Category Archives: Automotive

Vanity Plates

I think that vanity license plates are aptly named. I was at the grocery store last night in some snowy weather and almost ran into a Mercedes with a license plate that read “GAS”.  We have some pretty affluent oil industry folks out here, as well as landowners who have oil royalties.  The driver and passenger looked pretty elderly.  I would love to know their story.

What are some memorable vanity plates you have seen or heard of? Give some hypotheses about the Mercedes I saw last night.

Minnesota Bus Nice

It was the first day of the fair. There was a new Park `n Ride at Allianz Field and by 8 a.m., the line waiting for the bus was pretty long, stretching from the volunteer pop-up tent, all the way to the stadium itself, about 2 blocks long.

When the bus arrived, instead of stopping at the tent (where they usually stop at the other Park `n Rides), the bus turned the corner and pulled into a long existing parking bay, about a half block from where the line started. It was far enough away that the folks in the beginning of the line probably wouldn’t have made it on the bus if people started boarding where the bus was stopped.

Then an amazing thing happened. People closer to the bus door begin to call and beckon to the folks at the front.  So those folks headed up the block toward the bus, making a big loop.  No one who was closer to the bus made a fuss or tried to push their way on.  They all waited for the line to get on the bus in the order they had been waiting.

I know that we sometimes scoff about Minnesota Nice, but I saw it first hand and it was wonderful to see. It gave me an extra glow as we headed off from the Park `n Ride towards the Fair.

Witnessed any extra special Nice recently?

State Fair Checklist

  • Ask boss for every day of the State Fair off. Check.
  • Get tickets and coupon books (that’s right, two books). Check.
  • Make grid of which kinds of dogs are at the Pet Pavilion on which days. Check.
  • Add what days there are bunnies at the bunny barn to the grid. Check.
  • Check where this year’s Park & Ride lots are situated. Check.
  • Install the State Fair app on my phone. Check.
  • Look at all this year’s new food with YA. Check.
  • Extra points for writing some of the new foods on the grid. Check.
  • Go over possible schedule with YA. Repeatedly. Check.
  • Purchase some more individual wet wipes. Check.
  • Dig the turtle purse out of the attic (it’s the perfect size for the Fair). Check.
  • Start a “take with” pile (purse, sunglasses, wipes, tickets, coupons, address labels, couple of band aids, couple of ibuprofen, collapsible food container). Check.
  • Watch the weather forecast like a hawk.  Check.
  • Do laundry so the clothes you like best are ready on Thursday. Check.
  • Get gas for the car (probably not needed, but what the heck). Check.

Except for getting some cash on Thursday morning, I think I’m ready!

What’s the last occasion you “prepped” for?

Real Life

In a TV murder mystery I watched over the weekend, the heroine is trailing some bad guy at a hotel. He leaves the hotel and gets into his car right outside.   She comes out and gets into her car which is parked right behind his.  That’s when I realized that Aristotle was wrong about art imitating life.  When, in any movie or TV show does the hero or heroine have to circle the block to find a parking spot?  Or park 3 blocks away and hoof it to where they are going?  Or stop to pay a parking meter?  Never.

It made me think about other things that never happen on screen. Nobody ever scoops poop when walking their dogs, nobody ever seems to put groceries away (although every now and then there is actually time spent in a grocery store) and nobody EVER stops to worry about birth control.

I think it would be nice to have a world in which I could always find a convenient parking spot and have my groceries put away magically.

What daily task would you love to have disappear from your life?


The last time I took Brekke (my car) into the dealership for an oil change, the attendant came to me saying that I needed new tires. He mentioned that there was a sale on tires but that the coupon would run out in two days.  When I asked if the coupon could be extended (since I didn’t have time that night), he said yes it could and said I should call him the next day to set up the appointment.  After I got home I did some research of my own on average tire wear and tear.  Then the next day I did the penny test.  Abraham Lincoln showed me the tires were just fine.  I never called the dealership back.

So when the “change oil” indicator lit up on Tuesday, I was interested to see what would happen. When I took Brekke in, would they see a note from January about tires and remind me?  Would they use the tire rotation as a reason to suggest again that I needed new tires?

But nothing. They did the oil change and the annual inspection, including the tire rotation.  Not one single word about the tires.  Sigh.  Unfortunately I know that many service folks in big car dealerships get rewarded for upselling products and service.  Now I’m stuck knowing that my service guy in January was just trying to make a sale, thinking that an older single woman would easily be persuaded that she needed new tires, even if she didn’t.

I am used to being overlooked and not taken seriously when technology is concerned in the wide world, despite the fact that I am considered a guru at my job. Young sales people look at my graying hair and my admittedly frumpy weekend clothing and often make the assumption that I don’t have any knowledge or buying power and I get fairly poor service. It pisses me off but it’s never been quite as blatant as this.

So what do I do now? Should I call the dealership and complain?