Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 24th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina –

Water's a bit rough and there's still
snow on the mountains
I’ll confess. I took a little nap when I got to the hotel instead of jumping right online and doing my blog. Up before five, then driving for six hours wiped me out. 
Since all of the snow and most of the ice waterfalls were completely melted, I decided to take the ferry over from Essex, New York to Burlington, Vermont. This usually cuts over an hour off of my trip and saves about a quarter of a tank of gas. 

The water on Lake Champlain
is so high from the snow melt
it's lapping up on to the dock.
Unfortunately, we got there ten minutes after the ferry had left, so we had to wait fifty minutes for the next ferry. They only run once an hour this time of the year. So, I still saved gas, but missed the short window between exams when Lys would be in her room.

Since we were late anyway, my nephew and I stopped at Chipotle for lunch. I have never been, but it is one of his favorite places. I had the chicken tacos, and other than them being a little too spicy for me, they were very good, but $1.95 for a little cup of guacamole was a little ridiculous. After we ate, I called Lys’ roommate Rhea, and she let us in so we could bring the rest of Lys’ packing bins and space bags up to her room. Rhea’s just about finished packing, so the room looks so bare. I did give Rhea something extra she needed to pack though; I gave her a copy of Corporate Blues as a thank you for being a good roommate for my daughter.

I can't believe Lys is finished with her first year of college already. It feels like we were just dropping her off, and now we are packing up her dorm. Boy that
I think this was the groundbreaking
for the new sophomore dorms. 
school year went quick!
Granted, some of it has to do with her school year ending so early this year. They only had two weeks for Christmas break, where most colleges had five. I’m not 100% sure, but I think Champlain has some construction projects going on over the summer and they needed the extra time. Next year, the schedule is like every other college, and they get out in the middle of May.

So, when I woke up from my nap, I procrastinated some more, and went to the lobby for a cup of coffee – decaf of course. I chatted with the girl at the front desk, then I went outside for a few minutes. Whenever I stay at a hotel, I like to check out the cars in the parking lot to see where everyone’s from, I know, I’m a kook. The one thing which never dawned on me until Samantha, the girl at the front desk, mentioned it, was just because the license plate says one state, it doesn’t mean the folks are actually from that state. If it’s a rental, the plates could be from anywhere. It was an “ah ha” moment. I had never thought of that.

There was one vehicle in the parking lot which really piqued my interest. I came back inside and whispered to Samantha, “Please tell me they’re a guest, and I have no reason for concern.” She knew exactly what I was referring to, and assured me they were a guest. (Sorry, FB readers. If you want to see what I’m talking about, you’ll need to look at the blog.)

Okay, I don’t want to push my luck. Tim is reading quietly while I write so as not to disturb me, and I don’t want to take advantage. I hope y’all have a wonderful day, and happy writing!

Your Last Challenge was:

Aaarrrggghhh! I can’t take it anymore. Why do they have to make things so difficult? Why can’t anything be simple? Or go easy? It’s a plot, a scheme, I just know it. All the big companies are banning together against us little people. They want to make us feel so insane, we need to turn to them to do everything. See, it must be working, they are turning me into one of those conspiracy nuts.
Every little thing we used to be able to do for ourselves, is now a major production. Example, last weekend, my husband went to change the oil on my car. This is the first time we have had to do it, because the maintenance plan we had ran out. This should be no big deal. He has changed the oil hundreds of times, even on his relatively new, three year old, work truck.
So he picks up the six quarts of oil and the new filter, which should have been his first clue that this project was doomed to fail. The filter isn’t a one piece unit anymore, it’s literally a filter and “O” rings, which need to be placed into a stationary housing. Okay, interesting, but not a deal breaker, so my husband proceeds. He figures out the funky mechanism to release the oil so it can drain from the car – luckily the special adapter needed came with the oil filter. The oil drains, and he goes to replace the filter. He gets the cap off, only to find another top which requires a special wrench.

I ran out of time, but I thought you’d want the end of the story. He realizes he doesn’t have the right tool, so he calls the auto part store, and they tell him they have the wrenches needed. He goes back to the store, makes a wild guess at which of the six wrenches was the right size – the guy at the counter couldn’t tell him – brings it home, and it doesn’t work. My husband ended up closing the oil plug back up and dumping six quarts of cheapy oil in the car, just so I wasn’t driving to Vermont with sludge in my engine. He’ll get the correct wrench and then do a proper oil change next month.

I’m telling you, it’s a conspiracy. They want to make things so difficult, you have to turn to them instead of being able to help yourself. It’s very frustrating.

Your Next Challenge is:

The students have taken over the classroom (or school)

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.