Morning Mystery
January 12, 2011

It is very cold and dark when I leave for work at a very early hour in the morning.  Lately it’s been even colder with snow flurries, but that’s not what was so unusual this particular morning.  I left my house, locked the door, trudged down the snow covered steps trying not to bust my ass in my work clothes, remotely unlocked my car, and then stopped in amazement.

All four windows of my car are almost completely rolled down within a couple inches of the bottom.  What the hell?!  Of course it is snowing, so snow is blowing into my car.  No really, what the hell?!  I have tried to rack my brain and come up with several scenarios, but none really explain it.

1.  It’s not like it’s summer and I would have “left” my windows down from my leisurely drive home from work the night before.

2.  Maybe someone broke into my car and had a key and rolled down the automatic windows.  But nothing was stolen or even moved from my car.  And if they had the key, why not just steal the damn car.

3.  Maybe I accidentally pushed on the window buttons last night when I was putting my cover on my windshield last night.  I did have the driver’s door open so I could reach up and get the cover in place, and the car was on so I could do one last swipe of the windshield wipers to remove any snow that was falling.  But, to roll all the windows down that far, I would have had to hold down all the buttons.  But the driver’s side window is automatic; hold it down for longer than 2 seconds and it rolls all the way down, not within a couple inches like this.  Plus, I have to shut a strap for the cover into the door when I close and lock the car. I would have noticed that the windows were down.

4.  Did I sleep walk?  Maybe, but I probably would have busted my butt getting down the snow covered steps.  And I don’t think I’ve ever left the house before.

5.  Was it SO cold that I had a short in my automatic windows and they rolled down on their own?  But I was able to roll them back up without any trouble once I started the car.  Besides when it’s cold, you usually have the opposite problem, you can’t get the windows to roll down.

6.  Maybe someone I know is playing a prank on me, because this is a good one.  But no one I know has a key to my car.  A couple people have keys to my house, but c’mon that’s stretching it that I wouldn’t have heard them come in, right?  Plus, they have better things to do than roam around in sub-freezing weather and partly roll down my windows.

No really….What. The. Hell?!

Update:

I have solved the mystery with the help of  One Particular Kitchen on Twitter.  Apparently the key fob to my Honda Accord has a nifty feature.  Click the unlock button on the key fob and hold it down, the windows will roll down until you let go of the button.  I used to have an old Volkswagen and I always knew you could roll the windows up or down by turning the key in the door and holding it , but I tried that with the key in the door to the Honda once and assumed it was just a VW thing when it didn’t work.  Apparently not, just hold down the key fob.  So, in the future I need to be a lot more careful when walking away from my car with my hands full, like I did last night when I got home.  It’s honestly amazing this hasn’t happened before now!  Thank goodness this during wasn’t one of Nashville’s overnight torrential downpours!

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Say what?
October 29, 2010

Once again, the vanity plates fairy strikes again.  This time, it is a mixture of religion and poor spelling.  And we all know my pet peeve with poor spelling and poor grammar.  Therefore, this month’s “Say what?” goes to:

1. I understand when you’re typing an email really quickly and you make a mistake in a word.  But something that will stay on your car for several years, that you pay additional fees for, I would think you would really proofread that shit several times.

Photo courtesy of Beloved.

2. And this one. I mean really, did you just give the vanity plate application to a lolcat and say…just make sure it professes my faith.

Photo courtesy of my lovely friend Miss Dallas.

I know, I know, I live in the South.  We are truly at the buckle of the Bible Belt.  But, c’mon people let’s be a little more respectful of your faith and fellow drivers.  If you really need to say it and there aren’t enough letters…Buy a Bumper Sticker!

Sally’s Helpful Hints – warm weather & cars
September 22, 2010

I haven’t posted a helpful hints post in a while, so I’m making up with this one.  Although today is the first day of fall, we are experiencing very summer-like temperatures here.  So, I find the following summer/warm weather tips still useful.  Also, as someone who has driven several old or crappy cars, I have gained some useful tips on car maintenance or work-arounds, so I am also including some car-related tips as well  Enjoy!

SUMMER TIPS

Sunburn
If you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun, your skin become becomes red, sore, and dehydrated.  You can easily treat those symptoms and keep a sunburn from getting worse if you accidentally worshiped the sun a little too long one day.  First, take an IBUPROFEN.  It is an anti-inflammatory, so taken right after coming out of the sun will help reduce the redness, plus it will relieve some of the pain of a burn.  Rehydrate with WATER; drink plenty to keep your body and your skin hydrated.  If your burn persists, take a cool bath with WHITE VINEGAR and water.  This is an old Southern trick, but it really helps relieve your burn!

Mosquitoes
If you’re like me, mosquitoes think you’re the yummiest treat in the entire world.  I can stand in a group of 10 people and be the only one who gets chewed up by the little critters.  In the South, they are abundant in both size and number, so it’s really hard to avoid them.  However, if you put a DRYER SHEET in your pocket, it helps keep them away.  Also, AVOID BANANAS in your diet.  As a runner and someone who loves bananas, this one has been the hardest for me, but this year I’ve noticed it’s been better once I avoided it in my diet during the summer.

Overheating
Ever spend just way too much time enjoying the outdoors and summer heat, but find that you’re just too hot and cannot cool down?  Perhaps your AC went out in your house or car?  The quickest way to cool down is to run cold water or place an ice cube on your WRIST.  The skin on your inner wrist is very thin and the veins you see there, go straight to main arteries in your heart, which then pumps blood to the rest of your body.  Cool the blood and you cool the rest of your as it circulates through your body!  When I’m running in the summer, I stop at water fountains and run cold water on my wrist for a few seconds and I’m able to run a few more miles!  This also works with a cold beer or soda bottle.


CAR TIPS

Car Battery
Have you ever popped your hood and noticed all the gunky, crusty stuff around your battery terminals?  That just a simple oxidation, and the best way to clear off the corrosion is COKE.  Yes, just get a can of Coke (or most any other soda will work if you don’t have Coke), and pour some on the corroded terminal.  It will eat away at it, keep pouring a little bit at a time on it until it is gone.  Then pour a little bit of water to wash away the sticky, sugary soda.  You should be good as new, you can now access the terminals to attach jumper cables, remove the connectors to replace the battery, or tighten the connectors if they loosened from the corrosion and weren’t making a connection.  You can solve a variety of battery issues with a can of Coke!

Car Overheating
Is the temperature gauge way over into the red zone?  This means the engine is running too hot.  All you have to do is turn on your HEATER.  The car’s heater pulls heat off of the engine and blows it into the vents.  You will eventually pull enough heat off of the engine to cool it down and you can continue on your way.

Check Engine Light
Oh no, that darn check engine light came on your dash.  Get yourself to a AutoZone (or most auto parts stores) and have them run the CODES.  If your car is not running at all, then you can “purchase” the codes machine from AutoZone, take it home, run the codes, look up the code, and return the machine for a refund.  If it is something that isn’t a major issue or you don’t have time to have it fixed before you have to have your emissions checked, you can ignore it.  However, if the light may be annoying and you will fail emissions if your light is on.  You can reset the light!  Just UNHOOK YOUR BATTERY (I usually just unhook the positive terminal) and hook it back up.  It will reset the computer (and your radio presets) and usually the light.  However, if your car is a 1996 or later model, you will have an OBD (on board diagnostics) check.  The OBD checks everything based on an average of trips.  So, if you unhook your battery, you will need to make several trips of varying lengths before you have the OBD check.  Otherwise there won’t be enough information to create a proper average and you will still fail your OBD check.

Say what?
August 6, 2010

I play this little game when I commute (or go on long car trips – anything to entertain myself, I hate being in a car longer than an hour).  It’s called the Figure-Out-What-The-Hell-That-Vanity-Plate-Means game.  Seriously people, you only get 7 spaces, if it’s not immediately obvious or you have to abbreviate out more than half of the letters, just stop!

1. There is a vehicle that parks in our office garage.  I use the term vehicle loosely.  It is one of the very few modes of transportation that I file under “utterly ridiculous.”  It is a Cadillac Escalade pickup truck.  (Really, what is the purpose of those things?   So rap stars can go to Home Depot and fit in with the common folk?)  Not only is this overpriced, oversized truck always in our lot, it’s in the visitor spaces, taking up at least 2 spaces several times a week, and the guy who drives it will nearly drive over you pulling in and out of the garage without even a second glance!  But what is even more ridiculous is the license place:

HIM8NCE

Yes, I can tell from your choice of mode of transportation that you’re “high maintenance.”  You’re probably also overcompensating for something else.

2. Then, the other day I was driving to the office, in my usual morning commute, when I came up on a Lexus SUV (*eye roll*) from Williamson County (a very affluent area; in fact the real housewives of Williamson County could put NYC to shame!).  Didn’t take me long to decipher the plates:

MACDADD

Well if this guy really is a Mack Daddy, I need to see if it’s either Kris or Kross who is driving this car!  I lay on the gas and pull up beside the driver side only to see a typical soccer-dad holding his overpriced-coffee-chain cup.  Really guy?  You’re the Mack Daddy?