Header image

When I bought my HHR- I let the vanity plates that were on my trade in go.  There were several reasons I did that but one of the major ones is that I found out (after having the plates for several years) that my mom thought they sounded dirty (BADGRUV) even though that technically they were just the name of this site- truncated into 7 characters).   When I got my sequential plates for the HHR I immediately hated them.  6BCZO95.  It was the BZCO part that I didn’t like, but it wasn’t with enough vigor to go through the hassle and expense of getting new vanity plates.  But in March I decided what the heck and started formulating a plan for new vanity plates.

It took me awhile and I batted around ideas with Misty…and I finally came up with (heart)14 SHR (in CALI you can have a special character on your plate if you pay a little more). I filled out the form online and paid the deposit and began the waiting game.  I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting for something I want.

Eight weeks later I got a lovely letter in the mail from the DMV stating that my plates had been denied.  No reason was given other than they reserve the right to reject plates that are considered lewd or otherwise offensive and if I have questions I can call.  I did and the person I spoke with first compared my requested plate up against the list of automatic turn downs and it passed those.  I would need to speak with someone at the field office but it was a Thursday afternoon and they were furloughed on Friday so I would have have to wait til Monday or Tuesday for my call back. So I waited.  Meanwhile I wracked my brain trying to figure out what on earth could be lewd or offensive about (heart)14SHR…I came up blank. Everyone I asked came up with nothing.

I finally got my call back on the following Monday afternoon. Turns out…California does not let the number 14 on license plates because of connotation it has with the “14 Words.”  I had to look it up online because I hadn’t even heard of it before- it’s some aryan thing. So yeah…my plates were denied because they were considered racist of all things (can you read the eyeroll in there? Because it’s there.)  BUT she said…BUT I could write a letter of contest if the number has a special meaning to me and they would consider it.  BUT that would just slow down the whole process.  I hung up, admittedly disheartened.  I could NOT figure out a way to make a plate that showed my love of SHR and the 14 without using the number 14.  (Try it…it’s not easy). I did NOT want to write a letter and get involved in some battle regarding the semantics of a personalized license plate with the freaking DMV.

But I really wanted to get rid of my sequential plates.  So I chatted with Misty some more and I am pretty sure she came up with what I ended up with:

Get it? T STEW(heart). Say it out loud fast: Stewheart.  I just hope that there are no crazy people out there who think I am a stew lover….it could and probably will happen.  My first vanity plates were BK2RLTY– Back To Reality.  But people kept asking me if I was in realty.

Unfortunately I went no where. It was just one of those weeks where my “real” job was hellishly busy (being a new semester- it comes with the territory) and by the time I got home- I didn’t want to think… or write…at least not in anything over 140 characters (for those following me on Twitter- I did scrounge out a couple updates here and there).

When we last left off…I was having my HHR towed to the dealer because something broke and suddenly she wouldn’t roll. Well apparently no…nothing at all broke.  Common consensus is that somehow I had the parking brake stuck on- despite the fact that I had released it and the light went off. That is why it wouldn’t roll.  The “horrendous noise” I heard was it finally disengaging.  If I had started it back up AFTER the noise it probably would have rolled just fine. It was a scary noise though. And as much as I love cars- I really only know the basics about them- so when something goes wrong I have no idea.  The service advisor I worked with at the dealership was more than accommodating in offering to keep it another day to check it out. And like I told them when I was having it towed in- the engine sounds fine.  My only concern is that in a couple of weeks I am off to Vegas for the truck races (we got truck races free as part of our terrace package for the Cup series race) and I don’t want to be driving 500 miles – over mountain passes and through the desert in a car that is having an issue.  And it was within a week of needing an oil change anyway – so I had them change the oil while the car was  there.

Saturday included a trip to do grocery shopping for Grandma and then after than I kidnapped my parents and took them to Gilroy. This afforded me two things: A good jaunt to make sure that the HHR was working up to par (and after going the back way home- that car is FINE) plus some shopping in establishments I don’t usually get to frequent- not that I actually bought anything for me- but I did buy my nephew a toy tractor.

I then got to see my nephew- I was hoping to have pictures to share since I haven’t recently. I think you all will be surprised with how big he has actually gotten! But my dad surprisingly has not uploaded any of the pictures he took yet. He’s starting to talk- mostly still nonsense with the occasionally Mamma, daddy, Dis, dat, keys (he is fascinated with keys and locks) thrown in.

Roxy sits with Matthew, who is playing with his toolbench at grandma and grandpa's house.

Roxy sits with Matthew, who is playing with his toolbench at grandma and grandpa's house. And yes that IS a old homedepot Tony Stewart outfit he's wearing. His aunty hasn't bought him any new Tony Stuff yet.

I know that the Cup series had an off weekend…and I know that the trucks (Yey Kyle) and the nationwide cars (congrats to Carl) ran. But I will tell you that I was not able to actually watch any of it this weekend.

Where is Darian Grubb, Greg Zipadelli, Chad Knaus, or Steve LeTarte when I need them? Seriously.  Today started out like any other Monday. I went to leave for work. I got in my car. Put my purse on the passenger seat. Clicked my seat belt tight. Turned on car. Ahhh gotta love the sound of that Chevy powerplant.  Press brake and put car into Reverse. Nothing. Car won’t go back. Odd. Put car in Drive to see if it will roll forward. Tap gas just a wee little bit (don’t want to crash into garage). Nothing.  Put car in park. Turn car off. Sit there and wonder WTH? to myself.  Turn car back on. Engine sounds normal. No lights on dash. Press down brake. Put car into R and hear a horrendous Pop/Clunk noise. Think SHIT THAT’S NOT GOOD. Car still will not roll back. Put car back into park and turn off. Get out. Look under car to make sure she isn’t gushing any vital fluids, to see if there is something obviously dangling where it wasn’t before, etc. I can see nothing. Of course I don’t even know what I am looking for so…it’s pretty much a moot point there.  I swear that the HHR looks- hunkered on the right side slightly (like its lower on that side). Then again it could be my imagination.  It was so loud that neighbors said they heard it and one came out because he thought I hit something.  My mom offers to take me to work because I can NOT miss today- it’s one of our busiest days of the year- my coworker would have my head! During a break at work I call Onstar using my handy dandy card I carry in my wallet incase I lock myself out. They sent a tow truck to get my car (I left the keys in it and unlocked because I was pretty sure it wasn’t going anywhere) and they took it to Chevy. It SHOULD still be under warranty (fingers crossed). I am sure it’s a transmission problem. My dad says judging by my description he thinks it might be a busted trans-axle (he said that trannies tend to grind not pop/clunk). My brother threw bad spider joint into the mix (honestly- don’t even know what that is).  I guess we will see.

My issue is I have a severe mistrust of mechanics.  Back when I had my Chevy Lumina sedan (the fancy euro edition) a mechanic told me that I had cracked the engine- and that coolant was mixing in the oil and it was just bad news all around. It would cost me like 4K to get it fixed. I did not have that kind of money and told them I would be by to pick it up.  My brother came with me and said to me “Hey I want Robert to look at it” (a friend of his that he knew through who would eventually be my sister-in-law.  He worked at a used car lot and took a look at it quickly. He said that the dealer was lying because if that was the case the oil would be milkly in color and it wasn’t. (In fact I had just had my dad change it like a week or two before). Plus there was all the trouble I had with the Rav4 and the Toyota dealerships not being able to fix it.

Now I LOVE my car. I do.  I have it serviced regularly (not just oil but I have them do the recommended service packages too). I am not careless. I do not drive like an idiot. I do not do silly things like throw the transmission into Drive while still rolling backwards.  I have never in my life done a burn out, a brake stand or a powerslide (not on purpose- not accidentally). The one time I activated the traction control in the HHR on a rainy day I thought that there was something wrong with the car.  I do not understand why whatever happened would happen. I just hope its covered by the warranty and that it’s quick to fix because being without a car is really putting the brakes on my freedom.  Luckily my mom does’t mind driving me around much.

Various Notes:

  • So…I dropped 7 places down to 22nd in my fantasy NASCAR league. YIKES.  That is a pretty hard drop. All my drivers had lackluster finishes…especially Tony…that really pulled me down. I was up as high as 12 just a couple weeks ago…but I have been falling hard since then. I hope that this turns around but it seems like half my drivers will do decent and the other half tank. :/ There has to be a science to this fantasy league stuff that  just don’t get.
  • Speaking of fantasy leagues…I don’t know why but I feel the need to be in this football pool that I am in nearly every year for the past several. I suck at it because frankly? I don’t follow football more than as a casual observer. One year I got REALLY close to winning (by sheer luck) but it’s been downhill ever since.  Still doesn’t stop my from throwing my hat into the ring though like I know what I am doing.
  • After reading the Stewart-Haas race report on Tony’s run apparently he DID get radio communication back about half way through the race. (BTW- I love how The PR Powers that be for Tony titled the release RADIO & ELECTRICAL GREMLINS THWART STEWART AT BRISTOL- because I totally picture those cute little fuzzy things in Gremlins that get all evil messing around with his radio).  And at some time before that? He had gotten a speeding penalty…which is why he got two laps down. I thought it was just from trying to fix the radio. He said that he listened to Ryan’s spotter so he knew when there was a caution. That had to be hard.
  • Today (Monday) was one of our busiest days at work. I expected it. The first day of classes is always crazy on the phones. I hope it gets better instead of worse.