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Stealing daylight

Today, it has been three years since I finished of Daughter of Hounds.

Even with the advantages bestowed by Caitlín Standard Time (an extra hour of daylight over those who "fall back"), I've been getting far too little day, what with the onset of winter. This is what happens when you move from the western edge of the Eastern Time Zone (EST/EDT) to a place a lot nearer the western border of Newfoundland Standard/Atlantic. For example, in Atlanta today, on CaST, sunset will come at 6:36 p.m., while it comes at 5:26 p.m. here in Providence (and I don't even want to think about it coming at 4:26 for all those on EST). So, I have resolved to begin rising at 8 a.m., to steal back some daylight. But I'm doing it stepwise, starting today, when I got up at 9. a.m. Tomorrow, I'll do 8 a.m. Of course, this means getting to bed by 12:30 a.m. or so, a very radical change.

All in the name of increased productivity and better mental health.

No writing yesterday. More dithering over "The Colliers' Venus (1893)," the whys and hows of the trouble I'm having with the piece, and, finally, so that the day would not be another loss, we read through chapters Four and Five of The Red Tree (ms. pp. 138-232), plus the first section of "The Colliers' Venus (1893)." It's a comfort, how pleased I am with The Red Tree, especially given how much trouble I'm presently having with this short story. Oh, and there was a very last minute formatting problem with A is for Alien (specifically, with "Zero Summer") that had to be resolved yesterday.

So, workwise, Wednesday was a proofreading day.

The "big news" yesterday was that our clunker of a car, a '93 Ford Escort rust bucket, which has over 90,000 miles on it, has finally given up the ghost. Spooky took it in to a mechanic in Wakefield to finally have the windshield wipers fixed, and when she called to see if it was done, we discovered that the thing is pretty much falling apart. It would cost $900, rock bottom, just to get it up and running again, and that's not to get it up and running well. So, we're sending it away to the automotive underworld. It's been a good car, and has, for example, made the the trip from New England to Birmingham/Atlanta and back again four times since 1999. It went as far south as St. Augustine, FL, and as far north as Cape Anne, MA. Anyway, the wheels are, literally, ready to fall off the poor thing. The woman at the garage was horrified that we were still driving it, and somewhat amazed that we'd not perished in a crash. So, yeah, new car time. Well, new used car time. Today, Spooky will be driving the Escort (only four miles, on back roads) to her parents' place in Saunderstown, where it will await the junkyard and Edsel, the goddess of obsolete cars.

Wow. 10:59 a.m., and I'm almost done with this entry. Booya!

Yesterday, I began reading Joan Druett's She Captains: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea (2000), and also read "A juvenile skull of the primitive ornithischian dinosaur Heterodontosaurus tucki from the 'Stromberg' of South Africa" (from the September 2008 Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology).

Last night, we watched Tom DiCillo's Delirious (2006), which I found a bit uneven. I very much enjoyed the first forty minutes or so, but then it felt like the film sort of lost track of itself and wandered away into another sort of story altogether. But Steve Buscemi never fails to make me smile. And the Elvis Costello cameo was nice.

Platypus says enough with "that newfangled bloggity thing," so I guess that's my cue.


( 22 comments — Have your say! )
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
So, we're sending it away to the automotive underworld.

It sounds like a first cousin to the Bluesmobile. Dona ei requiem. It got you to New England.
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)

It got you to New England.

That it did. And you had the dubious honor of riding in it, even.
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
And you had the dubious honor of riding in it, even.

I am proud to have made its acquaintance.
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
I am sure there are those that can do better, but sunset here is at 1618, although sunrise at 0734 is still quite early. I love the changing seasons but I am hating the lack of daylight, especially when it rains all day.
Nov. 13th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's not a lot of miles for an Escort. They usually last forever.
Nov. 13th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)

They usually last forever.

Well, this one did not.
Nov. 13th, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)

I think the lack of highway driving while in Atlanta may have contributed to its demise. That, coupled with the overloading of it during various moves. It's not the engine, but just about everything else that's gone bad.
Being back in the land of yearly state inspections will go a long way to keeping up on things like this. In Georgia, all we had was emissions tests.
We are both too big for that car, anyway. I'll miss the awesome gas mileage, but little else.
Nov. 13th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, that would make a difference. I wonder if nearly constant humidity would have something to do with that, as well.

They were rampant in my home town and we never saw one with less than 150k at the junkyard.

Yes they are too tiny.
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)

I think the combination of road salt in the winter and salty humid air in general in RI, where the car started its life, as well as the conditions in Atlanta probably didn't help the poor thing.
Nov. 14th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
I always find it very sad.
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
...our clunker of a car...has finally given up the ghost.

Well, while I can offer condolences for the retirement of the Spookmobile, I am a little more curious as to which vehicles you are presently considering.

I assume that there will be an appropriate naming ceremony or poll once a candidate is selected.
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)

Something useful and so entirely non-goth as a wagon-type vehicle. Subaru or whatever falls within the price-range, age-range, and need profile without gobbling too much gas in the process. No more tiny toy clown cars, please. I truthfully never felt safe driving that thing.
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
Something useful and so entirely non-goth as a wagon-type vehicle.

Where I come from, a burgundy 1987 Volvo Hatchback is pretty much the default goth ride.
Nov. 13th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh man, those Subaru wagons are really great.
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
I know that you said you're going with another used car, but just in case you change your mind I figured I'd offer. My wife is an engineer at Ford so I can get you the friends/family discount if you would like one. Just let me know if you go that way, the new car route, and we can get it done for you.

Not as good as if it were my wife or I buying a new car but the discount is pretty darn substantial and gets any kind of haggling out of the way as it's a fixed price situation, no screwing around.
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
wow. spooks took it in for a windsheild wiper and the vehicle was declared DOA??? that's like going into hospital for a hangnail and being told you have six months to live! glad it's going peacefully and you two survived!
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)

that's like going into hospital for a hangnail and being told you have six months to live!

Pretty much.
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)

I also needed an oil change and was concerned about the wear pattern on the tires. So... they had reason to look at things involving the framework of the car.

The wipers, however, magically worked for them the first time they tried (and all subsequent times). Why they went out is still a mystery. I've tried them periodically since they went out, with no success.
Nov. 13th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Automobile that doubles as a domicile (in case)
Happy aniversary. It's hard to remember what happened to the last three years for me. Does'nt seem like that long in retrospect but while it happened it was the longest three years ever. I wanted to say I empathize about the car I just got to learn autobody mechanics. I Drive a Suby wagon(forester) & while the mileage is around 25-30 mpg. it is the greatest most amazing whip ever. I can drive at warp speed over bumpy dirt roads and could fit an entire coffin in back. which is lined with rubber. It is the best thing ever in the snow. It does look alot like a tennis shoe though.
Nov. 13th, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Automobile that doubles as a domicile (in case)

I'm definitely leaning towards the Forester or Outback, for the reasons you mentioned. For the size, the gas mileage isn't too bad. Having a vehicle that handles well is snow is a must, and will encourage more outdoor type trips in snowy weather - not to mention being able to go down unpaved roads my poor Escort would have weeped at having to touch.
Nov. 14th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC)
Re: Automobile that doubles as a domicile (in case)
It is very good for all of those reasons and more, it has been a flawless chariot so far. It is a 98 and I have about 185 k. miles on it. It has a 2.5 dohc which with a stick like mine is good & sporty. Handles well in anything- I totalled my last car a year ago in a snowstorm on valentines day and Needed a car that rocks in snow. It does. the legacy is longer and has more cargo & slightly better on gas- but has head gasket problems on some years 2.5's. Be wary of timing belts & exhaust ie mine has 2 cats and a new system runs 2000. I bought my car for 3000. w 168K. they'll run till the second coming though. craigslist will hook u up better than a dealer. but get second opinions.
Nov. 17th, 2008 09:28 am (UTC)
Good luck with the new used car search. Good luck also with the writing. :)
( 22 comments — Have your say! )

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