The subject of my post today comes from a movie Becky and I recently watched on TBS, ***Zoolander|http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0196229/***. A decidedly goofy movie starring the goofy Ben Stiller, the story revolves around a past-his-prime male model being brainwashed by a clothing designer and used to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia, who is planning to introduce sweeping changes in child labor laws which would aversely impact the revenues of clothiers worldwide. If you like bizarre humor and can stand Ben Stiller, it’s a good laugh.
Becky and I also recently saw ***Shrek 2|http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0298148/***, a very funny computer-animated movie which relies on a different genre of humor. In Shrek 2, the pop culture references and satire are fast and furious, and I’d say they make up about half of the movie’s laugh quotient. The other half is covered mainly by the hilarious personalities crafted by the movie’s leading men: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas. If you liked Shrek, you’ll certainly enjoy Shrek 2.
In other news, my 1994 Toyota Camry just rolled over 193,000 miles this week. That’s almost 20,000 miles per year – well above the national average of 15,000 miles. It is starting to show its age. Last week, I attempted to roll down the driver’s side window. There was some ker-chunking, and the window ground about halfway down and then started slowly sliding down the rest of its way on its own. Now, that doesn’t stop me from driving the car, but it’s certainly annoying to drive in the rain with a window down.
So I took my car in to the local Toyota dealer to have them look at the window. They said it needed a new window motor and regulator assembly, and the cost was a bit more than I was hoping to pay, so I had them just put the window back together in the “up” position. This way, as long as I don’t hit the window button, the window will stay up and protect me from the elements. It is annoying at toolbooths and drive-throughs, but there are at least work-arounds. However, the Toyota dealer also indicated that there were some other problems with my car that should be fixed – CV-Boots and wheel bearings should be replaced, and the front and rear brakes both need some work.
I wanted to get a second opinion, so I decided to take my car to a local shop which Becky has used before, ***Auto-Dyne|http://www.auto-dyne.com/***. The nice thing about Auto-Dyne is that they are located directly next to our apartment building, so we can actually walk right from our parking lot into theirs. 🙂 They checked my car out this morning, and did agree with the dealership that the brake job was an immediate necessity, but gave me a much lower estimate for the parts and labor. They disagreed, that the CV-Boots and wheel bearings were in urgent need or repair. So right now they’re putting on new pads and rotors in front, and new shoes in back, and I hope to have it back by the end of the day.
The window problem I’m just going to live with for now. Like I said, there are work-arounds and I just can’t justify paying a lot of money for something that isn’t essential to the operation of the car. For example, the front left speaker doesn’t work, the back right window doesn’t go up or down, the dashboard lights for the heating/cooling system don’t work, and half of the driver’s door handle is broken off. All annoying, to be sure, but just not worth my time and money to get them repaired. As long as the car goes when I tell it to go, stops when I tell it to stop, and doesn’t go exploding on me, I’m happy.
I expect the car to perform just fine when, in a little over two weeks, Becky and I drive out to Ohio. We are looking forward to our time out there, seeing my family and having a nice relaxing time in the heartland. We are also going to be stopping in ***Niagara Falls|http://www.infoniagara.com/*** on the way back, which should be fun.
In still other news, Microsoft announced today that they will be upping the storage limit on their free Hotmail webmail accounts to ***250 megabytes|http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5245523.html***. They join ***Yahoo!|http://mail.yahoo.com/*** and ***Google|http://gmail.com/*** in the ongoing webmail wars to bring more resources to users.
I could probably write more, but this entry has grown quite long and unruly… the end!