Sunday, January 29, 2012

Children Say the Funniest Things

     This last fall my youngest son was being introduced to a new teacher at school.  Since my wife worked in the nursery at school, my son's teacher asked him to tell the new teacher where his mommy had come from.  My son thought about this for a while before finally answering, much to the teachers' amusement, "From the zoo."  My wife had come over from the Philippines about eight years ago which was why his teacher had asked the question; however, and this is supposition on our part, he probably answered the way he did because for a while she wore leopard spotted pants.  Needless to say, that is one thing which will not be easily forgotten.

Thought this move

Thanks to Erasmo Cortez

        I thought this move was going to be a whole lot easier than it actually was, to be honest with you, but it’s actually been a really tough transition. I think it’s great things are turning around for the better on the job front for me but you know, it’s hardly worth it when I think about how many people I had to leave behind to get here. I researched wireless internet providers in my area when I found my place so I could at least keep up with my friends on Facebook and email…the last thing I want to do is lose all those relationships I worked so hard for just because I had to take this job in Boston. I really love the job, don’t get me wrong, but Charlotte was my home and I’m sad not to be there anymore. I went back to visit over Christmas and it made me feel sad that I didn’t get to stay at the end of the trip! I really miss my friends.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Real Lemon

     Eighteen years ago, I took my daughter shopping for a used car for her.  After a long search, I found what I thought would be the perfect little car, a gray Toyota.  The car was not the nicest looking automobile on the lot, but when we drove it, the car purred like a kitten.  The price was right, and I was ready to seal the deal when my daughter spied a very nice looking Hyundai that was newer and looked much nicer for the same price.  That did it!  She wanted the Hyundai, so we bought the Hyundai.  Buying that Hyundai was the worst decision I have ever made.  It was in and out of the garage and was a constant drain on my wallet.  After eight months, we gave up and traded it in for almost nothing.

     Today California has a law entitled the Lemon Law which enables a buyer to return such a vehicle as the one described above to the seller for another vehicle.  California Lemon Law attorneys will work with people who have bought cars that are "lemons" to help them get their money back or another car to replace the malfunctioning vehicle.  Certified pre-owned cars are now treated as new cars under California Lemon law.  If I had an attorney back then who would have met with me and guided me through the process, assuming the same laws, I would have saved a bundle of money.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

San Francisco

     While camping around the United States back in 1997, I decided that I had to spend a day visiting San Francisco.  What an adventure that turned out to be!  I drove into the city in the early morning searching for a good parking spot.  I finally found a parking lot that was in an out of the way area with a bus stop in the immediate area.  I had a tight schedule that day having spent more time in Yosemite than I had planned.  When I saw a bus pulling up to the bus stop, I made a mad dash from the car to get the bus and  never thought to check where I was.   I took the bus to Fisherman's Wharf where I spent some time moseying around enjoying the sights. From there one could see, looming in the distance, the forbidding walls of infamous Alcatraz.  From Fisherman's Wharf, I took a street car to Chinatown where I had lunch, then returned to Fisherman's Wharf where I got a shuttle tour of the city.  Viewing the Golden Gate Bridge even from a distance was a highlight.  I enjoyed visiting Union Square, the Ferry Building and North Beach.
     However, upon our return to Fisherman's Wharf, I  suddenly realized that I had a serious problem.  In my haste to catch the bus that morning, I had neglected to ascertain the exact area where I boarded the bus.  Now I had to get back to my car pretty much by guess.  I took a bus to Union Square where I stopped at one of the coffee shops for a quick cup of coffee as the afternoon breeze had become suddenly chilly.  Then I headed out in the direction I thought my car would be located.  I walked for quite some time, leaving the shops and hotels of Union Square far behind me.  I eventually passed through a rather grungy neighborhood with what looked to be a number of warehouses.  As I was walking down a deserted street, two men exited a building ahead of me and sauntered my way.  As they neared me, one of the men studied me closely and then remarked to me as I passed, "You can't fool me.  I know an undercover cop when I see one."  I stuffed one fist in the sweatshirt I was wearing, hoping he would think I might have a weapon and passed by without comment.  Another ten minute walk brought me to a landmark I thought I had seen driving in to the parking lot.  Picking up my pace to a near jog and praying desperately that my car was near, I finally saw my parking lot in the distance.  An hour and a half after I left Union Square, I gratefully climbed into my little Nissan Sentra and made my way out of the city of San Francisco.  I would love to return someday and spend more time there, but the next time I will be better prepared and have my trip mapped out.
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