Flat Tires: The first item in a series of things I know nothing about

I found myself on the side of the interstate with a flat tire on a bitterly cold evening last November. As you might imagine, the whole ordeal was fairly unpleasant. I have assembled a few worthwhile tips for others who find themselves, or would like to avoid finding themselves, in a similar situation.

  • Proper Rotation: First and foremost, rotate your tires every other oil change. This is (apparently) vital. The necessity of tire rotation very well might be common knowledge, but I managed to obtain various degrees and numerous other life skills without hide nor hair of tire rotation. I assumed that tires wore evenly. In fact, I still don’t really understand why they wear differently. Physics. Email me if you know because I doubt I will take the time to look it up. I have adopted the “Just Do It” motto when it comes to proper tire rotation.
  • Capable Travel Companions: If you don’t rotate your tires, make sure to choose your travel companions wisely. Consider only traveling with friends who are capable of putting on a spare tire in case of a flat. Fortunately for me, I was traveling with someone who pragmatically changed my tire while I held back tears and called my dad. You will, of course, be indebted to this friend for life, and should rehearse telling the “flat tire” anecdote. It is absolutely vital that you do this individual justice while recounting his or her heroic endeavors. Additionally, it is worth noting that just being male does not ensure the ability to change a tire.
  • New Skill: Like traveling alone? I too understand the call to the open road. To be more accurate, I realize travel companions are not always an option. I suppose that it might not be a bad idea to learn how to change your very own tire. That being said, I have no intention of acquiring this skill. I know my limitations. If I were to change my tire, it would only result in necessary angst over whether or not my tire is about to fall off of my vehicle.
  • AAA: Rather than learning how to put on the ol’ spare, I opted to subscribe to AAA. Membership is the only sure fire way to ensure that the need to utilize its services never arises. However, cancellation of your membership will likely result in immediate vehicular complications.
  • Roll the Dice: How likely are you to actually get a flat tire? Short on cash–doubtful it will happen to you? Then by all means, take your chances.

Take my advice with a grain of salt because, as the title notes, flat tires are just one of the many things I know nothing about.


            That’s All She Wrote

A Latin Lesson

Had I waited until I was in my twenties to attend college, I likely would have chosen a more practical course of study. I may have become an engineer, an accountant, or majored in business administration. But instead, I was eighteen and chose to study Latin and Political Philosophy. Upon learning this, it is clear that people often teeter between thinking I am a high-brow intellectual or a raving idiot. I like to think I fall somewhere in between. Regardless, there is almost always a joke made about how useless Latin is in 2014.  The funny this is, Latin is actually fairly useful. Well, it is at the very least more useful than Political Philosophy…

Latin crops up quite often in our daily vernacular, but our use of it is sloppy at best. There was a time when all schoolchildren studied Latin, but as that is no longer the case, most people don’t realize that they are misusing Latin words. For example, have you ever referred you yourself as an “alum” or to your group of friends as “alums” of an institution? I hear intelligent people do it all the time. Guess what, you are not an alum. Look it up–Webster’s Dictionary defines alum as, “a potassium aluminum sulfate.” Guilty of this mistake? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. See herehere, and here for just a few news stories that used either “alum” or “alums” in their headlines in the past twelve hours.

To avoid this mistake, keep the below in mind:

  • Alumnus = one man
  • Alumna = one woman
  • Alumni = group of men
  • Alumnae = group of women (pronounced like alumni)
  • Alumni = group of men and women

Whether or not you care, now you know.


That’s All She Wrote