Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Suppose It Could Have Been Worse Part II

Joint Contribution Post, by JakAshley

In case you missed it, here's Part I.

I was informed that the week after I secured our apartment, a new company was managing the complex. Because of this, we couldn't simply show up to an apartment with the key left inside. The new company demanded the payment before that would be possible. So, we had to overnight our security deposit and first month's rent the day before we flew out.

We flew into Newark, New Jersey on a Wednesday night. After some hassle getting our rental car (not Hertz, shhhhhhhh, it was cheaper even with the employee discount because Hertz only had a couple expensive vehicles left), we took the last leg of our journey to our apartment where we expected an open door. However, the door was very locked. After calling the property manager and getting no answer (at 10 PM), we mulled over the situation over a couple of whopper juniors at Burger King. We came up with three options:

Option #1: Sleep in the car.
Option #2: Find a hotel.
Option #3: Break into the apartment and sleep on our air mattress.

Jake utilized his talents from a troubled youth, and [omitted per Miller legal representative], and that's when the flock of squirrels left. Crazy, eh?

We woke up bright and early the next morning to sort things out with the property managers. Apparently, I had written a wrong number down on the address. Oops. Our stuff arrived later that afternoon, and members of our ward came to help us put things away. They even put together our bed for us and fixed our dresser!

We then needed to purchase a car. Hertz has a new program called Rent2Buy, where you rent one of their vehicles, and if you like it, you purchase it. The price is at a pretty significant discount, and since the cars at dealers that are 2-3 years old are mostly ex-rental cars anyway, why not get a deal? We picked out a car that was supposed to be located in Union, New Jersey. Do not confuse Union, New Jersey with its neighboring Union City, New Jersey. Eventually, we arrived at our destination. Just so you know, New Jersey is the kind of place where it's quite easy to get lost. For example, directions to a location might involve: "turn right, turn left, turn left, turn left, turn left, and your destination is on the left" and if you look at a map, you were going due north. By all accounts, it doesn't make sense. (Thanks Kronk!)

Unfortunately, the car was not set to arrive there that day (Rent2Buy is a new program, and they are still working these last few bugs out). So, we had to rent another car, and finally our car arrived a few days later. At this point, we were just so glad that we didn't have to blow any more money on rental cars (even with the employee discount, it adds up quick). How wrong we were.

To be continued... same bat time ... same bat channel.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Name a Baby

This is Jake here, ready to tell all yall how to name your baby. It's easy. First, wait until your wife is eight months pregnant. Then, make a list with all of the letters of the alphabet on it. After you've done that, make a list of all the names you like that start with that letter ("Y" is the BEST! See below). Next, have each name within each letter fight among themselves until there is only one name standing. Last, your 26 combatants will fight in a five-round single elimination death match. When the wounded, battered champion pulls himself from the carnage, you are ready to bequeath such a champion's name on your child. We are currently waiting on the A-L Semi-finals match to close. They just won't give up! We'll let you know what happens.

(click on the picture if it's too blurry)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More pictures

While you're waiting for us to write Part Deux of our moving saga, I thought I'd post a couple of updated pictures of my belly and our boy.

28 weeks in NYC outside 30 Rock.

About 32 weeks

About 33 weeks

34 1/2 weeks

The little guy at 34 weeks (profile)

Only four weeks to go! Perhaps we should buy a crib...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Suppose It Could Have Been Worse - Part I

Joint Contribution Post, by JakAshley

It's been a long, strange journey to New Jersey. It's also been a practical application of Murphy's Law, which is "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong." This should not be confused with Cole's Law, which says, "Shredded cabbage goes great with shredded carrots and mayonnaise."

It all started with a strange car noise near Panguitch. We were traveling to Salt Lake from Cedar City, and the plan was to get on I-80 in Salt Lake and drive to New Jersey. Near the Panguitch exit our car decided to either complain about its hip-replacement, or a small indestructible weasel was stuck near the front right tire. Naturally we called my dad who suggested we get it checked out in Beaver. After arriving in Beaver, we took our car to Billy Joe's mechanical and bait and tackle shop (or something like that). The nice fellow took a gander and after a quick test-drive said it should make it to Salt Lake just fine and we should have the transmission checked out there. At about Exit 146, Jake noticed smoke coming out of the back of car. Not like a match that was put out smoke, more like billowy nebulous clouds.

If fire and smoke are erupting out of the back of your vehicle, you are either Batman or on fire. We were not Batman. We pulled off at the exit, and Jake, looking underneath the car, assessed the situation. Flames were coming out of the back of the car near the gas tank. He quickly turned off the car and told me to run. I waddled. While we were scampering away, Jake said, "Hey Ashley, remember that one time when you were six months pregnant, and we were running from our car because it was on fire? That was pretty funny, huh."

We called 911, and emergency vehicles soon arrived. Of course the fire had blown itself out by the time they got there, so we just seemed like car hypochondriacs. They sprayed the bottom of the car with water for good measure and said they didn't see any damage. They recommended to hop back into the non-batmobile vehicle and drive it up to Fillmore "real slow-like." About two miles away from the repair shop, the car started making a terrible grinding noise, the kind where you are tempted to toss in some meat to make some sausages. We pulled over again, and began our walk to the mechanic's shop. A kindly couple driving by took pity on us, and gave us in a ride in their car, which wasn't too far from death's door itself.

The man from the repair shop said that because we drive a super fancy European sport's car (i.e., Subaru station wagon), he wouldn't even be able to order a part until Monday. It was 5 PM on a Friday at this point. And because Fillmore isn't exactly a hub of international trade (two weeks from everywhere), the part would take several days to arrive. He suggested a tow to a bigger market, such as Provo or Salt Lake. After making many phone calls to figure out our options, we reserved a U-Haul that was located on the other side of town. Who knew that the "other side of town" in Fillmore would be over three miles away? Jake had to run there to arrive before it closed. I waddled.

My parents rescued us and arrived at about 9 PM, and towed our car up to my uncle and aunt's home in Sandy. We also set up an appointment to get the car fixed Saturday morning by the ever scrappy mechanic known as Mr. B. He took a look at the car, and explained that the differential fluid had leaked, which caused more friction and heat, which caused the non-batmobile. He replaced the differential and pointed out that the transmission also had some issues, but the car should get us to New Jersey just fine. The car sounded fine at first, but at about 45th South it started making some of the same noises. We took the car back on Monday morning, and Mr. B could find nothing wrong outside of the transmission and after driving it around a bit, he said that the car should make it to New Jersey. We felt a bit uneasy about it as the car gave a shudder as we approached the exit to Parley's Canyon. So, we instead utilized Jake's brother Benson's awesome network (who doesn't know Benson?) and took it to another shop. This shop basically said that we might be able to make it to New Jersey, but the car needed a new transmission, which would cost far more than we were willing to pay.

We then held a vigil for Gary the Subaru (named after Spongebob Squarepants's pet snail), wiped the tears, and courageously moved on with our trek. My aunt and uncle let us bum around their house for a few more days while we made our plans to ship our belongings and fly out to New Jersey so Jake could start work the next Monday.

On Wednesday night we got into New Jersey. ...

... To Be Continued

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Ingredient Announcement

Agree or disagree: This is an effective way to tell people that mushroom is the new ingredient in your cat food.

Did you notice that all the animals shown are ingredients? Is that on purpose, or am I just morbid?