January 28th, 2004

Yo Maniacal Tang

Return To Auto Repair Hell

You know, it's NOT the major fuckups in the realm of automobile failures that drag you down... it's the constant stream of minor failures.

When we last left the blue Beetle (or "The Skittle" as dragonwitchling calls it), it had failed smog because the check engine light was on. Yes, that's the ONLY reason it failed. Our non-californian's in the audience might be shocked or skeptical, but it's even a specific check-off item on the test list.

So while I drove toward NASA Monday (was that really only two days ago?) I made an appointment with VW of Sunnyvale to fix the problem (which I already knew of... which is why the check engine light wasn't freaking me out in the first place) today at 10 AM... which meant that once again I had to drag my butt out of bed by 8 AM.

Fortunately Tea and Sympathy ended at around 10ish the night before, right about when it was supposed to. It was a low key affair, with only about half a dozen people, including kshandra and me, which suited me fine for trying a new thing.

Under the "Small Freaking World" category, one of the participants was this lovely person I had seen multiple times at Ren Faire and Pantheacon, but for whatever reason hadn't flirted with. (Shouts out to perlandria).

The Koosh and I were the only ones to partake of the LOVELY hot tub that the hosts offered up for our clothing optional pleasure. A major shame, as I would have been happy to see some of the Eye Candy unwrapped, as it were... I may not be much in the mood for pursuit these days, but I can still look upon well rounded forms approvingly.

ambar called while we were in the tub, finally getting around to updating me on her iBook problems (and Apple's apparently cold-hearted corporate behavior toward the issue). Maybe it was just me, but she sounds happier than I've heard her be in quite a long time. We made plans to make plans sometime in the next month).

Heh... speaking of phone calls,src just returned a call I made yesterday -- a classic "I forgot to turn the phone back on!" thing. Well, if you never turn it OFF, why would you be expected to remember to turn it back on?

Anyway, in a sign that the universe wants us to have lunch together, she just HAPPENS to be heading to Sunnyvale for a short appointment, and it sounds like she's landing remarkably near my current location (which is, much to my chagrin, a Barfu... er, starbuck's coffee shop). Especially amusing, as I had debated calling her today to see if she could take a break from work long enough to come and rescue me from the next several HOURS waiting for the car. I suppose if she weren't coming I would be forced to actually PAY for wireless access (something I haven't had to do in quite some time, thank you very much!). 10 bucks for 24 hours access, "unlimited" (yeah, right) usage/transfers).

Ah yes... what did I do with the rest of my Tuesday? Michele called about 8:30 AM yesterday, in desperate need of her special filter mask (for all those nasty allergens), as it never occurred to me that the fir tree that lovingstones hadn't had a chance to remove from the Hayweird house would be a problem. I can understand a bit of her irritation, as after 10 years of marriage you'd think I could REMEMBER something like that.

(insert long pause as Yo runs for the facilities. At least one advantage of a rapacious corporate icon are clean bathrooms)

There was a short list of other essential goodies (including the keys to the commuter computer lounge that Mills apparently stocks with 17 inch "Lampy" flat screen iMacs... sweet!) so I told her I would try to get there by 1 that afternoon.

Well, I was fully awake and dressed in plenty of time, but Rob (whom, if you'll remember, was fairly trashed from her own allergic reaction the previous evening) was out until almost noon, and the main reason for the trip (that Mask thingie) was well and truly hidden from my sight. She dug it up for me rather quickly, and I managed to get out of the house and on the road by a quarter past noon... which meant I knew I'd be late, but there was really no way to let M know that.

Even with the delay I managed to hit the Mills campus by about 1:30ish (Michele thought to call me 15 minutes before), and spent the next 20 odd minutes trying to find parking. Lovely campus, but NOT very car friendly.

We had lunch on Piedmont, and I dropped her off at the Home of the Wonder Triplets. I set her up in the LoveSac with a big fluffy blanket and her CPAP, which looked for all the world like a scent out of a science fiction movie.

(Interlude: The Starbucks manager was meeting with a new victim manager type person, and she's talking about his new "post" at another franchise outlet. Sounds like he's walking into a shit storm. At least he seems to be well informed about where the shit will be flying from.)

Strata just called back... she's actually less than five blocks away from this place, and even knew which shopping center/strip mall it was already. I'm going to wrap this up so I can slam the PowerBook into the case and run. Later!

Updated: We went to lunch... well, SHE did, actually. I wasn't very hungry, as I had snagged breakfast. I'm now at the Bluebird leeching off their wireless net while I await VW Sunnyvale to fix my air flow sensor (230.00), a cracked V belt (186.00) and replace the license plate bulb (60 bucks... apparently it's located behind the bumper in a non-trivial way, and it WOULD be a fix it ticket in the offing if I don't have it done. Grumbles...)
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Yo Maniacal Tang

Apropos Of Something

When src mentioned this to me this afternoon (as we sat in a small geek circle doing various geek-like things) I immediatly thought of no fewer than six people who might find the info useful.

It's a diabetes related size acceptance mailing list for large people who don't need to be harangued about their weight:


Obviously I haven't been on it myself, so please let me know if any of y[all find it useful or not.
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Manic Man

Mac Geek Flashback!

So Mike, src's more than generous husband, had dug up an old Powerbook 100 from their storage facility to see if some ancient files were still about.

After trying a few times to get it to boot, I impolitely pointed out that they had a Mac Professional Troubleshooter in their midst who was infinitely grateful for his aforementioned rescue from the wilds of Sunnyvale to a place where there was high speed net access and a willing (and extremely attractive) victim participant for semi-sensuous back and body massage (who purred nicely, as always).

The problem was the classic "stiction" problem some of the older small hard drives fell prey to, the fixing of which involved the application of appropriate force (read: I done banged the thing against a knee in just the right spot until the drive heads floated free once again).

It's a little scary when you see what was once "state of the art" of a bygone era (1991!) after a long absence. No PC card slot, ethernet, a built in trackball instead of the now ubitquious (and yet in itself dated) trackpad, and a 1-bit LCD display (that's black and white for those of you who are tech impaired). Yet I realized that, with some effort, I could probably get it on the 'Net anyway. Browsing would look funky dithered in black pixels on a low res screen, but it would WORK.

Anyway, I should get back here... the VW place was supposed to call back by now.
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    geeky geeky