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2017-09-19 08:35 am
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2017-09-19 08:33 am
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2017-09-13 12:20 pm

Project 52



On Friday, as we left for work in the van, the check engine idiot light came on. We took it to Master Auto on the way in, swapping for our other working car. Except that I'm hoping for better luck, the thought has crossed my mind that perhaps we should store the spare car in their back parking lot. Anyway, they called after lunch to say that they think the warning light is being triggered by the lack of a vacuum in the fuel system and/or the sensor for that. It is a very sensitive sensor, so even if the air leak is tiny, it's enough to make the warning light up. It can also be caused by not tightening the fuel cap thoroughly. This particular problem is nothing to get excited about, the worst thing is that by having it lit up if something else triggers it, there is no way to know as it's already on. The best thing to do is get an OBD reader that allows reset of the warning, then we'll know if there's a new problem. We retrieved the van after work and then took it to Ionia on Saturday. Happily, no new problems have appeared.

We have decided not to fix the possessed heating/cooling system in the beige Park Avenue as that's a several hundred dollar repair. Both blowers have gone bad but winter is coming an a vehicle that no longer knows how to cool the air will not be an issue for a while. With some degree of luck we'll be able to dispose of that car before next summer.

Saturday morning we got up early as I had made an appointment with Big D Lock & Key to purchase and program electronic keys for the van. I purchased one through them, two more on Amazon, and they programmed all three for the cost of programming the one I purchased there. Big D is a strange place, it's a locksmith and has all the normal stuff you'd expect (lock sets, keys, safes) but also has a shelf display that made me wonder if an elderly relative asked if he or she could move the items at didn't sell at their yard sale inside. It worked to my benefit though, I now own a real Coach purse ($15.00!) and a 4-episode DVD of Dragnet ($1.00).

With our purchases in hand, we walked out the to car and headed toward Ionia. I wanted to stop at Portland or any other of the little communities on the way to run an Ingress mission or two, but [livejournal.com profile] jebra reminded me that there were another six missions in the Ann Arbor Mission Day set that we wanted to do and the only way to keep all the Mission Day badges together was to do them next. I was sad but he was right, so we agreed that we'd wait until this coming Sunday and go to Ann Arbor to finish them up. So we arrived in Ionia around 2 pm and called my mom to see if she wanted to have a late lunch with us. She did; we went and picked her up and went to El Mariachi Mexican Grill. The food was as good as I remembered and we were all stuffed to the gills when we left to go shopping for things to take to the Davis & Jones Family Reunion. We also stopped at the Dollar Tree as my mom wanted to buy a few birthday cards. While there I found a bin of DVDs and picked out a copy of the Julie Andrews movie Star! I had never heard of it but I read the back of the box and thought it sounded interesting. We watched it later that night and holy cats, the costume changes. And the dance routines, my goodness she was strong and flexible to be able to do the moves in the last dance number. [livejournal.com profile] jebra told me the movie did not do well in the theaters, and I can see how it would be hard to market but I found it appealing for a variety of reason, it's look back on a time in history, in the evolution of music and musical theater, wonderful costuming, and a fairly engrossing story line.

Sunday morning [livejournal.com profile] jebra got up before I did and started cooking. Our contribution to the Family Reunion was meatballs in a BBQ sauce, plus he made our traditional breakfast of steel-cut oats with raisins. My mom brought salad and fried chicken that we'd ordered from Meijers the day before. We stopped to get it on the way to Onondaga and still managed to arrive on time.

The reunion was better attended than the previous two, perhaps because there was a rumor that this would be the last one. That's not exactly true; during the reunion we took a vote and decided that this would be the last potluck in the township hall. In the future we'll meet a restaurant at a location somewhat central to the attendees, probably in Mt Pleasant.

Anyway I had a good time catching up with everyone I spoke with (three hours is not long enough for an in-depth conversation with everyone) and we helped clean up the hall when our rental was over. Which was easy as there were no tiny children (mess-makers) and all we had to do was take home our leftovers, remove the table cloths, and stack the chairs. My mom caught a ride home with my cousin Barbie, so when we got back to the van it wasn't much past 3 pm and [livejournal.com profile] jebra realized we had quite a few hours before dark and we could go to Ann Arbor to finish those Ingress missions. We did, and met up with [livejournal.com profile] traveller42 and [livejournal.com profile] mbumby at the 6th mission to walk around the park before the four of us went to Plymouth for dinner.

Monday was back to work followed by the first band practice of the new season for [livejournal.com profile] jebra. I stayed home and biked and did laundry. Tuesday was work followed by dinner at Arby's and then the first guild meeting of the year for me. It was lovely seeing everyone and we had so many knitters attend I was starting to wonder if we'd all fit. Our fearless leader reassured everyone that next month it wouldn't be as crowded as the chairs and tables had been shoved closely together to make room for the silent auction and the video presentation taking place last night. I thought I'd bid on two auctions and knew I'd been outbid on both when I went to check before bidding ended. I wasn't disappointed because I already knew I was going home with a lot of yarn from the free table. But when the winners were announced I was reminded that I'd placed three bids and I'd won the third (for three books, all in the one skein wonders series, and all three for a whopping $5.00).



Scrapbook papers & elements from the kit Bohemian Breeze
For more information about the designers and their work, see
http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/903338.html.

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2017-09-07 02:28 am
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2017-09-07 02:27 am
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2017-09-06 03:41 pm

Moose Winooski's (bonus Project 52 page)





Scrapbook papers & elements from the kit Bohemian Breeze
For more information about the designers and their work, see
http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/903338.html.

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2017-09-06 01:53 pm

(no subject)



When I left off last week in our automotive saga, we had retrieved the van from our mechanic's only to have it die less than two miles from the repair shop. We had called AAA and had it towed back and exchanged the van for our still misbehaving Park Avenue. The reason the car stalled was that whatever connector joins the fuel line to the engine failed. As it turned out, refusing to restart was a good thing as the breakage allowed gasoline to spray all over the engine and we very likely would have had an engine fire if the engine started. The fix was relatively easy (a new connector) and we had the car returned to us after work the next day. We took it to work in the morning, began the drive home after work and about half way home the van began to overheat. At this point we were about four miles from the repair shop and [livejournal.com profile] jebra didn't want to call for another tow as AAA isn't as generous as they used to be and he felt we should not use up all of our free tows in one week. We debated what to do (pay for a tow out-of-pocket, arrange for a rental car for the Friday and the weekend, call the repair shop and see if our other car was still drivable). Two of those weren't possible, as Enterprise was closed for the night, and everyone had already gone home from Master auto. During our debate (and while [livejournal.com profile] jebra peered under the hood and under the engine compartment), the van cooled off enough that it would start without beeping at us. We made it almost another two miles before the engine temperature again climbed into the danger zone. We pulled in at the Troy Fitness Center, let it cool again, and since I'm a good little recycler and had been bringing home an empty milk jug to add to our recycling bin, had a container that allowed us to add water to the cooling system. (The reservoir, btw, was completely empty at the time). With the added water we were able to get to Master Auto before the engine completely overheated and left it with the keys and a note. We then walked the four miles home, stopping to have dinner along the way. This was not a pleasant walk as it was getting cold and I was worn out to begin with. It was going on 11 pm when we finally reached the house. The food was great (Moose Winooski's makes an excellent jalapeno burger and their pickles are also wonderful) but I was disappointed in that I knew it was national eat outdoors day and it was too cold to eat on their patio as I had been hoping to do ever since I saw the graphic for the day. Maybe I'll show you that later.

Anyway, we called in to Master Auto Friday morning where the head mechanic made a comment about our van being like trying to throw away a boomerang. He thinks they're done with it and back it comes. This time it was the radiator. Apparently the bottom was cracked; we now have a brand new radiator and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing else goes wrong. We didn't get the van back until Tuesday, which meant I didn't have wheels from Friday through Monday. Fortunately the boss said I could work from home on Friday.

So I stayed home during the long weekend, while [livejournal.com profile] jebra and a bunch of other folks headed north to camp and walk the bridge on Labor Day. My weekend was very laid back and I slept and slept and slept. I'd get up for a few hours and then find myself nodding off. So naps were had in between bouts of knitting, crochet, and daily walks to either of the nearest-to-the-house Ingress portals. I'm on my 820th consecutive day of play so I sure don't want to break my hacking streak. I played Ingress just once per day and other than the people and dogs I encountered in the 45 minutes I was out of the house (and our own two indoor cats), I didn't see or talk to anyone while [livejournal.com profile] jebra was gone. I did, however, finish knitting one charity hat and crocheting four cat beds (two are kitten sized so I'm not sure they should count as two beds, and they pissed me off as I could not get them to grow in diameter without curving into a bowl. I'd taken a couple months off from cat beds and worried that my ability to make them without counting or referencing the pattern had vanished. I'm still not sure what's going on, but I finished a big one after I stopped using a particular chunky weight and very wavy yarn, so perhaps that's what was throwing me off. I was working on another big one last night, again using many strands of worsted weight, and it is also behaving).

As you might guess, I was very happy to go to work after the van got out of the shop yesterday. It was very nice to be around people and not to be sitting on our couch. By the time the long weekend was over I was actually getting sick of crime TV. Although I do want to put in a plug for BD Wong's Something's Killing Me. So far it's been half (crime) mystery and half medical mystery and altogether fascinating.



Scrapbook papers & elements from the kit Bohemian Breeze
For more information about the designers and their work, see
http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/903338.html.

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2017-09-06 10:30 am
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2017-09-03 11:46 pm
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2017-08-31 11:29 am
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2017-08-30 10:27 am

Project 52



A week ago today we received the report from our mechanic's about the car we were contemplating buying. It needed a number of repairs, primarily among them a new axle, so we took that information to the dealer and negotiated a better price. So our new car is 2013 Town & Country minivan and we took it to work the very next day so that we could drop off the beige Park Avenue for a few repairs of its own. We exchanged cars at the mechanics the day after that, in no small part because the idea of that axle breaking while underway seemed like a great way to cause additional parts to fail. Well, that and the other car was supposedly all better. It got a brand new fuse box, which solved most of its problems. Only that turned out not to be the only issue, it has taken to feeling like it is going over rumble strips at unpredictable intervals (including on newly laid asphalt) and the heating/cooling system is now possessed. The driver's side blows cool air while the passenger side blows nothing other than air that feels like it came up from the depths of hell.

So, to jump ahead in this story, the Town & Country was returned to us last night after a whole series of repairs, one of which was not on the inspection as it couldn't be seen until the whatever was disassembled. So we once again exchanged cars and drove off in the minivan toward the grocery store. Around four miles later it stalled as we were puttering up Main Street in Royal Oak. Fortunately [livejournal.com profile] jebra was driving and coasted the car to a side street and found a safe spot to let it sit. We called AAA, had it towed back to our mechanic's, and exchanged it for the mostly working Park Avenue. I'm beginning to wonder if someone threw an automotive curse upon our vehicles.

Oh, and that Subaru Forester [livejournal.com profile] jebra was in love with? It was sold over the weekend and [livejournal.com profile] jebra spent most of Monday in mourning when he noticed it was no longer on their webpage. I called to confirm; that's how I know it sold over the weekend.

Scheduled for the weekend were two events, an Ingress XM Anomaly on Saturday and a Mission Day on Sunday, both in Ann Arbor. I'm still not entirely certain what an Anomaly is, but I went and helped my team (the Resistance) gain victory. In practical terms, this meant I went where I was told and did whatever action was requested (generally, keeping portals charged and helping them stay blue). We were instructed to bring as many Level 8 bursters and resonators as we could get our hands on (preferably 600 of each). Friday night after work [livejournal.com profile] jebra found a park in Birmingham we could farm for Level 8 gear, so we walked around hacking portals until we burned them out. We had a reasonable supply of both bursters and resonators when we left for Ann Arbor and arrived barely in time for check-in thanks to two serious accidents on the highway. Not even Waze could rescue us from being later than we wanted but we made it and we found our team before the action began. Many hours and five miles later we were done for the day. We grabbed some dinner on the way home, then I ran a load of laundry while I took a shower and waited for my hair to dry.

On Sunday we played a dozen missions; there were supposed to be sixteen available but there was a problem with one of them and it didn't come online during Mission Day. In my case it would not have mattered as I was barely able to complete the 12 we did. I was moving at a snail's pace by the end and alternately being delighted that I wasn't having to consume pain pills the way I did during the Detroit Mission Day and concerned about the state of my knees and lamenting how slow I had to move just to keep going forward. We had dinner in Ann Arbor at Hop Cat, where I learned why their crack fries are called crack fries (they must be made with crack as they are that yummy and addictive), then it was home for more laundry and getting ready for work on Monday.

Not much work got done by me on Monday even though I was there all day. I was so exhausted from all that walking (I did another 5.5 miles on Sunday) that it was a very sleep apnea-y day -- I'd type a few words, fall asleep, rinse, repeat. We drove straight home after work, where I brushed my teeth and fell into bed. My blood sugar was awful when I woke up the next morning (149) but I suppose that's what happens when I eat a ton of pizza for lunch then skip both dinner
and my evening dose of metformin. I did, however, manage to stay awake all day at work on Tuesday and got caught up on what I'd been trying to do on Monday.



Scrapbook papers & elements from the kit Bohemian Breeze
For more information about the designers and their work, see
http://mrs-sweetpeach.dreamwidth.org/903338.html.

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2017-08-20 12:37 pm
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2017-08-02 11:09 am
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2017-07-31 01:14 am
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2017-07-28 08:56 am