Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dutch Wonderland video

Here are the kids riding the "Whip" ride at Dutch Wonderland on August 19th. Dillon is riding solo, while Adrian and Jason try to catch up. For a couple of laps, Adrian was throwing his arms up in the air on the turns, but unfortunately I missed it on the video...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Busy weekend

Barbecue at Uncle Joe & Aunt Jackie's house today and then we'll be going to Uncle Ian's birthday party on Sunday. The kids had a really nice time at Joe and Jackie's, and they're really excited to go to Uncle Ian's party tomorrow where they'll play with their uncles and cousins at the Sportsmen's Club.

The Automobile Saga

After arranging to get a ride to work with a co-worker last Friday, we arrived at 150 North Broad Street only to realize that I'd forgotten the keys to my car! Since I had called for a tow truck through Triple A before leaving home, I had to hope that Angie could beat the tow truck to my office and bring my keys with her. Unfortunately, that didn't happen so I had to tell the tow guy to leave, which put me back into the queue for a tow. After Angie dropped off the keys, I called to reschedule the tow. Five minutes later I tried starting my car, and it started! I was faced with a dilemma: leave it running and drive to the mechanic in Maple Shade (Angie could meet me and take me back to work); turn off the car and wait for the tow truck; or turn it off, cancel the tow and hope that it would start when I had to leave work. I opted for option #1: drive immediately to the mechanic.

I called AAA while driving and canceled the tow (this was a bit more of an ordeal than it had to be), then I called Angie (who had just left Philly) and asked her to meet me in Maple Shade at the auto shop. On Monday, I was $250 poorer but the car was running again so I was happy.

Next on the list of car issues was replacing the two front tires, which were practically bald and one had a slow air leak so I was having to stop and fill it at least monthly. Took the car over to Just Tires in Cherry Hill this morning and had them put two new Goodyear Eagle GT's on the front and do a front-end alignment. While they were doing that, Ryan picked me up and we went over to Fox Meadow Driving Range to hit a couple of large buckets for an hour. [We had tried to play a 9-hole round of golf with dad on Friday, but the rain killed that idea.] So, $350 later I've got two new front tires and the car seems to drive better than it did before. At least I'll feel safer when driving on wet roads now.

I still need air conditioning and I have to get that clanging sound taken care of at some point. But for now, I'm hoping the car isn't waiting to spring any more surprises on me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Maximus Down

My car must be settling into old age now or something. A few months ago, the alternator completely died on me about one block from where I work in Philly. I had to get a tow truck to take the car about 7 or 8 blocks and then wait around until 8:30pm for the car to get fixed. About $800 later, I drove away with my car. I can't really complain about that, though, because the place did fix the car the same day and I was able to drive home (on a Friday night, no less).

Then my air conditioner quit and I found out that it requires a part that is on back order. So I've been waiting for the part for a couple of months now. Since I've made it into late August, I can probably do without it until next year at this point.

I noticed a "clanging" sound coming from the bottom of the car a while ago. Turns out it's part of the exhaust pipe that has come loose. It's not dragging on the ground yet, but I'm fearing the worst ("hey, buddy! Your thing's draggin'!") This project has been on hold until I can get the mechanic to just fix the pipe. One place told me that they'd prefer to replace the pipe AND the catalytic converter, which by itself is like $400-$500. But the one on my car is fine, so no deal.

My front tires have almost no tread left and need to be replaced ASAP. I was planning on doing it this weekend, but...

Drove to work this morning fine. Went to leave around 5:15pm, turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. All electrical systems come up, the headlights blaze fine, the radio and clock are working, so I know it's not the battery or alternator. I'm guessing it's the starter, but since I can't get the damned thing started, I'm going to have to get it towed from Philly to Maple Shade tomorrow. The second tow for this car in about 4 months.

So on my way home I signed up for AAA. Better late than never, I guess. $85 for the year and I'll get 100 miles of free towing (per tow) as part of the Plus membership plan. However, for the first week you only get 3 free miles and then it's $4/mile thereafter. So tomorrow should cost me maybe $40 for the tow, and I'll have some peace of mind over the next year with the car. She ain't dead yet!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Open House results

Well, technically we had only one visitor to the Open House today. But we also had a scheduled showing at 11am, so we had a total of two parties look at the house today. We'll see how it goes.

The weather didn't help much today, I'm sure. Maybe in a few weeks we'll do another one if we don't hear anything this week. There's some yard work I'd like to do, and I'm sure we can jazz up the interior a little bit more, too. The house has to sell someday!

Chef Mark's Harlequin Chicken

Tonight's dinner... Hoping the kids will eat it. It smells and looks awesome. I hope it tastes as good...

Home for Sale

22 South Clinton Ave

Open House today from 1-3pm in Maple Shade, NJ.

We recently reduced the price of the house to $234K, and we're offering $2000 to the buyer at closing. If anyone knows someone who is looking to own a house that has all the basics covered (new roof, new windows, new furnace, new A/C unit, new hot water heater, etc.), please let us know. Maple Shade is conveniently located just minutes from Philadelphia, and is close to all kinds of shopping spots: Cherry Hill Mall, Moorestown Mall, Mount Laurel, Marlton, etc. You're also walking distance from grocery shopping at Acme, eating lunch or dinner at Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, grabbing a beer and watching the game at the Alden Cafe, having some seafood at Sea-Lect Seafood, taking a stroll in the park, mailing a letter at the post office, etc.

Click the link to view the listing and additional photos: 22 South Clinton Ave

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Fightin' Phils

Top of the 9th... Phils winning 7-0.