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Monday, August 28, 2006

Ben's Car: The Final Chapter

So, this morning I took the car in to a DMV and, as it turns out, the emissions inspection was unneccesary because the car had had one done a year ago. So I got it registered and everything, new plates, the whole nine yards. I now have a whole year to figure out what to do about this problem. I think the best option is trying to obtain a waiver, so that I won't have to pay the insane amount of money to fix the problem, which doesn't injure the car's performance any.
It's a huge relief. One less thing to worry about.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The saga continues...

SO, this week I spent all of Wednesday at the Honda dealership trying to figure out exactly what was wrong with the '96 Accord I recenmtly purchased. I have an answer, but not a solution. The car, which was in an accident in 1999 under it's first owner, had its electrical system replaced, and they used the system from a '94 Accord. At the time, this caused no problems. When the guy I bought it from got an emissions inspection a year ago, it caused no problems. Then in November of '05, the state changed the rules for how emissions inspections are conducted. This is when it would have become a problem. Now, instead of taking a reading from the tailpipe, you need to have information downloaded from the onboard computer. And since Honda started using the OBD2 connector in '96, I have an OBD1 connector from '94 in my '96 Accord. The cost of replacing the electrical system is at least $2,600 which is nearly as much as I paid for the car in the first place. And that's if nothing else needs replacing, which it probably will because the new parts would cause problems interacting with the old ones.
SO my options are:
1) pay for it, and just owe my parents that money, too
2) try to get the previous owner to take it back and give me a refund
3) try to get the state to give me an extension or exepmtion from their new rules by arguing extreme circumstances so that I can have the time to register it before Tuesday when I won't be able to legally drive it any more because it won't be registered.
4) Give it to charity and let my parents take the tax-deduction, than try to find a car for whatever amount the deduction is. Which means an even older and less-reliable car than this one, most likely.

Monday, August 21, 2006

One wedding down, one more to go

Brian and Jen's wedding was wonderful. It was great to see so much of my family, most of whom I haven't seen in at least two years. THe ceremony was really short, taking just under 13 minutes, but was moving nonetheless.
THe rehersal dinner was great, and the reception after the wedding was a blast. Just wish the travel there and back had gone smoother. I drove down to Charlettesville, VA Thursday night after work and dinner (a tad nerve-racking since I hadn't done that before, but no serious problems) to spend the night at my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Phil's house and drive down to SC wityh PHil and my cousin David, who starts college this week. Halfway there, I realize that in my haste to get out of the house, I left my suit hanging on the back of my door. THankfully, PHil was kind enough to lend me one of his that turned out to fit me perfectly. THe next morning, we had planned to leave around ten. IT turned out to be noon before we actually left, so it was nearly 7:00pm by the time we got to the hotel in Greenville. We had just enough time to go to our rooms and change before the rehersal dinner.
GOing back on Sunday, we dropped my grandparents off at the CHarlotte, NC airport. Pop-Pop was looking pretty bad, but they'd gotten him a wheelchair, and I took all their luggage in so he wouldn't have to strain himself. We were a little worried, but everything seemed okay, so we kept going.
Apparently, we were right to be worried. Pop-pop seems to have suffered a heart attack some time after getting through security. THankfully, he knew what was happening and help arrived quickly. Also, my uncle Bob was still in the airport waiting for his flight, so they paged him, too. Pop-pop's in the hoaspital down there now, and when we heard about it, my mom and aunt Nancy decided they would go back down there. We weren't that far along at that point and met for lunch and to coordinate everything. THey're still down there now, probably for the rest of the week while he's being held for observation.
I rode with my father in the rental car back up to Charlottesville, where we stopped for a quick dinner at home with Phil and my cousins, then I follewed my dad the two hours back to Fairfax and out to Dulles airport so he could drop off the rental car. All told, I arrived home just before 11:00, completely exhausted.
It was a very bad ending to a great weekend.
But on the bright side, my cousin Libby is getting married up in Erie over Labor Day, so I have another wedding to look forward to, and more time with my extended family, plus some time with Jess, who will have started school at Allegheny again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Work and the car

So I've been doing work for Bode Technologies for a good week and a half now. MY uncle works there, and they're in the process of moving their offices, so they need temp help to do that. I've spent the last week in front of a computer scanning in important documents. It says something when the most exciting thing that happens to you all day is a paper jam.
But tomorrow, I'm going over to the new site to disinfect everything, which means scubbing down all the walls and floors with bleach.
In order to get paid properly, I had to go get hired by a temp company, which required a visit to Alexandria. Not fun, but it was neccesary. Speaking of which, I need to go in tomorrow morning to a lab somewhere in Springfield and get a drug test done so thay can actually write me a check once they see that I'm clean.
THe car. Oh, the car. Need to take that in sometime soon to get the emissions inspection. You remember the problem I was having with the diagnostic connector? I took it to a Honda dealer, and they said they had an adapter, so they could do the test, no problem. As soon as my car gets to the front of the line an hour and a half later, their computer breaks. SO I need to go back there sometime this week. Maybe I can take off early from work on Thursday and get there about 3:30, then just leave from there to drive down to CHarlottesville?
Why am I driving to Charlottesville? to meet up with my uncle and cousin and go down to South Carolina on Friday for my cousin Brian's wedding on Saturday. There's a family reunion down there this week, but I needed to be the responsible adult and keep working this week as well as look for a real job.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

THe ongouing saga of Ben and the cars

In order to register my car, I need to get an emissions inspection. OK. SOunds simple, right? Well, it would have been if the computer port was behind the ashtray like it's supposed to be. This being the dataport that theyneed to plug the computer into to do the emissions inspection, they couldn't do it when I took it in on Wednesday. So I took it back Thursday, and the inspection guy had called in sick. So I got up at 6am this morning to take it in again. The shop guys couldn't find it this morning. Adam, looked at it last night, and he couldn't find it either. I left the car with them and went over to help my mom unpack the stuff from storage.
Around 5, I get a call, and they explain the situation to me. They found the data port eventually. THe problem now? It's the wrong kind. Now, this doesn't neccesarily mean they can't do the inspection (although I think it may), but rather that my car, a '96 Accord, should not have this type of port in it. It should have a newr type. So the service station can't do the inspection until they get hold of somebody at the Environmental Safety Comission otr whover it is in charge of these things. So now I wait until they call me back on Monday (probably Tuesday, realistically), and hope for good news.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pics from Alaska

I know it's been a while since Alaska, but I've been busy. I finally got around to posting some of the pictures, though. Click for full size images.