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August 9, 2005

Car Wash Comes To YOU!

Am I lazy because I purposely parked my Beetle out in the middle of the parking lot in order to get it washed?

This morning I heard the forecasters say we could expect some heavy storms this afternoon. I thought if I parked my car out in the middle of the lot, any rain that was released by the storms would have a clear shot at washing some of the grime off my car.

Judging from the lightning I can see a few miles away, with dark-as-night clouds as a backdrop, I think they got it right.

[Updated: 3:44pm]: Car is sparkly clean, thanks!

September 20, 2005

Involuntary Vehicular ManBunnyslaughter

I finished my ride tonight (lights come in handy in these fall months) and needed to head back to work to pick up my effects. I had left my clothes, laptop and other such items in at work so I didn’t have to lug it around on my ride.

As I was driving down Highwood towards 169, on my way into work, I spied a bunny hopping around along the side of the road. As soon as my headlights hit it (I was coming around a curve, heading up an incline towards it), it stopped in its tracks and stared back into my headlights. I slowed up a bit out of caution, but just as I thought I was in the clear, at the last second before I passed the bunny, it jumped into the street…I was upon it almost instantaneously and I heard a telling double-thump on the bottom of my car.

I knew, at that moment, that I had accidentally killed another living creature. I don’t know if wild bunnies are safe to pick up or not…but in any event, by the time I recomposed myself and drove back around to check out the scene the bunny had been smooshed flat.

I’m not a violent creature by any stretch of the imagination…I don’t even kill spiders or other bugs I come across in the house. (They are usually moved out of the way or outside, depending on what kind of creature they are) When I bike, I try to brush off any bugs that get caught up on my sweaty skin instead of smacking them dead. I know it was an accident…however, that doesn’t seem to completely soothe my guilt in this case. I generally follow a code that only allows for killing other creatures that pose a threat to me. This bunny, obviously, was of no threat to me. Had I changed to the other lane, instead of assuming the still bunny would have remained so, I prbly would have avoided hurting the bunny.

I will be biking by the location tomorrow morning on my way into work…and I mean this in all seriousness: I wonder how one atones for an accidental bunny death?

October 25, 2005

Keep On Beetle'n

Picture of 100000 Mile Odometer Tonight, as the clock rolled into the new day, another milestone was passed - my 2000 VW Beetle official went into 6-digits territory as its odometer passed 99999 and turned to 100000.

Now, I know automobiles roll past 100000 all the time, but just because we all have birthdays doesn’t mean there’s no need for celebration.

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December 6, 2005

Christmas List 2005

May I never be the recipient of a big ceramic barnyard animal…

December 14, 2005

Ketchup

Wow, I’ve only posted 4 times since November 1st. What’s wrong with me? Has my life become that boring?

Yes, in many ways I suppose. Been busy working on a huge project at work…been taking up the vast majority of my time. A few weeks over the past month-and-a-half I’ve been only at home to sleep, shower and dress.

There have been a few highlights of the past few weeks, tho. The project referred to above is quickly coming together, I’m nearly done handing over the project to our operations group, letting me move on to other things. Thanksgiving went wonderfully with everyone together, the turkey turned out perfect, the rest of the food was equally delicious. Continued good luck at Pub Trivia nights, even took a second place after a bitter triple-elimination following a three-way tie for first. Went to the Barenaked Ladies Holiday concert, along with everyone I know…least it seemed that way. Got Gumby/Pokey installed finally this past weekend…which is why you’re seeing a new style here. Still need to tweak it, add the menu back, get the rest of my pages fixed, but it will do for now.

There have been a few lows as well. My Beetle ended up needing to make a visit to the car doctors at Westside VW. The oil pressure light began flashing whenever it was running faster than idle…the cause was a clogged oil pickup tube. A couple hundred for the diagnosis and fix…but I can’t complain too much, only have 2 more payments left, then the car is completely mine. I figure for 2-3 months worth of payments I can restore my good ‘ol Beetle back into a decent shape, ready for another 50k miles or more.

December 20, 2005

Shopping 2005

For a reason I won’t disclose here, I ended up having very limited time this weekend to get some of my “Shopping To-Do’s” done. Luckily, all of the projects on my plate at work have reached milestones, allowing me to escape for my annual “Day of Shopping”. I enjoy taking off a day in the middle of the week, shortly before Christmas, to not only finish off some last minute shopping, but take some time to people-watch as they scurry around trying to finish off their shopping. I’ve done it each of the past 3 years, although I remember doing it selectively, on and off, for at least 10.

Today was a non-event, really. Slept in, combed through my list a few times, checked on the delivery status of all my online orders and then hit the road. As has often been the case, I drive up to Albertville, work my way through the outlet shops, then follow Interstate 94 back towards the cities. There’s an amazing variety of shops along that 40 mile stretch of road…and since you usually end up driving back towards town at the same time everyone else is trying to head out of town after their workdays, traffic is rarely a problem. (Try it sometime…I doubt you can find a more relaxed day of shopping anywhere else with more variety)

January 26, 2006

Mine, All Mine!

Remember when I was crowin’ about my Beetle passing 100000 miles? Well, another Beetle milestone was passed today…the last payment on the loan for the Beetle cleared my account. It is now 100% mine! Yay!

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February 19, 2006

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Miss Your Flight

(Continue reading about the trivia weekend)

6 hours after I arrive home with the first carload from the Trivia weekend teardown, I awaken; to find out I had overslept. (Gosh, what are the odds of that, operating on 7 hours of sleep over the weekend!?) I rush to unload the front seat up to my apartment, drop off all 10 monitors at work and then head back up to Saint Cloud to collect everything else. When I pull in, everyone knew I was in a hurry to make the flight, so they all chipped in, helped load me up and within 15 minutes, I was leaving the PigPen again with a full car. I drop off a bunch of stuff at Kelly’s house, pick up her and her bags, then sprint back down to the cities. A quick repacking once I arrived home (less than 10 minutes) and my coworker, Theresa, picks us up and delivers us to the airport with almost exactly an hour to check-in, check our bags, pass security and rush down to the gate. Of course, one of our bags is overweight, so we had to move stuff around, only delaying our progress.

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January 4, 2007

Bye Bye Beetle, Hello Honda

I had been looking quite a bit over the past few months at different vehicle options. My current ride, the 2000 Blue VW Turbo Beetle, had treated me well but was definitely aging around the edges. I will forgo the laundry list out of respect for its years of service - suffice to say it had 130,000 miles on it and was beginning to show it.

What would replace it? I had been looking at such disparate choices as the Honda Element, Pontiac Solstice, Scion xB, Pontiac G6, Nissan Maxima and Chevrolet SSR. I wanted something under 30k, with a good selection of comfort features, flexibility for hauling people and equipment (bikes) and wouldn’t sacrifice too much in terms of economy from my current Beetle.

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