miraje: (cool lightning)
I took an alternate route in to Norman this morning because of flash flooding. The rural roads we have to take from our house to the main highway are very hilly, and the low spots tend to flood easily when heavy rainfall occurs. Well, I turned onto one of the roads along my usual route, and 20-30 yards of the road ahead of me had water cascading over it. The water was flowing fairly rapidly and my car doesn't weigh very much, so I opted to take a different road to the highway. Even that road had water flowing over it all over the place, but at least it was passable. That's what happens when you get over 2.5 inches of rain in two hours!

I'm pretty certain that this is the most rain I've ever seen in my entire life. Today makes the 19th consecutive day of rain at our house.

P.S. My sister called to tell me that she just walked by Steven Spielberg. Apparently they're filming part of the new Indiana Jones movie at Yale. They blocked off a stretch of road about a block or two from her apartment to film a motorcycle chase scene, and she saw Harrison Ford's stunt double. :p
miraje: (badger badger)
We have cable tv now. This could be a big blow to my ability to do anything productive at home. Homework ain't gettin' done at home no more! I seem to get more accomplished in my TA office anyway.

This is cool.

Oh, I'll be driving 230 miles to get home (home home, not here home) so that Dad can replace the front brake pads on my car. The mechanic that did the "24-point inspection" about a month ago told me that I had about 5% left of them, but they wanted $180 to change them. HELL NO. The parts are only around $50, so if I pay for the parts and give my Dad some money for his time/trouble, then I'm still saving money even if I drive to a place four hours from here to get it done.

PS: How the hell does Mapquest get that it takes over six hours to go 230 miles??? Yeah, sure, there are towns along the way and we're not talking interstates here, but damn. I speed like a maniac and only stop when I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. There's really not much to see during this drive anyway, believe me. Well, that is unless you like digging for crystals in the salt flats or staring at cattle. Yes, I've done both. Shut up.
miraje: (lightning exploding dog)
Very eeenteresting. Regular unleaded here was $2.54 this morning (wow, cheap!), so I filled up. You all should too before that thing gets anywhere near the Gulf.

It will be interesting to see what Ernesto does over the next couple of days. You can bet with a forecast track like that there are people in Louisiana and Mississippi thinking "Oh, shit."

My throat is sore. I better not be getting sick.
miraje: (kick me)
Gas prices here in Ames as of 8pm this evening:

Regular Unleaded: $3.07
Unleaded Plus: $2.99

What they were when I filled up on Sunday...as in three whole days ago:

Regular Unleaded: $2.59
Unleaded Plus: $2.51

Good gracious. Those are the highest prices I've ever seen in my life.
miraje: (Default)
Ok, those air fresheners fucking reek. My car smells very strongly of pine scented mothballs at the moment. I know those cardboard pine trees smell pretty strong when you first put them in, but damn.

And I haven't changed out the fuel filter yet. The old one is rusted on there tight, and I don't have the right size wrenches. Therefore, I need to make a trip to Wally World to pick up some WD-40 and the wrenches. BUT, then the engine will be hot when I get back, and I'll have to wait for a few hours before I can start on it. Bleh.
miraje: (Default)
I just love walking into an auto parts store, being able to tell the sales guy exactly what you need, and being able to answer all his questions like you know your car shit with all the burly manly men standing around.

Sales guy: "Hi. What can I do for ya?"
Me: "Hi. I need a fuel filter for a '92 Jimmy with a 4.3 Vortec engine and 4 wheel drive."
Sales guy: "Ok." *clickety click of keyboard* "What brand do you want?"
Me: "I don't care. The cheapest will work."
Sales guy: "How about such-and-such-brand for $5.99?"
Me: "Sounds good, and I want this stuff, too." *shoves Turtle Wax and air fresheners across the counter*

Mwahaha, I sounds so smrt. I bet the guys standing around were expecting me to ask him if they carry floor mats in mauve or some shit. "Excuse me, but do have a cleaner that will get lipstick out of seat upholstery?"
miraje: (Default)
More on the piece-of-shit-car saga...

GOOD: The fuel filter wasn't changed when the fuel pump was replaced, so it could be the source of my starting woes. It would be cheaper to fix than the problem that Dad thought of, so I sincerely hope that it is the problem.

BAD: Something in the engine is leaking oil. It's a very slow leak, but a leak nonetheless. The entire area in front of the oil pan is covered in what I assume to be oil (what else would be a black liquid in the engine of a car?). It's due for an oil change in about 200 miles, so I wonder if they will notice that and find out what it is for me. I know it's probably highly unlikely, but meh.
miraje: (Default)
So I called Dad in regards to my car and its current illness. We talked it over and decided it was probably the fuel pump going out, but I'm still driving home tomorrow. After I hung up, he called me back and said "When you drive home, DO NOT TURN IT OFF UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES." I raised the issue of leaving it running while fueling up, and he just told me to be careful. Umkay, I would rather be stranded in Kansas City with a busted fuel pump than experience the sensation of being extra crispy, thankyouverymuch. I suppose I'll probably end up obeying his request, though, unless I shut it off out of habit without thinking first. He also told me to hold down the accelerator while starting it to see if it starts any better. We shall see.
miraje: (Default)
Ok, this is either shitty timing or great timing depending on whether the car makes it home to Dad the Mechanic or not. I think I have a fuel pump going out. The car cranks and cranks and cranks when I start it, and about half the time now it won't fire. I can usually get it on the second start, but even when it fires, there's about a second or two delay before the engine really comes to life. At first I thought it could have been the spark plugs, and it may not even be the fuel pump. It could be the air filter or fuel injector or something. I'm terrible at diagnosing this shit, and it's pretty much impossible for me to fix it myself. I could probably get to the air filter to check it, but even if it's dirty, I don't have an air gun or anything to clean it with.

I'll talk to Dad tonight and see what he wants to do with it. I think I'll just have Mom help me check the air filter tonight and maybe dump a bottle of fuel additive in it before I leave tomorrow and just pray that it doesn't die on me when I stop to get fuel during the trip.

Speaking of my car, it's getting a major ass cleaning when I get home. It needs washed and waxed like you wouldn't believe, and the carpet has more things spilled on it than I can even count on one hand. Oh, and let's not forget about the windshield that has something greasy smeared all over the inside of it making sunsets a bitch to drive into. I think it might be Armor-All from the last time I sprayed the interior. Other than cleaning, it needs the windshield replaced, one electric window motor replaced, driver's side door hinges tightened/fixed, air conditioner fixed, U-joint checked, wheels aligned, shocks checked, brakes checked, and possibly a muffler replaced, but there's no way in hell Dad will be able to do all that while I'm home. At the very least, I want him to look at the brakes, air conditioner, and passenger's side electric window.....aside from the current crisis of course.
miraje: (Default)
It has been a long ass day. I drove for 12 hours straight, only to end up right where I started. Now that I've finished my bowl of cereal, the only thing I've eaten since a salad almost 24 hours ago unless you count the 5 or 6 Cheez-Its and 2 cans of pop today, I suppose I can write a little bit about my day.

Storm chasing attempt #2 )

So, final tally for the day:
We saw 0 tornadoes.
We saw a few wall clouds.
We saw one decent shelf cloud.
We saw extensive tornado damage and debris.
We saw lots of awesome cloud-to-ground and cloud crawling lightning.
I have no pictures of anything because my camera sucks.
I almost wrecked my car twice on the backroads.
I almost hit a deer twice on the backroads (not the same deer).
I almost hit a squirrel on the backroads.
I drove through areas of high water flooding on the backroads despite how incredibly bad that is.
My car got hailed on twice.
My car came within probably 50 feet of getting struck by lightning while we were in it.
My car guzzled $70 worth of gas for the trip, $40 of which I was reimbursed for by my chase mates.
miraje: (Default)
*smacks forehead*

A radio station in Des Moines is running a contest where some randomly selected person from a group of call-ins is going to win a million dollars. Everytime someone is the right number caller and gets their name on the list, the DJ asks them what they will do with the million. Here's the one I just heard:

DJ: "So what will you do with the money if you win?"
Caller: "I'm going to buy jewelry!"
DJ: "Nice. What kind of jewelry? You going for the diamonds?"
Caller: "Oh yeah, lots of diamonds!"

Ahem, if bling is the first thing you think of buying when you're offered a million dollars, you sure as hell do not deserve that money. What would I do with the money you may ask? I would:

a) Pay off my education that already has me almost $20,000 in debt with graduation still two and a half years away.
b) Buy a car that doesn't constantly break down, pollute the environment, and guzzle gas like there's no tomorrow.
c) Buy clothes that don't have holes and stains in them.
d) Invest the rest so I will never again have to wonder if I can afford to eat the next day or pay the rent next month.

(I also might give some money to select members of my family who are in as bad or worse a financial situation than I am right now.)

I could add a few charitable donations to that list, but given the state of human nature in this world/country, I wonder how many people actually would donate money once they had the opportunity. I also wonder if I would be criticized for the pure insignificance on the global scale of the organizations I would contribute to. I.E., who gives a rat's ass about a few dogs and cats in cages when there are people starving to death and dying of curable diseases in the world? I may burn in hell for this if there is a God, but I do not place the life of a human above the life of anything else. We are not superior to much of anything on this planet.

Whew, I don't rant like that very much anymore.
miraje: (Default)
I left here for Ottawa, KS, yesterday at 1:30 pm and didn't get home until 2:30 am. I. Am. Exhausted. I drove for about 85% of that time, and I really didn't even end up anywhere other than where I started. That's kind of depressing, actually, considering how badly I want a vacation. Spring break will not get here soon enough. Anywho, my Mom got her car. The reason it took us so long was that my Dad was having trouble getting it started once he got it to Ottawa. He didn't feel right giving it to Mom that way considering that he promised her that it ran fine, so he ran over to a parts store and spent about 80 bucks on an alternator and a battery to try and get it running again. Being the super mechanic that he is, he fixed it. Then I ended up following Mom and Dan home just in case they had any car trouble.....and I was the one that was having problems. Go figure. It wasn't a major problem, mind you, but a problem nonetheless. The window on the driver side slipped off its track and wouldn't roll up properly. I fought that thing for a good five minutes to get it back up again, and now I'm afraid to roll it down. It's an electric window, so I have no idea how hard that will be to fix. I'm not too concerned about it until later this spring anyway. Oh, and Dad chewed my ass for having a gas can in the back of my car. "It's not a real smart thing to do." Then he just laughed, shook his head, and said "Not cool" when I told him that it leaked onto the carpet too. I know he loves me sometimes. *grin*
miraje: (Default)
1224.1 - Beat that beyotches.

I had to use my 4WD to get across town to Wal-Mart tonight. Now, normally I would bitch about the snow, but that was actually rather fun. There's a certain exhileration to the fact that you can get places and do things other cars can't do. For instance, my car was buried in an 18-24 inch drift in the parking lot, because when they clear the snow off the parking lot, they basically just pile it in front of the cars that are parked there. All I had to do was back up a little bit and take a running go at it, and I was over the drift and on my way. My roommate, however, had to spend about an hour digging hers out before she could even go anywhere. We essentially drive the same type of car, too. Mine is a 1992 GMC S10 Jimmy, and hers is a later model S-10 pickup variety. I think the difference is in engine power and 4WD. Mine has the 4.3L Vortec engine in it, and I think she said hers has a 4-cylinder. She also has no 4WD while mine does. It makes a difference, boys and girls.

If there was ice, I'd flat out refuse to drive at all. It's just snow....a lot of it. It's not slick on the roads unless you're a dumbass who doesn't know how to drive. A fucking Ford Econoliner nearly slid into me while I was waiting to pull into the Wal-Mart parking lot. Hrmph.
miraje: (Default)
I forgot to fucking forecast again. (*&#$(*&@)#(@

On the bright side, I changed out my computer's power supply during the time that I was supposed to forecast, and I haven't had a hiccup yet. I'm happy to report that I think the problem is solved. No more randomly shutting down leading to a very stressed Heather! Woohoo!

I busted out my 4WD just to get around town this afternoon. The side roads aren't cleared off worth a shit, so it was either all wheels drive or all wheels spin. It wasn't a hard choice to make.

The lens I ordered off Ebay finally arrived in the mail today, but it's the wrong fucking size for my camera. Go figure. Note to self: You have a Pentax camera. Don't buy Minolta lenses for it anymore. Grrrrr.
miraje: (Default)
There is not a decent and cheap car wash in this town. As of yet, I have not found an ordinary feed-the-machine-with-quarters-then-point-and-spray car wash. The only ones I saw were the touch free ones that were 5 fucking dollars per wash. !!!! That's way too much to spray soapy water at my car. I could do it here at the apartment with a garden hose for free. I need to brave the cold and get it done. The road salt has already started eating at my poor, defenseless fenders.
miraje: (Default)
My weird ass dream from last night:

I think I was in high school, but not at my old high school. It was a different one. Anyway, I was walking to my car after school was out, and I hopped in. It was a brand new black Toyota (or Honda) Element. You know, the ugly ass boxy one. Anyway, as soon as I hopped in and was ready to drive off, five or six of what I would dub "popular girls" climbed onto the back of my car and would not let go. I didn't recognize them from anywhere. They were just the stereotypical bleach blonde girls with the perfect bodies etc. etc. Apparently I was one of the very out crowd...one that is constantly tormented by the in crowd, which is a position I didn't have in high school. After trying to tell them to get the fuck off my car, I just drove off and tried to swerve all over the road to get them to fall off. A couple of them did, but two girls had some kind of death grip on my car and wouldn't let go. The two girls climbed up to the front of my car and used two blunt objects to smash in my driver's side and passenger's side windows. I was freaking out at this point, and was really afraid that they were going to hurt me. The girls that fell off came back and started following me in some kind of new red sportscar. At some point, I stopped driving for some reason, and these heathens just swamped me. I tried to get out of the car and do something, but when I did, two of the girls hopped into my car and tried to drive off with it. I jumped half into the driver's window and tried to get ahold of the steering wheel. I don't know if they lost control or did it on purpose, but while I was hanging out of the car, the chick drove right through the front of a building. Then it just cuts to me being in the hospital and them getting hauled off to jail.

I don't dream often, but when I do, they are the weirdest fucking dreams you can imagine.
miraje: (Default)
The wind chill is 2 fucking degrees outside....and that's in Fahrenheit. At least the heater works in my car. It's one of the few things that does work on it. But, hey, the heat is actually working in this apartment! Can you imagine how pissy (and cold) I would be if it wasn't?
miraje: (Default)
My nerves are frayed.

My car up and died right at an intersection tonight while Mom and I were on our way to Hastings to buy DVDs. We had to push it off the road into a parking lot. I was about to be extremely disgruntled about this damn thing breaking down AGAIN until we realized that we were just out of gas. I think my fuel gauge got stuck right above empty, because it had been sitting at that spot for awhile. I've also been able to go a lot lower on the gauge without running out of fuel, so I don't know what the problem was. This car hates me.

Since tomorrow night is the full moon and the sky was completely clear of clouds tonight, I decided to run out to Ledges State Park and get some long exposure shots. I'm usually not a jumpy person, but being alone on a nature trail at 1 am with only a dim flashlight to light the way is enough to rattle anyone. I kept having visions of panthers and cougars jumping out from behind trees and eating me. I've been living in town far too long. Once I got to the little rocky outcrop where I planned to the take the picture I felt a little less paranoid, but at that point I had a whole 'nother problem to deal with....the cold. It's probably about 15 degrees outside right now, and I was sitting on solid sandstone. I was out away from the trees, too, so the wind started to pick up. I froze my ass off, and had started really wishing that I had picked up this photography hobby about six months earlier so that I could sit there and not wonder about the temperature at which frostbite sets in. I had bought an extra roll of 100 speed film in case I used up the roll in the camera, but I really only got four pics taken before I started imagining noises and green eyes in the woods around me. I bracketed the exposures to 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, and 6 minutes. I know that for a full moon on 100 film it's somewhere between 6 and 10 minutes, but I had 400 ISO in the camera, so I knew it wasn't going to take that long. I still don't have a lot of confidence in 400 film for night shots, but I went on the advice of the guy at the camera store and used it. Just watch, there will probably be grain the size of golf balls on those pics. I just hope that at least one of them turns out. If not, I did all that shit for nothing. Oh, and on the way home I came about two feet from hitting a deer with the car. Lovely way to end the evening...

Friday Five

Oct. 3rd, 2003 04:38 pm
miraje: (Default)
1. What kind of car do you drive? White 1992 GMC S-15 Jimmy, with 4 doors, 4WD, and CD player
2. How long have you had it? 10 months
3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle? hm, can't say there really is an outstanding feature. I suppose the 4WD is cool in some circles.
4. What is the most annoying feature on your vehicle? Waay more than one, but I'll just generalize and say NOTHING WORKS!
5. If money were no object what would you be driving? A Subaru. If that's not bling bling enough for your tastes, I'll pick a BMW. Their cars are so cool sometimes.
miraje: (Default)
The ladybugs are on full frontal assault today. There's thousands of them flying around the campus. Craziness...sheer and utter insanity.

Heather wants to shopping....badly. Heather can't afford to go shopping, but sometimes the urge is just too strong to contain. So, after the POS car is fixed this afternoon, Heather shall go shopping.

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