Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day...

To tell the truth, this statement is a lie or at the very least an exaggeration. It definitely could have been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, but instead a would-be bad experience wasn't that bad.

It is 10:20 p.m., I just got home and here is my story...

Tonight is not a teaching night for me. However, one of the heads of the departments that I teach for asked me to come down to Rock Hill, SC to discuss creating some online courses for students. Over dinner, we discussed the needs and how I could be of use. Things went really well and while I am going to take a break from actually teaching for the summer, I am going to develop the online courses and then pick up teaching again later. So that is good news.

The trouble started when I got in my car to come home. I called Daniel to let him know that I was on my way and tell him about dinner. While stopped at a light, I noticed the car start to sputter. I turned it off to try to conserve energy (dumb idea). The car would not turn back on.

Since I was on the phone with Daniel already, he suggested that I get out of the car and move to a safe place and call AAA. This is where my unpleasant experience started to get better (at least considering the circumstances).

AAA was extremely helpful. While I waited, a cop pulled up and also offered assistance. He called another cop and they helped to push my car out of the road to a Hardee's parking lot.

AAA called back to say that the tow truck was on its way. I was thankful to be at Hardee's and not in the middle of the road as it was getting dark.

I bought myself a milkshake and contemplated what to do while I waited for the tow truck (it was supposed to take 60 minutes for the tow truck to show up). In a record 15 minutes, the tow truck was there.

AAA called me a third time to verify that I was ok. Can I just say how incredibly impressed I am with AAA??? There customer service was amazing (if breaking down can be amazing).

The tow truck driver was extremely nice and talkative. It was actually an enjoyable ride back to Charlotte considering the circumstance.

While all of this was going on, Daniel had to ride his bicycle to a not so good part of town after dark to buy an alternator and a new battery. Now he is in the garage fixing these things. So really, it was him and not me that had the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

All I can say is that I am very thankful for AAA and they have amazing customer service.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Three More Nights

After tonight, I only have three nights left of teaching for this semester. I am planning on taking the summer off from teaching in order to have a break from the craziness that I currently call my life.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why we are not backpacking this weekend.

I don't know what it is, but there are times that Daniel and I seem to have terrible luck. This weekend is one of those times.

In the past year, there have been several occasions when we have tried to make plans to go backpacking with some of our friends and for various reasons, the trips have not worked out for us.

The first time we were going to go, Daniel cut his leg open with a chainsaw.

The second time we tried to go, Daniel cut his thumb on a table saw.

Tonight, the reason we are not going backpacking (thankfully has nothing to do with flesh wounds), but as we were leaving downtown, our car overheated. We then realized there was a crack in the top of the radiator and it was half empty - we finally were able to pour some water into it after waiting for close to an hour for the car to cool down.

So now, instead of enjoying awesome weather and backpacking (which we have not been able to do in well over a year), we are at home and Daniel is in the garage replacing a radiator. Not exactly the way we wanted to spend our weekend...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chicago and Many Modes of Transportation

This past weekend I was in Chicago for work. I thought I would share the plethora of different transportation that I ended up using during the weekend.

1) We flew by airplane to Chicago (US Airways to be exact - this caused me some confusion as we normally fly American Airlines and I did not read my email regarding flight information clearly enough. I ended up trying to check in with 3 different airlines before finding the proper one.

2) We landed at O'hare in Chicago and proceeded to get on the Metra - the commuter rail train that took us from the airport to downtown Chicago.

3) We got off of the Metra at Lake and Clark and proceeded to walk at least 3 city blocks with all of our luggage to 505 Michigan Avenue. This was an interesting way to see the city. However the day was warm and the blocks were long. I was thankful to be carrying a backpack instead of a suitcase. Our hotel was the
InterContinental - extremely nice and I had a great view from my room.

4) After checking in, we (around 40 of us) got on a city bus to ride to the convention center. It took awhile to get that many people loaded onto the bus.

5) After the convention center, I was one of the last to leave and ended up riding in my boss' rental car back to the hotel.

6) More walking - several blocks to our Friday night dinner. On the way back to the hotel (at 11 p.m.) the person who I was walking with and I were so engrossed in conversation that we missed our turn and had to do some backtracking - oops.

7) Saturday morning, the company had rented 2 limos for the casting call. Normally we film our finalists at the convention center. I don't know the details, but for some reason they could not film at the convention center and chose to film at the hotel. Therefore the limos were used to move finalists back and forth. They were also used to transport us to the convention center at 6 a.m. Saturday morning. This was actually my first ride in a limo.

8) Another ride in the limo at the end of the day - I brought a group of 9 inventor finalists back to the hotel for filming. I enjoy talking with the different inventors - it can be an interesting process.

9) Sunday morning, we ended up riding in taxis back to the airport.

All in all, I think that I just needed to ride on a boat, on a bike, maybe a horse and buggy and I would have covered about every mode of possible transportation in one weekend.

I wish I had actually had time to see Chicago - I will definitely have to go back in the future - and take Daniel with me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


It is hard to believe that it is already close to the end of the semester. I have 2 more weeks and then finals. I have really enjoyed the experience. Several of my students have wanted to know if I will be teaching any of the summer courses...

I guess this means one of two things: 1) They really like me as a teacher (and are hopefully learning lots from me) or 2) I am way too easy...

Hopefully it is the former and not the latter. I am thinking I will take the summer off to recoup, but I would really like to continue teaching in the future and may even return to school at some point to pursue my masters...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alternative Continuing Education

Since Daniel and I have been married, there have been several occasions in which we have chosen to take classes together for fun that involve learning new things. Here is a list of the classes we have done together:

This weekend we took a Handgun Safety Course.

About a year ago, we took a Tiling Class - this has come in very handy for various renovations around our house.

About 3 years ago, we were able to get our SCUBA certification in Madang, Papua New Guinea. This was lots of fun and I overcame a fear of "breathing" under water.

Four years ago was an outdoor rock climbing course at Fall Creek Falls State Park. This was a blast. We already were in the habit of taken friends and family rappelling... maybe some day we will add top roping...

Prior to that was a Motorcycle Safety Course (Daniel took this one before me and then we decided I should take it so that I could operate our motorcycle if I needed). This allowed me to get my motor cycle license.

All of these experiences have been very enjoyable and have added to our personal hobbies as well as allowing us to experience new things together. We are considering making an effort to learn one new thing each year as a couple. Any suggestions???

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

up in the night...

Daniel woke me up around 2:30 this morning because he wasn't feeling so great. Turned out he had a fever. We are not sure what is up with him. He took some Tylenol and the fever came down. He stayed home today and slept all day. Hopefully this is just a quick bug. If he isn't feeling better by tomorrow we will probably run him to the doc.

Meanwhile neither of us slept that much and I am struggling to stay awake for my evening job...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Home on the range...

Maybe not what you are thinking, but yesterday Daniel and I spent the day with some friends at an indoor shooting range in Greensboro, NC.

We tried a variety of guns and by the end of the day my shooting had gone from very inconsistent to a very consistent. I shot 45 rounds and every single one of them was in the 9 range (this is the first circle outside of the center x circle). I would say 80% were in the x circle and the ones that were outside were from when I was getting tired or to the end of a clip.

I learned a lot and am actually a good shot with the right sized gun for my hand. The thing that surprised me most was the loudness of gun fire - especially from the booths on either side of us. Thankfully I had double ear protection.
I shot 45 rounds that all were inside of the 9 circle - most were inside the X.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hills, hills and more hills...

Tonight, Daniel and I biked to dinner. The weather is still cool and everything is very green, so it was a nice ride. Coming back, I think Daniel took us on a route that involved riding up EVERY big hill in our neighborhood. I was ready to kill him. My choices were to turn around and figure out my own, longer route home or just suck it up and endure the pain inducing hills - which is what I ended up doing. So now we are home, full from eating pizza and tired from the biking. I should sleep well tonight.

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...