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Category: Cars

Low Tire Pressure?

Low Tire Pressure?

A couple of weeks ago the “low tire” light came on in my car but air pressure in my tires has checked out?! It was driving me crazy and I figured it was a faulty pressure sensor. I brought it to a tire shop today and it turns out that the spare tire deep in my trunk also has a pressure sensor and it was 5lbs low! Who would’ve thought?! Lol
Keep this in mind if you ever seem to have phantom low tire pressure! And drive a #Lexus Lol

Little Red Corvette

Little Red Corvette

When Jeff was in town last month, he brought his new drone with him. This thing is pretty awesome! Takes HD video from a long way away. He took this footage of my dad driving his 1960 Corvette from a few different angles. I put the clips together in this movie….

Four Star Auto Service

Four Star Auto Service

Remember last week when I was crying about the awful headlights on my Mazda CX-7 and how neither of my low-beams was working anymore? I am so glad I blogged about it because a friend saw it and sent me over to Four Star Auto Service to see what they could do.  I was really worried about having to replace the entire headlamp assembly which was going to cost me an arm and a leg, but I figured it was worth a shot to see what Four Star could do.  I am so glad I did!!

I’m back in action, baby!

Not only was Four Star able to fix my headlight and replace both bulbs in both headlights, they also had a loaner car for me to use, were able to get the work done in a few hours, and all for under $100 for everything!

Hallelujah!!!

I will definitely be using Four Star Auto Service in the future and highly recommend you do too!!

Thank you Milli for sending me to Four Star!

^%$#%$#%$ Mazda CX-7 Headlights!!!

^%$#%$#%$ Mazda CX-7 Headlights!!!

Can I assume for a minute that everyone who reads this has changed a lightbulb in your car at one point or another???  This is minor maintenance that usually takes no more than 10-15 minutes right?

That may be the case…… unless you drive a Mazda CX-7 like I do!  A few weeks ago my drivers side low-beam went out, so I went to the Auto Parts store to pick up my $10 bulb.  When I got home with my bulb and got my car manual out to see what I needed to do, I was shocked to see that replacing my bulb involved removing the mud panel under the wheel-well.  Really??!!  (Well the other option is to completely remove the bumper cover and then the headlight assembly).  So I got out the tool box, climbed under my car and then spent the next 75 minutes swearing at the dang car for being so difficult.  I finally get in to the tight place I need to be, disconnect the old bulb, pull off the covering and then I can’t get it out because of a clip holding it in place.  Holding it so good that I could not get the bugger out for the life of me!! Next thing you know, the piece that holds the bulb inside the socket has broken off!!!! This is NOT GOOD.  I determine that I have really messed things up and need a whole new headlamp assembly.  Only $400+!!! I typed a search in Google about my headlights only to discover that practically everyone who owns this car has had the same problem.  How frustrating and stupid!!!  Thanks a lot, Mazda for the genius design.  Real user-friendly.  NOT!!!

So I have been waiting to have a few extra bucks in my pocket to buy this big, bad part, driving with just one headlight for the past two weeks.  Can you believe I haven’t even had a chance to buy this headlamp assembly and a few nights ago THE PASSENGER SIDE HEADLIGHT GOES OUT TOO!!  So at the moment I do not have any low beams that work on my car!!! And it is not equipt with fog lights either.  Its either highbeams or parking lights.

Could this happen at a worse time of year now that our days are getting so short????

I am afraid to try to replace the other bulb because I know the same thing could happen and then I am looking at another $400+ on top of the original $400. No thanks!

So that is my rant of the week. Grrrr!

New Car & Roadtrip to Boston

New Car & Roadtrip to Boston

So what’s new with you?

Me? Well, since I last blogged I:

1. traded in my car for a newer one

2. Drove 3,000 miles round trip to Boston!

Nothing like being somewhat spontaneous, huh?

I had been looking at cars for awhile and finally found the one I was meant to have.

2007 Mazda CX-7 Touring Edition in Black Cherry with cream leather interior.  It rocks!

So what was I doing out in Boston, you ask?

Well, my guy and I drove out there to see  Massive Attack (a band from the U.K) perform a show at the House of Blues Boston.  The band had only three U.S locations on this tour and Boston was the closest and most reasonable one to get to, so we just decided to go for it.

We jumped in the new car and followed I-90 the whole way into Boston….

We had a great time on the trip and I will be back to post photos, etc after I get some sleep and catch up on other things.

That’s all for now,

Little Red Corvette….

Little Red Corvette….

This year celebrates the 40th anniversary of my dad owning his 1960 Corvette.  Can you imagine buying this car at 20 years old and then holding onto it for the next 40 years? To one day give to your oldest child?! (Sorry Brian and Jeff….you know the deal)

Anyway, may it be no surprise that I get a lot of my papparazzi and other skills from my dad.  Check out this video he made to commemorate his 40 years with his Little Red Corvette….

2007 Mpls Auto Show

2007 Mpls Auto Show

For the 4th year in a row I went to check out the Mpls auto show.  I have to say I wasn’t as impressed as other years, mostly because they didn’t have have any exotic cars (like Ferrari and Mazerati) and they didn’t have that many concept cars and a very limited number of customized rides.

Here are some of the coolest ones I saw:

Audi R8

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The new Landrover…..starting at only $35k…..such a deal!

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and this little tiny car…..

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This Jeep concept was really interesting…

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I’d still love to roll this Cadillac SRX

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How about a little bling-bling??

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Yep, I’d probably roll any of those!

Sushi Night with the Girls…..

Sushi Night with the Girls…..

On Monday night I went out for Japanese with some of my highschool girlfriends.  Actually, we have all been friends since elementary or Jr. High!  We met at Saji-Ya in St Paul and had a blast!!!!  The girls wanted to try a variety of sushi and figured I should do the ordering since I probably have the most experience with sushi.  So why not try just about everything???  We got a ton of food!!!  We ordered edamame, sauteed mushrooms and ginger wings as appetizers (not to mention 2 bottles of wine and several other drinks).  For sushi we got California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, caterpillar roll, crunchy roll, snow over philly roll, ikura, kaibashira, hamachi sashimi and red snapper sashimi.  Good stuff, I tell ya! An expensive meal, but definitely worth it 🙂

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After dinner I had to show the girls my new ride….. got a couple of pics of me with her, but you still can’t see all of her that well….

MEET LEXI!!

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and my girls REALLY liked Lexi too!  (Of course the wine played a big part in this type of behavior!)

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Can’t wait to go out with these girls again in January!!!

Adios, Au Revoir, Sayonarra, Good Bye

Adios, Au Revoir, Sayonarra, Good Bye

Goodbye to Bessie.

We have parted ways after 8 good, long years.

This is the final picture of us together, minutes before I sold her to her new owners.

Eclipse

After taking her in for a super-cleaning, I decided Friday morning to test my luck at the owner-to-owner Car Mart.  (This place is great…for just $24/weekend you can display your used vehicles at a car lot located on the car dealership stretch of Hwy 61 in WBL.)

Within the first hour I had two people requesting test-drives and a third just 4 hours after I brought her up there.  The third guy is the one who bought the car and he offered me quite a bit more than I was willing to take.  Yay!!!

Some final stats on Bessie:

41, 506 miles when I got her and 142, 688 when I sold her.

Purchased 11-11-98  Sold 11-25-06  (8 years, 14 days)

13 States visited

1 Speeding ticket

Many Memories!

Good News……

Good News……

Elections are over!!
The good news today is that the residents of St Paul voted YES to the school referendum.  This means I can feel a little more secure about my job over the next six years 🙂 It also means being able to better meet the needs of our kids.  The sad news is that they did NOT pass referendums in any of the smaller, local districts who already have 34 students in each class.  Shame on those who voted NO because they couldn’t spare an extra $10/mo in tax increases for the benefit of our FUTURE. That is pretty sad, IMO.

I also wanted to share some other car-related news.  Remember back a few months ago when my Bessie-Car fell apart and I felt lucky to be alive????  Eclipsewheel_005600pix Read story Here.  After I got her fixed and spent $1165, I swore I would not put another dollar into repairs. (Although total repairs over 8 years for her has been minimal)

So anyway, about 3 weeks ago when I was on my way to work, my power steering went out and I knew right away that my darn serpentine belt had broken again.  This happened to me twice before in the past 18 months as you might recall from these two posts:  Do you think this is a sign? and Laura’s Wedding

Good thing I was about 1/2 mile from the Mitsubishi dealership! (Someone is definitely watching out for me, as everytime I get in trouble with this car, help is practically right there).  So I stopped to have them fix my belt real quick so I wouldn’t be late for work.  About 5 minutes after I arrived, the following conversation took place:

Mitsubishi: "Did you know there is a recall on your car? We’d like to fix it right now."

Me: No, I know nothing about a recall.  I don’t have time for this today, I have to get to work.  Can I make an appt?

Mitsu: We’d really like to take care of this today.  We’ll give you a loaner car

Me:   "What is the recall for?"

Mitsu:  "There have been a number of faulty ball joints on this model, we want to replace them right away."

Me: "Oh REALLY????" There is a recall on the ball joints that I was never notified of??? Well guess what?? My ball joint broke on the right side a month ago and the whole front end of my car fell apart.  I am lucky to be alive!!"

Mitsu: "Do you have a receipt?

Me: "I spent $1165.  Of course I have a receipt!  Is Mitsubishi going to cover this since they failed to notify me of the recall?"

Mitsu: "Bring me the receipt and we will see what we can do."

So, I brought them the receipt and e-mailed them the pictures I had taken after the accident.  I didn’t hear back from them (although I followed up with three e-mails to the service manager at Mitsubishi).  Just when I was about to threaten them with my attorney, I received a check in the mail last Friday for $1165!!!! Every single penny was reimbursed!!!!

Now I know that serpentine belt was a major PITA, but if it hadn’t broken again right in front of the dealership, I would never have found out about the recall and I probably never would have gotten reimbursed for those repairs 🙂

So, thats my good news of the day! 

A little of this, a little of that

A little of this, a little of that

Sometimes I hate coming up with a title for each post!

Random weekly facts:

**Picked Bessie up at the shop on Monday night.  $1165.  Ouchhhhhhhhhh.  Thank God for Mastercard! LOL.  Oh how I wish I could afford a NEW car.  Or at least a newer car.  Hoping Bessie makes it through the winter if I don’t sell her first.  This relationship is no good if she ends up taking my life or costing me an arm and a leg!!  IF I had a spare $40-50k, the two vehicles that I would choose between are the Cadillac SRX and the Infinity FX45.  Both sleek and stylish, smaller SUVs.

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Infinityfx45

**Discovering that the students at my new school need some major behavior interventions.  Crikey! I have a class and a half of the most squirrely 2nd graders I have ever seen.  Lord, help me get through that 50 minutes a day!

**Went to a really great training for work Tuesday afternoon to learn about a fabulous internet-based program for gifted kids.  It is called Renzulli Learning and is based out of the University of Connecticut.  Here is a description of the program that I stole from the Renzulli website I referenced above.

"The Renzulli Learning System is an exciting new on-line program that matches students’ interests and learning styles to many different opportunities designed to provide enriched, challenging learning. All of the activities and options in the Renzulli Learning System are based on The Enrichment Triad Model, which has been cited as the most widely used plan for enrichment and talent development in the world.

In the Renzulli Learning System, the Renzulli ProfilerTM generates an individual profile for each student. Click here to read a sample profile. Then an individualized Enrichment Differentiation collection of Internet and downloadable resources are made available that matches student interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression. "
Super cool! I hope to discover several cool websites to use with my students.  I might share a few here too….here is the first!

Has anybody ever heard of a droodle? Droodles are riddles within a picture.  The object is to look at a picture and guess what it might be. There is not necessarily a correct answer for each puzzle.  Different people may see different things!  For example:

Drodl226 Drodl219

Any guesses before I tell you the answers suggested on the Droodles website?

Left- Charlie Brown snorkeling  Right- A pig lookly closely at book titles

Two sites that offer these type of puzzles are Droodles.com and Archimedes’ Lab.

**Did a search for "Mexican food blogs" and found the Burrito Blog.  This is my type of guy! His blog is devoted to writing reviews about the different burrito restaurants he eats!!!  Fabulous idea! Check it out ya’ll.  There are also a couple of links to some yummy cupcake blogs in my right sidebar. Hmmmm, maybe I should start a food/restaurant review blog???  Could I save the receipts and write it all off, I wonder??? This idea sounds better and better!!

** Where has the time gone??  I cannot believe we are already half-way through September!!! That means less than 6 months to go before I turn the big 3-0!!!!!!  That number used to sound soooooo old.  Now it sounds young!!  I guess it is all relative 🙂

Counting My Blessings…..

Counting My Blessings…..

I wasn’t sure how to start this post, so I am just going to say this:

I feel lucky to be alive today.

This morning on my way to work I stopped at Kowalskis in WBL to get some Dayquil and some Orange juice.  Yes…I have come down with yet another cold!

This was not a typical stop for me, but because I did, I took White Bear Ave….an alternate way to work.

Its a good thing I did.

I was 1/2 mile down the street from the grocery, going 25 mph around a curve when I heard a loud crunch in my front end and I suddenly lost control of the car. THANK GOD no other cars were near me.  The car veered to the right and crashed into the curb.  I was thinking, oh great…a flat tire, perhaps??? But I had a feeling it was much worse.  As I get out to survey the damage, the woman who had lived in the house right in front of where this happened, came out and told me that she thought my tie-rod had broke…the same thing just happened to her.  This is what it looked like:

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Eclipsewheel_007

This woman and her husband invited me into their home to use the phone/phone book to call a tow truck and a mechanic.  As soon as the police and tow truck arrived, they both told me I was extremely lucky to be alive…had this happened on the highway, I would have caused a huge accident and probably would’ve died. I take the freeway everyday to my other school and also home, so it is very likely this could’ve happened when I was going 60 mph or more.

I think I took that alternate route for a reason.  I think this happened in front of that specific house for a reason.   I have mentioned my guardian angel before, and yes, I believe he/she was looking out for me again today. 

And yes, I am counting my blessings today and feel fortunate to be alive.  It makes the $1000 damage to replace the lower ball joint, CV shaft, and drive knuckle (not to mention the rental car) a little bit easier to swallow…….

Birthday Love :)

Birthday Love :)

I wanted to give a big heartfelt {Thank you} to all of you who called, text’d me, Pm’d me, e-mailed me,  Im’d me, made a tag or card for my birthday, left a comment or just thought of me this weekend.  You all made my day so much brighter!! I am very behind in the blogs and 2P & SJ Galleries from being out of town all weekend, but I look forward to little surprises like the ones I have already seen by Susan and Sarah.  I especially LOVE the presentation of this gorgeous tag made by Yolanda (one of CK’s 2006 Fresh Faces). You girls are awesome!

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We never really celebrated my birthday on Saturday since we had so many other family obligations, but E did take me to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place during the afternoon.  This place is ginormous! The auto show was pretty cool! We walked around for several hours and saw a ton of cars.I would love to drive (or at least take a ride) in one of these Ferrari’s

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Or this new Little Red Corvette! Vroom vroom!

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Saturday night the whole family (20 of us in all) went out for a dinner at Lo Garden (Chinese).  After dinner we all went back to E’s uncle’s house where we had our own little Texas Hold "Em tourney. Would you believe that we only had one game because it lasted almost 2 1/2 hours…and the pot was only $30??!! I almost took it all….it went down to the wire, just me and E’s other Uncle, both all-in…..his 3 of a kind beat my 2 pair. Effin A! But it sure was the most exciting $5 buy-in I ever played!

And now we are back in St Paul, safe & sound…it was a nice, dry daytime drive…quite the opposite from our drive in to Chicago last week. That trip was very snowy, slippery, dark and scary as hell. Today E took me to my favorite restaurant and then to the bookstore so I could pick out some books for myself as a birthday gift.  I got:

* Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maquire

*How to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin Harmel

*Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult (I also want to read My Sister’s Keeper)

*The Eight by Katherine Neville

*Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

*100 Ghastly Little Ghost Stories

**The Effects of Light by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Now I plan to do a little scrappin’ tonight as a belated birthday treat to myself 🙂

Sayonara!

7 Years with Bessie

7 Years with Bessie

Bessie is my car.  My 1996 red Mitsubishi Eclipse.  My grandma used to call her cars Bessie and I guess I kinda adopted the name from her!  I bought her with cash 7 years ago today…on 11-11-98.  I had wanted an Eclipse sooooo badly before I bought her.  It was the dream car that I could actually afford! I bought her at a car auction…she had just come off a 3 year lease. 

At the time I needed a newer, reliable car that would take me safely from St Paul, MN to Tucson AZ, where I was to be moving just 10 days after buying her.  My brother Brian drove down there with me…..we made it there safely.  Just one little "bump" in the road when we stopped in Oklahoma City the first night of our road trip….they had like 12 inch curbs and I took one a little too sharply.  Poor Bessie only sits about 5 inches off the ground and didn't take that curb too well. Part of the ground affects on the passenger side were pulled away from the car.  Whoops! I hadn't even had her for 2 weeks yet.

While living in AZ that winter, Bessie was my sole means of transportation.  She got me from my little apartment on the reservation to the small village that I taught in for the first couple of months.  She got me from Tucson to the city of Marana where I taught the next couple of months.  She took me and some of the other friends I lived with down there to San Diego and Tijuana.  She even climbed to the top of a mountain in Sierra Vista when we all decided to go camping one weekend in January.  My good ol', reliable Bessie car!

Bessie also was the sole means of transportation for me, Jenny and Paula when it was time for us to move back to Minnesota that spring.  All three of us piled into Bessie with all of our stuff….and drove across the country to get back home.  Here is us the day we left the Tucson desert.

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We were in no big rush to get home and so we planned out a little road trip.  First leg: Take I-10 east through New Mexico and Texas to San Antonio.  has anyone ever made that drive through western Texas??  It is the most BORING drive evah!!!!!!!  No one around anywhere.  No restaurants, barely any gas stations.  So why not drive fassssst????   Paula was driving about 100 mph, when we were stopped by the Texas Troopers.  We found out that you still need to abide by the traffic laws, even in the middle of nowhere!

We spent about a week in Texas…..San Antonio, South Padre Island, and Houston.  Good times!!!!!

In those first 4 months that I had Bessie I put 11,000 miles on her!

In the past 6 1/2 years since I returned, the only other road trips that Bessie has gone on are to Chicago.  Somehow I have still managed to put 91,000 miles on her since that day I bought her!

But Poor Bessie.  These days she just isn't living out her Glory Years.  Let me show you some of her more recent battle wounds.  Bessiecar_005_1 I have to park as close as I can inside the garage so that there is room for E's ginormous truck.  So I have to angle it like crazy to get her out of the garage.  One day last spring she got into it with the garbage can and the garbage can won.  Now there is no more sideview mirrorBessiecar_006!!!!

Another time two years ago I had an unfortunate incident happen to me on the freeway.  An animal ran right out in front of me and Bessie took it down.  The animal took out this fog light that I never bothered replacing:

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I feel really bad that I have neglected Bessie in recent years.  After all that we have been through together in the past 7 years, I think she is almost ready to be retired.  It has been great not having to make a car payment in the last 7 years, so I have kept her.  I have been very lucky not to have had to put much money into her, other than basic maintenance, but I feel that she may be on her last legs.  Let some young kid buy her and pimp her out again!! 

This post was my way of  sharing some of our memories together, the good and the bad.

Happy Anniversary Bessie, you old lady you!

Back to the 50’s Car Show

Back to the 50’s Car Show

My dad is the owner of this 1960 Corvette.  He came across it when he was 20 years old, bought it on the spotCorvette4, and has held on to it ever since.  Three years ago  I got to keep it at my house for the summer after my parents sold their house and waited for the new one to be built.  What a time that was!! I got very good at driving it 🙂

This weekend is the annual "Back to the 50's" Hot Rod show at the Minnesota State Fair grounds, so I met my dad down there and walked around for several hours looking at all the beautiful old cars.  I am partial to the Corvette, so I took pics of many of the ones I have seen.  Here are some of them….

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It was a HOT day out there, but there were over 10,000 cars to see!  We did our best,  but probably only saw 1/2! Here are some More:

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Do you think this is a sign?

Do you think this is a sign?

It seems I have been running into some bad luck with my car lately…. last Friday it was a flat tire, Tuesday is was hail damage and yesterday while I was driving to work my power steering and A/C went out.  I should have known…bad luck happens in 3's.  Beyond my initial thoughts of, "What now??", I was dreading what it would cost me to get it fixed…summer's coming and that means Kristi is ultra broke!!   Thank goodness I was close to a Jiffy Lube and they were able to figure out what the problem was…my serpentine belt had snapped.  This is not the usual sort of thing that they take care of, but I think they felt a little sorry for me so one of the guys drove to Napa Auto Parts to buy me a new belt…Free of charge… and put it on for me.  Good thing it didn't cost me any more than $50…I think I got off kind of easy!

So anyway, I have had Bessie (96 Mitsubishi Eclipse) for almost 7 years now and I have been wanting a newer car soooo bad.  One reason I have kept the car so long is because I paid cash for her when I bought it on 11-11-98. I have been lucky that I haven't had anything major go wrong with her yet, but this past week has really made me think that I better make a move soon.  So I am hoping that I can make it until this fall without any more unfortunate experiences.  Still hoping to claim the hail damage and get a little $$!