Christmas was good. The traditional family gathering on Christmas Eve was postponed due to the trecherous driving conditions and snow, but I did make it down to my parents' house for the day. My car performed admirably, until on the way home after dropping my sister off at her house, a mere mile from my house, the lights on my dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and I knew something must be wrong. But more on that later.
Christmas Day the entire family came over to my house. It was a nice day, despite even more fresh snow falling in the morning. I took my morning to shovel out a couple of parking spots on the street, and then everyone showed up for the day. Lots of food, good times, not much to complain about I'd say.
Day after Christmas, it was time to address the car issues that I knew were going to be a problem. Determining that there was some sort of problem with the electrical system, I considered the distinct possibility that my car battery needed replacing. The battery was original to the car, which is now about 8 years old, so it's reasonable to assume it's time to be replaced. Driving over to Schuck's, I made my way through the slushy mess that was the street, and as I was a block away from the store, heard my engine begin to sputter, as one-by-one each electrical component in my car began to shut down. Pulling into the parking lot, the car died completely, not to start again. With the help of some folks, I was pushed into a parking space, where I proceeded to buy a new battery and replace it there in the parking lot, as the snow began to fall again. After finishing that, the car started up just fine, though the warning lights on the dash remained. The worker at Schuck's brought out a tester, and determined that as I had suspected likely, my alternator was certifiably dead. On battery power alone, I managed to get my car driven over to the Nissan dealer just 20 blocks away, where I had taken my car before to solve the great Window Regulator Debacle. Of course, as I attempted to pull out of the parking lot at Schuck's, my tired got stuck in the slush, necessitating me pulling the shovel out of the back seat and digging out the tires again. But at the dealer, they took my car and I found my way to walk across the street to the transit center, grab a bus to get me within 1.4 miles of my house, where I proceeded to walk home through the snow. Later found out that I had both a dead alternator, and a cracked radiator hose (no doubt from driving over some ice that jabbed into it). They fixed them, and the next day I paid $750 to get my car out of hawk, and all was well.
My week off from work was reasonably enjoyable, though I did work a couple of days to stock up on some comp time, and New Year's was also fun. Then we come to last weekend, where my comp time came in handy as I took Thursday and Friday off to be Chief Umpire for the USCA West Regional Curling Qualifier for the Olympic Trials. As my math works out, I was at the curling club for about 65 hours over 4 days, but had a good time for the most part. Met lots of great curlers from around the country, and despite the average of about 6-hours of sleep each night, managed to enjoy myself.
And now, after a month where I had so little downtime it's hard to remember the last time I took a night off, I have a night off. But I leave you with this random rant:
Do the legislators in King County have anything better to do than pass these ridiculous laws requiring calories information posted on menus in all restaurants? There is nowhere I can go without seeing ridiculous information I have no desire to know, let alone care about. I do not want to know how many calories there are in my large curly fries from Jack In The Box. All it makes me do is go "hmmm, that's interesting" and proceed to order them anyway. Knowing fast food is bad for you didn't stop me from eating it before, so why would I stop eating it now that I see this (admittedly large) number posted on the menu. As far as I'm concerned, the only number I should see on the menu when I pull up to the drive-thru window is the one with a dollar sign next to it.
So listen to me King County. I'm going to thank you. Not for trying to use numbers to try to dissuade me from eating foods that might be bad for me, but for giving me the power to use those numbers to know exactly which foods I WANT to eat. From now on, I'm going to religiously look at those calories numbers, and know definitively that the higher the calories, the tastier and more satisfying the food will be. And that's what it's all about.
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