Up and Down

sorabji.com: How do you do?: Up and Down

By TBone on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 12:21 pm:

    Yesterday was an interesting day. The sun shone and the air warmed. I rose at 5:00 for my radio show, which went fairly well, then went to work. We had our usual meeting, then I dropped my car off at the shop to deal with a Check Engine light.

    When I got back, my boss called me into her office. She told me that she really valued the work I was doing, and that they really wanted to keep me. She gave me a substantial raise. 14%.

    Later in the day, the shop called. The Check Engine light was just a bad glow plug as I suspected, but my oil leak looked like a crack in the block. I'm going to need a new motor.


    I talked to my insurance company this morning. I'm absolutely sure that this is from the accident I had in February. The oil leak started around then, but was intermittent and very small. It has increased a great deal since then, and there is a noticable lack of power. They're going to send out an independent adjuster to examine the car and decide whether it's related. If it is, they might pay as much as half the cost of replacing the motor. They won't pay the whole thing because it constitutes "betterment" and I have 50,000 miles on the car.

    However, if they claim it's not related to the accident and the shop agrees, then they'll fix it completely free under my remaining warrany. This seems unlikely, however.

    This morning, a bird shat squarely on my head. I'm such a lucky guy.

    In other news, I'm learning to play the pennywhistle.

By patrick on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 01:08 pm:

    Likewise. A few things for myself as well...

    Last night, it came to head I had disapointed my GF.

    Simultaneously but unrelated, during a somewhat tense supper, an asshole was firing whistler bottle rockets across the street. The GF's dog was freaked out. Being an already tense moment, she said she would call the cops. I said "No, I'll deal with it". I grabbed Eva, thinking if I went out and nicely asked the dimwit to cut it out, that he was startling my 2 year old, he'd cool it. Shit, Ive got a baby. Surely even the biggest of assholes would cool it if a baby is involved.

    Boy was I wrong. I go out, and this genius is firing them from his 2nd floor window, much to the amusement of all the other rugrats in the hood who have gathered under his window.. There are other adult neighbors about, but no one seems to give a shit. Such is the way in an immigrant low income neighborhood.

    me- hey man, you think you can give it a rest, your scaring my daughter.

    genius-take her inside

    me-we were inside man. you are scaring her. can you just chill

    genius- take that shit inside man, dont fucking like it blah blah motherfucker come out on the blah blah blah come out on the street talkin blah blah

    at this point ive already turned my back and walked back in to my bldg, closed my gate and gone inside. He proceeds to fire about 10 off in rapid succession. the GF was about to leave with her very very scared dog. I was about to lose my mind. Call the cops now and knows who called them. My tires get slashed, I'll probably get assaulted. Eitherway, Im in a bind. All the angst and fears I had about moving into the low rents (because, well, I cant afford anything else) is coming to head, because my neighbors are being....well....low rent. It's affecting my relationship and I want to slice up firecracker boy. What a classy motherfucker. From what I could tell, this asshole was either in his late teens early 20s, clearly not the brightest bulb and was very clearly in need of love if a valued source of entertainment is amusing some 8 year olds with his bottle rockets.

    oh yeah, and we're in fire season and this genius is firing them over other apartment bldgs.

    -that and im a little frustrated on the potty training thing. its irrational i know, but i feel like a bad parent.

    -im taking eva to the zoo tomorrow with her 'papa sam' who isnt so angry when he's with her.

    up and down brother.

By platypus on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 02:11 pm:

    Seems like mostly down these days. Finding a house in Arcata is proving to be much more difficult than I had imagined. Now, at least, I have roommates--two other people in the English department. And I saw an awesome house on Monday, though I interacted well with the person who was showing it...only now I'm getting a bad vibe. This keeps happening, again and again, over the last two months, and everyone keeps confidently saying that "something will turn up." I've now driven up there about 10 times to see an assortment of houses, and I'm so tired of that drive I could cry.

    On top of that, my steering damper appears to be borked, and while it's not a problem at low speeds yet, on the freeway it's a nightmare.

    What if nothing does 'turn up'? I'm beginning to feel doomed, trapped here for the rest of my life.

    At least the cats are happy. And no one is shooting bottle rockets around here. Sure, the drunks from the Tip Top get into protracted fights which sometimes make it into the street in front of my house, but it could be worse. Yesterday it was sunny. That was nice.

By droopy on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 02:38 pm:

    when i got home from work yesterday i couldn't find my keys. i don't have a spare. i get home around 7pm. the powers-that-be charge $20 to come open your door after hours.

    it was 98 degrees and i had just been rolling through the city for about 12 blocks. i was hot and tired. i emptied out the little pouch attached to my wheelchair - wallet, bus pass, allen wrench set, package of vending machine lorna doones, chop sticks, loose change, empty 24oz can of steel reserve maltfuckingliquor.

    when i left the shop, mickie was still there. so i didn't lock the place up. so my keys could be at the shop, on the number 7 bus, or somewhere on the 12 block stretch of sidewalk and pavement i'd just traveled.

    i guess out of frustration i turned and rolled up the hill to 3rd and over a block to retrace my route. more to get exercise to work off my anger than any hope of finding the keys.

    then it occurs to me that there was one place i didn't check. it often happens that i put things in my lap or between my legs and forgot about them. and if they're small, they'll creep under my crotch till i'm sitting on them and i can't feel it. the cushion i sit on is made of malleable, foamy material. so objects sort of mold themselves into it.

    so, there on the sidewalk, i plunge my hand under my crotch. deep, up to the wrist. and found my keys. and a bottle opener.

By TBone on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 07:00 pm:

    So it's pretty obvious to a mechanic that the crack was caused by an impact. It's right at an engine mount point. Also, I'm missing a bolt on my turbo, which is odd.

    Now I have to wait for the independent insurance adjuster to go look at it, which could take a week or two.

    If they decide to cover it at all, (and they had better!) they will pay 25%-50%. They won't pay for it all because giving me a new motor constitutes "betterment". I did some searching, and if I lived in Texas, there'd just pay it. In Texas, insurance companies that apply betterment get sued and lose.

    But I think it's legal here. So I'm out at least a couple grand.

    Maybe I'll skip the wedding registry and just ask for money.

    I'm sorry to hear things are down for you Patrick.

By platypus on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 07:27 pm:

    That's annoying, TBone. Too bad you don't have a nice mechanic who'd be willing to, you know, write a carefully worded report. Or whatever it is they submit to insurance agencies.

    Droopy, the ending of your story made me smile, even though it sounded like a very frustrating day.

By wisper on Friday, June 24, 2005 - 10:42 pm:

    Droopy's story makes me happy :)

By droopy on Saturday, June 25, 2005 - 03:28 am:

    glad you liked it.

    that's the way it is in texas, tbone. from horses to pick-up trucks, you don't skimp on a man's ride.

    whisky for my men and beer for my horses.

By TBone on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 07:46 pm:

    I have a friend going though law school and who is currently working for a firm that often represents insurance companies. She said she'd check into this "betterment" business for me. That makes me feel a little better.

    At any rate, it'll have a new engine, so it should last for quite some time, provided I don't take it down any more mountains taboggan-style.

By V on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 08:16 pm:

    ...tree stumps are a bummer.

By droopy on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 08:28 pm:

    good luck with your insurance. how's the pennywhistle thing going?

By V on Sunday, June 26, 2005 - 09:56 pm:

    well ah,not so good,the pea flew out my whistle and went down a storm drain.

By TBone on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 04:35 pm:

    I'm getting better. I refuse to use tabulature, so I need to get a bit faster at translating notes to fingerings in my head. After a while I can mostly play a tune from memory, though.

    I need learn my cuts and rolls, though. Without them I sound like an elementary school student playing a recorder.

    It drives my cat crazy.

By droopy on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:21 am:

    i know at least one human that pennywhistles make homicidal.

    someone gave me a kalimba for christmas. you know, the thumb piano, 8 strips of metal tuned to a c diatonic scale attached to a piece of wood. the notes are numbered 1-8 and you get a little pamphlet so you can play "camptown races" by number.

    but i managed to figure out how to play chords pretty quickly. i can get 6 good ones - c, dm7, em, f, g7, am. the first song i picked out was "cigarettes, whisky, and wild wild women".

    how 'bout we start a band. you, me, a ukulele player and a guy with a tamborine

By TBone on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 11:45 am:

    You bet. I can play a mouth harp too.

    The pennywhistle is an odd instrument to get homicidal over.

By Antigone on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 11:56 am:

    You wouldn't imagine the sounds I can get out of a tamborine.

By droopy on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:18 pm:

    cool. we've got percussion.

    people get homicidal over all sorts of weird things. these boards are full of examples. i think it's just that pennywhistles are so high-pitched.

    i might double on ukulele. i've always wanted to learn how to play one. and i'm a bass player. for when we do the funk remix. for some reason, i have it in my head that your a drummer, tbone.

By TBone on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:26 pm:

    I am. It's been a while, though.

By Antigone on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 12:57 pm:

    I'm sure I can find a bass pennywhistle. I have pennywhistle contacts.

By TBone on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 02:01 pm:

    I've been thinking of getting a low D whistle.

By droopy on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 - 02:47 pm:

    ever heard of a guy named henry "ragtime texas" thomas? back in the 20s he recorded a song called "bulldoze blues" that was the direct inspiration (meaning it was stolen note-for-note) for canned heat's "goin' up the country" - you know, the song at the beginning of the woodstock movie. anyway, thomas played "quills", the african-american form of pan-pipes, on that track. he mounted them on a rack like you would a harmonica and accompanied himself on guitar. and i'm pretty sure he did a few other songs that way.

    thought that might interest you.

By lapis on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 12:46 am:

    i have a xylophone mounted on my bikes basket. it's fun.

    i'm sure everyone wants to hear the sordid details of my life, so i shall restrain from doing so.

By droopy on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 01:42 am:

    there is no detail too sordid.

    lapis is in the band.

By TBone on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 11:26 am:

    I haven't heard of Henry, but he sounds interesting.

    What shall we call ourselves?

By wisper on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 12:59 pm:

    i demand sordid details.

By droopy on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 - 11:46 pm:

    i was considering "the sordid details" as a band name. but it turns out there's already a band by that name.

    anyway, i try to stay out of the "name the band" phase.

    though i always thought "another man's treasure" would be a good band name.

By lapis on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 01:27 pm:

    "gelatinous brain love"

    tonight during the crowded art-walking, i'm gonna try busking for the first time as the whole fairy-tale theatre at once.

By droopy on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 01:53 pm:

    i know a guy who wants to start a techno-type band and call it "21st century new genital consciousnness".

    I was once briefly in a band called "amphetamine bill's rolling freak show" back in the early-to-mid 90s. we had some weekend bar gig and on the marquis with us was "bare naked ladies" (this was before their big american hit). the rhythm guitarist for our band suggested we change our name to "free beer".

    why not "gelatinous brain love"?

By lapis on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 04:56 pm:

    you like it? i got it from the owner of a falafel cart.

    only he pronounced it gel-a-TEEN-us.

    the witch is staying home due to heat; so the princess, the (broken-winged) fairy and the goblin will play without her.

By patrick on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 06:02 pm:

    you have falafel carts in portland?

    shit man.

    can i send my neighborhood churro guy and a couple of ice cream vendors up for one of your falafel cart guys?

By lapis on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 07:33 pm:

    only one that i know of. it's awesome, he collects tips for the humane society.

    we have far too many ice cream vendors, even one with a hydraulic fancy-wheeled truck. i saw him on last months last thursday.

    churro guy.... now that's cool.

By droopy on Thursday, June 30, 2005 - 08:42 pm:

    you've got churro guys? i want a churro guy. i mean, you can go to a panera here and get a churro or dos, but there's no guy with a cart you can walk up to and say "quisiera un churro, por favor" and score some pan dulce.

    and a tamale guy. used to be there would be a guy with a rolling steamer selling tamales on the sidewalk, but i haven't seen that in years.

    this is texas, for christ's sake.

By lapis on Friday, July 1, 2005 - 01:01 pm:

    a friend of mine has decided that it's "lemonade summer" and was bringing around cups of free lemonade to people near the clown house.

    there's at least one tamale lady here, but we've never met.

    there's a pad thai bus that only serves during events.

    every last friday a few bicyclists get together and hand out coffee and doughnuts on the bridges: hawthorne and broadway.

By patrick on Friday, July 1, 2005 - 01:20 pm:

    to be honest, i dont know for fact if he sells churros or not. we have tamale, shaved ice and corn guys.

    then of course on my particular neighborhood you have a parked truck for most of the day that is like a convenient store on wheels.

By TBone on Friday, July 1, 2005 - 04:14 pm:

    I just took an exciting journey over the handle bars of my bike. It hurts to type now.

By jack on Friday, July 1, 2005 - 06:49 pm:

    are you having a terrible summer, tbone?

    or just up and down and over?

By lapis on Saturday, July 2, 2005 - 02:04 pm:


    tried tallbike jousting the other day and was scared nearly to death. beat the other guy, though, by crashing into him and falling a mere two seconds after he.

    can now do a frame arabesque on the cruiser. am currently working on an arabesque that goes around and over the seat into a remount without touching the ground.

By agatha on Sunday, July 3, 2005 - 02:43 am:

    I never helped you with your resume, Lapis. I'm such a loser. Sorry.

By lapis on Sunday, July 3, 2005 - 08:45 pm:

    eh, i got a new boss and really haven't applied myself to finding a different job. you're not a loser.

    are you still on portland periodically? we're (the sprockettes) performing several times in the next few weeks and it should be fun.

    last night i attempted another frame arabesque while wearing a birkenstock on one foot and a monkey slipper on the other. fell flat on the back of my head, only one roadgrime stripe (on my shoulder). scared the clowns.

    might have a chance of worming my way into march fourth, or at least playing some duets with their baritone sax player.

By agatha on Sunday, July 3, 2005 - 09:46 pm:

    I'm going to be there the weekend of the 15th and then again on the 29th weekend. Are you playing then?

By heather on Sunday, July 3, 2005 - 11:04 pm:

    my eyes hurt

    i make stuff

    i'm not sure i can live here but i am sure that i couldn't live
    anywhere else in america on account of i am a chicken. maybe i
    could live by dave and agatha.

    i eat plums out of the tree in the backyard

    no one really knows what they're talking about and it gets

By lapis on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 12:19 am:

    plums are awesome.

    we don't play, we dance. it is awesome awesomeness.

    we're performing at the free geek geek fair on saturday the 16th. don't know what time yet, but there's some awesome local bands playing as well.

    we might be performing at ladyfest (the 30th?), but that is yet to be confirmed.

By TBone on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 12:27 am:

    Up and down. It hasn't been a bad summer. I'm generally pretty happy. But this brace makes it hard to compute.

By agatha on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 12:31 am:

    I have class until 5, are you performing before that? What is the cross street on tenth?

    I will be in class for most of Ladyfest, unfortunately, but I hope to check some stuff out on Thursday and Sunday.

By lapis on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 12:43 am:

    we're trying to get a later time, like sixish. i'm not the contact person for this performance.

    right or left, tbone? that sucks.

By dave. on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 01:46 am:

By dave. on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 01:51 am:

By dave. on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 01:59 am:

By droopy on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 02:03 am:

    i'm getting all excited.

By dave. on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 02:08 am:

    that was cool.

By dave. on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 02:11 am:

    can't wait for the hi-res pics

By Antigone on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 11:31 am:

    Saw it on NASA TV live last night. Most excellent. :)

By TBone on Monday, July 4, 2005 - 04:52 pm:

    Up: I just got a call from a friend saying that they found my PDA. My old one that I lost a while back. I should be able to sell it and mostly pay for the replacement one I got.

    Down: It's my right wrist, and I'm right-handed.

    Up: I've had Barbecue every day since thursday, and more tonight.

    Down: I forgot about my bacon, and destroyed it and the pan. My apartment smells like bacon smoke. The beans will have no bacon.

    I always did love a roller coaster.

By TBone on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 08:48 am:

    After more than a month, I got my car back. New engine and various other parts. I hadn't realized how much power the old engine had lost. Yesterday was fun.

    This morning, at 5:45, I hopped in the car to go do my 6am radio show. The fucker would not start. Wouldn't even cough. Just turned over like it was out of fuel. It's not out of fuel.

    I'm literally angry with rage. I got through more than a month carless with good humor. I paid over $1000 to get the thing back yesterday, and now I have to get the thing towed back and probably wait weeks for them to get the damned thing to run again.

    Work has been killing me. A good friend ran off to Canada. My mom visited. Planning a wedding.

    I need a vacation.

By wisper on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 11:32 am:

    oh god TBone :(
    cars are ass.
    Mine is running okay, except it's making this new weird noise. Not a good noise. And it doesn't make the noise all the time either, so every few starts i get my hopes up then get them shot down later that day. It's glorious denial to pretend i don't hear the noise.
    It started the very week that i finally paid off my credit card bill for the previous repairs.
    You and me are shit car soulmates!
    hold me.

    Then along comes my mom on the phone trying to convince me to buy a new car, since so many of the companies are having crazy sales right now.
    Oh fuck me, i would love a new car. I have never had a new car. But even with the magical sales right now, my life would go to shit financially (moreso) if i got one. And I'm committed to my first new car being diesel, which costs crazy money. I can't afford a new car, and i sure as hell can't afford a new diesel car.

    No, i don't hear that noise....

By TBone on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 01:58 pm:

    Diesel cars are wonderful. Mine is wonderful when it's fixed, and I'm clinging to the hope that it will soon be fixed.

    Apparently the guys from the shop didn't have it towed. They went to my place and it started right up, and they drove it to the shop. Maybe it hates me. It tried to get it started for several minutes.

    I'm pretty sure there's a fuel system problem. Or maybe some crazy sensor.

    I got a loaner car. A Subaru Outback. It has a neato transmission that can be used like an automatic or a manual, but doesn't have a clutch.

By TBone on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 02:01 pm:

    I have a tendency to go into denial about strange car noises too. When my car started a little funny when I picked it up yesterday, I dismissed it as new-engine funniness.

By lapis on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 04:42 pm:

    cars are weird.

    i've been trying not to drive *so* much but it's difficult. the ostrichmobile has a transmission-valve issue -- won't back uphill -- but mostly starts ok, can be fixed by hand when it doesn't. need a long drink of gasoline every three weeks. driving up to seattle on friday, my first time there in over two years.

    does anyone know if a gasoline engine could be converted to diesel?

    just got the brakes fixed on chimme; a new seat, headset repair and some chain lube on my dance bike; the splash blast got a new seat but needs some more sweet lovin' before i take her up the mountain.

By TBone on Wednesday, August 3, 2005 - 05:19 pm:

    A gas engine can't be converted to a diesel because a diesel requires much higher compression.

    A gas engine can be replaced with a diesel engine, but a bunch of other stuff needs to be replaced too because diesel engines run in the opposite direction that gas engines do.


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