There Was Some Wind

I haven’t posted yet this week and I feel like I should.

Did you notice that there is a unwanted block of white space above the header image? I did. It’s not supposed to be there. I went into the customization options but was unable to get rid of it. I may have to dig into the set-up a bit deeper to figure out why. It wasn’t a thing prior to the latest WordPress update. Annoying.

We had some wild weather roll through last night. Tornado sirens, Lady Ronn got sent to the basement at GRCC, the animals were freaking out, and lots of lightning. It was pretty much the biggest storm I’ve seen in a long while. I ended up having to check on power outages and clean up branches for a bit this morning at work, the storm made a mess out of a couple of my properties on the north side of town.

clean-up in aisle five

In other news, I picked up a treasure from 1987 while at the bookstore earlier this week. Just looking at the latest additions to the used book section led me to believe that someone with very similar tastes to my own had recently cashed in their collection. There were a lot of familiar paperbacks on the shelf, but the one that I walked out with was Shadow by Dave Duncan. I’ve actually read this three times. It’s not part of a trilogy or a series or even part of a larger world. It’s just a cool story about a guy who rides the wind on the back of a giant bird. I thought it was cool back in 1987, and I still think it’s a pretty cool premise. Here’s the promotional blurb.

Shadow by Dave Duncan
Sald Harl would like nothing more than to soar on the wings of his noble eagle, but his youthful rides in the sky are cut short by an appointment to guard the prince. Sald watches his dreams of flight fade with his name and independence as he takes over his bodyguard duties. During a perilous journey to the edges of the kingdom, a dark secret comes to life. Now the great Prince Shadow is accused of treason, and Sald must orchestrate a desperate plan of escape or he will lose the one thing he has been ordered to defend. His only option for freedom is a dangerous flight that no one has ever survived. Once again Sald hopes to feel the freedom of soaring though the air unshackled from servitude.

Much like my music, I tend to like books that are a bit on the obscure side of the aisle. Dave Duncan is one of those authors of whom i’ve not read a lot, but have enjoyed the half-dozen or so books that i have read.

After watching the Eye of the Beholder documentary about the art of Dungeons & Dragons and enjoying it quite a bit, one of the suggestions was World of Darkness. Which is a documentary about the White Wolf game company, the Vampire RPG, and the history of each. It was well done and interesting, but as I never got invested in their game line, I was less enthralled with their documentary. Still, if you were a role playing gamer or LARPer in the 90s, you’ve heard about, seen, or played Vampire: The Masquerade, the World of Darkness setting, or it’s spin off products. I’d give it a recommendation to it’s intended audience, not sure about it’s wider appeal. Check it out on Amazon Prime.

Winter's Not Done

This morning, Punxsutawney Phil climbed out of his hole and saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter. Damn it. That puts springs arrival right around March 16th–a couple weeks before Easter, a week after daylight savings time, and just after my mom’s birthday.
Do you realize we’ve been doing this since 1887. Seriously. That’s 131-years. What is the lifespan of a groundhog? How many poor creatures have been pulled into this crazy idea? And why does that guy still wear a top hat?
Speaking of Groundhog Day, I found an interesting analysis of the movie and how long Bill Murray was stuck in that loop…  12,395 days, or just under 34 years. Which is very close to Director Harold Ramis’ guess after filming the movie that it was a 30-40 year span. How did they come up with that number, you can find out here.

This morning I had a frustrating trip to the dealership for scheduled maintenance on the Impala. It should have been a simple inspection, tire rotation, and oil change. I mean, when I scheduled to have the 7,500 mile service performed on my Impala they seemed to know what I needed, and scheduled the appropriate services: Lube Oil Filter Service, Tire Rotation, and Multi Point Vehicle Inspection. But that’s not what happened when I got there.
The service was on time and performed quickly; I was in and out in 20-minutes. The service technicians were friendly and efficient. And yet the experience was frustrating.
What is the point of me bringing my Chevrolet to the Chevrolet Dealer if that service department doesn’t know what the maintenance schedule is for their own vehicles?
First, I scheduled for a tire rotation, but the technician deemed it unnecessary. When I pointed out that the service schedule called for tire rotation every 7,500 miles, I was told that the dealership does not recommend the tire rotation until the second oil change (15,000 miles). So I am left to believe that the dealership service department tire rotation schedule occurs half as often as the manufacturer suggests. Because that’s what I was hearing.
I’ve never had much luck forcing people to do things that they don’t want to do, don’t think they have time for, or aren’t interested in doing. So I let it go. We’ll do the tires next time. However, I scheduled for the tire rotation. The maintenance schedule calls for tire rotation. I shouldn’t have to wrestle a tire rotation out of the service department. Just follow the maintenance schedule and do the tire rotation.
What about the oil change?
I was told that the oil being put into my vehicle is good for 5,000 miles. But that by adding their PREMIUM OIL CONDITIONER, I could extend that oil life to 7,000 miles. For a very reasonable, additional $20 dollar cost. So, what I gather from this, is that the oil they’re using is not up to par for Chevrolet’s 7,500 mile service schedule and that even when I spend an additional $20, the product still doesn’t meet the Chevrolet specifications. This is unacceptable. This has never been an issue with any of the other cars I bought from them. Probably, this is just a bunch of sales crap that I can safely ignore. But it still pisses me off.
And the multi point vehicle inspection? Well, it did cover multiple points; lights, tire pressure, filter, fluids, and wipers. Or at least all that stuff is checked off on the paperwork. I was sitting in the car the whole time… nobody looked at the wipers. They did add air to the tires, and I assume they checked the fluids under the hood, but I was not impressed with their thoroughness.
So I filled out their service survey and I added a little note that says all that I’ve said above, and wrapped it up with the following.

Look, I buy my cars from you and I service my cars with you. I expect you, as the dealership, to both know the maintenance schedule and keep me informed on what needs to be done. If I have to worry about what you’re not doing, or what you’re doing unnecessarily, I’ll find someplace else to buy my cars from.

This 2017 Impala is the fourth Chevrolet I’ve bought from Berger. This is the first time I’ve had an issue of this nature. I just want my car maintained to the standards set forth by the manufacturer and I want to trust that Berger is the place to do that.

Next on the agenda is getting Lady Ronn out of the house and to the doctor.