6-23-14 Monday (New Car(s))

OK, just deal with the boring text.  There’s a lot of great photos in this post!

276666040_1401213136After our recent trip to Augusta, we unpacked, and settled in.  I decided to look at the Pep Boys receipt.  I was surprised.  They charged for 32 ounces of R134A Freon at 3.25 per ounce = $104.  I thought that seemed high from what I could remember from my automotive biz days.  I went online to Pep Boys and found a 12oz can for $15.  Doing the math… I would need 3 cans = $45 Freon.  $45 vs $104.  I called the store.  I spoke with the service manager.  I asked for a $59 refund.  He turned me down.  I called corporate.  I opened a case.  Someone was to call me in 48 hours.  I called back after 4 days and bitched up a storm.  I was told it was escalated to district manager.  The next day I got a call from the service manager who said he would just give me a refund since no one called me back.  I’m guessing he was told to call me once it escalated to the District Manager.  Be careful out there!  Damn crooks.

Our Mazda 6 lease is up at the end of the month.  The plan was to turn it in and just use our free/clear Jeep.  For trips to Augusta we’d use the Rav4 but those seats kill my back and Jim also feels uncomfortable in it.  We scratched the plan and decided to hunt for a new car.  Jim has been reading his various car magazines and narrowed it down to a new revamped Mazda 6 or a Hyundai Sonata.  Jim sent out various leads to several Mazda and Hyundai dealers via dealership websites.  He laid out the deal we wanted.  Some gave prices and others wanted to see the car.  We have a lease-turn-in inspection report, why do we need to run around down to make a deal?  Anyone who couldn’t accommodate us via emails was crossed off the list.

Getting discouraged, he decided that since we go to Augusta so often, we’d check that area as well.  He filled out an online form for Taylor Hyundai in Augusta and instantly received an out of office email (strange, I know) from Todd Torchia that directed us to David Nabel and Paul Schaefer in his absence.  Funny thing?  I’ve worked with all three of these guys in Florida!  It’s a small world!  The following weekend, the 14th, we were again in Augusta.  We went into Taylor Hyundai, got a great deal and drove away with a 2014 Hyundai Sonata. It’s a pretty blue-silver and seems to change color depending on the lighting or angle. The seats are comfy!  It connects to my phone and streams mp3’s or Pandora.  I love it.

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It’s got a back up camera…

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Also this week, we picked up the fender.  It looked awesome.  Jim installed it.

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During the next week, Jim’s Grandmother, uhhhhh, Grandma, came for a visit.  I won’t reveal her age but she’s up there.  She drove from Fort Myers, FL to Atlanta to see Jim’s brother's family, then some other relatives in the area.  While vacuuming Grandma’s mini van, they discovered the passenger front carpet was wet.  Unsure if it was a water leak, a/c leak, or heater core leak, she made it over to Charlotte to see us. We discovered coolant leaking at the front of the van, under the radiator.  We brought it to the dealer and they diagnosed it as needing a heater core AND a radiator.  $1900.  To fix or not to fix?  After much deliberation, a new vehicle was sought.  Jim did the research.  Grandma is very very short and needed something she can see over and reach the pedals comfortably.  90% of the vehicles out there don’t make the cut for her.  They settled on a Honda CRV.  It’s a great fit for her.


Next trip for Grandma?  A high school class reunion in Pennsylvania.  No, really.  Grandma had some sort of cold and went to the doctor twice while here.  She decided to skip the reunion and just recover.  She’s staying with us longer.

In the meantime, on the weekend of the 21st, my uncle Joe and Joyce fly in from NY to help Joyce’s brother, in Charlotte, with some issues.  We had a full house but had a great time though.  On Monday it was my birthday so the 5 of us went out for Sunday brunch to pre-celebrate with mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.  There were major issues with our orders which resulted in a total visit time of 2 hours!  The manager comp'd all of our meals… we just paid for alcohol. Monday’s actual birthday dinner was at Olive Garden.  Funny, when we walked in, they were singing happy birthday at a table and someone commented on how they were going to tell the server it was my birthday.  When we were seated and the server came over for drink orders, I told him it was my birthday.  I just burst their bubble.  During the visit there, including mine, there were 6 Happy Birthday songs sang by staff at various tables.  I guess the OG is a popular birthday spot?

OK, now to catch you up on photos:

miniAbove: My work wife, Jessica’s Mini Cooper.  I couldn’t stop laughing at the MINI’s HUGE speedometer.  Look at that thing!

2014-06-08 001Above: Walmart.  This place gives me so much material.

2014-06-08 002Above: Dasher buried his head during a recent trip.

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Above/Below: While at a Mazda dealer, we were waiting for the salesman to work some numbers.  This was the keyboard on his desk.  There, he fixed it!

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The end.

6-8-14 Sunday (Transporting Boobies)

5/23 – 5/26 = It’s a holiday weekend!  Jim and I both left work early to get a jump start a the long weekend.  We made it to the campground by about 5.  During these temps, it’s normal for the interior of the RV to be at about 90°.  We forgot to call ahead and ask a friend to get the a/c running for us.  By the time we unpacked, the temp was at 84° and then the power went out.  It turned out to affect several sites.  It looked like it was going to take a while to repair.  The temp climbed quickly.  Dasher was already panting (unusual for him) after a walk and never had the chance to cool off.  We took Dasher and headed out for dinner.  We locked him in the car with the a/c running while we ate dinner.  I’d text a campground friend “do we have power” from time to time.  We killed some time by touring some local neighborhoods and took a long walk at a marina.  When we returned to the campground at about 8:00 still no power.  One of the owners was at a store buying a new part.  We took the golf cart and drove around the campground.  It wasn’t till about 8:30ish that we finally had power.  We showered and headed out to socialize. 

We had some rain this weekend.  On Sunday it poured and poured and, oh yeah,and poured.  Once the rain subsided we saw several police cars in front of one of the sites.  Once we did the nosey neighbor thing, that’s when we got the full story from the other onlookers.

One of the RV park residents has his camper down on the lower level near a drainage ditch.  When it rains a lot, the ditch fills up to the top and sometimes floods the lower level a little.  Well, apparently he didn’t have his awning pitched right so water built up and sagged the awning.  He had to move his convertible Jaguar out of the way and while doing so a wheel slipped off the edge of the embankment and devoured his Jag.  In it went.  He could barely get the door open to get out.  Water rushed in.  He got the window down (unsure of the exact details) and was able to force the door open.  The current carried the Jag several lots down. Only the antenna was visible.  As the water subsided, the roof peeked out.



The owner wasn’t very happy… as you could imagine.

During the week, here’s how a trip to Walmart went:

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That was on line in front of me at the service desk…  Ewwwww.

5/27 – 5/29 = The following weekend was pretty laid back.  We went to Augusta as typical.  We attended a potluck cookout.  The host made a huge brisket in his smoker.  It was so good.  We brought baked beans with ground beef.  It was yummy.  Lots of food and extra awesome friends to share it with.  We also picked up the RV after having some battery and generator repairs done.  Next we brought it to a fiberglass repair shop for the shower/tub to be repaired.  Another guy took a fender to duplicate for the other side (broken off) where he’ll fabricate a new one.

On the way back from somewhere, this is what we saw:

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Weekend #3 (June 6th – 8th) off to Augusta we went yet again.  We picked up the RV from the fiberglass guy.  He did and awesome job!  You can barely see where he refinished it.

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Next up we took it to a Pep Boys to have the dash a/c looked at.  It was low on R134A although they couldn’t find a leak.  This worries me.  The R134A had to have went somewhere.  Maybe it’s a very small and slow leak?