Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hard Frost, Maple Leaves, Daffodils, and A Floor Furnace

It's been very cold lately; hard frost overnight. I will try to post some pictures. Yet today when I walked from downtown Berkeley back home (after leaving my car to be repaired and my dress boots to be waterproofed), there were daffodils in bloom, and a wonderful pink magnolia.

Then I puttered around the house and waited for the PG&E serviceperson to appear. By 4:30, I phoned, but they said someone was on the way. I realized I'd better replace the porch light bulb, so I got the tall stepladder out of the garage and was just finishing up the job when Joe from PG&E arrived. He looked at my heater for a while in the basement, came up and tinkered with the thermostat, then went to his truck, put on coveralls, and went down to the basement again for a LONG time. But now I have heat!! It's an old fashioned furnace, sunk into the living room floor (in someone's stroke of genius, right behind the front door); I have spent half an hour standing on it warming up my icy hiking boots and feeling the warmth rise around me.

-- Rachel

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Business Idea progresses, and I have car trouble

I've posted a new website: Firsthand Life, for my planned interviewing service. The site is very simple, but at least I think folks will be able to navigate without trouble.

Went to a lovely holiday party hosted by my quilting friends, and came home with several nice pieces of fabric, some terrific patterns, some fun Mary Mashuta stationery, and gift certificates for fabric. I'd driven through a pouring rainstorm and was glad the car wasn't acting up (Thursday morning it had refused to start, which garnered me a $36 ticket for being in the wrong spot on a street cleaning day).

But Sunday, after nicely running 2 errands, the car refused to start. Well, actually, it would start. But it would never continue to run for more than a few seconds. Luckily I was in a safe spot -- a store parking lot -- and it wasn't raining. But all you get when you call tow services on Sunday evening is answering machines. Many hours later, and $80 poorer (so much for the high-value BART ticket I had planned to buy), the car was towed home and I fell into bed exhausted.

Fuel line problems? Fuel pump going out? When I revved the engine at startup, it seemed to get extra gas. Clogged air filter? Some hiccup left over from the previous days' rain?

I tried the garage this morning and they weren't open yet; by the time I got to work (late) I was too busy to remember to even phone them again. Good thing I can commute by bus.

-- Rachel Holmen