Saturday, August 12, 2006


To recap what's been going on prior to this week, I picked up the VH1 Behind the Music: The Go-Go's Collection disc off of iTunes; a whopping $7.99 for eighteen tracks. I'm always quite happy when I find a deal on iTunes, and I certainly was in this case, because Belinda Carlisle was the first great love of my life, at the age of six. Girls in bands are just cool; oh, it's true.

This week, my friend and I went halvesies (halfsies?) on Dead Rising for his Xbox 360, because we were both terribly curious to see a zombie-survival game that takes place in a shopping mall. Think Grand Theft Auto 3 meets Resident Evil meets Dawn of the Dead (the original, mind you; not the recent remake) and you've got a pretty good idea of how it all breaks down. I've got some minor complaints about the game, such as the fact that it's fucking hard, the human A.I. is just as bad as the zombie A.I., and the play controls tend to be a bit wonky. Beyond that, though, is a veritable cornucopia of zombie-killing implements which, unlike Resident Evil, can often be utterly fun. Let me tell you this: The first time you kill a zombie with a shower head, you'll laugh for a good ten seconds. And the lawn mower? You bet it's just as fun as it sounds. Too bad the difficulty (which is not adjustable) ranks right around Metroid Prime, which is the only game that ever made me so mad that I threw my controller in anger.

So, this week, my truck decided that it was going to fuck up. I take that back, it was last week, but it was only this week that I was able to get it into the shop. Anyway, the symptoms basically entail driving the truck for a seemingly-arbitrary distance without any issues, until such time as the idle suddenly decides to get rough and it has problems with acceleration, with the RPM's oscillating anywhere from 1000 to about 3000 RPM, as the truck takes about twenty or thirty seconds to get up to ten miles an hour in first gear. Stopping the truck results in the idle RPM's dropping to 750 or lower, at which point the truck basically stalls out. The first time this happened, I restarted the truck about ten seconds later, and everything was behaving fine again. Okay. Maybe it's a glitch. The second time, the truck decided to wait about thirty seconds before it wanted to restart, and then it's running fine again.

So I take it into the shop this week, and it runs fine, getting it to the shop. They do a ninety dollar diagnostic, which I'm fairly certain entails hooking up a computer to the computer in my car and fixing whatever it says is broken, which they did to the tune of about $200, which means I'm down about $300 overall to fix the throttle position sensor.

So I pick it up on Thursday and drive it out to work, so I can pick up my copy of Dead Rising, as my store seems to be the only place for at least ten miles that still has a copy, and right outside of my place of work, the truck decides to go back to the problems I listed above. For three-hundred dollars, they didn't fucking fix my truck. Apparently, in the automotive industry, diagnosing a problem involves turning on the engine, looking at it briefly, then looking at a computer, and turning the truck off, replacing a part or two, turning the truck back on, looking at the computer, looking at the engine, shrugging, and then taking the majority of the money I have in my bank account.

For the trip home, I put a bottle of Gumout in the three-quarters full gas tank, which means it's going to take a long time to work through the system. As I write this, I'm fairly certain it's probably a placebo, because it ran okay the fifteen miles back to my friend's house, but after my several hours of running over zombies with a shopping cart, my truck fired up and barely made it the 400 feet back to my house.

So now I can't get the truck back into the shop until Monday, because I had to work on Friday and didn't feel like walking three or four miles home from the shop, only to have to go to work afterward, and they're not open on Saturday. To make matters worse, on Monday I'm going to have to get it towed to the mechanic, which is only going to cost me more money, unless they decide to do the nice thing and waive the towing fee for not fixing my car. And I'm not paying the diagnostic fee again.

I'm sure the throttle position sensor probably was going bad or something, but the real culprit's probably something that actually requires physical inspection or some form of a test drive. Not that it's driving anywhere right now, because the engine now sounds like it's choking to death, trying to idle at 750 RPM, when normally it's around 1000. It's probably a vacuum leak in the intake, which runs counter to my initial thought that it might be a clogged fuel filter, because the effect from that would be more noticeable at high speeds than low, and I never noticed anything until the truck tried to idle or accelerate from a stop.

I couldn't tell you if it's knocking or not, because I have no idea what a knock sounds like. Is it like a knock on a window? A knock on a wooden door? A metal one? ... I know it's not pinging, because I know what a ping would sound like, but there's about eight billion different kinds of knocks in this world, although the one that I'm currently most familiar with is the hard-knock life that I'm living right now, because I don't have anyone to scam money off of to get this fixed, in the highly likely event that it costs more than I've got. Sure, Friday was payday, but I took a day off two weeks ago so the check is noticeably lighter than usual.

In short, I'm really mad right now, so I'm going to cook myself a Tombstone pizza (yes, at 6:30 in the morning), and watch a movie that involves a great deal of senseless violence. Really, I'd like to watch Se7en, but I can't find my nifty double-disc copy. Instead, I figure I'm probably going to settle for Matrix Reloaded, followed by a helping of Unforgiven, because you have to balance out the mediocre with the good. ... Maybe I'll watch V for Vendetta again, because, yes, it's that damn good.

And then I'm going to sleep, and then I'm going to wake up, and then I'm going to sit around and mope, because I really don't have the money to do anything more extravagant than that, because I dread what it's going to cost to fix my car... provided they actually fucking fix the goddamn thing this time. ... I'm so fucking mad.

AIM: therbmcc71

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