Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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NaBloPoMo Day 2 – My eyeballs are tired

Been doing some field work this week, so my team and I have been working hard at collecting lots of data and entering it into giant spreadsheets. This has involved very long days of staring at a computer screen – like, longer than my usual 8 hour day of staring at a computer screen and my eyeballs are so very, very tired. Right now I’m typing this without looking the screen (and just proofreading it afterwards so as to minimize looking at the screen right now!). I have at least eleventy billion emails that I should be answering (as I’ve been unable to do my usual emailing since I’ve been so focused on data collection), but I think they may have to wait until my eyeballs feel less like they are going to fall out of my face.

In tangentially related news, it snowed in Squamish today! Here is Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car covered in the white stuff:

Snow in Squamish

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66,666

This happened today:

66,666

For the record, there are three instances of 666 in that number.

It seems like only yesterday 1,333 days ago, I only had 666 km on my car! They grow up so quick.

 

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Zaphod Gets A New Pair of Shoes

Today was the day that I took my beloved Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car into Kal Tire to get her new tires, which, for a car, is like getting a new pair of shoes, except ones you have to wear nonstop for 3.5 years and nearly 65,000 km. And they cost $700.

I was going to take a photo to show y’all, but they look exactly the same as the old tires. Rather disappointing for a new pair of shoes. On the plus side, I feel much safer now that I have tires with tread!

In tangentially related news, I have this song in my head:

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Vehicles and Hockey

My dad emailed me this photo yesterday:

It’s the odometer of his truck, which he bought on the same day that I bought my car, and yes, that is showing that he’s driven 100,000 km! In 944 days1.

In contrast, here’s my odometer:

Odometer

53,683 km2. Or 54% of the distance my dad has driven.

Further, 9,806 of the kilometres that I have driven have been for work3. Meaning that I’ve only driven 43,877 km on my own time4, compared to my dad’s 100,000! Clearly, my dad is superior to me in the field of putting mileage on his vehicle!

One area that my dad doesn’t beat me though, is in winning bets on Canucks vs. Leafs games. Such as the bet we have on tomorrow night’s game. I expect to be the proud owner of a lottery ticket purchased by my dad after the Canucks beat the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada!

  1. Mathletes will note that works out to 106 km per day!! []
  2. That’s 57 km per day! []
  3. Not commuting to and from work, but driving to meetings, interviews, focus groups, and other such work-y events. []
  4. Or 46.5 km per day. []

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Car Detailing

Also, I recently detailed my car. OK, someone taught me how to detail my car. OK, actually, someone who loves cars detailed my car for me and I sort of watched. And here’s the thing about car “detailing” – it’s just another word for cleaning. I’m assuming that they had to invent a different word for it because a guy would never admit to enjoying cleaning. But really, it just means cleaning your car like you have OCD. I think from now on I’ll be calling it “detailing my apartment” instead of cleaning.

And here’s the other thing about car detailing: it actually makes a surprising difference to your car. We used the best of the best cleaning detailing products and they really did make the inside of my car shine. And smell good. And honestly, it makes it seem like your car is better after you are done detailing it. So now I think I’m kind of into detailing my car. Which is just awesome, because I barely have enough time in my week to do things like feed myself and ensure I have clean clothes to wear, so adding on another time sink into my life is a great idea.

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I Drive A Lot. And A Review of Fuelly.

I took my beloved Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car in for its 45,000 km service appointment this week, so I figured it was as good a time as any to write an update about my beloved car. Also, it gives me a chance to tell all y’all about the new fun website I’ve been using to track my gas usage (spoiler: it makes graphs!)

Ever since I got my car, I’ve been tracking my mileage. To do this, I’ve been using a handy dandy spreadsheet1. And because of this, I can easily tell you that in the 2 years and 2 months that I’ve owned my car, I have:

  • driven 45,609 km2 – that’s an average of 57 km per day!
  • used 2,839L of gas
  • spent $3,656 in gas and about $1,300 in other car maintenance-related expenses3

But I was recently introduced to Fuelly 4, a website that tracks your mileage for you… and gives you pretty graphs and infographics! Being a graph-loving nerd, I naturally had to try it out. Fortunately, Fuelly lets you import data so I could just import the data I’d been tracking on my handy dandy spreadsheet and viola – graphs!

fuelly 1

fuelly 2

fuelly 3

fuelly 4

Aren’t they pretty?

If you are interested in my ongoing tracking of Zaphod’s mileage – and who wouldn’t be, really? – you can “follow” me on Fuelly.

  1. Spreadsheets. Is there anything they can’t do? []
  2. For my American readers, that’s 28,340 miles []
  3. e.g., regular service appointments, deductible for replacement windshield, replacement of flat tire. []
  4. As per usu, I have no affiliation with Fuelly other than that I use their free service []

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Flat Tire Is Flat

So when I got to work this morning, one of my coworkers, who was also just arriving, rushed up to my car. “You have a flat tire!” she said. And flat it was!

Flat tire is flat

Now, you may have noticed that Smart cars are very small. But did you know that they are so small that they don’t come with a spare tire, because there is really nowhere to put it? So I called the “Smart Move Assistance” line – that’s the name of the roadside assistance that comes with your Smart car. The guy on the phone told me that since Smart cars don’t have spare tires, they’d have to call a tow truck driver to take me to the dealership to get it fixed or replaced. I was *supposed* to be going to Langley today to run a couple of focus groups, so I had a bit of a scramble calling a manager to get her to contact the attendees – the list of whom I had to find in my email on the web browser on my phone – to tell them *not* to go to Langley, since I wouldn’t be able to get there. Because *of course* this couldn’t happen on a day when I didn’t need to drive somewhere.

So the tow truck driver showed up and put my poor baby car onto his truck, like so:

Poor baby Zaphod

I opted to go with the tow truck driver to the dealership, because I really didn’t have another way to get to the dealership to pick up my car1. Plus, since there was to have been a bit of spare time in between the two focus groups that I was intending to go to, I had some work in my bag that I could work on while I waited, so it didn’t really matter much if I was doing that at the dealership or in my office.

Now, the tow truck driver was an interesting fellow. First, he was freaked out that I was in such a “dangerous” area full of “crackheads” and “did you see all the hookers just over there?” I was at King George Boulevard2 and 72nd, which, for my readers who are not from Surrey3, isn’t exactly the scariest part of town. I mean, I go there every day for work and have never felt the least bit scared4. Also, there is a police station within spitting distance. But apparently he figured he arrived just in time to save my life. During the brief drive to the dealership, he managed to fit in several rants, including one about his ex-wife who is now engaged to his ex-best friend and one about Asian drivers5.

At the dealership, I learned that replacing one measly Smart car tire costs almost $300! WTF? That’s a lot of dollars! They did clean and vacuum my car, which is something that I’ve been meaning to do since forever. So procrastination FTW!

Terrible "cappuccino"

Terrible “cappuccino” from the machine at the dealership.

IMG_2087

What I was reading while I waited for my car to be fixed.

While I was there, I also asked about the cost of a Smart car bike rack, given that I’m seriously considering buying a bike. Would you believe that a bike rack for my Smart, including installation, costs nearly $1000?!6.

And to think just this morning I was thinking “I have no idea what to blog about today!” Be careful what you wish for, Bethy!

  1. I mean, I suppose I could have asked a coworker for a ride, but my coworkers are all very busy! []
  2. of Broken Dreams []
  3. i.e., all of my readers []
  4. Except that one time I decided to go to the nearby liquor store on a Friday evening. That time, I did think I was going to be murdered []
  5. Bitterness *and* racism! Together at last! []
  6. This prompted me to do some Googling this evening and I discovered that you can buy a bike rack designed for Smart cars that you can install yourself. Will still probably run me several hundred, but not a thousand! []

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Happy Belated Car-iversary To Me!

I can’t believe I forgot my own car-iversary! It was two years ago yesterday that I brought my bouncing baby Smart car home from the dealership.

My car:

Black Cars Look Better In The Shade

Clearly, I’m compensating for my giant IQ.

Happy car-iversary, Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car!

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Poor Zaphod Again

So I was driving home from the dentist tonight and was quite shocked to see a *giant* crack in the windshield of my beloved Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car. Like, *giant.* I know for certain that it wasn’t there in the morning when I scraped the ice off my windshield because, well, I was looking right at my windshield, and I didn’t notice it when I was driving to the dentist’s office and given how big it is, I don’t see how I could have not seen it. My best guess is that there was some sort of a rock chip that I didn’t see and the combination of the cold outside and the heat to defog it on the inside made it crack  ((it was too dark for me to get a close look at it by that point, so I’ll have to examine it more closely in the morning)). As I drove to the produce store, which is where I was headed after the dentist, I saw the crack proceed to grow across my windshield. My initial thought, for a split section, was “this kinda sucks.” But then I *immediately* thought, “Eh, there are worse things that can happen in life. I’ll deal.” And I was surprised at myself. Usually it’s so easy to think “oh woe is me! The world is out to get me!” I mean, when I discovered that someone had scraped my car back when I first got it, I was very upset for days. For days1!! So to find myself just letting this go really took me aback. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen a lot of people who really have bad things going on in their lives – I mean, today alone I heard about the death of a family member of one person that I know *and* that a family member of another person I know is very, very, very sick; and as everyone in the Vancouver blogging world knows, Derek will not be with us for much longer – so maybe that puts my very small “problems” into perspective. I mean, given what other people are going through… and all I have to do is take my car into the shop?  I’m pretty much living on easy street.

Poor Zaphod - cracked windshield!

As you can see, Zaphod's boo boo is quite extensive. Poor Zaphod.

 

Does anyone happen to know if I make an ICBC claim for a cracked windshield, will the cost of my insurance go up?

  1. first world problem, much?? []

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Snowmageddon!

So this is what Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car looks like under a foot of snow:

IMGP1980

After crying “SNOWMAGGEDON!” several times this month, the meteorologists were finally right and we got a big dump of snow on the night of my birthday. Thankfully it waited until after I got home from the Indian buffet I went to with a few friends to celebrate my being born1, because I hate, hate, hate driving in the snow.

Also, yesterday I learned that my dashboard flashes a warning light when my car starts to slide on ice/snow.  In case you don’t notice, you know, that your car is sliding. Guess the bag of hockey pucks I keep in my car in the winter was not sufficient to weigh down Zaphod and prevent sliding. Fortunately, it was only the side streets that were slippery – the main roads were completely clear by the time I left for work yesterday and now even the side streets are mostly clear. And the forecast is calling for rain and 7-8 degrees C for the next week or so. W00t!

  1. this was just a low key dinner on my birthday. I’m having a big birthday bash on Saturday, since my actual birthday was on a school night, but I like to do something special on the actual day []