Archive for the ‘Car’ Category

Vehicle Emissions & Plate Stickers

May 9th, 2020 Comments off

Just before the stay at home order Joe got a notice that his vehicle needed to go for emission testing. Of course he can’t because they’ve closed those facilities. Now he has gotten his license plate renewal notice, which he cannot get until he gets an emissions test. But he can’t, so …. ??? What are the chances the state will open the emissions facilities in time to get the plate sticker before the current one expires? Guess we’ll find out…

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Tinted Crosstrek

August 13th, 2018 Comments off

On Joe’s birthday I took my car to Chicago Auto Pros in Glen Ellyn to have the windows tinted. I ended up getting 35% all around which, if the back windows weren’t already dyed (not actually tinted to block UV or heat), is considered legal in Illinois. As such, technically the front windows should only be 50% but it wasn’t very dark so we agreed to take our changes with the 35%. I drive past a LOT of police officers on a near daily basis (definitely daily on my work days) so this make me a bit nervous but I was told they typically don’t pull people over JUST for suspected tinting violations. Since I’ve never been pulled over for any reason I’m not terribly worried, but the shop guys did say if I am just to roll down the front windows as the whole tinting law is so police can see into the vehicle when approaching it.

So I’m a bit of a rebel, you could say. Or a baller, as my friend Angela on Facebook remarked on the photo of my car with the new tint applied.

Oh, two things that happened in regards to the tinting that irked me:

1) They asked for a tip when we were paying via their iPad. They wanted $60 but we only gave $30. Then I was kinda mad we gave anything at all. Since when is that kind of work considered tip-worthy? It was $450 as it was!

2) A few days later it was raining and I went to use the back wiper and they had placed it on the incorrect side so it started swiping the hatchback instead of the glass. I had to take it in the following day (after Joe’s colonoscopy) for them to fix it (which was quick at least).

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I Photographed A Wedding!

June 4th, 2018 Comments off

This past weekend was spent getting sh*t done so it wasn’t as fun compared to previous weekends.

Saturday (6/2) morning we took my car in for its first oil change and went out for breakfast while we waited. I nearly always regret grabbing breakfast anywhere but a fast food place because it’s very expensive for what you get. Our bill after tip was $35… for BREAKFAST. All I had was pancakes and hashbrowns and Joe had a platter of some sort. Blah.

Later that afternoon Joe accompanied me to photograph the outdoor wedding of my friend’s son. I truly didn’t want to do it when she asked but she kinda wore me down until I eventually agreed. Apparently her son and his fiance were fond of my photos but those are nature ones, not people. I don’t consider myself a people photographer and due to my introversion I find it hard to deal with strangers. I was super anxious about it especially after taking some test shots of Joe on Friday to re-familiarize myself with my digital SLR which I haven’t really been using lately. Most of the photos were not coming out well and I was convinced I was going to f*ck everything up. Thankfully the wedding was quick and even though I totally sucked at directing people, my more extroverted friend took the lead to help set up shots. When we got home I was supremely relieved to find that 95% of my shots came out great. I was so worried my friend was going to pay me for out of focus blown-out photos since it was pretty sunny outside. I opted to stick to a single lens for the entire shoot (my 28-135mm zoom) and leave it on programmed auto so that the camera would by and large choose the proper settings in the moment. Thank god it all worked out.

Speaking of pay, my friend gave me a card which I opened once we got home and inside was the agreed upon fee in cash, but also a Target gift card in the same amount. So in a way I was paid double. My friend explained that the gift card was a personal thank you for taking on the task which I thought was very generous, if unnecessary. Now I just need to motivate myself to work on her photos this week.

Sunday (6/3) we headed back to Visionworks so I could return my new glasses which were giving me headaches. I’m bummed they didn’t work out because my current pair are several years old and I do need new ones with an updated prescription. It’s so hard to find frames that don’t overwhelm my face which is why I opted for frames meant for children. Unfortunately they were a bit too tight and hurt my head to wear despite feeling comfortable when I initially tried them in the store on more than one occasion. I also didn’t like how they cut the lenses as they weren’t smooth around the edges. Plus I purchased an anti-reflective coating but I was noticing more reflections while wearing them than my old pair. When I mentioned that on the day I picked up the lenses they tried to tell me it was because of my prescription verses the size of the frames but I’m not quite sure I buy that. Plus they didn’t assist me whatsoever in picking the right type of frames for me which I think sucks. In fact, I shopped around at all the regular glasses places and no one could even show me petite frames and instead told me I would just have to find them by looking around. Great customer service! I’m just glad Visionworks has a 30-day unconditional money back guarantee because those glasses set me back $473!

Unfortunately, now I’m back to square one. If I could find a pair identical to my current ones but with a slightly short arm so they don’t keep slipping down my face I would be overjoyed. This is why I rarely buy new glasses – it’s such a pain in the ass and I hate the entire process. I wish I could just go back to wearing contacts most of the time but my eyes just aren’t having it anymore.

We also did some more organizing of the garage yesterday and threw out a ton of empty boxes. As if we’re going to pack stuff in their original boxes if/when we move. Not likely. We still kept some, especially for current electronic gadgets in case we try to sell them, but still freed up a lot of space. Now if only Joe can motivate himself to reorganize his tool area. That part of the garage is the messiest but I can’t help much since it’s his space.

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Volkswagen Jetta 05/2000 – 01/2018

January 30th, 2018 Comments off

The Saturday before last (1/20) I said goodbye to the Jetta when we brought it to the DMV and had everything transferred into Joe’s daughter’s name. I’m not gonna lie – I’m going to miss that car. I know it was time to upgrade but I loved how it accelerated and it had the best heated seats. My new car only has low and high. Low seems a bit too low and high is too hot. Such is the life of an overly sensitive person such as myself. I didn’t cry seeing the car go, though. Maybe it helped having it sit out in the driveway for the past few months while I got used to my new car. I dunno. I try not to think about it too much because I do get attached to inanimate objects I’ve owned for a very long time and that Jetta was like giving birth to a baby and watching it go off to college. Yikes!

I can already tell that I won’t be keeping my Crosstrek nearly as long because I really HATE how it does that jerky movement when you’re slowing down. It’s so stupid and annoying and I’m really just cranky in general today so I was feeling sorry for myself about how I’m not as thrilled about the car like I was initially. It probably didn’t help that I messed up the passenger side mirror recently when I hit the shelving unit pulling into the garage. Now there’s some paint missing on the mirror and the plastic molding on the wheel well is jacked up. I was so worried about someone else messing up my car and I did it myself. FML

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Crosstreak Gripes

December 22nd, 2017 Comments off

Ok, you knew this was coming. Things I don’t like about my new car:

1) Doors do not automatically lock once I start driving. I’m still not used to that or the fact that if I do remember to lock them that I need to unlock them before I can exit the vehicle.

2) The car will warn me if a vehicle is crossing my path while I’m in reverse but it has no problem if I attempt to run over a person (we carefully tested this by having Joe walk behind my car while I was backing up).

3) Seat warmers on low aren’t quite warm enough but on high are too hot. I need medium heat, damnit! The Jetta let you pick between 1-5 and I kept it on 2, sometimes 3, since 4 and 5 were way too hot.

4) Head unit can be slow to respond when the car is first turned on and the backup camera glitches a bit.

5) No USB port in the cubby area directly underneath the head unit. The only port is in the center console which is awkward to access and then where am I supposed to put my phone? I can leave it in the console but then I need to be careful what I store in there since there’s no tray and it’s just a big “hole”, or I can thread the cable and stick my phone in a cup holder. Not a fan or either option so I’ve just been accessing my phone via Bluetooth since I really only need Apple Car Play if I want to access maps on the car’s screen.

6) Cup holders are not as deep as in Joe’s Escape so when his taller one is in my car it moves back and forth making noise. There’s also no cup holders for backseat passengers unless you count in the doors but who uses those? You’d be surprised how ofter we take advantage of the fact that Joe’s Escape has four cup holders in the center console area. With us bringing our water bottles everywhere and then stopping for a coffee or something we do make use of them. Won’t be able to do that in my car unless we relegate the water bottles to the doors.

7) Sometimes the car accelerates or brakes strangely, almost as if it’s deciding what to do instead of responding to my input. It’s not consistent, and I think it may have to do with the CVT and the all-wheel drive which is very different from my Jetta. I do miss the acceleration of the Jetta, but I’m also babying the Crosstrek while I break it in so it might have more pep if I pushed it. I’ll find out once I get above 1000 miles. I’m just around 420 now.

8) The trunk space is small compared to the Jetta.

None of these are deal breakers and I still love my new car but I figured I’d document them here for myself, plus as a warning of things to keep in mind when I buy my next car 15+ years from now!

By the way, Joe convinced me to buy all weather mats for the car and they do look nice. Originally we were going to get Weathertech which is $180 for front and back but went with Husky for $140 instead. They look almost the same so I’m happy.

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