Thursday, October 06, 2005

Adventures in Travel

As you know from my previous entry, I talked to my boss’s boss’s boss last week, and told him that I could help recruit people from the University of Illinois. Imagine my surprise when on Monday morning I found a message in my inbox asking me to go to the ACM Reflections/Projections job fair at UIUC! I was happy to do it, provided of course that I could get permission from my boss. He was happy to let me go, once he found out that he wouldn’t have to pay for the trip!

I was really excited because it would give me a chance to go back to Urbana and actually see my better half, whom I haven’t seen for nearly a month. And it would allow me to see my friends too, and surprise my former advisor by showing up at his office.

I made my flight plans but it took until the day I was to leave to finalize the reservation. I was a little on edge about that. I left work about quarter to five to drive to the airport for my flight leaving at 6:49 p.m. And then, because my life was still not exciting enough, Gundar the 1990 Volvo decided to break down. Luckily, he picked a pretty good place to do that. I was driving into the parking lot at the airport when the engine suddenly cut out. Thanks to gravity the natural accelerator, I was able to limp into the parking lot and make it almost all the way to a parking spot. But then gravity the natural brake took over, and I stopped in the aisle. I called AAA and explained the situation. They helped me by pushing him into a parking spot, but when I get back to the airport I will need to call them again and have them tow him somewhere. But, I am of the opinion that if you have to break down, break down at an airport. After all, there are a hundred rental cars right there, waiting for you. When I get back to Tennessee, I will rent a car, and then I will probably shell out the big bucks to have Gundar towed to the dealer. I’m sure they will be delighted to get their hands on even more of my hard-earned money.

As for what’s wrong with him exactly, that is still a mystery. The oil level was fine; a little low maybe, but not completely out. The battery was still working; when he went out the radio was still blaring. You can hear the starter go, but nothing happens. I noticed this morning that he seemed to be a little hard to start, but I’d think that wouldn’t have much to do with just going out like that. This is an enigma to me, but eventually the answer will be found. I’m just relieved that it isn’t anything like the engine is frozen up because he ran out of oil or some other very preventable problem.

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