The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lessons Learned: Never Get Service Done at the Dealership

Because they will do you over. Sure, the normal services are quite inexpensive. I mean they do all the normal tricks and charge you within a few dollars of any other service why not get your service work done there?

However, never get a major service done. All of us car buffs know that every 30k or so you should give your vehicle a little tune-up. Well, do what you will, just don't get the majority of it 'done' at the dealership.

Why am I so upset? Because here is a list of services done that resulted in a $250 premium beyond the cost of the basic service:
  • Replace Fuel Filter (if applicable) - how much money do you have on that they decided it wasn't applicable?
  • Inspect brake system, lines hoses and parking brake - can be done by sticking head under car
  • Inspect disc and drum brakes - done whilst your head is checking out the other stuff
  • Replace brake fluid - Okay, this is legit. But they don't give you an option for synthetic fluids. They charge $50 for this service...still not seeing the extra $200.
  • Check A/C hoses for leaks - Um, if there were leaks I would know it.
  • Inspect air conditioning system temperature - definitely not done because my car has the weakest A/C known to I4 vehicles
  • Replace Air Cleaner Element - I can buy a better one for $42, plus it would last longer than the paper one. So no thank yous there.
  • Install wiper blades - Um, my front wipers were fine, and you never changed the one in the back...that would be the one that actually needs to be changed. Cost $7, and they're not even the type I want.
So, let's see. $50 + $42 + $7 x 2 = $250? Where's my other $144? Why didn't you do what you are supposed to do during a real tune-up and replace the coolant and the spark plugs? What really bites me is that those extra services are what needed to be done for the 30k service and are required by your little service manual; yet, you refuse to include them in your 30k service package. Why? You've lost my business for good.

From now on I'm simply going to let some other place do the oil change (that is until I get my own garage), and then do the rest by myself and then take the girl out on a nice date with all of the extra money. It's a good thing that chicks dig guys that smell like cars and look all manly.

Monday, March 27, 2006

What I Wish I Did

Before I gave up on my future and hit the cold reality of the real world, this is what I hoped to actually do. Maybe I shouldn't give up?

So incredibly awesome. So much potential. And you actually make people's LIVES better. So cool.

Monday, March 20, 2006


There was a perfect man and he drove a perfect mile,

He earned his perfect money and dressed the perfect style.

He got a perfect wife, to be the perfect spouse.

And they all lived together in a little perfect house.*

Soaking it Up

I've been a bit out of touch lately with a lot of you, but I keep claiming that I've been busy. Well, as proof, I would like to offer you a bit of a photo journal of the last 2 months of my life.

So let's start with January. Worked sucked, because I made one of the biggest mistakes ever...responded to somebody that said, "Matt could you please help me out by doing X. It will do a lot to help your career."

Here's my thoughts on that.
Then Andrea and I were pretty busy getting ready for our ski trip.

Meanwhile I was trying to keep healthy by doing Ninja stuff. And I also got a punching bag in my place; awesomest present to myself in quite awhile.

Then it was off to the Houston Auto Show. Where despite the awesome cars
I couldn't fit in any of them.
But at least my girl looks cute on a bike.

Unfortunately going to the Houston Auto Show meant that we had to go to Houston. Houston depresses me because of stuff like this.
Why can't developers work AROUND the trees. This is just wanton destruction, and will just be another hideous location with cheap cookie cutter houses that will be shoddily built and will be a bane on the eyes.

Fortunately I was off to New Mexico to teach a class for work. After I was done teaching I flew Andrea out to see me and we headed up to Wolf Creek to go skiing.

The drive up started out being utterly beautiful.

But that quickly turned to completely scary. Even scarrier when you realize that we were driving a Mustang...not exactly the world's best snow mobile, snow plow maybe.

But the girl was quite happy, so it was hard to stay annoyed by the weather.

Then we got to the mountain and it was amazing. 30" of snow had fallen that day and night, and the whole time it was just a fog of snow. Andrea got to try out snow boarding for the first time ever.

btw, snow boarding school is probably the boringest thing ever. If you ever want to learn, simply go to the top of a blue (yes, blue not green), and go down until you get to the base of the mountain.

Never really had a vacation alone with a girlfriend before, but it was awesome. We did what we wanted, when we wanted and didn't have to worry about a thing.

We had a ton of fun; despite the frozen facial features.

But recovery was a bit of a process. There's no soreness like snow board soreness.

All good things must come to an end though, so we headed back to Austin where much time was spent making up for lost play time with Andrea's puppy Abigail (aka Abi).

After a brief bout with having to go to court because I met an officer with a short man complex.

The girl and I went up to Dallas so that she could be a bridesmaid in one of her best friend's (Victoria's) wedding. So we did the rehearsal thing.

In this itty-bitty church that was literally tied together.

Then they did the get fancy thing.

Despite Victoria's white dress, we were still the best looking couple there (and almost the only smiling one).

Then there was the worst part of all weddings...the photos...of every possible combination...for almost an hour...ugh. Jeremy and Jess, you two did it right.

But I did get to see an adorable girl that I wouldn't mind stealing someday.

Then it was off to the reception. Where we were 2 of the 7 single people over the age of 12.

Fortunately nothing was caught by us. Throwing crap is the lamest of all wedding traditions.

On the way back, we got stopped in like 30 miles of traffic on I-35...dead standstill. So we jumped the median in trusty Kaida (the Mazda3) and found an alternate route. That took us right over where there was a really bad accident. Turns out somebody hit the barier, crossed traffic, flipped over the other barier, then the next, went into oncoming traffic and at least one person died. Kinda sad, but I'm glad we got to see why everything was stopped.

Since then I've just been doing more domestic things, like waxing cars with my new power buffer. Mmm...shiny and smooth.

Having an innocent St. Patrick's Day.

With some awesome friends.

And last night we got to check out Nickle Creek at Gruene Hall, which was probably the most fun I've ever had at a concert. This group is fabulous, and I think they had a great time too. In fact, the manager of Gruene Hall had to kick them off of the stage. Any bluegrass band that will play 'Toxic' by Britney Spears is awesome.

There's so much more to talk about, so many details to fill in and so much that I would like to convey, but for the moment you will just have to wait. I'm really living my life right now and loving every minute of it. Too many people are convinced that they shouldn't be happy and if they are then something's wrong. Well, the only thing that's wrong is that belief and sometimes life gives you lemonade and you just gotta drink it.

And with one parting gift. Why I hate 'Texans'.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Van crashes into funeral, 2 dead

<- Headline seen on

So does that mean that only one new person died? Were there two people being burried? Did they get a group discount?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I've always wanted to know how to do this, and now I do. Ah, the power of the internet to increase our stupidity is endless!