jillithian: (PeeWee's breakfast)
So, my day started off with Al not starting.

See, one of my favorite things about Al is that he usually starts right away - contrary to Darlene who would not start happily and decide to kill at random stop signs and stop lights just to let you know how much she didn't like starting in the first place.

So I think that means I need to figure out how to change his oil. The last one was done last spring before I got him.

Good thing there are the intertubes - complete with YouTube videos of how to change your motorcycle's oil.
jillithian: (Polly)
It's funny.

I've been married for over two years now. I changed my last name and even enrolled into grad school with my married name. However, since my grad school is the same university as my under-grad, all of their records continued to show me with my maiden name. I had left it as is until this summer when the Graduation Fear hit me and I finally thought about changing my school name to reflect my current name.

It's funny how it took me a while to decide to do this, and even now I'm a little hesitant and resistant.

Is that strange?


There's the stereotypical newly engaged girl who practices writing her new married name over and over again. And then there was me.

Tim proposed on Christmas (his favorite holiday) and my very first Christmas ever away from my family. My parents had just moved down to Florida and my brother was ending his first semester at college in Madison. Christmas involved a day surrounded by Tim's family and New Years involved two days surrounded by Tim's friends. I was suffering from a complete loss of identity. Where did Jill fit into all of this? I didn't have my family. I didn't have my friends. I was even going to lose my name. At one point on New Years Eve, I broke away from the group and sat in a chair in the hotel hallway - packed with people waiting for the show to start - and just cried. There I was - the newly engaged girl with the pretty ring on her finger - crying by herself on New Years Eve.


I don't know if this name on my diploma thing stems from the same issue or if it's just more a matter of pride. An oddly placed pride, but pride nonetheless. It falls along the same lines of me not wanting any kind of monetary help in paying for my grad school. My parents and my husband have all offered to help me pay for it, but I have been consistently turning them down. Now, I know the cash gifts my parents sometimes give me and the motorcycle Tim bought me have all helped my financial state, but none have been given directly for my grad school payments. I want to know that I accomplished this myself. I've saved up all of the money for this schooling myself and I'm not in debt to anyone for it, either. I want my name to be on that diploma because I've earned it and worked for it. I'm just not sure right now what name I want it to be.

I feel like I'm in a constant reevaluation of who I am and where I am in my life and relationships. Is it always like this? It's just tiring. I wish I could just turn my brain off some days (most days) and just be.
jillithian: (Toe Jam)
Yesterday I took the dog for a walk and decided to listen to some music via my phone along the way. But the shorts I was (were?) wearing did not have any pockets. I usually bring a bag along on the walk with a dish, a bottle of water, a little baggie, and some dog treats because it gets hot out and you need your supplies when walking a fluffy, black dog. So I thought I'd just put my phone in the bag during the walk.

This worked well until the walk back when the dish was still a little wet, therefore getting the phone wet as well.

So, the displays were no longer happy on my phone. They'd blink a lot and then just get garbled in spots. So I opened it up and took out the battery and everything and left it overnight to dry out.

This morning, my husband tries putting in the battery and it turned on. And then immediately turned itself off. And then turned itself on again. And... You get the picture.

Merde.

Much disassembling and reassembling ensued with not much of an improvement other than the displays worked for the 3 seconds between the phone turning itself on and off.

Much disheartened, I went online to see if I could find a new phone with my requirements being (in this order):
  1. Bluetooth (I love it - especially on roadtrips because my car stereo also has bluetooth and I don't have to dig through my purse at high speeds to answer a call)
  2. 3G (fast and CLEAR)
  3. Music
  4. Camera
  5. Internet capabilities
(2 through 5 being my addiction to connectivity when I am on trips)

The first phone I see on the webpage that fits that description? The new iPhone 3G. And it's only $200. (I don't care that I'd need another 2 year contract - I've been with AT&T since 2001 and I've found no good reason to change)

So, just as I start reading further on the tech specs and envisioning myself with this drool-worthy gadget (I usually don't buy things like this for myself - I'm actually quite thrifty), my husband manages to fix my current phone by tweaking the power button with a pair of tweezers.

I guess I dropped the phone too many times this week and the water just aggravated the issue.

*sigh*

Now that my phone works again, I can't convince myself that buying the iPhone is worth it. But it's so pretty and shiny....

Pbbt. My acutely honed patriotismconsumerism is fighting with my fiscally aware pocketbook. I've taken too many math classes to think that I can just afford any shiny thing I see (I still sigh over the beautiful Suzuki Boulevard C50C I saw at the mall last fall. The picture on the website doesn't do the subtle flame paint job justice).

Oh well. I still like my phone. It works really well for the things I use it for and I'm glad it's not broken. I can use the $200 I'd be spending on the iPhone for better things - like two new tires on my car, or the roadtrip we're taking to Kansas City next month for the Twins at Royals games.
jillithian: (Toe Jam)
Neat:
Vintage motorcycle unearthed at Camp Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. (AP) -- A bit of military history has been unearthed at Camp Ripley.

Plumbers were digging a 15-foot-deep trench to lay a new sewer line when they uncovered a World War I military motorcycle and sidecar.

David Hanson, who directs Camp Ripley's Military Museum, says the cycle is at least early 1918, 1919 or maybe early '20s vintage.

Hanson says the motorcycle was discovered only 200 yards away from the museum.

He says there have been rumors that the Army dumped dozens of similar bikes in the old Camp Ripley landfill, which was located at the spot where the plumbers made their discovery.

Hanson says the cycle will be restored and displayed at the museum.
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
My dad has had his motorcycle endorsement for years. I think he got it long before I was born, but I can't remember at all a time where he actually rode motorcycles. So he is particularly jealous of me and my two motorcycles. (Well, two for now.)

He has changed his ever-present search for a boat to a search for a motorcycle now, especially since some of the ads running down in Tampa are saying that the new 250cc bikes can get as much as 80 mpg. This weekend he and Mom went out and sat on a few Hondas, Suzukis and Yamahas. He says "Mom forgot the checkbook," so they didn't buy one. Yet. :) He got himself a "Cycle Trader" magazine and has really been eying up the lots.

I'm not holding my breath, though, as he's been looking for a boat for at least three years. But, boats are much more expensive and the type (read: size) of boat he's looking for won't fit in his garage and would cost a lot for storage and upkeep whereas a bike could fit pretty easily in the garage. His next problem would be to find enough room in the garage for two bikes, though, as he says if he gets one, "Mom's gonna want one for herself, too." heheh




He says he probably won't buy one until they get back from Aruba next month. His friend Randy is an accountant from International Falls and goes to Aruba every spring after the tax season. Dad finally agreed to go with this year. He was complaining because "it'll probably get up to 90 here today so," he doesn't "know how hot it'll be down in Aruba."

As it just snowed this weekend up here, I told him I'd sit in a snowbank for him, then. Whiner!
jillithian: (Wedding Day)
So, Monday was my first Supply Chain Management class. It was also my first elective for the major, thus I was surrounded by Operations Management undergrad students. Most of whom are white males from Minnesota.

This is a huge change from all of the other classes I've taken this time around where 75 to 80% of the students are from India, with another 15 - 20% being from Nepal (I'm usually hanging out with the Nepalese). And one of those Nepalese is in the Supply Chain class with me - Jenius.

Side Note: Last night one Nepalese girl, Sama, let me try some "traditional Nepalese food": dried apricots (with the pits still in them) coated with sugar and some kind of hot, spicy stuff with a kick. Oh, it was so good...

But anyway, so the first class has about 40 people in it and we all have to go around and introduce ourselves. As I said before, most of the people are white males from Minnesota. So, in their introductions, at least 20 of them all said that either "I'm in Ops Management and I like sports/hockey" or "I'm in Ops Management and I like hunting and/or fishing." You can't make that shit up. Then, after they hit the first white Minnesotan girl (who also likes fishing), they come across a second white Minnesotan girl, dressed in all black with dyed black hair and multiple facial piercings. Her response? "Hi, I'm [name], I'm in Ops Management and I've been a professional Michael Jackson impersonator for the past seven years."

You can't make that shit up, either.




In other news, I've been feeling the financial crunch lately. What with holiday spending, the trip to Hawaii and paying for tuition and books ($2000 a semester), I've been feeling very poor. My wonderful husband keeps offering to help pay for school, but I'm stubborn and prideful and really want to be able to do it myself. I know, I don't deserve him. This summer I have to give Darlene back to [livejournal.com profile] viksin (or her sister) so if I want to be a biker babe for the second year in a row, I'll need to buy a bike, too. Unless my first review here gives me a multi-thousand dollar raise, that ain't happenin'. So Tim get's a wild hair up his butt. We're at a poker party last weekend at [livejournal.com profile] motogeek's and Puzi is there and tells us that he might be willing to sell the "alien" bike (which I think is another small Honda Rebel like Darlene) for pretty cheap (like $650, cheap). I don't know if it was the "Guzzi Juice" or the fact that he won first place in the first two tournaments, but Tim decides that if I like the alien bike, he'll buy it for me.

Yes, I am a lucky woman. :)
jillithian: (cabin at sunset)
I'm really enjoying these Friday evenings with Darlene.

Last week we worked on our stopping without killing the engine skills. Once I figured out the clutch has to be in before the brakes can be applied, I've gotten much better.

Today I only killed the engine once at a stop sign, but I know why and hope it won't happen again. Of course, when I do that, Darlene gets stubborn and decides to whine/rattle instead of start up again. The last time that happened, I needed the help of a neighbor to push-start her in first gear. This time there was no neighbor, but I kept her in neutral and then when she started to start, I popped the clutch and revved the throttle and she would roar. (It did take me about five minutes before that happened, though. Luckily, there was no traffic behind me.)

Tonight our focus was on turning without falling off or hitting the curb skills. I think we accomplished that really well. No curbs were touched and I never had to hop off and try to hit the engine kill button before she drove herself away. I forgot for a while the lessons in my motorcycle classes to keep your head up and focused on where you want to go, not the straight line in front of the bike. Once I remembered that, things went a lot more smoothly and I was able to turn at and maintain slightly higher speeds.

Given, I still haven't gotten her past 35 mph yet, but we're still learning and just in town, right now.

I've also gotten the guts up to drive on slightly more traffic filled roads, rather than just neighborhood roads. These were still just 30mph roads, but I'm getting better. These have traffic lights and not just stop signs (if any signs at all). Before we can really start going places, though, I'll have to adjust the mirrors and then tighten them in the spots I want them in. Currently, I move them and then they vibrate back to a view of not much more than my shoulders.

It's still about 82 degrees out, though, and after about an hour of driving around, Darlene was feeling a little over heated, so I drove her back home. As we turned into the alley, I saw my cat lying in the middle of the alley just about two feet away from a baby bunny. They were eying each other up and the bunny started hopping away first when she saw me. History, on the other hand, didn't seem to notice me until I was all the way in the alley and coming towards her. She got up and looked at me calmly and slowly realized i was coming her way. Then she ran into the backyard.

You know your bike is small when your cat isn't even afraid of it! But that's ok. Darlene and I had a grand old time anyway.
jillithian: (vomitus girl)
First:

I am nerdier than 72% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

(stolen from [livejournal.com profile] cogshiftingman - I think I lost out on the periodic elements questions)

Second:
It's 87 degrees out on a Friday with little work to do and less interest in doing it. I get a call from [livejournal.com profile] viksin and am FREE!!! She was up here in Cloud getting her car checked up and routinely maintained and wanted to hang out! I got the afternoon off from my boss and we proceeded to eat yummy food at Jules (the avocado and portobelo mushroom sandwich with sauerkraut was a little too avant garde for us), bs about everything, came home and teased Tim, then went to the car place and teased them, then went to Caribou and had a second large serving of caffeine. My head is actually a little throbby as I don't normally consume that much caffeine in one afternoon. I think we had a snarky good time and enjoyed talking about as many politically incorrect things as we could think of.

I think shortly I will go have a date with Darlene. She looks a little lonely out in the garage...
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)


Originally uploaded by jillithian
(It's hard to smile in a helmet)
jillithian: (Default)
Uck.

I came home early from work today because my whole head feels stuffed with cotton. I can't even hear straight, it's funny.

Yesterday Tim helped me out on Darlene. We re-arranged the side mirrors (and promptly forgot to tighten them, so they moved many times since). We filled the gas tank up (which we found also has a leak in it...) The starter is a little hesitant. As in, before I figured out how to stop at a stop sign without killing the engine, I killed the engine and a neighbor had to push start me. :) Luckily our driveway slants down to the alley, so that can help me start it, but I'm not sure what'll happen when I drive it to work as the lot is very flat.

Other than that, I had a grand old time yesterday driving around. Got the bike up over 30 mph (which was a first for me). I'm not sure though if I'm supposed to have it in 4th gear to go 30 mph but that's what gear was needed for the engine to not sound angry at me. I drove all over the place in the neighborhood and didn't kill it at all after learning how to stop. (I must have missed the part in my classes where they told me to hold the clutch in while stopping so the engine doesn't kill) I'm even growing my blister back from my death grip on the clutch. I think getting a callous from the motorcycle is pretty bad-ass. *grin* I'm still working on the changing gears thing as once in a while I would think that I changed gears only to find out I didn't. *shrug*

It was really fun!
jillithian: (Default)
Guess who passed her motorcycle test on Sunday?

Yup.

I paid my $11 for a new license with the endorsement this morning and should be getting it in the mail in a week or so!

w00t!
jillithian: (That kind of day)
So, I took my first motorcycle class last night. For some reason, the web form I used to register didn't take so when I called on Monday to figure out what room I was supposed to go to, I had to re-register. I also took my lunch break to drive over to the tech college to pick up a big packet of stuff in preparation for the class. When I got back to work, I was running some processes that were taking a long time, so I started to go through the handbook.

My boss walked past a couple of times while I was reading through it but didn't mention anything about it until today.

See, the page I was on had a diagram. Today he asked me what exactly it was that I was taking a class for. Here is the diagram:


From his vantage point, he thought I was studying the female reproductive system.

HA!

I told him, "No. No ovaries." heh
jillithian: (Flying Sqirrel)
I know I told [livejournal.com profile] jo_mommday I'd take this class with her, but the way things went today, I will probably need to take it more than once.

Just signed up for #852 of Basic Motorcycle Training. So, June 5th, 9th and 10th, I'll be walking the half-block to the Tech college and hopefully learning how to not hurt myself. And, on someon'es bike that isn't my beloved husband's.

Today after begging and whining and being much of a nuisance, I finally conviced Tim to help me start to learn on the bike. His bike has a full gas tank and is pretty heavy, so I was getting very frustrated very quickly. I also am terrible at driving a manual transmission in a car, so those concepts are also new for me.

The best part of the afternoon was when I got the bike going in first gear and was driving down the alley. Unfortunately, the alley then goes to a road and I have to turn. Uh oh. I wasn't quite sure where the turn signals were and I thought I was supposed to pull in the clutch when trying to slow down (forgetting entirely that you also need the brake to slow down, so while holding in the clutch I was trying to find the turn signals, but I wasn't slowing down (going all of 15 mph) and I heard a bunch of honking and then I let go of the gas and the bike engine killed and I tipped it over.

Turns out the honking was me (the horn button is right below the turn signal button). I managed to break off the knob tip of the clutch handle and spill some gas on the alley. I was fine other than a scrape on the top of my ankle, and general disappointment.

So I went inside, put on a bandaid and got some knee-high boots on (instead of the shoes I was wearing). Put on Tim's gloves (just in case) and re-padded myself with helmet and jacket. Tim suggested that I just focus on my balance. Our driveway has a slight decline towards the alley, so he thought I should practice (without the bike running) going down the driveway and turning right and left into the alley.

I only got more frustrated. My frist trip down worked well, but trying to push the bike back up the driveway was a different story. It's heavy and wobbly and then I'm not all that strong, either. While on the bike, I couldn't push it backwards very well up the incline and off the bike it would wobble and I was all afraid I'd drop it and break something again. Tim pushed it back up for me and we had a few pep talks.

After a few minutes, and a lot of encouragement from Tim, I suited back up again and got back on the bike. I started rolling down the driveway again, but it was going faster than I wanted for my turn and I squeezed the brake handle hard. BOOM! and the bike was on the ground again. I'm glad I had my jacket and helmet on, because I hit the ground and only got a small scrape on my knee. But I was definitely done for the day.

I get so frustrated when things don't go right immediately. I was always someone who could catch on to things very quickly, so if I don't, I get crabby. Tim showed nothing but patience the entire time. I am very thankful for that!!!!
jillithian: (Big Earl)
For my anniversary present, I believe I would really enjoy this:
in Metallic Silver. Medium sized, please. *bats eyelashes*

I just spent the last hour at Bristow's working with Bristow Jr himself trying to pick out a jacket to wear (basically I can trip over nothing and hurt myself, so I need some kind of armor on a bike). He was incredibly informative and helpful and patient. I was really drooling a bit over this one:
but at $400, it's a little more than I want to spend right now. Instead, I got this one:
which is only $129. I should arrive by Friday, hopefully.

*squee*

Apr. 18th, 2007 07:03 pm
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
I GOT MY MOTORCYCLE PERMIT THIS MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!

And AND the Wild totally kicked Anaheim's cheating butts last night in hockey. Even without getting the fifth goal the damn partisan refs stole from them.

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