Der Amerikanische Urlauber

Saturday, August 13, 2005

La Fin...

Well I made it through French II on speed really well, I found my final grade today... a 98% so I'm quite happy. And I think my vocabulary nearly tripled in the course of six weeks, so that's great as well.

It's wonderful to have two weeks off before I go back for another fifteen, however I seem to be one of those restless type A people that just can't sit idlly and not do anything. I was miserable today. It rained, so I was just pretty much home doing nothing. Well, not exactly anything. Being the enterprising individual I am, I decided to get a head start on fall by reading one of my books for my International Ethics class, Five Uneasy Pieces: American Ethics in a Globalized World, which deals with the ethicality of American foreign policy. It's a really easy read, only 140 something pages, so I figured, why not? For those of you who know me well enough, this kind of stuff is right up my alley.

I figure while I have enough time, I'll get my application and resumé done for Washington. However, I also may be going to Washington for extra time that I didn't yet plan, and here's why.

This class in ethics I'm taking in two weeks is taught by a woman who also happens to be in the top level of administration over at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa; in May, there's going to be an opportunity for 10 students to go with her up to DC (and this counts as a class) for a week that would entail visiting the Pentagon and CIA and meeting with various officials and dignitaries from around the world. And I've been heavily touted as someone to go, which was a surprise to me and of course which is a huge honor. I wish I had more information and when I find out about it I'll definitely write more. But I definitely find that cool. I can only imagine, however, the security clearance checks I'll be going through for this one... They'll probably be calling childhood friends asking for character references for all I know!

At times, like now when things are relatively dull, it's nice to keep the eye on the future.

On another note, I'd like to congratulate Sweety, whose blog I read regularly and who regularly comments here (dank je ;-) ) because she's expecting a baby! I'm so excited to see what cute little Dutch name the baby winds up with! Hartelijke Gelukwensen!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I Hate Car Dealerships...

If anything best explains why there's been so few updates lately, it's because I just really wish I had more to write about. I guess I have high standards for what passes my litmus-test of being "blog worthy" but I'm making sure until my life picks up I at least provide a weekly update so you all know I'm alive. Oh, and just a note to those of you who really don't care or want to hear about anything automotive-related, just skip down to like the fourth to last paragraph if you want an abridged blog entry, because I see I kinda went long today!

Well last Thursday, as I wrote last week, I brought my Jetta in for servicing at a local Volkswagen dealer. My friend Matt brought his as well. I first of all am very cynical around car dealerships, and I was even more so about this particular one because they tried to screw me and my mother over back when we were actually looking for cars in March.

Nevertheless, everyone said this was the best one to bring it to (whoever "everyone" is they obviously have had their heads up their rear ends) so that's what we did.

My car had a problem concerning the air conditioning, which came with the car and I didn't expect to be covered under warranty since someone had done some hack fix job and rewired it so weird that I couldn't control the temperature of the AC. It just blew cold (which isn't exactly a problem in Florida during the summer, but sometimes it got so cold I'd have to play an on-off game with the switch) Also, recently my horn stopped giving that fun little beep when I locked my car with the remote. And more serious, the car experiences a sharp jolt when coming to a stop. A problem that actually plagues many Volkswagens in North America.

I should have figured I was in for trouble when the guy tells me that that jolt was nothing more than the transmission shifting down. Yeah sure. So basically he was refusing to even look at that under warranty.So we leave the cars in their loving care, and go off to the mall which is like half a mile away to kill time.

Long story short, they refused to even touch my friend's car even though everything should have been covered under warranty (and later was at another dealer) and while I agreed to pay the $200 for them to fix my air conditioning, they refused to look at the alarm, saying it must have been in an accident and so on. Then they tell me the car is going to be ready in fifteen minutes... I wound up waiting an extra hour.

Then after paying $230 with tax, I get in my car and find it absolutely filthy. I bring it there looking showroom new and I get it back looking like crap. Dirt and grease everywhere, pieces of the interior not put back properly (so now my friend has to fix it for me)... what a load of BS.

My friend brings his to another VW dealer yesterday... and they fix over $2500 worth of problems on his car, under warranty. Plus they washed and detailed the entire car.

All I got out of the deal last week was a new dipstick. Whoop dee doo.

I seriously hate car dealers and their mechanics. I cannot wait until the day that the internet and other aspects of modern technology eliminates them as the middleman and we can just get the cars direct, because they ruin all aspects of the car buying experience, and it's little wonder why they rank only a few places above panhandlers in a general respectability poll.

So now I get to waste yet another day bringing it down to the other dealer. Though at least I know I'll get it back clean this time.

In other news, I only have four more days left in this semester, and then I'm free of school... for two weeks, and then I start Fall semester. I wonder how many days this year I'll get off thanks to Mother Nature? Last year I wound up getting like 7-8 days off due to the numerous hurricanes that hit the state. Though in actuality this can seriously screw things up for people that think that means you don't have to do any work or anything...

At least in those two weeks I can get a lot accomplished, not the least of which is getting the Washington applications done and over with before the semester begins.