And for Valentine’s, I got…

     My car back from the repair shop aka Dealership.

     Backing up now. A little over a month or so, I took Haku in for an oil change. It turned out my belts were cracking. The oil change place did not have them in stock. So as soon as we could, Giuliano and I took the car to Pep Boys to get the belts replaced. Now the priced they quoted on the phone turned out to be only for 1 belt. The person on the phone didn’t realize there were 2. So they kept to the price and changed them.

     A week later I started having problems turning my steering wheel. Then as I turned the wheel too far in one way or another, the belt squealed really loudly.

     Haku went back to Pep Boys, but they were already busy with repairs. I mentioned the car was getting hard to turn and the person I talked to came out to look at the car. We turned the wheel as he watched. He said that when we turned it, the pump stopped working and the belts were getting frayed. Now Giuliano had checked the belts earlier, and one seemed loose. The guy pressed on it and said it was tight enough. The mechanic said the pump or the rack was failing. However they had to order a pump. As this was right before MLK, we worried who would be open. We decided to go to Subaru, the dealership, for the repair. If it was something slightly major, we wanted a professional taking care of this car.

     My car went to Subaru on Jan 17th, and the verdict was.. the belt was loose, the pump is fine.

     Now I had noticed a noise under the hood from time to time after the belts were replaced or so. But it went away, so I couldn’t take it anywhere since they wouldn’t hear it. The noise remained, even though I had hoped it was related to the previous car problems. Then it started to happen more often and get worse. Finally it didn’t really go away.

     So I convinced Giuliano to take Haku back to Subaru and an appointment was made on Jan 30th. At first it seemed that the crankshaft was bent. Then the news got worse.. much MUCH worse.

     The bolt that held the pulley for the crankshaft got loose. The key ripped off and the end of the crankshaft got chewed up. Unfortunately by the time I heard the noise the damage was already done. The whole engine block had to be replaced. The rest of the engine was in good shape and could be rebuilt into the block.

     Subaru lent me a loaner for free, a 2006 Subaru Legacy sedan (blue), complete with a sun roof and leather interior. I enjoyed driving it a couple of times, but I spent most of the time depressed about Haku.

     Finally today I got word that my car repairs were done. The final verdict, the block was replaced with a new one, the oil pump was built into the block and was stuck so it was replaced, and the timing belt was stuck so that had to be replaced too. The repair cost just over $5,100. 🙁

     Giuliano and I came to an agreement on the repairs. I, of course, cannot afford a repair that costly. So Giuliano paid for the repairs. In turn all of my tax refund will go to Giuliano to pay him back for repairs. I’ll also most likely have to divert money to him whenever possible to continue to pay off the repairs. (Depending on how much of a refund I get.)

     So instead of a nice dinner and a nice engagement ring for 5k, I got a new engine block, oil pump, and timing belt.

     *Sighs.*

     Well at least there aren’t many big repairs left now. The car should last till at least 160k or so now, I hope. Now I just have to get used to driving Haku after driving the loaner for 3 weeks.

“Radical Militant Librarian”.. soo, can I get that added to my job title?

I wanted to blog this a few days ago, but work always keeps me busy, and weekends are busy doing things I can’t on weekdays. That and recently our internet connection has been having problems.
On Tuesday I was listening to NPR while driving to work. I was listening to them talking about the Patriot Act. At the time I was too busy watching traffic ahead of me to really listen all too closely. That is until I heard this, “While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR’s failure to let us use the tools given to us.”

Quoted from the NPR report found here.

Radical Militant Librarians, eh? I suddenly had the urge to wiggle my fingers while saying “OOoooo” in a spooky voice. (For those who do not know, I work as a library assistant.)
Already I have seen a spark in cafepress items related to this.
So can I have that added to my official job title? It sounds nice and powerful and needing of a pay raise. 😀
Well I guess I should go and gather together some camouflage clothing for work. Though I’m not exactly sure what one considers as camouflage in a library setting.

The big news… finally

     Sorry about the long wait on the news. I needed to upload the picture to show everyone. With my PC giving one final gasp and needing a nearly complete overhaul.. well.. it took time to recover everything I needed again.

     So here’s the news. On August 27th in the morning I became the brand new owner of a Subaru.
     I wasn’t kidding when I said my old car has to go. The AC repair job was the last and final straw for me. So I went car shopping and bought a 1998 Subaru Outback Limited (automatic transmission) which had just over 61k on it from a used car place.
     I took the car for an inspection at a local Subaru dealership prior to purchase since it seemed to shake when driving. It was discovered that the previous owner was either unaware or just an idiot or both, because they put different type and size tires on the car. Different type/size tires + all wheel drive = differentials get busted. Other than that though, the car was solid. Even the first owner wrote down all their repairs on the owner’s manual which was in the glove box. (I did a background check on the car to find it had 2 previous owners.) So after some haggling over price, buying car and adding on some amount to car loan for repairs, I had my car. (Aside from the fact the other 2 Subarus I found online were both already sold.)
     A friend/former boss of Giuliano’s (Jim) knew someone who could work on the car and save us (er.. me) a lot of money. (The dealership was quoting 1.5k for just one differential.) In the end the cost of repairing the differentials cost 1.4k for all of them. I also bought 4 new tires prior to the repair to make sure the new differentials would be just fine. (Note: Picture above taken after buying car, and before new tires and repair.)
     So now the car runes extremely smooth. The AC is fantastic. The acceleration on this car.. wooo. I tap the gas and it starts racing down the road. (My Geo you have to press down just to get it to budge.) The steering wheel is either leather or leather like, as opposed to the plastic of the Geo. There’s auto windows, locks, cruise control, cup holders *grin*, fog lights, a rear wiper.. all things my Geo lacked. I’m actually taller than some other cars on the road as opposed to so low to the ground that other vehicle’s headlights blind me at night. (When civics and the like are higher up than your car, and you can’t see past them to view traffic, that’s a problem.) People more often than not yield for my new car as opposed to cutting me off in the old smaller coupe. Heh, heh, heh, heh. The windows of the Subaru are also tinted. The back is heavily tinted as are the passenger windows. The front windows are slightly tinted and the top part of the front windshield is also tinted. It’s taking some getting used to the tint.
     At first I had called the new car Dragon due to its length and power. The name has now changed and seemed to settle on “Haku” after the character from Spirited Away. (Mostly in the hope that the car will live up to its name. That and it’s fun pressing the gas and shouting “Go Haku!”:D Yes I’m weird, get used to it.)

     My old car will be hopefully donated. I have to look over and fill out some paperwork before sending it out. Right now it’s sitting at the end of our driveway while the new car gets the garage space. 😛

So there’s the big news. I have a new car. (Hurray for car #2!)

Death to the Cursed Jade Car

Major car rant incoming!
To sum up, what I have replaced on my car to date:

Within the first 100 or so miles after buying: (Car was bought at 50k)

  • Radio replaced because back light did not work.
  • All 4 tires
  • Entire exhaust system minus catalytic converter

Within the first or second k or so miles of ownership:

  • All 4 struts
  • AC condenser
  • AC fan
  • AC converted to new system
  • AC refilled several times
  • Thermostat housing (?) – When I was loosing coolant on a daily basis. Literally had to refill coolant every evening. No pool of coolant seen on ground, ever.

Since my move to GA:

  • Ignition module
  • Both axles including CV joints/boots
  • PCV Valve
  • Timing belts and other belts replaced
  • Water pump
  • Front breaks
  • That metal round part that connects tire to car via nuts, 2 replaced along with said nuts

Total cost of all repairs: ~$3,300.00

What needs to be replaced to finally fix AC:

  • Compressor
  • Drier
  • Expansion valve

Cost for that repair ~$1,200.00

What I plan to do:
Buy a new (used) car. (Especially since I finished paying off the loan a couple of months ago.)

So until then I’m driving in 80-90 degree heat (plus humidity) in a car with NO ac. The people who checked my car’s AC drained it cause the AC was leaking (yet again), and so now I have none, zippo, nada, big goose egg AC in my car.

Have I been giving Giuliano nasty looks for picking out such a bad car, and saying it’d be okay? Have I been grumbling about when he said “We’ll repair the AC later.” before buying the car (which meant I’LL repair it later)? Definitely to both.

There’s nothing but pure hate for my car.

I got a library job again! YAY!

     It’s been a while since I really updated this thing and a few important things have happened. Well at least one big important thing anyway.
     I received a call a week and a half ago or so offering me the library job of Library Technical Assistant at Georgia State University. It’s full-time, 25k a year, located in downtown Atlanta. (I’ll be moving from a job working in cubicles, to a job working in, well, a bigger cubicle.) Which means I’ll be taking the Marta in to work. I’m supposed to get an official offer letter in the mail but it hasn’t arrived yet. Hopefully nothing has changed since I have already given my current job my notice. My last day at my current job will be this Friday, with my new job starting on the 18th.
     So I’ll finally be in library work again. Yay! (I’ve only been looking for library work since I moved to GA in December of 2003.) I feel so rusty now though, since I have been out of the field for over a year. Though I have been out for long times before and got back into the swing of things.      Just thinking about the new job is getting me those nervous butterflies in my stomach. I want to do a good job and I hope I live up to my new employer’s expectations.
     Then there’s the joy of permanent full-time again. Medical benefits and direct deposit (No running to that 1 deposit taking atm in that Motorola building, tapping a window that looks into security, and waving my atm card. YAY!). *Long pause.* Oh sorry. Just thinking about the direct deposit thing for a while. *Happy sigh.* Damn going to that 1 atm is a hassle as someone has to be there to let me in to use the damn thing and then sometimes it’s currently down. (As it is not exactly on my way home, it ends up being a waste of gas and time when that happens.) 9 months of weekly runs to that atm has really made the whole deposit paycheck process very weary.
     I have to report at 9am which means getting used to the morning shift again. I have to get myself up early. I still need to figure out how long it’ll take me to get to the nearest Marta station, how long to get into Atlanta, and then the walk into work. At least maybe I’ll get back into reading again by reading something to and from work.
     The most amusing thing of the day happened as I was enjoying some Chinese food. I opened my fortune cookie and it said, “Change is happening in your life, so go with the flow!” I’m not kidding. I laughed when I read it. To which I thought, “Okay!” I’m almost tempted to pin that to my cube at work.

     Giuliano left his job at Home Depot this past Friday. He too was a contractor for 8 months. (One month less temp work than I’ve had.) He starts his new permanent job tomorrow at Network Appliance. He’s really ecstatic over this new job and says it’s what he’s been wanting for years now. (Probably since he was laid off from Compaq years ago.) So I’m really hoping this coming week is a good one for him. I’m excited for him. It’s good to see him happy and in a position he loves.
     Now if I can only pull him away from his constant building of his Car PC. Alas this is the not so good part of dating a geek. When he sets his mind to doing something, he gets lost doing it and spends the majority of his time on it. 🙁 (*Feeling neglected sometimes*)

     Ah well time to bed and have one last week of work at my current job.