October 1st, 2008

Conrunner Kevin

News of the Minivan

I went out for a walk this afternoon just before 5 PM. As I was passing the Centerville train station (and watching a freight train going by on the far track while an ACE commuter train arrived on the station-side track), my phone rang. As I thought it might be, it was my mechanic, who told me my van was ready to go, except that there are additional things that need done. I walked the remaining distance over to his shop (one reason I'd taken this route was because I thought there was a chance he'd call) and got the scoop. He showed me the worn-out throttle body parts; it was clearly a wreck. It's no wonder the van's acceleration has been so mushy.

He said that there's another part that needs replacing if I'm going to pass my next smog check, but he had to order it from the GM dealership and it won't be here until Friday. I explained that I do need need a smog check -- it's due before the end of November -- and he said that if I brought the van back on Tuesday morning, he can replace the part and have one of his neighbors, whose shop is a smog-test-only station, do the smog as well. That sounds good to me.

I offered to pay for the work that has been done so far, and he told me to not worry about it until after we get the rest of the work done on Tuesday, so we can settle it as one bill. The total damage is going to be more than $1000, but less than $1500, it appears. But as I've said before, it's a pleasure to work with an ethical, talented mechanic like this. Looking at how busy his calendar is, he probably doesn't need me talking him up, but I will anyway.

As I drove away, I could definitely feel a significant improvement in acceleration and engine feel, so he's not kidding about having fixed things.
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Kevin and Lisa

Silicon Update

It was a good thing that Lisa called me yesterday to tell me that she wasn't coming and that I should cancel the hotel room, because the room had a 72-hour cancellation clause on it, so I just barely made it. And on the positive side, lisa_marli has agreed to let me buy a share of her underutilized hotel room so that I can sleep at the Doubletree instead of having to make a 40-mile round-trip between the hotel and the Doubletree each day. That's particularly nice for Sunday when I do Match Game SF.

It's going to be an interesting technical challenge to do the show, as we won't have Lisa running the sound, and she knows exactly how the music cues are supposed to work. It's unrealistic of me to expect everyone to have seen a 1970s game show, even one that is rerun as much as Match Game. Ah, well, one of the charms of live shows is seeing how things work, I guess.

SMOFCon Scholarship Application Deadline Extended

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San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. (SFSFC) has extended the deadline for applying for a scholarship of $500 to help convention runners in training attend the SMOFCon convention-runners convention in Columbus OH this year over the weekend of December 5-7, 2008.

The original deadline was September 30, but has been extended to October 15, 2008. An application form is available on the SFSFC web site at <http://sfsfc.org/?page_id=93> or by writing to SFSFC at PO Box 61363, Sunnyvale CA 94088-1363. Application forms will also be available from the San Jose Westercon Bid table at SiliCon, being held at the San Jose Doubletree Hotel October 3-5, 2008. SFSFC must receive (postmark date does not count) applications by October 15, 2008.

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