Car Totaled

We took Irene’s car to Greg’s Auto to have it looked at after all the damage it received in the recent storms. As I expected, they totaled, or wrote off, the car. They said it would cost at least $3600 to repair and they appraised the value of the car at $2300 minus our $500 deductible. Since we opted to keep the car, we got a check from them for a little over $1800, which we have put in our savings account. We also went to our insurance agent to change the coverage on the car.

There is little point keeping full coverage on the car if the insurance company has totaled it. We now have the basic coverage which costs less than $150 for six months. Although the car has hail damage, it is not too bad and makes it look like the car has dimples. The paint and bodywork are intact. I think the car will be good for at least another 75,000 miles and that is why we are going to keep it.

Tornado in Scottsbluff!!!

Today was a pretty interesting and scary day. It started out okay, but in the afternoon, the storms arrived along with more big hail (and more hail damage), and the sirens went off for a tornado warning.

Until today, I had never seen a tornado. I have actually always wanted to see one and assumed that, at some point, I would get to see a tornado. The thing was that I never expected to see one pass close to where I live or cause damage in town, but as I looked out of the back window during the storm, I saw a funnel form over Scottsbluff and then head for the ground.

Right now, the NOAA (the government weather service) and the media have not officially said that a tornado passed through town, but I know what I saw and you can see the video that someone has posted on YouTube. Take a look and judge for yourself.

Swimming Pool Opening?

We are now well pasted Memorial Day and our communal swimming pool is still not open. I have asked around and from what I found out work needs to be done before the pool can open. I assume that this must be the same work that I kept telling them about last year when I ran the pool. The townhouse association chose to ignore what I was saying then then gave me a hard time when I had to close the pool early.

Even though I hear they are going to open the pool after they have carried out repairs the fact of the matter is that this should have been done in March and April before the pool was due to be opened. Instead it is now June, the pool is supposed to be open and I am paying for a pool that is not open. Its a pity they did not listern to me last year, they might not be in this situation if they had listened to my concerns.

Day in Denver

About a week or so ago, Irene was at the dentist’s office and our dentist Dr. Beck gave Irene tickets to go see a Colorado Rockies baseball game. So, yesterday we went to Denver to see the game and spend a day in Denver.

We left early in the morning and, since the game did not start until after 6pm, we decided to visit the American Museum of Natural History in Denver. The main reason for visiting the Museum was to see the Body Worlds Exhibition. Body Worlds was in Dublin last year when we were there, but we did not go and visit while it was in Dublin. When I discovered that it was in Denver, I said to Irene that we should go.

Body Worlds was very interesting since you get to see real human bodies and body parts that have been preserved through a process called  “plastination.” This preserves everything so it can be put on display. By visiting the Body Worlds exhibition it gives you an idea of just how amazing and complex the human body really is. It was definitely worth the visit. The only thing that spoiled my visit was the idiot security guard that kept harassing me about my camera.

When we entered the exhibition there were signs up that said that no photography was allowed. That was not a problem so I just carried the camera in my hand as I went through the exhibition. About half way through, the security guard came up to me and asked if I had a case for my camera. I said no and he started to give me a hard time about how photography was not allowed and that I had to keep the camera turned off. Since I had read the signs and the camera had not been turned on, it was not really a problem, but this particular security guard saw fit to follow me through part of the exhibition. I actually felt a little threatened by this and even contemplated either challenging him or complaining to the museum administration. In the end, I did nothing and left when I was finished looking at everything.

After Body Worlds we had a look around the rest of the museum and I have to say that, although it was okay, it was nothing spectacular. It is good for a day visit and then not worth visiting again for a few years. They do have an IMAX theater in the museum that is worth a visit. We went to see the show about the space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope and I thought it was spectacular, well worth the price of the admission.

When were finally finished at the museum, we went to the baseball game. Finding parking was actually quite difficult and when we got to Coors Field we found that the stadium parking had not yet opened. We eventually found parking downtown in a private parking garage close to the stadium. We then got some food in an Irish pub near right next to the stadium where I had fish and chips and some Guinness.

When we got into the stadium, the game was pretty uneventful other than the fact it threatened to rain. The Colorado Rockies played the L.A. Dodgers and the Rockies won the game 11-3, which was good. When we were done, it was pretty late and we just wanted to get out of Denver and on the highway to get home. Of course everyone else had the same idea making it difficult getting out of Denver. It was made worse by a Denver cop pulling Irene over because he claimed that she had cut someone off trying to change lanes. This was blatantly untrue, but it is not worth arguing over with the Denver Police. This is after all one of the dirtier police forces in America and the one that has a record of corruption, illegal arrests, and of letting people who are in need of medical attention die in prison cells. Eventually we out of Denver and managed to get home well after 1am.

Overall, it was a pretty good day. I do get tired traveling all the way to Denver and back and I think that in the future it will be better if we stay overnight. The only thing that ruined the day was the idiot security guard and the power happy police officer.

End of the School Year

The school year is finally over and summer is here! It feels good to know that I do not have to worry about school until August. A whole three months for me 🙂

The last few days of school were a huge waste. Most often, this is always the case, but this year it was even more so. On Monday we got to spend what seemed like most of the school day hiding in the hallway or in the boiler room at school. We got a couple of pretty large storms pass over us, which came with tornado warnings. So no teaching or much of anything else got done.

The thing that always bothers me with the end of a semester or school year is that they always end on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. I do not understand the reasoning behind this. It would have been better to make the last day Friday and then have teachers come in on Monday to clean their rooms and check out. Monday and Tuesday this year were a complete waste of time, but when the powers that be ask for your opinion on the school calendar you just get ignored.

The storms that passed over us on Monday did quite a lot of damage. Irene’s car suffered hail damage and has lots of dents. We were lucky compared to a lot of people who lost windows on both their cars and homes. When we drove past Reganis Auto in Scottsbluff, it looked like their entire inventory of cars had been damaged. There was not a single car or truck on their lot that had not had its windows broken.  In addition, one of the apartment buildings a few blocks from where we live lost its roof. I hope that all those affected carry insurance to repair the damage.

I will have to call Progressive in the coming days to see if Irene’s car is worth repairing. Since the car is ten years old and not worth that much money, the insurance may decide to total the car.  Right now I am just lounging around enjoying the first days of the summer break, the car and pretty much everything else can wait a few days.