Bad News and Then Some

After bidding Peter fair travels at the airport, I took my car to the dealership this morning to have the power windows inspected, as I wasn’t able to open any of the other windows outside of the driver’s from the driver’s controls.  The individual windows could not be opened by those sitting in their associated seats, either. I could only control the driver’s window. Kat had been complaining about not being able to open or close the window next to her seat (behind the driver’s) for several months now. Turned out that there was a switch that needed replacement. $150.

Naturally, when a car is brought in for any reason, a car dealership will tell owners of any and all other items that might want attention, whether it’s necessary or not. The one that got my attention today was that the rear brake pads are down to 10%, and the dealership typically recommends replacement at 20%, so I added their replacement to the work order. Then I learned that the wheels needed alignment, since when I got the tires replaced at Discount Tire, they didn’t provide that service. Another hundred or so dollars for that. The power steering fluid was looking manky, so he recommended that it be replaced within the next thousand miles. I told him I’ll wait until next year to get that done (note: it’s currently December, and I’m unlikely to drive a thousand miles within the next three months).

So the total cost for today’s work comes to just over $500, which is not the amount I’d expected to pay out, but I concluded to get the work done, since it’s better to keep the car running well, as it’s almost 15 years old now (model year 2002), and I intend to keep it running at least until Kat goes to college in two and a half years or so.

Depending on when the work is completed, I may have their shuttle pick me up from home and I’ll drive to Point Loma to talk to Tyler, the instructor for the second course I’m taking to learn the basics of SketchUp, which Google sold off to another company a few years back (it’s probably been longer, but I haven’t been keeping up with Google’s business activity, so it’s news to me).  I’m struggling, and hope to discover a solution with Tyler, who will, hopefully, elucidate what exactly it is that I’m doing or not doing that keeps SketchUp from completing the operations needed in order for me to move onto the next portion of the project, creating the landscape and placing the building on it.

Thursday will start out with my trial for speeding on Miramar Road. During the initial hearing, the magistrate was unwilling to listen to explanations, so I had to plead not guilty and go to trial, where I can plead guilty and provide an explanation for why it was that I was going over the speed limit early on a Saturday morning when the road was all but deserted (besides me and the cop who had been sitting at an intersection and who had pulled me over and given me a ticket). I’ll explain that when I drive, I drive contextually. When I’m in heavy, or even not very heavy, traffic, I drive at a speed comparable to the cars around me. From what I learned in school, this is called following the flow of traffic.  When I’m alone on the road, there are no other cars by which to compare my own speed, so it’s very easy for me to lose track of how fast I’m driving. And I was driving Peter’s car, which is different enough from my car (I have a Honda CR-V, and Peter has a Mazda Miata) so that it wasn’t immediately apparent to me that I was traveling at a speed very different from my usual traveling speed on that particular road. So that’s it. We’ll see, first, if the ticket issuer shows up in court, because if he doesn’t show up, the case should be automatically dismissed (or so I believe). However, since the cop will be paid whether he’s in court or actually on duty, he’ll likely show up. At the end of the day, it will cost the so-called justice system a maximum financial input to secure my conviction (that is, if I’m convicted, which appears quite likely)…  And this leads me to wonder if the reason we have so many inane traffic laws is to provide police departments with their donut slush funds through maximizing revenue through creative ticketing…

~Time Passed~

It is the end of the day, and I have a flan in the oven being baked for tonight’s dinner. I’m actually feeling a bit more relaxed about Thursday, as I will try to have as normal a day as possible tomorrow.  I plan to go to the gym, as I typically do on Wednesdays, then go grocery shopping, as it appears quite necessary right now.

In the evening on Thursday, the high school band, in which Kat plays flute, will present its Winter concert.  By then, I’ll know my labor schedule or fine, so I can move on after this most unpleasant business.


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