appreciated that. She is already planning to do some training with PFLAG in Boston to be someone schools or other places could call to get youth to come in and speak about their experiences, and was wondering if she could get a paid job doing filing or something for them this semester. She's also going to talk to a law professor who taught an undergrad course last semester who thought very highly of her, and who might have some connections.
After we came home, I basically sat around reading because my blood glucose had dropped and I felt shaky (was waiting for the treatment to kick in). She kindly did some "spring cleaning" on my laptop, removing a bunch of "temp" files and also doing something to prevent some never-used programs from loading when Windows XP starts up (such as Kodak Easyshare, which I never use). This thing would take forever to load, and now it springs into action! Arigato, Samurai!

It was just too nice to stay in, so once glucose was up, I went out and started picking up some of the smaller sticks that are littering our front yard from the December ice storm and subsequent winter winds and ice. It looks a little better now. (There is still some snow on the ground.) I don't know what we're going to do with all the larger branches. The main parts we can use for firewood, but not the parts with twigs. The tree guy who came twice after the storm to do work said he could come back to take down the dangerously damaged pine in the spring, and bring his chipper with him to get rid of everything. Or, I could get a brush burning permit and start burning some of it. I see several of our neighbors burning brush now.

It's been a low-key weekend here, which is good. I've been deligent with my physical therapy exercises, and can feel the difference. Spouse played the guitar a bit this afternoon (I could hear him playing inside the house when I was outside picking up sticks). He finally did the dishes (his job) and is now taking a little nap. I think I'll brown some ground beef for spaghetti, then take a quick shower before continuing the rest of dinner prep (I'm not doing the shower first because I don't want the cooking smell to get in my hair!).

That's about it. *pokes you if you've dozed off*
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When you left me last time, gentle readers, I was thinking I'd pick up Samurai's car title from the safe deposit box at the bank (this was Thursday). Various work-related things delayed me, and I realized that by the time I got to the bank for the title, Samurai would be getting out of class at a campus at least 30 minutes in the opposite direction, and it was raining heavily. So I shelved that thought and went to get her, instead.

When I finally reached her, she said she'd had a call from the insurance guy and we had to go take the plates off the totaled car at the garage, and sign paperwork. There was no place to park at the garage, so I had to park across the street. What I didn't know was how much stuff was still in her car (she and her dad had said they'd taken all the "valuable" stuff. Well, all her CDs, a coat, shoes, other things were still there.) It hurt to see the car. It didn't seem to be all that damaged, except for the driver's-side headlight area and the two deployed airbags. But I guess the cost of replacing the airbags was enough for the appraiser to call it a loss.

We (Samurai and I) attended most of a session at church on building sustainable communities (we had to leave because I had to take her to work. As I write this, her dad is picking her up. I need to start dinner in a minute or two!!). Then I came home and spent about two hours shoveling horse poop -- not in the barn, but OUTSIDE it. The beasties have developed a habit (a nice one, in a way) of choosing to poop just before they cross the threshold into the run-in area. It was getting a bit deep and not at all smooth -- very uneven footing -- and once it freezes, it would be hard for the arthritic, aged pony to traverse. Now I'm sore!

I did a little retail therapy of my own on Saturday. Our coffee bean grinder was not doing well, and the hub of the grinding well was literally falling apart, so I got a really fancy one (with coupon, of course) at Linens-N-Things. Grabbed a few other, less pricey, items while there, too.

Alison has again invited us to a 6 p.m. Thanksgiving meal at her house. I didn't expect this, because I know that this year, her son and his wife and baby are coming up for the day, and it will be the first holiday Alison will have had any family present.

We'll be at my MIL's, with the artichoke au gratin recipe of  [personal profile] rowangolightly , around 1:30 or 2:00.

I am so glad I don't have to be in Orange for jury duty at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.
ar_wahan: (Default)
A busy and productive day!   I did end up buying the $119 pressure washer yesterday, but haven't used it yet. Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Instead, today I ...

We have warnings of scattered frost tonight, so I will bring my herbs and the Brandywine tomato inside, and then start some rice to go with The Honorable Trader Joe's Previously Cooked Frozen Chinese Birthday Dinner.

ar_wahan: (Default)
This has been an exhausting two weeks, dominated by followup medical visits and endless automobile and insurance paperwork. I think I'm just about over the craziness, though.

Nope! Spoke too soon! Even as I wrote that last sentence, the phone rang with an automated message from the high school -- they received "information" that caused them to evacuate the school at 9 a.m. and call in the police, who searched the building. After 45 minutes, the students were sent back in.

There was a fake bomb scare there March 30. The message didn't say whether it was a bomb threat today or something else.... sigh.

Back to our regular programming...

1. I'm pleased to report that the second CT scan of the head that Samurai had last week was normal.

EDIT: She has the same head this week, too, in case you were wondering if we'd traded it in. :P  Weird Sentence Construction R Us! Sale now in progress!

2.(Cut just for length)

3. I gave myself a headache Monday wrestling with a long and difficult project. I wasn't sure I could pull it off. I learned yesterday that the client was very happy with it, which is a huge relief.

4. Yesterday we transferred plates from the totaled vehicle and registered her Rav4. Because she can't legally write checks because of her age, I had to be there to pay the fees and sales tax to the state RMV. I sent the LAST of the insurance paperwork (I hope) back to the company. (Because she was injured, there were more forms than in a simple fender bender.)

5. I spent a chunk of time yesterday digging up our septic tank so it can be pumped tomorrow. My back hurts. One of our two shovels is missing, too. I couldn't find it anywhere.

6. I went to a looong UU board meeting last night. But, projects at church that have been hung up for some time are finally moving forward.

7. I finally got estimates for redoing the kitchen floor, with different figures for tile and Marmoleum. I have a tile I like, but don't know if I want to pay the extra cost (higher than vinyl). I want my friend Becca to come over and advise me on the different colors of the Marmoleum, but she hasn't called me back. *pouts*

8. We are supposed to get 5-6" of SNOW tonight and tomorrow!

That's all, folks.


Mar. 27th, 2007 07:39 pm
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I went down to the body shop yesterday to retrieve the expensive flute and a few other items from Samurai's (daughter's) car. I'd been told it had "damage to the door," but when I went around to the driver's side (from the passenger's side, it looked perfectly fine -- it was in great shape when I bought it for her last June), I felt ill.

I couldn't find one of the items she'd requested yesterday, and a jacket flung in the back seat was immovable, because a sleeve had been caught in the rear passenger door that could not be opened because of the damage to the front driver's door. (The shop guy managed to open the door today so we could get it out; that's why it is ajar in this photo.) Today, after she got up around 1:30 p.m., we went back together. She had to sign some paperwork to get the appraisal started with the insurance company. The body shop owner suggested that since the car is a 2000 and "has so many miles on it," the insurance company was probably going to declare it a total loss. I said I didn't think it had that many miles; he looked at his paperwork and said it was at 170,000. I knew that wasn't true, so he went back out with us and started the engine up so we could see what the odometer said: 141,000 miles. The appraiser is coming tomorrow or Thursday, so we should know fairly soon if we will be saying goodbye to a sweet machine. Samurai is upset about it, and so am I. I'm also very glad the car hit the cement post on its side, and not head on.

We found the missing item I'd not seen yesterday (it had slid under the parking brake,and since I had to lie down on my stomach on the passenger seat to get at anything on the driver's side floor, I'd missed it from the angle.) We hauled an amazing amount of other stuff out of the vehicle, everything from CDs to a katana. I had been planning to buy grain while in town, but my wagon was full of everything that would normally be in a teenager's hall locker, and then some, so I'll go in tomorrow while she is still asleep. I'll also swing by the high school to pick up a folder of collected homework that her guidance counselor has arranged for her to have.

In the afternoon, we'll head out for a followup visit with her pediatrician at 1:45 p.m. Supposedly she'll be cleared to return to school on Thursday.

Backing up a little ... because she had a closed head injury, Samurai was supposed to have someone with her for 24 hours, but I had my first post-surgery mammogram scheduled (since January) for yesterday afternoon, and also needed to fill a prescription that the emergency department had written for her. I called Alison (our minister and friend who lives nearby) and asked if she'd stay with Samurai while I was out. She willingly came over and they apparently had a nice visit. (This is the same person who asked me to go with her to Boston for a medical consultation last Tuesday. "Of course I'll come over!" she'd said.)

I was gone for two hours, because while I only waited five minutes to get the mammosquish (as [personal profile] teal_cuttlefish called it today), it took the radiologist 50 minutes to get around to the initial read of my films; then he twice asked for retakes because the images on one boob weren't clear. I'd told the technician about the car accident and how my minister was waiting for me at home with my kid. So after two retakes, she told me to just leave, and if the second one still wasn't clear, they'd call and ask me to come in for an ultrasound. "Otherwise, you should get a letter saying everything looks fine." That was encouraging.

Tonight Alison came over and picked up Samurai to take to their Committee on Ministry meeting. She'll bring her home.

I know some folks might be saying we should want the insurance people to say the car was totalled; we paid well below book value for it last June, and could come out ahead, even with depreciation. But it was/is such a nice little car; it took a blow for Samurai, and doesn't deserve such an early death. I found myself stroking its hood as I'd stroke a cat.


Apr. 19th, 2006 06:45 pm
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The cat in my default icon, Fancy, didn't come in this morning when my husband got up to go to work. Because I slept in so long, I didn't realize this. Just came home with samurai to find husband in kitchen, sorting mail. He asked if I'd seen Fancy today.

I hope she's simply off on a hunting expedition. I sort of recall that in springs past, she's done this.

I just called the Toyota dealership with a question. The manual isn't clear on why one wants to use the "engine braking" gear (B) on the Prius... something about hills and the brakes recharging the battery. But I was still confused. Found out that the "B" gear (which should only be used going downhill) is like putting the car into a lower gear. Doing this slows the car a bit on the hill, recharges the electric battery, and also saves gas, because the battery (even as it is recharging) is also doing more of the work than usual in powering the car vs. the gas engine. (Contrary to what most people think, she said, in the Prius, it is not a case of the car running on either the battery or gas, but variations of both running at once. Except -- I think -- at stop signs, because when the car is completely stopped, the gas engine stops, too. First few times it happened, I thought I'd stalled.)

Anyway, this is really nice news (about saving even more gas -- and for me, it's about the environment more than about money), because guess where we live? On the top of a f-king big hill! Everywhere we go is downhill from here!

Another bit of car talk: After I picked up the Prius last Thursday, I picked up my samurai at the high school to take her to her flute lesson. We had some time to kill, and we both were hungry. (I hadn't had lunch.) We went to a pizza place. We sat so we could look out at our shiny new car. When I paid the bill, I explained to the owner that I'd had the hybrid car for just four hours.

"A hyrbid?" he replied. "Thank you from us." I thought that was sweet.


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