Such a day it's been, going back to last night when The Hey and I went to a midnight screening of the new "Batman Begins" film. I loved it! Maybe not quite the "perfect" Batman film but very well done, and very much Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" brought to the screen. Ah, and yes, the new Batmobile... I LIKE IT!!
After the movie I was talking with my friend Doc, now out in California, and he dropped a bombshell on me - he'd been plotting secretly with The Hey and he wanted to give me a special birthday present this year - a round trip ticket to San Diego for Comic Con! This blew me away not only in scope, but considering how much back-and-forth I'd already gone through regarding this trip. Needless to say though I conditionally accepted, awaiting only approval from The Momma, and the estimate on my poor car... in case it needed more than just an alternator for a few hundred bucks.
I talked with The Momma this morning and considering the only shill I'd need to lay out would be food money at this point, it was an easy Yes.
Then I got the call from the dealership... yup, the car only needed an alternator and a battery. Excellent. It can be ready by tomorrow. Great. It'll be on the up side of $900.
It only needs an alternator and a battery... huh? Apparently Saab must have some kind of rare magic alternator only made during leap years by leprechauns, 'cause it was supposedly that expensive and labor-intensive to replace.
I put it on hold and checked with my preferred local garage up the street. (The only reason I hadn't brought the car there to begin with was they were booked up well into next week.) I gave them the info on the car and what it needed and they came back with an estimate of about $700... considering the average dealership mark-up this actually seemed to just confirm that this mystical alternator must be held on by jewel-encrusted diamond bolts designed for the US military's most advanced vehicles. Yeesh!
I debated moving the car to the local garage to save a little, but in the end it wasn't really worth it. It would still run me $99 for the dealership for the diag work they'd already done, and I'd have to get the car moved to the other garage which still wouldn't be able to work on it until next week. So in the end I gave the dealership the go-ahead and it should be done tomorrow.
Don't know if Ill be able to afford to pick it up tomorrow, but it should be ready. I'm grumpy tonight.
Anyway, this basically runs out the small remainder of the travel fund and pretty much the entire emergency fund, so there will be no trip to San Diego - even though it's close to free - and for that matter no trip south to Shore Leave, either. Even if I could justify taking $100 and going to San Diego next month, it would still mean The Momma couldn't work while I was away. Most importantly at this juncture we need to rebuild the emergency coffers for the next disaster!
Oh, and I've hardly had time to gripe about this yet but my damned laptop died on me this week too... sigh. Not that I can complain too much, it was actually a freebie from work last year when some old ones were phased out, but still obviously not something I'll be able to replace any time soon.
And that means I've gotta read my email from the kitchen (or the basement), rather than from my comfy chair in front of the boob tube... Oh, the horror.