Monday, August 25, 2008


On Tuesday morning, 26 August 2008, Don is going into Saint Agnes Hospital for fairly routine surgery to correct a pinched nerve that's been causing him pain for quite a while.

The surgery is scheduled for 7:45 am, and with great good luck Don will be able to return home Tuesday evening or on Wednesday. He'll be out of work for an undetermined time, probably a week to ten days.

Meanwhile, Eurovan is in the care of our fine mechanics, who are still diagnosing problems and coming up with a plan.

Further bulletins as events warrant.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Safe at Home

We are home and safe. We got home about 2 am on Tuesday, 19 August 2008 and spent Tuesday recovering. On Wednesday we were back at work.

One place we stopped was the meteor crater in Odessa, TX. This is the second-largest meteor crater in the United States (the more famous Berringer Meteor Crater in Arizona is the largest). A local tv news guy was there taking video of the crater and of us; here is a clip from their broadcast that night.

And Eurovan? It is now sitting at the shop of our local mechanic. The engine is seized up and probably needs to be replaced. We'll know more when we get the full poop from our mechanic.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Our Poor Eurovan Takes a Ride

At 5:19 pm we pulled off the Interstate at Bardstown, Kensylvania for gas. As we approached the gas station, the oil pressure alarm went off, and the engine quietly and peacefully died. We coasted to the gas pump, filled up the tank, and put in a couple quarts of oil.

We turned the key, and there was a click. This is odd, because when you turn the key in Eurovan, usually there is no click...just the roar of the engine starting up. We tired again. Click, but no roar. In fact, Eurovan would not start up. We begged, we pleaded, we had a nearby car guy look at the engine, we sacrificed a goat (the emergency goat that's stored next to the spare tire)...all the usual stuff. And all to no avail. Eurovan just would not start.

So we called the VW Emergency Roadside Service number. After determining that Eurovan was no longer under warranty (we knew that), and that we had attempted the sacrifice-the-emergency-goat maneuver, they called a tow truck to take us to the nearest VW dealer -- fifty miles away in Louisville.

Jason the manic tow-truck guy showed up in quick order and hoisted Eurovan aboard his truck and drove it (and us) to Louisville. There was only one bad moment, when we went over a bump at 85 mph and Eurovan tried to jump off Jason's truck. But Jason stopped and secured it some more, and we made it to Louisville without incident. (A damn good thing, too, because "incident" in this case means "Eurovan toppling sideways off Jason's truck and into the middle lane of I-65 at 85 mph." It didn't help our confidence that Jason kept saying "I'm really nervous carrying this sumbith.")

We left Eurovan at the VW dealer, packed up stuff we needed for the night, and hiked down the road to Clark's Motel, where we are now resting somewhat comfortably, albeit shaken (and stirred).

Tomorrow, we will find out (a) if the dealer's mechanics will work on Eurovan on a Saturday, (b) if they can figure out what's wrong, (c) if they can fix it, and (d) how we will pay for it.

Needless to say, our plans to get home on Saturday night have been derailed. We are 612 miles from home, which we could conceivably do in one day. But we'll have to see.

Stay tuned.

Amepica the Beautiful

Sign at our motel in western Tennetucky.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Con Suite

The Worldcon is officially over, but the Con Suite (hospitality area)
is still open. Like refugees from a natural disaster, those of us who
remain in town gather together to preserve the atmosphere of the con.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Clone Wars Sneak Preview

Costumes fans at the Clone Wars Sneak Preview in Westminster, CO.

Clone Wars

Waiting in line for the Clone Wars Sneak Preview at the AMC Orchard
Theater in Westminster, CO.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Worldcon or Bust

We are heading off on a road trip. We're driving out to Denver for the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and then we might toodle off to somewhere else, like maybe Carlsbad Caverns.

We'll be blogging along the way, posting pictures, etc. And through the magic of iPhone, Don will be Twittering as well. The most recent Twitter updates appear in the sidebar here; click on the link if you want to follow Don (or follow meerkatdon directly on Twitter).

Thanks to Renfield & June for looking after the house and hamsters while we're gone.

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