Sorry for the gap in updating you, my diary. I was sick with a cold in the first part of last week, and it seemed to require all my energy just to get caught up by week's end. There just weren't any words left for entries.
I ended up taking my car in for about $600 worth of preventative maintenance last week, and I always wonder a little bit if I'm being shafted. One of the benefits of being a Company O. employees is that you can get pretty good deals on cars. Company O. sells a lot of product to several large auto makers, and Company O. employees get to partipate in the auto makers' partner buying programs. In my case, this meant that I got a pre-negotiated price which (according to the dealer sticker) was at dealer price minus the "hold back". I also got a 33% discount on the 7 year/100K mile premium warranty plan. That's all well and good, right? I should feel protected, shouldn't I?
Yet, I do feel paranoid... because I've laid down a LOT of money during the last nine months. Last Spring, I paid for new brakes and tires (which is not unexpected, since the car had 55+K miles on it) plus new front struts and strut bearings which came out well over $1000. I laid down a few hundred more dollars for a major 60K mile service in December. At that time, I was also advised that my car would need to have its timing belt replaced soon... but that I could defer that work for a month or two because it would double the bill.
That work was performed last week, and they found some belts, pulleys, and bearings to replace as well. Welcome to a few more hundred dollars worth of work. A lot of the work (everything except the tune-ups, the brakes, the tires, and the timing belt) is covered under warranty, but the warranty only covers parts, not labor. So, even though labor is generally the minority of the bill, the dealer is still making money off me... and I worry if the dealer is being a little over zealous about finding things to fix.
So those are the paranoid thoughts.
The annoyed thoughts revolve around something much more mundane. Mrs. Geek and I went grocery shopping yesterday. I try to be an environmentally conscious shopper and employ re-usable cotton shopping bags. When I was getting one of said bags containing a gallon of milk out of the trunk of my car yesterday, my keys caught on some part the car, causing my arm to jerk and the bag to snap against the car. The plastic gallon jug of milk ruptured in the process, creating a bit of a mess. After I got everything back into our apartment and put away, I decided that it was time for me to maybe wash my re-usable shopping bags... as they were rather dirty from food and God-knows-what stains accumulated over the years.
Now, you would think that the makers of re-usable cotton grocery bags would use pre-shrunk cotton, wouldn't you? I mean, just on the off chance that someone would have an accident, wash the bag, and be unable to line dry them (because of space, lousy weather, etc...), right? Well, evidently the makers of the bags sold by one particular grocery chain I used to frequent didn't think so. No, I now have four re-usable cotton bags that are smaller than some of Mrs. Geeks purses.
I find that rather annoying.
on 2006-02-13 at 2:58 p.m.
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