semperfiona: (wander)
Yesterday, after spending the early afternoon at the Mayan Adventure waterpark hotel (kinda cheezy but we had fun), we decided to have lunch at the hotel restaurant. When the time came to pay, I discovered that my bankcard was AWOL. After some dithering, we decided it must have been left at Leona's the night before. Called them up, and yes, they did have it. Whew! After lunch--about 3:30pm, we got in the loaded van and I drove off through the pouring rain.

About seven miles from our destination, under an overpass, we felt an enormous jolt as one wheel rode right into a pothole the size of a Ford Escort. Immediately, the car starts shaking and we hear the tell-tale ka-thunk sound. As soon as possible I made my way to a parking lot for a visual assessment. Rear passenger tire is completely off the rim, and has two big gashes in the sidewall.

Time to call AAA. Half an hour later, the nice tow truck man comes, changes out the destroyed tire for the donut spare, and we're on our way again. We decided to head for Leona's and try to find a tire place along the way. Occurs to me a little later that tire places close before restaurants. But a few minutes after that, I spy "Just Tires" and we pull in.

Wait another 40 minutes or so, and now we have a brand new tire. Twenty minutes more, about 7 pm, we're at Leona's (traffic was nasty by this time, as rush hour had started some time before. But I got my card back, we got ourselves some Lena Cakes as a prize for the distress, and off we went to Chris and Rob's, arriving, still in the pouring rain, about 8:15pm.

NTS

Jan. 8th, 2009 12:25 pm
semperfiona: Triskadelion jewelry (tri knot)
NTS: The Mustang still needs a new serpentine belt.
semperfiona: (flan)
After work this evening, I had driven out of the parking lot and a quarter mile or so down the road, when I heard an ominous noise, somewhere between a *pop* and a *thunk*. It didn't feel like anything had hit me, and the car hadn't juddered, but all the same, I figured it was best to check it out before getting onto the highway. I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and walked around the car looking at the axles, the tires, and the bodywork. No dents, no flats, nothing out of the ordinary.

I got onto the highway. After driving a few miles, I heard the sound again. I started paranoically trying to sense whether the car was shaking or leaning. Nothing. I kept driving. Sound again.

Finally, it occurred to me that when I'd done the walkaround I had seen a case of Coke in the back. Maybe something to do with that?

Nearly an hour later, I finally arrived at Stitch-n-Bitch. First thing I did, I went to the back to see. Sure enough, exploded Coke cans and sticky syrup could be seen.

At home, later still, Tammie and I took all the cans out of the car. Of twelve cans in the case, exactly three had survived. All the rest were either expanded or completely popped: some even were nearly empty without any visible hole in the aluminum.

Oddly, though, there wasn't nearly enough mess to account for nine 12-ounce cans. The only thing we can think is that the soda must have evaporated. Which leaves me wondering when I can expect the sodensation.

Peectures!

May. 18th, 2008 10:58 pm
semperfiona: (pinwheel)
I spent my Republican Bribe on a new Digital SLR camera (a Sony Alpha 350 with 18-70 lens) and 4GB memory card. Today Rosa and I went for a walk around the neighborhood to see what we could see; I took the new Precious and I let her use our old Vivitar 3.1MP camera. Here are our results, mixed together (hers are tagged). Rosa has a pretty good eye, although her camera handling is inexpert. She got a lot of blurry shots, and a large number where the focus is in the background rather than on the subject of the photo. I didn't upload most of those.

The Sony is a very nice toy. Shiny, indeed. We chose it in part because the lenses would be (we tested it, they are) interchangeable with the Minolta film SLR that Chris already had, so instead of only one lens that came with the camera, I have access to three. Didn't take any others along today, though.

Karma being what it is, of course, the very day I'd just bought the camera, it became clear that Tammie's van was going to have to be replaced. Too many things wrong with it; it's getting to the stage of "throwing good money after bad". One of the things that's wrong is that the turn signal stick snapped off (a six hundred dollar repair, for gods' sake), which would garner traffic tickets. So we rented a car to postpone the decision a few days and have been frantically studying the car ads.

All while also trying to fit up the fourth bedroom upstairs as an office for her. Painting, desk construction, shelf hanging, etc.

ETA: Changed icon to a newly-created icon; image from the yesterset.
semperfiona: (granny weatherwax)
When I got to the car this morning, I noticed something odd.




I never use the key. I have no idea how long it may have been like that. But the car's interior was in exactly the same state of disarray I left it in, and the alarm had not been triggered.
semperfiona: (grouch)
Friday, I obtained permission to work from home today so that I could take care of my overdue personal property tax and get the car's plates renewed.

This morning, I logged in to the "virtual office" and attempted to get to my pc. Fail.

So I emailed the techies and my boss and took off for City Hall. Assessor's office lady was very nice and fixed up my account so that I just had to pay one locality instead of two (since we all lived for a bit more than a year in St Louis County, we "should" have registered and paid taxes for 2006 in St Louis County). Success.

I went over to the Collector's office to get the total owed and pay the bill. $672.83. Fail.

On the other hand, there is a License office in City Hall. Yippee, if I get all this figured out I can finish the job in one go. But I don't have current insurance cards with me or even in the car. Fail.

Find out the bill can't be paid with a personal check because it's more than two years overdue. Paying by credit card would assess an additional 2.75% (on top of all the penalties already included in that figure), and I don't get a tax receipt for three to five days. Must be cash, cashiers' check, or money order. Utter fail.

So I left there and walked back to my car to figure out what to do next. Talk to [livejournal.com profile] ohari, determine that I'm going to have to go home and print insurance cards. Call the bank to find out the daily ATM withdrawal limit = $500. Must go to the bank and make an in-person withdrawal. Fail.

Get in the car, start driving home. Turn on Jefferson to go down to 44. The viaduct has been demolished and Jefferson ends just south of Spruce. Fail.

Turn around to get back on the highway, and get on going east rather than west. Fail.

Finally get home, print the insurance cards. Woot, a success!

Back in the car, out Manchester to the bank branch that isn't in the Kirkwood Wal-mart (we're boycotting that one. Long story.) Except it's St. Patrick's Day in Dogtown, and the parade just ended. Masses of green-clad pedestrians, police cars and lane closings. Fail.

Bank teller is very friendly and nice and gives me an envelope full of money. Success.

Drive back downtown and pay the bill without incident. Success.

Go to the license office and wait in line. Realize after I've gotten to the window that I forgot the inspection certificates in the car, but the counter clerk doesn't actually ask for them. Success. The dykemobile's tags are current!

Attempt to relicense the scooter, whose plates were stolen sometime last year. After much searching, using a couple different keys, she finally finds the record. Plates had expired last year as well as having been stolen. Fail.

Okay, I'll renew it and replate it. I can renew it until April, or I have to come back with a safety inspection if I want to get a full year's plates. Sigh. Further fail.

On leaving City Hall about two o'clock, I call Terry to tell him that my hour's worth of errand has turned into an all day affair and, following up on my email, that the Remote Desktop was fail. He hadn't gotten the email, but told me to just hang it up for the day. Sweet! An afternoon off!
semperfiona: (holly snow)
Yesterday morning I drove to work with no problems, though the traffic was worse than normal due to the incipient snowstorm.

$COMPANY sent us home about 3:00 since the weather had worsened considerably through the day. From the moment I started the car, I noticed that it was acting weird. The revs were all wrong for the gear it was in, it would be very very sluggish and then jerk forward suddenly 10 mph faster, and when I was forced to stop for a traffic jam and sat in neutral for a minute the car shuddered for a few seconds and then stalled.

It felt sort of like trying to drive with the parking brake on, so while I was stopped, I set and unset the brake several times on the theory that maybe it was stuck or frozen. It felt sort of like trying to drive on the last ounce of gas in an empty tank, and there was a faint smell of gasoline--though with the number of cars surrounding me the odor could have been from any one of them.

I called [livejournal.com profile] ohari and he suggested that maybe there was ice in the fuel line, so I made my way to an exit and a gas station, put some STP in the tank, and made sure to kick all the visible snow off the bottom of the car for good measure. I crawled home eventually but the symptoms never ceased.

This morning was more of the same. When I described the symptoms to the team, Robert suggested maybe a manifold leak, a gasket wearing out, or an emissions sensor problem. Whatever all that means.

These symptoms are similar to a cluster of issues I had with the car late last summer. After I first noticed them, and because the car was well into its second hundred thousand miles, I had the clutch replaced. We promptly drove it to Alabama, and suffered the same issues the whole way there and most of the way back...after which the problems stopped completely. There have been brief moments when it has come back for an hour or so and then vanished again, but this is back to the worst of it.

Meep. And here we were going to be back on stable financial ground, and even have some extra due to tax refund. Sigh.
semperfiona: (Default)
One of the disadvantages to owning a Japanese import is that the Japanese, along with the Germans, do not understand the vital importance of cupholders. The Dykemobile has only two, and they are extremely small.

Saturday, Tammie and I bought a selection of travel mugs, aka to-go cups, to replace those of ours that have become separated from their lids, or whose lids have ceased to seal properly. The new mugs are very pretty and very nice to hold, they seal well, and all of them take the same lids.

However, at all of 2-3/4" base diameter, they do not fit in the Subaru's cupholders. Sigh.
semperfiona: (Default)
The diagnostic computer shows misfires on cylinders 2 and 4. It's only a
four-cylinder car. So: replace the coils and wires, i.e. a "tune-up"
that was due at 60,000 miles. I'm fairly sure it actually had one, at or
around that time, but maybe I'm mistaken. Anyway, $656.17. And after
that, they want to keep it for another overnight to make sure the
problems have disappeared. If not, while it really does need those fixes
anyhow, it may also have a fuel problem. A clogged fuel filter, a fuel
pump that's not working, or the like. When he told me that, I said,
"YES! It feels exactly like I'm running out of gas!"

Cars

Jul. 25th, 2005 05:18 pm
semperfiona: (Default)
The dykemobile is in the shop today. It's been developing a transmission
problem for several months now; it seems to jerk suddenly while driving
and lose some revs and a little speed, then it comes back as if nothing
had happened. At first I thought I'd solved it by the replacement of the
driverside front tire a couple months ago, but it started getting worse
again. I finally grew so worried when driving that it just had to go in.
Saturday morning, we took it to CarX, but they actually turned down my
business because they didn't have the equipment to diagnose the problem.
So it's at a Subaru dealer, though not the one I bought it from. I need
to call and find out if they have any news for me.

But in the meantime, I'm driving Tammie's/Momma's Cadillac. It's a big
brown 1987 deVille, and it drives like a WWII aircraft carrier. I keep
expecting people to salute me. Funny, though, that I should feel that
way. The first car I ever owned was a 1978 Chevrolet Impala station
wagon, and it has to have been both longer and wider than this car; I
once had eleven people riding in it, and they weren't even overly
uncomfortable. The two vehicles have quite a bit in common, really:
enormous size and non-existent maneuverability, and non-functional air
conditioning (why yes, it is the hottest day of the year, thank
you very much).

My parents bought the car for me when I went away to college. She was
called Myrtle, partly after Myrtle Beach, SC, and partly after my
great-grandmother, because it seemed like such an old woman of a car. I
was embarrassed to drive her, at first; I mean what's the coolness
factor of a nine-year-old brown station wagon with paint mange, when
you're a college freshman? But after a while, I did come to appreciate
the erotic usefulness of bench seats.

The dealership called a bit ago to tell me that the diagnostic machine
found nothing, and ask if I minded the technician driving my car home
tonight to try to reproduce the problem. I said I had figured that would
be necessary, so go ahead. I have some fear that it will behave just
fine for him, but hopefully he'll notice something.
semperfiona: (rosa crowned)
Little Missy is registered for kindergarten. Also for summer school
("Ready! Set! Go to Kindergarten!", June 13-July 8) and for a
pre-enrollment skills assessment on 8/11.

I still need to get a copy of her birth certificate for them,
and--optional but they'd really prefer it--a doctor's report on her
health. Pre-enrollment physical or whatever.

In other news, maybe the weird "sluggishness" issue I've been having
with my car is finally sussed. I stopped for gas this morning and a
gentleman let me know my front drivers' side tire was going flat. After
I put air in it, I had no recurrences of the strange behavior on the
rest of the way to work. Clearly I need to take the car to a tire shop
and have that one looked at. This is the second time this spring I've
had to air it up. It must be a very sloooooooooooowwww leak, but there's
definitely something wrong. It'd be really nice if that's all the
problem is; I was worried that something was very wrong with the car's
engine.
semperfiona: (Default)
I have an appontment this morning at 10:30 for the house inspection that I've had to reschedule twice (due to forgetting about the previous appointments and just jaunting off to work as usual), so I'm at home. I went to the Subaru dealer first thing and got my car's oil changed for the first time: at 5500 miles. I've had the car about 3 1/2 months and it's already got nearly 6000 miles on it. I haven't even gone anywhere except back and forth to work, but my commute is a 50 mile round trip every day.

So I'm at home again, and I decided to cook myself breakfast, now that I've been up for two hours and some. I made scrambled eggs with onions, black pepper, and feta cheese, and fried them in olive oil. It's an interesting combination of flavors. I think I like it but I'm not quite sure.
semperfiona: (Default)
Why is it that I'm always running late on a day I need to buy gas?

Will I ever remember that the gascap is on the passenger side on my new car? I think I might have figured out why, though. It's a Japanese car; in Japan they drive on the left, so the gascap is actually on the driver's side if they use the same body for domestic sales as export.

CAR!

Dec. 19th, 2001 09:25 pm
semperfiona: (Default)
I just bought a Subaru Outback Sport: drove it home and everything. It was even relatively painless, though it took a long time: I got there at 6:30 and just finished at 9:00. I got a price that according to Edmunds.com is slightly less than "Total Market Value". It's green! I've wanted a green car for years.
semperfiona: (Default)
The license plates were stolen off my car while it waited at the service station for the insurance adjuster to inspect it. On the other hand, when I appeared in person at the police station I did get a lot better response from the officer at the desk there regarding the hit-and-run case. Still no results, but he was at least nice about it and looked up the license plate number for me to make sure, as well as taking my report on the plate theft. Thanks Officer Hendrix. :-)
semperfiona: (Default)
When I got out to the parking lot two-three hours ago to go car-shopping, there was a note on the windshield: "Just a compliment...You are gorgeous." That made my day! I wish I knew who put it there, but it's almost more fun not knowing.
The fact that I got stopped for running a stop sign on my way home doesn't even cut into my cheerful mood, the more so because Mr. Policeman just looked at my license and said "I'm not going to give you a ticket, but I want you to turn around and go back and look at the intersection." So I did exactly that, he followed me to make sure, and off I drove home, in a different direction.
As for the car shopping, I test drove a Subaru Outback Sport and two different Saturn L-series, one with automatic and one with manual transmission. The automatic felt sluggish to me, but the manual was much more responsive. After six years driving a manual transmission car, I just don't like the way automatic feels. But manuals are getting harder and harder to find.
semperfiona: (Default)
Off to test drive some more cars, and hopefully make a decision.
semperfiona: (Default)
Today would have been my ninth wedding anniversary, if it wasn't instead exactly four weeks since my divorce became final.

Ray is pouting about not getting any visitation "on Christmas". The custody agreement clearly states that we alternate years for Christmas and Thanksgiving, each of which comprise two days. He had Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday this year. Now he wants part of my Christmas too! "But I won't see her at all on Christmas..." he whines. "But if you already have plans..." Like it's such a great sacrifice he's making to just live up to the agreement he already signed.

I told him I wasn't willing to discuss it at the moment, especially since the discussion was already degenerating into an argument. But I had to promise that "sometime next year" we'd talk about it.

He kept doing reductio ad absurdam on me. "You mean if I needed 10 minutes extra one day you'd insist on 10 makeup minutes?" I told him that he wasn't asking about being 10 minutes late, he was asking me to take two hours out of my day to drive her somewhere so he can see her for 10 minutes, and then take her back. Which would severely disrupt her, too. She gets confused and unhappy when one of us comes to the other's place and she is there, but she doesn't get to go home with the visitor.

In car news, I test drove a Mazda Protege5 today, finally. Only two weeks after the accident! The test drive car was brightest yellow, which shockingly looked quite good on it, but I just can't see myself driving a yellow car for ten years. I think red or blue are a better bet.



And as you can see, I got the digital images from the accident scene. My car is the red one. The driver of the white car took the pic, and the third car that hit me is not visible. More pictures... )
semperfiona: (Default)
Yay! Just received the check for my car, which was indeed determined to be a total loss. Now I can get serious about buying a replacement. One of the larger checks I've ever held in my hands, too.
semperfiona: (Default)
Still spending much of my time dealing with the car wreck. I called the police station yesterday to ask whether they had any news on the hit-and-run driver who hit my car. The conversation went like this.

"Do you have an answering service at home?"

"Voice mail, yes."

"Then if there wasn't any message there is no news."

That was so incredibly helpful.

Also talked to my homeowners insurance agent and my mortgage loan officer today. Things are coming together for the closing sometime next week.

But the best part of today was going out for Ted Drewes frozen custard with Rosa this evening--It was still 70 degrees outside and both the custard stand and the Christmas tree lot were doing a booming business--and then coming home and playing with her for a couple hours before putting her to bed.

We built an impressive castle out of wooden blocks; it's still standing, which is an amazing feat with a two-year-old who generally prefers destruction to creation. Then we played peekaboo with the venetian blinds, and at last I read her three stories before snuggling for a while and then she went to sleep.

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