xoder: (Default)
First off, I should mention that I volunteer as a driver for RightRides, a group that provides free rides home to women, LGBTQ, and gender-queer individuals on Friday and Saturday nights. The goal is the elimination of gender-, orientation-, and sex-based violence. This Sunday, at the Mercer Street Babeland, there will be a performance of The Vagina Monologues benefiting both RightRides and the V-Day 2010 Spotlight on Women of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
xoder: (Driving)
· 2007 Mazda 3 Hatchback — Giant interior cargo space, that I didn't use. Small and nimble, but not too much acceleration. Easy to park, and in my case, purple. Also, Canadian, so reading an odometer/speedometer in km/h was a little odd. But I was in Canada at the time, so at least they matched! One interesting thing about the trim was the inclusion of the vehicle's color on portions of the seat fabric accents.

The rest of the cars I've driven

In Canada!

Jul. 8th, 2009 10:09 pm
xoder: (shmoopy)
But before Canadian stories, new Zipcar:
· 200? Toyota Prius — If it looks like a small car, sounds like a small car, it is one, regardless of hybridness. The car had a very strange shifting method, where I had to hold the shifter into the selection and then release. There was also a separate button to put it in park. The rear view glass was hard to see through and annoying to use. And I found the idling creep a little slow to engage. But it handled well, and it had OK acceleration. The killer-app was the incredible cheapness ($8/hr on a weekend!) and being at the right place (Herald Square) at the right time (when Erin and I had tons of shopping we didn't want to lug on the train).

So far in Toronto:
* Public workers' strike means overflowing garbage cans and no more ferries to the Toronto Islands, which I wanted to go see.
* Erin and I had a great time at the CN Tower and Steam Whistle Brewery. At the latter, I ate a pellet of hops, which was a most interesting experience.
* We also did a lot more transit use today than yesterday.
* Speaking of yesterday, we had a pleasant and uneventful trip to YYZ from JFK, and then both of us took mass transit to nearly our hotel and walked a long distance to the hotel. Now we use the streetcars instead of walking.
* Both of our feet have been having a tricky time with the significantly higher workload.

And, believe it or not, we have been trying to relax, too!
xoder: (shmoopy)
First off, the new Zipcars:
· 2008 Honda Civic — The cockpit looks like a spaceship! It's surprisingly roomy inside with a nice amount of acceleration and handling. I didn't have it for long or use it for much, so I cannot really comment on it too much.
· 2008 BMW 328i — So much fun! From the push-button start to the three different shifting modes (Drive, Sport Drive, clutchless manual), this car was all about a good time. The inline 6 rode smoothly and powerfully and [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying and I had a great time opening it up once or twice. Being a 3-series, the backseat was a little small, but the trunk is surprisingly large for such a small car. The only problem I had with it was the steering was a little tight at low speeds, making it slightly harder to park. As a geek, I really appreciated the MPG meter right below the tachometer.


See the other cars I've driven.

On to the important stuff: This weekend, Erin and I got married again! This time with family and friends!

Thursday I randomly ran into my dad as well as my cousin and his wife down in the Village and had dinner with them and Erin. Well, not entirely random, as my cousin and his wife were in town for the wedding.

On Friday, Erin and I took off from work. We brought some final stuff to the venue in Queens as well as bought the wine. Then we returned to Brooklyn and picked up my brothers for help set up the venue. We got there at 3pm and nearly finished by 6pm. We all returned to Brooklyn yet again for dinner with my dad's family, with even more people from out of town!

Saturday, very early in the morning, I took the train to lower Manhattan to pick up the aforementioned Beamer and drive it back to Brooklyn. I took the Brooklyn Bridge and bought flowers and bread and way too many breadsticks on the way back home. After a short while at home, Erin and I took off with the really truly final load of stuff for the venue. We were a little late, so Alex and Kitri were already there, ready and willing to help out.

After some setup, Erin and I took off for some last minute supplies (coffee things, balloons and an emergency undershirt for me) and came back to some small emergencies. While the cupcakes arrived on time and in perfect shape, the Fairway order had gone slightly awry. The lasagna had been completely sloshed about, the wrong salad was delivered, and an entire entree was missing! Our servers from Barnard Bartending Agency were able to rescue the lasagna before guests arrived, while Fairway was able to redeliver the correct salad, the missing chicken, and a "we're sorry" cookie plate along with a 10% discount. So yeah, I'd still use them again. I heard [livejournal.com profile] rosefox may have had something to do with all that, but I was in the car, so I'm not too sure about what exactly happened.

During some of the Drama above, I got dressed, then picked up [livejournal.com profile] malaul and Erin for them to do the same. Then I schmoozed with the now-arrived guests while they got ready. Sometime in there, Rose gave me her very cute paperclip cufflinks to replace the ones I left at home.

Shortly after the ladies returned to the venue, we did the ceremony (again). Afterwards, Erin and I returned to the car to enjoy some alone time and A/C. (The venue forgot to turn it on, initially, so it was still rather warm in there throughout the entire gathering.) We came back, and used a text message to cue Rose (our lovely DJ) to start some big band song I'd only ever heard less than 24 hours prior, but it was sweet and true. Dinner was served according to flower color (my idea, thank you very much!).

All the while, everything moved very smoothly, and for that I have to thank the Barnard girls as well as the powerful solution finders of Rose and Faelan. Erin and I schmoozed primarily with our friends and family, rather than our new in-laws, but that seems rather natural to me.

After dinner came cake and after cake came the last dance. We hired the Barnard girls for an additional hour to help break down, but they were done in less than a half-hour! Perishables were loaded into my car (never I have I ever taken so quickly to such possessive language with a Zipcar), gifts loaded into my father's car, and everything else loaded into Erin's parents' van. Erin and I stuck around to make sure the breakdown went successfully and to pay our delightful servers.

Erin and I returned to Brooklyn to drop off said perishables, and it is during that time that any liberties that may or may not have been taken with the car happened. We dropped off the car at its home in lower Manhattan and walked to the hotel.

Picture this: Young couple in semi-formal wear, lady with a veil, gentleman with a vase and a bouquet of roses. The couple checks into a fancy hotel, just across the street from the WTC site. The person at the desk takes a break from checking them in to go into a back office. Moments later she returns with her (presumed) manager who asks, "You two got married today?" The couple responds affirmatively, and he replies, "Well, I just got you an upgrade I think you'll be very happy with."

We went up to the 52nd floor and found some lovely fireworks over the East River visible outside the window in the elevator lobby. After a little bit of watching, we headed over to our room. I should say "headed over to our massive suite with 1½ bathrooms, jacuzzi tub, king bed, and views to the North, East, and West". We were so invigorated (and hungry) that we ran out to a diner and came back to sleep a peaceful sleep — after all the planning and the stress, we were done.

Got up the next morning, ogled the view some more and wend out for brunch. Came back, checked out and went home on the subway. Did dishes and laundry and then Erin went out for a massive massage while I chilled with my dad's family for one last evening.

Truly a successful weekend, don't you think?
xoder: (Driving)
· 2009 Toyota Matrix — The previous Toyota Matrix I drove was the 2006, which was the first model year, I think. They certainly improved this vehicle. It's got a goodly amount of pickup, big interior space, and it handles very well. It was the first car [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying and I have driven in where she started asking me questions like, "How much do you think this car is?", and, "What are payments on that amount like?" The only problem I had with it was the same problem I always have with cars: I have to duck slightly to see stop lights if I'm at the line. One day I'll get a convertible, and this won't be a problem!



See the other cars I've driven.

GIP

Mar. 13th, 2009 02:10 pm
xoder: (Driving)
Had to drop a lot of colors to get this icon to fit, but it works! Original photo by [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying.

New Zipcar!

Mar. 2nd, 2009 10:36 am
xoder: (Recursing Xoder)
· 2006 Toyota Matrix — Small in every way except for the cargo space. Slightly better acceleration than the xB, but only just. Handling is nothing special. The engine seemed particularly loud, but I can't say how much that was due to possible poor maintenance or design.


See the rest of cars I've driven list

Voice Post

Mar. 1st, 2009 02:04 pm
xoder: (Default)


Edit: While my wristwatch and the car's clock both said I was 4 minutes late, and my cellphone said I was 2 minutes late, the Zipcar website says I returned on time. I hope the site keeps that decision.
xoder: (Default)

[Poll #1352066]
xoder: (Rez)
For those of you who don't remember, I've been keeping track of cars I've driven, and what I think of them. This past weekend I drove a new (to me) Zipcar that I will be adding to the original list, once I've added it here.

· 2007 Honda Odyssey — Highly drivable. It rode very low to the ground which was nice (car-like handling), but also not so nice (I drove it in Gilboa, so a little higher undercarriage would have assuaged some fears). The electronic stability control system performed like a champ on the tiny piece of ice we found out there. But the most amazing thing was the depth of the trunk. Because the rear seats are designed to fold flat into the vehicle, behind the third row is absolutely cavernous. The most annoying things about the vehicle had to deal with internal documentation. Many cars' fuel gauges tell you which side has the port. This one didn't. It was also hard to find the levers for the fuel door and the hood (I had to add windshield washer fluid).

[I need a driving userpic, I think]
xoder: (Default)
I do not recall the three cars I drove from my drivers' ed classes, so I cannot go over those. I'll try to keep this current as I add new cars to my experience.

My family's:
· 1992 Toyota Camry Station Wagon — The V6 gave this old little buggy some serious pickup, although it was still a wagon, and a creaky one before it was donated to my brother and then driven into the ground.
· 2007 Toyota Avalon &mdash Poor man's Lexus, indeed. Smooth ride, excellent handling, and some fun when you hit the pedal.
· 2001? Subaru Outback — The driver's seat has excellent support. Not excellent acceleration, but it did the job. I didn't have the chance to try out the All-Wheel Drive, and I'm OK with that.

[livejournal.com profile] erin_trying's family's:
· 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan — Decent all around car. Killer amounts of storage space, though. Doesn't feel too vanny, but it's no car.
· 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer — Utterly unremarkable, although the environment where I drove it (Mesa, AZ) was a true drivers' heaven: flat, straight, dry, bright.

Zipcars:
· Scion xA — Itty bitty, but surprising amounts of storage space if you put down the back seats. Decent pickup.
· Scion xB — Small on the outside, huge on the inside. Absolutely no acceleration. Absolutely none.
· Toyota Tacoma — It's a pickup truck. It drives like a truck. Could have used a few more tiedown points in the bed, in my opinion.
· 2007 Honda Odyssey — Highly drivable. It rode very low to the ground which was nice (car-like handling), but also not so nice (I drove it in Gilboa, so a little higher undercarriage would have assuaged some fears). The electronic stability control system performed like a champ on the tiny piece of ice we found out there. But the most amazing thing was the depth of the trunk. Because the rear seats are designed to fold flat into the vehicle, behind the third row is absolutely cavernous. The most annoying things about the vehicle had to deal with internal documentation. Many cars' fuel gauges tell you which side has the port. This one didn't. It was also hard to find the levers for the fuel door and the hood (I had to add windshield washer fluid). [added Feb. 16, 2009]
· 2006 Toyota Matrix — Small in every way except for the cargo space. Slightly better acceleration than the xB, but only just. Handling is nothing special. The engine seemed particularly loud, but I can't say how much that was due to possible poor maintenance or design. [added Mar. 2, 2009]
· 2009 Toyota Matrix — The previous Toyota Matrix I drove was the 2006, which was the first model year, I think. They certainly improved this vehicle. It's got a goodly amount of pickup, big interior space, and it handles very well. It was the first car [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying and I have driven in where she started asking me questions like, "How much do you think this car is?", and, "What are payments on that amount like?" The only problem I had with it was the same problem I always have with cars: I have to duck slightly to see stop lights if I'm at the line. One day I'll get a convertible, and this won't be a problem! [added Jun. 1, 2009]
· 2008 Honda Civic — The cockpit looks like a spaceship! It's surprisingly roomy inside with a nice amount of acceleration and handling. I didn't have it for long or use it for much, so I cannot really comment on it too much. [added Jun. 15, 2009]
· 2008 BMW 328i — So much fun! From the push-button start to the three different shifting modes (Drive, Sport Drive, clutchless manual), this car was all about a good time. The inline 6 rode smoothly and powerfully and [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying and I had a great time opening it up once or twice. Being a 3-series, the backseat was a little small, but the trunk is surprisingly large for such a small car. The only problem I had with it was the steering was a little tight at low speeds, making it slightly harder to park. As a geek, I really appreciated the MPG meter right below the tachometer. [added Jun. 15, 2009]
· 200? Toyota Prius — If it looks like a small car, sounds like a small car, it is one, regardless of hybridness. The car had a very strange shifting method, where I had to hold the shifter into the selection and then release. There was also a separate button to put it in park. The rear view glass was hard to see through and annoying to use. And I found the idling creep a little slow to engage. But it handled well, and it had OK acceleration. The killer-app was the incredible cheapness ($8/hr on a weekend!) and being at the right place (Herald Square) at the right time (when Erin and I had tons of shopping we didn't want to lug on the train). [added Jul. 8, 2009]
· 2007 Mazda 3 Hatchback — Giant interior cargo space, that I didn't use. Small and nimble, but not too much acceleration. Easy to park, and in my case, purple. Also, Canadian, so reading an odometer/speedometer in km/h was a little odd. But I was in Canada at the time, so at least they matched! One interesting thing about the trim was the inclusion of the vehicle's color on portions of the seat fabric accents. [added Jul. 14, 2009]

Other:
· Ford 15-passenger Van — Huuuuge! Very floaty on the road, almost feels like you're driving a boat. Handles decently down steep dirt roads in low gear. I couldn't park it to save my life, however.

On Arisia

Jan. 21st, 2009 10:55 am
xoder: (Default)
I had an excellent time working the Green Room with [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying, [livejournal.com profile] rosefox, [livejournal.com profile] sinboy, [livejournal.com profile] glib_dichotomy, [livejournal.com profile] malaul, and Randee [edit: [livejournal.com profile] kitteridge, and anyone else I missed [edit: [livejournal.com profile] deyo, and [livejournal.com profile] mactavish, for example]. I didn't get to spend much time out and about in the con, but it all worked out. Got some tasties from Dealer's Row, and got significant driving experience—at night and in (light) snow on the way home, even!

Big loud drinking/dancing parties hold no interest for me, and I must remind myself that this is not a character flaw, and it does not mean that I will never meet anyone interesting, and it does not mean that I should force myself to go. It does mean that the "inflationary" portion of my friend-gathering life is likely over, however, as I don't have the forced social environment like High School anymore. [By "inflationary", I am referring to the cosmological concept of inflation, which is when the young universe expanded extraordinarily fast before slowing down to where we are now.] I'm OK with that. It also means that I will likely have a bad time at any party like that. And I already know that I will have a bad time at any party I'm too sleepy at.

Reading the above, I wonder if I'm becoming an introvert lately. I've always loved casual contact with people (i.e., living in the city, making small talk), but I just cannot deal with loud, crowded, hot, dark parties. They do not move me in the slightest, and I find them uncomfortable. Much the same thing with bars, although, in addition, they seem pointless.

Bah, after writing such things, I feel like such a stick-in-the-mud and/or old man. Also, boring.
xoder: (Default)
When the MTA paints over your tag, the correct solution is to complain about their choice of paint.

My TKD teacher, Howard will be giving a free Self-Defense Workshop this upcoming Thursday at 7:30p at his studio in Brooklyn. I wish I could go myself, but I'll be working 2nd shift.

I've decided that I much prefer mass transit to driving. I still like to drive, in general, but for commuting I find taking the train to be very superior. Next week, I will try to minimize the number of trips taken by car, which will likely include leaving the car at work one night. This will reduce the amount of time spent parking (which is substantial in Carroll Gardens around midnight) while allowing me to get to Howard's noontime classes on Tuesday and Thursday.
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xoder: (Megaopoly)
Yep, I definitely borked my Windows install, and I'm pretty sure I know where and how I did it, but it's impossible to repair at this point. At this rate, I may just wipe my entire partition table, go buy Vista Ultimate at some online OEM store, and do it that way. Or I could just steal Erin's XP CD, but I don't know if Dell has XP drivers for my machine. I guess that can be my research project for the next few days.

Parking last night took me about an hour. Not so fun, but that's what Carroll Gardens parking is.

Sometimes while driving I am shocked at how intuitive it is. It becomes like my forms, where if I think about it while doing it, I think I'm doing everything wrong, and am about to fix it, when I realize I was doing the right thing the whole time, and the correction is the error. This seems to especially happen to me when I check my right mirror. No, I don't know why.

Also, driving for about 2 hours hurts my right knee, right below (not under) the kneecap. Does this happen to anyone else? When it happens to me, it feels like doing a quadriceps stretch would fix it, but it doesn't get fixed this way, just walking on it eventually works it out.

C/IV

Sep. 10th, 2008 07:15 am
xoder: (Default)
Here's another quaint shot of Middleburgh. Just thought you might like it.

Thanks to Facebook and LJ, many of you have been reminded that it's my birthday. Normally I'd be excited, too, but this year finds me very busy and tired. I wanted to take the opportunity to not make any plans for today except for getting the lab some sweets after lunch. So that's what I'm doing. I think Erin's planning to take me out somewhere, but that's her plan and I don't need to be aware of it until it begins to actually affect me. This does not mean that I don't want to do anything, but rather that at this time, I don't wish to do any planning for it.

Class last night was good, I just wish I had slept more prior to it. I've got a lot of reading to do before the class meets again in over 2 weeks. Because I don't have class, I'll be offering to take 2nd shift from my benchmate. Right now I'm trying to decide whether I should ask to borrow my dad's car for that week, including staying at my parents' house.
Photo-0094.jpg

xoder: (Default)
This is Andrew's assembled stuff, and the little red car that got said stuff out of Brooklyn. You can see why I was a little concerned about room, but it all worked out with the back seats down.

We had a lovely ride out of Brooklyn to the drop off point at Fordham, where, after some unloading, we picked up Erin and Andrew's roommate Paul. I took Andrew and Paul to Chinatown and we continued on our merry way. Erin took photos of architecture in Brooklyn, so if you have her friended on Flickr or Facebook, check them out.

Then we browsed and went to my parents' for dinner. Pretty nice day overall. Going back to work and school today will be a killer.
Photo-0103.jpg

xoder: (Default)
Someone must really dislike this person. Notice the massive keying going on here. Also the window has some sharpie calling the owner a bitch. I don't know if you can read that from this angle. I hope that the only reason it's still like this is that the cops need the evidence and the insurance money is on the way.

Going to pick up my first ZipCar today. I'm really excited, but a little worried I skimped on cargo space too much by getting a xA. I think it'll be fine with the seats down, and I have it for long enough that I can make two trips easily. I also have 5 CDs for a 3-hour reservation, because I'm crazy like that (one's an EP, anyways!).

The only problem with this outing is my notorious early arrival. At this rate, I'll be at the garage 15-30 minutes early. Which is OK, I guess, as I want to be there the second my reservation starts, just in case I do need to do multiple runs. So, I'm sitting on the Promenade. Life, for the moment at least, is good.
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xoder: (Default)
The summer trip was excellent as usual. Actually, it went extremely smoothly, likely due to an increased number of upper belts in Howard's group, as well as a general aging of many of the kids.

I was very touched when Howard let me drive the 15-passenger van. There was much hilarity when we took a little private road thanks to a GPS system that had a touch of sadism. There were so many good times that it seems pointless to count.

The attached photo is from Middleburgh, one of the larger towns near Gilboa (everyone actually had cell service!).

Now I'm going to have to go to work early for the next few months, as The Customer is in town for our Big Final Test. And I need to pick up my ID because I forgot it as I often do after a vacation.
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xoder: (Default)
End of message.
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xoder: (Default)
There isn't much more to say about the photo than the subject line.

Loud drums are about to start here on the train. They, strangely enough, are loud.

Overall a good day, well outside of work. Did the shopping I needed to do, got a Zipcard, and had a nice dinner with my family. My trains leaving Jersey, however, were extremely delayed, so I missed practice w/ Howard.

Work was a problem thanks to the two blackouts we had. All our test equipment rebooted, as did all the relevant network hardware, so not only were our stations screwed up, but we couldn't even surf the web to entertain ourselves while we waited, fruitlessly for the situation to improve.
Photo-0070.jpg

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