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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 03:57pm on 16/06/2009 under , ,
I'm up at my parents' for a few days. It took me 7 hours to get here. They closed a lane of I-78 and it took me over an hour to go 7 miles (there are mile markers). Then I ended up at the Holland Tunnel, had to get uptown, and it all meant I didn't hit the Midtown Tunnel till 3pm. Ugh. I was so tired I didn't notice I was in a cash only lane and got stopped by a toll taker. I apologized profusely. (I've gotten used to roads where all lanes take EZ-Pass.)

Today I had a doctor's appointment. It would seem that I have managed to lose 35 lbs over the past 8 months, including 10 in the past 6 weeks. Wow.
location: 11747
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 12:43pm on 03/06/2009 under ,
$1500!!! FFS. It included 6.5 hours of labor, which is silly, but hey.

Submitted a claim. Oddly, it's a relief, mostly because it's so far over the deductible.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 11:09am on 02/06/2009 under ,
This morning, we headed to the DMV to get new licenses. This had involved minor drama. PA requires proof of residency (bills, etc). Further, it requires you to re-register your car within 21 days of moving to the state. Finally, in order to register your car in PA, you need a PA drivers license. Um.

Anyway, I got a Verizon bill yesterday, and along with our lease, that sufficed. Neil was a bit nervous as he didn't have a bill, but they accepted the letter from Pennsylvania Power & Light demanding ID since we'd never been customers before. I then re-registered my car and got PA plates.

Unfortunately, when I had to bring my car up (they needed to check the VIN against the title) I hit a concrete planter and cracked the goddamn bumper. Honda bumpers are practically disposable. It's not worth submitting it to insurance (we have comprehensive, but it's a $500 deductible). I'm not happy. We've had so many expenses lately, and we still have more to come.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 03:27pm on 15/05/2009 under ,
1) I can drive to Baltimore in 1h15 if I time it right. This is better and more convenient than going to suburban Philadelphia to shop, though that has the King of Prussia mall. Kosher meat (and, OK, Whole Paycheck) are not available here so that's nice. Not that I'd want to do it too often (it is tiring) but it's nice to be able to. It is a shame that you can't get the train to Baltimore or DC, though. With the number of Baltimore commuters moving to York County, maybe they'll think about it. I can dream.

2) I-83 is really dull and consequently quite tiring to drive. The drivers are maniacs. I was doing 80 and getting passed on the outside. One guy came into a fairly small gap between me (left lane) and a tractor trailer (just behind me in the right), passed me, then passed someone else in the right--all at at least 90. He basically weaved in and out.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 06:18pm on 11/11/2008 under
Ugh. We were just in an accident. Not our fault. Neil was forced to stop because someone was forcing her way on, and a van that was going too fast swerved and clipped us, then smacked into a Camry. No major damage (busted tail light, some panel damage) but it's a PITA.
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Doh

posted by [personal profile] alexist at 05:17pm on 07/11/2008 under
I had to get an insurance inspection done. (If you get comprehensive and collision on a used car, you need a photo inspection so you can't claim for existing damage.)

I got the list of places. One was a Citgo on 110. It said "Next to Post Office". Right, I thought, I know where that is, and went.

Only, it wasn't. Turns out it was the OTHER Citgo station. The one by where the post office USED to be, until 9 years ago. *headdesk*
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 07:25pm on 05/11/2008 under
I/we have a new car. (It's registered and insured in my name, muwahaha, because Neil doesn't have an American driver's license.) 2005 Honda Accord LX. We would have liked an EX (power seats, possibly even leather...) but they didn't have any that weren't V6s, which we didn't want. (it would be really nice to drive, but eat gas a lot quicker than the standard 2.4) It's pretty good, though, and a definite improvement over a Jetta 1.8! It's not as large as the 2008 Accord, which I really, really liked, but that was well out of our target price range. Again, though, large enough and better trunk space which we need.

We did get hooked for the extended warranty. It's a good idea but they charge more than it's really worth, I think. So all told, we spent a bit more than we planned to. Still, I'm glad to have it done.

Of course, I now have a ludicrously common car. So common that it's 1 of 3 in a row parked in the lot outside.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 06:09pm on 14/10/2008 under ,
The presidential debate is being held near me (at Hofstra University in Hempstead). There are warnings on the parkways. It's gonna be fun. They've closed part of Hempstead Turnpike all day for security reasons.

I'd really like to do something tomorrow (aside from going to the bank with Neil since he now has an SSN and can open an account) but I don't want to drive anywhere near that, and I suspect traffic panic may drive people off the Northern Parkway and onto the LIE. I'm sure as hell not going to the mall (right by Hofstra) even though I actually need to.
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 08:36pm on 01/06/2007 under , ,
We got started late and didn't leave till 10:30. Traffic on the Belt was so-so, traffic on the Turnpike sucked donkey testicles (as usual). I think it was 15:00 when we got out of Jersey (including a 20 minute stop for lunch and another for Aliza's bottle that she turned down at lunch time).

Once we got into Delaware there was a traffic jam. Luckily they all appeared to be headed for the tax-free shopping off exit 4A, and we made good time through Baltimore ("scenic downtown Ballmer!" Sorry, John Waters reference though I think I misquoted it) and to the DC limits. Once we got down New York Avenue, though, we discovered a problem. It said to turn from 1st St to North St. There is no North St there--they meant N Street. A spiral through the one-way system ensued. Meanwhile, Aliza started crying for her bottle.

We finally found the hotel and went round the block looking for the garage entrance. Aliza was screaming and I wanted to get her inside, and Neil was stressed too--and he cut his turn too far, and scraped someone. Someone turned out to be a DoJ employee who insisted on exchanging insurance information even though she only had a tiny dent on her bumper. *groans* I went in to the hotel while Neil did that (and discovered they had valet parking).

It also turns out we have to inform DC police, who are currently interviewing Neil.

Thank G-d we booked a decent hotel so we can order room service.

Oh good, he's back. The police were called out on an emergency. He hasn't been interviewed yet.

Did I mention I have a stinking headache? And I went to the pharmacy down the street to get something and didn't get myself any Advil--I thought of it right after I walked out.

Tomorrow will be better. I insist on it!

(yes, in room internet access. Of course I brought my laptop. Much better than guidebooks :) )
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
location: 20036
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posted by [personal profile] alexist at 12:20am on 08/05/2007 under ,
Neil and I have decided to go to DC for a few days in the middle of our trip to the States. Since we've already rented a car for 2 weeks, we're driving down. This could be interesting ;-) We'll be sharing the driving (Neil trusts me in the States). Letting him loose on the New Jersey Turnpike, though... ;-) I've informed him that, sadly, we will be missing the Vince Lombardi rest area (we'll be entering the turnpike too far south).

Interesting note: if you plug my parents' ZIP code into Google Maps directions, it tells you to go via the Bronx (BAD BAD route). If you put in their exact address, it sends you via Staten Island. Now, my assumption is that their start point for 11747 is further north and directs the algorithm to use the Northern Parkway to get off LI, even though that route ultimately sends you in a roundabout way and through worse traffic. BUT, because the mileage is almost identical, it doesn't realise that. What's exceptionally interesting is that I looked at their start point and it's pretty close to my parents'. (We discovered this because I double checked, using their exact address, and Neil meanwhile had just plugged in the ZIP and mentioned the Throgs Neck Bridge as part of the route. We tested it and sure enough, that's the quirk.)

(Comparison route: My way, which I'd already thought was right:
Southern State -> Belt Pkwy -> Verrazano-Narrows Br -> Staten Island Expwy -> West Shore Expwy -> Outerbridge Crossing -> Rte 440 -> NJ Turnpike.
Other route: Northern State Pkwy -> Grand Central Pkwy -> Clearview Expwy -> Throgs Neck Br -> Cross Bronx Expwy -> George Washington Br -> New Jersey Tpke. If you've ever driven in NYC you know that the Cross Bronx / GWB / Turnpike is a bad route anytime and is a particularly bad way to go to DC!)

Must see if I can borrow my sister's EZ-Pass. (I'll pay her back for the tolls, I just want to be able to skip the massive queues in the cash lanes.) (EZ-Pass - automated toll collection. Think DART Tag, if you've seen that, only this works in the entire Northeast which has lots of toll roads and bridges! Current MTA B&T toll is $4.50 one way cash, $4 E-Z Pass, double toll collected westbound only on the Verrazano. NJ Turnpike is paid per mile travelled. Apparently, it will cost us $3.10 cash. Oh, 2nd plus to SI route: Less money paid on turnpike tolls. :-) )

And now that I've given you an incomprehensible lesson in road geekery...

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