Sunday, June 27, 2010

Roseville BMW vs BMW Northwest

I've been spoiled--it's true. I bought my car last August and had it serviced at BMW Northwest in Tacoma until I moved to California in March.

BMW Northwest provides quality work and premium customer service. The service managers always explain everything to me thoroughly so I understand what needs to be done and why, and they provide a loaner BMW if they are keeping my car for a day or longer (even though my car is no longer under warranty). And it doesn't matter why I've brought in my car, they always wash and vacuum it for me--they even washed and vacuumed it for me once when I came in just to ask a question. The waiting area is nice, and the people who work there go out of their way to be helpful. And while I love their customer service, what I really appreciate is the quality of their work. I'm confident when I leave that I won't have any problems.

In contrast, I've had nothing but problems with Roseville BMW. In February, someone tried to steal my car from a hotel parking lot during a drill weekend by slicing through the convertible top. The top and the windshield were replaced in Vancouver, and I left the state only to find that the top leaked. When I arrived in California, the Allstate adjuster told me that I could take my car directly to the dealership to get the leak fixed, so I did.

Roseville BMW provided a loaner BMW as expected, and the repairs took two weeks to complete. The Allstate adjuster approved the estimate, but the final cost was more than $1400 over the original estimate. Allstate still agreed to pay, and the adjuster even faxed a copy of the check being mailed so I could pick up my car. However, the dealership wouldn't release my car until the actual payment was received--a week later. The service manager told me that insurance companies don't always pay, and asked me if I had a credit card and wanted to pay for it myself--I declined. When they finally released my car, it was dirty and even had bugs on the windshield. I wondered why they didn't wash it when they were checking to see if the top still leaked . . . strange.

Now, roughly two months after the repair, the liner is separating from the frame and needs to be repaired. Interestingly, the original statements provided to Allstate show that the work was subcontracted, yet when the adjuster contacted the dealership, he was told the work was completed at the dealership. In addition, even though the work was of questionable quality and has to be repaired, I was told that they no longer provide loaner vehicles when a car isn't under warranty. Fortunately, I have rental car coverage, but I would expect them to work harder to "make things right."

Finally, the repairs to fix the leak totaled almost $4000--the cost to replace the top and windshield in Vancouver was $3000. I'd like to understand why it costs more to fix a convertible top than to replace it.

I've tried to contact a manager to discuss all of this, but he won't return my calls.

My advice: if you own a BMW, don't have it serviced at Roseville BMW. If you don't own one, don't purchase one from them either--head north to BMW Northwest.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Be inspired--create a world without cancer

Left: Five squirrels enjoying breakfast as I drove by after my run

The Saturday Morning Run

I run with Team in Training every Saturday, and I've met some incredible people! This Saturday, I ran with a doctor and a program manager for health care continuing education. Most of the people I've met so far are involved in health care in some way, and many people are involved because someone they care about has fought a blood cancer. Their stories are incredible, encouraging.

Fund raising is harder than I thought it would be. I don't know if it's due to the current economy or if people are donating elsewhere. But I'm committed. This is too important, and researchers are making progress. Amazing progress. Researchers will soon be testing a vaccine for breast cancer, and the FDA recently approved a prostate cancer vaccine.

I've been posting messages on Facebook, but I've gotten a very small response. At work, I have a See's candy display in the break room, and I'll be hosting a Pampered Chef fund raiser shortly. If you have any fund raising ideas, I'm all ears! This is too important. And if you can donate, please do. It will help fund a cure, and it provides a tax benefit for you! Most importantly, think of the lives you will help to save . . .

After the run

After my run (six miles--woohoooo!), I cleaned up and went wine tasting. The weather was gorgeous, the views were incredible, and the wine was tasty! I think I like living in wine country! I was able to visit two wineries, but there are so many more to visit! If you are in my area, give me a call, and let's go wine tasting!


Now that I"m blogging again, I'm feeling the need to submit to a blog carnival. So far, I haven't written anything worthy of Grand Rounds--Where else can I submit? Has anyone submitted to Carnival of the Vanities lately? I'd prefer to submit to a theme oriented blog carnival--any ideas? I need to write!

Friday, June 18, 2010

When every day is better than the day before

Why can't it be this way for everyone?

Sometimes I feel guilty for being so blessed. Then I realize why I feel so blessed . . . It's because I've been through enough rough times to be able to recognize the good times.

Last night, I had a great evening watching the Celtics play the Lakers. I wasn't happy with the end of the game, but I had a wonderful time watching. After the game, I sat and visited with other Celtics fans while I switched from beer to water because I still had to drive home. When I pulled in to my apartment complex, there were police cars, an ambulance, and taped off areas. I didn't know what had happened until this afternoon.

There had been a domestic violence incident, and one person didn't survive. I learned this from a letter posted on my door when I arrived home after work. Driving home, I felt happy and carefree--looking forward to a glass of wine with a friend. The letter on my door reminded me of reality--a reality that is more common than most people realize. And before you blame it on the area in which I live, google El Dorado Hills, CA. This is a nice area--even for apartment dwellers. Domestic violence doesn't discriminate--it is equal opportunity all the way.

Please, if you notice something isn't right with a couple or family, say something . . . do something. Don't look the other way. You may save someone's life.

And . . . be good to the people you love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How is a raven like a writing desk?

A few weeks ago, I decided to get a deep tissue massage--an 80 minute deep tissue massage. It was wonderful, and painful. Very painful. But I relaxed and let the massage therapist dig deeper, getting the knots out and loosening tight muscles. The tight muscles hurt the worst while the pain of breaking up a knot actually felt good. Very good, in fact

The pain I felt during the massage made me think of the pain I feel when I run . . . Yes, I feel pain when I run, and it isn't pain from injury. I feel great after running, but there is a difference. It's much harder for me to work through the pain of running than the pain from a massage, even though the result is positive from both. Why is this? I've been told it's psychological. 

I want to love running, but I'm not quite there yet. And my comparison of the pain from a massage with the pain from running? Well, it's like asking how a raven is like a writing desk . . .
I want to be a better, faster, more efficient runner, and I want to love running.  If you are a runner, what is your secret?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ups, downs, and crazy busy

No, I'm not referring to hills . . . although there are lots of hills where I live, and it's hard to run without running up one of them, but I digress.

Training has it's ups and downs. I initially felt like I was making a lot of progress, but the past two weeks have been a little "meh." I have these expectations that every time I run, I'll run farther and faster than the time before, but it really isn't like that. There are so many variables that affect training. It's getting warmer, and some days are more humid than others. Evening runs are hard to do after working all day (actually, it's hard to leave work to go for a run when I have a major deadline approaching!). Also, I've had some of my own health struggles lately.

However, I am out there running . . . even when I don't feel like it (I recently ran a 5k, and I changed some of the evening runs to morning runs to avoid the heat). I just remind myself why I'm doing this and that makes all the difference.