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04/30/10 02:15 - 70ºF - ID#51479

Happy Prius Day

Picked up my "Nnew" car today. Took a bit of a drive. Came home. Tried to put my (e:strip) and Buffalo Zoo bumper magnets on the back; found out that the entire back part is composite, not metal, so they are on the driver's side near the back by the gas cap. For now.

Time to go to work.

Here are today's chucks:

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04/29/10 10:02 - 48ºF - ID#51473

Can't Decide

I have been falling down on the job when it comes to the blogosphere. Life gets busy with its mundane complications and all i want to do when not dealing with it all is escape.

But, i must start with chucks. I have been deciding last minute lately, and today, this is the choice of 2 i have come up with.


I'm wearing my black cargo pants and a purple t-shirt. If anyone has any opinions, feel free to weigh in on this oh so important topic. tee hee.

(e:Tinypliny), i want you to know i remember you asking for a catalog of chucks post. I will do it someday. Or maybe just pile them all up and take a snap just to see what they all look like en masse.

As some of you may or may not know, i have been in the market for new wheels. My current car is going to need maintenance soon, and it just doesn't seem worth it to put more money into a 10 year old Dodge Neon.

First stop, Mini dealership. Test drive a brand new one with an automatic transmission (harder to find, but i do most of my driving in the city now, and, well, i can't drive a stick and there is NO WAY i am going to learn on my dream car!!). I loved that drive. I get it totally. Beautiful car. I envy (and yes i am jealous of, i admit it) you, (e:Jenks), 'cause i want one, too!

But the numbers are just too high for me right now. I can't afford it. We need to spend our money elsewhere -- repaying roof loan, getting new porch, fixing unusable bathroom.

So, we move on.

Then, i accidentally came across a used one at a West Herr Subaru dealership in the southtowns. They advertised it as having a manual transmission online, so i passed it by, but while there looking at what else they had, the salesman recommended it because it is an automatic. It is? Let's go then!

Took it to my mechanic downtown (Russo's Auto i really trust them!) for them to take a look. No good. They think it was in a front end collision of some sort.

Even though it was still under warranty (boot to bumper for the first 50,000 miles) someone replaced the radiator a fan and perhaps parts of the grill and/or front bumper with "junkyard parts". They may have been Mini parts, but they had numbers written on them that mean they used to be in another Mini. And when the new hood or existing hood was put back on, it was misaligned and was scraping on the headlight and in other spots.

Dealer dudes disagreed, said we were being overly critical of a minor thing that could be adjusted and maybe our mechanic was trying to get some money out of us. Nope, dude, they looked at this car for nothing and don't do body work.

So, the dealer manager Tony said "This hood has not been painted, as sure as i am standing here". Yeah. No one said it was painted. They/we said it is misaligned. Maybe it is a scrap part. Maybe it was removed for other work. Why would the radiator be replaced? Lots of reasons having nothing to do with an accident, maybe it leaked they said. Well, why replace it with junkyard parts if it is still under warranty?

And why avoid reporting it so it will not appear on the Car Fax report, huh?

I told them i wanted between 1 and 2 grand off the price and for them to fix the hood issue and they said they "can't do that" but really wanted to work with us. The last, of maybe about 5 or 6 times he said, "this hood has not been painted" i lost it. I believe i said, "for fucks sakes, for the last and final time, no one has said this hood was painted!!". Then i turned to the salesman and asked for the key to my Dodge Neon back and we left.

(e:Uncutsaniflush) thinks they have another sucker ready to buy it. Good luck to them.

Fast forward to yesterday. We decide to look at Paddock Chevrolet. I was considering a new (or nearly new) Cobalt or Aveo hatchback. But they had a used car i was interested in, too. Test drove all 3. Decided. Negotiated. Ran into a glitch...

See, i thought i was negotiating the price PLUS my trade-in. First numbers we pushed across the desk on the page had "+ trade in " written. Last one didn't. I assumed that it did since it was always on the table. When we had to go fetch papers from (e:Uncutsaniflush)'s car, he told me that they were just taking 200 more for my trade and i thought that meant that instead of 1000 for my car, they were taking 1200 for my car.

Nope. When we talked to the financing guy, i learned different. I felt like a moron. Still do. How stupid can i be? Math is so not my forte and anything more than a phone number confuses the hell out of me. I thought i did well, but they were basicly still at the same list price minus my trade, not the negotiated value PLUS my trade.

They understood and split the misunderstanding down the middle. Was a good deal to begin with, i was just trying to get more of a good deal.

All that aside, i still signed the deal. Tomorrow i pick up my "new" car. A 2006 Toyota Prius. In grey.

Me and the hubs have the same car now. Mine is just a later model. Both will have (e:strip) and Buffalo Zoo bumper magnets on them. Mine, however, will have a collection of orange bibs and bobs (e:Ladycroft) got for me hanging from my rearview mirror.....
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04/15/10 11:55 - 62ºF - ID#51402


Happy Tax Day, Ya'll! Have you been having to work a lot of over time, (e:Terry)?


The above is a new pair... got 'em yesterday.

I have been lazy with my daily chuck posts. I was in a bit of a low mood and i tend to withdraw when that happens.

I did a bit of a honeymoon crash with work. Things are still good, but the residents are starting to test me. Then, the new schedule came out and it reminded me that i am still low seniority no matter where i am working. Trying to think positive, being tested will sure help me remember the resident's plans more quickly... and, even though i have been scheduled to work overnights, i still have regular pass days. i just have to work out how i am going to work 11pm - 7am, then get to West Seneca at 8am for a 4 hour annual training class then be alert enough to be back to work by 3pm... but at least the very next day i start vacation! Then again, the schedule was tentative and when i see her, i will have to talk to my boss, since she did not schedule my training class, my old boss did. Perhaps we can work something out. :o)

Then, yesterday, in an effort to cheer me up, (e:Uncutsaniflush) and i drove out to the 'burbs so i could get behind the wheel of a Mini. I loved it. I was giggling and laughing, particularly when i couldn't figure out how to turn the back wiper off because i didn't want to take my eyes off the road.... Then, we crunched the numbers and we just cannot afford to get me one... yet. The resale value on them is great, too, so i can't find a cheap used one. I reckon that is good and bad, huh? C'est la vie. Perhaps someday.........
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04/09/10 08:23 - 36ºF - ID#51358

Bad Customer Service

I just composed the following restaurant review to be sent to Bill Rapaport's Buffalo Restaurant Guide at

Negative Review for:

Royal Family Restaurant
1320 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, NY

Today, my husband and i decided to go to the Royal for a late lunch / early dinner. Although we look through the menu every time and always check out the specials, we tend to order the same thing -- Souvlaki. Being vegetarian, i always go for the Vegetable Souvlaki. My husband is not vegetarian and he almost always orders the Pork Souvlaki. Today was no different. Vegetable Souvlaki for me, Pork Souvlaki for my husband.

It was off peak time since it was about half way between lunch and dinner. Service was very prompt, as it usually is. Not overdone, a bit more informal, shouting across the room, rather than walking towards us. Comfortable, family oriented, content. Our waitress, Melissa we later discovered, was no exception; she was friendly, attentive, prompt, polite and smiling.

I posed the same question and/or suggestion i always do when i am at the Royal. "Do you have / will you please get a veggie burger? Your competitor across the street, hint, hint, has one." Our waitress stated they do have one from time to time as a special. We then proceeded, since the veggie burger was not a special that day, to place our order.

Surprisingly, since it was off peak, a bit longer than the usual very prompt service, we received our meals. The vegetable Souvlaki was particularly large and i gave her a "wow" when it was put in front of me. The portions of the dinner sized Vegetable Souvlaki has 2 skewers of assorted vegetables, rice, Greek potatoes, a Greek salad and a half a pita cut into quarters (they offer a smaller one, called something else, but i would rather take home the leftovers). Today, i had 4 huge pieces of broccoli, along with eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini and carrots. Disappointingly, the carrots were practically raw and difficult to remove from the skewer (don't get me wrong, i love raw carrots -- but in salads), the eggplant was uncooked, the broccoli was steamed but not grilled so the florets were not crunchy (which i understand is more of a preference thing), and the peppers were only cooked around the edges. Luckily, the vegetables on the skewers were all safe to eat raw or undercooked, so i didn't fuss about it.

My husband, however, did not feel comfortable eating his undercooked pork. Sliding the pork off the skewers, he saw some pink and decided to cut the pork open to make sure it was cooked. It was not. Our waitress was by the bar near the front, engaged in conversation with other wait staff and had her back to us, so i got up to let her know my husband's pork was slightly undercooked. Which, in our humble opinion, it was. Not red and bloody, but enough to cast doubt and want it to be fired for just a touch longer. She apologized profusely and took the pork away on a smaller plate she was kind enough to give us for our overflowing plates a few minutes earlier. Laughing was heard from the kitchen, but i didn't pay it any attention until our waitress returned with the pork, untouched by heat, to tell us that the cooks say it is "always like this" and "it's ok, it does not need to be cooked any more". What we understood from her is that the kitchen says it is ok and they are refusing to reheat or refire the pork. My husband pushed it around the plate a bit, told me he could just eat around it, but the waitress saw his discomfort and came to his rescue, offering to replace his pork with something else. It was replaced by fully cooked chicken.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this same situation has presented itself at the Royal. He has been served undercooked pork twice and raw, practically cold pork, at another time. I have also been served raw and undercooked vegetables. Raw carrots being the most offensive to me, and i don't even like eggplant when it is fully cooked. On all occasions, it was during off peak times, when the restaurant was not busy. A time in which those of us that do not work in a restaurant would think it would be easier to fully cook a plate of food.

Traditionally, when dinning at the Royal, and older man with darker hair and/or a younger one who bears a resemblance to the older man come over and ask how our meal is. Despite both men being at the restaurant today, neither came to inquire, apologize or try to at least placate us and both men avoided eye contact.

Sadly, my husband and i will not be returning to the Royal Family Restaurant.
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04/08/10 10:50 - 59ºF - ID#51352



Yesterday, i had the day off. Yay for pass days!!!

(e:Uncutsaniflush) and i went to lunch at the Orchid Asian Bistro in Kenmore. Great food. Quality ingredients. Of course, i haven't had any sushi or sashimi, but they do have a few vegetarian rolls.

First time we went i had the Japanese Yaki Udon (LooOOOoove udon noodles!!) and (e:Uncutsaniflush) had the Chicken bento box.

This time, he had Pad See Ew, these yummy big flat noodles. And i had the green curry. The heat of it hit me after eating and swallowing the first bite.... a delay. Nice. The brown rice was amazing, a combo of different rices that i think includes a red rice.

Then, came a comp dessert, completely unexpectedly. Cherry ice cream, wrapped up and flambed with cherry and lime sauces. Wow. After we had already ordered some green tea ice cream.... which i know they didn't make but was the bestestest green tea ice cream i have ever had.

Then, we went to Albright Knox. We recently became members. Love love loved the Guillermo Kuitca exhibit. Love love love him. See, i adore maps and i get him and why he used them. That contradiction between the most private and public of spaces -- a map on a bed. So cool. Been many years since an artist has captured me the way this exhibit did... and still does.

Happy day....

Now, or soon, i will be off to get my hair cut. Yay for online booking... i am giving Kristin @ New Age Salon a second try. WIsh me luck!?!?!
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04/07/10 01:17 - 58ºF - ID#51345


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04/06/10 06:03 - 50ºF - ID#51339



I've been trying to post daily, but sometimes, i get busy. Yesterday, i went into work a bit early -- 1pm -- so someone could leave a bit early and i could get my "med cert" (medication certification) done. Today, i am doing an OT shift at my old unit.... sorry the pic is blurry, but it's damn early for me!!
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04/04/10 02:11 - 60ºF - ID#51329


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04/03/10 01:56 - 83ºF - ID#51319


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04/01/10 01:34 - 73ºF - ID#51308


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