December 22, 2006: Work on the Car, Slow Day at Work

I wrote a lot of today’s post and then lost it when the office’s DNS cache reverted and cut me off from SGL. What a pain.

I had to get up early this morning. No rest for the weary. Even after working until three in the morning I had to be up because the Mazda PR5 that Dominica and I are driving to Rochester tonight has to go into the shop this morning.

I took the car into the shop because it is having the same issue with the shifter that it was having a month ago. I don’t want to do any damage to the car so I decided that it needed to get into the shop before we were out of town doing tons of driving for a few weeks. Since it was going into the shop anyway I also decided that it should get a full tune up. Over the past few months, as the car approaches ninety thousand miles, it has been getting weaker and weaker. It is really having a hard time with the hills and the gas mileage has dropped considerably. So I am sure that a tune up will do it a world of good. It is getting a new timing belt, drive belts, water pump, front breaks among other things. About $1,600 in all. A bit more than I had been hoping for but the car should be safe and we really hope that the gas mileage will be back in the range that it belongs in.

Unfortunately because my car has to be in the shop all day I am stuck in the office until much later than I had figured that I would be today. Dominica is only working until five today but I don’t have a ride from the office to the dealership until six. Fortunately Dominica and I are not planning on leaving Newark until relatively late so that we are not stuck in the really awful holiday traffic although I am sure that it will still be pretty bad.

The office was almost completely empty today and there was no work to do at all which was pretty cool. I brought books with me and everyone was just hanging out having a good time. IT people are very social. People like to make fun of IT workers for being very antisocial but the reality is that we work in the field of information transfer – our whole world is about communicating! That is what many of us chose this profession because of.

One of my coworkers and I went out for a nice Thai lunch today when we couldn’t find anyone else around the office. Lunch was good and we had a good time. I also received two bottles of wine from my managers today. Really good wine for me too. A California Cabernet Sauvignon (J. Lohr Estates 2004 Seven Oaks Cab) and a Spanish Carinena – Syrah – Garnacha (Can Blau Montsant 2005.) I love dark, heavy, dry reds.

Next week is going to be incredibly slow at the office as well. There is just about nothing expected to be going on all week. I am only in the office for two days which is really cool. This is, by far, the biggest holiday “vacation” that I have ever had. I pretty much have eight days off out of the next ten! That is really cool. I just wish that I didn’t have so much driving to do during that time. Newark to Rochester to Utica to Newark to Utica to Rochester to Utica to Newark (there might be an extra Utica to Rochester in there depending on what we decide to do next weekend.) We really don’t have very solid plans yet for next weekend.

This is the first year since 1990 that I don’t have a New Year’s Party to attend!! Most years it has been me hosting them and, in fact, SGL was originally started as the New Year’s 2001 Announcement site back in the fall of 2000. But this year I have no New Year’s plans. I won’t know what to do with myself.

Dominica and I will most likely be leaving Newark between eight and nine o’clock tonight. The weather is supposed to be bad but I have had the weather be bad so many times this year when I go to drive from New Jersey to New York that I have given up on that battle all together. Our hope is if we leave late enough that Route 280 and 80 will not be overly congested. Once we get into Pennsylvania on US 80 we are normally in pretty good shape. US 380 and US 81 take you into such remote areas that the traffic thins out considerably and moves very well even on really heavy traffic days. We will probably take advantage of the time and location to grab dinner in Clarks Summit, PA at the Waffle House.

By six this evening there was just no one left in the office.  I decided to write the final wrap up for the blog for today so that I could post and be on my merry way.  It was well after six by the time I was finally able to leave the office and head for Newark.  What a long night it is going to be!

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