First off, apologies to all those who commented on previous posts over that last week or so, I have only just now gotten around to replying.
It was an eventful week, during which, it seems that I have offended the God of Gadgets, Cars, and Technology (the individual deistic departments, Cars and Gadgets & Technology, were amalgamated during the last celestial cabinet shuffle. God decided, given the convergence in both areas, a single cabinet position would be beneficial to all). I got slammed with some techno calamities - it must have been the post on Public Atheism that did it.
A few weeks back, Natasha and I decided that a new car was in order. My five year old VW Jetta
wagon had only 28k miles on it (due to cycling to work and car pooling), a fine price could probably be fetched for said piece of German engineering. We had wanted to switch to a more economical car, namely the hybrid gas/electric Toyota Prius
, and a viewing of "Who Killed the Electric Car," followed soon after by "An Inconvenient Truth," sealed the deal. It helped that the tax man is demanding less of my ass that anticipated, or planned for.
My wife, who could bargain with a tribe of Arab nomads and come out the victor (its her Indian genes: they live to haggle), played two car dealerships and a car broker off of each other, and got an insanely good deal on a Prius
. The broker, who won out, offered us less than half the price we could expect on the open market for trading in the Jetta
, so we decided to do a private sale. The day we were due to receive the new car, I took the VW
to be gassed up in preparation for the many test drives we expected. Upon turning the corner as I left the gas station, the car went "cthunk
" and the whole vehicle shuddered. I checked to make sure I hadn't rolled over the curb, or a small child, but nope, all looked good. No dead child on the road. Then, I turned the next corner and it cthunked
again, and again, and again. If you have ever ridden a bicycle with a buckled wheel, you'll know how it pops your ass in the air as the buckled part of the wheel hits the road - well, it was like that. Not very good at all. I pulled in at nearest garage, which happened to cater to German cars, and the long and the short of it was that the fucking transmission had gone - on a car that got top ratings from consumer digest and had only driven 28k miles! To top it off, the warranty on the drive train had just ran out. We are currently awaiting Volkswagen's verdict on the matter, the local dealership seem to be on our side, as they said it is highly unusual for this to happen with such low mileage. Suffice it to say, we were spitting bullets, and I can safely say that should VW
be difficult about this, Tash
will be on the next flight to the Fatherland to argue the point.
The very next day dawned sunny and perfect, and vehicular problems were forgotten as I drove my new auto to work. I reveled in my low gas mileage, and the cool, gadgety bluetoothiness
of it all. My superiority as an advanced, environmentally friendly member of the human race was self evident. At lunch time, filled with the joys of spring, I decided to take my bike out and do a lap of San Bruno mountain. I am getting fitter and the steep climb was less tortuous than usual. I flew down the back side, but as I reached the bottom I heard the tell tale hiss - puncture. That's cool though, I am prepared. I not only have a puncture repair kit, I have an extra tube. I decide to repair, it saves me taking off the back wheel to remove the tube. It's then that I discover that although I do have a repair kit, somehow the glue has gone missing. Plan B. The wheel is removed, new tube inserted and some vigorous pumping begins.Snap!... hiss.
is a little too vigorous it seems, and I have snapped the top of the valve off. However, I am resourceful, it's a very teeny tiny puncture on the old tube, if I pump it up a little, put it inside the tire, jam a patch between the hole and the tire, and finishing pumping, I can probably make it back to work. Rejoicing in my ingenuity, I proceed...snap!...hiss
FUCK, SHIT, BOLLOCKS, WANK!!! I've snapped the valve again. I'm really going to have to lay off the steroids for a while. As the proverbial crow flies, I'm only about two miles from work, but at the bottom of a steep mountain pass, the other side of which is my place of employment. I retrieve my pump from the tree where it had ended up after I flung it during my temper tantrum, and I call one of my team members, have him go to the shower room, get my car key from my pocket, and come get me. He is only happy to drive the new car, and is kind about the fact that this is the second day in a row that he has had to rescue my stranded ass. At the next opportunity, I'll buy one of those patch kits that stick without glue.
The cliche is that these things happen in threes, so I begin to wait for the 3rd techno calamity, and sure enough yesterday it arrived. My iPod
, the one that has already been replaced TWICE by Apple, rolled over and died. Despite my reservations about Apple's quality, I love and need my iPod
. Luckily I am an old hand at dealing with iPod
support, which is actually very good. My iPod
is lying in state, awaiting a box to ship it to Apple. I told them I had no intention of paying for shipping and repair, and they kindly acquiesced.
On top of all of this, my parents-in-law were in town. We went out to dinner with an ex California state senator whom they know from way back when they were all much, much younger. Very nice person, great story teller. We got lots of opinions on Governor Schwarzenegger and San Francisco's young, dashing, shagging-his-best-friend's-wife mayor, Gavin Newsom
. Unfortunately I can't say a damn thing about any of that in this blog...