Bad Vacation Day

I took a couple of days off this week, today and tomorrow, to catch up on some stuff and run some errands that Debbi wouldn’t be so interested in, while she’s away.

Today started off pretty good: I got up and mowed the lawn, which now takes about an hour when I factor in edging the lawn. Then I puttered around for most of the morning until I headed down to pick up this week’s comic books. The fateful decision I made was to take Debbi’s car. I gassed up her car, wiped the windows, picked up my comics, and grabbed lunch. Then, on a whim, I decided to make one more stop at another comic book store that I don’t often go to.

When we came back from our Boston trip last year, we had a problem where we ran some errands, and then Debbi’s car wouldn’t start when we were at the grocery store. We walked home, got my car, and drove over to jump-start it. We took it to the dealer, who said the battery looked fine, but needed to be charged, perhaps having drained while we were away. I was skeptical, but it seemed to do the trick and Debbi hasn’t had any problems since.

Until today, when the car wouldn’t start after I came out of the store.

I was too far to walk home, but I wasn’t too far from the dealer, who I called, and they said if I could get there by 3:15 then they could look at it. It was 2:30 at this point, and I worried that if I called AAA they might not show up for a while and it would be too late. So I called my friend Subrata, who came over and helped me get jumped. (He has a Prius, and had to figure out where the battery was. Meanwhile another guy noticed us messing around and offered us the use of his SUV, though we used Subrata’s cables.) I drove to the dealer, and sure enough, the battery was dead. So I got it replaced (the price seemed reasonable, too). One advantage to the down economy has been that getting convenient appointments at the car dealership’s service deprtment has been pretty easy, and it paid off today.

So I was pretty frazzled about that by the time I got back, and I come home to the news bombshell that Steve Jobs has stepped down as Apple’s CEO. I think this is less of an issue in practice than Wall Street does (AAPL was down 5% after hours), as I agree with the savvier analysts that Apple still has a great management team in place and the company is in great shape going forward. But it’s still something of a world-changing event for those of us who work there.

I also had some more stuff to deal with in prepping the townhouse to sell. That’s been taking a lot longer than I’d expected, and it’s getting to be a drag.

So it ended up being a downer of a day.

I did bake cookies this afternoon though and drove them over to Subrata’s at just the right time between dinner time and his son’s bed time, so I got to say hi to everyone and thank him again for coming to bail me out. So that was a nice point. But otherwise: Guh.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a much better day. Because it’d suck to take two days off and go back to work more stressed out than I left it.

One thought on “Bad Vacation Day”

  1. It turns out that you *can* jump-start another car from a Prius, but it probably won’t work, because the Prius’ 12V battery is limited to ~100A; normal car-battery starts run ~400A or more. (The consensus procedure is to disconnect the 12V Prius battery before trying, because otherwise you risk blowing one or more fuses or draining the Prius to the point it won’t start, either. I should probably go by Costco and get a heavy-duty self-contained jumper pack in case one Prius needs to jump-start the other.)

    All in all I’m glad the Good Samaritan came to help before we got ourselves in deeper :<)

    I replaced the battery in my Camry after 6 years, then at 10 years, 13 years, and 17 years. I could have skipped two of those (one was a bad starter motor and the other was a battery-is-five-years-old-and-I-will-pay-to-avoid-risk replacement), but I hate getting stuck a lot more than a new battery a year or two early.

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