News

May. 29th, 2008 10:04 pm
plumbob78: (Jag)
Got the car.

No time tonight, as I was busy having the fun, but I do plan to take some pictures and post them here. Tomorrow I think.
plumbob78: (Sosuke)
Dealer said "2-5 days from arrival in the States, so sometime this week." That was seven days ago. No call yet No MINI yet. This last short stretch of waiting sucks. I want  my new car.

I'd like to go out tonight. But have no one to go out with. Maybe I'll just open a bottle of wine and watch a movie.

Stuff

May. 18th, 2008 04:47 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
I got up too late today. I woke up at 7, took my pill, then went back to bed. I should stayed up. As It was, I got up again at 10-ish, then screwed around on internet forums for several hours. I went to the mall. Went to the Apple store to look at iPods. My 20GB iRiver mp3 player is full and doesn't have all the music I want on it. I think I'm gonna get the 80GB iPod Classic. The 160GB model is tempting, but I don't think I'll have that much music before the thing dies. So that's one thing to spend my birthday money on.

Spoke to the MINI dealer yesterday. The ship was supposed to arrived in New York yesterday, and they said my car would be here for me to pick up in 2-5 days (business days, I assume). So I should have the new car sometime this week. Pics as soon as I get it. 
plumbob78: (Default)
My car is waiting for its boat!

I may become one of those MINI-tracking fanatics, yet.

w00t!

May. 6th, 2008 09:31 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
My MINI is built and is waiting to be turned over to the shipping company!

Dammit

May. 5th, 2008 07:19 pm
plumbob78: (Sosuke)
IJ is back, w00t!

I angered the gout God last night by eating Italian sausage with my spaghetti, and relapsed. My knee didn't hurt like it did on Friday, but felt worse than it did yesterday. I managed to do laundry today, though, which is good. I also called my credit union and got my auto loan today Got the lowest APR they offer for the loan term I applied for, so I am pleased. Everything car-related is coming together quite nicely.

I was planning on taking my birthday (Friday) off. But having missed last Friday on account of my knee, I'm not sure anymore. I guess I will see how the next few days go and then decide. Birthday will be low key this yea, as usual. Dinner with just a few friends. I hope everyone I invited is able to make it. Sorry I didn't invite all my friends, but I wanted small.
plumbob78: (Default)
Today I left my apartment for the first time since Thursday because my leg actually works again.

Thursday morning, my knee was hurting me. It got worse all, day, so I knocked off early an came home. I thought I must've slept wrong or tweaked or pulled something. I was wrong. I found out I was wrong when the knee hurt significantly worse after dinner. I didn't want to go out, and I didn't feel like cooking. I decided to order a pizza, because then I could stay home. Also, I couldn't remember the last time I had pizza. So I ate my pizza and watched some anime, and then a few hour later, my knee hurt even worse. I took some ibuprofen and went to bed.

When I woke up Friday morning, I was in agony. I couldn't flex or extend my knee from the position it had been in while sleeping. If I moved it at all, I wanted to scream and cry. This could mean only one thing...GOUT.  I couldn't walk. All I could do was hobble around and grimace. So I called in sick and stayed home and drank water I read four volumes of Fullmetal Alchemist two volumes of Sakura Taisen and the first Fill Metal Panic! novel. I finished watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Yesterday my knee was a bit better, but I still couldn't walk properly. I watched movies and TV all day. I watched The Getaway (original) Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, an Get Carter (again, the original). I watched the original Ghost in the Shell movie. I watched some shows I'd recorded: Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, and an episode of Letterman from last week. I ordered in Chinese, then I watched Slap Shot.

So, at least I was able to keep myself entertained. Still, this is really bad, I've never had it in my knee before.  I think I'll have to go to he doctor and see about getting a prescription for one of the drugs used to prevent attacks. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have had two tuna melts for dinner on Thursday night (two was probably excessive). Or washed them down with beer.

Today I feel much better. I still can't get my leg straightened quite all the way. But I can walk. So I wen tout nd did some grocery shopping. I'm doing dishes throughout the day, and in a couple hours I think I will make some marinara sauce so I can have pasta for dinner.

On a good note, I called up "Ask MINI," and the automated system told me my car was in the paint shop, with an estimated completion date of 3 May (yesterday). I'm excited I can't wait to have my new car.

I did it

Apr. 10th, 2008 03:27 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
A short while ago I returned home from Sterling, where I placed an order for a 2008 MINI Cooper S: pepper white, black roof and bonnet stripes, redwood red leather interior. Scheduled to come off the line in England first week of May. Should be ready for me to pick up at the end of that month.
plumbob78: (Default)
This morning I awoke, then screwed around on the net until around lunchtime, taking a little bit of time to get me three free credit reports. All looks good on that front I went out grabbed some lunch, then went to Best Buy to get a copy of TurboTax, because i don't trust my own arithmetickal skills. I couldn't bring myself to buy nothing fun, so I picked up a Death Cab for Cutie CD, and the first two volumes of Voltron on DVD. First surprise of the day: the Voltron DVDs are widescreen! With 5.1. sound! Cool.

Came home and did my income taxes. I owed $54 to the Feds, but got $47 back from the state, so I'm only down $7. Second surprise of the day: My AGI was low enough that I'll be getting one of those rebate checks the government is sending out as part of its "economic stimulus package." Bit of a head-scratcher, that, but I'm not going to complain.

Called up a couple companies to close credit accounts that were useful at one time but I've no need of now.

As some of you may know, I've been car-shopping because I've been getting sick of dropping hundreds of dollars a couple times a year to repair (not maintain, mind you, REPAIR) a seven-year-old car that is showing its age and is larger than I actually need. This is why I'm concerning myself with such things as credit reports. Today I dug out the title, since I'm going to need it when I trade in my current vehicle, and wanted to make sure I knew where it was. Noticed that the title decreed to all before whom the document may pass that the lawful owner of said vehicle is I, the PlumBob, at [address I haven't set foot in for six years]. This I should fix, says I. So I go to the DMV website to find info on how to change the address on a title. It says, fill out form X, take to DMV with your title, pay $10. So I filled in form X, and went to my local DMV. papercuppie probably knows it, the one down on Four Mile Run. Lady at the info desk says that I don't need to change the address. "But it's not where I live," says I. She says all that matters is that the correct address is on the registration. Title doesn't matter. This smells like bullshit to me. So I went to another DMV, in Springfield. Walk in, go up to the nice old lady at the info desk. "So, I've got this title," I says. "And this address, here, is not where I live now."

"Doesn't matter," says she!

"No," says I? Again I am told that on the registration the address matters, but on the title, it doesn't. File this under D for DMV and also for DICKED UP. I mean seriously, if the owner's address on the thing is two addresses ago, that doesn't seem like much of a certification to me. But at least I didn't have to pay 10 bucks.

Called the insurance company to see how getting the new car I want will affect my premiums. They will go up, but not hideously.

Everything's pretty much squared away. I know the car, exterior and interior colors, most options. Just waffling on whether or not to get HD radio or not.  I'm waiting now for a call from my credit union's contact at the car dealer to hear if he'll be there tomorrow. If so, I'm going to go order a car.
plumbob78: (Default)
I went out to Sterling today and spent an hour just wandering around the MINI dealer's back lot, looking at the colors of the cars.The blue I thought I'd liked before didn't look as nice as I remembered it. Hard to describe, but something about the shade just wasn't pleasing to me.

Saw a bunch of white ones. That color is growing on me.

Car color

Mar. 31st, 2008 07:21 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Today in the parking lot at work I saw a "pepper white" MINI Cooper S with a black roof. It looked really nice. But I don't think it's the color combo for me. I think dark blue and "dark silver" (gray) are in the lead now.

Decisions

Mar. 26th, 2008 10:53 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
So I know what car I want. I know what options I want. I know down to three choices (exterior color-dependent) what Interior I want. The problem, is what exterior color I want. I'm think these are my five choices, in no particular order:
Cut for images )

Solid green or blue could be nice, too, but I think I really like the contrasting roof color. The Yellow they have looks kind of neat with a black roof (seen one in the office car park), but I think I would tire of it. Not too keen on red, for some reason Anyone out there in net land have any thoughts?

Vroom!

Feb. 27th, 2008 03:31 pm
plumbob78: (Ecchi Elder)
One of the pieces of advice Consumer Reports gives to people who are shopping for a new vehicle is never to fall in love with a particular model of car. I guess this advice is sound in principle, but it doesn't really work for me. I like to drive. Several months back, I hopped in car and drove to Harrisonburg and back for no reason. I just wanted to drive. Long distance driving is a therapeutic experience for me. Two years ago, I was feeling like a total burn-out. I was sick and tired of work; I was sick and tired of DC; I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I took two weeks off of work and went to Charleston for a week. I consider the nine hours I spent on the road down to South Carolina my best expenditure of time that whole year. That long drive was more help to me than anything else. I love driving. I love the road.  Accordingly, I think driving should be something one does not just out of necessity, but out of desire. A deep-rooted desire you feel in your heart and in your bowels. I want to be in love with my car.

Today I drove a MINI Cooper S. I went out to MINI of Sterling, said I wanted to take a test drive, and they said "Sure!" They photocopied my license, took down my insurance info, handed me the "key" (an electronic widget that you stick in a slot by the steering wheel), explained the controls and sent me on my merry way. "You're not coming with me," says I?

"Nope, you're going on your own." Hee hee. Awesome. No sales dude yakking about features in my ear while I'm trying to get the feel of the machine? I love this!  I drove for about a half-hour on major streets (not on the highway, but the 45-mph limit roads I was on were good enough to get a feel for how the car accelerated, braked, etc. I did two runs  along the same route. When I turned around to come back, I made a U-turn....into the LEFT LANE.

GOD DAMN it's a fun car to drive. It's nimble and zippy, which is what I want most in a car. It's smaller than the Jetta I have now -- another thing that attracted me to it in the first place -- yet I have more room in the driver's seat.The turn signal lever felt a little strange at first, because when you push it up or down, it doesn't stay there, it goes immediately back to it's neutral position, but I soon got used to that. The steering wheel felt good in my hands. The engine sounded great. Throaty. I felt something I hadn't felt since 2000. I felt like I belonged in this car. I had the same feeling I had when I test-drove a Jetta and knew immediately it was the car for me. I drove a Ford Mustang a year or two ago, and while it was nice, I didn't feel this same connection between man and machine. The MINI just feels right. It's a car I can love. When I got back to the dealership and got out of the car, I was grinning. I just had to stand there and look at the car and say "WOW." And giggle a little.

WANT.

I'm gonna buy one. I just need to decide when. And get the loan. But first I have to pick the color. And there's three I really like! This is going to be hard.

When I got home, I had  a message saying my new glasses were ready. A whole week earlier than promised. So I walked down the street and picked them up. It's been a good few days off. I got toys, music, new glasses, and found a dream car. Few things could make this week better.
plumbob78: (Jag)
Yesterday I went to the Washington Auto Show to to see the cars. It was partially a research trip, to save myself the trouble of wandering out to all the area dealerships. I saw some cool cars, such as the Ferrari F430 over there on the right. Also some not-so-cool cars, the shining example being a new Ford Gee, I wonder what their inspiration was...abomination that looks like they kidnapped a MINI and force-fed it grain like a poor little veal calf. I learned a few things. First, apparently gear-shift knob theft must be a big problem in DC, because lots of cars had the knobs removed. I found this most annoying. Second, I was saddened to discover that both the Nissan 350Z and the Mazda MX-5 Miata are sized for small people. I simply couldn't fit in either of them comfortably. The RX-8 I could get into, though.
Pretty
I only sat in sporty cars (coupes and roadsters). The Audi TT seems like a very nice little car. I also liked the Audi S5, though it's a larger car and I want something smaller than I have  now. I discovered I really like Porsches. I sat in a 911 Carrera (the least expensive 911, at only 70-odd thousand dollars) I also sat in a Cayman S. That was a neat little car. It has two trunks, which makes it somewhat more practical. Also, if  I were to get Kelley Blue Book value for my current vehicle and if I were to blow all my savings I could actually get a Cayman for a monthly payment that wasn't absolutely ridiculous. But I think I'll have to pass on that for now, just the same. If I got a Porsche now, what would I move up to later? Also, I don't think obliterating my savings account is the smartest thing. I would anticipate cosmic payback in some form. I also sat in a BMW Z4, which was very nice, and more affordable than the Porsche. But again, there is upward mobility factor. I don't think I should be getting a kick-ass luxury car at this point in my life. I want cool and zippy, but not fabulously extravagant. SO the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG is right out, too.

When I am DINK, after I marry a hot, bespectacled villainess, then I will have my Porsche.

I got really drunk last night and hopped off my smoking cessation wagon, which was bad.

Today I began watching Desert Punk, which is on loan from a coworker, and Ikki Tousen, a recent purchase. DP is OK. I really like Ikki Tousen. It's Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but with high-schoolers, some of whom are girls. With big boobs. Yeah, total fan-service fest, but still entertaining. Lots of action. I have tomorrow off. It's going to be a laundry day.

I went to Ray's the Steaks for dinner tonight. It was real good. Michael Landrum owns my soul.
plumbob78: (Kickin' Back)
I spent last week in St. Louis, Missouri for a working group/conference. St. Louis seems like a nice place, although it's awful quiet for being a major city. The town just doesn't have that big city vibrancy you find in New York, or even here in DC.

Got to StL on Monday, went into the office and caught up on e-mails, got the particulars on an unrelated meeting I needed to have with some folks out there, as well as another meeting I need to attend tomorrow. Then checked into the hotel. My coworker and I over to the Gateway Arch, which was only a block away. Got a few pictures, which I will post to flickr when I am less lazy. Wandered around the city for a while and got dinner.

Tuesday the working group started. I gave my presentation. It was OK. I think I may have rushed through it a little, but this may just be my self-critical nature overreacting, as it was well received by the audience. That night there was a "no-host" (i.e. "our cheap-ass agency won't give us money to host you") social at a blues club. I had a good steak and listened to some good music. Also five beers. I left early (9:30) because the other folks in my hotel were also leaving, and I had no clue about the safety of walking the St. Louis streets at night. Apparently I had nothing to worry about, but the observed lack of people walking around the previous night made me cautious. On my return to the hotel, I went to the bar in the connected restaurant and stayed until  they closed at 11:30. The bartender there was beautiful. She had blonde hair and eyeglasses.

Wednesday after the conference let out, my coworker and two other guys in our hotel went to this microbrewery/restaurant in LaClede's Landing. I had buffalo meatloaf. It was good, as was the potato/onion hash that came with it. After dinner I went back to that bar at the hotel, drank more beer and looked at the bartender all night. A 50-something lady from Kansas City decided I was sad and needed comforting. She bought me a beer and was constantly trying to talk to me. Reassurances that though I'm at a difficult time in my life, everything is going to be OK.  "There's somebody out there for you," was another theme. She really annoyed the piss out of me. Before she left, she gave me a variation on a hug that entailed wrapping her arm around y neck and shaking me. I tried to be polite and wished she would go away.  The bartender said she thought the lady wanted to kiss me. I shuddered.  Bartender also opined the lady might be mentally unstable. I'm not qualified to make such a determination myself. But I guess a bartender is almost a psychiatrist so we'll take her word for it.

Thursday the conference lasted only half the day. While everyone else went for lunch and a tour of the Anheuser Busch brewery, I went to another meeting, got lunch from the cafeteria and worked the rest of the day. That night, we had dinner at the home of some co-workers who'd transfered to StL last year. After returning to the hotel, I spent my last night in StL hanging out in the bar. That bartender really was lovely. I told her so.

Flew home on Friday. Went out to dinner with jduffy1535 (livejournal) and baranoouji (livejournal). We went to Ray's the Steaks. There was a 2.5-hour wait so we parked the car and went to bars. I had a martini and two gin-and-tonics. When we got back to the restaurant, they were running behind, so we sat on their porch to wait and chatted for a while. I had a glass of red wine while waiting. When we were seated, we ordered a bottle of wine for the table (we were going to do glasses, but changed our minds at the last minute). Because we were seated late, they gave us soup (seafood bisque) for free. I had a green salad and an onglet (hanger steak). That steak was damn good. I also drank most of the bottle of wine, because my friends were driving and already tipsy, respectively. So yeah, I was pretty well tanked by the end of the night.

Yesterday I woke up around seven, popped 4 ibuprofen and drank a lot of water. I drove out o Sterling and had a look at the Mini Cooper. It seem like a delightful little car. I don't even have to move the seat all the way back to fit in it. I can sit comfortably in the car and still fold down both rear seats. The rear visibility isn;t the best, because the car (and therefore the rear window) is very small, but I think I could get used to it. I didn't take one for a test-drive, because I'm not yet at that stage in my car search, yet, but it's definitely still on my list of possibilities. Yesterday evening I went tout with friend to eat wings and watch the Pats game. They beat Jacksonville, so I am still happy. Today I think I will go to John and Molly's house to watch the Giants game. Tomorrow real work starts again.
plumbob78: (Ecchi Elder)
when you're hanging around talking to your girlfriend and she says, "you see, I've become this ultimate weapon." Just finished watching Saikano: The Last Love Song on This Little Planet. I can finally return the series to MJ, now. It was good. But sad. Also crazy/fucked-up. But on the hole I enjoyed it. Next I think I will watch the Hellsing DVDs my brother gave me last Christmas. Then I have Madlax. Another coworker of mine is going to loan me Desert Punk next week. I have several volumes of manga I need to read, as well as the first Full Metal Panic novel. Also a ton of books, including The Forgotten Genius, which I had almost finished but set aside for some reason.

How am I going to get through all of this‽ There's so much to do. Anime, manga, regular books. Plus hanging out with friends, computer games, laundry, cooking cleaning, work, AAAAAGH!  Too much stuff!!!!

My car is at the VW dealership, because I think the garage in Arlington put something back together wrong. It runs, but the car is not like it was before. I have a rental car ($28 per diem) so I can get to work. It is a Mitsubishi Galant. I do not like it. Hopefully my car will be ready tomorrow.

Going to a wedding this weekend. Should be good. I like weddings

I've typed this in "Lucinda Sans," solely to make use of the interrobang (‽). God, I'm such a geek.

Grrr

Dec. 21st, 2007 11:16 pm
plumbob78: (Default)
Don't get my car back until Wednesday. Parents have to take me home for Christmas. This really sucks. SO getting a new car next year.
plumbob78: (Default)
The mechanics had one of those "Yay, we fixed it!  Oh...maybe not so much..." moments. After fixing my car they turned it on and the coolant wouldn't circulate. So I need a new water pump. This is an $800-900 repair. I need a car right now, and sadly don't have time to go buy a new one. So I'm having them fix it. But I think in the next year or so, I will be purchasing a new vehicle.

Shit. I mean, I want a new car. But I don't want to have a reason to get one. That takes all the fun out of it.

Diagnosis

Dec. 20th, 2007 10:15 am
plumbob78: (Default)
There is a flange on a cylinder head that is leaking coolant. The mechanic says this is a common problem, though this has never happened to me  to me before. Cost to fix: $300. May have to keep it over night, because the parts aren't readily available. Not as bad as it could be.

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