Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More HP Magic... Gear Live has a 2nd contest

So many chances to win, so little time!

(Deadline on this one is Dec. 11) Gear Live

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Changing the Car Oil, Er... Transmision Fluid?

My husband the electrician (a very good one actually) has only minimal experience working on cars. He's eager to learn though and hopefully save a few dollars in the long-run as a result. The first task to learn of course is changing the oil. Easy, right?

First was my aging, quickly disintegrating Saturn. Oil changed - no problem. Then enters my relatively new (to me), beloved Passat. This is its first oil change since we purchased it this summer. My husband crawled under the carriage and drained a plug he was sure was the oil. Changed the oil, changed the filter, and put it all back together. Done. Right? Sure...

As I took the car out to run errands, I quickly noticed that the gears weren't quite engaging. You know, like when you first learn to drive a stick shift car and don't quite get it into first or second gear? It would rev up but not move forward. Then it would engage and be fine for a bit before repeating. Baffled, my husband thought maybe we were using the wrong type oil. We checked the manual and online forums and decided that we needed to be using a synthetic oil. So this morning, he purchased some of that (more expensive of course) along with a new oil filter, just in case that contributed to the cause.

This time, after the oil change, the car was even worse - it wouldn't go into any gear at all. Really baffled. He tried to drain the oil a third time and noticed that hardly any came out, even when he added more up top. Online forums were talking about sludge problems resulting in replacement of the oil pump and even the engine. Scared of impending repair bills (and grateful we had bought an extended warranty from the used car dealer) we decided a call to a friend who works as a mechanic was in order.

Thank goodness for Max! He came over on his day off, crawled under the car and promptly announced that we had drained the transmission fluid NOT the oil! OMG. On one hand, I'm a bit frustrated that we now have to tow the car to the dealership tomorrow to get new transmision fluid pumped in (you can't do it yourself on these newer cars). On the other hand, I'm relieved that it won't be the huge repair bill I was afraid of.

And, on the bright side - I have something new to hold over my husband's head and tease him about. This will buy me a get-out-of-jail-free card for at least a month or so. :)

Lesson learned. Weekend and car saved. A few laughs had. Thanks Max for saving our day!

Have you checked out my Business blog? I post there more often and talk about the latest trends in technology and online business. Check it out at!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Sister Gets Married!

My sister Pam married Robert DeJong at 5:00 pm on 6-7-08 in Estes Park, CO. (Yes, they intentionally set it to be 5-6-7-8. LOL)

And yes, that IS my sister's Smart Car they're in - she's odd like that.

The family and the bridesmaids...

And don't forget the Isle of Mull Pipe Band. Bet you've never seen this done before! (If you knew my sister, you'd understand. Totally her.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do you Twitter?

I feel a bit behind the curve on this one, but I've finally joined the masses who can be seen on Twitter. It's a platform called "Micro-Blogging" and is a bit of Instant Messaging combined with a bit of Blogging.

For purely social networking motives, users post throughout the day what they're doing, what they're thinking, reply and comment on other's posts, and post pictures.

For more business-related motives, users post new products, links to useful websites, ask business related questions and respond to other's questions. Here's an article on how large companies like Dell & Zappos are using it: Brands Turn to Micro-Blogging

I admit I was a bit skeptical, but after using it for a week or so can definitely see some benefits and advantages. If you're brave enough to give it a try, look me up under copong!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Idioms and cultures

Every once in a while I say something to my husband and get an instant quizzical look. That's when I realize - he has no idea what I'm talking about. You see, he's from Ghana and I'm from Colorado. And sometimes the idioms I use just haven't crossed the ocean to become general knowledge in Africa.

An example: "Elbow Grease". He was complaining about cleaning a tough stain on the stove and said, "Well, just put more elbow grease into it!". Then it came. That quizzical look. He had no clue what that meant.

The most recent example came the other night. A popular car commercial is putting words to the melody of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. I mentioned the source and immediately got that look again. "Who's that?" he asked. I couldn't believe it - he didn't know of Beethoven, Mozart, or any of the great classical composers!

After I recovered from my shock (I was a music major, after all - I lived & breathed classical for 4 years), I realized that not everyone in the world was brought up like I was. They don't listen to the European classical composers in the villages of Ghana. I don't know why I expected them to, but apparantly I did.

It's a great reminder that we all have our own experiences and shouldn't assume that others have had the same ones. After all, I had never heard of Plantains before I met him...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My First Business Newsletter!

The first newsletter for Creative Assistants is published! You can view and also sign up for the newsletter at:

Take a look and let me know your feedback!