Saturday, 5 July 2008

Printers, Cars, and the Chinese?

OK, I want to first apologise for my little tirade on grammar.  I've thought it over, and I will be proofing and correcting myself from now on.  I realise that it does make it difficult to read and understand, so I'll try to do better, promise.  I'm also trying to keep things flowing better, so I hope to update more frequently now.  I'll try my best.  

So now for content.  I GOT A GOOD PRINTER!!!  I now never have to worry about another horrid Lexmark ink cartridge, scanner, or printer.  Now I have an HP Photosmart C4385.  It's got wireless printing, a scanner, a printer, memory card slots, and all sorts of fancy stuff.  I recommend it to everyone.  Just check it out.  It's decently priced, cheap but good ink, and works good.  It's great. 

I had an HP in the beginning, but it was just a printer, a good printer, but just a printer.  When I got my HP laptop, it had Vista, and thus couldn't use it with my little HP XP-only printer.  The computer came with a Lexmark All-in-One though, so I figured, "Hey, free all-in-one, this is awesome."  Or so I thought.  The printer was fine at first, but after a while, the problems began.  I could print 1 to 2 page documents with ummmm.... decent ease, and most things would be of good quality.  One thing with which I didn't have ease with was printing large documents.  Anything over 3 or 4 pages made me want to rip my fingers off for even daring to click "Print."  It would print one or two pages and then boom, it'd stop.  This is annoying, especially when ye have a 12 page paper to print, and you need to have it before midnight because SOME people don't understand that ye're printer loves to watch you suffer.  My angst towards Lexmark remains to this day (btw, don't even try their customer service lines).  

In other news, I think I've made my final tweaks to the design on my electric vehicle, and I'm hoping to get started on it soon.  It's actually too bad I've started this late.  I just found information about something called the Progressive Auto X Prize.  I KNOW!  An X Prize, that's for new vehicle designs and ideas!  *bli*  But the final competition is in 2009, which means I'd probably have to get this thing built in 6 months when one of my components hasn't even been released (meaning I have no clue how it will work in my design), and my amount of funds for other materials is a strong bit lacking.  BAH.  I've thought about finding sponsors, but I wouldn't even know how to start that, and who would want to help fund some whim idea that I had?  

I have had a good bit of fun going to car dealerships though.  It's been really interesting.  The reactions of some of the dealers and just seeing the "help" that they've provided is hilarious.  I've even had a bunch of my thoughts and ideas on some companies helped and hurt so far.  I asked the people simple questions:  "Does your company have any electric or hybrid vehicles for sale?" "Do ye have any brochures about your company's electric/hybrid vehicles or what your company is doing to help the environment?" and then for the ones able to answer, "May I take a look at some of your hybrids?" 

The only thing that I didn't tell them was that I'd already knew most of this information.  Most of the dealers did ok with the second question.  I got a good stack of brochures, but a couple were VERY disappointing  [I'm looking at you Ford, Mitsubishi, and Honda *gives mean look*].  I was very impressed with the detail of Chevy's, Nissan's, and Toyota's info, however.  It really seems like these guys cared about you buying their stuff, and wanted to make sure you had a good or at least decent idea of what ye were getting.  The people at the Chevy and Toyota places were also nicer, more knowledgeable, and way more helpful than those at the Ford, Jeep, Honda, Mitsubishi, Saturn, Acura, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Pontiac, Suburu, and Mercury [i.e. Every car dealership within a 30-40 mile radius of my home] dealerships.  

The first and third question is where I lost a couple of the dealers.  Some knew all about the vehicles that had come out from their companies, and were able to fill me in on some information that actually helped [TOYOTA].  Some, however, didn't even say a word about the vehicles that had actually come out.  Ford with the Escape and Focus, Honda with the Civic [which I can say I got a full HALF A PAGE about by accident], GMC with the Sierra,  Dodge with the Durango, Mercury with the Mariner, Chrysler with the Aspen, and Cadillac with the Escalade.  

No lie, the people didn't even say a word about any of these vehicles when I was posing as the unchaperoned out-of-school college student looking for a new hybrid/electric car/truck/SUV.  These are out, and they should know about it.  Maybe it's a dealer thing, but I know most hybrids aren't cheap, so I'd have thought they'd want to sell me one.  Who knows.  Chevy and Toyota really impressed me though.  The people were very knowledgeable about their vehicles, knew what stuff they had, if they could get it, where I could get it [at times], and were able to give me proper information about their vehicles.  The only turn-offs to these two were that no one at the Chevy place knew about the upcoming Silverado hybrid, and I was mistaken again for being Hispanic [again] at the Toyota place.  Otherwise these guys were great.  If ye're in South Carolina and want a Toyota vehicle, look me up, I'll give ye the name of the awesome guy at the Toyota place I talked to.  

In other news, after tinkering with Clemson's Demo Class Registration program, I think I know what my schedule is going to look like next semester.  Elementary Chinese, General Chemistry, Engineering Disciplines and Skills, Calculus of One Variable I, and Accelerated Composition.  All my classes before 2:30 too [save for the obligatory spoil sport {chemistry lab}].  Yatta!  I hate late classes, because my concentration seems to go into a downward spiral after lunch, and if I can get this schedule, it'd leave my entire rest of day clear! *is crossing fingers hoping to get this schedule*

Is it just me or does it remind you of a Game of Life?  Maybe it just looks like a rocket slamming into a wall, either way, I like it, and it'll give me 2 more hours than I need for first semester.  I've gotten into a couple of arguments with my parents over my decision to take Elementary Chinese though.

For those of ya'll not familiar with Clemson's first year General Engineering path, ye're required to take General Chemistry, Engineering Disciplines and Skills, Calculus of One Variable I, and Accelerated Composition.  Ye're then required to take one social science or arts and humanities class, kinda like the HASS requirement at MIT I'm assuming.  This narrows my choices of extra class a good bit, but as some readers know, I have a strong affinity for languages, which is why I wanted to use a language for my SS/A&H requirement.  My parents understood this, and I immediately looked at the languages I could take at Clemson.  American Sign Language [*bli*], Arabic [*bli*], Chinese [*unsure bli*], French [*bli*], German, Italian, Japanese [*major bli*], Russian, and Spanish.  I immediately checked Japanese and ..."SCHEDULE CONFLICT."  After a couple words I'm not proud of I decided that I could enjoy other languages, and went to American Sign Language..."SCHEDULE CONFLICT."  After my eye began to twitch a bit in anger, I re-checked the forced classes to see if they could be moved, but alas they were set in stone, so I continued.  Arabic ..."SCHEDULE CONFLICT"... French ... "SCHEDULE CONFLICT" ... [At this point I got perturbed, and just checked every foreign language remaining].  EVERY bloody language except for Chinese and Spanish was conflicting!  So, I went with my favourite, Chinese......[Before I go on let me first tell of my history with Chinese.  I've loved Asian culture since childhood.  At age 6 or 7 I started learning Mandarin Chinese on my own, but my uncle's ******* bird decided that my book'd make a delicious treat, and on my 6-7 year old salary, I wasn't going to buy a new one any time soon.  My interest later developed into me starting to learn Japanese, but the desire to learn Chinese was still there.]  Well, I made out the fake prep schedule with the Elementary Chinese and Elementary Chinese Lab on it and showed my parents what it'd look like.  For some reason, my decision for Chinese over Spanish shocked them, which surprises me since I knew most Chinese history by age 11, with the help of their watchful eyes.  

My parents, however, have gone out on this Spanish, and have done their twenty questions method to try and convince me into it.  But I think that I have won out this time.  I have no concern with learning Spanish, and no offense to Spanish people, but I find the Chinese language and culture more interesting.  Not that Spanish lang/cult isn't interesting, it's just I like Chinese better.  But who knows, knowing my luck, I probably will end up getting majorly screwed when I actually register and end up getting Spanish, but if things go right, it's Chinese for me.

In other news, I got to go to my second movie in a month [Truly a feat for me].  It was hilarious, and you should all go and see it...after you see WALL-E, that is.  What movie was it?  
Get Smart.  Definitely a good movie, I just enjoyed WALL-E better.  I'm thinking about going to see Kung-Fu Panda during Orientation [that'd be like three in a time-span of four weeks *half faints*].  I'm not sure what's going to go on at Orientation though, so I'm not holding my breath.  Also, I've got Orientation in 1 day!  That means college is like 40 days away!  That's 40 days left to play Wii before I'm forced to be separated from it for a semester!  That also means 18 days of concrete and work!  Wow, this summer has shot by, hasn't it?  In less than two months, after works over, after my mission trip, and after my last week living in the same house and always being less than an hour from my parents, I'll be in college.  It's a bit overwhelming at times really.

Oh well, enough mushy stuff, I've got to go pack for Orientation.  Jya' ne and aloha everyone!

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