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Mostly not having a particularly birthday-y week, but having a reasonably productive one.

Today, for example, I installed a new device in my car, to connect my iPhone to the car stereo. I've had a device like that for a couple years, but it doesn't charge the iPhone 3G while it's connected; this new one does. (And improves the GUI in various ways.)

Unfortunately, to install the new one, I had to remove the old one. Which started out fine; I printed out the excellent instructions that I used last time--written by a volunteer for an earlier model of this VAIStech device, but still accurate for the current model--and took apart the glove compartment and reached in behind the dashboard to remove the piece that plugs in to the back of the stereo.

And spent at least an hour trying unsuccessfully to pull that plug out. It required lifting a little clip (like the clip on a phone cord or Ethernet connector) while pulling, and the angle was wrong, and none of the tools at my disposal helped. (At various points I was using various combinations of a dentist mirror, a small regular mirror removed from its frame, several different blades of a Swiss Army knife, a screwdriver, a tiny key, an LED flashlight, my fingers, and probably some other things.) It turned out much later that part of the clip had broken off, but even if it hadn't, I'm not sure I could've removed the plug from that angle.

I decided that I would have to take the car in to a stereo place and have them do it. Then I remembered that last time I did that, with my old car, they had the car for a couple days (iIrc) and nonetheless messed things up. So I Googled for info on disassembling the dashboard of a Prius to see how hard it was. I found a nice PDF-file disassembly guide (can't find it now), which indicated that it involved snapping a bunch of panel out of their snaps, unscrewing about four screws, and removing six small bolts. I found the socket set that Kat B gave me some years back, and managed to find all the right pieces and tools, so I proceeded.

It actually went well. I took the dashboard apart, pulled out the stereo, pried out the old plug, put in the new plug, tested to make sure everything worked properly, and put the dashboard back together. I got stuck for probably half an hour on one piece that wouldn't go back in place even though it was only snaps, no screws or bolts, but I finally got that to work.

In the end, it took something like three and a half hours total. But at least it's done, and I got to feel all butch for successfully taking my dashboard apart and putting it back together. (Is one allowed to feel butch for doing work on a car if the car is a Prius? Don't answer that.)

Later in the evening, I sent out about a hundred overdue rejections, and read a bunch of submissions, and did a load of laundry, and watched an episode of Gilmore Girls. So it was a pretty productive day, if you don't count the day-job work I didn't finish (though in the past week I've finally completed and launched two of the multitude of projects hanging over my head) or the overdue magazine editing and administrative stuff that I should've been doing.

Still haven't been getting enough sleep. Same pattern every night: go to bed between 12:30 a.m. and 2, wake up at 7 for no obvious reason, try to get back to sleep, can't; around 8 or 8:15, give up and get up. On Sunday afternoon, I went over to Kam's place to do magazine stuff (I had several important things I had to get done that day), but ended up napping fitfully on her couch for three hours, and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening too groggy to get anything done.

The other odd physical thing lately is I've been hungrier than usual, more often than usual. Weird.

Hmm. What else?

Apparently a bunch of my friends banded together to get me a rather amazing birthday present. I haven't actually received the detailed information yet, but I'm hoping it'll be in tomorrow's mail. More about that later. Thank you to all who participated!

In unrelated other news, I've been house-hunting. More about that later as well. Sadly, the one house that I had looked at that I particularly liked has now sold--but I had some concerns about it anyway, so I'm not heartbroken or anything.

In other unrelated other news, I finally bought some new pants and a new sweater. So I may look slightly less ragged than has been my wont lately during next week's NYC trip.

Oh, yes, and Kam and I watched the BSG finale (OMG!) (more on that at some point), and Twig and I watched the latest Indiana Jones movie (some fun moments, but overall eh).

Okay, I think that's all, and I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open, so off to bed for me.

1 Comment

Jed, I know you'll probably be quite busy during your NYC trip because you have many friends everywhere, but if you have a spare moment I'd love to buy you a beverage. Leonard and I live in Astoria in Queens, close to Manhattan, so I can meet you nearly anywhere.


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