athelind: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

At the moment, my Dream Car is the Aptera:

Every time I post a link to the Aptera, though, I get a lot of people whining about how impractical it would be in the snow, and that sort of thing. So, if money is truly no object, it would be sharing my garage with this cinematic classic ...

Yes, it still exists, it's been restored, and it's out there.

And if you make fun of my Aptera, I will take my Landmaster, run over your silly little SUV, and drive through your HOUSE.

athelind: (Default)

Yet Another Power Failure Knocks Out The Large Hadron Collider!

This makes me a little nervous; I'd joked earlier that the last few LHC glitches coincided with the escalating assaults on my late, lamented Grape.

I have a NEW car now, dagnabbit!

athelind: (Default)
[ profile] quelonzia and I went out car shopping today, and came home in separate vehicles!

I now own a silver 2000 Saturn station wagon with about 107K miles on it. It seems to be in fine shape -- the engine sounds great, there were no obvious oil leaks, the interior is roomy and comfortable. It handles nicely, though it's a Much Longer Car than my late, lamented hatchback; THAT will take some adjustment time.

It's over all a better car than the Grape, and in better condition, too, despite the extra 20K miles. Oddly, despite its larger size, it may actually get better fuel economy.

Over the next few days, I'm going to be putting all the personal gear from the Grape into the new machine. I may not bother with the steering wheel cover, and the old seat covers stayed with the little purple car (because they disintegrated when I tried to get them off), but my dragon-decorated floor mats are definitely goin' back in.

I'll need to drop by the DMV and swap out the plates for my GRAUPH personalized plates.

Oh, and the plastic divinity of my choice is goin' on the dashboard.

athelind: (Default)
A statement like that might seem to need qualifiers, but really, it doesn't.

I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

About very nearly anything.

athelind: (Default)
Okay. Theoretically, the settlement check should be getting here today.

Does anyone have suggestions for places to look in the Bay Area for a decent car for about $2500-3000?

It's got to have an automatic transmission, and I'd prefer something smaller, but otherwise -- I'm easy.

We'd prefer a dealership, rather than a private owner.

This place had some tempting listings, but this review sets off ALL KINDS of alarm bells -- evidently, as recently as Halloween, they were operating under another name at the same address, and that place got lousy reviews.
athelind: (Default)
If you follow this journal, you know that October has been a long succession of disasters for Your Obedient Serpent. Many of them were car-related, and, of course, the climactic one, the destruction of my car on Halloween morning, was the proverbial bolt from the blue, the quintessential smite of angry divinity, if your metaphysics lean that way, or cosmic irony, if they lean in the other direction.

It's enough to prompt even the aggiest agnostic to wonder, "Why me? Who did I piss off?"

Well, I have a confession to make.

On September 15th, 2009, Jessica Simpson's dog was snatched by a coyote.

This was a minor news item, but one that prompted some small degree of amusement -- in part because so much of the "action" happened on Twitter.

We found one line in particular amusing:

Simpson, 29, has offered a reward to anyone who can reunite her with her 5-year-old, caramel-colored dog.

Quoth [ profile] halfelf: "It's like she's expecting a ransom note from the coyotes, or something."

One thing led to another, and, before the hour was out, "CoyoteLuvsU" had a Twitter account, and had posted the following:

@JessicaSimpson WE hAVE YouR TAsTY tASTy DoG. DElIVeR 100 bOnz + 1 roDe RUnnEr To THE olD TRee In THE MeADoW. CoME alOnE, NO AnImAL CoNTRoL.

Today, on the phone with my mother, I mentioned this gag. Being no great fan of either Twitter nor Ms. Simpson, she found it uproarious -- but then stopped, and asked, "So, when did you do this?"

"September 15th", I answered.

"Aha!" she said, wise in the ways of Old Man Coyote. "That's when your trouble started. You took His name in vain."

My mother has a wonderful Ominous Prophecy Voice, and it has only improved with age.

I confess, the logic is inescapable. Indeed, at the time, I said, "I am so asking for trouble by doing this."

Friday the 13th seems the ideal time to Confess and Repent one's sins before the Trickster.

Coyote, forgive me! I have taken Your name in vain,
and trespassed upon a Gag that was rightfully Yours!
The forces of Cosmic Irony have weighed heavily upon me,
and more heavily still upon my late, lamented Grape,
who has suffered in my stead. I repent of my sin,
and my hubris in attempting to leech your Yuks!

You know, when I first came into possession of that Little Purple Car, I asked the opinion of a former Aspire owner, who had rolled his on Interstate 5 a year or two before, and come out unscathed. He said, "They may not look like much, but they'll give their lives for you."

Indeed, sir. Indeed.

athelind: (Eye - VK)
The tow truck just took my little purple car away.

I loved that little car. It was the first vehicle I ever owned that wasn't a piece of rusty crap from day one.

I had that car longer than any dog I ever owned, and we'd been through a lot more together, so please pardon me if I mourn an "inanimate" object as if she were alive. I knew her moods, I knew her limits. I could and did out-drive Porsches in that little four-banger, because I knew exactly what she could do.

Goodbye, Grape. I loved you.

athelind: (Default)
Here's the full damage tally, as far as we can reconstruct it:

  1. Lexus comes tearing down our residential street at high speed, around half past midnight.
  2. Lexus impacts 1977 full-sized van, two doors down.
  3. Van is hit with sufficient force to hit the next-door neighbor's Toyota, in her driveway, and then rebounds off to TURN COMPLETELY AROUND and wind up on the sidewalk between next-door neighbor's house and OUR house.
  4. Lexus continues on its course, directly into my little purple car.

On the phone, my insurance company wanted as much detail about all of the accident as I could give them.

"What parts of the van were damaged?"

athelind: (Default)
About 20 minutes ago, as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard what sounded like a distant accident.

My stepdaughter then pounded on my door and said, "Some one just ran into your car!"

The drunken son of a bitch hit the FULL-SIZED VAN that parks two houses down, hard enough to TURN IT 180 DEGREES AND LAND IT ON THE SIDEWALK, and then continued on to slam into MY car at high speed.

He hit his head in the impact, but was up walking around by the time I got out there. The fire department, police, and paramedics are out there now.

The front of his car is a crumpled mess. I've seen the rear or mine -- the left rear is about a foot or so in front of the right rear.

It's destroyed. It's fucking destroyed.

I can't take any more of this. I just can't. There's just been too fucking much, in too short a time.

Trick or fuckin' treat.

athelind: (Default)
I just realized that I kind of left folks hanging after this post, so here's an update:

  • The Grape came back from the shop, a week ago Wednesday. The bumper is refurbished, the headlight replaced, and all is well. The hood kinda rattles a little when I idle, so I should probably give the body shop a call about that.
  • If you're in Silicon Valley, I highly recommend Kuykendall's Auto Body for body work. They were fast, efficient, and the car looks great.
  • Poppa spent two nights in the hospital as they ran a battery of tests. They offered to let him go home, but previous experience has shown that the same tests that get ordered immediately in the hospital will take a couple of months to clear insurance red tape if they're done on an outpatient basis. He's fine; the doctors gave him a relatively clean bill of health (the only anomalies were things they already knew about, and sum up to, "Dude, you're two weeks shy of turning 80!"). The surprise party is a go; my folks are already up there.
  • After getting the car back on Wednesday, last Thursday was spent with an early-morning doctor's appointment and a mid-afternoon dentist appointment. My cholesterol and related blood numbers are back in the target range, and I've lost a bit of weight, so I'm getting my health back on track.
  • Last Friday, I went ahead with the Santa Cruz Resume Run. I hit three places in Santa Cruz, and everyone was cordial. One civil engineering firm said that they'd actually been talking about getting a GIS guy in, in part to scan and convert old plans and records over to modern formats (something I've done in the past) -- of course, with the current state of the economy, they're not hiring at the moment, but they'll give me a call when they are.
  • I was thinking about heading out today and hitting some firms in San Jose and Santa Clara, but then I remembered what day it was. As amusing as it would be to say "Trick or Treat!" when I hand out resumes, I know people often dress up for Halloween in a lot of work places -- and sometimes even have active parties. The whole point of these hand-carry runs is to make personal contact; I don't want the memory of my First Impression getting lost 'midst costumed confusion. I'll spend the day emailing resumes and getting a better assortment of targets to visit before work on Monday.

athelind: (Default)

Struck at 75 mph, this coyote rode from the Utah-Nevada border all the way to Sacramento wedged behind the grill of a Honda Fit.

Despite the impact and an 8-to-10-hour drive, he suffered no broken bones or internal injuries -- proving that at least some coyotes are every bit as durable as Chuck Jones told us when we were kids.

Four days later, he escaped from a kennel,

There's a slide show at the NBC Bay Area site. It's amazing.

In a later interview, the Honda was quoted as saying, "Beep beep."

On a related note, I got the Grape back today. The shiny new headlight on the starboard side makes the old port side headlight look sorta grungy. There's a crack in the Ford medallion, but that's the only remaining evidence of that impact.

I have appointments planned for tomorrow, but the Santa Cruz Resume Jaunt will take place on Friday.

Thanks to [ profile] wingywoof for the coyote story. Thanks to Kuykendall's Auto Body & Frame for the car repairs, and thanks to [ profile] hinoki for sending me there.
athelind: (Default)
So, the plan today was to hop in the car, head first to Campbell and then to Santa Cruz, and personally deliver resumes to some likely employers. The hand-carry trick is what landed me the Schaaf & Wheeler contract back in 2007, after all.

I had everything carefully mapped out, via Google. I had minimaps of all the twisty, curvy confusion of Santa Cruz streets. I was steeled and ready for Hwy 17 -- brand new tires! What better time for it?

Naturally, I rear-ended another car on the El Camino onramp to Lawrence Expressway. For those taking notes, this is the major intersection closest to my house.

What happened? I'm still not entirely sure. There was a line of six or seven cars; I think I was at the back. We were all accelerating smoothly; the two onramp lanes had merged together, I was deliberately taking it easy because I had a long drive ahead.

I checked my side mirror, looked up, and SHIT CAR STOPPED BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE skreeeeeee slam.

We both pulled off to the side, and were immediately apologizing to each other and making sure everyone was okay.

According to the folks in the other car, someone three or four cars ahead of them had stopped abruptly, and, well, dominoes. They were, themselves, right behind a motorcycle, so they really slammed on the brakes to avoid taking him out.

Nobody was hurt, though the passenger in the other vehicle hit her head against the headrest on her seat. She seemed okay, though I know better than to assume that in such cases, and told her that, if she was still having problems later, she needed to get checked out. The other car had no visible damage.

The Grape's snoot is visibly crumpled, and the hood is popped on one side. At least one headlight looks misaligned.

The CHP arrived on scene after, oh, maybe half an hour after we called, since there were no injuries reported. Since we had no problem exchanging insurance information, they said they didn't need to write up a report.

This is, for the record, my second vehicular accident in my driving career -- the last one was twenty years ago, or more. As I said to the officers, if this happens so seldom that I'm never quite sure what to do, I must be doing something right.

Because the Grape is kind of old and scroddy, however, we don't have collision coverage, so this is all gonna be out of pocket.

Note, however, that Coyote does, indeed, love me: "For all the bad luck we have, we have a lot of good luck." On a day that I'd planned a drive over Highway 17, a twisting, turning route over the Santa Cruz mountains, with long stretches that have no access or egress, and traffic reports regularly show extensive blockages because accidents and mishaps can jam up the whole route for miles... my accident happened a block and a half from home, and nobody was hurt.

Meanwhile... my stepfather's in the hospital today, getting tests run. He had some dizziness yesterday, and the doctor sent them to Urgent Care, who in turn started running tests. When I talked to mom this morning, they'd done an EKG and were scheduling an MRI. Hopefully, it was just a head rush, and neither heart nor stroke.

Poppa turns 80 on the 29th. My sister's been planning a surprise party for him on Halloween, since that's the closest Saturday.

athelind: (Default)
Glad I still roll down the windows to and from work; last night, there was a TAP TAP TAP noise that picked up in rhythm as I picked up speed. Brain quickly assessed that there was Something Stuck To Or In The Left Front Tire.

This morning, I took a walk around the block, and, amazingly, remembered to actually LOOK at said tire. Sure enough, there's a big, fat ol' Philips head embedded in the tread, and it's lookin' mighty low.

AAA's been here and gone, the donut is on the car, and I'm about to toodle down to Goodyear to get the real tire fixed.

And I had PRODUCTIVE things planned for today. =P

Addendum: Well, that was fast and (relatively) painless. The tires were six years old, and the guy at Goodyear said that they weren't supposed to patch tires more than five years old -- though he said it in a way that implied that they'd do it if they really had to. However, the tires were six years old, and due to be replaced anyway, so the Grape is now riding on happy new tires.

And now -- onto Productive Things!

March 2010

  12 3 4 56
78910 111213
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 222324252627


Page generated Mar. 26th, 2017 09:05 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios