We had some damage done to our vehicles when the last wind storm came through and knocked trees down onto them. Luckily, because we could prove there was rot and the neighbor was told about it, the insurance company did not succeed in their whole "Act of God" clause.
Personally, that clause needs to be done away with. How can they prove God WANTED those trees to come down and total my cars? Direct line of contact? Insurance companies are a racket.
Anyway, so we got the money for the vehicles and we went shopping. We did end up picking up a 1997 Explorer but the guy that sold it to us lied through his fracking teeth about it. We got it home and the transmission slips, it won't pass emissions, and we think the alternator is bad. He said he replaced the plugs, but we doubt it. He said he replaced the transmission, but we doubt it. Why can't people be honest?
We were looking into a second vehicle, a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Had a couple of minor issues like needed the headlight bulb replaced and it had a small dent. No biggies. Needed tabs. We pulled a Carfax on it. Turned out it's been totaled three times and the state of WA won't even register it. The owners were going to sell it to us without telling us. No wonder they didn't have current tabs on the vehicle!
Want to know another racket taking place in the state of WA? Emissions testings. If your car has that OBDII or whatever it's called, chip...and it fails to work, or your check engine light is on, you are automatically failed. You don't even get your emissions checked. To me, it's not even about emissions tests anymore. It's a giant racket in which they take your money, make you spend MORE money to fix the issue.
It's a $15 test, but if you fail, you have to spend at least $150 to have it looked at or repaired by one of their certified Emissions Repair Specialists in order to get waived. However, if you live in Thurston County (where the state capitol is located), you do not have to have emission tests.
OH! And a new thing just popped up. Even if you buy a vehicle with tabs that are still good, you could be one of the lucky people in which you MUST have an emissions test done when transferring title. Plus, the cost of transferring titles now go by the value of your vehicle, not by the sale price.
It's a wonder how anyone can live in WA state when they gouge you for everything.
We decided we'll use the money for the second car on the Explorer and Spike will drive the Daewoo until it dies, although we are going to replace some seal in the engine because it's spitting oil onto the manifold and causing it to smoke. If that's the only problem with it (other than it's not pretty with the dents and has over 150,000 miles) then he can drive it. We'll get the stuff done to the Explorer and it'll be my vehicle. I'm not a soccer mom, I don't need a minivan, but I wanted something with room to haul stuff and people, with 4 wheel drive for when I go hawking.
In other news, I have a laptop. New, shiny, has lots of memory. Windows 7, which I am not entirely sure I like and can't run my RP character sheet generator, even in emulation mode, but I have Office 2007 Home and Student with OneNote! *Dances*
We had gone to Wal*Mart to pick up one of the laptops on sale. When we got there, they were out. Spike said he'll take a raincheck. They told him Wal*Mart doesn't do rainchecks. He showed them the ad where it said they did take rainchecks. Oh, they don't do rainchecks for special items they don't carry in stock regularly. He showed them on the page with the laptop ad where it says they do take rainchecks. They show him the fine print ON THE VERY BACK OF THE AD MAGAZINE...where they don't do rainchecks on non regular stocked items. Doesn't that scream "MISLEADING!"?
Oh, and a manager told Spike they don't even price match their own stores or their online store. The reason? She told Spike that because the economy is different in every area and that they can't price match stores, even in the same state, because the minimum wage is lower in some areas.
Excuse me? WA state has a state minimum wage...how can the minimum wage be lower in some areas?
So then we headed over to Best Buy. Found a laptop for the same price. Display looked good. Price good. Asked an associate. "Oh, sorry, we're out of those."
Excuse me? Then why do you have it out for sale? Fine, look at another, little more expensive, but still within the price range.
"Sorry, we're out of stock on those, too."
I lost it. I reemed the guy a new one.
"So, you're telling me you're advertising a product for sale when it's actually not because you have no stock?"
"That's false advertising and very misleading."
"No, you're not. You need to put a sticker or a card thingy next to the price card to let people know you're out of stock."
"We don't do that."
"Ok, how about a raincheck."
"Oh, we don't do rainchecks for those."
*Insert screaming here*
The next comparable model was more than we originally wanted to spend. Does anyone else suspect deliberate bait and switch tactics there?
So...we went with the more expensive laptop. I also had to buy a USB hub because this laptop only has two USB ports (!?!?!?!) I also got Office 2007 Home and Student.
However, my laptop now as integrated webcam, a remote for the TV/media player, 4Gb of Ram, 250Gb HD...
My old laptop went to Pixie-Brat after I finished transferring files and cleaned out the HD. It went well with her Solstice/Yule present. We gave it to her early since we don't really celebrate Xmas like other people. We gave her the choice of early or on Xmas. She chose early, of course, with the understanding that this was her ONE big present. The rest of the stuff will be the usual little stocking stuff and whatnot.We got her a Bamboo Pen ( http://www.wacom.com/bamboo/bamboo_pen.php ) for her drawing. She's been trying to draw using the small touch pad on the laptop in Paint, which isn't all that bad, but with this, she has a "pencil" she can use for better control.
She is loving it!
I'm playing with Word 2007 and OneNote, which I am loving. Very much. Word 2007 is different. I'm still learning the new options and setting it up the way I like. Still trying to learn if I can change the toolbars to how *I* want them, like in the older versions.
Working with my new bird. Vicious. You can find the blog here: http://isobael-falconry.blogspot.com/
Other than that, writing has slowed due to life issues, but I'll be back in the swing of things soon. I had to back off on a few things due to personal reasons.
Spike got a B on his paper he turned in for his English 101 class. (Trying to figure out why he needs to know how to write essays using MLA standards for his LPN course...or why Machiavelli's philosophical thoughts are such a draw to this teacher. She's not teaching anything really useful. She also stated that very few of the students in her class would get anything higher than a C. She also tries to push her other English class, a beginner class. Glad I'm not in her class or we'd be having LOTS of words.) I didn't agree with two minor points the teacher dinged him on, but oh, well. The teacher did like a few of the points made in the paper, so it evens out, I guess.
Anyway, there it is.