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Blog Archives for November 2010

Subaru AT Oil Temp Light

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 - Comments (2) in Cars, Life

This past Thanksgiving we drove from Rochester to my parents' place in Jersey. Usually we take Rachelle's Accord since it was more quiet and comfortable than my Cherokee. Since the Cherokee was replaced with a newer Subaru Outback, we took that car instead. We can fit more stuff in the Subaru and can get stuff (toys) in the back from the back seat; you can't do that easily with a sedan.

This was the first long trip I've personally taken with the car and I was a bit nervous since I didn't know what to expect. My dad drove the car up here from Jersey with no problems and I've driven it a few thousand miles around town already so I was pretty confident but still hoping there wouldn't be any problems.

Subaru AT oil temp light

We left at Claire's nap time so we could get as far as possible while she slept. We made it about half way, almost to Binghamton, before stopping for lunch. When we got back on the road after about 10 miles the "AT Oil Temp" light started flashing. This light is supposed to tell you there is a problem with the temperature of the automatic transmission fluid. So after I got over my initial heart attack I started looking in the owner's and service manuals to see exactly what was going on. This light was only mentioned in the owner's manual and it only said if it comes on while driving it isn't necessary to stop, but that we shouldn't drive up any steep hills. We were on I-81 at this point which is nothing but hills. Searching around online on our phones I found out this flashing light is pretty common and nobody seems to know what causes it. There are tons of questions asked about it but almost no answers. We stopped at a rest area as soon as we could and I checked the fluid level in the transmission. It was slightly low, but had plenty of juice. We turned off the car and started it again and the light stayed off. I figured it was some weird occurence that triggered a fault in the transmission control module.

On the way back home to Rochester the same thing happened! It was fine for the first 150 miles or so and after we stopped for lunch the light started flashing again. I had to stop for gas about 40 miles from home and when I started the car back up the light stayed off. I don't really understand what was going on with this, but at least it didn't seem to be affecting anything; the car still drove and shifted fine while it was flashing. While I was in Jersey my dad (mostly) and I changed the automatic transmission fluid; it had lost some of its color but didn't smell burned, so it was the right time to do it. I was hoping that would have fixed my light issue, but apparently not.


Monday, November 29th, 2010 - Comments (1) in Holidays, Life

This past Thursday was Thanksgiving! The previous weekend we had pre-Thanksgiving dinner at Rachelle's parents' house so we spent the real holiday in NJ with my family.

For as long as I can remember my family would go to my grandparents' house for Thanksgiving. When they moved into the nursing home Thanksgiving was relocated to my uncle's house. This year I made an executive decision to move Thanksgiving to my parents' place because they have a bigger house and for the number of people it would just be more comfortable for everyone. Now that Claire is here and she is crawling and cruising, the more room the better. She also travels with a ton of crap; she would need a nap (or 2) and therefore a pack-n-play, monitors, a sleep sac, toys, etc. She goes to bed a 7pm and with a 45 minute drive it would just be too hard to juggle all of this at my uncle's house.

My parents might have a bigger house, but they happen to have the smallest oven on the planet. It was feared that a turkey big enough to feed the 11¼ people wouldn't fit in their oven, so it was decided to deep fry the turkey. I'd had fried turkey before, it was very good, but not a bird of that size. A decent percentage of people who attempt to fry turkeys only succeed at setting their house on fire. We had to make sure not be one of those. The turkey was too big to be completely submerged in the oil so we actually had to flip it over and brown the other side after it was done cooking. I was the appointed turkey carver and I did the best job I could. I was using a regular knive and I think I could have done better with one of those electric knives that everyone seems to have. It was only the second time for me, the first being at pre-Thanksgiving dinner the previous weekend. I still think the turkey would have fit in the oven...

Frying our turkey
               Dad and Todd watching the fryer

Twotone turkey
               The cooked-but-not-completely-finished turkey

Rachelle and I sat at the kids table with my parents. Claire took an uber-nap and slept through dinner. She emerged in time for dessert and had her own turkey with cranberry baby food.

Claire with a chocolate turkey
               Claire pondering what to do with her chocolate turkey

               She decided to vandalize my passed-out dad with it

My uncle actually ended up getting sick and not being able to make it to my parents' house. I was sad about this, it's been a long time since I've seen him and I think Claire was only 3 months old the last time he saw her. I guess having the get-together at my parents' place worked out well then, the only thing worse than having to go over someone's house when your sick is having everyone at your house when you're sick. I hope he's feeling better.

Barefoot Shoes

Friday, November 19th, 2010 - Comments (6) in Life, TV

A couple weekends ago we were at Wegmans doing some food shopping. While in the sub-shop/Chinese food area we saw a woman walking around in what looked like a pair of toe socks, but they weren't socks, they were shoes! We kind of looked at each other cross-eyed and went on with life.

Then out of the blue on this week's episode of Weeds I see Guillermo wearing a pair of them! Apparently they're called Vibram FiveFingers and are an athletic type shoe that "give you all the health benefits of running or walking barefoot without the actual physical risks of going barefoot in a modern environment."

Gillermo's stupid shoes

Nancy and Gillermo

I'm not really sure what health benefits they're talking about but I find walking or running barefoot rather uncomfortable. Either way, these shoes just look ridiculous on normal people and even worse on Mexican gangsters.

Kitchen Leak

Monday, November 15th, 2010 - Comments (0) in House, Life

This morning I went downstairs to make a bottle for Claire after I got dressed and when I approached the sink I experienced a distinctive splat and wonderful feeling of stepping in a puddle of water in my socks. After a few choice words I wiped up the puddle and saw water dripping from the cabinet below the sink.

I went back upstairs to feed Claire and when we came back down I took all the stuff out of that cabinet to see where the water was coming from. I looked at the drain, the garbage disposal, the pipes feeding the faucet, the wand hose; everything looked good and was dry.

I had given up and was going to see if the water came back after work when Rachelle found the source. There was a gallon milk container under the sink full of distilled water we used to feed an orchid with that had sprung a leak. I guess some cleaner bottle leaked under there recently and some of it got on the bottom of this container and ate a hole in it.

The water didn't do too much damage to the inside of the cabinet, but it's no longer in the pristine condition we got it in. That makes me sad because I would have loved to keep them nice for as long as possible. It looks like we'll end up having to mount locks on them soon anyway since Claire is starting to get into everything, so I guess drilling holes for that will be slightly less painful now that they all aren't in perfect shape anymore.

Second Photo Shoot

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 - Comments (0) in Life

Claire - Katielynn photographyToday Claire had her second photo shoot with Katie Lynn. A few months ago she won a facebook contest for the cutest baby ever (of the kids Katie shot) and the prize was a free session. We decided to do it in November so we could possibly use the pictures to make Christmas cards.

Originally we were supposed to do it Saturday, but Katie was sick and had to reschedule. We had today off because it's Veteran's Day and it worked out perfectly. Saturday was cold and rainy and today was sunny (and cold), definitely an upgrade.

We went to the George Eastman House to take the pictures. I've never been there before, even though I've been in Rochester for over 10 years; it was a neat place. We stayed outside and took pictures all around it.

Claire wasn't really in a smiling mood. Maybe it was the cold, maybe her imitation ugg boots that kept falling off or something else. We got a few smiles by shaking a container of blueberry puffs and occasionally giving her some. Hopefully we she got some good pictures.

We stopped by Nathan's soup on Park Ave on the way home to pick up lunch. They forgot the biscuits in Rachelle's cream chicken and biscuits soup. That's very sad when you only get their soup once in a very long while. We rounded out the day with a 2 and a half hour nap, it was awesome!

Baby and Daylight Savings

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 - Comments (0) in Life

I was scared when daylight savings was approaching. In previous years the problem was about them changing the daylight savings dates and that screwing with the computer at work, this year it was all about Claire's sleeping. For the first 4 or 5 months of her life she slept like a rock. Since then she's been getting up once or twice a night; not every night, but often. She gets up around up around 6am every morning which works out well because I get up just before then and can be showered and ready so I can get her ready for daycare.

This past weekend was the fall daylight savings so we gained an hour. Usually this would be a fabulous but Claire has a pretty solid internal clock, so I expected her to get up for the day at 5am because that was originally 6am before the switch.

To hopefully counteract this we kept her up an hour after her bedtime the night before the switch. I expected at least a few days for her to get used to it, but it just seemed to take that one night! I was pleasantly surprised.

Happy Halloween

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 - Comments (0) in Holidays, Life

Last week was Halloween! I just don't seem to get excited like I used to over this holiday. It was Claire's first Halloween, and although 10 months old is a little young to be trick-or-treating, Rachelle and her sister Meg made her a lady bug costume. The idea was to show off her cuteness to people who came to our door.

lady bug

She really didn't like her costume, but she'd tolerate it for a little while at a time. The wings went over best because she couldn't see them, so she probably had no idea they were there. The antennae were instantly ripped off.

claire in the mirror

Like with everything now, I never seem to have time to do anything. I think the only reason we actually had a pumpkin was because Rachelle's dad gave us one. Halloween day rolled around and we still hadn't carved it. During one of her naps that day I just had to do it. I usually pick a design that is rather involved and scary. This year I just free-handed a simple design. It turned out looking like it belonged on the short bus to school. But I got it done in record time!


We were waffling about what to do about trick-or-treaters after Claire's bedtime. Once she was asleep I'd be damned if I would let anything I could control wake her up. That means we really couldn't have people ringing the doorbell or knocking. And since I wasn't going to sit there next to the door waiting for kids all night, we decided to just put a bowl of candy out on the porch. From my own childhood misadventures I knew going into this idea that the bowl of candy would last about 3.5 seconds before being cleaned out. The first few kids that came up after I put it out just took a few pieces (I was creeping in the shadows watching), but sure enough the next group that came up while I was rocking Claire to sleep took it all. We had some left over terrible candy from last year so we just put that in the bowl next. Even that was gone 5 minutes later! That's ok, as long as Claire stayed asleep, which she did, that was fine with me. After the second bowl we just turned the lights out. I guess it was good that it was cold and rainy/snowy so there were fewer kids out.