If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Almost ready!

My sewing is done and I'm almost all packed. In 24 hours I'll be on a plane heading south for a week in stays and petticoats.

Eric bought me a little present to take with me. Since this trip is more about research than shopping he decided I needed more than my little Moleskine notebooks and picked this up:

The smallest size is just right to fit in my haversack (what passes for a purse in costume) and the pages are blank so I can sketch pictures of stuff if I need to. Not that anyone but me will recognize what I'm drawing, but it's my research so it's all good!

The thing I'm looking forward to the most right now (besides the warmer weather) is surprising my friend Peggy. I told her I wouldn't be coming this year, back when I wasn't going, and I haven't e-mailed to tell her my plans changed.

I hope to have some stuff to auto-post this week, but if I get into a time crunch and don't get to it, y'all behave and I'll see you a week from Monday!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Tacky or rude?

The other day, The Day Job hosted a meeting for a group on a day we are not normally open for business. On such occasions, if other people happen to come in, we'll feed them if we have enough food prepared, and usually we're happy to have other customers.

We had gotten everyone fed and some of the dishes cleared away when a young woman walked in with a briefcase and armload of books. She made herself comfortable at a corner table and was joined a few minutes later by a middle-aged man. Apparently he was interested in advertising something because they launched right into a discussion about pricing and such.

I'll interrupt myself here to say that we have seen similar situations before. We don't mind if people come in to conduct business over lunch or coffee. In fact, we do our best to accommodate them. Here's the rub, though: The two of them didn't order anything. Not coffee. Not dessert. They seemed annoyed to be asked if they wanted anything. I left before they did, but I found out later that they stayed until the meeting started to break up, and then they went on their merry way without a word to the staff who was still there.

To me, that's just rude. It's a restaurant. I would never go to Applebees and take a table to conduct business and not order anything. The fact that we were technically closed is icing on the cake. Is it just me? Am I more polite that the rest of the American public? Or maybe just a little too sensitive?

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Sunday, January 10, 2010


When I was driving home from band practice Wednesday evening, it was about 10* and I noticed the van was running hot. The temp gauge was hovering just south of the red zone, which I thought strange given the frigid conditions. Thursday and Friday were snow days, so I didn't go anywhere. Yesterday we did some shopping, but we drove Eric's car. This morning, on our way to church, a mile from home the temp gauge went into the red. We turned around and took the car instead. The van is at the mechanic now; we took it up and dropped off the keys right after church. The shop is less than three miles from home, and the temp gauge was pegged past the red when I parked, but the van seemed to be running all right.

At this point, I think it's the thermostat. It's just too cold out for the engine to be overheating so quickly. However, the van has topped 116,000 miles and it's a Pontiac. It could very well be the head gasket. We've replaced four of them in 17 years, all in American cars.

I grew up in a General Motors family. Many of the men in my family worked for GM in some capacity. Everyone drives GM vehicles. I'm all for brand loyalty, but four head gaskets (maybe five) in less than two decades seems excessive to me. I do drive vehicles until they drop; 150,000 miles is common for us. I'm wondering now, though, if it's time to consider a foreign car. We don't buy new vehicles, so it really doesn't matter what we buy. It's more a matter of where we buy. As long as we stick with an American dealer or a private seller the money will stay in America. We're not in the market to buy a vehicle anytime soon, but there will come a time when we need an additional car. If anyone drives foreign cars, I'd love to hear about how they hold up. It would be great not to have to replace a head gasket before 250,000 miles!