Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel

So today I had the opportunity to drive a Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel, through both some highway and city driving.

It was quite loud, which is par for the course for a large diesel. I found it was difficult to judge the speed I was travelling since the seating position is so high off the ground, and the revs ranged from 1500 rpm at 30kph to 1505 rpm at 120kph.

It was certainly interesting to be able to see over minivans, though it was a bit of a pain to have to get out a screwdriver and pick a smartcar from between the tire treads once I got home.

All in all I have to say I was reasonably impressed. Once you get used to it, it's pretty much like driving any other house.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The joys of credit

So today was the day that the Jellybean was to be repaired. And it was. Only surprises were a pair of new swaybar ends and a tierod end, both of which are kind of important.

All told the cost came out to roughly $1090, expensive but well within my means. Or so I thought.

I pulled out my credit card, which I had mentally calculated had about $900 in charges so far (leaving about $1400 of credit) and charged it.


I was rather surprised at this, to say the least. I figured maybe there was a per-transaction limit, so I had the guy try $999 instead, which was also denied.

I was rather put off by this, so the fellow called up the credit card company and handed me the phone. I spoke to the friendly phone jockey who hadn't quite trained away her indian accident, and she informed me that I had over $500 of outstanding charges on my card, thus insufficient credit to make this particular payment.

She read off the pending charges for me, which included a few low dollar amounts that I was expecting, plus an unexpected charge at a "luggage store" for $399.55.

Obviously I haven't bought $400 worth of luggage recently, and my first thought was that maybe someone at the university had copied down my CC number when I faxed in a request for a school verification letter. Those students have sticky fingers!

But the amount sounded familiar to me, and I quickly realized that when I had bought my driving gloves on Friday, the merchant had accidentally punched in one to many 9's, turning $39.55 into $399.55. Oops!

To skip ahead a bit, I called up the store and they were quite relieved to refund me the difference, as they had noticed the charge too, but didn't have my contact info to let me know.

Anyway, back to paying for my car repairs.

Now, the plan was for me to put the bill on my credit card to get the 1% cash back, then when the bill came in I'd transfer it over to my line of credit, then pay it off once I get a cash infusion from Apple.

Luckily I had my credit line account hooked up to my debit card, so I had him enter the amount, I punched in my PIN and... denied, again!

This time it was the daily withdrawal limit to blame, as the amount was over $1000 or whatever the limit is. In the end, I ended up putting $800 directly on the line of credit, and then the remainder on my MC.

What a pain. As a result, I didn't end up changing the insurance over, since I was having more than enough trouble spending money as it is.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Stuff, stuff and more stuff

I picked up some more odds and ends for my trip, today. I got a 6-inch kitchen knife so that I can slice food while I'm on the road; I find slicing to be a bit more civilized than just gnawing hunks off.

I also got a pair of leather driving gloves at The Leather Master (which is much less kinky than it sounds) on Ness ave. They should certainly help me avoid clumsily chipping my nails all the time.

And, to top it all off, I picked up my bike rack. It's a 3-bike receiver mounted rack similar to this older model here.

So, to make a long story short, I'm spending all my money before I make it. At least I won't have to spend so much next year.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Purolator Sucks

So I sent off my room deposit on Sunday, and was guaranteed a delivery date of Tuesday. Turns out the package didn't even leave Winnipeg until Tuesday night, and still isn't delivered as I write.

At least I'll be getting a refund on the shipping charges. Next time I'll just walk across the street and send it UPS.

My landlady has been very understanding, thankfully.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Buying more stuff

So today I went out and bought some more stuff for my trip. I got some tie-down straps to keep the bike rack from wobbling (at some point I'll have to buy the actual bike rack too), some new NiMH batteries for my camera, and a travel alarm clock with a built in calendar and temperature sensor.

I must resist the temptation to buy too much stuff, like cube goodies.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Today, father and I (mostly father) fabricated a trailer hitch and stuck it onto my Elantra, so as to mount a bike rack. It went well.

Also, memo to Hyundai: The all-in-one flashlight and tool kit thing is a good idea. Filling the flashlight with alkaline batteries is a bad idea.

Very alarming

I've been looking around for a travel alarm clock lately, but I don't think this one would be a good choice to take on a trip.

Monday, April 16, 2007

An explosion of exploding

Mother just called asking if I have a wet-dry vac. It's not a usual request for her, but I grabbed the shop vac and headed over anyway.

When I got there, I discovered that her hot water tank was in the process of exploding, flooding the basement in the process! Yikes!

I got her set up with the shop vac, turned off the gas to the tank (she had already got the water shut off), and helped move a filing cabinet off the damp carpet.

Quite an exciting start to the week, I should say.

Sunday, April 15, 2007