marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
If I have been a bit quiet on here recently it has been because life has not been letting up, over and above my tendency to overcommit. So here are few things from the past little while.
cat )
productive Saturday )
111 excitement )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Looking back on 2013 as per usual I wrote more in my journal when sad and was too busy getting on with life when I wasn't, however FB did get updated regularly regardless of mood. FB is however rather more ephemeral, especially with the amount of links I push through, so it will be good to have some more things recorded here.

Overall 2013 was
- the year I started anti-depressants
- the year I stopped being self-employed
- a pretty good year even if it didn't feel like it so much in the throes of NYE party blues

Overall 2013 involved
- a lot of photos
- a lot of time / events at the Hall
- a lot of board gaming
- weekly ups and downs

monthly )
Goals for the coming year .. it's 2am in the morning. I'll write that post later.
marsden_online: (Kea)
Checking back it turns out yesterday was the 10th anniversary of my taking delivery of the Prius. Something I have never regretted.

It's starting to show it's age a bit in the bodywork, one door is due another trip to the panelbeaters and the front of the undercarriage is currently held up by a piece of thin rope. There have been a few expenses over the years, mostly my own damn fault. But it is still running as smoothly as ever and yesterday when I fuelled up it had done it's best tank ever - 4.5L/100km over a distance of 1026 km

[Update] I don't have a precise record of my petrol spend over that time - it's bundled in with the insurance and registration/servicing/etc. But making some approximations on those it looks like it has probably saved me $10000-$12000 in petrol over that time - which covers the ~$10000 premium it cost to get a Prius in the first place.
marsden_online: (Kea)
Actually things went pretty well. It was just the last day that went off the rails a little. It was however very non-stop and quite exhausting.

Friday )

Saturday )

Sunday )

Prius stats )


Jun. 3rd, 2013 01:02 am
marsden_online: (Kea)
I actually wanted to catch this at all 9s then after the flip but I was distracted. This is almost as good.

Finally the question about whether there was another digit is answered.

(approx 9½ years]
marsden_online: (Default)
So since my car came back from the panelbeaters last week I noticed a few things amiss...

- there was a start-up error meaning I actually had to turn the car on, off and on again before it would get to "ready". This also happened the last time it came back.

- there was an odd "knock" sound coming from the front sometimes when I accelerated or braked. This gradually became worse and more frequent - buy the I got it into the service centre this morning it was becoming more of a "crunch" and could be felt through the pedals.

- when I turned the windscreen wipers on in the rain this week I discovered that the passenger-side one was actually sitting on the bonnet and out past the windscreen to the left in the rest position. The wipers still worked but it made a serious thump each time it returned to the bottom.

In response to the knocking and the engine issue I got hold of the Toyota service centre last week and booked the car in to have the issues I'd notice to that point checked out - today was the first available slot. Fortunately the Prius lends itself to gentle driving even under normal circumstances and it didn't actually fall to pieces in the interim.

The service centre called back mid-afternoon to confirm they could hear but not locate the knock, and asked who had done the repair so that they could get a list of parts. Not entirely coincidentally it is the same repairers they use themselves.

A bit after 5pm I got a call to say that everything was fixed and I could pick the car up in the morning. They couldn't give me a price because they were going back to the repairers to talk about just who -should- be picking up the cost.

A bit after that I got a call from the repairers to apologise for the trouble and reassure me that I wouldn't have to pay for at least whatever the knocking problem was because it was something that they hadn't tightened properly, and also to tell me that they would be discussing the situation very firmly with everyone in the workshop tomorrow and particularly the technician/s who worked on my car.

Which is all good - not only because I don't have to pay for a (probably) expensive repair/part but because I'm not in the position of having to go back to the repairers and say "here is a list of ways you stuffed up, take more care next time".


Apr. 30th, 2013 05:13 pm
marsden_online: (Default)
For some of while my 2004 Prius has been at the panelbeaters I've been driving a little loan PriusC. A few comparisons:
- cockpit is laid out much more like a standard vehicle with a centre-front gearstick.
- no touch-screen, the energy display is mounted centre of the instrument panel. This screen still serves as a readout for all sorts of things depending on context
- instead of the two-second average L/100km it now displays the average efficiency since you turned the car on, far more useful
- when you turn the car off it briefly displays how far you travelled that trip, the efficiency and how much the trip cost (presume you can set the price somewhere).
- it is noticeably leaner on the petrol around town - I'd expect that of the later-generation engine/software and the fact that it is a smaller, lighter vehicle.
- also noticeable is how much more acceleration it will pull from the electric alone before kicking in the petrol, which could be down to the same factors.
- the proximity key took some getting used to (key only needs to be in the car for it to start when the ignition button is pressed and near the car for it to lock/unlock if you touch/grip the door-handle just so. Thanks to M for showing me that trick). After four days I was still reflexively making the "move hand sideways, grip and pull" motion as if to remove the key after turning the car off.
marsden_online: (Default)
Dropped the car in to the panel beaters this morning and by lunchtime
- they had the door off/open (without destroying it)
- now they can see it is clearly accident damage so there should be no issues with the insurance claim
- there is some other repair that needs to be done before they can put a new latch on
- replacement latch will be on it's way from the North Island later today
- If all goes smoothly (and here I note that precious little of anything has gone smoothly this week ) I should have the car back sometime Friday
- meanwhile my mode of transport is bicycle with the attendant complaints from leg muscles and reminders of how out of condition I am.
marsden_online: (skull)
It has been a long day. Much of this has been due to roadworks and otherwise having to deal with the traffic at rush hour, but plugging away at work for 6+ hours also contributed.

I think I'm out of spoons for the week already. )
marsden_online: (Default)
I've had a generation 2 Prius for about 8 1/2 years and it's been mostly well behaved. Lately it started throwing up a few issues, particularly this one:

The transmission [P] lock mechanism is abnormal. Park your car on a flat surface and fully apply the hand brake

which I've seen occasionally before but has never really been a problem.

The following report is modified from my email reports to the local Toyota service center

This time around however it was likely to appear already on a flat surface as on any sort of a slope and would not allow the car to be turned on when it present (which kind of removed the option to move to a flat surface if not already there). Applying the hand (parking) brake in and of itself appeared to have no effect and power cycling solutions (see below) didn't seem to be dependant on the handbrake being on or off - but I usually had to try several combinations before it worked so I could be wrong on that.

At various times this error appeared
- when I attempted to start the car
- when I went to turn the car off
- after I had taken the key out and was about to exit the car
- when I was away from the car (returned to the car to find this message)

Sometimes it appeared with a full array of dashboard lights, sometimes only one or two of them will be lit (which vary). On one occasion it refused to let me even power off the car and remove the key for about 5 minutes.

Since it started to be an issue I was able to get past this message by
- pressing the power button about 3 times about a second apart with my foot on the brake (initially)
- Repeatedly powering off and on the vehicle
- the last couple of times I had to get out and physically rock the vehicle to resolve the issue

[aside: When you have to push-start your Prius you're doing it wrong]

There were a few other quirks I notices in conjunction with this - sometimes the radio would be turned off when the car got started again and sometimes the temperature setting would have set itself to 25 degrees.

[I took the vehicle into the service center but they were unable to identify the issue at this stage.]

Eventually it got to the point where it started to develop symptoms which according to the manual translate to "take vehicle to your toyota dealer immediately" including

- no response to key/attempts to start meanwhile "engine" light on dashboard lit and light on 'park' button flashing . Fortunately rebooting (press power button 3 times) seemed to bring everything back online - sometimes after a significant delay and sometimes still had to get around parking error afterwards
- ! warning on dashboard and on screen appearing when car is started and not disappearing while driving
- ! light and parking error message not vanishing once car is in gear and moving (remained for duration of trip)

Back in to the service center - had arranged a tow but tried one last time after emptying the car and it started so took it in immediately under its own power.

This time diagnostics indicated a low voltage issue with the little 12 volt battery which runs the electrics - lights, windows etc. Replaced that and the car has been running perfectly since. Well it had done 8 1/2 years - that's pretty good.

As an aside the service centre commented that my car is a "very well behaved" Prius but also noted that most people who take in misbehaving Priii haven't been bothering to get them serviced whereas I make sure to have mine checked annually. I just don't grok people who would front up the purchase price premium of something this full of complicated technology and then scrimp on the relatively trivial cost of the maintenance.

#heregooglegooglegoogle #hopethishelpssomeoneout
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
- didn't manage to get out of bed until 10am
- AH alarm just as I was about to have lunch and go out to pay the insurance bill (missed lunch entirely, never got over to pay the insurance)
- Car decided it just wasn't going to start (this is going to be expensive ... )
- Phone handset was flat when I went to call the mechanic

- blissfully quiet night (no alarms)
- first (planned) chunk of work for the day was less trouble than expected.
- M also responded to the alarm and caught one would-be burglar(ette) who has been handed over to the police
- Car started again after I took all my gear out of it meaning I was able to drive it over to the shop (saving a towing fee) and they had a loan car at short notice (returned between my making the call and getting there)

And still some hours to go. Hoping to get some more work done this evening ....
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
So much has happened this week especially in the past few days.. I need to write it down while much of it is still fresh even though my brain is shying away from the task.
First let it be noted that I did a full (for me) week of work - so fitting in four hours a day on average. I also had parental units visit multiple times during the week. #AH alarm times are to the nearest half hour, take from 30-90 minutes to resolve and this usually results in a justified late rising the next day although it is worth noting I haven't had so many un-justified late risings recently.

Monday )

Tuesday )

Wednesday )

Thursday )

Friday )

Saturday at Antonio Hall (long) )

Sunday (today) )
marsden_online: (Default)
That's quite a cute number.
marsden_online: (Kea)
- slept in with no guilt
- processed photos from last night
- did the dishes
- went around to [ profile] xenogram's to help assemble The Jabberwocky for next weekend
- unfortunately the weather packed in so instead hung around there with people and watched Master and Commander
- then had dinner out with [ profile] flufmeister before dropping her home (did I mention the weather had packed in?)
- stopped for petrol on the way home and remembered to check the tank average - 4.5L/100km, nice.
marsden_online: (skull)
Left the house to get to an appointment, car wouldn't start. Had left an inside light on, drained the 12v system that handles the non-drive electrics. You'd think given the size of the battery underneath they could have worked in a backup.
Necessitated a furious bike ride to Barrington, managed to get there only 5 minutes late. Took it a bit easier on the way back. Probably need a shower.

Have borrowed the neighbour's battery charger, don't think I'll be going anywhere tonight.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Thank you for getting out of your vehicle at the next lights and offering an apology.
marsden_online: (dragon)
What would have been a 1/2 hour trip across town took 2 hours today. My timing was kind of bad and I know other people are dealing with this on a daily basis, but still that's ridiculous.

Following the normal route I would take left me walled off from continuing by stalled traffic, and each alternative I picked seemed to make things worse.

Eventually I got back onto the route I wanted and was able to just follow along, very slowly. I had plenty of time to take stock of the number of people in cars around me, usually one, sometimes two. I think I saw one car with people in the back seat.*

We've been told repeatedly to try and stay off the roads unless necessary, it has been suggested people should bicycle where possible, why have I not heard the other logical recommendation which is car-pooling?

This isn't to say it hasn't been made, but the fact that I haven't heard about it is a pretty good indication that it hasn't been -promoted-.

I googled and found a mention being asked to car-pool by the authorities here, in a driving blog. This was an aside to looking for sites facilitating carpooling, of which I found a few doing to/from Canterbury from other parts of the country one offering within-Chch rides, and honourable mention to UC Rideshare, which is probably a bit rooted at the moment.

*Yes, there was just one of me as well. I was spontaneously responding to a call for helpers, had I time to arrange to pick up more people I would have. At least I wasn't burning petrol like most of the other vehicles inching along were doing.
marsden_online: (Default)
Also supposedly can haz car back later this afternoon.
marsden_online: (Sisters)
First thanks to those who have commented on my previous post.

Sitting in an undamaged house in an earthquake-smashed city without real human contact is lonely, regardless of how much activity one can be involved in online. [ profile] codym is camped out in my lounge, and that takes the edge off as does [ profile] zakzahn when he's at home, but that's all.

I went on a cycle tour today hoping to visit some people. Had about a 50% strike rate finding people at home, and didn't find whatever it was I was looking for. Did complete a couple of errands, and saw the silt-piles in Barrington for myself. Probably tired myself out enough to sleep tonight ... when I stop keeping myself awake writing LJ posts for example.

Allowed myself a quickish shower after I got home, ran the tap to get water to the bathroom and collected that water into the bath reservoir.

The laptop has been my connection to the world - I've been avoiding the desktop/office almost completely. I think this is because of all the work-related stress that is accumulated here, which I just don't want to deal with right now. There are bit of work waiting to be done, but they are all on angry-making projects. I was going to start dealing with some of them today ... then I heard about my uncle and it became "maybe tomorrow". Now that most people in my networks have been accounted for the rate of updates has slowed to the point that watching the feeds no longer provides cover or sufficient distraction from either inaction or inability to act.

I did get hold of the panelbeaters today. They have a couple of guys back at work but couldn't tell me when my car will be done now.

There are various indicators of how low my mood is. One is that I can not care enough to lock or cut this post. Sorry.

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