July 29th, 2009

Pensive Kevin

Worldcons and Van Repairs

The dealership called with the bad news about my van: The air conditioning compressor is shot, not just the clutch on the front of the unit. And the freon leaked away, which means that -- it being the older style banned R12 freon unit -- the system needs to be converted to the newer R134 type unit. That's the worst part of the cost there: $1200. Besides that, the serpentine belt needs replacing (not surprising given that it was sliding over a frozen pulley) and the belt tension pulley also needs to be replaced. And that Check Engine light? That was an unrelated problem: the O2 sensor failing. Estimated total repairs: $1700.

At least I'm not stuck in the middle of the Nevada desert having to sit while they repair it. They have more than two weeks to work on it. And I have enough credit to get it out of the shop when I return. How I'll end up paying those credit card bills later is less certain.

And once again, instead of being able to direct my business to the mechanic who has been good to me, because I'm on the road, I have to pay a shop somewhere else.

I do have to keep reminding myself that much of the travel on my Worldcon trip is "free" in that meals are included in the train trip on points and the hotel nights coming and going are on points as well. This will help keep costs down. Pity the Canadian dollar has jumped back up over 90 US cents, though.
  • Current Mood
    depressed depressed
  • Tags
Pointless Arrow

Casting Off

In a few minutes, I will shut down the computer and go finish packing for the next leg of the trip. The idea is to decide what needs to go in the small roomette in which we're traveling tonight versus what can stay in the large, heavy suitcase and not need to be touched in route. The latter will stay in the luggage rack and not clutter up the compartment. Not an easy task. Wish I could figure out a way to get the stuff in my briefcase to all fit in the backpack.

Anyway, I expect to be offline until I get to my office sometime late Thursday morning. Hope there are not too many explosions in the next twenty hours. And I'm really hoping that the heat we're having here in Washington and Oregon doesn't cause heat-related rail delays due to possible sun kinks.
Pointless Arrow

Worldcon Trip Day 1: Hot Rails From Oregon

The first leg of our Worldcon trip involved taking the train south from Salem, Oregon. It was a very hot day in this part of Oregon. I composed most of it on board the train and posted it later when I got to my office.

Collapse )

About an hour after finishing the above entry, Lisa made down the beds rather than having the car attendant do it -- that way Lisa didn't have to worry about meeting the attendant's schedule -- and we turned in for the night. Lisa managed to rig extension cords for the single outlet in the car so that she could have her radio (generates white noise against her tinnitus) and I could have my CPAP so I could breath more easily. Both devices help us sleep better.