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2017-10-11 01:22 pm
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2017-10-04 04:06 pm
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2017-09-27 10:52 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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2017-09-06 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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2017-08-30 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.

mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
2017-08-23 11:57 am

Project 52



We went to the zoo for a walk Wednesday night after work as it is August and the zoo is open late on Wednesdays this month. We saw one of [livejournal.com profile] jebra's old bandmates, quite a few of the zoo's full--time inhabitants, and played Ingress until closing. We're getting closer to Level 15 but good heavens is that a long slog. [profile] jebra pointed out at there are many game points from Level 1 through 14 as there are between Level 14 and 15. No wonder it is taking forever. The AgentStats tool predicts I will make Level 15 sometime in October but I keep seeing the date slip as life gets in the way and I can't devote the amount of time I'd like to getting out and playing.

We were supposed to go up north to see [livejournal.com profile] jebra's parents on Saturday and planned to spend the night. Friday was spent catching up on laundry so that I'd have something to wear while we were gone. While I was biking and doing laundry, [livejournal.com profile] jebra went out for a walk and to play Ingress. He was walking at his usual quick pace on a sidewalk when he started to fall forward. He tried to regain his balance by walking faster and getting his under him where they belong but all that really did was propel him faster when he hit the pavement with this knees, palms, and face. He laid there for a while, holding the side of his nose that gets spontaneous nosebleeds, until he thought he could stand up with out getting blood down the front of his khaki shirt and kilt. He came home after that and I had to meet him at the door to help him get his boots and the rest of his clothes off as he still had blood all over his hands and face. He posted the whole saga to facebook for those of you who follow him there; the next day we went back to the scene of the crime to see if we could figure otu why he fell. He was pretty spooked by the whole thing which is understandable given my experiences with unexplained falls. Turns out he had a better reason than a failing spine, he had stepped on a green pine cone and it rolled underneath his boot as he continued forward. He took photos of the now crushed pine cone and the rather substantial bloodstain on the pavement. His hands are healing nicely as are his knees (he heals a heck of a lot faster than I do; the marks on his needs are darn near gone whereas I have had the same injuries to my knees for the past couple of months). Anyway, on Saturday morning he still looked pretty swollen and at we didn't yet know why he'd fallen so we opted to stay near home for the weekend. We were glad of this decision when he woke up Sunday morning with two black eyes. Turns out he didn't break his nose though, the doctor examined him and declared him to be just badly bruised.

I have no idea what we did on Saturday other than research used cars, go out for dinner and play Ingress while we were out. Oh, and arrange to have lunch with our god-daughter Amanda and her husband the following day.

We expected to get up earlier than we did come Sunday, which cut short time for playing Ingress before our meet-up at the restaurant. We played one set of portals on our way there, discussed where we wanted to play after lunch, and arrived at the Mexican place before they did. Which was good as we were starting to run late. The food was excellent and I want to return for more. I want to recommend the place if you're ever in the area only I can't remember the name of the place nor where exactly it is located. I know it was nearish St. Basil (an Ingress portal) and that it is only five minutes or so from Sam & Amanda's house but that doesn't help identify it.

After lunch we went to check out their house and meet their dogs, one is a spaniel-pitbull mix that the softest coat I've known on a short-hair dog. That dog would be great to cuddle up with on the couch on a cold night. The other dog is a black lab-pitbull mix and *loves* water. And is very high energy and wants to play nonstop. Good thing his brother doesn't mind playing with him.

What I forgot to mention was that when we returned to our car after lunch the windows would neither go up nor down. The radio cut out for a while too, but in this weather the windows are far more important as the A/C in the car stopped work over a year ago. We sweltered on the way home and did not stop to play more Ingress as we didn't know if the windows & radio were the only things malfunctioning. I was sad but we got home safely and made it to and from work on Monday. My brother, Rob, the mechanic, suggested that the problem was within one of the control modules and that a possible fix was to disconnect and then reconnect the battery. Rather like a rebooting a computer I suppose. We tried that but it did not correct the problem. Meanwhile, I found a car I wanted to check out at the used car dealer near our home so we did that after work. We arrived as they were closing up shop for the night, but they let us take it out for a quick test drive. We had one reservation (it felt like the ABS breaking system was triggering when it drove down a bumpy residential street at 30 mph) but felt it was worth having our mechanic give it a look. So that's what's going on today.

Last night was more laundry and [livejournal.com profile] jebra was going to go to Ann Arbor for concert night at the Ark. (Take a Chance Tuesday.) He didn't make it there though, the car started to act funny (that's as much as I know) and he was afraid to make the trip. And this morning we stayed off the highway on our way in to work for the same reason. I sure do hope our mechanic gives the okay for the sale, especially since I told Jebra that if they didn't we'd go to CroMax in Ypsilanti and get the little blue Subaru Forester he likes. Only now I'm not sure our working Park Avenue can go that far.




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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2017-08-19 11:47 am
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Finally, part 2 of Project 52 Week 33

On Saturday, my first shift at IFC was keeping folks out the hallway before and during the Furry Parade and helping the furries stay more or less in formation. I've been told their heads obstruct their vision and I saw that in action when one of them veered out of line heading in the wrong direction and had the folks behind him or her follow right along. I saw what was happening and darted in front of him or her, stuck out my arms so that I was sure to make contact, and turned him/her in the proper direction. The folks behind immediately began going in correct way. I stayed in that spot for the remainder of the parade and there were further escapees, at least at my location. The parade terminated inside the courtyard that lies in the center of the hotel buildings. That's what's in the photo on today's page, only it does not show all 300+ furries. It shows the center of the grouping, including the woman who runs the animal rescue they support and her dog. True to form, I have no idea what her name is but I remember her dog's name is Daffodil.

After dinner with Les & Stephanie I went up to our room to recharge my devices and apparently my own internal battery as I fell asleep reading Twitter and was out for about an hour and a half. I then went down to Operations and hung out there until my next shift. Once again I was keeping non-attendees and minors of all stripes out of the 18+ panels. About an hour before my shift ended I swapped places with Dee, who had been stationed outside the dance. Once again I felt compelled to move with the music and I stayed there after my shift ended until the dance itself was over. Afterwards [livejournal.com profile] jebra went for a walk around the first floor of the hotel and he showed me where the fitness center is located and gave me a quick tour of the bar and the rooms behind it. This came in handy on Sunday when I decided to check out the Dealer's Den. Didn't find anything that tempted me, other than art pieces by one of our friends. I'm toying with the idea of commissioning a piece but, like my next tattoo, I have no idea what I want. That's why my next tattoo has taken longer than I've been married to get. (More than thirty years for those who lost score.)

By the time we ended our walk I was tired and my knees were in agreement that it was time to go to bed. So I did.

Before the parade I took two photos of Uncle Kage, one of him holding up his "Picture of Kage $5" sign (for which I did indeed pay $5 to the charity) another of him wearing one of my cat beds on his head (which was relative steal at $1 (but only because he knew it was one of the 25 beds I was donating to the rescue)). I shall treasure those photos forever. I love Uncle Kage even though I don't think he recognizes me yet. He is extremely well known in the Furry World, and known in the wine world and the scientific world as well. At the Motor City Furry Con I was disappointed that I had to miss his talk on science an pseudoscience due to my shift being at the same time, but then I learned that it's always the same talk and that there's a recording of it on youtube. I then watched the video (Science, Pseudosciene & Outright Schei├če" and *really* fell for him. Which reminds me, in the last week or two I learned that some folks are now refusing to vaccinate their pets for fear of them becoming autistic. Crazy.

Anyway, on Sunday at IFC we slept in a little, packed out, and went down to Ops. [livejournal.com profile] jebra came on duty around noon, but I didn't have any shifts, so I visited the Dealer's Den then returned to Operations to hang out with the Dorsai before the auction. It was then that Alkali learned someone had inflated a Bounce House in one of the big rooms for the furries to enjoy. He blurted something about "liability" and went off to investigate. I wanted to see this as the idea of furries bouncing around sounded hilarious but I didn't quite catch the name of the room and ended up at the Furry Games. It wasn't Olympic-like, what I saw was the final game which was sort-of a game of Musical Chairs played with a large blue ball. The furry left holding the ball when the music stopped was eliminated. It wasn't a Bouncy House but the music was good and it was fun to watch.

Next up for me was the Auction, so I went and laughed my butt off (Uncle Kage is an excellent auctioneer) and accidentally got caught up in the excitement and bid on and won a signed poster of the DJs who performed at the con. I thought the poster was kinda cool but I could have taken a photo of it if I was interested in having my own copy, but when I learned that to follow was a recording of all of the concerts, I bid. I won't get the audio for another month or two but what the heck. I'll have it, I like it, and that was another $40 for the charity. Oh, any the one cat bed I put into the auction went for either $20 or $30, not as much as others have gone for in the past, but Alkali won the auction and I love that he has it for his kitty. And I got to see the con chair wear it on his head as the bidding began. Sadly, I wasn't quick enough with the camera to capture that memory.

We left the con around 5 pm and began the long drive home. We had to reroute our path shortly after getting onto the freeway due to a multi-car injury accident somewhere further up the road, but Waze came through and we found an alternate route that was both moving and not insanely crowded.

We got Dee back to her place around 10 pm and ourselves home around midnight. Speaking of Dee, on Friday she gave a copper and swarovski crystal bracelet I have yet to take a photo of. It's handmade and entire gorgeous.

Monday morning sucked as when we got home we still had to unpack the car, put things away, exercise (it isn't good for me to do nothing but sit all day), shower and get ready for the work week. I think I was up until 3 am.

I don't remember Monday at all, nor Tuesday other than I was working on the scrapbook page and trying to clean off my desk at work. As usual, I failed in the desk-clearing department.
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