Monday, April 29, 2013

Running with Fish and Shits

This past weekend in Boothbay Harbor was Fisherman's Festival.  It's a weekend of crazy fun put on by the locals for the locals.  My daughter had signed up for the cod fish relay race.  Basically, 4 kids from each grade 5-8 and 9-12 make a team and have to put on fisherman's gear--oil skins pants and jackets, boots and then run while carrying a fish down the road and back and then the next person has to go.  Fun times for sure!  Sissy and her friends were representing the 7th graders and were the only all girl team.  Girl Power!
At the start--the gear and the fish!

 Getting Sissy dressed to run!

She dropped the fish!  What the?

Coming in for the trade off--all smiles!  trying to keep her pants on

Sissy was the first leg of the race and once she got back the other girls did a great job and her team only lost to a group of 8th grade boys by 3 seconds!!  They probably would have won if she hadn't dropped the dang fish!  Ahh, next year. 

She didn't smell too fishy at the end.  I guess we'll keep her.

Husband did the lobster eating contest.

in the yellow

He totally expected to win but was beat out badly--as in like 40 seconds or so--to another guy.  It was how fast you could eat two lobsters.  Turns out the girl next to him tossed one of her tails in his pile so he ate 3 tails.  Oops.  Guess there are worse things than eating too much lobster...

Sunday was another beautiful day and called for a long (for me) run.  I haven't done anything over 4 miles in a long time so I thought I do my 6 mile loop on the roads around my house.  I headed out around 8:15 and immediately went back in the house to remove layers.  It was too hot!  Craziness!  Finally, it's warm (for Maine) here in Maine.  50* at 8 am is pretty dang warm. 

4.00 mi14:44 min/mi4.07 mph43:0082 ft59 ft

This was my breakdown for mile 4 of my 6 mile run.  Not particularly fast, right?  Well, after around 3 miles I started to rumbling down below.  You know what I mean, right?  I hadn't eaten anything so I also had not down my morning business.  I was hoping to make it the hour before needing to go, but alas, that didn't happen.  Thankfully, there is a kinda public facility on the route that I was running that I knew I could drop in and use the facilities.  It's closed on the weekend and also during this time of year, but I knew where the key is kept and knew I could get in. 

Thankfully, the door was a little open when I arrived and I ran in and found the toilet.  I thought to check to make sure there was toilet paper before sitting down and there was, so I was good to go.

Business complete, I went to flush and nothing.  Nothing happened.  The toilet wasn't working.  Ugh.  I had no idea what to do.  I didn't want to be the asshole that left a deuce in the toilet for people to find when they came to use the building but I couldn't make the dang thing flush!  Not to mention the stink. 

With nothing else to do, I left to finish my run and get home.  Hubs is a plumber and he would either be able to fix it or tell me what to do.  I could also call the director and tell him so he would know.  Ummm, nope, husband was going to fix it.  There was no way I was calling anyone about this.

I got home and replayed my dramatic story to the husband.  His first question--no water, right?  Umm, yah.  Didn't really check that.  There was water in the bowl so I thought that was good enough.  He thought they had probably shut the water off for the winter and that was the problem.   He said to go back with a bucket filled with water and dump it in.  Once there is enough water in the bowl it will flush itself. 

After a shower and will a 10 gal bucket in tow--toilet was flushed.  Thank god I'm not the ass that leaves a shit in the bowl.  Phew.

Have you ever had to make a deposit in an unexpected place while on a run? 

Ever run with a fish?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Buying a Car Online

So after we had gotten back from vacation, I came to the realization that it was indeed, time for a new car.  My Odyssey had served us well for 8 years and 210K miles but now that the automatic door wouldn't shut and sometimes opened while driving, it was time to trade it in.  Not to mention that I still had studded tires on it and would need to purchase 4 new summer tires in order to keep this car. 

Studs for you non-Maine folks are little metal well, studs, put into your tires to give you more traction in the snow and ice.  Noisy as hell and not cheap.

Like any good American these days, I jumped on the internet to find myself a car.  Cause who the hell has time to go to a dealer and look at cars and actually SPEAK to a person?  Not me.

an oldie but a goodie

I called the sales department of the dealership when I found a car that interested me.  2008 Honda Odyssey with 54K miles.  Same car as mine already but way less ghetto for 20K and some.  Oh, and a DVD player. I thought the price was fair and didn't make a big deal about dickering at that time.  I mentioned my car and knew it was worth about $4k in fair condition. 

I'm not exactly sure what fair condition means, but with a door that sometimes opens while driving, a broken tail light cover and a dent in the back, I was pretty sure we were close to it.  After an hour or so, the sales guy called me back and said with my trade the price was $17K blah blah.  So in my head I heard, we are giving you $4K on your trade.  I tend to not be very accurate with math in my head or pay close attention to silly details.  Remember this, it's important later.

So we agree and begin to proceed with the purchase.  We go through financing and I get a decent rate with a bank they use so the finance guy calls me to go through the fine details.  On the phone.  On my way to my daughter's dance.  Total time since original call: 5 hours. 

He tries to sell me all kinds of warranty crap:  tires, windshield, extended car warranty, leather and carpet warranty--what a load of shit.  I decline all of it like the true cheap ass I am.  He then goes over the exact cost of things and it's then that I realize that I only got $3k for my car.  Of course, like a lemming, I say nothing and just let him do his thing.  My payment is a little higher than I thought due to all the tax, title, doc fee etc that gets added into the total cost and the fact that I'm getting less for my car than I thought.  I'm a wee bit uncomfortable but, buying this car still doesn't feel very real because I'm not actually there!  I mean, I can back out anytime because I haven't signed a damn thing.  I'll just talk to the sales guy in the morning.

Delivery is planned the next day.  They have a driver bring the car to you and all the paperwork so you don't even have to show your face at the dealership.  Not once.  I took pictures of my license and insurance cards and texted them to the salesman.  (said no one 20 years ago)  And then it's pretty much a done deal.

I stew a little bit about the thousand dollars, wondering if it's really worth it to make a big deal about it, trying to decide whether to call the sales guy and squawk about the price and try to get it down a bit.  And then my door opens while driving.  Hmmm, maybe 3K is just fine for this car.  If they actually SEE the car, they may decide that it's not even worth the 3K.  I really should have taken pictures of the old car just so you could appreciate how ghetto it really is. 

very similar to this one really--same color and same make...dents look similar.  my a/c worked though

So anyway, the delivery guy arrives at my house, with my newish car, we sign papers and he takes my ghetto van back to the dealer.  All done in about an hour or so.  Removing all the crap from the ghetto van took a little more time than planned.   One little glitch in the paperwork which we quickly fixed by threatening to send the car back and I had a new car!  woo!

so pretty! so clean! so quiet!

I never realized how loud and rattle-y my old car was until I got to drive this new one.  Total time spent on buying a car: 3 hours out of 2 days.  Unheard of.

The first thing my son said was "mom, now you need a new Tough Chik sticker"!   I was sad to see it go.  Shannon, can you help me out?

Never ever thought I could buy a car without losing an entire day at the dealership.  Isn't technology fabulous?

Have you ever bought a car online or without even seeing it in person?

What is your dream car?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Coolest tree ever.

Coolest kids ever.

Getting crabby at Joe's Crab Shack.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shut Up Already!

Caution!  Rant Post Ahead!

Whenever I go to my continuing education classes--and it doesn't matter where it is, it can be Maine, Florida or Texas--there is always one jackass that has to talk the whole time during the lecture.  He may ask questions, but more often he talks to the lecturer like he knows more about the subject than the lecturer does.

If you know so goddamn much about it, why don't you get your own lecture?  Shut the hell up so we can get this over with.  No one cares how smart you think you are, no one cares about what you do in your own practice and how it is soooo much better than what the lecturer is advising.  Everyone really just wants to sit here and get our stupid hours done with.  So shut up already.

If you've got some long winded question that is bordering on being stupid, then just wait until after the lecture to ask it.  For the love of Jesus, just wait.  The lecturer will be more than happy to explain how dumb you are to you when the rest of us have left and are enjoying a margarita.

And while I'm on a rant, the meat-locker like temperatures that you keep these rooms at while we have to sit idle for 2 hour increments, really sucks for us women.  If you want me to dress nicely in heels and a dress, then you cannot keep the room at 56*.  My toes are like little frozen sausages right now.

Advice for the vendors--if you want me to visit your booth and talk to you about your product/instrument, then you'd better have some good chocolate or snack to lure me there.  Maine is very good at this.  All the vendors are right on top of this with chocolate kisses, mini PB cups and sometimes bags of M&M's.  Lure me in with the candy, then strike for the kill.   At this particular meeting in TX, not one bit of chocolate to be found.  #vendorfail

Despite the babbling idiot, arctic temperatures and chocolate deficiency, I have managed to accumulate 11 hours of CE.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Worst Vacation Start Ever

As you may or may not remember, we were heading out to San Antonio for my optometry conference/vacation on Wednesday.  Things were going well at first in that I got the kids to school and that left me plenty of time to get my workout done (2000 yds in the pool), head to the dump, finish packing, clean up the house etc.  We were able to leave on time, get to my MIL's and then get to the airport all with time to spare.  This is highly unusual for my family.

The problems began when we arrived at the airport and tried to check in curbside.  No go.  Our flight was delayed so we had to check in at the desk.

Which happened to be 30 people long.  15 of which was a group of student apparently going to China. Gah.

We finally get to the agent and not only is our flight delayed minor problem but because our flight is delayed we will miss our connector flight from Dallas to San Antonio.  major problem  Major problem because there would be no other flights available to get us to San Antonio until the next day at 7:30 p.m.!

After 40 minutes at the desk with the ticket agent, the best we can come up with is this:   instead of leaving at 6:35 p.m. from Boston arrive in Dallas, connect to SA and arrive there at midnight, we leave Boston at 9 p.m. (which turned into 9:45 p.m.), arrive in Dallas at 2 a.m., rent a car and drive 4 hours to SA.

Fast forward to finally arriving in Dallas--at 2 a.m. mind you.  Time to find a rental car to get us to SA. Dallas is a large airport, right?  Should be pretty easy to find a car to rent, right?  Or maybe a hotel room to sleep in and then drive the next day?  Not so much.

Turns out there is a race there this weekend so every single room at both airport hotels are full, so no chance of getting some sleep and then driving the next day.  Likewise, the first THREE rental car desks  I check do no have any cars available to rent.  WTF.

Finally,  Avis,  Thank you sweet baby Jesus, has a mini van to rent us so we can get to SA.  For the low price of $260.  Bargain.  Truthfully, I would have paid $600 at that point just to get the fuck out of that airport.

3 am (4 am Maine time) we are finally on our way to SA.

I love and hate the fucking GPS.  So thankful that we had it so we could get navigate our way out of DFW but hate that mother because at 3 fucking am it had us driving through residential neighborhoods and all around the fucking mulberry bush to finally get to a major route.  Kinda scary when you don't know where the hell you are, it's dark as shit, you are 6 hours past your bedtime and you can't see a hotel anywhere.  Not even street lights and very few gas stations.

Fun times.  This is what memories are made of right?

Somehow, we manage to arrive on a major highway in the direction of where we want to go.  At this point, it's 4 a.m. Texas time and I can no longer stay awake for the 3 more hours I need to drive to get to SA.  A Hampton Inn shows up right off this highway and allows us to get some sleep.

What a difference 5 hours of sleep makes!  Once I had some rest, mouthwash and a shower I felt like a new woman.

After picking up one rental car and dropping off the other, we finally arrived at the Westin Riverwalk at 2 p.m.

Longest freakin' travel ever.

I definitely deserved this for dinner

With this view

And this cute kiddo in a poncho

So far San Antonio is fabulous.  I cannot believe how many restaurants there are and how many places there are to see and eat at on the Riverwalk.

We visited Sea World yesterday and pretty much had the park to ourselves.  "Off Season" ha.  That cracks me up.  Why the hell would you want to walk around that park in August in 100* heat when you can come in April in 75* and have the place to yourself?

Note that there is NOONE behind them.  This was for Shamu's show.

I'm so thankful that this is the weather I get to enjoy for the week

instead of this

Have you ever had a bad start to your vacation?

Are you wishing for nicer weather where you live?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How I Even Out My Cheapness

As I'm getting older, I find that I am really cheap about some things.  Like so cheap, it's kinda silly yet I can't stop myself.  But in other ways, money seems to be no object.  Which doesn't really make sense because any money I saved by being cheap in one aspect, is used right up with other things.  So I'm even.  Like Seinfeld.

So here are some ways I manage to even out my cheapness.

I cannot stand to purchase paper towels because they are such a waste of paper.  We have them, but whenever possible, I use a dish towel to dry my hands and whatnot.  Savings:  $1.29 x 30

Savings negated by:
Replacing/upgrading my cell phone at every opportunity presented to me at a cost of $250 per phone.  Cost: $250 x 2

Bring lunch every single day, eating the leftovers in my fridge.  Savings: $10 x 5

Savings negated by:
Eating out on weekends with the family because I am too lazy to cook.  Cost $100 x 2

Shut out lights constantly, screaming at children to shut them out when they leave the room.  Savings: unknown $10-20?

Savings negated by:
Driving all over the state (and out of state) for field hockey tournaments and basketball games sometimes incurring a hotel charge for longer distances.  Cost at least $50 for gas and $100 for hotel room at least 10 weekends.   Let's not even bother to include food, tolls, and wear and tear on my car.

Clipping coupons and trying to maximize savings by purchasing the products when on sale.  Savings: $20-30 when doing really well.

Savings negated by:
Drinking Mt. Dew to cause cavities disgustingly expensive to repair.  $300 x 3

Saving bottles and cans to return to the redemption center.  Even picking them up on the side of the road when out walking. $22 every 6 weeks

Savings negated by:
The number of ridiculous apps my kids ask me to purchase non-stop, not to mention the ongoing Club Penguin member fee I keep forgetting to cancel because no one uses it anymore.  Gah.  $5.95 x 12 and various .99 and $1.99 apps.

Well, maybe not exactly cheapo, but smarter, frugal way to do health care--high deductible health insurance with tax deferred health savings account.  If no medical expenses savings equal around $5600

Savings negated by:
Bringing Princess daughter to the ER for a hurt knee, knowing full well it wasn't broken but didn't want to listen to her complain about it being broken all night and how I never believe her when she's hurt and I don't care about her knee and blah blah blah so brought her anyway to have the x-ray proof that it indeed was just fine.  $600

I think this might equal an Extreme Cheapskate FAIL.