Friday, January 30, 2009

das ist der Auto updaten

So, apparently it was some cable that had broken and caused the EML light to come on. I got really good service, got my car back, and it runs great. The anti-theft thing on my radio thinks I'm a bad-guy, though, and I guessed at the magic code and now have to wait until the radio has been on a full hour (consecutively, I'm thinking, since I just tried it yet again and am SURE it had been on for a total of an hour) before I can try the code a third time.

I'm pretty sure they said it was the stability cable, but I told my car-loving friends, some of whom have re-built engines and they looked at me like I was nuts and made a reference to my warp drive. Whatever that is.

But I have car. Tomorrow I will have tires. Yeah - they sold it to me with two bald tires, and I mean bald. I didn't think to check since... who would sell a car with bald tires?!? Some jackasses, that's who. But at least there is car.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Better Knitting through Bavarische Motor Werks

Part I is for Irony.
So, on Tuesday I complained (loudly) that I've been far too well this season and that I really needed a sick day and my boss asked how my new car was and if I still loved it and mentioned that the dealership I had bought it from (owned by those jackals at Toyota of Augusta) had closed down. Wednesday, I woke up with a sore throat and my first thought was that there was no way any one would believe me if I called in sick... but the thought was still tempting. Today is Thursday. It was 26 degrees outside, according to my car. I started the car and drove the half a block to daughter's school to drop her off late (as usual). Then I pulled onto the street and up the hill. Slowly. Very, very slowly. So, I drove around the long way to my house, hoping that as the engine heated up, it'd move faster. Usually works for me, why not my car?

Things seemed to be moving in the right direction after a little bit, so I took the boy to school. I seemed to have a little more power, but it wasn't liking to shift until about 5,500 rpms and when I floored it, my sweet little 6-cylinder engine roared to a whopping 35 mph. Apparently, the fates agreed that it was time for a day off, so I called the office from the parking lot at the boy's school, and raced (ha!) to the GoodYear (lovely people there).

Part II - Enter Yarn
I sat and knitted for about 45 minutes and then they told me that they could change my oil, but that my transmission was sealed, so they couldn't even check that. I'd have to take it to a transmission shop. They recommended the one about a quarter mile closer to my house than they were. I went.

Part Ay yi yi - Diagnosis
I sat and knitted for another hour and a half while the Aamco people test-drove it and tested the computer and the battery and ran diagnostics. The transmission leaks. Not a lot, but some. It was two quarts low. They topped it off. And the rear end is shot. That's the whine I had been hearing and thought it was just my ears being too sensitive (after all, a car I've made all of three payments on should definitely NOT be making funny noises. So I hadn't been listening for any.). They said it needed to be replaced ASAP (appx $500+, emphasis on the plus). The reason I had no power was that my EML light is on, but burned out, so I couldn't see that it was on. Since the EML light is on, the computer is cutting the power to the engine down to about 30%. Maybe the computer's busted; maybe the sensor for the EML light is busted; maybe there's a blown fuse somewhere in there; or maybe my engine is hosed. They couldn't do more without the special BMW software. They recommended the privately owned shop about two miles down Wheeler Rd from Giuseppe's.

Part I.V. - A shot in the arm
The cool part is that we were supposed to get together for lunch at noon at Giuseppe's, which happened to be between me and the next repair shop on the list). I got done at Aamco at 1130 and made it at the same time as my coworkers. I had a ginormous calzone straight from heaven followed by Tiramisu to die for. It really is the best in town, so far.

Part V - Vaiting und vaiting
I got lost, got found (I am the person for whom GPS was invented), grabbed knitting and headed for the assistance desk at the privately owned shop on Wheeler. They only take appointments. I have one for Monday morning. I'll drop the car off Sunday night. *sigh* But my scarf is about 12" long now (9" longer than it was) and I'm really sure not to be late tomorrow... Because I'll be carpooling.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Year's Justifications and Some Geekery

Yup - hasn't even been a whole month and already I'm... well... it's not broken per se. More like bent. There I was, trying (for the umteenth time) to help my daughter learn how to crochet (see the Emergency Knitting post a few posts back on why I knit). There I was with some cheap acrylic in a shimmery cream (I'm thinking this was something slightly nicer than the [Color] [Organ] brand) and a pretty purple crochet hook. And a generous friend's borrowed ginormous book of crochet stitches that has really good pictures in the front showing you the basics (ooh! I need that book!).

So, I showed her how to make a chain and we worked together for a little bit - she on her shimmery purple acrylic and turquoise hook and me in the cream acrylic and purple hook. Long enough that I ended up with a 9" chain - perfect for a Warm Up America square (9" x 7"). And there was this perfect little stitch that used nothing I wasn't at least a little familiar with in crochet. So far, it's 9" x 3.5" and lovely.

... No, I did not first finish two of the many projects I already had on the needles... It's crochet!! It's not on the needles! It doesn't count! Mostly. Besides, it's for a Good Cause. And it's not like I ran out and bought more yarn for this one. In fact, I'm doing even more good by using up some of that Gawdawful acrylic that's taking up room in my stash (did I mention my resolution to not buy any more cheap acrylic? At least not for many, many years. Maybe someday when I need to crank out an afghan or something.).

On a brighter (read: less guilt-ridden) note, I discovered free podcasts. There are oodles of them! There are ones from NPR (Ooh! Science Friday!) and American Public Media (Ooh! The Writer's Almanac!) and even on knitting (Ooh! Pointy Sticks!)!

Not tooooo terribly long ago, I was introduced by a good friend to the TED Talks. From what I can tell, it's an annual conference in Monterey, CA (WHY?!? did I not know about this when I was there?!?) the premise of which seems to be, "Let's get some really smart people to talk about some stuff." My introduction to these was via YouTube - a talk by a chick who definitely pegs the geekometer. And guess what? There's a PodCast of that, too!! Oh, joyous day!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Arrgh!, or, New Year's Resolutions

I have never, in my life frogged out anything more than once and started over. I'm lazy, and will sacrifice a wrong stitch here and there for not repeating the last hour's-worth of work... Until this Vine Lace Baby Hat pattern. The first time I did this pattern, I read through it once, grabbed some yarn, got out some dpns and did it. Just like that. Being that it's lace on dpns, there were times I'd have to go back and frog out nearly a needle's stitches (27 per needle x 3 needles), but not more than that. It took maybe 8 hours total. This time around, I'm (so far) on attempt number four. Arrgh! Which brings me to New Year's Resolutions.

Not that I generally make any. Oh, yeah, there's the constant, "Maybe I should organize this place!" and, "I should work out more, stress less, aim to be happier, kinder, etc." But those don't really count.

1) This year, I will frog when necessary. Really.
2) I will make guage swatches for the things that need them. (I never have before. Ever. ...but I'm thinking that it counts a lot more for sweaters than for ponchos).
3) I will take my knitting with me and be caught KIPing. (Ooh! Shopping trip for a purse big enough to contain a small knitting project? I think so...)
4) Regardelss of demands for charity projects and gifts, I will whittle my current projects down until I only have two projects on the needles. And keep it that way.