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Vanity plates

Mar. 24th, 2017 08:58 am
wshaffer: (in a car)
While commuting last night and this morning, I've spotted a number of interesting vanity license plates.
CATS PT had me wondering if there was such a thing as physical therapy for cats, until I realized that it was on the back of the PT Cruiser.
1NAGA made me wonder if I'd spotted a fellow L5R player. Probably not.
DRNDRN4: I have no idea.
NVRNTME: Never Not Me? Never No Time? Never On Time? Nevada Registered Nurse Too Many Expectations?
I CSHARP: Therefore I not B-flat?

Kids and Cars

Mar. 6th, 2016 04:51 pm
wshaffer: (bannakaffalatta)
My two nephews are participating in something called the "Pinewood Derby" as part of Cub Scouts. Basically, you build a little wooden car and roll it down a track. I did something similar when I was a kid, but it's all a bit slicker now. We started off the project down at the hardware store, where they had a guy with a bandsaw cutting out the shapes the kids had traced for their cars.

Youngest Niece wanted to ride in my car back to her house. "I like music in the car, not talking!" she declared. None of you will be surprised that I've given more than a little bit of thought to what things in my music collection are suitable for 4-year-olds. Unfortunately, I didn't remember most of those thoughts, so I threw on Katatonia's Last Fair Day Gone Night on the grounds that it's fairly melodic and doesn't have any screaming or swearing. (Well, not much screaming or swearing. I forgot that "Brave" is sung in a death growl and "Passing Bird" has a few f-bombs, but we didn't get that far into the album, so no worries.)

Youngest Niece declared "Yes! I like this song!" after the first few notes of this number, so I guess I didn't make a terrible choice:

She was of the opinion that it doesn't quite match up to the Frozen soundtrack, though.

We got to the house, and I helped Younger Nephew put his car together. What really got Younger Nephew excited were the transfer decals for decorating the car. He very patiently cut out tiny decals of flames, stripes, dragon claws, and a dragon tail for the back of the car, and I rubbed them all onto the car with a blunt pencil. Fortunately, he was entirely unbothered by any of the mistakes I made - those decals are fiddly. I got pretty good at them by the time we got to the last few.

Below I give you a photo of the two cars, which do an excellent job of expressing the personality of their creators:
It was extremely clever of me to arrange to drop my car off at the body shop and pick up a rental car during one of the biggest rainstorms we've had in months. It was even more clever of me to choose* a Volkswagen Jetta, knowing from experience that Volkswagen designs elegant yet unintuitive controls for their vehicles. This was confirmed when I tried to defog my front windscreen, and ended up activating the seat warmer. It was deeply comforting to know that if I ran off the freeway and ended up in a ditch because I couldn't see out my front window, at least my ass would be warm. (I did eventually unfog the window, but not before I'd gotten on 280 going the wrong way.)

If it weren't for twitter, I'd have completely missed the fact that the Women's World Cup Soccer tournament is currently underway. When the Men's World Cup is on, they get big screen TVs in all the buildings here at work so that people can watch the games live. Women's World Cup? Nothin'. This makes me sad. However, you can see the game highlights on I'm totally rooting for Equatorial Guinea. Although, they've already lost to Norway, and they play Brazil next, so they're probably doomed.

* I say "choose", but it was more of a case of my showing up at the rental office and being told, "Your insurance company will reimburse for $30/day, and the only car we have that costs less than $30/day is the Jetta." Why is it so hard to rent a small car? Even the Jetta feels like a boat compared to my Integra.
Got off work, went for a nice stroll, had a nice dinner in Palo Alto with Daniel and his parents, who are in town for the summer. Driving back along University Ave., I reach an intersection where a driver is stopped for no reason I can determine. I stop too. Car behind me doesn't stop. Crunch.

The good news: I don't appear to be injured, although I got enough of a jolt that I'll be a bit surprised if I don't have a sore neck or shoulders tomorrow. The car is driveable. The other driver, although he did try to persuade me to settle this without involving our insurance companies, was very cooperative and gave me all the information I needed.

The bad news: Well, my car's gonna need a new bumper for sure. And if I have to skip lifting weights tomorrow morning because I have whiplash, I'm gonna be pissed. Grrr.
Got a phone call from Daniel a couple of hours ago - he had a tire go out while he was driving on the freeway. Daniel's okay, car's okay, could have been much worse. Still, what are the odds?

Brief Updates

Oct. 1st, 2007 03:48 pm
wshaffer: (ace)
Got the tire repatched this morning. The work was covered by warranty, and thus didn't cost me a dime. Nice. We'll see how long the patch holds out.

Daniel and I did get up to Berkeley on Saturday, and I did get comics: She Hulk: Single Green Female and She Hulk: Supernatural Law. I also picked up Naomi Novik's latest in the Temeraire series, an omnibus of some of Glen Cook's Dread Empire novels, and Decalog 3 (a long out of print Doctor Who short story collection containing, among other things, Steven Moffat's rather funny story "Continuity Errors". I got it cheap at a used bookstore.)

Going to the Other Change of Hobbit reminded me, as it always does, of what a pleasure a really good specialty bookstore is. The Borders by my house in San Jose is nice, and has a pretty good selection for a big box chain store, but it's not the same.

She Hulk is my sort of superhero comic. By which I mean that it is funny, and modern, and is really about the whole idea of what it means to be a superhero, and how you go about trying to live your life if half of your identity is as a normal person, and half is as a giant green babe with superhuman strength who fights crime. Also, it has a giant green babe who fights crime.

I spent a silly amount of time yesterday watching clips of the Hornblower movies on Youtube. I'd seen the first few when they originally aired, but by the time they made the later ones, we'd given up our cable TV subscription. Good Lord, they outdo even the Sharpe movies in the Pretty Men in Napoleonic Uniform quotient. I'd've thought there'd be laws regulating that sort of thing. Maybe that's the real reason A&E stopped making them. Must get Netflix to send DVDs.

I'm currently preparing two very long documents for reviews. Not my favorite thing in the world. There are just a lot of i's to be dotted, and t's to be crossed. Dull. Still, it'll be over with soon enough.

Meanwhile, a question that I thought I'd settled weeks ago apparently wasn't settled, and emails are flying. Woohoo!

Okay, time to get back to it.

Spare Me

Sep. 29th, 2007 10:10 am
wshaffer: (suzie)
Having gotten the spare tire onto the car, I am now Officially Done with dealing with the car for the weekend. I'll take it to the tire store first thing Monday morning.

The spare I have looks like it came off of one of the Tonka trucks I had as a child. Every time I get a flat, I think, "Gee, maybe I should buy a full-size spare tire." But then I would lose the hilarity value of driving around on something that looks like it ought to be labelled, "Choking Hazard. Not suitable for children under 3."

Daniel and I have tentative plans to go up to Berkeley and buy loads of comic books. Will we achieve our ambitions, or will fate intervene once more? Tune in next time.

Meanwhile, I'm off to make my second cup of tea.
I go to leave for work this morning, and lo and behold, I have a flat tire. Again.

I swear, this happens to me every fall. I don't get it.

Sigh. I was actually having a good morning, before this happened.