Tag Archives: Beetle

Hamptons Marathon Training – Week 15

Sunday 8/24


So, as it turns out, last week’s move + yesterday’s ~18 miles takes a lot out of a person! I totally felt like I’d been hit by a truck today so no run for Dr. Trot today. Never mind that I’m not super stoked about the cold post-run shower that’d I’d get to enjoy…

Monday 8/25


Yay! We got power and gas today! To celebrate these new-found luxaries, the run got skipped for unpacking and furniture moving alternatives. There were some key finds that will make the next few days go much more smoothly…


Unpacking treasures!

Tuesday 8/26

9.3 mi @ 9:14/mi

 SOOOO….someone has been on very bad behavior over the last few days…


Beetle Shaming.

This someone began making the most horrific of growling noises shortly before we moved (great timing of course) — as if she was having an identity crisis and putting forth her very best efforts to masquerade as a Mac truck in San Francisco. She was doing such a good job that today we finally had to make a trip to the Union Line Garage today for a consult.

(P.S. These guys are AWESOME. They will give you a ride to/from work, pick up the car from work if that’s easier for you, give you a courtesey vehicle, etc… I suggested that they give massive, unjustified discounts to poor post-doc customers, but for some reason they weren’t super receptive to this idea. Strange, eh? This is honestly my one and only complatint though. They are seriously fantastic!)

Anyway, as it turns out, this (aforementioned) poor postdoc will be shelling out (a hell of a lot more than) a pretty penny for 1) a box of new precious metals and  2) a pair of new tail feathers in order to transform this tempermental beast back into the sweet purring Beetle that she’s supposed to be. (And to keep from single-handedly poluting the sweet NJ air at a rate comparable to the city of Newark, but never mind…)

Damn it.

Now as bad/frustrating/expensive/inconvenient as this little Beetle sized predicament is going to be, it all became SO MUCH  WORSE when I got out of the car (dropped off back at work by a gentleman from the ULG…of course) and realized that I had left my cell phone (GPS on, eating up my data package at 100 mb/hr :-() hooked onto the dashboard of The Beetle at the garage!


SOOOOO, today’s run was after work and it also doubled as a cell phone + courtesey vehicle retrival mission. Aside from being WAY pissed off about the whole situation, it was actually a rather nice run through country roads and rolling hills. One that I’ll have to keep in mind for future out-n-backs that need to be a bit longer and for when I get (even more) sick of runnign the same loops through town (and am 99.9% less fired up about shitty life issues.)

Wednesday 8/27


…and driving around in this beast of a NJ-soccer-mom-wannabe-Exxon-stockholder-wagon…


The Beetle replacement! Close, right?

 Thursday 8/28

5 mi @ who knows…per the more pressing issue of the week…

Today started out damn expensive for The Beetle mama. (See above.) As I pulled up to the ULG this morning the little parasite was waiting, good as new you can be for a 13 yr old Beetle. When I went in to sell my extra kidney  pay the bill the other patrons waiting in the office had front row seats to the following theatrical performance…

ULG: So, she’s all ready to go!

Dr. T: grumble grumble grumble

ULG: We gave her a complementary wash and wax, inflated her tires and included a complementary 36 month warantee + roadside assistance package — just call this phone number if you ever have any trouble and we’ll take care of them for you. Oh, and we left some breath mints in the car.

Dr. T: Thank you and thank you and wow, that’s actually quite nice, and excuse me?!?! 

ULG: hehehe

Dr. T: Actually, did you vaccume her too? She could really use a good vaccuming, if you didn’t notice…

ULG: Honey. It’s vaccuming that thing is going to take at least another few $xxxx repairs!

Dr. T: 😮

ULG: And your antenna is broken.

Dr. T: 😮 😮

ULG: Have a great day!!

Friday 8/29

8.5 mi @ 9:30ish/mi

A warm afternoon run that, all things considered, felt pretty good.

Saturday 8/30


Total:  22.8 miles

Not great. Nope, not at all. It’s been a rough week though. From more ends than I care to think about. So, better luck next week Dr. Trot, better luck next week.

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The New Jersey Beetle

Yesterday was a big day for The Beetle, she officially became a legal resident of the state of New Jersey!

It was really quite the understated transformation:



...and after!

…and after!

For a mere $350 (for a new rear O2 sensor…and the $729 belt she bought herself for Christmas, but never mind…) she now has a set of lovely yellow plates that complement her vortex blue paint.

As much as I enjoy griping about the hassle and expense of the NJ state vehicle inspection (and the resulting required Beetle repairs), I have to admit that it’s nice to know the most densely populated state in the good old US-of-A is doing what it can to ensure safe and environmentally friendly vehicles are on the road. Never mind the bloated luxury SUVs that many a soccer mom/house wife drive around town or the hand-made Italian sports cars (think 0-60 in ~3 sec and requiring a change of shorts when your done sort of car) that their sons and husbands enjoy (when not being delivered to their destination by their driver of course). Yes, never mind those…


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My beautiful refrigerator is back in business!SAMSUNG

When I got home last night the fridge was cool and running normally. Apparently Landlord Dave came over this weekend and observed the same thing–


I don’t know what I’d do if we had to replace this thing with some big new white eyesore!

In related news, the Beetle is back in business! When my friend Samia  (and awesome apartment hallway mate) came home last night with her awesome boyfriend Alex, the three of us pilgrimaged (is that a word?) downstairs and went to work. It really probably only took us about a half an hour to get the little blue delinquent going, but when your cold and tired and it’s dark out, it becomes a very interesting 30 min. Here are the things we learned last night–

  1. Having your car sit in one place, without moving, for over a month in the MN winter causes said car to freeze solid to the ground. This subsequently prevents three rather strong people from being able to roll it into a position that is convenient for reaching it with jumper cables. 
  2. VW enjoys challenging its customers to use the smallest of metal pieces as a ground.
  3. Connecting 2 batteries that are 15.5 ft apart does not work with 15 ft cables.
  4. Driving the healthy vehicle down onto the neighbors driveway and then stringing the cables up over the wall to the awkwardly parked sick vehicle looks quite insane, but works like a charm!! 

I really wish I had at least one picture of this ordeal to share, but sadly that was not at the top of the priority list last night.

Thanks so much Sami and Alex! May your codes run smoothly and your data show exactly what you’re hoping to see today!



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Saturday mornings are fantastic, dead Beetles are not.

So yesterday morning I woke up to this:

The ice is on the INSIDE of the window

P.S. The ice is on the INSIDE of the window

And this lovely Saturday morning I woke up to this:

SAMSUNGWhat more could a girl want?

Sadly there is one unfortunate commonality between yesterday and today. A sick Beetle. 😦 Before I get down to it and rip her a new one, to be fair, it was -13 F yesterday without the windchill and it’s “warmed up” to a smoking 2 F today. However, I am a bit concerned by her delinquent behavior. When I went to start her yesterday, she turned over (albeit slowly…as -13 F will slow you down), started up, coughed up an iron lung and then died. We tried a few more times, but to no avail. This morning we tried again and achieved more or less the same result. (If only I could get this kind of reproducibility in lab!!)

The reason for my concern stems from the fact that I haven’t had this kind of “battery” trouble before. When I have had battery issues, the car as been dead. Dead dead. No power locks. No dash lights. No radio. (Of course I turned it off as I was trying to start the car.) And definitely no start-cough-cough-die series. Does this mean that it isn’t the battery? i.e. Does this mean that’s it’s going to be more expensive than a jump? Ugh! I sure hope not! 😮

This afternoon Fred graciously came over to help investigate with his AAA peeps, but we ran out of time (after an hour and a half of waiting for the peeps to arrive! really AAA?) and so it is still a mystery. I think our plan of action for now is  just to sit tight and wait for things to warm up. Double digits… perhaps even the 20’s F (there is a rumor floating around that this is a possibility this week)…will hopefully solve the problem. If not, then I guess I’ll deal with that when it happens. For now though I have to keep reminding myself that there’s no sense in draining the battery because I’m impatient. Unfortunately, this also means that I need to find myself a ride to the Super Bowl party tomorrow. 😦

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The beetle ate my bank account!

I love my car, I really do. The beetle has been a very beautiful, hard-working, loyal companion over the last 8 years.

HOWEVER, even she shoots to the top of my shit list when I receive a phone call from the Volkswagen Man (no more than 30 minutes after dropping her off for a regular oil change) who proceeds to tell me that she needs new rear brakes — pads and rotors! UGH!

$370 later she has her  damn oil changed and her precious rear re-padded. She is most welcome I suppose.


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