||[Jul. 4th, 2002|01:00 pm]
The Veritable TechNinja
|||||David Bowie - Seven Years in Tibet||]|
Poor Celeste... Since we got back, it's been little but driving. Since we were given extra time on Monday due to the holiday, we decided to go back to my place and check up on Jijibutt. She was all right, but seems to have taken up carpet disposal since I saw her last. Big tufts of uprooted carpet everywhere. Meh. Since the booful lady technically started class that day, we rented Bicentennial Man which she would have watched in class. For relief, we also got Beavis and Butthead Do America. Good stuff. About half way through Bicentennial Man, things got interesting.
It began as a muffled, droning beep. I thought it was just part of the movie, until P asked if I could smell something. I could. It smelled like police riot gas. We opened my apartment door to a wall of thick, chemical smoke. P lost it, begged me to grab jiji before we fled to safety, but I had a feeling it wasn't the end of my apartment complex. Too evil to die. I called 911 to get the fire department to make the determination, threw on some shoes, and ran down the stairs.
We circled the complex, looking for flames or exiting smoke. Neither. Surprise surprise, it's a false alarm. The fire truck came, we met the guy who stayed behind with the truck, told him what we knew. He seemed to be eerily aware of the situation. Guess that's a good thing. We went in to the lobby to talk with the cops that also arrived, and the whole story came out.
The same fucking thing had happened yesterday. It was a cluster of smoke bombs. Then, the altercation with the security guard. He gave us his professional determination that someone rode the elevator up, pitched the smoke bombs, rode it back down. Well, that means they're on the security tapes, right? The cameras I essentially paid for in rent money? Well, technically, yes. Yet the security guard laughed at the idea of simply handing over the tape at the time of the incident over to the cops. Hell, they were there at the time. He also said he was relatively sure that the two pre-teen kids who rode up on bikes and were locked out were the culprits. Said they've been behind most of the petty vandalism in the complex for two years now. Yet nothing has been done to evict them. FUCK THAT. I believe I signed something that included a reasonable inference of my safety being protected. I believe I've paid out the ass for it since. ARGH. So we went back up to my place, finished the movie, pretended that nothing had happened, and went back to Lansing.
The next morning, I realized that in all that confusion, I'd forgotten to pay the rent that was the bulk of my argument against the place. I was half tempted to withhold it until the office agreed to turn over the surveilance tapes to the cops, but I knew they'd be more than happy to hit me with as many fines as they could if I did so. Seems their intentions are glaringly apparent, to milk every red cent they can, disregarding all else. So we went back, paid my rent, hung around a bit, went back to Lansing again.
Then yesterday, P came home from class and a little scavenger hunt to find her books for the semester. Turns out she's one short, the first book she needs to read. So we went to several places in East and greater Lansing looking, to no avail. We decided to head to Ann Arbor. Ennh, it's a half hour closer to Lansing than my place. All told, we searched 14 stores in three cities in one day, no luck. P emailed the prof with a plea for a copy from him, we gave up. He still hasn't emailed back.
Oh yeah, and during this affair, my car went wonky again. The SES light is back on, same problem. I think D S at my office is right, it's the EGR system. Unfortunately, just the valve itself is $180, not to mention it's a complicated system of several well-buried parts. Fuckity-fuckity-fuck-fuck. Well, if I get it repaired, one of two things will happen: my car finally stops misfiring and I can drive it like it should be diven again, or it does nothing, I'm still stumped, and another $300 goes down the drain in the attempt to make sense of this fucking engine. What (besides the cash, that is) is holding me back is that the EGR flow is PCM-monitored, and should give a failure code of excessive or insufficient EGR flow before a misfire can even occur. Yet I've had literally hundreds of them, and the only codes I've read are misfires. What I do know is this: first time a code was set, it was cylinder 3, last time it was 2, don't know which it is this time, I'll find out tomorrow. Now, 2 and 3 might mean something at first, but those cylinders in actuality have little to do with eachother. They're on opposite sides of the engine, they're fired from different ignition coils, &c. Also, since it's a different cylinder, I can effectively rule out plugs and wires. If it's _not_ the EGR, I'm seriously looking in to dumping this piece for something more reliable.