Over the 4-day (!) Memorial Day weekend (yay 4x10!*), we resolved a couple hardware issues:
• Fixed the hibernation problem my laptop was having after I upgraded my RAM. A bit of research showed me that the glitch seemed to be a common one in XP machines with over 1GB of RAM. Just had to download and install XP Service Pack 3, and voilà, all good.
• Replaced the battery in my car. Y'know, I find it to be a very strange thing to discover that one's car won't start when the temperature's above 70 degrees F. I'm accustomed to it happening in the subzero season in the Midwest, but I guess I don't expect it here in Georgia in summer. Didn't even leave the headlights on or the overhead or anything.
We took it to the Honda dealership on the off chance that it was the alternator and not just the battery. Just the battery, though, thank goodness; apparently one of the cells went bad.
They also wanted to hit us up for a 90-mile service and a routine maintenance/oil-change/check-up (since we're overdue). The former would've included changing the timing belt, which braced fosteronfilm, at least, for a scary-shock estimate. But even so, the bottom line they trotted up made both of us go bug-eyed: $1500. $1K for the 90-mile-timing-belt-service and $500 for the routine maintenance, etc.
So yeah, we told them "no can do, just the battery, please." We'll take it to a lube-n-go place for the oil change, and I'm fully prepared to use the old timing belt until it dies, thank-you-very-much. The only thing I'm a little worried about is that my SRS (the airbag system) warning light has been on for a while, and I'd like to have the sensor checked. If it's the seatbelt, both the check and fix would be covered under Honda's warranty. But if it's the SRS system, it's not, and we'd have to eat the $190 appraisal as well as whatever it'd cost to get it fixed. It's rather a lot to gamble on warranty vs. no warranty, but at the same time, the airbag wouldn't deploy right now in an accident, which really makes me nervous.
I really don't get along well with hardware stuff. It's expensive, capricious, and baffling. Sigh.
*Another benefit from my new 4x10 workweek: In addition to not having to make the drive to the train station and back on my day off and thereby saving on my overall gasoline use, since I'm leaving earlier in the morning and coming back later in the evening, the traffic is better—much better in the morning and slightly better in the evening. I don't have enough data points to know for sure exactly how much time I'm shaving off my daily commute, but I'd estimate right now that it's something like half an hour. Sweet.
• -250. Yes, that's a negative number. There was a lot of cutting and tightening. But the fork's in, and "Morozko," retitled to "Beautiful Winter," is done done done and sent off to market. Huzzah.
Uber thanks go to marshall_payne for the speedy and thorough crit.
• Contrib. copies of the Aug. 2008 Realms of Fantasy with my story, "Daughter of Bótù," in it. Shiny!
• 40-day SALE of "The Adventures of Manny the Mailmobile" (audio reprint) to the Clonepod podcast. Woot!
• A note from daveybeaucham that Writers for Relief 2 (with my story, "Running on Two Legs") is now available for pre-order. This is the second in his charity anthology series, this one to benefit the Bay Area Food Bank (the first was to benefit the survivors of Hurricane Katrina). Other contributors include Todd McCaffrey, A.C. Crispin and Christie Golden, Elizabeth Blue, David Drake, Mur Lafferty, Tony Ruggiero, and many others. Great fiction for a great cause!