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«  Fri.12.08.2000  »
9:23 pm EST        14°F (-10°C) in Ann Arbor
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The sinus problem that was affecting me earlier in the week is now gone. I still have a couple occasional twinges up there, but that probably has more to do with the air outside being so cold and dry. (I'm in a bit of a Catch-22 when it comes to humidity in the room — I can open the window for some cold dry air, or I can let the radiator spew out warm dry air.)

I have been quite busy in the last couple days. You might think that funny, given that I mentioned on Wednesday that I'd given up on school; well, I haven't entirely done that. I did go to my physics lab final last night; as I expected, it was a joke. Immediately upon returning to North Campus after the exam, I turned right back around and left for Saturn of Ann Arbor, across town. What is normally about a 15-minute trip turned into 25 minutes given the conditions — snow was accumulating on the roads, and the city hadn't bothered to start salting. Upon getting there, I test-drove a 2000 Saturn SL1 before having the sales rep run some finance numbers for me. I can actually drive a stick without screwing up now — woo hoo.

Before I go too far, I want to ask a rhetorical question: why do drivers here in lower Michigan act as if they've never seen snow before when the roads get bad? At one point, I was doing 30 mph — probably a bit on the fast side given the poor road conditions — when somebody in a full-size pickup truck comes right up on my bumper (a BIG no-no in snow) and starts blinking their brights at me. Nice guy that I am, I obliged; at this point, the truck began going at least 40 mph. I don't know what it is about large vehicles, but a lot of people who drive them get this false sense of security. "Nothing will ever happen to me — I have an SUV!" It's not just aggressive male drivers either; women are just as guilty of assuming they cannot possibly be injured in such a vehicle. Oh well, once their excessive speed causes an accident, and they're seriously injured, they'll learn ...

Lest I forget, there are a few who are just plain clueless, regular habits aside. One guy in what looked like a Geo wagon started around the Glen street curve too fast, then lost his rear end trying to brake. Somehow, amazingly I might add, he managed to save it after a near-360-degree spin, and continued down the road unharmed. He got really lucky though; anyhow, if he hadn't tried to round the curve at 25 mph in the first place, he would have never spun. It's pretty simple. To my fellow Michigan readers out there, take it easy driving in snow — you don't want to do like the people I mentioned here did.

I did my usual "screw class and sleep in until 1 pm" drill today, after being up late last night. After my usual preparations (shower and such), I went to Ann Arbor's Hyundai dealership to test-drive and run numbers on the Elantra. If the choice boils down to the Elantra and the SL1 — and it very well may — I'm leaning toward the Elantra right now. For me at least, it's a deal of the most car for the least money. I may just barely be making ends meet for the first few months of my independence, and wherever the opportunity presents itself to save a few dollars here and there, I should do so.

My weekly Kroger run followed the trip to the Hyundai dealer. At this point, I'd been running around for several hours, and remembering that a friend would be coming over at 11:00 pm for a movie, I decided to skip tonight's hockey game against St. Lawrence. This is the first home game I've missed all year; oh well, I guess some streaks just can't last forever. Michigan plays the Saints again tomorrow night anyway, so it's not like I'm missing anything huge.