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November 17, 2005

Scary Day

Wednesday I took our upstairs renter Michelle car shopping. She has been staying with us for a while, renting the upstairs apartment. Anyway, she is 18 years old and works full time and goes to college also. I admire her for her work ethics and desire to further her education. Well, her car's transmission is bad and she cannot shift into reverse. So I volunteered to take her car shopping as I was off from work that day. We drove to a couple of dealerships before we finally arrived at Green-Gifford. First she took a nice Pontiac Sunfire out for a test ride. This was followed by test drives of a Kia Rio and a Hyundai Elantra I think. Anyway the Sunfire and Hyundai were OK but the Rio was a dog. It had a 1.5 Liter engine and had the pickup of a push mower. But the real news is how terrible a driver she is. I am suprised she is even alive. She had her cell phone going full blast sending text messages non-stop while she was driving, talking and doing anything. I really don't think she ever stopped using it the entire car shopping trip. Mix an 18 year old driving a car she is unfamiliar with on a road she is unfamiliar with while totally distracted by her cell phone and you can picture me cringing in the passenger seat and waiting to die a horrible death. Thankfully we all survived and even managed to not buy a car at the overpriced dealerships. She finally bought a car which I have not seen yet for about $2,000 cash. The ones she was looking at before were in the 6-7 thousand dollar range. I don't think she could have even qualified for a loan without a co-signer and her Mom and Dad had both told here they would not co-sign for her. So everything turned out OK. I just hope the car she bought holds up long enough for her to afford a real car some day.

Posted by Michael at 8:11 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2005

Back from the Mountains Photo

Another shot from the trip. 

Posted by Michael at 1:10 PM | Comments (0)

Back from the Mountains Photo

Managed to get a candid shot of a couple of deer. 

Posted by Michael at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

Back from the Mountains

We arrived back home from our trip to Skyline drive late yesterday afternoon. All in all it was a really nice little vacation. The leaves had already fallen at the higher elevations and the colors were not as brilliant as in past years. The weather, however, was perfect. We had two days of brilliant sunshine and very few clouds. The temperatures were moderate with lows in the upper 30's and hights in the low 60's. The accomodations at Skyland Resort were very adequate and the food was much better than expected. We did a little hiking, a lot of stopping at the vistas, and made it down to Big Meadows in time to see all the deer at sunset.

We were even fortunate enough to see a black bear up a tree. I got some pretty good photographs although I was dissappointed in some of them. I still have a lot to learn about my camera. I should have tried some of the presets instead of shooting most of the shots in raw. But I managed to get quite a few good shots, one of which I will post with this entry. Teresa managed to get some shopping done in Sperryville and Fredricksburg. I even did a little shopping myself, buying two coffe mugs, a book and maps on backpacking the AT, and a book on nanotechnology and two street maps to Florence and Rome for our upcoming Italy vacation. The Borders bookstore in Fredricksburg is much better than our local Barnes and Noble, with a much wider selection of titles. More on the vacation will follow. I still have three days left in my vacation so I will be doing some more traveling soon.

 

Posted by Michael at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 6, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Been very busy lately and have not had much time to do any blogging. Besides that, my Internet access has been down for several days. Cox cable came out and fixed it yesterday. It seems that my transmission level was too high. It was over 55 (db?) and needed to be below 50 at a minimum. After rerouting my coax to avoid two splitters, my Internet is back and better than ever. I have noticed a marked increase in performance. I think my speed rates at T1 according to most tests I have run on it.
Work has been very hectic also. I am trying to do several projects at the same time and am taking two online courses. One course is in SharePoint Portal technology and the other course is on knowledge management. I am also trying to squeeze in a few Italian lessons for our upcoming trip to Italy. Yesterday I worked in the back yard most of the day getting it ready for winter. Today, after church, I will finish up the back yard and start in the front yard. I plan on laying down some rye grass so our yard won't look dead over the winter. I think I have at least a half dozen other to do items on my PDA that need attending to also. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I have three web sites that need my attention? Bring on the clones.....

Posted by Michael at 9:24 AM | Comments (0)