Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MINI up and down; welcome MacBook Pro

Whew! What a busy couple weeks.  And still one more major event - the Blue Ridge Parkway Tour 2012 - to go, a few days of work, and then finally some relaxation as I take a week vacation at the beach.

Part of what has been keeping me going for the past two weeks has been problems with the MINI WUF.  A couple weeks ago it threw a CEL and start idling rough after running for a while (e.g. at the end of my daily commute). Got it in to Flow MINI of Raleigh. Leak test was negative, so they started breaking things down and discovered a broken timing chain guide rail. That meant leaving it for a few days for repairs.  Besides doing the whole timing chain "cartridge" (the MINI term) replacement, they also did a walnut shell blasting to cleanup the carbon buildup.  And in the course of the repairs, replaced the leaking valve cover gasket (so one less DIY repair for me).

Alas, after getting it back, by the next day all the same symptoms had returned, including the CEL.  Took it back.  They discovered a throttle actuator code stored in the history.  So, throttle replacement.  But that meant waiting for the part to be delivered, so it was a few days of living with a Countryman S loaner.

Got the MINI back today and wouldn't you know it, the CEL came back on again this evening. Now the pressure is really on as I am scheduled to leave for the BRP Tour on Thursday morning.  Really do not want to take a loaner on the tour as I can't decorate it, won't have my GPS mounted and hardwired, won't have my satellite radio, and won't have the wiring for my two-way radio.  Hope Flow MINI can come through.

Meanwhile, my laptop has continued its slow slide toward death. It started with overheating whenever Logos indexed.  Then anytime I was working with video. Then it was to anytime I tried to watch video (either something I was trying to watch locally that I had filmed myself or even a YouTube video) which also meant I could not edit videos.  Then it was anytime I had any Flash app running in a browser. And now it is even crashing if I try to do a street view via Google maps and move more than about 10 times.

I was ready to pick up a MacBook Pro when the MINI went down, so I held off a bit.  That turned out to be a bit of a mistake. I wasn't really paying attention and didn't realize Apple was getting ready to introduce a new model for June 2012. In the course of a few days, MBPs suddenly became increasingly unavailable throughout the area and Best Buy would no long ship them. I finally managed to snag one, so I figure I am probably close to having one of the last of the "old" MBPs. Which is fine with me. Of course, I have no idea how I am going to like the switch to the Apple ecosystem - hoping it is not something I am going to regret.  I am still in the "unboxing" process - sad that I have a new laptop and I haven't even had time to get it out of the box.

The good news is that my son pulled out an A-B honor roll performance for the fourth quarter and the year in school.  That was a pleasant surprise and I was very proud of him. And I got to enjoy watching my girls play ODP soccer in some friendlies in Wilson. They have worked hard this past year and it really shows.

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