15 March, 2006  

pOpgarbage 35F
24 posts
3/14/2006 11:24 pm

Last Read:
5/12/2006 2:49 am

15 March, 2006

ok, well here's the deal...

there's a fairly substantial computer system in my car; in fact, if you look under my hood, the cpu drive is probably bigger than if you stacked 2 powerbooks on top of each other and covered the whole thing with a 1/4" layer of foam. apparently the thing updates the software via satelite, which is all fine and dandy if you're in a large open urban enviroment where the signal strength is high but doesn't really work so well if you're in the middle of nowhere alabama. needless to say, i didn't know it was in the middle of updating when i stopped to get gas in tusculoosa (actually i didn't know that it did that until the mechanic told me the next day). so when i turned off the car to fill up and then restarted it, it completely rebooted the computer, just as any computer system would do if you turn it off and on. the only problem is that it hadn't finished the update when i stopped, therefore the software was only partially installed.

my battery is good for about 40 miles before it fully discharges, so i got about 20 miles down the interstate again before the battery driver started completely freaking out because it couldn't communicate with the gas engine to recharge itself. the battery completely shut down as a way to preserve the integrity of that portion of the system, thus switching the engine solely to gasoline; because my car is certified as emitting ultra low levels of emissions, the extra pollution caused from switching entirely to the gas engine set off the check engine light. that light was quickly followed by a very scary looking red blinky one that read ais failure, so naturally i pulled over at the first exit, which just happened to be an unnamed rest area. i proceeded to call honda's 24 hour road side assistance, who ended up being completely worthless... i actually had to look up what each light meant in my owners manual and read it back to the lady, only to have her say, "so what would you like for us to do for you today?" i'm thinking, well dumbass a little help would be nice.... i mean it was awful! at one point in time she wanted me to call the police and have them pin point my exact location via the gps in my cell phone because she couldn't find exit 85 on her map.

eventually i talked her into just calling a tow truck because i figured someone from the area would know where i was, since she obviously was clueless and not from anywhere near where i was. the tow driver called a few moments later and of course knew exactly where i was and drove to my rescue in a matter of moments. he looked pretty scary at first (i mean complete with long flowing blonde mullet that even billy ray cyrus would have been jealous of), but he ended up being a really nice guy who drove me around to all the hotels in the area looking for the best deal so that he could bill honda for the full 80 bucks (the maximum the would cover for the tow), which is kinda dishonest but at that point i was so pissed off at the whole thing i really didn't care.

i got checked in around 3:30 am, showered, and finally fell asleep a little after 4. of course you know the mechanic calls at 7:30, and of course the stupid road side assistance people didn't forward the report, so she had no idea what the situation was. i told her the whole story of what happened (the lights coming on and all), and she informs me about the software update thing and said that they have this problem a lot with hybrids in the area because it's so remote. it took a full 6 hours to totally blow out the program and reinstall the software with all the updates since 2003, so i slept a bit longer and then made their little driver guy come get me at the hotel. the mechanic lady felt so sorry for me that she didn't charge me my $50 warrenty deductable, which was good because that's about what the hotel cost, so i guess it all evened out.

so that's what happened in alabama.

fun, aye?

so currently i'm working on this paper for my strategic management class, and boy is this whole group project thign one giant fiasco. i'm beginning to get the point that i hate everyone and everything. so much for a spring break-cation.

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