Ick. Just ick.


  1. Originally published, July 15, 9:13 pm.
  2. July 16, 11:38 am:
    • As of about 11:00 am, hot water was restored. I actually got to take a real shower.
    • I have figured out what to do if the dealer’s negligence again fails to yield a diagnosis for the problem that actually shut down my engine on Tuesday. It looks like OBD-2 readers are surprisingly affordable and like Amazon can help ensure I get one that’s actually compatible with my car. I haven’t actually looked at this beyond updating the car information under “Your Garage” on my Amazon profile and seeing that they do indeed sell such readers largely because I don’t want to spend any money until I have some sort of an answer.

So I walked out my door and saw this (figure 1):
Fig. 1. Photograph by author, July 15, 2020.

It’s a hose running out the laundry room window. It runs over here, to the adjoining building (figure 2):
Fig. 2. Photograph by author, July 15, 2020.

The hot water heater in my building failed yesterday. Apparently none of my neighbors reported it because when I finally reported it, it was after hours, and much to my surprise, the maintenance folks didn’t deem it sufficiently urgent to investigate until this morning.

They sent me a message saying the hot water had been restored. It hadn’t.

Several hours later, I sent a message to the office asking what the fuck was going on, not in that language, but you have to know I don’t like people telling me something’s fixed when it isn’t.

Apparently a plumber will be replacing the hot water heater tomorrow. The hose is their jury-rigged solution in the meantime, running hot water from the neighboring building.

I’ll admit it’s clever, but yeah, it works just about as well as you’d expect. The hot water heater serves my building, with six units, and another one that’s physically really another part of this building as well, with I’m not sure but I think another six units.

I need a shower in the evening to control my allergies so I can breathe at night. This is a challenge. I need another one in the morning just so my hair will behave. This is another challenge. I can’t even wash dishes properly.

Meanwhile, my car is still broken down. The dealer hasn’t even looked at it yet, much to my annoyance, and I just about had to throw a temper tantrum to even get them to call me back.

So we still don’t know the cause of the Check VSC System and Check Hybrid System indications. Operating costs, including gasoline, maintenance, and insurance, for this car are already at 35ยข per mile this year. The last time I took it in for a Check Hybrid System indication, it had cleared by the time they got it into the shop to look at it.

But the service representative is sure it’ll still be there this time. If it isn’t, I’m going to have to decide I can’t get it fixed and I don’t have a reliable car to drive for Uber and Lyft.

My guess is that it’s a computer problem. That will be expensive, but not as expensive as the hybrid battery, an old nickel-cadmium beast weighing in at $4,000.

I’m having a couple problems with maintenance in Pittsburgh. One is that there are no real car wash places like I got used to in California, where they’d wash it, detail it if needed, do whatever was needed. The other is that the only real hybrid mechanics are the new car dealers.

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