Today is shaping up to be one lovely day. It started out with having to get up an hour early - always a great way to start things - and especially when it's just for a stupid conference call with the San Diego Police Department, who have software of ours. They're a bunch of scary frightening morning people who get into work at seven in the morning bright and chipper and don't understand how everyone else isn't the same way. If I had to work there, something would snap.

This is especially pointless when it's a status update conference and everyone knows the damned status, which is that, for the first time in forever, everything seems to be working properly. Conference just to discuss that there's nothing to talk about? Grrr.

So to the drive. Using an old car as one's daily driver is a coin very much with two sides. Turns up heads, everything runs great, the traffic is light, and you have twice as much fun as possible in some modern plastic box on wheels. If it falls tails, however - a long slow grind in traffic, giving one ample time to hear plenty of nasty old-car noises that one's finely-tuned sense of automotive paranoia turns into signs of impending doom. The worst part, of course, is you damn well know some of those noises ARE going to be expensive ones, sooner or later. Some of which I know about, have the money already assigned, but who knows what else might lurk to expensively fail?

Today was one of the tails days for sure. The freeway crawled -- most days I take the streets, but today I thought 'the freeway will be faster, and I have to get in on time'. Of course, that meant that today it wasn't faster. Four car pileup just before the 405 transition to the 55 - by the looks of things, some idiot missing his carpool exit, panicking, diving out of the diamond lane without looking and hitting someone, with a couple more adding to the party through following too close or not looking. So it was crawl all the way down, hardly having to touch the throttle the whole way - that big 428 ci engine pulls quite well just at idle in traffic. The bust exhaust manifold gasket so damn loud everyone looks, and not for the right reasons (that's one of the expensive noises I know about and have a fix planned).

I overfilled the power steering fluid reservoir last night. Had no idea that the difference between 'so dry of fluid it's making horrid groaning noises' and 'overfilled' was so little fluid. I'd asked about it on the Glamorbirds mailing list yesterday, got no replies mentioning anything about that part, so I bought some automatic transmission fluid (power steering on a 1967 Ford Thunderbird takes ATF, not power steering fluid, for whatever reason) and poured some in, afraid that those noises were going to be costly ones pretty soon. Of course, this morning I got an email from a fellow list member helpfully telling me which kind of ATF to put in (I'd used the wrong one, naturally, but I'm not sure it matters TOO much here) and warning 'Be careful of overfilling'. Doesn't it figure? Seems that too high a fluid level can create too great a pressure in the system and possibly lead to failure. Worse, it seems from what he said that the hydraulic hoses used in this car for the power steering and wiper motors (yes, windshield wipers on these are hydraulic, not electric like on a sensible car) are incredibly hard to find. So, tonight I'm going to try and syringe some of that excess fluid out of the reservoir. I don't think I overdid it TOO much, but still ... And it does sound like a good idea to hunt for replacements of those damn hoses, just in case they ever do go.

The grinding and groaning in the system is gone, at least.

I get into work ten minutes late, but of course the SDPD people got busy and are late ... and the call takes, as I'd guessed, all of five minutes.

THEN I get to deal with the remaining fallout from our power failure in the office yesterday. I recently inherited responsibility for a whole bunch of machines after they laid off the other admin. Of course, these boxes are the ones not coming back, now. And that server room is an OSHA violation just waiting to happen. After much dangerous clambering, I find that no machine in there corresponds to the label on it, the one that I was assured was an out-of-use backup server is actually a critical machine with company financial data on it -- with a broken drive, too, and running in degraded RAID 5 mode, too, so no more redundancy. Just great.

Finally getting to sit down and have some coffee now, but I think it's not going to be fun.