Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Stone Rolling Again

Today's headline task: give my preferred mechanic in Fremont enough time to replace the leaking power-steering pump that appears to have been the source of the leak in the RV. Minor task: get a fasting blood draw done for my next diabetes check-up.

I woke up a little after 4 AM unable to sleep (possibly due to fretting over all the things that needed doing today), so I drove over to Fremont where I was absurdly early. I went to the only place open at that hour where I had any errands: Walgreen's. I got some things I needed there, then sat for a bit until it was time to drive to the PAMF Fremont facility, where I was one of the first five people in the queue at the lab when it opened at 7 AM.

Blood drawn, I drove to my mechanic's shop and parked the RV in front of it, then walked over to Enterprise rent-a-car, which opens at 7:30. (This was one of my constraints; I needed a car today.) Their computers were down and the car reserved for me wasn't quite ready, and it took them nearly half an hour to process me, after which I drove back over to the mechanic, got my stuff out of the RV, and consigned the keys to Shop Cat, who wasn't interested. (One of these days, I'm going to buy the Shop Cat a catnip ball; she lives in the shop overnight and usually can be found guarding the front door, sometimes attacking keys as they are dropped through the slot.)

So about 8 AM, I set off for Mountain View, where I had at 10 AM meeting. No sweat, right? Wrong. With the tiny bit of rain we had overnight, everyone in the Bay Area forgot how to drive. Traffic was at a crawl. It was 22 miles to Mountain View, and it took more than 90 minutes.

Because of the fasting requirement for the blood draw, I'd had no breakfast, and there was now no time to get any. I was able to get some coffee and gnawed on a food bar during my 10 AM meeting.

After the meeting, I went off and had an early lunch, for which I was less ravenous than I thought I would be. But there was little time for rest, for I had a 1 PM meeting as well, and I'd had no time to process my e-mail at all today, so I found a spare desk and dealt with my "morning routine" at about 12 Noon.

During the 1 PM meeting, my mechanic called to tell me the van was ready. After the meeting, I dealt with issues raised by the meeting, packed my bag, and piled back into the rental car, heading out just before 3 PM.

People still seemed to be having a great deal of trouble remembering how to drive, even though the rain was gone and replaced with muggy heat. But it wasn't as bad as coming over this morning, and I paid my mechanic for the RV, restored my bags to it, and returned the rental car. I finally got to my office in Fremont about 4:30 PM; however, they did know I was going to be working in Mountain View most of today.

If I'd known how awful the traffic was going to be, I would have done the blood draw on Friday, canceled the rental car reservation, and gone to the mechanic sooner, then used ACE to go from Fremont to the Mountain View office, returning on the earliest train so I'd be at the mechanic's shop before he closed. This would have cost less than the rental car and would have been substantially less stressful, although the shuttle bus from ACE would have been caught in that awful traffic, too.

Including the rental car and gas, the total cost of the repair to the RV (replace power-steering pump and hoses) came out to just over $500. It could have been much worse, and now I hope to no longer have a slow drip to trouble me every time I go out to the vehicle.
Tags: rolling stone, work
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