*REMINDER: We’re switching ISPs. My Comcast email address will be defunct as of tomorrow. Please use my eugiefoster.com or gmail addresses from now on!
Over the 4-day (!) Memorial Day weekend (yay 4×10!*), we resolved a couple hardware issues:
• Fixed the hibernation problem my laptop was having after I upgraded my RAM. A bit of research showed me that the glitch seemed to be a common one in XP machines with over 1GB of RAM. Just had to download and install XP Service Pack 3, and voilà, all good.
• Replaced the battery in my car. Y’know, I find it to be a very strange thing to discover that one’s car won’t start when the temperature’s above 70 degrees F. I’m accustomed to it happening in the subzero season in the Midwest, but I guess I don’t expect it here in Georgia in summer. Didn’t even leave the headlights on or the overhead or anything.
We took it to the Honda dealership on the off chance that it was the alternator and not just the battery. Just the battery, though, thank goodness; apparently one of the cells went bad.
They also wanted to hit us up for a 90-mile service and a routine maintenance/oil-change/check-up (since we’re overdue). The former would’ve included changing the timing belt, which braced fosteronfilm, at least, for a scary-shock estimate. But even so, the bottom line they trotted up made both of us go bug-eyed: $1500. $1K for the 90-mile-timing-belt-service and $500 for the routine maintenance, etc.
So yeah, we told them “no can do, just the battery, please.” We’ll take it to a lube-n-go place for the oil change, and I’m fully prepared to use the old timing belt until it dies, thank-you-very-much. The only thing I’m a little worried about is that my SRS (the airbag system) warning light has been on for a while, and I’d like to have the sensor checked. If it’s the seatbelt, both the check and fix would be covered under Honda’s warranty. But if it’s the SRS system, it’s not, and we’d have to eat the $190 appraisal as well as whatever it’d cost to get it fixed. It’s rather a lot to gamble on warranty vs. no warranty, but at the same time, the airbag wouldn’t deploy right now in an accident, which really makes me nervous.
I really don’t get along well with hardware stuff. It’s expensive, capricious, and baffling. Sigh.
*Another benefit from my new 4×10 workweek: In addition to not having to make the drive to the train station and back on my day off and thereby saving on my overall gasoline use, since I’m leaving earlier in the morning and coming back later in the evening, the traffic is better—much better in the morning and slightly better in the evening. I don’t have enough data points to know for sure exactly how much time I’m shaving off my daily commute, but I’d estimate right now that it’s something like half an hour. Sweet.
• -250. Yes, that’s a negative number. There was a lot of cutting and tightening. But the fork’s in, and “Morozko,” retitled to “Beautiful Winter,” is done done done and sent off to market. Huzzah.
Uber thanks go to marshall-payne for the speedy and thorough crit.
• “Caesar’s Ghost” (audio reprint) in Pseudopod. catrambo read it, and I think she did a stellar job. Go listen! There are ferrets.
• Contrib. copies of the Aug. 2008 Realms of Fantasy with my story, “Daughter of Bótù,” in it. Shiny!
• 40-day SALE of “The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile” (audio reprint) to the Clonepod podcast. Woot!
• A note from daveybeaucham that Writers for Relief 2 (with my story, “Running on Two Legs”) is now available for pre-order. This is the second in his charity anthology series, this one to benefit the Bay Area Food Bank (the first was to benefit the survivors of Hurricane Katrina). Other contributors include Todd McCaffrey, A.C. Crispin and Christie Golden, Elizabeth Blue, David Drake, Mur Lafferty, Tony Ruggiero, and many others. Great fiction for a great cause!
Man, that’s a great cover!
Ain’t it, though? Davey always manages to get great artwork for his projects.
Re: Caesar’s Ghost — just listened to it on PP. So it’s your fault that I started bawling on the B train in the middle of the Manhattan bridge, and people started staring at me as if I was about to go postal!!! Your faaaaaaaault!! ::pointpointpoints::
…Seriously, thank you. That was a beautiful, delightful story, probably my favorite from Pseudopod ever, and already my favorite of your many works.
Aw, thank you! I consider it the highest compliment when folks tell me a story I wrote evoked an emotional response in them. *hugs*
Congrats on the pod sale!
Congrats, congrats, and congrats! I’ve been hearing whispered tales around corners, and I’m starting to get suspicious. Talk about a “Super Writer” only without tights and a cape. You’re her, aren’t you? Go ahead, you can tell me. I won’t say anything.
Congrats, Eugie! 🙂
Speaking as a non-expert, I suggest doing the maintenance.
$1000 to change a timing belt is cheaper than replacing the engine or buying another car.
A broken timing belt killed the engine in my old Honda Civic. At 140K miles, the old gray beast was overdue to have its timing belt changed. But I was foolish and waited.
With my Nissan, the Honda’s replacement, I spend $1000 or so per year on recommended maintenance. At 15 years and 215K miles the old red beast shows no signs of quiting.
I have to agree about replacing the timing belt…they do wear out and if it breaks the engine is trashed. That being said, you can probably find a local repair shop that will do it for less money than the dealer (maybe half depending on the car). It’s a crap-shoot though: our van is 100,000 miles past needing its belt replaced and is still going. (My kids, faced with having to drive a 15 year-old van with 300K miles on it are voting for epic failure as soon as possible.)
The 4×10 rocks
Working 9 to 5 is for quitters. ; )
Hope the week goes well for you Eugie!
40-day SALE of “The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile” (audio reprint) to the Clonepod podcast. Woot!
I thought that Cicada purchased all rights. Glad to hear you managed a reprint from their sale.
Some very cool news on many fronts. Will have to listen to cat reading your work, especially.