Unfortunately, right before Memorial Day, we lost my paternal grandmother. I had made plans to go up and see her the following weekend as she’d been in and out of the hospital since Christmas with breathing difficulty (acute pneumonia and COPD/emphysema issues mostly). I was disappointed I didn’t get a chance to see her before she passed away, but I know that she’s in a better place. Aunt Mary told us the story of the night before she passed that she’d been reading some of the papers from her hometown (she had them sent to her in Cleveland) and was especially interested in the primary results. For a family who was either a politician or an educator (or both, in some instances), she stuck to that ideal. She lived over 90 years, so she had a great life. And to see the last of her grandchildren make it through college (my brother) was a great achievement for her. I did miss her this last Christmas.
I bought a new car in the Fall. It was rather frustrating, because I’d just finished paying off my Malibu early last year. But I was at 60,000 miles and there were some issues cropping up with the steering and whatnot that were going to have to be addressed. I was looking at a fairly sizable chunk for those repairs. From what I understood, there were issues with the steering column insulation, one of the shocks/struts, something in the center column, and possibly the brakes. I was dealing with some pretty annoying vibrations under braking. It didn’t affect my ability to brake, but it was becoming a safety concern regardless. All of that would have added up to almost another two years of payments, which at that point, I decided I’d just be better off getting a new car. Since it’s just me, I need a reliable vehicle. Normally, I would have gone with GM, but I’d read some pretty bad reviews of the latest Malibu and just the 4-cylinder engines in general with GM cars, so I looked elsewhere. I decided to go with a Kia Optima, and I really haven’t been disappointed. I did get a great trade-in value on the Malibu, despite it’s issues, so can’t complain too much.
On the web designing front, I really hadn’t been doing much up until the last few months. One of the things about moving into the apartment was the desire to separate myself from the back bedroom/computer room a bit. That lasted up until early February, when one of my friends started pushing me to play Battlefield 3. I decided to buy the game and have enjoyed it, but it’s gotten me back into the computer room and doing design stuff.