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some days, accomplishing anything is enough [Sep. 8th, 2006|12:30 am]
Greg
[Current Mood |tiredtired]

So today was the appointed day to get my car Maryland safety-inspected (so I can get Maryland license plates). Got up and got to the shop at 9 (because I had been told to "drop it off in the morning"), where the guy told me I should have dropped it off at 8. Anyway, it would be done sometime in the afternoon, and no, they don't have a shuttle or anything (djedi's car isn't up here yet).

So, fine. I had planned for this eventuality. Went over to Starbucks and read Thinking in Java for a while. Tried a Green Tea Latte - ewww! The Starbucks green tea has a tendency to taste a little like grass, and apparently making it a latte really brought out the grass.

Got bored and antsy, so got up for lunch a little early (11:15ish). Walked over to Qdoba Mexican Grill which I had been meaning to try. When I walked in...wow, it's a good thing you can't be sued for similarity to an existing restaurant, because it looks a looot like Chipotle, even down to the metal bins the food is kept in and the line system. Except it's not as efficient because they offer more things that sometimes have to be done elsewhere. I ordered a chicken burrito and it kinda got lost or something - the guy never came back and people started going around me. I wasn't terribly impatient (what else did I have to do?), but it was sort of awkward, because I was looking at staff people, and it was clear something was wrong and that they didn't have the power to fix it. The manager or some sort of management person (it was clear because he was tall, loud, and obnoxious - kept talking in loud short Spanish phrases in a jocular way to the staff because, hey, it's a Mexican restaurant! Jerk) finally noticed when the line behind me emptied and ask whether I had been helped. I said, well, sorta, but my meal kinda disappeared, and he apologized, took my order, and gave me free chips and queso. The burrito was decent but nothing spectacular, and the chips (which had that same sort of salt that Chipotle uses!) and queso were fine, but definitely not worth the $3.25 I didn't pay for them :-)

After that, I called djedi and ended up sorta arguing over stupid crap that he was right about, then walked over to see how my car was doing. The guy was vagueish but it sounded like it hadn't even been looked at yet, and it would be done "around 3:30-4". Great. Anyway, back to Starbucks after walking around in the nice weather a little (but not too much; my stomach was bothering me a little off and on from drinking too much Starbucks). After not too long, got a call saying that my car needed the rear brakes tightened and the alignment redone, both of which had been done right before we left on our trip here. Sigh, fine, whatever, just make it pass (this put the bill over $200 - just the inspection alone would have been $80!). Sat inside for a while, then outside for a while, then walked around some more when my brain was going to explode (the book is not exactly light reading).

Around 3:45 or so I went over to wait in the waiting room just to make sure I didn't miss the phone call or something like that. Sat down, and "Oprah" was just coming on after "Dr. Phil". It was a big episode because it was Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's first interview together as a couple, or something like that. The audience showed their appreciation by screaming a lot. Great. Wandered around a little outside and called djedi again to see how things were going back at the ranch (they were going OKish). The same guy I talked to in the morning and the afternoon was at the counter when I walked back in and said that only the alignment was left to be done. Super.

Sat back down and read some more, nearly finishing the book by skipping a lot about concurrency. Heard a lot of campaign ads (I think the primaries are this coming Tuesday). So the current mayor of Baltimore (O'Malley, a Democrat) is running for governor against the current one (Ehrlich, a Republican). Ehrlich ran an ad criticizing O'Malley for bad Baltimore schools. But he's the governor - isn't he to blame too? It reminded me of the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob aired an ad saying Mayor Quimby was soft on crime because he let Sideshow Bob out of jail :-) Also, it was neat to see so many Democratic ads (maybe only the Democratic primary is Tuesday? But I thought they were always on the same day...), and all of them were anti-war, anti-Bush.

Anyway, I keep reading, Tim McGraw (who is cute) makes chicken and dumplings, and I finish my book right about the time my car is done - 5:15. I'm friendly to the guy who checks me out, but I'm really just tired and frustrated with the world.

Luckily the evening was better, although I caused an almost wipe in WoW that I shouldn't have. Hoping tomorrow is way more productive, although given that it will likely involve the DMV, I'm guessing not so much.
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Comments:
From: krikwennavd
2006-09-08 01:19 pm (UTC)
I hate to say it, but I did warn you about MD inspections, yes?
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2006-09-08 01:19 pm (UTC)
You did indeed. You also said they only have to be done once, right? Right? Please?
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From: krikwennavd
2006-09-08 01:28 pm (UTC)
This is what I recall from my folks. The point, apparently, is to make sure that they think that the normal life of the car will have it in good condition, barring accidents. My folks got hit with repairs that they thought unnecessary, until the THIRD inspection place told them the same thing.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2006-09-08 01:30 pm (UTC)
That's good. Although maybe places would be less shady if you had to go back each year - that way you could avoid a place if it screwed you one year. Plus you could tell your friends to avoid it; nobody's gonna care if I tell them about this place because nobody needs to get it done!
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From: spchampion
2006-09-08 04:50 pm (UTC)
It's supposedly the same way in NY (my car still has Texas plates and may continue to have them so long as I'm a student). Makes one yearn for the Texas car inspection where they spend 10% of the time kicking the tires to make sure they don't fall off and 90% of the time doing the emissions check.
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[User Picture]From: onefishclappin
2006-09-08 02:20 pm (UTC)
The line: but definitely not worth the $3.25 I didn't pay for them struck me as very Catch-22'ish which is what I'm reading right now (this morning, actually while waiting for the shuttle to take me to work from dropping off David's car at the shop to get worked on.)
Glad you finished your ick for the day, here's hoping the DMV goes better.
(Apparently, my cousin has been trying to get into the Italian version of the DMV which is 100X worse than anything you've ever heard about. Something about being open 1 hour a day 8am-9am and you have to line up at 5am or something to maybe get helped. He apparently waiting 3 or 4 hours one morning, only to have them slam the window closed in front of him - he was the first not served. So something to think about it when you are waiting in the Selma & Patty line...)
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[User Picture]From: wildrice13
2006-09-08 04:37 pm (UTC)
I love Catch-22! And yes, that line was extremely reminiscent. One of my favorite quotes is from that book: "And if that wasn't funny, there were lots of things that weren't even funnier."
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[User Picture]From: onefishclappin
2006-09-08 04:46 pm (UTC)
I haven't quite decided what to think of the book yet. I've tried to read it so many times, and I've been most successful this time (5/6 of the way through). I never stop because I'm bored or because I don't like it, but because it takes more energy to read than other stuff and I get worn out.
The non-linear style, the constant back/forward references, strange turns of phrases which require a fair amount of attention to really "get". (I still think of Orr when I hear someone described as "apple-cheeked" and Appleby's "flies in his eyes" occationally comes to mind. Very vivid images which are constantly thrown in a casual descriptions that you don't get until 1/2 way through the book.)

I've been trying to read "good for me books" right now (I'm bored of trash sci-fi) - I just finished Jane Eyre (which I like), To Kill a Mockingbird (which I read in high school but had forgotten enough to warrent a re-reading). I'm not sure what's next on the list - I need to make a 1/2 price run and see what's on their "had to buy it for school and then sold back to 1/2 price bookstore without ever cracking it" rack. Maybe some more Bronte? Maybe find some other high school books that I wasn't ever assigned? Toni Morrison (I enjoyed one of her's, can't remember which..., not Beloved)? Suggestions?
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[User Picture]From: wildrice13
2006-09-08 05:02 pm (UTC)
"At least I don't have peanut brittle on my lips!" Gosh I love that book. I need to read it again.

One of the chapters near the end totally floored me, though. Hopefully you'll finish it, and I can ask if you got the same sense as I did. I don't want to say too much ahead of time, though.
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[User Picture]From: onefishclappin
2006-09-08 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'll likely finish it pretty soon, so remember to ask me and we can discuss next time I see you.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2006-09-08 08:41 pm (UTC)
Wow...that's horrible! At least our experience wasn't that bad :-)
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[User Picture]From: wildrice13
2006-09-08 04:37 pm (UTC)
Man, you clearly had more reason to be in a bad mood than I, last night. You have my sympathy.
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From: tehfanboi
2006-09-08 04:43 pm (UTC)
ALmost Wipe in WoW? David's "crazy enough that it might just work" plan was BRILLIANT! And very Mario World-ish (which was it's appeal to me to be honest). But I had a good time even though the loot sucked last night.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2006-09-08 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, I meant the first almost wipe where it was just because I was a little slow on the draw. My bad!
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[User Picture]From: fairydust1
2006-09-08 07:06 pm (UTC)
*hugs* what a long day to get so little "done." I feel for you, honest I do!
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