04 August 2009

Bi-weekly Reflections 2009 - Week 28 & 29

"Bi-Weekly Reflections" is my small journal of events that have gone on throughout the last 2 weeks that I've decided to keep. New updates to this will (hopefully) be posted as soon as possible.
On Sunday (7/19), I started packing my stuff at Ashley's house into my car for the move to the new apartment on Tuesday. Afterward, I went with Ashley so that she could practice a bit with her car. We then went out to dinner at Chipotle and then stopped by my house to a) survey what kind of stuff I would need to move, and b) hang out with my brother who was home alone that evening.
Tuesday (7/21) was a very significant day for me as it was the first day at the new apartment. Ashley & I got the keys first thing in the morning and immediately began moving in heavy items. It was also the first night where the both of us slept at the new apartment overnight, which was a bit surreal, and I just kept telling myself that its like sleeping at a hotel that you'll be at for the next year or more, just so that it would feel a bit more like home.
The rest of the week was spent going to my parent's house and picking up more stuff, arranging things around the apartment and hooking up the electronics like the TV and the AppleTV so that we could watch shows and listen to music (except on Thursday (7/23), which was spent arranging things in the apartment without introducing any new boxes).
Saturday (7/25) was a pretty busy day for Ashley & I as we had quite a few things to get done and had to drive pretty far to go to a bon fire that my family was having in celebration of my aunt & uncle's birthdays. We woke up a little early in the morning despite going to bed pretty late the night before so that I could take my car in to get its fluids changed before our Vegas vacation. Afterward, we picked up my brother, stopped off at the apartment to pick up a couple things, and then drove to Bolsa Chica beach for the bon fire. It was a long drive, going though the Ortega Hwy (SR-74) to the I-5 north until I reached the 405. What made the drive very difficult, though, was at being at the entrance to the beach park. When we arrived, there was a backup of cars on PCH for quite some distance. While we were waiting in the line of cars, a couple of police officers were telling drivers in front of us to pull off to the side and be out of the road to allow the traffic to move. Unfortunately, due to the fact that as they were doing this, they were notified that the entrance gate had been closed to the park further ahead, they pulled in front and notified drivers starting 4 cars in front of us that they were not allowing any more people through. We ended up having to drive down PCH, making in a U-turn, returning and making another U-turn, and talking to the police officer to allow us to stop where we were so that we could maybe get in with my family. Luckily we did, but we had to wait for another hour before they re-opened the gates and allowed us to pass.
We enjoyed the beach and the company, eating hot dogs and later getting a pit where we were allowed to make smores. We finally left around 10, but did not get home until about midnight, and by that time I was exhausted.
On Sunday (7/26), Ashley & I got up a little late in the morning after being so tired from the night before and left to Walmart and then IKEA in San Diego to pick up a dresser so that I could make some more space with all the clothes that I had. We met up with my parent's there since they were kind enough to help provide a pickup truck to move the dresser. We finally got back later in the afternoon and I started putting together the dresser while Ashley made dinner. I paused in the middle of my construction of the dresser and had dinner with Ashley outside on our patio. The food was great - seasoned chicken with onions and bell peppers, garlic & cheese noodles, and a salad. We had fruit for dessert. It was fantastic! I enjoyed talking to her, uninterrupted on the patio while we ate and thoroughly enjoyed every bite. I continued to put together the dresser, finding that I needed a hammer to complete a small piece. Since I did not have a hammer and didn't want to buy one just for this small project, I decided to use a piece of a wooden dowel and a wrench, which worked just as well (albeit a little slower I'm sure). I ended up stopping a little later, but managed to get the main dresser put together. All that's left is to put together the individual drawers.
The rest of the week was pretty mild, where on Monday (7/27) I continued working on the dresser after getting home, assembling the drawers. I finally finished all six and also added the glass top, finishing the project. Now all I have to do is load it up with my stuff.
Thursday (7/30), however, started off a little difficult. I was woken up at 3am this morning by a couple drunk girls yelling pretty loud and freaking out in the carpark that they couldn't drive back home and one girl "had to go to her parent's house." Luckily they shut up, but not after dealing with their squeals and yelling for 5 minutes. What made it worse was that I had my windows to the bedroom open to cool the apartment off.
Fortunately that night was a little better & Friday (7/31) was the first time working at home from the new apartment. Had a bit of trouble getting the Internet connection to stay stable, but after a while messing with it, I finally had things set up correctly and the connection was pretty stable & consistent.
Saturday (8/1) was spent at doing a few last minute prep things for my car. We went to my grandparents' house to replace my front brakes after being highly suggested to do them by the dealership. Replacement of the driver's-side front disk brake pads were easy enough, but there was an issue when I removed the passenger side front disk brake pads. After removing the driver's side pads, I noticed that they were almost completely worn down & it was a very good thing that they were being replaced then. However, the passenger's side wasn't worn at all. Although this seems like a good thing, the grossly uneven wearing of the pads on my car meant that something was very wrong with the passenger side brake caliper. My uncle & I worked to try to determine the problem, revealing that the brake cylinder was not pushing the brake pad into the rotor. After bleeding the brakes to see if there may be an obstruction in the brake line, we found that the brake line was quite dirty and after bleeding the brakes a bit, everything seemed to work fine. Luckily it was just that and I didn't have to replace the brake cylinder, which was an added expense that I didn't want to spend.

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