Thursday, April 26, 2012


I've been in a slump lately, trying to find something in my life to blog about.

This weekend will be a photo outing with my club. There will be over 100 of us venturing out to UC Davis' botanical gardens. I'm thinking of going about an hour later or earlier to avoid the crowd. The weather is forecasted as perfect, although it's been raining here for the past two days. (I just took out from the freezer my left over chicken soup from our last rain storm to enjoy for dinner tonight.)  They will be having a picnic later at a nearby park. I won't be attending that because I want to do some important "have to" shopping in Folsom. I hope I have the energy to hike the 3 1/2 mile loop of the gardens and then shop for at least another two to three hours and then the drive home. But it must be done. I'm killing two birds with one stone, as they say, because the gas for this trip will be pretty expensive, going it alone and not carpooling with somebody.

My cable TV has been giving me problems and I've had the cable guy out a couple of times. My TV seems to be OK now, but who knows? So I've been waiting on the cable guy. Luckily, you have a two hour window to wait for him, so that's not so bad, but still, I like my apartment neat and tidy, especially when anybody comes to it, so making sure everything is tidy and neat is a hassle.

My van registration and insurance is coming due within the next couple of weeks. I had to get a smog certification this time. I thought there was an error. I called the DMV. They said that the law has changed from every two years certification to every five years. They must be making cars more smog efficient for them to do that. I thought that since I bought my van brand new, and I didn't have to get a smog certification for the past five years, that they did away with that altogether. But no. It's every five years now. So I got the certification the other day, with a free car wash and free 27 point service check from my dealership and registered my van and paid my fee on line.

Speaking of my dealership. They used to have a small service center right near my house, but they closed up last Fall and now I have to drive a little further to get their service.

The small service center gave a little more friendly attention to me. They detailed my front tire hubcaps, since the dirt from my brakes always made a dirty mess and it was really difficult for me to get the dirt out. The vacuuming of the inside was always done really well in the front, as well as the back of my van. I would mention it to the service manager and he would make sure both were done. This larger dealership/service manager said, "If they have enough time in the wash department, they'd do it." Sadly, the hubcaps were only half cleaned and the vacuuming was barely done in the front of the van and none at all in the back. Bigger is not always better, as they say. The larger dealership/service center lacks in a little more personal relationship with their customer and giving a little bit more in personal service.

They were running a special on smog certification costs. I checked around. They were giving the car wash and 27 point check, which I had a coupon for, so I got a good value, even though I was disgruntled about the car wash. Did you know that the 27 point check gets sample drops from all fluids of your car, puts them in a pallet to check for colors and tests them that way? Very interesting. They gave me a complete written report on my tires, brakes, etc. Just like a check up at the doctor's office. Even better. I get a copy!

This dealership/service center, however, gave free food.  They had a selection of chips, popcorn, fruit and soft drinks for free.  Since I did shopping that morning, I helped myself to some junk food.  Lay's potato chips and a Diet Pepsi.  I kind of felt like I was on vacation because I never eat or drink that stuff any more.  It was also nice to see that they had a sign saying "We're pet friendly."  I guess they'll let you in the waiting area with your pet.

Although the service manager was very professional, he still lacked in making sure my van was vacuumed and the front hubcaps were cleaned completely.  I'm sure they will be sending me a survey on how I liked the service there and I will be sure to tell them.  Maybe they'll call me and tell me to bring my van back in to do those two things for me.  Lots of luck.  Wishful thinking.

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