Door Contest; Car Trouble

I forgot to mention that Mike and I won the Plexus Holiday Door Decorating Contest in the Technology category (this was all the week before Christmas). We took that old IBM ThinkPad I have (Dinky Thinkum) and hung him up with heavy-duty twine, two wreath holders, and some stabilizing velcro.

Then, we had the machine run Elf Bowling full-screen :-). People were coming by all day and playing with it.

In other news, my car is having troubles again (or, rather, its previous troubles have gotten worse). The transmission problem which went largely unidentified on the last visit to the shop improved, but was not entirely repaired. With the holidays and everything, I didn’t exactly have time to take it back.

Well, just when I thought the problems were starting to go away, they came back with a vengeance. The rough shift has turned into sporadic, random shifting problems ranging from fun things like “speedometer quits working and car acts like its stuck in a low gear” to the ever-dangerous “hit gas, waits three seconds, then lurches forward.” After driving the last few minutes of my commute yesterday in “stuck in low gear with no speedometer” mode, I called and made an appointment for their first available day (tomorrow).

Well, needless to say, I can’t just skip work willy-nilly. I’m lucky I work in a place that lets me work from home when I need to get my car serviced, but doing it two days in a row this soon after the holidays didn’t seem right. So I drove to work today, with the same sporadic problems (though the car is working 95 percent of the time). Well, just as I pulled into the office, the “Check Engine” light popped on. That’s never a good sign (although it does mean that the dealership can plug it in and get an error code of some sort—and they can’t tell me “We checked and couldn’t find anything wrong”).

Regardless, I think I’m going to have it towed to the dealership some time today and get a ride home (either making Melissa come get me or get a coworker to drive me).


Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.