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Author Topic: The good morning, good night thread  (Read 589534 times)
delboy
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« Reply #315 on: March 22, 2008, 10:51:05 AM »

Plastic bag bends metal!

Was out for a pre-breakfast cycle-ride this morning (in the snow!). Had done about 17 miles and was working my way back home when a very innocuous looking plastic bag was blown against my back wheel. Next thing I know there's an awful grinding sound, little bits of plastic(*) explode out of the wheel, and I grind to a halt. My rear derailleur's a right-off, the gear-hanger is bent out of shape, and I had to walk the last few miles home.

No wonder the government is keen to ban them!

Derek

(*) part of the gear mechanism
« Last Edit: March 22, 2008, 10:52:42 AM by delboy » Logged

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« Reply #316 on: March 22, 2008, 02:12:35 PM »

Apparently they're a hazard where giant turtles are concerned, too. I'm told the turtles mistake the bags for jellyfish, eat them, then get all bunged up. So you should thank your lucky stars it was just the bag you hit, and not a giant constipated turtle, Del undecided

See - every cloud does have a silver lining afro
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« Reply #317 on: March 22, 2008, 05:40:56 PM »

So... more on the car saga rolleyes

Finally, after (count them) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, SEVEN FUCKING WEEKS AT THE POXY FUCKING GARAGE, we got our car back on thursday evening, in perfect working order. Ooops - silly me - did I just say 'in perfect working order'? Ha! No. 'imperfect working order' was what I meant.

The central locking works when it feels like it, you can start the car without having your foot on the brake, and the electric wing mirrors make a zoon-put-put-put-put noise when you put the car in reverse. Marvelous. No.

We contacted the garage and told them our patience is at an end - we want a full refund - we want - require - demand a full refund. Eventually they cave in and agree we're entitled to our money back... but they want us to also have our part exchange vehicle back. But I'm thinking, hang on - I sold you that car - raised an invoice for it, and you bought it. Our car does what it says on the tin, so you're not entitled to your money back - you can keep the damn car and give us a full refund.

They don't see it that way.

So on it goes... rolleyes
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #318 on: March 22, 2008, 06:48:19 PM »

That stinks Ed. At least you're getting rid of the lemon, but they really should keep the car you sold them. What a headache!
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« Reply #319 on: March 23, 2008, 09:21:29 AM »

Yep - we're going to contact Trading Standards on Tuesday morning, see what they have to say about it, find out exactly what our rights are, and then decide just how much of a fight we want to make of it.

Problem is, if we get our old car back, we won't get as good a deal on it as we did back in January. Over here there are two new car registrations per year - one in January, one in August - and those dates dictate the value of used cars, too. So when we bought the Pathfinder we got a good price on our car prior to the new book price, plus a good price on the Pathfinder, because they'd already dropped the price by five grand in anticipation of the coming lower book price. Now we're at the end of March, we're not going to get the same kind of deal anywhere. Very annoying.

We went out test driving various cars yesterday, and I think the choice is going to be between a Land Rover Discovery 3 and a Mitsubishi Shogun, now. I like both in different ways, but prefer the look of the Discovery. The Shogun is less money for the same level of equipment, though. It's a real shame, because I loved the Pathfinder on sight, the level of equipment is better than every other manufacturer's, it drives well - everything I wanted. It really is a lemon, though. It's built off the same chassis as the new Navara, which is noted for having failed the encap safety tests, clutch problems on the manual boxes and shearing half shafts, so it doesn't even bode well if we discounted the electrical problems we've had. rolleyes
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« Reply #320 on: March 23, 2008, 12:54:10 PM »

If it were me, I would try to fight it. It's just not right to do people like that. I know you probably want to just put all the headache behind you, but they shouldn't get away with it!
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« Reply #321 on: March 23, 2008, 01:06:40 PM »

Maybe articles or op-ed pieces in the local papers will help? Or even just dropping the suggestion of such to the folks at the dealership?

~bint
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« Reply #322 on: March 24, 2008, 05:45:50 PM »

Hah - damn thing died again today. Went to go out in it and it wouldn't start rolleyes

Hopeless. Utterly hopeless. What a piece of crap. I look at it and I think what an obscenity it is for me to have paid the value of my first mortgage for this thing, and it just doesn't do what it's meant to.
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« Reply #323 on: March 25, 2008, 07:35:04 PM »

They came and took the thing away today. Funny - the sales manager rang my wife and said he'd be coming to deliver our old car back and take away the new one. She said for him to make sure he brought a recovery vehicle, otherwise he'd have a long walk home ahead of him, to which he replied, cockily, "Why? All it wants is a new battery." My wife replied, "That's what we used to think, too."

On hearing this, I just had to make it home in time to see the show.

Matey turns up with my old Navara, hands over the keys. Gets this young kid who looks about fourteen to put a booster pack on the battery to jump start it. He tries to start it. Nothing - it turns over a few times and does not start. They have a fiddle with it, try again. Doesn't start. Booster pack dead. Battery dead. Slightly red faced, he asks if we would mind jump starting the piece of shit with our good old reliable Navara. We laugh at him and say not a chance, sunshine grin Then at the last moment, when he's resigned himself to a fifteen mile walk home, we say OK.

So we put the car in neutral, my wife sits in it to steer, and the three of us push the Pathfinder out onto the road, I hop in the Navara and put it nose to nose with the Pathfinder. They pop the bonnet (that's 'hood' if you're American) and connect the jump leads. They try again to start the Pathfinder - it won't start. Their jump leads look a bit crap, so I lend them mine. I attach the black clamp to the neutral on my Navara and hand the other end to the kid, who clamps it on the Pathfinder battery. He hands me the red clamp, which I attach to the positive side of my battery. Big sparks. Smouldering. A few seconds pass, Pathfinder does not start. "Oops," says the kid, and then he takes the clamps off the battery and puts them back on the opposite terminals, "Had them the wrong way round." He says.

Pathfinder is now completely dead. "I dunno what's up with it." says the sales manager. I say, "Well shorting out the battery wouldn't have done it any good -- you've probably blown the ECU." They hand back my jump leads, which are now pretty hot to the touch.

So basically - this is the same kid who came out and messed around with it last time, and you've got to wonder if this is what he did the time before.

Anyway, after a bit of toe kicking, they ring the recovery vehicle, and are told they'll have to wait until 6:30pm (2.5 hours). At which point we say goodbye and head off to the Mitsubishi showroom, look at a few cars, have dinner out, and finally return to see a tow truck outside our house, loading up the Pathfinder, bang on time, too.
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #324 on: March 26, 2008, 06:39:31 AM »

The phrase 'poetic justice' springs to mind.  bleh
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« Reply #325 on: March 26, 2008, 09:39:22 AM »

 grin Looks like they got a taste of their own medicine!
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« Reply #326 on: March 26, 2008, 03:21:58 PM »

Yep - that's the last we'll see of those tossers. I went out and bought the Shogun tonight, on the way home from work. We take delivery of it tomorrow.

I hadn't realised how much all this crap has been getting me down - it's been just one more thing to think about in an already busy time. I've got four contracts in varying stages of completion at the moment, work to do at home, plus my wife's boss has just had a heart attack that he barely survived, so she's been trying to field his workload. It's been a bit hectic here Cheesy
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 03:22:44 PM by Ed » Logged

Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #327 on: March 30, 2008, 06:07:12 AM »

I hope you've all sprung forward this morning - as per usual, I forgot and only remembered when I noticed my watch was an hour our of whack with the rest of the clocks in the house. Mrs Ed is more on the ball than me with that sort of thing rolleyes
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #328 on: April 02, 2008, 07:39:38 PM »

Ah, bit of a quiet day today, I see. It's getting to that time of the year when everybody's got something better to do than sitting in front of a computer screen.

I'm working up to starting a novel soon. With recession looming, my workload is diminishing, and I might not have anything to do at all by mid summer, if things keep going as they seem to be going. As long as I get paid for my current contracts, I really couldn't care less - a long vacation would suit me just fine, as long as I've got money in the bank.

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to go about this novel, though. I guess I should do a proper outline of the story and plan the thing to some extent. I'm quite conscious of something the Borderlands panel said about 'letting the story out', though. I think it was Tom Monteleone who said people would ask him what he was working on, so he'd tell them the story he was working on, but then after he'd done that, the story seemed to fall flat when he tried to write it. F Paul said the same thing. For one of his novels he went overboard on prep work - produced the most detailed outline he'd ever done, which ran into dozens of pages, but then when he came to write the thing he found he had no enthusiasm left for it - he'd let the story out already, and once it was out there was no recapturing it.

I've found that on a smaller scale before, when I'm writing a short story - sometimes I know exactly where I want the thing to go, but writing it seems like a real chore, then.

Anybody know what I'm talking about?
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« Reply #329 on: April 02, 2008, 09:36:38 PM »

Anybody know what I'm talking about?

Oh yeah. Totally. I've set myself an April goal to write another 15,000 words on my "Various Dead Voices" collection. Put together a spreadsheet last month, listing all of the pieces I wanted to either write in full  from research I've already done or polish from an earlier draft. Thought I was just going to tear through it all, piece by piece, and have the book done by month's end.

I wrote a decentish bit last night but tonight, I'm sitting here with my head totally whirling, listening to too many dead voices. Can't seem to get into the right space. Not one of my planned ideas is sounding the right chord.

This being a writer thing is a pain in the butt. I know the words will come out ... eventually. They just hate being forced.


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