choco_frosh: Bede, from a MS in Benediktbeuern or someplace (baeda)
1. I've realized what the worst thing for productivity is, where job applications are concerned.

It's not trying to map the lost wetlands and burhs and shires of Anglo-Saxon England. It's not listening to Ursula talk about masturbating cats and her IUD. It's not snacks or books or chores or a caffeine habit.

It's when someone is supposed to be contacting you about a job interview for something that might actually pay the bills, but hasn't bloody done so yet.

Arrrggh. (tears metaphorical hair.)

2. Yes, the city did-- eventually--come remove the half a tree that was leaning against my window. No, nothing else seems to have broken in the process, so the only apparent casualty is one of my screens, which my landlady has promised to replace.

3. Yes, I did get my car into the mechanic this morning. The check engine light had--inevitably--turned itself off the moment I made the appointment, but they did put a patch on my muffler and replaced all the [untranslatable mechanic-speak], which they assured me would make a big difference.
And replaced a busted tail light that I'd failed to notice, which would have been the thing that would ACTUALLY have got me into trouble.

The rust was apparently nothing that was going to make my car fail inspection, but just to be on the safe side, I had them do one a month early. So now it's all inspection-stickered and stuff.
I must say, though, it's a bit disconcerting when you can remove bits of your car with your fingernails...

4. Jheesh, what is with me and the MBTA this week? The subway was massively and inexplicably delayed each of the last two days, and today it's apparently the commuter rail's turn.

Sent from my iPhone
choco_frosh: (Default)
It is way too bloody hot. "OK, Hell has officially frozen over," I told my barrista. "I'm getting an iced coffee." ("I think the problem is actually the other way around," was her reply.)
So while I did actually get myself to go running this morning (ugh!), I am abandoning plans to take the train and walk across Boston for my thing this evening. Air conditioned T, all the way.

Meantime, everybody remind me that TOMORROW I need to actually get my car to the mechanic. And NOT blow the entire morning modding maps of AU 10th-century England.
choco_frosh: (Default)
I did indeed make it to Nashua - and back - this evening. However, the engine was acting up for pretty much the entire trip north, so clearly there was more to the problem than water in the gas tank.
Then it was fine the whole way south, so clearly this problem is just plain weird.
choco_frosh: (Default)
1. I seem to have been able to fix my car* for $3.

Back when my current round o' car problems started, I mentioned the matter to [personal profile] sovay's father (the mad engineer), who also referred me to her brother (also a mad engineer, as well as a former Mazda** devotee). They had various suggestions, but one common to both was, "You might have water in your gas tank. Try some dry gas."

And then I sat on this problem for a few weeks, because I don't drive my car that often, and also there was Arisia (And yes, I still owe you a post on the subject); and then it was this week, and the point at which I was gonna have to drive up to Nashua (viz., tomorrow) rapidly approaching. So I called my mechanic, but first I called [personal profile] sovay's brother, and basically cried pathetically for help.
"Did you try adding dry gas?" he asked.
"ummm, no," I admitted, depressedly.
Welp, he wasn't sure anymore what was wrong with it, but he said he'd try HIS brother-in-law. I gloomily resigned myself to taking the thing to a mechanic, and then possibly having them tell me they'd need to order a part; but first, in the interests of leaving no stone unturned, went over to my local gas station and got some dry gas.

The problem went away instantly.
To be sure, I took it on the highway. Still no major problems.

I stopped at a convenient parking lot and texted Sovay's brother "Well, dip me in chalk and call me a limestone conglomerate! The dry gas did the trick."

So fingers crossed, I will make it to Nashua tomorrow.

2. It looks like my insurance is actually paying for physical therapy! Yay!
And my ankle is somewhat better, though still by no means at 100%. Oh well, PT tonight!

3. Meantime, as usual in times of crisis, today at work featured an invasion by various representatives of Upper Management. This time, though, they were acting suspiciously as though they were thinking of terminating our contract.
Everyone else to whom this has occurred is, fairly reasonably, freaked out. I, however, am cool with it. Well, provided it gets me laid off, rather than fired or required to move to some different location. This has been a sucky job, at sucky pay. If I was told that I could leave, and get unemployment benefits...and thus have time for...well, everything, but especially job applications and temping...?
I would rejoice in that day and leap for joy.

* Well, fix the immediate problem, anyway. The check engine light is still on, of course; and I'm sure there are lots of other interesting things wrong with it, even apart from the door handle.

** The car brand, that is. Not Ormazd.
choco_frosh: (Default)
So I'm headed up to Portland tomorrow, to see my father and brother and their partners; also Peter, who's spending a couple of days with Dad.
Well, that's the plan, anyway.

From an email to my Dad )

So, yeah, that.

(Yes, I will still make it to the latke party! I'll just take the bus home and then...grab my car, I guess? Um. But the chances that my car will sulk and refuse to start - or break down somewhere around the Arlington reservoir - will not deter me!)

Knee status: still hurty
Weather: too warm. Even Portland's (probably getting the storm tomorrow as rain, rather than snow. :(
Then again, the "probably" is the devil here. Again, :(

Oh well. For now, bellringing! which of course is also the theme of the weekend...

Personal reference: )
choco_frosh: (Default)
Subrealm: Why I'm not going to Burns Night

So there's this thing in the D&D universe where it is sometimes possible to resurrect a dead character, but the spell involves powdered diamonds.

I am coming to realize that cars work on a similar principle.

"Oh, OK," said [personal profile] sovay, who was cheering me up/listening to me bitch about the whole affair afterwards. "So I *thought* that your car had died catastrophically a couple of years ago, but in fact you brought it back to life by pouring money into it.
Yes, yes I did. And then I did it again this weekend.

See, I'd been kinda worrying that something like this was going to happen. It's been really cold, and I'd driven the car maybe once between getting back from England and this past Wednesday. Wednesday I got gas, because I was about to run out, and having made it back from the gas station...well, the battery light was on, but I figured that that was just the cold, and not being driven much. Thursday I went out to stock up on stuff* for Peter's visit. I got to the library without incident. Getting out of the library parking car stalled, and refused to start again.
I cursed, but was unsurprised. (See above.) What I *didn't* know was wtf I was going to do about it. I called Sovay to ask if her cousins had jumper cables; I called [personal profile] teenybuffalo to ask if she had any; I even called my roommate (the one with no car) to ask if he had any thoughts. Eventually, somebody pointed out that my car insurance might be able to help, and they were right. I called Progressive; Progressive charged me fifty bucks and paged a repairman [A] to come by with jumper cables. Everything looked like it was gonna be ok. I went out to my car to wait for the repair guy.

It is at this point that this story changes from mild tragedy to black farce. Because I tried turning the car on (just for the hell of it)...And it turned on.

Lessons learned, #1: This does not mean your car is in proper working order.

SO I let it run for a few minutes...

Lessons learned, #2: It actually takes like 15-20 minutes to charge a dead battery.

...and then called repair guy [A] to tell him he wouldn't be needed after all, and drove out of the parking lot.

Lessons learned, #3: NEVER DO THIS.

My car stalled less than two blocks further on. The dude behind me helped me push it to the side of the road (into a bus stop, coincidentally)., but I was pretty much screwed.
I called Progressive back, asked if I could de-cancel the cancellation. They said "Ooooh boy..." but ultimately pages another repair guy [B] (since repair place [A] hated my guts now.) The downside was that he wouldn't be there for an hour.

Shortly after this, a DIFFERENT random dude [C] showed up with a tow truck. I told him I had help coming. He went away, showed up again a while later, and offered to give me a jump pro bono. (Well, and in the hope of a tip, which I gave him.) So he got my car going...
"Your alternator light's on, though, so I'm not sure how far your gonna make it..." he noted.

Lessons learned, #4: Random dudes in tow trucks are sometimes right AND not trying to screw you out of cash, and I could have spared myself some pain and uncertainty if I'd just told him "Oh, in that case would it make sense for you to tow me to your place?"

Because he was right. Attempting to actually DRIVE the car caused it to stall out.

I called my roommate again and begged him to Google me a towing service.

Lessons learned, #5: Very few towing services are still operating at 11pm.

The local one didn't pick up, so I called the one in Waltham (who we'll call [D}), which (a) is near my workplace, and (b) I thought was the one I'd taken the car to before.**

He took my car, charged me an arm, told me he'd give me a discount on the leg if he did the servicing. I said Great, and went to mourn my fate chez Sovay.
As it turned out, my car was ready the next day. This was actually NOT good news, since I'd planned my evening around taking Peter home on the train. Now, I guess, Grace was gonna have to pick ME up, then drop us both at [D}...once we actually found it.

And then, as often happens, it appears that one thing going wrong (not even sure which) had taken out the adjoining systems. My battery was leaking; my alternator*** had seized up totally; one of the belts linking alternator to drive train had died violently. They had a diagram in the waiting room, with things related to your power train highlighted in red. I needed most of them replaced.

(The irony is that I'd emailed my Aunt just before all this happened. "PS: Tell Abe the car's still running," I tacked on to the end.
Lessons learned, #6: Avoid saying things like this. It attracts attention from the demons who administer Murphy's Law.

Total damage to credit card...let's suck it up and look at that bill again...$758.61.

So yeah. Originally, I was planning to join [personal profile] teenybuffalo and any other Scottish/folksinging/drinking enthusiasts at the Burren tomorrow for Burns Night. But as-is...I really don't feel like celebrating. Or spending any more money.

* Where by "stuff" I of course mean groceries and Dragonbreath novels.
** Answer: No. Also, the OTHER guy in Waltham had, at least according to [D}, screwed the oil pan over so thoroughly that he wasn't gonna touch it himself. %$^Y&UPOI.
*** WTF they call it an alternator, when "Generator" would be a less confusing term, is beyond me.


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