Tuesday, July 24, 2007 

So you thought you could pull a fast one on me, huh?

It has been brought to my attention that the timing belt on a car needs to be replaced every 90,000 miles. Did anyone else know this? Lucky for me I was enlightened with this information because my car mileage is currently at 94,738 miles. Time for a new timing belt!

I decided to deal with this today before the belt actually breaks and then I have more to fix and am out a lot more money. Since I know nothing about this sort of thing I thought it would be wise to get a few quotes and see what the damage to my bank account would be. I was expecting it to cost around a few hundred dollars.

I called car shop #1 (who will remain unnamed as they are about to get a bad review from me). I told them make, model and year of my car and asked them for a quote. Ten minutes later they called me back and quoted a cost of $883.45 for a timing belt and water pump. First of all, ouch! I was not expecting that. Second of all, that is not what I asked for. I wanted a quote on a timing belt and alternator. The guy told me that I should be more interested in getting the water pump taken care of than the alternator since I have a foreign car. He went on to explain a few things and made it sound like the alternator wasn’t even near the timing belt anyway. I don’t know anything about this so I chose not to argue and risk sounding stupid and ignorant.

I was hesitant to call for a second quote. Surely it couldn’t be worse than the first one though. I kindly explained what I wanted done, gave the appropriate information and asked for a quote. It did not take this place 10 minutes to get back to me. The gentleman informed me right away that my car doesn’t even have a timing belt. WHAT??? How could this be? Am I missing car parts? Did it fall out somewhere? He explained that my car has a timing chain instead and that it wasn’t necessary to have it replaced right away. I definitely liked this answer better as it doesn’t end up costing me $883.45.

I really wanted to believe the 2nd guy and just stop right there. But, with my luck, I would believe the wrong person and then my car would end up breaking down and costing me a whole heck of a lot more money. So I called the dealership. I felt incredibly stupid talking to the service center employee and explaining to him that I was just investigating as to whether my car has a timing belt or chain. He chuckled and agreed that it was a chain. I felt the need to explain further and ended up telling him my whole story. He just laughed at me and assured me there is no belt and no need to spend $883.45.

Maybe I should write a letter to the corporate offices of the car shop #1 and let them know how uneducated their employees are. That thought has crossed my mind once or twice today. Perhaps I should brush up on my car knowledge too. Hmmm...where could I enroll in car shop 101?

Saturday, July 21, 2007 

ath·let·ic (adjective) physically active and strong; good at athletics or sports

Many laugh at my attempts to be athletic. Go ahead…I deserve it. It seems that God did not bless me with much athletic ability. But I try and it ALWAYS proves to be entertaining (at least for the people watching).

I played basketball in high school. That was fun but I would get confused by all the running back and forth and forget which basket was mine. It was lucky for me that I was a bad shot or else I may have scored several points for the wrong team. Haha. I played intramurals in college and was even MVP for C league volleyball. But you can probably gather that C league was not the league that the athletic people played in. I once signed up for a 5-mile race with one of my roommates but it turns out running is not my thing either (and 5 miles is whole heck of a lot longer than the 5k that I thought it was gonna be!) Now that I’m out of school and a “professional” I find myself working for a company that provides type leagues for its employees and I definitely take advantage of it.

Last year I played dodgeball but came to the realization that I suck at dodging. Then I tried rowing. Rowing I enjoy! It’s a great team sport, an excellent workout and very relaxing at the same time. I think it’s the new up and coming sport in OKC. A few coworkers and I go downtown to the boathouse every Thursday evening to practice. I’m hoping to be a little more prepared this year. Last years race turned out to be pretty entertaining when my teams boat started rowing across the lanes rather than down toward the finish line. We came in dead last but got a lot of cheers from the fans on the river bank.

The next regatta is August 18th. If you’re looking for some entertainment or just want to bet on whether or not I’ll fall out of the boat you should come check it out.

Sunday, July 08, 2007 

Plague of the Frogs

I don’t know much about frogs. I used to try and catch them at summer camp every year as a child but other than that I haven’t encountered them very often. This year, however, Oklahoma City seems to be overrun with frogs. Maybe it’s just my neighborhood…or my house. Several weeks ago I pulled into my driveway on a rainy day (one of many we’ve had this summer). It had been one of those days where the rain came down so hard that you could barely see in front of you. By the time I got home the rain had stopped but water was still flooding down my driveway like a waterfall. As I pulled in I noticed a frog hopping across the driveway just in time for me to run over it with my left front tire. I’m not a frog killer…I just didn’t have time to react before the frog’s life was ended so suddenly by my car. Not your typical type of road kill. It was sad but I got over it.

Since that day, my roommate and I have noticed several frogs hanging out around our house. One particular frog lived in the backyard. He didn’t seem to have any frog friends so he had the whole backyard to himself. Notice how I’m using past tense when talking about the frog. Here’s what happened…

Yesterday I decided to mow the lawn. I was almost finished with the backyard and just had one small line of grass to mow near the fence. As I was pushing the lawn mower our little frog friend jumped out of the tall grass right into the path of my mower. He practically jumped underneath it…I barely realized what happened before I had already run it over. I was devastated and too scared to look back. I’m crossing my fingers that the frog made it out alive but he’s probably looking down on me from Froggy heaven right now.

Once I calmed myself down and finished the yard I noticed that my neighbor had come outside to do some yard work as well. It seemed odd that he was running straight toward my yard with the weed whacker in hand. Just before he got to my fence I saw a frog jump through the chain links and out of the way of the weed whacker. My neighbor was chasing it out of his yard. It’s possible that he’s a little crazy but we now have a new frog in our back yard.

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