I have a few unrelated points to touch on today, before I start watching the NFL playoffs and assembling office furniture. But first, here are the responses to the trivia photo round about sitcom dads.
Alan Thicke- Jason Seaver - Growing Pains
Mike Brady- Robert Reed- The Brady Bunch
Archie Bunker- Carrol O'Connor- All in the Family
Danny Tanner - Bob Saget - Full House
Heathcliff Huxtable- Bill Cosby- The Cosby Show
Uncle Phil- James Avery - Fresh Prince
Steven Keaton- Michael Gross- Family Ties
Peter Griffin-Seth McFarland- Family Guy
Carl Winslow- Reginald VelJohnson- Family Matters
Hal (No Last Name for the Character)- Bryan Cranston- Malcom In the Middle
How well did you do? When we hosted trivia, some groups really impressed with the photo round, although one person thought Michael Keaton was Charles Manson. That was kind of funny. There was another eventful occurrence at trivia as well. I had to disqualify some cheaters! We had a group get every single question right, and it seems suspicious. It turns out they had been using their cell phones to look up the answers. They claimed they didn't know that wasn't allowed. Honestly, who doesn't know that? That's trivia 101.
Anyhow here's the rest of the news of the day (and week).
- Auto repairs - Here's an anecdote with a happy ending. When driving home from trivia last week, our truck started to lurch and shake. Very unsettling. Then we smelled a terrible burning smell. Then the "check engine" light came on. We got it home (barely), and Rob feared it may be a transmission problem. The transmission is one of the most expensive things that can break on a car, and I doubt it's an easy thing to fix (disclaimer: I'm not a mechanic). Lesson 1 in auto repair - don't panic until you have reason to. If you're not familiar with car repair, there's a little device that you can plug into your vehicle, and it tells you what error triggered the "check engine" light to come on. You can go to a local parts store like Napa or Auto Zone, and they will usually check the code for you free of charge. Our code said something along the lines of "cylinder 8 misfiring." We didn't know what that meant, so we hit the Interwebs. It turns out that we could eliminate certain things right away since only one cylinder was misfiring (other problems can cause ALL cylinders to misfire). The most common culprit for our problem is usually something having to do with the distributor cap and spark plugs and wires. So Rob picked up these parts ($80 for everything) and spent some cold time on Saturday replacing said parts. The truck is now running happily again! It actually drives better than it ever has. The old plugs and wires looked pretty bad, so we're glad we were able to replace them. We plan to do the same in the car once the weather warms up a bit.
Incidentally, if you do have a "check engine" light come on, you usually have to manually reset the code in the vehicle for the light to turn off. The guys at the car parts store said they couldn't do this (though I think it really depends on who is working at the time), so Rob and his buddy decided to spend a little cash and buy their own reader device. Now we can always check our own problems, and we can reset the light ourselves. Rob and TJ split the cost, and they bought their at Harbor Freight. It was less than $100. I think it was a smart purchase.
- Home office - I spend a lot of weekend time processing and editing photos. I also work from home sometimes. So we're starting to pull together a real home office. Yesterday we picked up a nice desk and chair, and hopefully we'll get it built today. Pictures on the way. Here's a teaser though - check out my fancy new chair! It's called the Verner, and it's from Ikea ($59).
- Thank you - Even though this whole blog is about our lives, Rob and I are usually pretty careful about sharing things that we think are too personal. I won't write about my family. I don't write about my job. I don't talk about the town we live in. I usually don't post about our relationship unless I'm feeling overly sappy. So it was a bit out of character when I wrote the long essay about the death of my 16-year-old cat Milo. But writing it made me feel better, in some odd way. Fifteen people (mostly strangers/people I don't know in real life) left me thoughtful and comforting comments. A few more sent messages. Thank you. It's a 100% human quality to crave personal connections with others, and I found it reassuring that so many of you could relate to the way I was feeling. For all its dangers and perceived negative outcomes, the Internet can be given credit for one very positive thing. It helps brings people together.
- Ebay justice - Here's another somewhat funny anecdote from the past week. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I am a huge fan of eyeshadow. Always have been. It's fun to play with. I like the higher-end brands you can buy at Sephora, but they are usually much too expensive for my frugal spending habits. So instead I often will order them online from discount cosmetics stores or ebay. You can easily get things for 25% of the retail cost, sometimes less. Recently I ordered two things I'd been coveting from Sephora from an ebay seller. When I received my items, they didn't seem at all like the ones at the store. I snapped a couple pics and uploaded them to a forum site where beauty product experts quickly told me that they were not real products. The shades were not right, and the packaging had errors. I'd been sold "high end" makeup that was actually fake. Isn't it weird that people do this? It's like the trivia cheaters. I honestly don't know what's wrong with people sometimes. I contacted the ebay seller about it, and he immediately refunded me, no questions asked. Pretty shady seller, huh? So lesson learned - be careful if you buy things from ebay. And incidentally here are two legit and reputable places to buy discount makeup: Beauty Crunch and All Cosmetics Wholesale. Score one for ebay justice!
- So many projects, so little time - I need to figure out a way to stretch each day. My evenings and weekends are packed with "to do" items that I want to tackle sooner rather than later. I have a few photo projects I'd like to do, some ideas for new artwork for a few rooms in our house, and I'm itching to get into the spare bedroom (currently morphing into a home office) and paint the walls. I also have a list of things I want to do in the bathroom (scrape wall texture, paint, re-caulk, clean and seal grout, replace mirror). Oh, and I have a growing list of books I'd like to read. Need more time!
Ok, so that's the ongoing texture of the drift. I'll be back soon.