Friday, March 23, 2007


University is closed

Hello, we're sorry but Clemson University is closed today.

I'm here though. Why? Mostly because the parking service Nazis are off today so we can park wherever we please without fear of being ticketed.

It's a fairly relaxed day though. And man is the weather down here unbelievable. The highs tomorrow are supposed to be in the low 80s. And they're in the mid-70s right now. And I'm thinking of moving to Canada. What the hell is wrong with me?

I'm in flip flops today. My grandmother really hates them. She is scared that we drive in them also lest an errant flop wedge itself inbetween the brake and the floor and send us careening into a milk truck.

Why a milk truck? Beats me. But can you imagine the smell of that after a few hours in the sun? Yikes.

J and I are planning on moving this July/August. We've started to look and there are some places that are hopefully nicer than our place and only slightly more expensive.

I like moving. It gives you a chance to purge some of your belongings. We don't need everything in our house, so it's nice to sell and give away some of it and lighten our load.

I freaked out about my pre-oral yesterday, which is okay because it always sends me into a tizzy of work and stress. I usually work better with a little stress to keep my mind focused.

The set of wheels (rims) I picked up from another Focus guy no longer have crappy old tires on them and are ready for cleaning. They're a sort of bronzish color that he spray-painted black over. It looks okay but some of the paint is chipping. I assume they're aluminum underneath so maybe I'll just strip off all the paint and go with bare aluminum and some wax. Currently that and washing both cars is my planned Saturday morning activity.

After getting the wheels dismounted, I was near Anderson so I swung by our local Ford stealership. Have I done my "why the 2008 Focus sucks" tirade on here? If not, I'll do that maybe this weekend or Monday. So I was enquiring about replacing my front wheel bearings and a few other odds and ends. They bring out a tech and he says the bearings alone are 2.5 billed hours of labor on one side, so that's 5 hours labor, $84 parts, $61 belt tensioner, a $60 alignment and we're at a grand total of $653.51. Shit. Thanks for the estimate and I hightail it out of there.

The big part of that job is you need a press to press the old wheel bearing out of the wheel knuckle (the part that keeps the brakes connected to the suspension and the wheel) and press the new one in. The wheel bearing is what lets the wheels spin, so they're mildly important. However, Ford Racing sells a "Rally Brake Kit" that replaces all 4 steering knuckles and has the wheel bearings already pressed in and would also replace my crappy rear drums with some nice new disc brakes. That kit goes for $995. Ugh, decisions, decisions. Actually it isn't really a decision at this point, it's just convincing J that it's worthwhile preventative maintenance and a cost effective upgrade. All she hears is the big number and the word "car" and then starts griping that the car is a money hole. I can't really argue with that since I'm a terrible arguer in the first place and that she has a very valid point.

Hmm, maybe if when we can start going out to eat again, I start bringing sandwiches and drinking water, I can convince her that I can reduce the cost of eating out?

What I should really do is just postpone this whole racing thing until I have a real job and can afford to do stuff like this, but what fun is that? It's a knife edge, this tight-rope walk between being a responsible adult and blowing money on hobbies.

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