Thursday, April 26, 2007

Green and Various Updates

Our local grocery store Whole Foods (organic, fresh and yummy) has gone more Green than they already were. I go over there as frequently as I can for lunch as they have the most amazing salad, food bar. Lots of delicious items, albeit expensive.....I dump a bunch of stuff in a plastic container, put some Miso Shallot dressing on it (my favorite) and voila, a healthy lunch. Well now they have these brown cardboardy like containers. Turns out they are made of bullrushes and they degrade in a dump or your backyard composter in 90 days. That's pretty awesome. They have always used paper napkins made out of recycled paper. Non-bleached paper or course, The bleaching of paper is the worst part of the entire polluting paper goods making process. Where do you think all that used bleach goes? A lot of it in my gramma's lake!
You can read about how Green Whole Foods is here.

Speaking of Green another neat product that has gone green is Annie Chun's noodle meals. They make all their bowls out of some sort of biodegradable material. So the meal is self contained, you microwave it at work or whatever in its biodegradable bowl, then throw the whole thing away. Annie Chun's is sold at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Look for it. It's good too!

Further updates on life -- the Dodge Magnum appears to be leak free! Keep tuning in for the driveway cleanup sage.

The family/Gramma's 90th DVD got burned but the voices are out of sync with the lips. What is that all about??? More searching and troubleshooting and burning awaits me.....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I Love and Hate New Software

I bought some new DVD burning software today from Roxio. I downloaded it from the internet because I couldn't find anything at Best Buy. That, in and of itself is another blog. The fact that brick and mortar stores are failing to meet consumer's needs and the internet is. But I digress.... I installed it and it wouldn't run. It complained that my video driver was out of date. I have a Nvidia GForce very expensive graphics card. I had to upgrade the driver. I had to update my Windows Media player to 10.0 and patch it. Not sure what that has to do with it, but I had to do it. Another 30 minutes of my life gone. Then of course, I had to register the product. After all of this I could finally use the product.

After fumbling my way thru I was thrilled to get to the point of burning a DVD. I put a nice, expensive blank DVD-R into my DVD burner (which I've never used) and the burn button is greyed out and it keeps saying "drive empty". Well, it's not empty, I put the DVD-R in it! I checked the Roxio support website, it says I should update the DVD burner driver. Imagine I did that. Another 30 minutes gone.....Reboot, relaunch, try again. Still greyed out. Can you hear the screaming? I then tried searching on Roxio discussion boards. Oh, I need to be a member? I had to confirm my registration which was in my email inbox. Sign up for an account, etc, etc. It turns out I had the DVD-R in the wrong drive. Sometimes, by the time you reach this point, you just have to smile. Otherwise, there would be more crazy people in the world.

However, after I figured all that out, waited 20 minutes for the DVD to burn, I'm getting an error message right at the end of the burn. I'm not looking it up, I'm just going to bed. This DVD is a combination of several DVD movies taken at my Grandma's 90th birthday party. I'm trying to combine them into one DVD and burn movies for the families. Like they say, no good deed goes unpunished.....

Family Picture

This last weekend Dena and I flew up to Morson, Ontario for my gramma's 90th birthday. Here is a family picture. Gramma has 11 children (10 still living), ~ 35 grandchildren and ~ 48 great-grand children. There's a lot to count so I may be missing some..... This picture only represents a small portion of those.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Various Notes

The Dodge Magnum has been in the shop 2 days now. They are making darn sure they've fixed the problem because, being the insane bitch that I am, I spoke with the service director and put the fear of God into him. They didn't call me today, so, I guess they are keeping the car over the weekend......

Here's me getting my hair highlighted....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dodge Magnum drives woman insane

Wednesday I'm off for the 5th time to the Jack Ellis Dodge dealer in Glendale to have my 2006 Dodge Magnum serviced. The last 2 times they basically told me it wasn't leaking and sent me on my way. See previous posts, I won't rant about it again.

So, since some of you know me pretty well, you know that I don't like to be told I don't know what I'm talking about, which is basically what the Dodge dealer is telling me. Don't ever tell me that. So, in order to prove to my service woman, Astrid, that the friggin' vehicle is leaking I've been placing cardboard under the car. Now, the rest of this I'm going to tell you is bordering on insane, according to Dena. But hey, that's me. On the driveway, I've placed chock marks where the tires to the car go and the outside lines of the cardboard, so if it drips, I'll know exactly where. The reason that's important is because I've placed tupperware all underneath the car on the cardboard using duct tape of course. That way if I get some fluid in the tupperware, I know where to place the cardboard again. See, it's very logical.

I've had marginal success with this. You see the vehicle doesn't leak that much in a 24 hour period. My driveway is full of stupid little stains about the size of a dollar pancake. Some of them quite fresh from the recent leaking. Tomorrow morning I'm also taking a digital picture of the driveway and taking it to Astrid. And I'm taking the evidence, in tupperware, to her as well. Dena says that it's crazy. Frankly, that never occurred to me. It really seems a logical thing to do. Is that what crazy is like? Doing things that to you are extremely normal, but to other people are totally whacked? So, by the way, I have about 1 milliliter of liquid in my huge tupperware container. You can darn well bet that the top is going on and off to Astrid it's going!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Coffee Experiment

Well, my mom and Aunts are here visiting and for preparation I thought I'd be clever and buy one of those single serving coffee machines. That way each one could have whatever flavor coffee they wanted in the morning. Being that they are all quite independant women, I thought this would be an excellent idea. I went out and bought the Braun Tassimo single serve machine. I was a little disappointed in that at Target they only had 1 kind of coffee and one tea, but thought I could pick up more somewhere else. We tried the machine and it has wonderful coffee with excellent brew control, i.e. each person can really tailor the strength of their brew to their tastes.

However, it only had one kind of coffee and I couldn't really find any others. So I decided to go back and return it and get the Phillips Senseo single serve which seemed to have coffee everywhere and all different flavors. Well last night we tried that machine. Everyone agreed that the coffee tasted funny, burnt even. We tried to make cup after cup trying to change things up, and each time they said the coffee just tasted bad. Not too strong, not too weak, just bad tasting coffee. So, guess where I'm going today......back to Target to return the damn thing.

It was fun while it lasted, I'm borrowing a regular old filter coffee pot from my friend and buying regular old coffee at the store.........perhaps I'll pick up a flavored creamer......
The moral of the story? If you're going to buy a single serve coffee machine, buy the Braun Tassimo, it's a great idea. And the real moral, if it works, just don't try to make it better, just use it!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Gramma's Adventures #1 -- California Speedway

Here's Gramma and Auntie Dawn at the California Speedway watching the Indy cars race. This is where normal people can rent a few laps in their dream car (Indy or Nascar) and race around the track. It was very exciting at this HUGE venue.

Friday, April 06, 2007

4th Time's a Charm?

Wednesday found me back at the Dodge Dealership in Glendale - Jack Ellis Dodge. My red magnum had been in for service on March 21st, again, for the leaking transmission. (see January 11th, 2007 post for history). I really like this Dodge dealer, I had first taken it to Carmax by LAX, but the place is very large, very impersonal and I had to wait a week for an appointment. Glendale Dodge is very small and after my 3rd time there I recognize a lot of people. It's sort of sad when you are recognizing people at the car dealership.....

Back to the 21st -- normally I take the car to Astrid the service advisor, a short little Hispanic dyke, but this time she was busy and Nick came out to the car. Nick is the antithesis of Astrid. Large, European, male chauvinistic, loud -- by the end of the day he had blamed my leak on Jiffy Lube putting in my oil filter cockeyed. A bullshit story I'm sure. Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I'm stupid. He also claimed they cleaned the bottom of the vehicle so that if it leaked again (well of course it'll leak again stupid, you didn't fix it!) then they would be able to identify the location.

Off I go to the dealer again on April 4th as it leaked from the moment I drove it back into the driveway in March. Now when I say leak, it's not as bad as the December leak, it's more like over a 12 hour period I get a silver dollar size spot on the driveway. This time I made sure I got Astrid. She is very attentive and assured me she'd take care of it. I got a call later that day and they could not find a leak. She wanted to keep the car overnight, put a large pan underneath it as well as clean all the residue off the engine and the splash pan. (isn't that what that idiot Nick said he did?)

The next day I went to pick up my baby, which I truly missed as I was driving a Ford Focus as a rental. There's the biggest waste of sheet metal you've ever seen. My sister says that it's the only car that people laugh at you when you tell them what you drive. How true. On the freeway I felt that my feet could feel every single pebble on the road and the wind noise, wow. Back to the Magnum, Astrid said they didn't find any leaks but there was a lot of old oil and other residue in the splash pan. They cleaned everything and sent me on my way. And when the porter drove the vehicle around to me, guess what, Astrid had it washed. I was very pleased. I stopped and thanked her and she said, "I'm always thinking". Yes, that's what separates the Nicks and the Astrids of the world. Forward thinking thoughts.....

That car better not be leak anymore! My driveway looks like the Clampett's live here.