September 18th, 2015

Conrunner Kevin

Van Retrieval

I was able to make it back to Fremont via transit (shuttle bus, light rail, Amtrak, shank's mare). My mechanic called me to tell me he was finishing up just as I turned the corner a block from his shop. Besides fixing the broken tilt-wheel mechanism, he also did the front brakes, which were down to minimum safe spec. Another $650 spent, but it's a safer vehicle.

After paying for the van, I went my the Newark Jiffy Lube and had the oil changed. It was just short of 3500 miles, but the trip to/from Spokane in my opinion "used up" an oil change, especially considering the smoky conditions. It also needs an air filter, but changing the air filter on the Astro is a major adventure, requiring removal of the "doghouse" cover inside the van, so Lisa and I will tackle that one ourselves, I think.

Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to pay for everything I've done this month. No panic (yet), but it's annoying to see so many expenses coming in during a time that was supposed to be low activity. Lisa and I have been working out how to make the logistics work better the next time we want to put one of my vehicles in with Cory-the-mechanic. He's a good mechanic, but the extra $500-$600 in hotel bills I end up incurring to use him in not so good. We have some ideas about how to have things work both ways, including possibly having me leave a vehicle with Cory for him to work on and then have me take the train home to Reno, which has the added benefit that I get to ride the train through the Sierra, which I always enjoy doing. We'll do some figuring before the next time we have to have work done.