gerisullivan: (MarchFrog)
Snow tires are the best.

I had a 9am meeting here in town this morning. Ah, yes, after 10 years I have succumbed and am now serving on a committee to help the Town of Wales figure out what we're going to do with a piece of property the Town bought last year. When we scheduled this morning's tour of the house (built in 1875 or thereabouts), the snow wasn't expected to start falling until mid-morning. When I got in the Cardis to see if I could get up the driveway at 8:50am, there were already 4 inches of fresh white stuff on the ground. And, more importantly, on the driveway. The uphill, curved, 275' driveway.

For the first several years I lived here, there'd be a few times each winter when it took both a running start and multiple tries to get up the driveway after 2-3 inches of snow, before it was plowed. Heck, sometimes it would take a couple of tries even after it had been plowed and sanded, though the time I had to call AAA for a tow wasn't one of those.

Then I bought snow tires. I haven't had to back up and try again once since then, but I've also not tried getting up the driveway through 4 inches. I didn't know if I'd make it out this morning, but those snow tires carried the Cardis right up that hill and out onto Monson Road without complaint or hesitation. I didn't even hit that point of hoping, hoping, hoping the car had enough momentum to carry it up the steepest bit. It just plain went.

The Road Commissioner, who couldn't be at the tour because he and his crew are all out plowing roads, had plowed out the utterly flat, wide driveway at the house we were touring, which is right on Hwy 19. So we all had a place to park. Win. He'd even warned us all in email yesterday afternoon to not park alongside the road itself as the state highway plows and sanders would be coming through.

Seeing the house, getting a feel for the space and how much clean-up work will be involved...it was all great. I even got to wear my Geri Sullivan, Girl Homeowner hat a few times. From my early days at Toad Hall, I knew that a small tank in an attic crawl space that one of the guys didn't recognize is quite likely an overflow tank for the hot water heating system. And from my more recent years here at Toad Woods, I was able to point out the well pump and an inline water filter to a couple of the women as we were exploring the basement. And when one of the guys pointed out how a load-bearing wall had been removed, I knew enough about how support pillars should work to see the problem he pointed out in how the pillar had been installed. Doing it over so it's right won't be a big deal and the house itself feels both spacious and solid.

A good start to a snowy Saturday!
gerisullivan: (Geri 2014)
I received two email messages from Amanda at Westboro Toyota Tuesday afternoon:

2:31pm, fewer than 15 minutes after I'd sent email asking if there was any news yet: "I am on the phone with the body shop. The appraiser is running late today but should be out between 3-4pm. The owner of the body shop looked at it and thinks it is repairable but that is up to the appraiser at this point. They are telling me it is right on that thin line that it really could go either way. I will hopefully have an answer for you before I leave the office today."

3:17pm: "Just got the call!!!!! The insurance company said that your vehicle is able to be repaired!! They are going to begin working on it today. As soon as I have any new information on it I will be in touch right away!!

"Talk soon!"


I'm very glad I'll be getting the Cardis back, especially since it won't look like this when I do:

Cardis Ouch_back_LJ
Cardis Ouch_side_LJ

I remain exceptionally pleased with Westboro Toyota. Amanda also dropped me a note last Friday, even though I knew not to expect an answer one way or the other until this week. Much as I was mentally and emotionally prepared to like whichever answer I got (repairable or totaled), starting yesterday I found myself hoping that I wouldn't be buying a new car this week, that the Cardis and I would have the opportunity for a few more grand adventures together. And so we shall!
gerisullivan: (Geri 2014)
I'm off to Westboro Toyota with the Cardis. If the odds have their way, it will be my last trip in the Cardis and it will be totaled out sometime in the coming week or so.

Or the Cardis may emerge victorious in a few weeks and bring me back to Toad Woods sporting a shiny new rear end. On the Cardis, that is. My personal rear end will still have all but 60 years wear on it.

I'm FINE. The Cardis was rear-ended last Tuesday on Hwy 20 in Sturbridge. Damages so far are just over $2,500. If the body shop finds more (and they expect to), they'll have to be really cheap damages for the Cardis to avoid being totaled. Something about a car that's gone 193,000 miles in 12 years and wasn't all that expensive in the first place....

Film at 11, I hope. I've been meaning to write it up for the last week, but life and sleep kept happening, and I kept thinking I'd know more the next day...which has been true. But this? This I have to mark with a post.

C'mon, Cardis. Let's go find out what happens next.
gerisullivan: (Improbable Research Stinker)
I made an unexpected trip over to Cambridge Saturday. My destination was the soon-to-be-thoroughly-renovated offices of Improbable Research. The purpose of my trip was to pick up extra issues of the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), the magazine I've been the designer for since the beginning of 2008. Yowser, 6 years already. Neat.

Anyway, I have Intentions of sharing the treasure trove with fans at Boskone, Detcon1 (where I'm running the fanzine lounge), and FenCon XI (where I'm the Fen GoH this year – w00t!). I'm confident we can put the back issues to a multitude of improbable uses.

Chief AIRhead Marc Abrahams has seen the Cardis several times over the past 6 years, but he's never seen it in action, never witnessed how it earned its name. What happened next )

Those of you who have seen the Cardis when fully loaded, or have followed my previous tales here about it, know there's got to be more to the story. Simply putting several heavy boxes of magazines is so SOP that it hardly merits mention, let alone any build up. But as I said, it's new to Marc. He cautioned me several times to drive carefully, allow extra braking room and such. And when he reads this, I'm confident he will shake his head in that bemused way of his as he learns what happened next.

I headed over to the NESFA Clubhouse where a pre-Boskone worksession was going on. Before I pitched in at the end of the badge lamination session or helped confirm the ribbon order was complete, I rearranged a few of the boxes in the Cardis, then added the big cooler that accidentally stayed at Deb & Mike's for the year before Rick Kovalcik took it to Arisia so James Bacon and crew could use it during the Loncon 3 and Dublin in 2019 parties. It was back at the NESFA Clubhouse, waiting for me to take it home. That wasn't all, of course. There was an 18 gallon Rubbermaid bin, and a 14 gallon one, too, both filled with Loncon 3 supplies plus kettles, trays, and more I'd loaned to James from the overflowing party closet here at Toad Woods.

Of course all 3 large items fit in the Cardis. No worries.

As I was leaving the Clubhouse, I called Deb & Mike. We've been aiming to get together for the last couple weeks, and I'd left a message on my way into town, but we hadn't connected yet. My timing was fortuitous, much as that wasn't apparent at the start of our brief conversation. "Can I call you back?" Deb asked. "We're cooking."

"Uh, sure. I'm just leaving the NESFA Clubhouse..." I'm pretty sure I paused long enough to hear things click at Deb's end before continuing "...what'cha cooking and who's coming to dinner?"

"Truly evil Welsh rarebit and asparagus" and, yes, there'd be enough for 3. With no hesitation, I said I was on my way. I might have even said that before Deb mentioned there was enough to share. Delicious food, excellent company. What's not to jump at?

After our yummy dinner and catching up a bit, I headed for home. I would have arrived shortly after 11pm if I hadn't remembered that Wegman's is open until midnight...and just how empty my own refrigerator was.

The Cardis swallowed 3 bags of groceries and 3 12-packs of soda without pause. I resisted the opportunity to go back in and by 2 more bags of groceries. There was easily room for them in the back seat....

I love my car.

Now if I only had a house of equal capacity.

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