the damage

good things include the fact that spacepod is coming home tonight and that his transmission has been pulled in a clean room full of lab-coated experts, sterilized and pumped full of bionic transmission oil. i get another new clutch and the general feeling that the car ain’t right, which has been going on for a while now, should magically disappear. also, a new starter, which i’ve needed for a while. no more embarassing loud groaning noises when i start the car.

the verdict was not a bad release bearing, after all (although i get a new one of those, too), but rather that the flywheel came apart. and had been off-center for a while, hence the not-right feeling at idle.

the fuel filter is due for a change, but we’re going to hold off on that. this is the perfect opportunity to clog it up by running the car on B100 biodiesel. once the B100 has cleaned out my fuel lines, i’ll change the fuel filter.

bad things include the price tag. well, really, besides not having a car for a week, that’s the only bad thing.

MFM agreed that a 2000 – 2003 Jetta TDI would be a good second car. Given how much I am spending on the ‘pod today, and how much better he should be running now, I don’t need to rush on the second car thing, but i’ll at least figure out how i’m going to pay for it and how i’m going to find one (broker… carmax… checking various web sites… or some combination of all three). MFM confirmed that diesels are in very high demand right now, so it may take some time to find one once i start looking.

jeez, it’ll be nice to be able to shift again.

the no car thing

seriously, it sucks. it sucks so much that i’m accelerating my plan to let spacepod go into semi-retirement (no, i am not selling him) and have a different daily driver.

jason! helped me jump start the van tonight, but there are electrical system problems, she’s not charging properly so i can’t really drive her. i wonder if the alternator is going bad.

i got through the holiday and weekend ok, with minimal imposition on others. fortunately my friend from virginia came to visit saturday and sunday and drove me around to a few crucial places, like to feed m’s cats and to see ‘harry potter’. and go to cook out. i’m a hamburger addict and i have no problem admitting it. in fact, i was on my way to cook out when spacepod’s clutch went out. i didn’t make it. it was sad.

i also did not go to char-grill at lunch today, but i did manage to catch a ride to, ahem, Large Evil Pacific Northwestern Caffienated Beverage Chain that serves irresistible peppermint mochas at this time of year.

so, as of today the front runner in the daily driver pageant is a used Jetta TDI, preferably fitted out with a waste vegetable oil tank. unfortunately they seem to be expensive and hard to come by, so i may have to scale back to a Golf TDI.


there’s a lot to be said for having family in town.

“i don’t have to travel.”:

in fact, due to spacepod’s sudden decision to go to lonnie’s auto spa for the holiday, i got curbside pickup and drop off from various family members. i didn’t even have to drive to get to dinner.

i get to watch the bond-a-thon in my own living room, with a nice fire, instead of in “the cave” with my brothers down in the basement.

i don’t have to cook (much) or do dishes.


here we go again.

spacepod’s clutch finally died today. more specifically, the release bearing. it’s been gradually getting worse since this summer.

i was within eyeshot of my mechanic’s shop when it happened. in fact, spacepod seems to have done a remarkable job of choosing his time and place to crap out. i don’t need to go to work til monday; i didn’t have to pay for a tow, and i just went to like five different grocery stores this week to stock up. i even got fun stuff like coke zero and… well, i guess coke zero was the only fun and unusual thing that i got.

so i guess i should try and get the van jumped and charged so she can hopefully earn her keep a little bit over the weekend.

here’s hoping this time it goes a little better than it did “two years ago”: when we did this before. MFM says he’s figured out a way to avoid the bolts that sheared off last time.

don’t corner that cat.

i’m taking moses to the vet every tuesday and saturday morning for a series of shots to help his arthritis.

i usually try to get there quite early, because it’s faster and quieter. this morning i slept through til 8, so i didn’t get there til 8:30, which is when things start to get busy.

first there was a woman with a very small cat to be spayed. it took an act of will on my part not to serriptitiously photograph this woman with my cameraphone; she was wearing a coat comprised entirely of 2×4 inch squares of brightly colored, boldly patterned, and completely mismatched fabrics. several of the squares were torn and flapping loose. this covered most of her form; peeking out below were pants two inches too short and pilgrim shoes. i swear, even at my worst and most eccentric, i would not have worn such a thing.

as i was waiting to pay, a woman entered with a large dog. the dog was on a leash, but in the very small waiting room, the amount of leash he was being given exerted no effect on his movements at all. he made a beeline for moses’ carrier, shoved his nose at the front grate, and was promptly swatted.

i moved to stand in front of the carrier. the woman failed to shorten the dog’s leash and he lunged for the carrier again. i wasn’t sufficiently in his way and he got swatted again.

it seemed to dawn on the woman (though not the dog) that keeping the dog away from my cat would be a good idea. the crazy coat lady invited her to come stand next to her cat, which she did.

the door opened and a man (who apparently knew the dog and the woman) walked into the waiting room. the dog lunged for the man and the woman let the leash slide through her hands.

once the man was done greeting the dog, the dog headed for moses again. i had stepped up to the counter to pay, and was no longer standing in front of the carrier. the dog was swatted a third time.

the man took the dog out for a walk. i paid, and left. moses assumed a crash position for the remainder of the ride home.

i learned a few things.

* if he feels _cornered,_ moses will attack a dog, no matter how large the dog is.

* look in the mirror. damn.

* although i maintain that dogs are smarter than cats, some dogs are still really dumb.

* some dog owners are also really dumb.

* apparently, it’s not sufficient that i put my cat in a carrier when i take him to the vet. perhaps i should put him in a metal box with small grates covered in hardware cloth.

things we know

we know that the bpal scent ‘rage’ makes all three of us make the same face and say UUUUUUGGHGHHGHGHGHGHHHH EEEWWWWWWWWW!


i stopped in the broad street cafe today, it’s in the old ooh la latte location, and little has changed. it’s more sparsely furnished, but the big cement bar is there, the fancy lights over it, even the cute manager from when OLL first opened, he was working behind the bar. i felt at home.


that’s it. that’s all we know today. but i did something. i feel like showing it to people even if i shouldn’t. “here it is.”: ok, now pretend you didn’t see it. it’s not finished.


i react better now to being scheduled than i used to in my 20’s. i’m not sure what changed, but for some reason i do handle it better. i’ve been fairly scheduled lately, and so far so good.

jason and i had a radio station workday today that was quite productive. since i do work well with deadlines, i volunteered a fairly agressive one for getting a new web site ready and deployable. i’m sick of that project dragging on, as is everyone else. i’m ready to get the fucker _done._

it dawned on me this morning that i had not been home during daylight for two weeks, at least not long enough to even consider raking leaves. my front yard looks like a solid leaf blanket, and i don’t know what the back yard looks like. i should spend the next hour and 20 minutes left of daylight out there raking, but i’m not going to. i just got home and i don’t feel like it. and i can do it tomorrow. and on monday, i swear i will call TROSA and hire them to do basic yard maintenance.

in fact, there’s a long list of things i need to do today before i go to the WXDU benefit show. funny how “eat loco-pops and watch an x-files re-run” keeps popping up to the top.

looking for a sniff-fest location

first point of order, sarah, alicia and i are having another sniff-fest this sunday afternoon to share our fall booty. i’ve got the entire pumpkin patch, plus some other tasties. i wore a pumpkin patch scent to work yesterday and one of my co-workers said it smelled “GOOOOOOOOD!”

second, we are looking for a practical indoor location. we had been meeting at caffe driade and sitting outdoors, but it’ll be too cold for that. we’d like to find a comfortable, laid back coffee shop where the smellies won’t blow away the other patrons. without Ooh La Latte around (sob!), we’re at a loss as to where to meet.

Any suggestions?

cheaper biodiesel

“Cheaper Veggie Diesel May Change the Way We Drive”:

sent via e-mail by one of my bio-driving pals… here’s hoping the “co-op in pittsboro”: can start using this new catalyst. they’re the only game in town if you want biodiesel made from _recycled_ veggie oil.

and no, i am still not using their fuel yet. i suck.