Something shiny and new or two!

Posted in random on November 30, 2015 by jefferyrn

After much ado, we finally purchased a new car for Rick.  He sold our old Honda Accord and got a new Honda Pilot.   You would think he would be happy.  

Not at all!  The whole experience of get the car nearly caused a heart attack and jail time to boot.

Where should I start?  First we went for test drives.  Highlander, sluggish;  Edge, sporting but over priced; Pilot, just right or so we thought.  The dealer didn’t have the one we wanted on his lot but assured us he could locate one.  He did just before Halloween.  We settle on the color.  It’s grey not red.  The last of the 2015’s and you can’t be too picky.  “Should we wait for the 2016 so you can get what you want?”  “No, this one will do.”  Rule number one, if it ain’t on the dealers lot they aren’t going to deal.

So the car comes to the dealership.  It is supposed to be everything we asked for except for appearance and color.  We sign the papers,  a 4 hour ordeal where they try to sell you everything from and extended warranty to lo-jax.  (And don’t get me started on the financing.  That’s where the jail time comes in the next paragraph.)  We drive off the lot and I start playing with all the new electronics.  “Let’s see how the GPS works.”  Guess what it doesn’t have a GPS.  This is not the car we asked for…..the dissatisfactions continue.

Now let’s get to the fun stuff.  We used our credit union to get preapproved.  We were told the dealer was a CUDL dealer and the financing would be a snap.  But this is Northern Nevada and they play by different rules here.  The credit person insisted that we fill out their financing paperwork because they know they can beat the credit union rates.  Rick said no.  We like our credit union.  This turned into a very ugly situation fast with Rick pacing around the showroom and screaming at the credit guy.  Everyone was trying not to look but we were the center of attention.  As I said 4 hours later we got the financing we wanted.  Of course, all this chaos caused us to over look the most important fact.  We didn’t get the car we wanted.  In Nevada there is no buyer’s remorse.  All sales are final.  So we were stuck.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a nice new Pilot with a lot of the feature we wanted, but the whole deal left a bad taste of shady car salesmen in plaid suits.  So for the past 2 months I have been hearing about it.  Ricky is not a happy man.  The radio isn’t working right.   We look into an upgraded radio from a local shop.  It was going to cost over a grand.  At this point I was willing to pay just to get some peace in the family. 

Our son’s girl friend saved the day.  Surely this radio should be working better than that.  Take it into the shop and have it looked at.  She was right.  The was something wrong with it and we got the woofer replaced.  Walah, problem solved. (If only that were the case!)

Long story, he continues to find fault with this new car.  Little annoying things,  like we got the backup camera but not sensors.  We don’t have a roof rack.  No running boards.  We need to order all weather floor mats.  (We asked the dealer for them and were told they don’t give things away.) 

I had an epiphany.  My car is 4 years old.  We could trade it in and get you a car you might be happy with….the words barely left my lips before he was looking up Kelly Blue book values and payoff amounts.
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So now we have two new cars.   I traded my Escape in for a Fusion with absolutely every bell and whistle possible.  They even had a color he wanted.  We got it the week before Turkey day and I am very thankful.

How was the dealer you may ask?  He was great.  We found a guy around our own age who understood what Rick wanted to do and sold us a car they had on the lot all in a matter of hours. 

Financing was a pain, but not near the hassle we had at Honda.  We called the credit union and they ran the check over in person for us.  Rick had explained the nightmare of Honda and she (the credit union loan manager) wanted to make up for it.  Yeah!

It might be a happy Christmas after all.

Death and taxes

Posted in death, friends with tags on November 18, 2015 by jefferyrn

It was a strange morning that started with a message from a friend’s daughter. She needed help filing her mother’s taxes. After sending a few texts back and forth about what she needed to do, it hit me. MY FRIEND IS DEAD.

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I told her daughter I still couldn’t believe her mom was gone. She said with holidays coming up she can hear her mother..not literally but in her mind puttering around and preparing for the festivities. 

I cried thinking of her as I drove along the Truckee river on my way to work.  Her family had spread some of her ashes on the water over the summer. Now with the recent rain and snow, they were finally moving on.

Peace my friend. You are sorely missed today and always.

Public opinion

Posted in random on October 5, 2015 by jefferyrn

I have been trying to understand what is going on here. There are several topics that have been in the news lately: Gun Control, Abortion, Birth Control, and Border Control.  And hand in hand with these issues are public safety, women’s rights, non-citizens rights, welfare, and affordable healthcare.

The questions are:

Should your right to carry a gun interfere with my safety in the work place or at school or any public place?

Should the rights of an unborn fetus take precedence over the rights of a woman and her own body?

Should non-citizens who entered this country illegally be turned away or deported?

As citizens, do we have the right to food, shelter, and healthcare?

These are not easy questions to answer and yet they are simple questions. 

Public safety should come first over your right to carry a gun.  Guns were designed for one purpose, to kill, whether that is an animal on the hunt or a human in battle.  But, “I have a right to bear arms”.  Gun control is not about taking away that right, but rather controlling human behavior.  Most of us would agree that a gun in the wrong hands is dangerous.  And yet so many of us fear new gun laws.  The reality is bad people are going to get the guns illegally. 

The purpose of the controls is to establish a norm of what is acceptable behavior.  These norms change as society and technology has changed over the centuries.  Our forefathers never imagined the weapons of today.

In a civilized society are guns necessary? 

We don’t need to hunt to eat.  Hamburger comes from a cow.  When was the last time anyone hunted down a cow, if ever?  Animals we eat today are domesticated.  As for the sport, is it really a sport to setup a trap and wait for a wild deer to come in range and shoot it?  If you miss, it was probably the beer.  And then there are those hunting accidents where fellow hunters are injured or killed.  I find this all unnecessary, but I am willing to allow that some people hunt responsibly and enjoy it.

Do urban gang member need guns?

This goes back to the right to bear arms.  The American Revolution could be considered an “urban gang” war.   I think this argument would hold water until we look at the intent.  Today’s gangs don’t want to over throw the government.  They want to make money off people selling illegal items such as drugs.  Those that would overthrow the government we call Terrorists.  Does anybody think they have a right to bear arms?

I have gone on and on with the first question, but all these questions are related.  It comes down to the rights of an individual over the rights of society as a whole.  There are no easy answers.  Each of us has a different moral compass.  That’s what elections are for, to group us together, not the name calling and finger pointing that is happening today.

If Donald Trump gets elected, America has succumbed to the artificial world that has made him famous.  If you can run a country on lies and false hopes….oh wait, we are already doing that….hmmm.

Dull boy

Posted in random on October 2, 2015 by jefferyrn

The news is so depressing.  Things are changing so fast.  Friends are sick, having operations, or dead.  My doctor “retired”. She has cancer. It is tough for me to write much when it is all so sad.

On a bright note, the last of the company has finally departed.  My sister and her husband went home Monday.  It rained yesterday!  There is snow on
Mount Rose. My friend is staring in a play, “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

Okay, so maybe I just need to focus on the positive and let the negative things take care of themselves.  But I am such a pessimist; this is going to be hard.

Also on the upside we are having dinner with our waitress friend on Sunday!  Lots of things have happened or got in the way of this meeting but it looks like it is on this time. (Again the negative mix, I won’t share the depressing details.)  Ricky is going to cook and they are bringing dessert and cocktails!

Positive things in my future:
· Dinner with the girls
· Arsenic and Old Lace
· The Zombie Crawl
· Morro Bay for dad’s birthday
· Christmas in Palm Springs

I need to concentrate on the positive energy and fill in the rest of my calendar with fun and happiness. All work and no play definitely makes Jeff a dull boy.

We all fall down

Posted in random on September 10, 2015 by jefferyrn

I can’t seem to shake this sadness as summer draws to close.  We came back from New Orleans.  I am double nickel now. While I like the prospect of cooler weather, I want some more hot fun in the summer time.

I gained weight on my vacation.  That is a little disheartening, but a week without going to the gym or counting calories was a welcome relief.   We are back on track now.  I went to the gym last night after work.

The tele depresses me too.   Donald Trump, some county clerk in Kentucky, Bruce Jenner …..

I know he isn’t Bruce anymore, but that interview on The Ellen Show was ridiculous.  Being transgender and a senior citizen doesn’t make you any smarter does it?  I am happy for him and what he represents, but a fool is a fool no matter how you dress him or her.

I hope she gets someone to write better answers to what should be simple questions.  We get it.  You are a women.  You are conservative.  You are not gay.  Enough! 

Do we really need another reality show where you can tell us this again and again and again?  Doesn’t your family have enough money?   Doesn’t Ryan Seacrest have enough money?

Speaking of closeted people living dual lives, give me a break, give us all a break and stop dragging those beards around tinsel town.  This is 2015, not the 80s.

This is going nowhere.  I am just lashing out and being mean.  I will stop now.

New Orleans

Posted in random on September 2, 2015 by jefferyrn

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A little church a little cafe au lait and three beignets before the madness begins called Southern Decadence. ..

Decadence on the horizon

Posted in random on August 17, 2015 by jefferyrn

We are moving in on our trip to New Orleans over Labor Day.  I am very excited to go to Southern Decadence again.  We have been going since 2000.  We missed for Katrina in 2005, Gustav in 2008, and Isaac in 2012.  We didn’t go the year after Katrina either because of all the damage.  In 2012 we went for Christmas.

I probably have (in boxes in storage) every souvenir know to man from Louisiana.   The biggest one is my stomach.  I love the food.  This year I have lost 30 pounds before the trip.  I couldn’t possibly put that much on in one weekend, but I will be giving it a try.
Emeril’s has been on our list every visit but this year we are going to try more traditional K-Paul’s.  I was kind disappointed in NOLA’s the last two times we went.  We love Mr. B’s Bistro, tried it for the first time last year.  I hope it is as good as I remember.   We tried the Court of the Two Sisters for Christmas.  It is a great location and the food is traditional.  The service was excellent, but it just didn’t live up to the rave reviews for me.  I thought Brenan’s was better when we went there for brunch a few years back.  Brenan’s is steeped in history and the service was amazing.

There are several other restaurants that we have tried over the years.  Some stay on our list and some have not withstood the test of time. There are too many places to eat to go back to a place that has disappointed us.

For me Decadence is not just about gay pride but about the food. Of course I do love a party in the streets with bead tossing and flashing of genitals.  Who wouldn’t?  And the alcohol flows 24/7, another calorie problem.  Rum drinks just aren’t any fun without slushy juices and fruits mixed in them. (I know what you are thinking about those fruits, and you are right!  Some of them are attempting to walk around and they look pretty juicy.) Okay, so I am a little decadent after all.

I just love the accents from the locals.  They call everyone “baby”.  And they are all so friendly.  If you have never visited New Orleans you need to come for the hospitality if nothing else.  There is no place like it.  (Don’t get me wrong.  If you wander too far out of town and head towards Mississippi you will hear the banjos playing deliverance.  But the city itself is tolerant.)

We do travel down the golf coast.  It is a beautiful place with white sandy beaches.  You just need to be on your guard and not too obvious.  We are just a couple of old men and they leave us alone.  Most tourist stops look the other way as long as you are spending money, but I always feel like I am being watched.  The Southern Hospitality is still there but a little more reserved.

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