July 23, 2007

I am Honda Certified!?!

My Honda CR-V (aka "the beast") is at the Honda dealership today for its 90K Honda-certified service, along with some repairs to bearings, discs, lugnuts, whatsits, and who knows what else..but a lot of shit was apparently worn down and in need of replacing, according to Anthony, my certifiably Honda service department rep. Total cost: $2,300. The blue book value of my car is thankfully more than that, at a whopping $7,000. But still...

Now, I know if I took it to an independent garage, the service wouldn't be "Honda certified," meaning the dudes working on the car wouldn't have been highly trained at the school of Honda. But, honestly, this certified bullshit doesn't really matter to me. And, at an independent shop, one would assume that all of the various parts and labor costs would be significantly less, since it's like going to a mom n pop plant shop versus the Home Depot. But, how much less?

First, I don't really want to take the time to find out. Second, how many times have you gone to an independent garage and gotten gouged? There are some honest folk out there--one acquaintance loves his Scientologist auto mechanic because he's also a Scientologist, so I guess they have some sort of inner alien honor code worked out, but that doesn't really help me, since I would rather [enter something gross here] than set foot inside the Celebrity Centre, especially if the only tangible payoff was to get a decent deal on car repairs.

It's like, at Honda, I know they want to keep me happy so that I keep coming back and so that I continue to buy Hondas. They want me to be Brand Loyal. And, I guess I sorta am. There's something about taking my car to Honda and getting gouged that feels a little better than getting gouged at an independent garage....even though this sort of goes against a lot of my general beliefs about corpo seduction.

Maybe it has something to do with wanting to protect the most valuable thing I currently own? Perhaps all of my soap-box beliefs get tossed out with the trash when it really comes down to serious purchases and serious loss protection? I guess I just want to feel safe and secure in my little delusional world of Honda certification.

Wow. That's sad. Right? Maybe aliens really are the answer....

July 22, 2007

Stalker Hunter Skinner

We will find you. We will kill you. We will skin you. We will eat you. Ummm... That's so creepy, but I have two new roommates and the title of this post is our three last names. So, you tell me what it all means. Although disturbing when spelled out, it's also kinda cool if you think about it. I mean, in a "we were all meant to be roommates" kind of way. I just hope that loin cloths, spears and knives aren't involved. And, I'm really considering changing my last name to Gardener. :) Mr. Chips is keeping things ship-shape around the house, of course. And, I will be sure to post all of the forthcoming adventures of Stalker, Hunter and Skinner..........so stay tuned.

July 19, 2007

The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra

I saw The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra for the first time last night at Bordello's, the recast of Little Pedro's Blue Bongo room downtown.

First, the venue: After having been to Little Pedro's countless times for Quizzo and other live-music events (the feisty blues singer Mickey Champion held a weekly slot there for quite a long stretch), I was amazed when I set foot inside Bordello's, which has transformed the bar into a gaudy brothel-themed space with creepy golden baby statues wearing crowns and gripping magical wands. But, even though some of the decor was disturbing, overall I enjoyed the new moodiness of the bar. And, I was excited to hear some new, live music--as always.

Now, the band: If you're as confused as I was about what the heck a "tourbillon" is, then check out this definition on Wikipedia. The group is a 5-piece with rad, blended girl-boy vocals. They have a really fun energy on stage and the music is really dancey. They played one Brian Eno and one David Byrne cover, but otherwise their set was all original and they sounded, as one fellow groupie said, "phenomenal." Oh, and they used old house lamps to light the stage, which is neat.

If you're interested in checking them out, they're playing at Tangier's next Wednesday, July 25 (flyer featured here). The lead guitarist might even let you snag his set list after the show. I know the guy. I'll get you the goods.

July 17, 2007

Pocket of Hate: The California Sweep

I've been complaining about "the California sweep" for so many years now I can't remember if I coined the term, or if I read it somewhere. But, regardless, for those unfamiliar with the term, here's the gist: First, what's most interesting is this type of sweep doesn't involve a broom. Instead, dirt, debris and whatnot are all blasted off a sidewalk or surface with a long, concentrated blast of hose water.

I come from a place where fresh water is much more abundant--the Pacific Northwest--yet in all of my years in Spokane, I have never seen anyone "sweep" with water. I've also lived in Boston and London, and have never seen this happen there, either. So, what's with this phenomenon existing in what's essentially a desert, drought-ridden state?

It is such an extreme waste of a precious resource. And, sweeping with a broom is also typically paired with a dust pan of some sort, which means the sweeper ends up collecting and disposing of the sweepified mess. The California Sweep, however, just blasts the crap onto the street or into a neighbor's yard.

When I used to commute to Santa Monica, I'd pass by the McDonald's on Glendale every morning around 6:30am--right when the Mickey D's sweeper was water-blasting the entire parking lot. I guess McDonalds considers parking-lot sanitation to be of higher import than water conservation?

I don't know, really. If any of my 3 daily blog visitors would like to comment and/or enlighten me on this topic, please do. Me no likey the California Sweep. Are any of you familiar with this concept? And, does it bother you as much as it bothers me? Also, apologies for the disjointed post, but I'm really tired and moody today.

July 15, 2007

NEW! Flickr Photos

I just uploaded a bunch of new photos to my flickr page. Some are organized into sets, or albums, but most are sorta hodge-podge (sorry). I've been taking my new Canon digital everywhere (thanks Adam!), so check back often. You'll probably see some photos of YOU in there somewhere.

Nancy's Flickr Pics

Some top-rated photographed events include:
Trips to San Diego
The Levine Triplets Turn One
The Magic Castle
Miniature Shopping w/ The Peysars (BONUS: my first trip to El Pollo Loco)
Citysearch Mini Reunion
Disneyland 2007
SXSW 2007
The Dogs - Pig, Mr. Chips, Pig, Mr. Chips
4th of July 2007 Festivities
GarageBQ 2007
Merci's 30th Birthday
Summer Fests at Little Radio

Rad Indie Designers

I'm not in the mood to write much, but I did want to share some links. The following three links will make you feel warm, cozy, thrilled, familiar and "at home." There's something about all three that just simply make me smile.

31 Corn Lane

Bennie and Olive

Ach Ach Liebling

I discovered 31 Corn Lane at the 2005 Pool show in Las Vegas, and Bennie and Olive at the same show in 2006. I'm not all that keen on the most recent 31 Corn Lane line, but their stuff in '05 ruled (pictured above), and I own most of it (roller tote, purse, wallet and belt). They tend to pick a fabric/style theme and then go gangbusters pumping out different items that all essentially match.

I have yet to purchase anything by Bennie and Olive, but I love their stuff -- especially their hand-crafted belt buckles.

And ummm... I own one necklace by Ach Ach Liebling, but hope to own more. They were a discovery at the 2006 Bazaar Bizarre.

If you just want to hit up a one-stop shop for a lot of cool finds, you can also check out: Stars and Infinite Darkness