Thursday, August 30, 2007

Awesome Prof. Quote #1

Prof. Gnilka, Biology:

"The things that are obvious to me may not be obvious to you, and in reality...uh, may not exist."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Lesson In Humility, Cars

Humility and cars. How frequently they court.
As you know, my car has been waiting patiently in front of Radio Shack, witnessing God-Knows-What in front of that ghetto K-Mart and Hot Dog King for three nights.
Today I had the chance to call AAA to send out a tow truck and haul it off to my mechanic for a diagnosis.
He arrived on time, and promptly gave my battery a jump, which to my horror, started the car.
Que the tow truck dude "girl's are dumb" expression, which, if you are a man, is a sly smile and an eye roll. Often accompanied by a shaking of the head.
He pointed out all of the battery acid that had run off of the battery and telling me that positive goes to red. I pretended to have already known this, and he got in his truck and left.

I might mention that while we were both standing in front of my car, hood open and the engine sadly exposed, a homeless-type lady approached me with the ol' "my car ran out of gas, can i have a dollar" routine. I mean come on. I'm actually doing worse than you here, lady. Pick your targets a little more carefully next time.

Loooooooong story short, I recruited Household Male to help me get the new battery at Sears. (They are really a lot heavier than I thought they would be!)
In all of this mess, something good might have happened.
While checking out with the young man at the Sears auto counter, he idly asked what kind of car it was going in. (He had recognized the battery, somehow, as a Honda) I kind of sighed that it was a del Sol and he lit up and asked me if I wanted to sell it. (Ummm....YEAH!)

How's the body?
No accidents.
Needs new paint.
Targa top?
Doesn't leak.
Manual or automatic?
Manual. (Did I mention it has a new battery?)
How's the interior?
Eh. It's ok. Burn mark on one seat.
Oh crap. I figure this is where he stops asking questions so I blurt out "209 and change."
No problem. Doesn't really matter what the engine is like. It's gonna get taken out anyway. See these scars on my head? That's 13 stitches from a del Sol I used to have. They don't hold up well in a roll-over.
So after a del Sol nearly murders him he still wants another one. (How on earth do you roll a del Sol over anyway?!) The appeal of their body shape is pretty universal I think. They're so darn cute. Like a little coffin scooting down the road...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

the end?

This might be the end of the del Sol saga. Yesterday while I was in Radio Shack buying new soldering tips, she took what might be her last breath. When I turned the key, she coughed once and then was silent.
No amount of key turning, pumping the gas pedal, or giving the engine a confused look would entice any sort of sound. Sometimes the battery came on, sometimes it didn't. The only thing that moves is (what I think is) the starter. But it just gets turned when the wire pulls it and doesn't actually move on it's own or make any sort of sound or strike.
I just had the starter replaced. So maybe, hopefully, it's the starter, and I can get the shop that did the work to replace it for free. Otherwise....

anyone wanna buy a '94 Honda del Sol with over 200k miles and a dead engine?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

This Is An Outrage

School stuff aside, I have discovered something so cruel and inhumane that I can barely bring myself to write it down.
But I will.
Household Male and I took a small trip to the Ingles on Merrimon Ave. the other day for some essentials and found this in the coffee isle, sitting innocently next to the acrid "grind-your-own" station...This is torture. How long will the City of Asheville forbid this fine establishment from joining our happy city?! Why was Krispy Kreme ushered in and Dunkin' Donuts denied?! How long must we stand for this injustice?! You put a Starbucks next to the historic Biltmore Estate. Don't think I didn't notice that. I'm onto you.
Without so much as a rumor about a DD being built anywhere near here, they've decided to stock our shelves with the tantalizing and unattainable! This is an outrage. The fact that this precious little bag costs nearly $9 is even more of an outrage.
OK, so at least we now have access to some Dunkin' grounds, but to suffer the sight of the cheery orange bag in the morning and not drift off to Donut Dreamland is unthinkable.
How dare you, City of Asheville. I demand a Dunkin' Donuts. I demand that you build one immediately, employ every incoherent and incompetent 16 year old that it can fit, and fill my coffee order! (By the way, it's a number 1, large, with a jelly and maple frosted. Get to work!)

Friday, August 17, 2007

What It Costs

My FAFSA form gets mailed out tomorrow and then begins the agonizing wait to find out how much, if any, financial aid I can receive for school. Wish me luck.
So far, I've spent 156.85 on tuition, with a remaining balance of $444.45
Books have cost $199.17 so far, and I still need to buy two more, plus one of those fancy calculators.
My dad gifted me $250 toward school so that brings my personal expenses so far to $106.02
Not bad, I suppose. I'm not sure how I did that and still have money in the bank.
I knew a man in Fort Myers, FL who liked to say "If you think education is expensive, you should try ignorance!" That's a quote from Derek Bok, former president of Harvard.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

That's funny, I don't FEEL old!


It feels strange to be back in college, and classes haven't even started yet.
AB-Tech held it's first-time students orientation tonight and frankly I envisioned a little more that it turned out to be. I really should start lowering my standards and stop expecting anything. Then maybe I could see why every movie in America has to feature a standard fart joke in their trailer. What did I really expect from a community college anyway? I guess I was spoiled on a four-year university back in Florida where the students were already pretentious, nerdy, and anxious.
So far, it appears that AB-Tech has about three different types of students attending this semester as fresh meat. One is the overachiever, which I thought would be typical in a college setting. However, that isn't the case. There were a couple of overweight, hair-too-long, math t-shirt guys sitting in the section I chose that were so nerdy even I wanted to give them a swirly. Definitely not in the majority though. Thank goodness?
The second type would be the ditzy (and I'm assuming fresh out of high school) girls and the guys that hang around them drooling over which one to hit on first. I heard all sorts of babbling including, yes, "Ohmigod. I can't believe she said that! I almost died!"
The last bunch seems to be the overwhelming population and those are the kids that hopefully will reach their full potential by not showing up to class and flunking out by next month.
I'm not trying to be mean or anything, but when I first entered the auditorium and thus starting my life in college anew, someone had taken it upon themselves to broadcast Afro Man's "'Cause I Got High" over their iPod, or cell phone, or whatever.
Ha ha. Oh you rambunctious little scamps. How charming. I'm sure the mothers that had to bring their young children to the orientation with them really appreciated them hearing the "P" word.
And just in case you didn't notice, no one laughed except for your friends. I hope out of embarrassment.
I felt like the oldest person there, which is pathetic because I'm just barely under 23 years of age. This feeling became clear when no one in the room could keep it together when the speaker mentioned the word "beer". I felt even older when the 18 year old frizzy-haired elf who just got his GED started hitting on me, complimenting everything from the type of gum I had to the school-issued class schedule I was holding. I'm gonna start wearing a ring to classes.
At least it will be easy to concentrate on my schoolwork.
Sometimes the world seems to far removed from reality. Maybe I'm just bitter about not being one of the ditzy girls anymore.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I'm particularly proud of this shot I captured in Big Meadow, Virginia.
Click to View Large.

Rainbow Brains

I started a new job at the craft store, Michael's, today. I hate to say that it was uneventful. The customers were much friendlier than any of the staff, and only slightly less helpful.
Hopefully I'll be able to sort of disappear behind the register each day and earn enough money in between school to help support us. I'm not receiving a pay increase compared to my previous job, but if nothing else, I get more hours. And it's pretty easy. Really easy, actually.

In other news, I officially have paid (the first installment) for school! Classes start on the 20th, which is next Monday! I totally don't have any of my books except for some lab manuals and a pair of safety goggles, so I'm a bit nervous.
My declared major at AB-Tech is Associates in Science, which is a transfer program. This semester I've got 14 credits to take care of in four different classes. They are; Chemistry II, Biology II, Expository Writing, and World Civilizations (early history).
It's pretty strange going back to school. I've forgotten a lot. Fortunately, it's been promised that community college is pretty easy, so maybe it won't be a big deal.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


If you're a homebody then you will just have to trust me with the following information.
This summer I ran a marathon of vacations. This trip to Virginia was the last one of the season. Thank God.
Coming back from a vacation, even a short one, is hard.
A few days away from home will exhaust you, even though it seems like all you did was eat and ride in the car. But getting home is the main thing on everyone's mind on the last day, and as the signs on the highway read smaller and smaller miles to Hometown, it gets excruciating.
"All I want to do is get home and watch the golf tournament."
"I can't wait to see the birds again."
Then you open the front door and realize the harsh reality of it all. The A/C hasn't been on in a week. Your plants are dead. Luggage needs to be unpacked (although that usually gets avoided for at least overnight...or when you need your toothbrush). Mail is stacked up with a whole new list of "To-Do"s. Emails are ungodly. And, the big one...There is no food in the house. At all.
Today we've scraped by with snacking on pathetic leftovers and some tidbits we brought from Virginia. (By the way, Mennonite cheese seems to be very different from Amish cheese.)
Household Male has alerted me that we "need to go to the store and get some stuff to drink" but this seems an impossible task.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Jell-O, Goodbye

One last solder pendant before I leave for Virginia. I'm going to sneak my solder kit along with us so maybe I will make some while I'm on vacation. My grandma on my mom's side is turning 80 and this is her last trip to VA to see the extended family. Everyone is going this time. Even my aunt, cousin, and sister. Of course my mom will be there too and a whole mess of great aunts and uncles and distant cousins I've never met. I'm nervous but not as nervous as Charlie is. I have a feeling everyone will be too busy to pay us much mind.
Anyway, this pendant is similar to the one in the post below, so it has the same specs., only it's hanging a different direction. I went out yesterday and bought a replacement solder tip and also a desoldering bulb. It took three stores to find even the tip. Eventually I wound up at Radio Shack which had everything but the right kind of solder. Luckily I don't have a pressing need for new solder. I'm just curious.
The desoldering bulb works great though. I wish I had had it from the start. If you get too much solder on the copper, you just make it molten again and suck it up!
I think I'm really making great progress with this hobby. It's tons of fun and encouraging because every time I make a pendant I get better! It's very satisfying.

I will be back on Monday, August 13! Until then, enjoy North Carolina without me!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Jell-O Love

My output for today is definitely my favorite so far. I think I might be in love with it. I love the colors, I love how big it is, and I love the subject. Of course, as much as I love it, I'm still selling it, so don't hesitate to check it out in my Etsy shop if you want to own this piece of wearable art :-)I found the images in a 1975 edition of "The New Joys Of Jell-O", but they are originally from 1973. The illustrations have been sandwiched between circa 1945 microscope slides and soldered with lead-free tin solder. (I'm pretty proud of the job I did, too!)
It's 3 inches long and 1&1/4" high with the jump rings. Yay!

Nancy Drew

My friend and neighbor, Liz, met me yesterday morning to do a bunch of running around. We started at the Goodwill, made our way to Asiana, and had a small disaster searching for blueberries in Skyland.
Eventually we found ourselves searching for blackberries in Arden on a plot of land that is used as a pipeline access. There were no blackberries (all fried up) but we did find something interesting.
Liz is taller than I am (most people are taller than I am) and she saw it first over a small hill.
"There's a car parked up there." she said, and I was bummed that someone had beat us to the blackberry patch. As we walked closer we saw the car had actually crashed into the brush with it's passenger side window rolled all the way down. Obviously the driver had climbed out through there. We called out, but no one was around. The car had been there since it had last rained pretty hard. Probably 2 or 3 days.
It looks like they drove in from Glenn Bridge Rd. (the same way we drove in, only we parked in a parking lot, and they, for some reason, drove down the dirt path) and got stuck in the mud. They tried to wedge themselves out with car mats and some sticks, but it slid into the bushes instead. Since the car door couldn't be opened from the drivers side, they climbed out through the window on the other side. I don't know why they didn't open the door. All of their stuff was still inside, minus a purse or anything like that. Mail on the dashboard, a cell phone charger, the usual trash and blanket (which looked horribly suspicious).
I didn't touch anything, but took pictures of the license plate and all around the car. A few yards away we also found a prescription bottle that had been crushed. I could make out a first name, and also that whatever drug it was caused drowsiness. I took pictures of that too and called the police to report it.
After that we sort of wandered home. I wonder what happened.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Charlie Says...

After coming back from the grocery store and showing me what he bought, Charlie says:
"I bought you a bunch of weird fruit and stuff because I know you like that crap."
Ah, love.