Monday, February 27, 2012

Car Woes

Wow.  I haven't blogged anything in a month.  I just haven't had anything happen that worth's writing about.
But today...something did that I wanted to share.

Last Friday, my car starting making a squeaking noise.  It sounded like it was coming from my driver's side front tire.  It would be constant noise once I hit 50 mph but would go away when I applied the brakes.
This morning, I made an appointment at the dealership in Anoka for some diagnostic testing.
They said my front brake pad was down to 2mm (the others are at 8mm) and I needed new rotators.  They also found my coolant bypass hose was leaking and a running lamp was burnt out.

The cost.....$38 for the diagnostic testing and $550 for parts and labor to fix everything.  FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!  My 2001 car's not even worth that much.

Up North where my parents live is a gas station/ mechanic garage that's been around for years and years.  I remember when I was a kid, we would walk the mile or two from my grandparents farm to go play the jukebox and have a sub sandwich and dill potato chips here.  This was back before we knew a place called Subway.  It's been remodeled over the years; but they still have a short order cook there.

Getting back on topic, my sister and I have had our oil changed here a couple of times and some other car maintenance visits too.  They're friendly and affordable but not always convenient because we live in the cities.  I called Red's to see how much they would quote me and to see if I could get in this week on my day off. 

Are you ready?  Are you sitting down?  $200 INCLUDING labor!  That's a $350 difference.
That savings is worth  the time and tank of gas to drive Up North.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Give Kids A Smile

My dental office hosted it's first "Give Kids A Smile" event.  It's our locations first time in the ten years I've been there. 

Working it was completely by choice.   No getting paid but it was eligible for Continuing Education credits.  You grab those when you can!  Five hygienists, three dental assistants, and three doctors volunteered.  We were hopping around so fast from room to room that we could have used more bodies.  Now we know for next time...

We had 5 hygiene chairs and 2 op chairs.  In 3 hours, we did 30 cleanings, a handful of fillings, a couple of sealants and 2 tooth boxes of extracted teeth...soon to be exchanged for $$ from the Tooth Fairy. 

The kids were wonderful and well mannered.  A couple were shy because it was their first visit and they didn't know what to expect.

I didn't expect it to be as much fun as it was.  Yeah, I was working but it wasn't work.  It was free dentistry and I could feel the difference we were making in a child's life.  We were offering a service that they couldn't afford otherwise.  One coworker said something that seemed to hit the nail (and I know I'm going to botch up her saying but I'll try anyway):  When you don't have something (ie. dental insurance), you are more appreciative when you do get it.

Overall, I think it was a huge success.  I hope we offer more of these days in the future.  I wouldn't even mind doing them more than once a year.  

If you want information on where a location is near you, check out the MDA website.