My boss doesn’t understand how hard it is to text when you’re stuck in traffic. That’s why he wants to fire me. That’s why I’m looking for a new job. And I will continue to consider a better offer and say goodbye to just under 18 years of Federal Service, but I think I’ve come up with a better way!
The thing is, if I’m running late because I’m stuck in traffic—or in a car with a lackadaisical Uber driver who won’t listen when I tell him I need to get to work on time—I might just have a solution. I could build an iOS app to text my boss for me!
I’m not actually sure I can do this. My app would have to always be running or at least be run at certain times when I would be expected to text. The idea would be, it would trigger at a fixed interval before the time I’m supposed to be at an Event, and if I’m not, say, within 100 m of that location, automatically send a text saying I was stuck in traffic and running late.
Phase one will be to build the app framework. Once that’s done, I want to see if I can have my app generate a text in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised if iOS disallows that, so that’s why I want to determine that first.
Phase two will involve me setting a timer and providing a notification when the timer dings warning that, if the notification isn’t dismissed, the text will be sent.
Phase three will involve getting the GPS location of the phone and comparing it to the location of the Event to see if the phone is within 100 m, and if so, it will disable the text. I will then add a grace period where you must send the message by. For instance, if you’re due at the Event at 10:00, and you set the grace period to 15 minutes, the text goes out at 09:45, well before the Event is scheduled to begin.
Phase four will read your calendar to automatically generate alarms and warning texts. This will be filterable so that only events you choose will send out the text warnings. Each event will have to have a text number associated with it, but that shouldn’t be too hard if I also give the App access to the owner’s Contact List where you can select one or more numbers from.
I hope to have all that code complete, tested, and submitted to the App store by 1 July. I don’t know if I’ll have the time—or even if the texting is possible—but the beauty of this App is it’s extremely multi-functional. It doesn’t just need to be about getting to work, it can be for any appointment where you’re likely to be stuck in traffic or otherwise would have difficulty generating a text in a timely fashion.
I know for my part, when the world is collapsing on me and someone commits grand larceny against me or I get a $2,000 tyre repair bill for a slow leak, and thus am frazzled and having trouble remembering my name never mind to text when I’m running late, I won’t get fired because I arrive at 10:05. And that’s a very good thing!
Feel free to track my progress and remember, though job offers keep coming in, I remain available for hire!
My Congresswoman, Jennifer Wexton, had a panel discussion on an topic that is very important to me. I remain scared in my situation not just because of the hypochondriac in my situation but also as I am unpaid next week. I have a second-line manager who is actively trying to fire me for being 75 minutes late when I was stuck in Ubers and Tesla was trying to bankrupt me. I am very stressed right now.
To be clear, my issue is just her having paranoia over SARS-CoV-2 combined with abusive “jealousy” that tries to keep me at home and under her finger which under the Shelter In Place. But my situation is not violent, and I will be alright. I am worried about the mainly women who are with male, physical abusers with no way out. So, please, forget what I’ve said about myself and let’s focus on the real problem here, when women are forced to be with their male abusers 24/7.
Jennifer is joined by Buta Biberaj, Saly Fayez, Mayra Jane Martinez, and Jonathan Yglesias. I was very happy to hear them mention the increased risk factors when an abuser is always home, and how folks who have English as a second language. It was great hearing how Law Enforcement is aware of these issues and are working hard to assess each situation individually and being very mindful of the increased dangers.
One thing I feel most acutely is the problem women face in terms worrying they don’t have enough money to leave. It’s most distressing that it’s money that binds a victim to her abuser, just as a diminishing savings account being the reason I’m stuck. Money has always been a problem for victims to leave, but in this case, her abuser may be unemployed or furloughed, and so money for the whole family is tighter than normal, making things all the more dangerous. What’s worse is with ACTS having to shut down shelters, and with social distancing, it’s been hard to find places to help women in need.
Another serious issues is, without physicians or schools to monitor children to detect child abuse, it means that child abuse is going on under the radar, and thus number are down but there’s no reason to assume incidents are also down.
I’m holding a virtual roundtable discussion on domestic violence during #COVID19 with law enforcement and local service providers.
Tune in right here on Facebook to join us for this important conversation⬇
Ladies, please be safe and know that there is hope, and there are people willing to help. Jennifer is right, you don’t have to live like this. Equal means equal, and we should all be equally free of abuse.
After I got #CO2Fre back from Tesla, my coworker and I noticed some squeaking sounds as I would drive the car at low speeds, making turns under humid conditions. So, I made the soonest appointment available to both me and Tesla, which was today, 31 March, 2020, which is therefore going to be the topic of my 50th day in of quotidian postings.
Of course, then SARS-CoV-2 happened, and all the crazy things that came with it. I haven’t left the house since my job went to 100% telework apart from a couple outings to the grocery story and stroll inside my housing community. So, when Tesla reminded me of my appointment, it wasn’t so much that I was eager to get out (at least I don’t have to fear a physical abuser) as I was eager to finally get this over with in terms of having to deal with Tesla and a potential fault in their repair.
I got up early this morning, ready to head over to Tesla. I was, alas, so tired, I ended up locking my CAC Card. The details aren’t important, but I will just add that resetting it required a long drive to work and a long drive back just to restore access. But that had to wait until after I dropped #CO2Fre off.
Anyway, I got in #CO2Fre and noticed a software update. Not wanting to delay my appointment at the Tyson’s Corner Service Center, I headed straight over and initiated the update as I arrived.
I arrived at Tesla a little after my 08:00 appointment and spotted some interesting signs on the windows. After waiting a bit for folks to pass, keeping a social distance from anyone, I made my way over to the door.
The signed contains a QR Code that I could scan with my phone in order to check into my appointment. I scanned the code and opened the web page associated with it. The page contained a list of questions: who I was, why I was there, and did I have an appointment. I filled it out and got a message saying I should wait for a call to confirm my appointment.
I went back to #CO2Fre; the software was still updating. I got the call and we agreed to leave the car where it was. I got some Uber credits but had a ride home already and so used that to get home, then get a ride to work to fix my CAC, and then back home again. Phew.
Then I got a text from Tesla saying they sent me over an estimate and said I needed to replace some tyres. Are you freaking kidding me!? Didn’t I just drop almost $2,000 on tyres at the beginning of the month!?
Needless to say, I was not amused.
Looking over the estimate I saw they recommended replacing all four tyres! Seriously? I had just replaced two rims at the beginning of the month, but, as I looked over my meticulous history of tyre replacements, it turns out I replaced a tyre just three months ago on 3 January 2020, and another on 4 November 2019. Both tyres were relatively new and there could be no possible way they could both be so worn to need replacing. It was bad enough the other two tyres were April and May of last year, but some of the tyres were less than six months old!
Looking over the costs, not only were they charging me for four tyres, but they were also charging me for a $160 Tyre Setting and a $302.25 Tyre Alignment, for a total of $1946.25 in tyre repairs! That would have been a total of $9,647.95 on tyres for 42,695 miles of driving over 19½ months!
It took a number of texts for me to get through to Tesla. I was quite frank. I didn’t agree to any tyre replacement and demanded they generate a new invoice for me without the tyre replacements. Furthermore, if they though my tyres were showing wear, I demanded they show my the tread depth to prove they had wear given one tyre was just three months old, and another only five. Thankfully, the obliged.
The new invoice was quite reasonable. Less than $100 for a diagnostic check which so far turned up nothing. I agreed to that and then my service advisor sent me photos of the tyres with the tread measurements.
Clearly, two tyres were at around 8/32 inch depth, which is pretty nearly as good as new. The other two hovered around 5/32 and I agreed they probably should be replaced. I therefore agreed to a new invoice where only those two more worn tyres would be replaced. Tesla kindly obliged.
Although the cost jumped to nearly $1,000, I agreed to it as the best course of action. They dropped the wheel setting and alignment which also lowered the cost quite a bit. I’m hoping I can get the alignment done elsewhere when the Covidapolis is over. It still brings my total lifetime tyre costs to $8543.70, with seven tyres and seven rims, but it’s much better than $9,647.95!
Plus, I got a software update.
I’m not happy that it will take me a month an a half to pay for this repair as I sink further into debt, but mainly I miss driving #CO2Fre. Die SARS-CoV-2, die!
Our esteemed leader Kevin Sadeghian of the Northern Virginia Tesla Owners Group, like all of us, misses our occasional Tesla meetups. The last time we met, I was late, without #CO2Fre, and had just voted, and so was a bit out of it, not even appearing in the group photo. That was just the start of the Week from Hell for me, which was the same weekend I got a $1,800 bill from Tesla and was at the whim of lackadaisical Uber drivers.
So Kevin, realizing we’re all at home, Sheltering in Place, created a virtual meetup. He took an empty parking lot, with a photo of his Tesla, and invited all of us to photoshop our Tesla in there with him, as if we were actually meeting. Starman, my good friend Mel‘s Tesla Roadster, #PascalTesla from my dear friend Margie Hunter, and many other members.
Unfortunately, because of the events from the Week from Hell. Fast forward to today and with the scare surrounding the Weather and Safety Leave, which I’m still not willing to talk about publicly, I was so afraid when I researched that last weekend that I would not be paid because of some documents I read on the Internet. I thus refused to add #CO2Fre to the photo, decrying that I was worried I would not be able to keep here if I was to go for months without pay on Weather and Safety Leave. I am still facing one week of unpaid leave due to the Week from Hell, bringing the total cost for that seven day nightmare close to $5,000 out of my pocket—not to mention my Hedge Fund has tanked to July 2017, initial levels after just making a $2,300 commission payment in December.
However, when the office confirmed I would be on paid leave, I figured I could in fact weather the storm. I would be bankrupt and #CO2Fre would doublessly be repossessed if one more tragedy befell me, but for now, I’m just okay. And so I put #CO2Fre right next to #PascalTesla.
Today I evaluated an absolutely wonderful fellow Toastmaster. Rick Halstead is no novice to Toastmasters, but today was his Ice Breaker. That’s because anyone in ToastMasters these days is now using the Pathways system to progress through their journey and Rick, though an old hand and excellent Toastmaster, had yet to start his Pathways journey. I was very honored to be his evaluator when he took this first step in a new direction.
I took an Uber to the meeting as I had leftover credits from Tesla and #CO2Fre needed an update, but I’ll write more about that tomorrow. It was close, but I arrived just on time. I was able to convey Rick’s wishes to make sure he didn’t embellish too much and advised him afterwards how you could use a little more embellishment to his advantage, including a summersault. But overall, Rick was very hard to evaluate as there was so little fault with his to all intents and purposes perfect speech. Spend most of my time in fact rattling off all the things he did right like dynamics and gestures and our shared love for New Zealand.
My friends Laura and Leigh-Ann were both stiff competition as wonderful evaluators today and I felt sure one of them would get the ribbon for best evaluation. But to my surprise…
I’m off Uber for a few more months—until the next catastrophic tyre failure—and finally able to enjoy the so-called Full Self-Driving hardwire. For the most part, the driving experience is unchanged. I did have to reconnect bluetooth and was told my phone wasn’t smart enough to send Texts—even though an earlier Tesla software edition could!—and update my autopilot settings. Fortunately, it seemed my HomeLink was still intact—though I’ll have to verify this when next I use it—as well as my Address Book and comfort settings.
I didn’t have long to wait for the computer to be back up and running and was able to use Navigate on Autopilot almost immediately and right away there were traffic cones—and fire hydrants—coming up as orange cones on my screen. Stop lights hung from the screen as well, with any stoplight which was red, correctly marked.
…don’t get my started on my plan for the Affordable Self-Driving Electric Car NOW!page I’m planning to start in about 8 years…
Overall, it’s not much of a change but I am quite satisfied. I still think we are close to a mostly autonomous vehicle in the year 2020, and have been saying as such for the past 9 years, as you can see from the pull-quote above.
I took my car in for a slow leak in my driver’s rear tyre last Thursday, also asking them to check the squeaky breaks and to rotate the tyres as I’ve not done that in a while. As mentioned before, I got a call to install the 3.0 version of the Hardware during the same visit. The whole thing would have cost $409.50, mainly because of the $234.00 brake inspection. They expected to be finished by Friday just before our Northern Virginia Tesla Owners meetup at Fuddruckers on Saturday.
Then I got text just before the car was supposed to be done telling me that the tyres were fine, but I needed new rims. New rims!?! I had no choice but to authorize it.
Today, my car should have been totally fixed and But they haven’t even got the rims in stock yet and it might not be before Thursday!
I look forward to when the car will finally be fixed and I won’t have need to order any more Ubers after my final drop-off at Tyco.The Uber may be covered by the Tesla Voucher, but I still have to pay the tips, and those range from $3–$11 per trip! At least, though, I don’t have to drive and every driver I’ve been with deserved his tip.
The thing is, though, those Aluminium rims are expensive. The tyres themselves aren’t cheap either, and in 41,877 miles of driving #CO2Fre, I’ve had to replace no less than 5 tyres and 7 rims for a total of $7,701.70 over the last 18 months!
Date of Service
Number of Tyres
Number of Rims
I have no original tyres and am almost on a complete set of second rims! Because I495, the Capital Beltway, is so prone to potholes, there’s, like 4,000 of them! And that doesn’t even include the fact that I have no original glass, be it windscreen, roof, or back. I’ve had to replace my roof twice, in fact, and the latest panel doesn’t even have the cool, reddish sheen.
But my point is this: the Performance Tyres are too expensive, especially for everyday driving. I can’t afford keep dropping nearly $8,000 every 18 months. I’ll have depleted my saving account before I can even pay off #CO2Fre.
It’s come to the point where I am seriously debating cutting my losses and getting some cheep, wide-profile tyres and just give up on my beloved Performance Tyres. If I do go to cheap tyres, I’d still like my Performance Tyres for the track, when, someday, I’m able to bring #CO2Fre to the track, but otherwise just use regular tyres. The thing is, I’d have no place to store the Performance Tyres when I’m not using them, never mind have nowhere to store them.
If I give up my Performance Tyres, I’m probably giving them up for good. $4,000 or more, down the drain, a sunk cost. I just don’t know. It’s a little over $425 per month in addition to the loan payments to maintain the Performance Tyres, and that’s more than I earn in the same period. I just can’t afford to keep them. But I don’t want to lose them either.
On the other hand, since the major expense is the rims, could I just get steal instead of aluminium so they don’t bend so easily? I don’t mind the slightly reduced range if I can save $5,125 a year in tyre and rim replacements!
What do I do?
Update 2020-04-01: As of 1 April 2020, the total cost has risen to $8,543.70 thanks to a follow-up to the 2 March service when #CO2Fre started to have a squeaking sound in its steering and breaking under humid conditions. The table above has been updated accordingly.