Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 2/30 Days of Biking Challenge

I totally cheated. I tootled around the apartment complex. I don't even think I went a whole mile. It is gray and dreary outside. I touched a foot to a pedal, now I'm going to go curl up with a book.

EDIT: I totally failed this challenge. I suppose I didn't really want to do it enough.

Day 1/30 Days of Biking Challenge

Apparently my excitement over my new car eclipsed the fact that yesterday was the first day of the 30 Days of Biking Challenge. Don't worry, I didn't forget!

I rode from my house to Jamie's work. More accurately, I planned to visit the bike rack in the same complex as Office Depot, because Vandal was parked there, and I had every intention of stealing my trailer hitch back from it.

Alas, the bike was gone when I arrived. That employee happens to live in our same apartment complex, but he takes the bike inside. He is also on vacation right now. I'll have to get the hitch some other time.

I rode home in sprinkles. The temperature said it was 51, but the wind had me hiding my hands in my fleece mittens. I was able to take them off going home since I wasn't pedaling into the crosswind anymore. Six miles round-trip for yesterday.

Today, I plan to visit Jamie for lunch, and then probably head downtown. I may stop by the library and see what sort of maps they have for the bike trip... or not. Sometimes it's nice just to sight see.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No joke, I got a Beetle!

I woke up yesterday and Jamie was gone. It had been chilly because we left the windows open, but I remember a snuggly warm dog on one side and a snuggly warm husband on the other. When I awoke and he was missing, I felt a bit deprived. Sure, I would have a week off for Spring Break, but we hadn't both had a day off together in a long time. Our roommate said he thought Jamie was out running an errand. I thought it weird his bike was still here, and I got an answering shrug and a "he must have gotten a ride". I did remember a bit of a phone conversation to that effect... he can fix almost anything so it isn't unusual to have him off helping somebody with a little car or computer problem.

I waited impatiently for him to return. I ate breakfast, piddled around on the computer checking email... finally I texted him to see where he was. He walked in the door almost immediately after I had hit the Send button. He gave me a kiss in that distracted way he has when he's busy, and then asked me if I would mind helping him clean out the garage since I was up.

He has been working on replacing the clutch in our roommate's Jetta for several weeks now. I knew they had been almost done, so I was happy about that, but wasn't really looking forward to going and picking up greasy tools. I also couldn't find my shoes. One of my goals over Spring Break was to clean the wreck of a thing I called a closet, along with cleaning my sewing desk and finally getting all laundry clean and put away. I got tired of digging under clothes for my shoes, and just stuffed my feet into my slippers to go downstairs.

I was thinking, as we went down, that I should have actually found some real shoes. Likely there would be fluid on the floor that I might have to walk through. My slippers are nearly dead, but there was no sense in making them useless around the house... oh well. I remember Jamie pointed out a Beetle in our parking lot. We see them pretty often, but not usually near our building. I looked and said "aw" or somesuch. We got to the garage door, me trailing behind trying not to kick off my slippers, and Jamie tossed me the garage door opener.

The garage door didn't open.

I figured he hadn't hit the button hard enough, so I turned the little black plastic thing over, meaning to hit the button again. Jamie likes to tell this part. He says I just stared at it for a minute. I don't remember it. I remember him telling me it was MY Beetle.

Things are a bit fuzzy after that. I remember "oh my god" a lot, and "are you serious?" I remember jumping up and down and hugging him. I was afraid to touch it, but I recall hugging the car. I couldn't believe it. Jamie is the one who asked me if I wanted to sit in it. He is the one who prompted me to put the key in and start it. I think I might have just stood there like an idiot for hours staring at it.

I remember when he opened the door and I actually sat in it, I cried. Just a little. It was emotional overload, pure and simple. I was worried about my nose dripping on the car. Then I was distracted because I was meeting my car in my SLIPPERS. How embarrassing.

I didn't want to drive it first, not with the boys in the car. I get very nervous with people watching me drive and I didn't want anything to ruin my happy (I doubt it could have, now that I think on it). We celebrated with a lunch out at Texas Roadhouse. I sat in back and enjoyed it very much. I have to lean towards the middle to see around the front passenger, because there is curved Beetle wall to hit my head on if I try to look around them the other way.

My car is green, of course. The color is called Gecko Green. Earlier cars had Cyber Green, which I actually prefer, but it fades badly over time anyway. I'm happy it is green. The car is a manual too, and it has a sunroof. The only thing about it that is not what I want is that the seats are leather. I'd like to make seat covers for them. I would be worried about the doggies scratching it all up anyway. The seats are heated though, whoohoo!!

Today, I went with Jamie as he drove to work. I tootled around the parking lot, stalling it a few times. It is VERY fun to drive. First gear is tricky only because you can let off the clutch a good bit and the car will move a little on it's own, but after a certain point it stalls. I wasn't able to sense a stall and recover it at all. The engine is very quiet too. Shifting is absolutely easy and comfortable for me. Reverse is protected- you have to press down on the gearshift in order to move it over into reverse. I almost hurt myself with the brakes. The pedal only has to move a little bit to start slowing down the car, and it can do that in a hurry.

The sound system is AMAZING! Jamie didn't waste any time is creating a mix CD for me. It has a Disturbed cover on it, a violinist named Lindsey Sterling, and some Dubstep that Jamie likes a lot- mostly just instrumentals I think, but we haven't made it through all the songs yet.

The seats are incredibly adjustable. They'll go up and down in addition to the normal forward and back, and the seat back tilts normally. On the shoulder is what looks like a bracket to hold the seat belt. That is actually the lever that you lift up on to access the back seat. It makes the front seat both lift up and go forward. The seat belts in the front are on slide rods at the bottom- that is extremely convenient so that you aren't tripping over them at all when you climb out of the back seat.

And now, here are a BUNCH of pictures. Guess what else I did while I was in the Office Depot parking lot?

I can see sky!

A very decent zoomed in photo. This was shot from me in the back seat while we were going to lunch.

Swap the green shoes for slippers, and this is how Sagra and I met for the first time.


First cargo! Leftovers from celebratory lunch.

Now the proper photoshoot.
This cluster is nifty! It lights up blue and red at night. I like how the speedometer is the biggest thing and how everything is round.

Center dash. Yes, that sound system says "Monsoon" on it! Squeee! There is even a tiny little audio input jack next to the glove box, I could put lots of music on my phone or something and play it from that.

Time and temperature! Also up there is the control knob for the sunroof. There are lights in the bottom of the review mirror.

Open the visor mirror and get a light too! How convenient.

Slight discoloration by the visor.

These pictures WERE all oriented properly, but I'm not about to try and fix it now. 
The sunroof!

And closed.

Between the front seats.

The armrest between front seats folds up.

And here it is folded down. It will actually go lower than horizontal too.

Pretty gearshift!

Sunroof: back opened.

Sunroof opened all the way.

This nifty crenelated bit of plastic keeps the wind from making all kinds of noise while you drive.

Yay cruise control!

Heated seats!!

The glove box has a special place just for the owner's manual. <3

The plastic is broken around the glove box latch.

And something is stuck up there by the book.

Door pockets.

And now, a walk-around.

Down low

Down low

Can you see? Only slight scuffs in the paint on the fenders.

Really cool running board texture.

Door switches.

The lever to move the front seats forward and access the backseat, or exit from it. 

The seat belt slide I mentioned.

Rear cup holder. It slides out so if the front armrest is up, you can still have a tall drink there.

No leaning towards the windows! BONK Sitting normally seems to be fine.

Very easy to get in and out with the front seat unlatched. It goes both forward and up to let you out.

Tons of room if I were to sit behind a me-sized driver. Still comfy behind a giant driver too, though.

Weird little buttons. The owner's manual told me that they are just markers- there is an anchor for a baby seat here between the cushions.

Broken plastic at the rear seat top. This is a latch to let it fold down.

Rear seat folded down, looking from inside.

There is a way to make it all the way flat... but I can't recall. Maybe this little pull tab?
(Consulting the owner's manual later reminded me that yes, the part you sit on swings up and forward into the foot-space, while the seat back swings down and lays flat where the sitting part used to be. The head rests should come off and now plug into the back of the sitting part which is now upright. I have to try that sometime.)

Because this looks silly.

Cute little anchors in the trunk floor. Maybe for a cargo net?

See that should be flat...

A button in the handle of the trunk lid. Turns out, that has a cord attached to it which you can yank on if you happen to be stuck inside, it will unlatch the trunk lid for you.

What?! They riveted that junk on there. How dare they?

Look! A flap to protect my little car from evil pump nozzles.

Again, these were oriented so you could read them, sorry they are crooked now.

Whew! Just dirt in the nifty texture.

Aw, but that is a chip in the paint on the bottom of the door. 
Still, An almost perfect little Beetle for me!

Nifty blinkers in the mirrors!

Cute little hood latch doesn't play hide and seek. There is no guessing required to figure out how to get it open.

The foam around the battery box is a little worn.

The windshield washer nozzle leaks a bit when you open the hood. Splish splash.


A small scuff on the dash,

and a few scratches on the steering wheel emblem.

I also have to re-tuck the headrest seam on the driver's side. 


Of course, my beetle needed a name. Did you know there are actually such things as frog beetles? Yes indeed, they are a beetle type with giant back legs that make it look like it would be an awesome jumper. Instead, those long legs just push it around better. The species vary a bit of course, but the Genus name of a frog beetle is Sagra.

And so, my Beetle's name is Sagra.

<3 Sagra!