Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Trains (and Roads) Taken

This morning I slept in compared to going to work, but still was up fairly early so I could catch light rail up to Great America station and catch the Amtrak Capitol up to Fremont where my van awaited me. I had a minor moment of panic when, part-way to the Gish light rail station, I realized that I'd left my Amtrak ticket back in the apartment; fortunately, I had given myself enough time that I could trot back and get it and still make the connections work.

After arriving in Fremont, I walked down to Dino's Restaurant for breakfast, and then on to my regular barber shop down Fremont Blvd. I got a bit of a start to see that the shop (and all of the other businesses in the building) had yellow warning notices on them making them only "conditionally" safe for occupancy. There was a fire a couple of months ago in the Cabrillo Cafe in this complex, and apparently the city of Fremont is requiring complete electrical inspections before they'll clear the complex again. Given how old and run-down it is overall, I can't say that I'm surprised. However, for now Gene's B.S. is still cutting hair.

After my somewhat overdue haircut (I should have had the fluffy bits on the sides trimmed at least two weeks ago), I walked on down to Fremont Wheel & Brake, where my timing was excellent as Cory was just arriving. Before he could open the front door, he had to go around the back and get his shop cat, Oreo, to come back and get in his carrier. Oreo is quite a character. When I dropped my keys through the slot in Cory's shop a few nights ago, that cat was on them in a flash, making sure they weren't going anywhere. As I paid the repair bill on the van, I cracked that I'll try to remember to bring a catnip ball for Oreo the next time I have to drop my van off at his shop. (Assuming nothing goes wrong between now and next year, I'm apt to have Cory give the van a once-over in July or early August next year in preparation for driving to San Antonio.)

Cory replaced the radiator, hoses, air and fuel filters, and the front ball joints. However, the van also needed an oil change, so I went over to the Newark Jiffy Lube, where I've been having routine maintenance being done for some years now. I also asked them to to an air-conditioning service, as I was thinking the AC may not be working as efficiently as it could be and because I'm apt to be driving through some hot country soon.

After a longish wait (they were very busy today), I was informed that they couldn't do my AC because "we can't do the old freon units." I said, "I don't have an old system anymore." I went out and talked to the manager.

The manager said, "We can't do the old units anymore; you can't get the freon anymore."

Opening the hood, I pointed out the prominent sticker announcing that this unit was converted to an R-134a system in 2009. This was done at the Chevrolet dealership in Sublimity, Oregon, when the old AC unit died a final death on a drive up to Mehama that summer. I said, "I spent about a thousand dollars having one of the newer air conditioning units retrofitted into this van a few years ago."

The manager would have none of it. He refused to service the unit and insisted that I still had an old unit that uses the now-banned old freon. Frustrated, I said, "Well, you're wrong, but I'll have to take my business elsewhere, I guess." He didn't seem to care. That's sad, really. Most of the staff at this particularly location have been good to me, and this is the first time I've very met the manager. I'm going to complain to JL corporate on this one. But in the short term, I'm frustrated, as getting an appointment with a GM dealership and being without my van for a day or two is more than I can manage before I leave for Nevada next Friday.

The final errand of the day was to stop at the new Bose store in the Great Mall. The connecting unit from my Bose QC-2 headphones has a short in it, and Bose wisely make that a replaceable separate unit rather than something hard-wired into the headset. Not knowing where the new store was, I managed to come in almost as far away from the store within that mall as is possible. Oh, well, I needed the walk. And now I have a new connector that works. Apparently they still use the same style connector in the newer QC-15 headset, which is good.

It took a lot longer to get everything done in Fremont that needed doing, and I didn't get back to the apartment until about 3 PM. However, that wasn't too late for the apartment complex's annual barbecue. I had time to pick up a double burger and trimmings that the management was putting on for the residents. But by then I was feeling awfully wrung out. I went back to my room and took the rest of the day off, spending most of it in bed watching the way-too-exciting Giants-A's baseball game.
Tags: fremont, shopping, van

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