Diary of a SubUrban Housewife

July 29, 2008

Chivalry Is Not Dead

Filed under: Angel Music,Around the Neighborhood — Beth @ 7:46 pm

So I stopped at the ATM up the street from my house this morning. I was on the way to a project and I knew I’d have to pay to park so I needed some $$$.

All the stars were aligning. The ATM I went to is one of those stand alone kind, not attached to a bank, but on the side of a building. They’re ATM’s from my bank so I don’t have to pay those stupid service charges and it was on the way to where I was going and there’s always ample easy access parking. I know, you can hear the angel music already.

There are two machines. There’s a guy using one of them already so I go to put my card in the slot on the other one. The thing is, my card wouldn’t slide easily into the slot. So what did I do? Naturally I try to force my card into the slot. I shoved and wiggled and got my card most of the way in. I got it to the point where the stupid machine should recognize there’s a card in the slot and suck it in. But the machine’s not sucking. And now I’ve somehow managed to get my card pretty far in the slot. So far in the slot that I couldn’t get a grip on it to pull it out.

At this point I realize that someone must have had the same, or similar, dilemma because I finally notice that there’s a neat crescent knocked out of the plastic surrounding the entrance to the slot.

I started to get a little agitated at this point. My ATM is stuck far enough into the machine that a law abiding citizen like myself couldn’t get it out, but if there was a more nefarious criminal type around, they’d have had no trouble. I didn’t want to leave my card stranded in the machine to go home and get some pliers. I was going to be late for my appointment if something miraculous didn’t happen pretty soon.

So I asked the guy using the ATM next to me if he might have a pair of pliers in his car. Well, he didn’t have needle nose pliers (like I was hoping) but he did have a Leatherman and a Swiss Army Knife. Between those two miracle tools he was able to get my card out of the machine.

I thanked the guy profusely and used the machine he’d had no trouble with.

I got my card back.  I got my money.  I got to my appointment on time. Laaaaaaaaaaaa.

July 27, 2008

Phosphates 1, Earth 0

Filed under: Angel Music — Beth @ 3:39 pm

Like most of the rest of you (I hope) I’ve been making an effort to reduce my carbon footprint, and do what I can environmentally speaking. The little things can add up to big differences and I’m all about the little things.

I would say that 99% of my household cleaning supplies are “environmentally gentle”. I’m a big fan of Method products. They’re nice to the earth, they smell really good, and as an added bonus, they actually work and get things clean.

I recently ran out of dishwasher detergent. My beloved Cascade. All phosphates, all the time. All clean dishes, all the time. When I went to the supermarket to buy replacement dishwasher detergent I looked for something by Method. Alas, there was nothing. But there was Planet automatic dishwasher detergent. It’s 100% biodegradable; phosphate, dye, and fragrance free; and not tested on animals. This is right up my alley. The packaging is even made of 100% recycled paper. Sign me up. My dishes will get clean and I’m not fucking with the environment any more than is absolutely necessary.

Well, we’ve been using this Planet stuff for about two weeks now. And for the last two weeks, 99% of the dishes that have come out of the dishwasher have been dirty, thus necessitating a second wash in the sink. And it’s not the same dirt the dishes went in with (most of the time). This Planet stuff was leaving a nasty white residue on the plates and on the insides of all the glasses. I tried more detergent. I tried less detergent. Nothing seemed to make a difference.

(Call me madcap, but it kind of defeats the purpose of using an environmentally responsible product when you have to use more resources to get the residue said product leaves on your dishes.)

So when I was at the supermarket yesterday I picked up the ginormous box of Cascade. I ran the dishwasher last night and lo, angel music, laaaaaaaaa, all the dishes were clean.

January 15, 2008

Parental Control

Filed under: Angel Music,Family Stuff,Zoe — Beth @ 7:32 pm

I come from a long line of holiday procrastinators.

If at any time during the mid-70′s/early 80′s you were strolling around the corner of Columbus Circle and Central Park West in July and looked up and wondered what kind of crazy person still had their Christmas lights up on their balcony, Hi, nice to meet you. I’m the daughter of that crazy person.

In fact, a few days after New Years my dad came by and was extremely impressed that all the decorations that had been out gracing our yard and eaves were put away.
My dad, however, proudly announced that his holiday decoration for this year (which will no doubt end up in our garage and on our lawn next holiday season) is a snowman. He insists that snowmen are not holiday specific and he put his up December 21, and it will grace his patio (which overlooks the Pacific) until March 21. Because, hey, it’s winter, so a snowman is appropriate all season long.

So while to our neighbors we are seemingly those people who are Jane and Johnny on the spot with cleaning up our holiday decorations, we cannot say the same for the in-the-house decorations.

You see, we have an environmentally correct (i.,e., fake) Christmas tree.

We moved into this house when Zoe was about 2. At the time her bedroom was on one side of the house and our bedroom was on the other side. Come Christmas I told Chuck I couldn’t possibly have a real tree because I kept having visions of a horrible fire caused by faulty wiring on a crispy dry tree. The tree would be in the living room which would be right smack in the middle of the two bedrooms and I wouldn’t be able to get my precious baby out of the house as it burned. So we have a fake tree. We’ve had the same fake tree for the last 9 Christmases.

And here it is January 15th and our fake tree was still standing in the corner of the living room, completely decorated. OK, we haven’t turned the lights on since a few days after Christmas but there stood our tree. Mocking me every time I walked in the front door.

Every day I say to myself, I really need to get that tree taken down. And every day I don’t do it.

And today I remembered what being a parent is all about and made Zoe (and Katie) take apart the tree.

They just finished. There is angel music coming from my living room.

August 15, 2006

I (Heart) Technology

Chuck is a techno-slut. Anytime anything new and fabulous is on the market he must have it. Immediately.

I’m a little slower on the techno-uptake. And frankly, I’m a bit lazy. I wait for him to have it and then by extension I have it.

Then there’s the computer issue around here. He is (as has been oft-reported by both here and on his pages), the God Of All Things Computer Related. And I’ll freely admit that having a God in my presence (and his being obligated to do my bidding as part of our marriage vows), I’m a bit lazy when it comes to my own personal technology needs. I do not need to clutter my brain with USB, serial ports, and the like. But, you know, sometimes the Gods get a little cranky and you’re better off just doing things your own damned self.

Early last week, in fact mere hours before Chuck was leaving to go somewhere work-related, I downloaded a file that someone had sent me from the office. I used my desktop (read my own personal computer) versus my laptop because I needed to print whatever it was I was sent. Well, don’t you know, this file (which silly me, I assumed was safe because a) it was a pdf, and b) was from a reliable work source) infected my desktop with some horrible virus that deleted some kind of WIN(SOMETHING).DLL from my operating system thus rendering my desktop virtually useless (or as I liked to refer to it, as a huge paperweight).

I had to wait until Chuck’s return from the hinterlands this past weekend to deal with it. I still have my work laptop to use, but it was altogether a pain in the neck.

Saturday morning, before getting on my knees and grovelling for Chuck to a) find the Windows XP install disk so that he could then b) reinstall Windows AGAIN on my machine, I decided to buy a new CPU.

The thing is, technology is so damned cheap anymore (and I’m absolutely convinced that computer in genreal and CPU’s specifically have about a five year self-life, and my CPU was about five years old) that I decided I would just get a new CPU. I dragged Chuck out on an aborted shopping mission, came home, looked some stuff up online, asked Chuck’s opinion, and went to Circuit City and bought a CPU. In case you care it’s a Compaq Presario 1900 NX.

Frankly, my techno-needs are limited–Microsoft Office Suite, CD burning capabilities, and let me surf the internet and I’m a happy camper. $359 I was a happy camper.

I schlep the box home, unpack it, and decide that instead of grovelling to the local God I’m going to do this myself. I unplug all my old stuff. I plug it all into the new machine. But boo hoo, my keyboard wasn’t working. The CPU came with a new keyboard. I tried that one. Still no worky.

I box it all back up, take it to Circuit City, and exchange it for another new one.

I plug in all my stuff again. Still keyboard no worky. Now I start having fits of the Chuck variety. My God finally came to my rescue and somehow got the keyboard to work. He did admit that at first it wasn’t working for him, so I don’t feel so bad about things.

So, groovy new puter. Loving the keyboard that came with it. Beth’s a happy girl.

But here’s the thing. . .

I have a printer. But it’s a crappy Deskjet color jobby that takes an hour to print each page because I swear it sends the document through the printer cable one stinkin letter at a time. So then my whole system freezes up while the printer labors over a four line e-mail.

And let’s remember that I work from home a lot. And working generally means you have to print things out.

So what I’ve been doing for the last few months is this: do my work on my laptop. E-mail it to my desktop across the room from the laptop. Go to the desktop and download whatever it is that I’m working on. Then I send it to Chuck’s laser printer. Then I have to go down the hall into Chuck’s office and retrieve whatever I’ve just printed, and come back to my office to fax it to someone (or put it in a folder, or whatever else I’m going to do with it).

Now I know you’re asking yourself, why doesn’t she just work from the desktop computer, thus eliminating the need to e-mail stuff to herself? Well, because I have all my work files on the work server that I can only access through my laptop. I’m not a complete ninny.

So Sunday night, in a fit of techno-improvements and otherwise cash-draining activities I ordered a new laser printer for myself. And one of the fabulous things about this printer is that it uses a USB cable. And one of the fabulous things about my new desktop computer is that it has three extra USB ports right on the front of it (so no messy monkeying around to get to the back of the CPU). And one of the fabulous things about my laptop are the two extra USB ports on the back (which doesn’t require near the monkeying around because it’s a laptop).

And because Circuit City online is mostly fabulous, I ordered my new printer (and the requisite cables) at 11:30 Sunday night, and at about 10:30 this morning, a new printer was delivered to my front door. But because Circuit City is only mostly fabulous, the USB cable that I needed to hook up the printer will not arrive for a day or two.

But I toddled down to Circuit City and bought the cable this morning. I can return the one they’re shipping to me, and since I didn’t pay for shipping and it was on sale at the store, I’ll actually end up $3.00 ahead of the game.

Long story short, I hooked up my new printer to my laptop today. I was able to print and send a fax without ever having to remove my butt from my chair. Then an hour later when I wanted to print something critical from my desktop, I switched the cable over to one of the fabulous ports on the front of the CPU. The computer recognized the new hardware immediately and I didn’t even have to fuss with installing printer drivers.

Maybe his Godness is rubbing off on me? I don’t know. But I can assure you I’ve heard a hell of a lot of angel music around here. Technology: Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

May 11, 2006

Ring the Bell

Filed under: Angel Music,Fabulous Stuff — Beth @ 10:28 pm

I’m a single girl this week. Zoe is off on a three day class trip to Astro Camp and, as Chuck has diligently reported, he’s on a grand tour of the armpits of the east coast. So, for the last few days, and for a few more precious hours, I’m a single girl — or as single as I can get with 10 pets.

So, as part of my single girl thing, went to The Standard tonight, to meet a friend who was having a little drinks party on the rooftop bar. I was excited about everything about the evening, except that her little soiree required that I drive downtown tonight in rush hour traffic. And to make matters worse, the CD changer in my car went on the fritz this afternoon, so I was going to sit in traffic (ugh) with no book (double ugh). (The horribleness of the CD player breaking in my five month old Lexus is another story for another time.)

But I was intrepid and did not cancel my plans despite the traffic and audio issues. I hit the road and tuned into NPR

I love NPR. I love All Things Considered. I will especially always love NPR if for no other reason than Cokie Roberts.

I heard a story tonight that touched me very deeply. So deeply in fact that I made a note of it and re-listened to it when I got home tonight. And I want to share it with you.

The report was about geneticists who are working to identify the remains of victims of Hurricaine Katrina. Many of the volunteers who are working on this project volunteered after September 11th to help identify remains. However, unlike vicitms of the World Trade Center tragedy who had families, homes, and belongings that scientists could use to get DNA, Hurricaine Katrina victims, more often than not, had nothing left.

So tracking down famility members to get DNA samples is an arduous process.

But apparently not without its rewards.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as you know, thousands and thousands were reported missing. And in light of the situation at the time and for the weeks that followed, assuming the worst was not unreasonable. But eight months have now passed, and while scientists are hoping to provide closure for some families, sometimes there’s another story.

Because sometimes those missing people have been found.

But they’re still in the registries of missing people.

And when the volunteers call families with the sad task of requesting DNA samples for possible closure, often they are told that the presumed missing family members have been found. And when a volunteer gets that wonderful news, he or she gets to ring a bell, so that all the other volunteers know that one more person has been found and is alive and well.

I fear I have not done justice to this story. Click on this link to listen for yourself. And hope that as you’re listening someone is getting to ring the bell again.

September 16, 2005

G00gle Tool Bar Rocks

Filed under: Angel Music,Webishness — Beth @ 4:12 pm

I am the proud owner of a g-mail account. I have been once since the early days when our man in Israel sent me an invite. (Rumor has it, it’s no longer invitation only, but I couldn’t swear to it).

Anyway, periodically on my g-mail page there is a notice of “New Features”. And since I’m all about new and exciting I click to see what sort of technology I can now have at my fingertips.

The latest addition is the G00gle tool bar. This handy dandy tool bar has some groovy things, but by far the grooviest of them all is the spell checker. This spell checker is so fabulous that it allows you to spell check any screen you have open. Leaving a comment in someones blog? You can spell check it. How fabulous is that? But the thing that is most fabulous about it is that I can now spell check my blog entries.

I know that WordPress has some sort of plug in that does this for you, but hell if I can figure it out. So often my entries go up with typos. And I hate typos. If I’m writing a really long entry I’ll often write it in Word and spell check there and copy it over to here, but what a pain in the ass that is.

Now, with the fabulous new spell check feature of my G00gle tool bar that’s no longer necessary. Does it get any better?

Rethinking the Evil Empire

Filed under: Angel Music — Beth @ 2:50 pm

I am a coffee drinker. But I am a very particular coffee drinker. I buy only Sulawesi whole beans. My preferred method of preparation is a single cup drip (though I own a very groovy stainless steel Krups pot with all kinds of bells and whistles, and a few French presses).

Each morning I fill my enormous travel cup with freshly brewed coffee and it goes with me to work. That is my coffee for the day. End of story. I do not drink the coffee provided at the office. I do not stop anywhere on the way to anywhere else to buy an overpriced cup of coffee.

I purchase my beans as Starbucks, but only because they’re the only place that carries them. If I could find them elsewhere locally, I would gladly no longer patronize the Evil Empire.

I know there are at least one or two of you that cringe at my characterization of Starbucks as the EE, but it’s true. You know the old joke, they’re opening a new Starbucks inside a Starbucks. Damn, that place is insidious. When I worked downtown, there were no fewer that eight Starbucks within a five minute walk of my desk (and that includes the elevator ride down). But insidiousness aside, I think the real cause of my distaste is grounded in my inability to order coffee there.

In the mornings, I would walk past the Starbucks in the lobby of my building. It was not uncommon to see a line of at least 25 people waiting to order. Each would sashay up to the barrista (and what is that all about? they’re freakin coffee jockeys) and smoothly order their drink: a venti half-caf soy carmel macchiato with a squirt (?!), a double grande chai frappuccino with whip, and so on. I don’t have a clue what those things even are.

All I would want is a freakin small cup of coffee, maybe a low-fat latte if I was feeling adventurous, but I could never figure out what I was supposed to say to get it.

So yeah, I stay away from Starbucks, except when I have to venture in to buy my coffee beans. And for that I’ve memorized what I need to say, but it’s not rocket science to get a pound (or two) of Sulawesi beans, not ground please.

Anyway…yesterday morning, after a bit of a rough start which included dropping Zoe at school and then coming back home again to get her lunch to bring it to her at school, I found myself feeling peckish as I drove in to work. The longer I drove, the hungrier I got. I knew I would have to find something to eat on my way in. But as I’d already had an unplanned extra round trip from home to school, I did not really have any kind of extra time.

Well, about a block from where I get off the freeway for work there is a drive-through Starbucks. Get your very own venti mocha cappuccino without even having to park your car. I’m sure for many this as close to heaven on earth as it gets.

And since the clock was ticking and I was getting later and later for work, and hungrier and hungrier, I decided I’d try the Starbucks drive-through. I could get some kind of yummy muffin or something. Easy left turn in the parking lot. The drive through lane is very well marked. I pulled up and asked what kind of muffins they had. The choice was a little limited (it was 9:30 by now and I’m guessing the bulk of their morning business is a bit earlier than this), but they had a blueberry muffin. Perfect. I’ll take one. And since my drive was longer than expected, I noticed my go-cup was dangerously low and there would likely not be enough coffee to accompany my muffin. I was going to have to brave a coffee order. I knew this was going too well. Gritting my teeth, I nervously order a small lowfat latte and cross my fingers (I just don’t get that venti/grande/whatever thing…I think in very basic terms: small, medium, and large). I hoped I hadn’t screwed it up too badly and that everyone inside the store was laughing: ha ha ha, she doesn’t know how to order.

Well, I pulled up to the window. I paid the $400 that a small coffee and muffin costs at Starbucks. And a very lovely little girl handed me a cup of coffee and a bag with a muffin in it.

I once again followed the well marked lane. Easy right turn out. Smooth sailing to change lanes to turn left at the corner. Angel music came out of my car radio. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I may have to get a Starbucks dictionary and study up, because I’m telling you, it could not have been easier. And damn that muffin was delicious.

August 30, 2005

No Longer Hot and Bothered

Filed under: Angel Music,Family Stuff — Beth @ 11:34 pm

It seems over the last year we have had some climate control issues.

Recall the spider in the heater incident of earlier this winter?

While that sucked, truth is, I’d rather be too cold than too hot. When you’re too cold you can always throw another blankie on, but when you’re too hot…man that sucks.

And I’m here to tell you it’s been hot here in LALA land. Temps were in the triple digits every single day last week, and into the weekend. We’ve seen some relief the last couple of days if you call high 90′s relief.

Anyway… It’s been really hot here. So our central a/c has been working hard over the last week. I will point out that we are responsible about the thermostat, because while I hate to be hot, I’d hate to turn over every single penny of my hard-earned salary to the Department of Water and Power to pay for the electricity that we would consume using the a/c 24/4.

So the thermostat is on a timer and is at about 75-77 when we’re home, and at about 85 during the day — we don’t want the house to heat up too much and suffocate the pets, but no sense in running it pointlessly.

But Sunday evening, when we’re all home, getting ready for a new week, is not luxury a/c time. That’s prime usage time.

And when the fan thingie on the a/c started to make funny noises at 9:00 Sunday night I was not pleased.

(On top of this new fan noise, we’ve had an ongoing issue with the a/c where every time it turns off you can hear water rushing around. It’s gotten better since we cleared out the line, but you can still hear it. I wondered if the water rushing noise issue had something to do with the fan thingie? But…one never knows.)

So I did the only thing I know how to do when it comes to home a/c repair: I turned off the a/c and changed the filter.

I came back in and turned the a/c on. It started right up this time with no weird fan noises. Ta da. I was waiting for the angel music to start.

Well, just as the harpists were warming up, Zoe got out of bed to tell me and Chuck that the a/c was making a really bad noise. We investigated. Sure enough, it was a really bad noise. I did the only other thing I know how to do when it comes to issues with the a/c…I turned it off.

It was already almost 10 on a Sunday night. It had cooled off outside. I opened the house up, moved the fans around, and figured I’d let the a/c have a little rest. I mean after all, it had been a really hot week and it had been working like crazy. A little rest. Yeah, that would fix the problem.

So about 11:30 we toddle off to bed. I figure an hour and a half is a good amount of rest. I go to turn the a/c back on. Then I have to turn it back off immediately. The really bad noise was still there. It may have sounced even a little worse at this point. Oh the horror.

I went to bed with the windows wide open, fan going at high speed. Luckily it was cool out and I slept quite comfortably. But I knew the comfort was not going to last for long. The temps were supposed to go into the high 90′s again Monday. Ugh.

Early Monday I called my friend the heating and air conditioning dude who did such great work with the spider issue and explained my predicament. I’m here to tell you Sal rocks. Had someone been home he could have had a technician come by that afternoon. Alas both Chuck and I were at work and neither could break away to get home. But he promised to have the guy out here at 7:00 Tuesday morning.

OK, in the big scheme of things I knew I was really lucky. It’s primo a/c usage time. That means it’s primo a/c breakage time. Had Sal not been the rockinest HVAC guy on the entire planet I’m sure we’d have had to wait a week for a service call.

So Monday night was hot and sticky. Chuck and Zoe were clever enough to spend most of the evening at his mother’s air conditioned house. I was not that lucky. I seriously considered sitting in my car in the driveway with the a/c going full blast. But I decided that perhaps that wasn’t such a brilliant plan.

I faced the inferno that was my house. I came in Monday night. In a moment of delusion I tried turning the a/c on again. Yeah, really bad noise still there. So I opened up the house, adjusted the fans, and realized things could be much worse.

Anyway…the HVAC babe showed up at 7:02 this morning. He and Chuck talked. A/c dude made some adjustments. Cleaned some stuff out. And otherwise looked like he was fixing things. I told him about the rushing water noise which he thought was rather curious, but not the current issue.

I left for work and left Chuck large and in charge.

When I phoned about an hour later he informed me that a/c dude had some kind of a/c emergency and would be back with some parts later that day that would hopefully solve the problem. That’s all well and good that he had an a/c emergency somewhere, but I was having one right in my house. And Chuck was leaving in a few hours for the airport, so how was a/c babe going to get back in to finish the repairs????? Enter the leap of faith department. Chuck left the front door open so a/c babe could let himself in and fix the a/c.

It seems the flux capacitor we didn’t need this past winter we did need this summer. So we have a new one. And that rushing water noise was the problem because apparently all the water that was rushing around in there shouldn’t have been and somehow corroded the freakin flux capacitor. So he fixed the water line issue and the a/c is humming like a kitten.

Once again, the angels can sing. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

August 9, 2005

Silence is Not Golden

Filed under: Angel Music — Beth @ 12:43 am

The battery died in my car last Wednesday night. Of course I discovered this Thursday morning trying to jet out of the house to make it to a meeting a good hour’s drive away and still had to get Zoe to camp. When I turned the key in the ignition and nothing happened, instead of my usual course of action which would have been to freak out, I just figured we’d go back in, grab Chuck’s keys and take his truck.

Of course, this was the one day he decides to take the truck and not the motorcycle.

But I still did not have an attack.

Instead I called my mechanic, Mats. I love Mats. He knows that I am a delicate flower when it comes to matters of my automobile and treats me accordingly. Mats said he’d come and get my car. Then I called Enterprise Rent A Car. I love Enterprise because they send fresh-faced college kids to pick you up to get your rental mobile. I explained to the rental driver dude that I was running late for a meeting and when we got to the rental office he took me to the front of the line and expedited my rental. And somewhere in the middle of all that I called Chuck. I love Chuck. He was shocked that in the midst of all this I was not freaking out.

So Mats replaced my battery and did a bunch of other stuff to my car and I picked it up Friday night. So juiced up and good to go I turn the radio on. But oops…the battery got pulled. That means I need to re-enter the code for my anti-theft radio.

I tried the code I thought it wss. Then I tried it again. And a third time. And I’m here to tell you, three is not the charm. In fact three is the number of chances you get before the radio locks you out.

Friday night I searched high and low for the stupid code for the stupid radio, but no luck. So bright and early Saturday morning I drove in silence to the nearest Volvo dealer to get the code for my radio. I got some jerkoff Saturday replacement dude who was not very happy to be working that day. He asked for the VIN for my car and I explain to him that the VIN won’t work because I got a replacement radio when the car was under warranty and they have to look up the code in some secret magical Volvo book of radio codes. To look up the code they need the serial number information from the radio itself.

The jerk tells me they’re going to have to charge me $98 for one hour of labor to get a service tech to pull the radio and get the information off the back of it. I all but laughed in this guy’s face. To pull the radio all you have to do is push two little buttons on the side of the radio and they turn into little handles that you use to pull it out of the dash. (You see, I went through this once before when I replaced the battery a number of years ago.) I told the guy there was no way in hell I was going to pay $98 for something I could do myself. And Mr. Asshat Service Manager said fine, go do it yourself. So in the parking lot of the Volvo dealership, parked illegally, I pulled the radio. I proceeded to write down all the information that they would need to get the code and brought it to the parts desk myself.

At the parts desk I actually encountered the one semi-helpful person at the entire dealership to proceeded to look my code up in the computer. But she was having issues with her password. Arg. She took all my radio information and phone number and promised to call me Monday when her manager was there and could help her.

So I drove home, in silence.

Then Sunday rolls around. I have to drive out to an installation we’re doing, so tune free I drive an hour north to Newbury Park. To pass the time, because apparently I cannot sit in total silence in my car, I spent the time on the phone. Fine. I have to drive back home after the installation…still no tunes…I spent the drive home on the phone.

Then it’s Monday morning. I’m going to have to sit in traffic while I once again drive to my client in the hinterlands.

I still have no code for the radio and I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to get it to work without maybe pulling the battery because, recall, I’ve tried three different codes and none of them worked and now the radio not only doesn’t work, but it’s locked me out.

I call the jerky dealership again with the vague hope that maybe in the bright light of Monday morning some miracle will have happened and they’ll magically be able to find the code for me that they couldn’t find 48 hours ago. I speak to a different service manager than the jerk from Saturday and he takes all my radio information down and puts me on hold. Now normally I do not love being put on hold, but at least there was music. The guy couldn’t find my code in the book but suggested I bring the car in because they might have to call Volvo for the code.

I all but begged him to put me back on hold for the duration of my drive so I’d have music, but I decided that was too pathetic even for me and talked on the phone the entire way into the office.

Then at around 10:30 I had a brainstorm. My client is blocks from a huge auto mall and I figured there had to be a Volvo dealership, so on my lunch I went and had a look around. And poof, right there, a Volvo dealership. I went into the service department armed with all my radio information and explained to the guy my dilemma. I then gave him the piece of paper that had all the information about my radio on it. And I explained how the previous dealership wanted to charge me $98 to pull the radio. I knew I liked this service guy when he said that was the most absurd thing he’d ever heard.

He went out to my car with me just to make sure that we had all the information he needed and five minutes later he came back with the magical code (which I wrote on the side of the radio in purple Sharpee so if this ever happens again there will be no question what the freakin code is).

But…the radio was still in lockdown mode. I asked if pulling the battery would unlock it and he said no. The only way to reset the radio is to leave the car on for two hours. You turn the key to the first click on the ignition and let it sit. So when I got back to the office, I put my faith in the higher powers of people who watch over red Volvos and left my car in the parking lot with the key in the ignition turned to the first click. And because it is my only key and the keyless entry clicker will not lock the car with the key in the ignition I had to leave the car unlocked.

So yeah, my car sat in the parking lot for two hours unlocked with the key in it, all so that I could make the drive home tonight once again with tunes.

Two hours to the minute later I return to the car and realize that I had not in fact turned the key to the first click and the freakin radio was not cleared.

Leap of faith once, may as well go for number two, so I once again left my car, unlocked, with the key in the ignition, in the parking lot of my office, this time absolutely positive that I’ve turned the key to the first click place.

And one hour and fourty five minutes later I could delay no longer and had to go to an appointment. So I had to turn the car on. It was a short drive away and I was hoping that as long as I had not turned the car totally off, I would still be able to get the radio going. But no.

So I drive home with no radio. I was sick to death of talking on the phone so I drove home in total and depessed silence.

I figured I was going to give this whole clear the code on the radio one last shot, this time in the safety of my driveway, where I’d be able to leave the car for two hours and five minutes (just to make extra special sure) and this time decided to leave the power on the radio on. The guy at the dealership said to leave everything off but I didn’t think that was working.

At 9:30 tonight, with great trepediation I approached the car. I was thinking lovey musical thoughts as I opened the driver door to peer in to the radio.

My heart leapt with joy as I looked in and the radio no longer said OFF. Finally, it said CODE.

Slowly and carefully I entered the code. It appeared on the screen for a moment and then the radio tuned in.

Angel music came out of the speakers. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

July 1, 2005

I’m a Huge Fan!

Filed under: Angel Music,Fabulous Stuff — Beth @ 11:56 pm

I recently purchased the Feature Comforts 40″ Oscillating Tower Fan. At the risk of being total dork-girl, this is the most fabulous fan ever invented! (OK, it looks exactly like this one but it’s a different brand and it’s not an ionizer.)

If you look at the picture you can see it’s got a sleek tower type design, so it’s fashion-forward, and we all know how important that is.

But here are the fabulous things about this fan:
1. It has a remote control. I believe any appliance is drastically improved when it comes with a remote control. Chuck will think this is fabulous too, since on nights too numerous to count, I have asked him to get out of bed to turn our bedroom fan on.
2. It’s quiet. Nothing but a pleasant hummmmmm, compared to the wind tunnel noise my current bedroom fan has.
3. Did I mention it has a remote control?
4. It’s got lots of speeds and things that you can work, all from the fablous remote control.
5. It doesn’t take up a lot of floor space.

I got this thing of beauty to put in my home office, because though the house has central air, it still gets stuffy in here. And besides, it is more energy efficient to run the a/c at a higher temp and augmet it with fans. And I’m all about energy efficiency.

I’ve had the fan for a couple of months now, but it hasn’t really been hot. Until today. I whipped the fan out of the box and commenced assembling it. It was then that I realized it has a REMOTE CONTROL. OK, it says there’s a remote on the box now that I’m examining it, but I don’t think I realized it when I bought it. Because had I known a remote control was involved I’d have bought three of these puppies. Because you know, we really need more remote controls.

Anyway, about the fan: major angel music happening here. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

If you’re in the market for a faboo fan, take your tush over to Lowes immediately and get three of them. You won’t be sorry.