Sunday, July 6, 2014

I'm torn

between "Happy Independence Day", and "Holy Crap, the year is half over with!"

Did I make coffee come out the wrong way? I did my job! ROFL

All kidding aside........ It's been a  heckuva year sofar. And the good news just keeps coming!
On the 28th, I made this page


Can you guess? YUP! I have a KA again........ I took the picture off the add, because we wouldn't be able to get the car before July 1st, because the lady that was selling is, still needed it until than.  So, Monday, we were surprised to be able to pick it up, but so happy. Until life insisted on putting in its 5 cents, that is.

- It started with taking the bus to base so we could pick up the paperwork, showing that we could even own a car (new rule). We stood at the gate near the busstop for 30 minutes, and nobody came to let us in. We didn't have a walk-in pass, and even though the office we needed to be in is run by the same people that man the gate at the front of the base........ you get it. Not interested. At this point we have 2 options..... Go meet the sellers, and take the argument when we go register the car on base, or miss the appointment by walking about 3 miles around the base and 1 mile back to the office, to turn around and do it backwards before meeting up another mile down the road at the post office..... No brainer, we kept our appointment.
- At the post-office the lady got a big smile from ear to ear, when she happily informed us, that we needed to go about 30 miles up the road to the import office......(new rule as of January 2014)
Mind you, I had called to base when we started looking for a car on the procedure, and nowhere in the conversation was it mentioned NOT to go to the post-office. As a matter of fact, I asked if there was a particular post-office this needed done at, and they said "as long as it's a Brunssum office, you're ok. They know what kind of paperwork to send up"
To cut short the transaction, we went to base to pick up the paperwork, because this was a whole new thing for us, and we had no way of coming back real quick to get it, if they played hardball. While there, Mike asked what the going to the import office was all about, and was told that it had been in place since the beginning of the year, but he didn't get more information.
- So 3 of us piled in the Ka, and her dad followed to base, and from there, he was the leader to where we needed to go. Getting to the counter after getting a number was almost immediately, but once she looked at the paperwork, she said, "I'll have to send this to headquarters, and when they get it back to me, I can finalize. I'l have to tell you though, that it will take at least half an hour, and sometimes 4, so if you want to leave, I'll call you when it's back" SAY WHAT!?
We had been running since we left the house at 6.30, and it was now 10.05. We didn't have our own transportation, so we really didn't have anywhere to go, and the seller didn't really want to leave and come back either, meaning..... we took a seat. She started shifting things around she had planned, her dad started conducting his business for the day, and Mike and I just sat and steamed :-) When we bought the previous KA, we went to the post office, showed ID, paid the 14 Euro's and walked out within 5 minutes..... went to base for another 10 minutes for their end of the papertrail, and we were good to go.

Finally, at 12.30 we got the go-ahead, with a twist (what else, right?) We only got part of the new paperwork, the rest would be sent in the mail. So, we wouldn't be able to register it on base until we got the whole darn code, we thought, and that started a whole new line of "not happy" in my head, but, at least we could take our car and go home, so I didn't say anything.
Mike wanted to stop by base, and see how that would work, and if we needed to do anything.... there was! The APK that was valid till January of 2015, needed to be redone, but on the upside, they could register it on base with the VIN#, and they didn't need the whole registration# either, just the plates, so we made an appointment for wednesday morning, and drove across base to get the APK done. It had been cleared, without any warnings till January, so what could possible come up!?

How about "Everything"!? It was rejected, and we were told the scrap value, as it sat on the lift, was about 200 Euro's. Not quite what you want to hear if you just paid out a good chunk of change. we were advised to take it back to the dealer, and when we said we bought it from a private party, they plainly told us we were screwed. So good to hear at that point!
They showed us where the A-arm was broken on the left, and the firewall was rusted thru on both attachment points, IF we wanted to put more money in it, but their advise was to basically throw it away, they could order the A-arms and put them on in about 2 hours, and that would run about 300 Euro's (Parts and labor) and they could give us the name of a welder, that could probably fix it, but they didn't know what he would charge. We took his number, called him, were asked to call back, left a message, and haven't heard back yet, so I'm thinking he's not going to do it.

Thursday, we went parts and service shopping....... A-arms range from 72 (parts store) to 297 Euro's (garage, excluding labor) EACH! Guess which ones we got!?  We also went by 2 garages, to see what the welding would cost....... Unbelievable, I think I'm going to re-school for welder! I can work 1 week a month, and come away with a pretty darn descent income!   One didn't even look at it, and said it would run about 6000 to do, the other looked at it with the car sitting on the ground, and him crouched behind the tire, and said it would run "at least 3000, because they would have to take the chassis off the frame, drop the drivetrain, get the peace of metal, and that would take 3 days, and he couldn't miss his welder for that long......" HUH!?  I almost suggested that I would come in and take it apart, if it would save about 2000 Euro's, but figured, why bother? Obviously, nobody is into fixing, just throw it away and buy new..... Riiiiiiiight, not on this family's income, you don't!

Monday, we have an appointment with a welder/mechanic, to see what he thinks, and he already said he would put it on a lift and take a good look, and we were invited to come and see what he did. :-)
(My kind of mechanic)

Barring weird things happening, this will take care of big ticket items for a long time. Brakes are good, and even if they need replacing, it will take us about a day to do it. The new tires are already on it, o we're good there for at least 2 years, the exhaust sounds good, but if/when it needs it, we can take care of that too. Engine will get a "look over" this thursday, I'll tune it up once the welding is taken care of, and Mike said he'd give me a detail-job as a belated anniversary gift........ so she'll even look pretty!
Even though the welding was not the reason it was rejected in APK, if I can see daylight where there shouldn't be, and it is anywhere near the engine, on the frame or where the wheels-are-attaching-to-the-chassis.......... I think it needs done now, not next year, when it IS the reason the car fails the APK. with 64000 KM on the clock, this car can be ours for quite a long time. It just needs some TLC, I just hope we have the coins to put into it.

Wanna hear some good news? The Neon has been at the garage for more than a week! I got worried, because they were going to call  before they dropped it off, and it has been almost a month, and I hadn't heard anything, so I called the garage where they were going to send it for information, because the insurance didn't know where the car was. The way things go here, you have maybe 3 days that the car can be on the lot, before they start charging storage fees....... So I had a little bit of a tizzy when he said they had had it for so long...... (once they start on a car, they don't charge storage, because it is considered "being worked on") The gentleman in the office said, they pulled the oil-pan, and there were no metal shavings in it,  and although he did agree that it does not sound good, they couldn't pinpoint where the  noise was coming from, so we're going up Monday to see what is going on there........  we were happy that it didn't look like the engine was completely gone, but on the other hand...... what's it going to cost, and can we afford to? Who knows..... As Mike told me when I was litterally scratching my arms raw from worrying....... Lets see what they say, and figure things out from there. It may be something we can do ourselves, or something that's not really involved/expensive to fix, once located.  I'll keep you posted.

Deep down, I'm still doing a happy dance about having "my" KA back, but right now, it's out-shouted by my panic about the cost. :-)

Worrying calls for relaxation, and relaxation calls for 1 of 2 things......... Kitty-hugs or scrapping. Since Kitty abandons me for the bed after 10PM, and I haven't really slept for 3 days....... Scrapping it is!

I played at the Studio in the Desktop challenge....... Man! I had forgotten how much fun it was :-)

However, Mike said he didn't appreciate staring into his face at 5.30 this morning........ go figure! 
I LOVE staring at his face at ANY time, and I even cleaned up my desktop, so I can actually SEE his face! Maybe that scared him, not seeing 300 icons thrown everywhere on the screen. He was probably worried that the computer fried.... YEAH! That must have been it! ROFL.

I've played a little with Boo's kits. Both are out by now, but for One Step Beyond #18, I'm trying to find something, and not succeeding, so I'll have to take a picture before I can call that one "done".

Pages below are made with In Her  Dreams.

I've been so tied up in knots, that I completely forgot to tell you that the wolf area opened up to the public last week!
Members could come in Friday night at 6 to check it out but I wasn't sure if the rest of the zoo was open too, so I took the bus up, around 3 and spend most of my time at the Lynx habitat. They had 3 cubs end of May, and they were soooooo cute! I was the only one up there for most of the time, because it was of and on raining pretty good, but I didn't care. One person came up, making a ruckus, and I was just about to ask why he was even up there, since he obviously wasn't interested in seeing the animals, when faith intervened....... I know, I'm awful, but I almost laughed, when he was being extremely obnoxious, talking loud, bumping me, because he wanted a better angle for his tripod, and he lost his solarcap off the camera. It went straight down into the pen, and before it had bounced once, 2 of the older males were on it. Stalking, slapping it around, testing if it tasted good...... And that's why I always have a scrunchie around my camera string and on my wrist. IF my hands don't want to work, atleast I won't lose the camera. I kinda felt bad, because it looked an expensive piece of equipment, and I DO believe it had a lens attached to it, but ...... I guess you had to be there. He left, cussing up a storm, but I didn't think he went to get a keeper to get it out, so I went and found one, only to be told that the keeper for the Lynx already left for the day, and the earliest they would be able to get it out would be Saturday, or Monday...... Nice to know that there wasn't enough interest to keep the animals from cutting themselves on glass to get somebody in there pronto...... You would think, if you don't do it for the customer, get it out of there for the animals?  Along with everything else, it DOES make you wonder what it takes to have a zoo.

Mum Lynx had a day-job  keeping up with the little ones. One was bound and determined to get in the water, and after pulling him off the edge 3 times, she got tired of it, and swiped him back on the grass with her paw, before picking him up, and dropping him on the farthest side of the habitat, only to come back to find these to pranksters doing the same thing..... After I went hunting for a keeper, I decided to go visit my wolverines until it was time for the wolf habitat to open. The park being almost deserted , because of the rain, I thought, they were a little bit more active than I'd seen them in a while. The female didn't really come out of the den, but the male was running, exploring and, something I had no idea they did.... climbing trees! I sat at the edge of the landing, in a hanging chair, just enjoying the crap out of the peace and quiet, when the chair began rocking like someone was shaking it. Looking up, there's a keeper standing there, with a big grin on his face..... "Park has been closed for half an hour ma'm...... I'll escort you out." But not until after he sat there watching the Wolverine with me for about 10 minutes :-)  I truly believe that the keepers care about the animals, but management needs to get their act together, and let them do their job the way it's supposed to be done, to the benefit of the animals in their care.....

It did confuse me though, because of the night opening, so I hung around in the courtyard to see what was going to happen, and at 6 I happily went back in with the rest of the membership people....   By 7 I had a global look at the new habitat, but with the amount of people, all sparring for a better view than the neighbor, but not being very neighborly about it.... I had enough, Drank a cup of tea while enjoying the Giraffe baby and took the bus home. Happy, tired, soaked... (Did I tell you it rained like a Banshee? LOL) and full of plans to come back soon, and look at the new things in peace....  The wolves are 2 year olds from the Zoo at my sisters place, so I had to tell her to come see them :-)  They're 6 brothers, so they are already a pack, of sorts, but they were so overwhelmed by the amount of people that they were huddled in the corner. One came over to the window while I was standing there, but he left pretty quick after I hit the shutter. They had only been in the habitat for a couple of days, and by 7.30, I overheard one of the keepers tell another one that they had admitted 2700 people to the zoo since 6PM, so I figured they were stressed. I quietly hoped for a little more rain, so they would get some rest..... 

Hope you are having a wonderful Independence Day weekend and don't forget to hug a loved one?


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