Oh, Drat.

The dress, now relisted

I sold a dress from my shop!

Oh, but I’m out of town and the buyer needs it by Thursday.

But I can actually be home in time to meet the Express shipping deadline!

But that will cost $15 more.

But the customer is willing to pay it!

And my flight isn’t delayed!

And my car isn’t buried under snow in the long-term parking lot!

And while it’s -9, it’s sunny!

And my car starts right up!

And it doesn’t take too long to clean it off and scrape off the ice!

And I’ll be home in time to ship that dress!

Until my engine cuts out at mile marker 8 on Peña Blvd.

And I spend 29 minutes (TWENTY-NINE MINUTES) on the phone with Roadside Assistance (Did I mention that it was 9 below? And do you realize that THERE IS NO HEAT in a car with no running engine? Because the operator seemed clueless to this phenomenon). And then wait for a tow to the nearest garage. And then wait for a gloriously kind friend to drive out TO THE AIRPORT to fetch me. And finally get home, cold and hungry, 3 hours late and 30 minutes AFTER the Express dropoff deadline.

So I had to cancel the sale.

The sale which would have taken a bite out of the $460 repair bill I’m currently faced with to get my car running again.

And I’m car-less until the repairs are done.

my car, about 15 minutes before it passed out
My car, about 14 minutes before passing out cold.

But, on the positive side: I managed to get my car off to the the side of the road. The problem is a distributor, not something even more expensive. I have WONDERFUL friends who came to fetch me at the airport–during rush hour–(Alison) and who used their wily in-the-business skills to find me a new distributor for less $$$ than the mechanic could locally (Rob). And the many people who kept me company via Twitter and text messages while I waited, and waited, and waited at various times during the escapade.

For now, it’s warmed “up” to -6° and I’m stuck at home with no car. But I have food and heat and kittehs and a call in to my insurance agent to find out if I can get a rental car for a few days. There’s a kitteh a couple of miles away who needs looking after while her folks are in Italy, and I’m not walking it unless the weather improves dramatically.

Krazy Kreations annual car show

What’s this? A brief blog post? Oh, be still my beating heart.

Okay, so, I got out of the house. I went to a car show. I took photos. Once again, I neglected to take photos of any human beings, but I promise that I live on this very same populated planet that you do.

Click on the photo above to see more.

Car Alarms

Oh, were you expecting a post about Viva? Instead, you get the following:

My car was broken into again last night. In my previous car, the thieves had to break a window to get in. Kind of a deterrent, but not 100% foolproof. They took a portable CD player that time, and it cost me $200 for a new window. With my current car, though, the window design allows for anyone lacking a sense of ethics to simply slide a hanger or slimjim in between the glass and the gasket, and open her up. It happens about once a year. “Lucky” for me, the sleazebags around here aren’t so bright, and generally take the worthless stuff and leave anything of value behind. Last night, they missed my GPS but took – get this – my reusable shopping bags. (They once left behind a CD wallet, but took an umbrella. I shit you not.)

While nothing of serious value has yet been stolen, there is always some form of physical damage to the car, from the scratches and dents of uninvited entry to the smashed steering column or last night’s forcibly removed sun visor that costs me some amount of money to repair. On top of that, of course, is the icky feeling of being violated; that some stranger (and a jerk, at that) has been in my car.

I’m thinking that a car alarm may be the way to go. Actually, I would like to wire my car in such a way as to provide a taser-like stun to anyone who touches it against my will, but barring that, a blinkie light and a siren will have to do. One friend tells me that an alarm system isn’t much of a deterrent, because when was the last time you saw anyone rushing to protect a car that was blaring an alarm? He has a point. But what else can I do? For $230 I can get a basic alarm system with remote locks, installed. If I spend more money, I get more features, but what good does a 2-way buzzing remote do me unless I sleep with it in my pocket? And the keychain screen that shows me precisely where my car was violated? What good is that? I can already tell from the damage, and it still does me no good to know.

The install should take 3-5 hours. I wish there was a movie theater nearby.