Yet More Car I$$ues

So, the last time I got my oil changed, 3 1/2 weeks ago or so, the guys at the Advance Lube place told me they thought there might be a transmission leak. Ohhhkay. Not something I liked hearing, but better to hear it from someone who just put fluids in my car, and in enough time to see about getting it looked at and hopefully resolved. Monday a week ago, I called our mechanic (Jimmy Sarandrea, at World Class Automotive, an excellent, honest, straightforward mechanic with very good knowledge of domestic and asian import cars), and they were booked up fully for that week. Yesterday afternoon, my dad and I swung by his shop after work (I was giving my dad a ride, as he took his truck in to a body shop yesterday morning to get it fixed from where someone hit his parked truck in the parking garage a while back), and he said he could look at it if I brought it in this morning.

Tired and groggy, I drove my car to Jimmy’s shop this morning, dropped it off there, and got a ride to work from my dad. By 9:30, I had news: there was a minor leak from one of the transmission seals. Not a big deal, in itself . . . but, I also found out that the entire steering rack needs to be replaced, as there was a significant steering fluid leak and the steering rack had issues. So, looking at at least $600 . . . and then after clearing a short-term loan from my dad to be able to go ahead and get stuff done, I find out that it’s also going to need new tie rod ends, and an alignment. Yay. ūüôĀ

Getting it done, I need a reliable, functional vehicle, but it’s going to make me poor for about the next month. It’s going to take what I have in savings (which was already mostly money I had earmarked for repaying my dad for the last round of repairs on this Acura), most of the money from my check this Friday after I pay rent, and a significant chunk of my paycheck on the 16th to pay for all this. Oy.


Stuff of the Day

Update: I’ll be honest, I’m not particularly inspired to write/post right now. ¬†This is pretty much just for Ivy.

Weekend was pretty good. ¬†Spent it with my Kara, we entertained ourselves inexpensively, ate very well (perhaps too well, I need to not be poor again soon so I can afford to get back on my diet), had a lot of fun and many good snuggle times. ¬†Weather most of the weekend was dreary. ¬†I really kinda wanted to see about playing with/test driving some cars Saturday (though Kara really didn’t seem too keen on that idea), but the weather wasn’t cooperative for that.

Entirely too broke right now. ¬†I had to borrow money from a friend until this upcoming payday on Friday so I could afford food to make sure I’d have something other than hamburger and ramen (not the end of the world, I’ve been worse off) and be confident of having enough gas my dad’s van I’m currently driving to be able to get to and from work this week. ¬†Heard from Littlefield Automotive earlier, $350 to get my car from them. ¬†Then haul it to Lubbock this Friday afternoon, and see what the Saab place there says it’ll cost to get things all fixed up. ¬†I’m worried about what they’ll say. ¬†I hope it’s a reasonable figure at all. ¬†Even if I end up in (further) debt to my dad for a year or more, I’d really like my car back in proper working order. ¬†I miss it. ¬†I do like it. ¬†I’d really rather not have to buy something else on the cheap right now.

Link of the Day: Students for an Orwellian Society

Spam of the Day: “Colo Cleanse Plus”

Funny of the Day: Burned by a pharaoh!

Pic of the Day: Irresistable geekette earrings

Quote of the Day: “Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” –¬†Douglas Pagels


Worst Customer Service Ever, and Another GenCon Pic

Bounce Energy has absolutely the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced with any company. ¬†Some of you may have read about my ongoing issues with them, which basically started with them screwing up from the very first day I had service with them. ¬†They billed me for the wrong ESID #, for the wrong address. ¬†Getting that sorted out, my proper ESID added, and getting the charges they tried to lump onto me for fixing THEIR mistake, and simply getting my bill straightened out has taken months of frustration. ¬†I’ve been flat out lied to by Bounce CSRs, I’ve seen them repeatedly ineffectual at following through on what should be relatively simple changes/fixes that I was PROMISED by their supervisors would be handled that day, or the next . . . and I’ve received precisely a total of TWO return phone calls from anyone from Bounce ever. ¬†Yet I’ve been told I’d be called back by someone there (after my issues were resolved, of course) probably a dozen times.

Yesterday, I got home from work, to find my apartment oddly quiet. ¬†Why? ¬†Because my apartment was devoid of power. ¬†They’d frigging disconnected me. ¬†By mistake/accident. ¬†In calling them, on my cell phone, to get this mess sorted out, I got disconnected/hung up on twice. ¬†I was spoken to rudely. ¬†I was berated, accused of lying, and told flat out things that contradict the pink piece of paper I was holding in my hand from Bounce – the one that told me to either call them, or use their web site online to make my payment to avoid disconnection. The final supervisor I talked to was so confused by my bill from Bounce, she ended up arguing with me about what I’d paid and suggested that I was disconnected because I didn’t pay enough. ¬†I quite simply paid what their web site’s billing section for my account said I owed. ¬†Simple enough, right? ¬†My current bill is really amusing. ¬†My current monthly charges, indicated on it? ¬†$-42.99. ¬†Then there’s the amount due for my Next billing cycle, not due until September 8th (Currently, nothing is due – zero balance – as the only semi-intelligent rep I spoke to observed, there’s no reason I should have been disconnected) is $137.01. ¬†Oh, but if I wait until After the due date . . . it’s $134.86. ¬†Wait, what? ¬†I save $2.15 if I pay my bill AFTER the due date?

Lunacy. ¬†Insanity. ¬†Absolute, ludicrous incompetence. ¬†After my power is turned back on, I’m looking for a new energy provider ASAFP. ¬†I’m done with Bounce screwing up with me.

On more amusing notes, here’s something that’s just too awesome not to link:

Automatic Pancake Machine: 200 pancakes per hour

Next up, here’s the next GenCon pic:

This girl was actually featured on an article on this year’s GenCon in the Indianapolis Star: Despite recession, Gen Con Indy drew 27,900 I ran into her as she was waiting for the elevators on Saturday as I was heading up to grab food before my DM shift, and she was en route to the costume contest.


So, I Went to GenCon Indy

I went to GenCon Indy, as a Full-Time Volunteer for True Dungeon, as I’ve done for the previous 5 years. ¬†It was fun, it was a lot of work, my feet (especially my heels) were in massive pain for days after I got back from the con. ¬†I played one fun game, helped build, run wiring for, DM’d a couple of rooms for, and tore down a multi-dungeon set. ¬†I wandered around the convention center exhibit hall, demo’d a couple of games, bought one The Spoils 2-player starter set, looked at lots and lots of art, hung out with people I like, and bought a few pieces of art (which I’m still waiting for, they haven’t arrived yet). ¬†I took some pictures – mostly of people at the con or nifty things that caught my attention. ¬†Not much of the dungeon. ¬†There are a lot of dungeon pics, if you check the official web site, or search for True Dungeon 2009 on Facebook, you’re sure to find some.

I don’t really feel like going in-depth about the con. ¬†It wasn’t quite as fun as I’d have liked, I didn’t get to do quite as many things as I wanted. ¬†I’ll still do it again. ¬†But dammit, next year, I’m staying for the Dead Dog party.

I’ll try to post a pic from the ones I took at GenCon here every day or two for a bit. ¬†Here’s the first one, which I simply call “Umbrella Girl:”


Stuff of the Day

Update: Car news is sounding sucky thus far, and expensive. ¬†TWICE module in my Saab is basically destroyed by corrosion. ¬†Ugh. ¬†He’s tried to find remanufactured ones for it, to no avail, and a new one has to be gotten from a Saab dealership, and is over $700 in cost (I forget the exact number, but I think it was closer to $800). ¬†It also has to be programmed by a Saab dealership. ¬†I’ve found a site called that says for $595 they can try to read the info off my old module, and if they can, and if the data isn’t corrupted, they can program me a new TWICE module and send it back to me. ¬†Ronnie Littlefield thinks my TWICE module is too far gone to be able for anyone’s system to communicate with it at all, and advises me to just stop wasting money with him and get it towed to the Saab dealership in Lubbock and have them fix it all.

At this point, it’s more a question to me now of, what’s the sane cutoff point of money to throw at this car?

Link of the Day:¬†“Where I Write” pictures of SciFi Authors and where they write. (Thanks James)

Spam of the Day: “Look at cars they drive”

Funny of the Day: “That’s sexual harrassment, Lion-O.”

Pic of the Day: Spock’s Ship “Jellyfish” done in Legos

Quote of the Day: “I’m assuming it’s either ginger, or condom flower. I’m hoping for ginger.” – Kara