Friday, May 09, 2008

Spending like a drunken Enron exec...

Wow, I gotta get back control of my credit card here.
So, I get back from a week's vacation, to discover my truck won't start. ugh.
It wasn't the battery, and after many attempts it did finally turn over and run.
I drove it up to the Toyota dealership, to have them look at it.
Well, that's a long story too, because the very next day, the dealership was going to be closed because they are going through a buyout by another local dealer. (They'll still be a toyota dealership, just different owners). So the guy told me that he has no idea when they'll re-open.
So, one day to look at my truck and fix whatever they think is wrong with it.
Long story short... $400 to clean things up. New sparkplugs, cleaned fuel injectors, and one other thing I can't recall at the moment. And basically, this may not have fixed the problem at all, since it was starting fine when the mechanic was looking at it. I'm sure it just had some gunk in it that settled, but the $400 was spent on normal maintenance so I'm sure it's not wasted. BUT the downside is that they found an additional two problems that I wasn't prepared for. A leak in my "power steering rack" and a loose and "seized tie rods" - ugh. All I heard was a $1268 estimate on the work. So, I've got that to look forward to.

But onto the FUN things!
While are the Maker Faire, I stopped briefly at a booth run by Scharffenberger Chocolate! I didn't learn much because it was crowded with people, but I saw they had a few bowls out of "cocoa nibs" - basically these are pure chocolate, they are roasted pieces from the cocoa beans (wiki). The beans grow on a Cacao Tree (wiki). So I reached threw the crowd and took a small spoonful of the samples. Wow! I liked it! A little bitter, but they tasted good. These are also MUCH better for you than eating chocolate which has a ton of sugar and fat mixed in. I didn't have time to see how I could possibly order some of these "nibs". Well, to the rescue. I just ordered some last night. 2 1lb bags of them! I've never heard of the brand before (Navitas - amazon order page) but it's all natural and organic so that's good. I look forward to getting these to snack on. Oh, and there is some interesting stuff about the cocoa on the wikipedia page, about how good it is for you. (lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, etc...)
More info here too from Scharffenberger on what nibs are and how to eat and use them.

I woke this morning, and got an email update from ThinkGeek!
They have the Kaossilator in stock!! I've been wanting one of these gadgets for a long time now! So I quickly hoped online and placed my order. To refresh your memory of what this machine does... it's a loop/beat creator with a finger trackpad. This mixed with my KP3, and I should be able to create some cool music now. Fingers crossed!
To see what the Kaossilator can do here's a youtube video.

So, enough spending on "fun" things for me for a while. I've gotta start saving for some new tie rods.

Sidenote: I just had a positive experience with my apartment maintenance people. So nice when things go the way they're supposed to! They told me between 9am and 10am that someone would be out here, but I've learned in the past that it's a good thing to call the morning of to confirm that they're still coming. So about 9:20 I called and they said, yes, I'm still scheduled. Well at 9:30 George showed up. Seemed like a nice guy. By 10:15 he was done! Brand new garbage disposal, some new pipes under the sink, and I'm back in business. And it didn't cost me anything! (well if you don't include monthly rent!). So nice to have a positive experience for once with these guys. I think they have made some personnel changes recently, so MAYBE they are running a tighter ship now.
Next to fix...
Refrigerator (makes loud diesel engine noise!)
railing for steps
cracked window
guitar (not apartment related ;)


valejandras said...

sorry to hear about your truck... we just spent a little over $1200 on parts for my car.... i'm so glad my hubby knows how to fix them, b/c we would have wasted at least an additional $800 on labor alone.

cyen said...

Thanks V.
Yep, you are def lucky to have a hubby who likes to get his hands greasy. I used to be more into cars, but have since found it easier to just pay someone. I know just enough to be dangerous with a wrench :)