Thursday, June 28, 2007

Which of these vehicles will we encounter on Vacation?

Which of these vehicles will we use or see on our trip? (make sure to guess the location--see 6/26 post)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

We're going on Vacation! Where in the world...?

So we're going to another country on another continent, in another hemishphere. Then we'll be visiting a US State. We've both been to the state before, but not together. This will be at Christmas time. Any guesses?p.s. I'll bet you've never been there!

A High-Class Wisconsin Weekend!

In order to celebrate Katie's completion of school this year, we had a heckuva weekend, Wisconsin style. Friday night was spent at the Memorial Union Terrace, the only student union in the country which serves beer. We shared some pitchers with Katie's brother and some other friends. On Saturday morning after work, five of us went on a biking tour of some of the busier highways in southwest Wisconsin. Kevin and I don't really know our way around too well, so we hit all the main roads in the first half of the ride until DJ took over and showed us the "normal" tranquil biking roads. In the evening, Katie and I went to the movies and saw "Knocked Up."
Sunday morning we got up and hit the grocery store (I know sounds like fun!!). After that we hit two of the cultural gems of the area: Cave of the Mounds and the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum. Due to some problems with my phone, pictures are not currently available, but I did get some mustard. Yum!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

UW scientists procliam ethanol isn't the answer!

Although i don't know how making fuel out of fruit is any better than making it out of corn, as it relates to food prices, the fuel at least does contain more energy. Finally some news from Wisconsin that isn't something for the tabloids!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Who has the Saab out here?"

Okay, so maybe I'm not an over-the-top auto snob. A real auto-snob probably would not take their car to Jiffy Lube to get an oil change. The reason I did so is that there is no good Volvo shop in Madison. (I mean, why would there be, it is such a rare, exotic FOREIGN car!). I refuse to go back to that horrible dealership. So last time I had the oil changed was at the Volvoeria when I had the suspension work done. And I do need to find a place to get work done and get some new spark plugs and fuel injectors installed.
But since I was going to go up to LaCrosse over the weekend, and i knew Jiffy Lube offered Mobil1 Synthetic oil, I decided to go. Besides, I found a $5 off coupon!
So I drove to the Jiffy Lube and told the "technician" that I wanted the oil changed and I wanted the Mobil1 put in. So I go into the waiting room and pretend to read a magazine while watching the service on my car. As they pulled my car into the work bay the driver turned off the car and searched and searched for the hood release. It is in the same place on the Volvo as in just about every other car I've driven, sort f below the dash next to the side of the car. And you'd think that at a place like Jiffy Lube, they'd be pretty good at finding the hood release lever, since it is something they have to find on every car that comes into the place! Well, finally after only 30-45 seconds of searching, he found it and was able to access the engine compartment!
The next step was to vacuum the car and wash the windows. When I pulled up I only had the driver's door unlocked. So vacuum guy came up and vacuumed the driver's seat area, and then tried the back door on the driver's side. It was locked. So he went back to the driver's compartment, and looked and looked and looked and looked for the "unlock" button. He looked on the door, between the seats, on the dashboard, and a host of other places. He was looking as long for it was his friend was looking for the hood release! Finally, defeated, he gave up and climbed across the front seat and pulled the lock pin on the door to release the lock. Then he reached around the b pillar and got into the back seat. Mission accomplished! Great job, Brownie!
So the other technician, the one I had initially talked to had been looking at his computer, going over the specs and whatnot. He'd been looking at the computer for quite a while, and there were some other cars in the shop, so I didn't know if he'd been looking at my car or another one. So he comes into the waiting area and proclaims, "Who has the Saab out here?" No response. "Who has the the white Saab 900?" Still nothing. "Whose is this white station wagon right here?" (pointing to the car) Oh, my car? The Volvo? "Yep, that's mine," I said.
The "tech" looked at the car again as we were walking back out the door to the magic computer where he found all the pertinent info about my "Saab". He looked real close and said "Oh, I guess it's a Volvo, well, it's the same thing anyways!" Hardy har har. What a maroon!
so he takes me over to the magic computer where, sure enough, it has all the service-related up-sells for a Saab 900 of questionable vintage. The first thing he tried to sell me was the high-mileage oil, even though I'd specifically asked for the Mobil1. After his minute-long sales pitch I told him, "I think I'll still just go with the Mobil1, thanks." "Oh yeah, gosh, I'd forgotten about that! Duh!" Awesome. After that he tried to sell me a coolant system flush, a tranny flush and some sort of other service, all of which were recommended maintenance for a Saab like mine. I declined all other services. I watched them put the oil in (at least they get the Mobil1 out of new cans, so it is not just coming out of an anonymous hose filled with who-knows-what!) and then I cashed in my $5 coupon and left.
I phoned my brother on the way home and told him about my adventure and he said that my midwestification must be complete if i was so brainwashed as to take my car to a jiffy lube. I'm still looking for any sort of recommendation about a decent Volvo shop in Wisconsin.

Plug in Prius!!

Look, I told you you plug in those Prius things. But this one is "magical," giving energy back to the grid!!! Hogwash.

Friday, June 15, 2007

More baby birds

I just saw on Sunday that we have a nest in the other plant! One egg has hatched and another is cracked and hatching right now!