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 LostSaabKeys.com 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

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Stuff of the Day: Lake Drive Edition

Update: This update is late.  A week and a day late, in fact.  I originally intended to post it last Thursday afternoon, after I had started having a fucking terrible day about 2 minutes after I stepped out of the door of my apartment in the morning to head to work.  Last week, things were really busy at work, quite hectic, as we were preparing for the software launch of our new version at work to our sister company (the Home Health Therapy company).  This week has been really busy too, and today is the first time I’ve had spare time enough at work this week to actually write something.  I have this spare time, because this morning, James “pulled the plug” and pushed the release back another 2 weeks.  This probably makes for a better product on launch, and a more prepared, relaxed launch . . . but it kind of bites, because I thought my weekend was mostly figured out: I was working.  For however long it took to get everything done.  Yay Overtime pay.  Now, I’ve got an entirely open weekend, with no money (not -technically- true, I’ve got like $8 left in checking after rent), and no transportation.

No transpo?  Yeah, getting back to the terrible fucking Thursday last week . . . It rained Wednesday night/Thursday morning.  Lots and lots of rain.  Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

That’s the sort of open field that dips down a little across from my apartment complex, and behind a host of businesses right along on the Loop 250 service road.  It stretches from this paved alley behind them that runs from Midkiff to my apartment complex, up to Caldera.  It was basically a humongous pond, or a shallow lake.  Unfortunately, so was a good stretch of Caldera.  I stepped out of my apartment that morning, greeted by this continuing rain, water all over the parking lot, in a rush to try to make it to work and Not end up a couple of minutes late.  I hopped into my trusty (so I thought) car, and drove across the parking lot, and saw Caldera underwater.  Hmm.

Keep in mind, this was right at pretty much 8:00 a.m., I hadn’t had been awake very long yet, and what little caffeine I had in me thus far had not kicked in yet.  I’m not fond of mornings at the best of times, unless I approach them from the “still awake from being up all night” angle.  This is the only defense I can make for the terrible decisions I made.

I decided I’d try to make it across a bit of Caldera to Crista Lane on my way to work.  This was a bad decision.  The water was really quite a bit deeper than I thought it was initially.  This is something I discovered as I was trying to begin my turn towards Crista Lane on Caldera, as my car’s engine sputtered and died.  Then, being sleepy and stupid and panicked, I tried to restart it.  Only afterwards, reading on the web, did I realize just how terrible of a thing that potentially is.

A City of Midland Transportation Services truck happened to come driving by (though the water – that truck has ground clearance of about up to my windows) right as I was getting stuck.  They radioed for for someone to come get me out.  A couple of police cars, an ambulance, and a fire truck all showed up, with a wrecker supposedly on the way.  Two firemen got out of their truck, put on waders, and pushed my car out of the water up onto Crista Lane – so the tow truck ended up being unnecessary.  Later that morning, Corey pointed out a bit on the CBS7 web site about a water rescue being reported in Midland “near Loop 250 and Midkiff.”  That was probably the host of vehicles with various sorts of flashing lights that showed up for me.

While I was waiting, in the water, I took a couple of pictures.  This one, when, hrm, I felt something wet on my ankle:

Water was coming up from under the car, through whatever various holes or crevices or whatnot, and filling my floorboards.  It got to being a couple of inches in each of them.  Not fun at all.

Here’s a view from my car while I was stuck in the effing water:

Tried to do what things I could Thursday afternoon after work, Friday after work, and then Saturday, to get my car driving.  No luck.  Sunday, Kara and Matt came over, and we pushed my car back to my apartment complex, parked right downstairs.  It doesn’t start, and the electrical system is haywire.  I reached out to my dad for help, having no other real alternatives.  Finally got my car towed on a car carrier to Littlefield Automotive Wednesday during lunch.  Haven’t heard anything from them yet, going to call in a bit and see what, if any news, they’ve got for me yet.

I’ve been really severely stressed most of this week and last weekend.  Stressed about my car, about everything going on at work right now in crunch time (well, until this morning anyway), stressed about money being entirely too tight until my next payday.  Having a non-functional vehicle, and that adding unknown added costs to repair it (or possibly end up getting a cheap used vehicle if repair on it is too costly to be considered feasible) and having to work something out with my dad, probably on a payment plan basis, just added heaps of stress for me.  Some of that is why I haven’t posted a damn thing on this site until today.  It was just something that so seriously wasn’t anything of a priority for me.

So, yeah, that’s a bit to catch things up.  All I really feel like writing about it for now anyway.  Linkage commences:

Link of the Day: SDCC 2009 Hot Cosplay Chicks

Spam of the Day: “Time For a New Copier?” – from, of course, Copier King

Funny of the Day: “Try and spell shield that

Pic of the Day: Interesting Top

Quote of the Day: “(760): I wish they had nachos that got you drunk” – another gem from TFLN

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Eventful, Good Times of Late

Didn’t make any posts this weekend – not even Daily Stuff.  This has been, overall, a busy, eventful, unexpected, and altogether excellent weekend.

Last week, I pretty much decided that with my upcoming paycheck on the 6th, along with my income tax return, with what I had in checking/savings, it was finally time (Again – the near $1200 of car repairs delayed me by a bit more than a month on my plans) to move on the whole Apartment/Getting-my-own-place-again goal.  Having already done a lot of the initial work of investigating, evaluating, eliminating apartment complexes here in Midland in January, this time it was a briefer process, starting with a short list of candidates.  Four complexes that were any real serious consideration, and another I called just to check on it as an option, and because it’s literally throwing distance from our office.  They were the most expensive, so that was pretty much an easy elimination.  

Of the other 4, I went and looked at all of them – 1 of the 4 I’d seen a 1BR Townhome before, which I liked a lot.  Really liked.  I just know Baby, my cat, would love the stairs there, and I liked the layout, but it was a little bit beyond what I would be comfortable with based on my projective budgeting.  Rent in Midland is stupidly costly right now – prices are still high from rapid rising over a few years of oilfield prosperity.  The oilfield prosperity is starting to show some real, true (worrisome to oilfield/oil company employees) signs of decline, but any drop in the inflated rent prices will take several more months, if not a year, before they start to happen.  In Huntsville, I had a 2BR, 1.5Bath 1100 square foot townhome for less than I’m (going to be) paying for a 710 square foot 1BR/1BA flat here in Midland.

So, anyway, after checking out all of the other 3 options, with some drama and surprises involved there, I decided on going for what’s supposedly the nicest/best rated of the complexes, Windscape.  Current schedule is to move in on the 13th.  Friday the 13th . . . I can’t help but feel that with everything that happened last week and weekend, it’s something that’s meant to be, and any luck I experience on that day will be Good.  It’s just going to be a tight week for me financially until my payday+ this Friday.

Friday night was looking to be pretty uneventful – I tried to get hold of a couple of people to see about doing something interesting:  seeing a movie with a friend, or going out for whatever workable (she’d mentioned wanting to go to a karaoke bar) with another, female, friend – but it seemed that stuff just wasn’t going to be happening that night.  So, without someone to make going out (and thus spending money) a worthwhile excuse, stay home and . . . apparently watch Seabiscuit with my dad.  During which I find out about some bad medical news about a friend of mine.  Not horrible stuff, but still unfortunate and unpleasant, kind of a bummer, which had (and still has) me worried for her.

Then at 10:15 that night, I get a text from Ms. Fire, commanding me to head down to the hotel lounge she’s in and ask her to dance.  I hop up, change shirts, brush my teeth, and head off to the lounge.  She seemed surprised I “actually came.”  To my surprise (though only a little bit) it was Tejano Night at this club.  I haven’t danced in like 9 years, and I haven’t danced to something other than techno/trance in a good dozen.  I wasn’t very good, but it didn’t seem to matter – the intent and effort, and quite possibly the fact she was a bit inebriated, seemed to matter more.

I’ll not go into further details on the rest of that night . . . but it was wonderful, and surprising.  

Saturday, despite lack of sleep, I got out to see that movie (The Street Fighter Chun-Li one) with my friend Ivy.  It wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t great either, but it was entertaining (even though I think Kristen Kreuk is just wrong for the role).  It had some very nice cinematography of Bangkok in it too.  

Sunday, I had a date to try to see Les Miserables at  MCT.  I type “try” because when I attempted to buy tickets Monday of last week, they were nearly entirely sold out – they only had 3 seats left, none of them anywhere near each other.  The nice old lady at the box office suggested I show up an hour before the show to try to get no-show seat tickets.  After discussing this concept with J, my supposed date, she said we should go ahead and try for it, and plans were made for her to meet me at the theater, see Les Mis, and then who knows?

I dress up as I thought reasonably appropriate for going to the Theater (to discover there later that several folks just went in whatever – but I still felt good about my clothing choice, I think dressing decently for the Theater is still respectful), and show up there a couple of minutes before 1:00.  I’m 4th on the list for no-show seats, with the box office manager informing me that she has no doubt I’ll get tickets.  I wait, seeing tons of people stream in, mingling, talking to friends . . . and then run into a good friend of my Mammaw.  People take their normal, had their tickets in advance, seats, being ushered and hurried into the theater by staff, and at 2:00, the box office manager starts calling out names for the no-show seat tickets.  J still hasn’t shown up (I’d been looking for her, for the entire hour).  I let the box office manager know my date didn’t show, someone else should get the other ticket, and she snatches back the pair she handed me, hunts around frantically, and then gives me a single ticket.  It was a decent seat.

Les Mis was excellent.  One of the best Community Theater productions I’ve ever seen (and most of my comparisons are from MCT shows, so that’s good comparisons, as MCT has been one of the best Community Theaters in the nation for a long time).  Not only was David Odom, who was a friend of mine in High School, on the debate team with me, in the play (as I knew beforehand and expected), but Robert Reed, another High School friend was in the cast as well.  I graduated with both of those guys.   There were other people who I knew from when I was involved in the theater back in the 90s.  I’m considering volunteering for a few shows, maybe auditioning for a part or two.  If not, I’ll at least get a membership, and make MCT a regular part of my entertainment options.

I’ve been trying to get in touch with J the last two 2 days, with no luck thus far.  I don’t know what the deal is, what happened – if there’s a good reason she wasn’t there, a bad reason, if I was just stood up, or what.  If I was stood up, oh well, her loss.  My weekend overall was so good, it doesn’t really upset me.

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