Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Current Project

Searching for my next ride...

My criteria were convertible or Maserati (I think the only non-convertible car I like), and hard top. 

Features I really, really want are some trunk space, a blue car, a back-up camera and parking sensors, somewhere to plug in my phone, and perhaps most important of all, auto-on headlights.  I'm so jealous when I'm behind a car and we drive under an underpass and I see their lights flick on.  They're just so ... safe! 

These appear to be the top contenders at this point:

But then last night, I saw this (a few hours ahead of a predicted hail storm that never happened, so all the cars were crammed inside).

I thought it was my dream car.  Blue.  Convertible.  Back-up camera.  CD player.  Auto-on headlights.  I was ready to say "sign me up!". 

Then I saw this:

Sigh.  Anything over a quarter million just isn't in my price range.  I was wondering if they'd make a deal where I could pay $60 per month for the rest of my life.  In reality, assuming I live to be 100, I think I'd need to pay about $350 per month forever to pay this one off.  But it was very pretty, and I was glad it was protected inside the dealership (and glad that the measly Maserati I like was outside under a covering and there wasn't any local hail, so it's fine). 

Hoping to go do a bit more driving tonight, and maybe have a new car in a few days! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


You know how little things will sometimes get under your skin?

I took my car in yesterday for a recall (air bag).  I had an appointment so I could get a loaner car.  Quite convenient because I WAS contemplating getting a new (new to me is more accurate) car in the next couple weeks.

I drove a brand new 3 series as a loaner (my BMW is a 3 series as well).  Loved it. 

They said it would take a few hours for the repair.  I dropped off at 10 a.m. 

I got a text saying my car was fixed and ready for pick-up at 5:45.  But the dealership closed at 7, and last night was our wedding anniversary, so we had plans.

I texted back to ask if I could pick up in the morning and return the loaner then.  No problem!

So at 8:30, I picked up my car.  I was looking over the paperwork while I was waiting for them to pull my car up.  I saw a few recommended repairs listed, most of which I knew about.  And then I saw what might make me buy a car in the next 5 days -- there is apparently a nail in one of my tires.  Ugh.

My car pulled around, I got in, and was sitting at the traffic light right outside the dealership.  I decided, since I was sitting there, to see whether my change had been taken from the change holder.  This has happened to me several times with valets, car washes, etc.  I didn't think it would happen at the dealership, but I actually looked yesterday morning.  There was room to maybe slip in one more quarter, a couple more dimes, and the nickels were full.

Quarters all gone -- dimes all gone except two -- nickels all full. 

Man, I was pissed!  In reality, they stole about $3 from me but that $hit just really pisses me off. 

I decided to turn around and tell them.  A manager came out and said he'll look into it and get back to me.  He said reimbursement would be no problem, but he said he was very upset that it even happened.  I told him reimbursement wasn't the issue, I was just angry that they'd stolen.  I have no idea how they'd even figure it out.  There are so many people who dealt with my car I'm sure.  Pulling it into the garage, fixing it, pulling it out, washing it, pulling it up to me the next morning.  I bet at least 7 people had hands in my car. 

Honestly, if they'd said they were charging me $3 to wash my car, I gladly would have paid it. 

And if they just said there was a $3 charge for the air bag recall service, I would have understood -- I'm sure they're paid by BMW (or Takata) directly for the recall service, but it still takes a lot of their resources. 

Or $3 to have a loaner car.  Totally worth it, especially since I was meeting friends to run this morning and my husband had a work car (which I can't drive unless it's truly an emergency). 

It was just the stealing that pissed me off.  I hope whoever took the money really needed it.  Fncker.  I hope if they didn't really need the money that karma kicks them in the @ss. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I guess I am now committed to running Broad Street on May 1. 

I got into the lottery, but I was having trouble justifying the price of a plane ticket to Philly and a hotel. 

But I mentioned the race to my favorite Philly defense counsel and asked if he could work his magic and have me required to be in court on May 2.  Done!

So work paid for my plane ticket (same price if I fly to Philly on Sat or Sun, otherwise I would have had to pay the difference).  I'm paying for Sat night hotel (Sunday race) but I don't have to worry about checking out or anything, staying at the same hotel on my work credit card Sunday night.

I checked on my 10 mile race PR and I would say I have a slight chance of beating it.  I've actually only done two 10 mile races (I don't count a longer race like a half, even if there is a mile 10 chip time provided).  It's a stretch and a challenge, but it's not totally outside the realm of possibility.

I don't think I'm going to taper much for the race, so I've got about 3 weeks of training left.  Right now, I can manage a few miles at my goal 10 mile pace. 

I actually ran a half a few weeks ago (the Dallas Rock and Roll race) and averaged 30 seconds per mile slower than I need to be for the 10 mile race.  The Dallas course had some Dallas hills, whereas I think the Philly course is very flat -- it's point to point with a very slight net elevation drop (less than 200 feet over the 10 miles). 

If I take my 3 slowest miles out of my recent half time, it would leave me about 3.5 minutes slower than I'm hoping to be at Broad Street (that's a little misleading because Dallas was basically a loop course, so I'm counting the biggest downhill miles and not counting the biggest uphill miles).

But I would still think that with some work, I can make a dent in those 3.5 minutes I need to trim.  If only I had more than 3 weeks. 

I was supposed to have 1 more week, but I was down for the count with some kind of upper respiratory thing last week.  It's about 75% better now, but I'm still wheezing, coughing, stuffy/runny at times, just not as bad as it was before. 

But either way, no more slacking!

After Broad Street, then it will be beer mile time, and after that ... still toying with some ideas for a fall marathon. 

Since we're not leaving for South America until Oct. 19, I've actually got an extra weekend of races to consider than we usually have (we usually fly out about a week earlier for vacation). 

My top contenders, roughly in order:  Columbus or KC (tied for top spot, KC is hilly I think but since I'm not in PR shape, might be a good time to check that state off the list, plus free lodging in KC, lots of high school friends to visit), Des Moines or Quad Cities, or Steamtown (least likely just because I want to be in better shape for this course). 

I'm waiting to get on a plane to Philly right now for work.

My big dilemma:  try to run part of the course tomorrow (probably about 4 miles of it, and then doubling back to my hotel), or run with my favorite running group there, or run one of my favorite solo routes. 

If it weren't for the fact that the race course is a straight shot down Broad Street, and I know there are traffic lights about every block, I'd definitely aim to do the course.  But that would be a whole lot of potential stopping and starting, and that does not lend itself to even a single pace mile. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

San Fran highlights

Sunday night, after dinner, we were sitting in a bar with my brother and with my stepson, and my brother asked about highlights of the trip in terms of his son, this adorable little guy (who does lots of Chinese-style crouching, butt an inch or two off the ground, holding this position with no issue):

For me, the Willard highlights were easy -- it was Sunday morning, after the Easter egg hunt following church.  He let me carry him all the way to the car and put him in his car seat.  Even though his mom was in sight.  Usually, he's perfectly content to be held by anyone unless his mom is anywhere with 100 yards, then he only wants her.  After we got to the car, we drove to Starbucks and he let me carry him in with no resistance.  He caught sight of his mom while we were waiting for coffees, so he got fussy and wanted to go to her.  She took him and promptly set him down.  Then her name was called and I said I'd watch him.  I snatched that little guy back up and took him outside and walked up and down the street with him.  He let me give him a few little kisses on his head. 

That by far was the best part.  Second best was that while he was eating, sitting in his little chair, he'd let me give his head about 100 kisses at a time.  Ahhhh. 

In terms of non-baby highlights of the trip, there were tons for me. 

I went on a run in the Headlands with my brother after work on Friday.  It was awesome.  Impossible, but awesome.  Of the 7.6 miles, two of my splits were over 16 minutes.  Yeah, lots of walking involved.  But so beautiful.

Our elevation chart for the run: 

Run starting point, Rodeo Beach:

Mid-run view:

Our U-turn point, Tennessee Valley Beach:

I also loved working on Friday in my brother's office with him.  Typical tech company I guess.  Lunch brought in (sweet guy ordered an awesome veggie meal for me), full kitchen with everything you could imagine for breakfast and snacks, beer keg, ping pong tables, pool table, tons of couches, most people working in random places and very few at desks, everyone seemingly at least a decade younger than me. 

This is how they "work" in Cali (some ping pong, someone randomly just working on a couch):

That lady was making a huge bowl of guacamole we all got to enjoy with lunch:

Also loved a lunch on a restaurant's dock in Tiburon on Sunday afternoon:

My husband's highlight of the trip was seeing his son's stand-up comedy routine. 

My brother's highlight was going out after the comedy show and seeing how proud my husband was and how happy his son was. 

The low-light was going out for dim sum, being told it would be 20 minutes, and being put continually at the bottom of the list it felt.  Was it racism?  I don't know.  I do know that we saw lots of other people arrive after us and be seated before us.  It was very frustrating.  We should have just left but, mmmm, dim sum.... Eventually after about an hour, including more than 15 minutes of being the only people waiting, we were seated. 

The we-will-seat-everyone-else-but-you place:

Delicious dim sum was followed up with bubble tea (at someplace else!):

And then a walk in Golden Gate Park, complete with a drum circle:

The runner up low light was my nephew melting down for about 3 hours Saturday night -- screaming his beautiful little head off for no apparent reason from 11:30 to 2:30.  Yet he seemed wide awake and as cute as ever Easter morning: