|The Scene Of The Crime|
First, the bad news, then the good news:
I came out of work last night, and found that some thoughtful person or persons unknown had stolen the catalytic converter off the van while it was parked in the street next to my building. I called the police, as I would need to have a report for my insurance company, and it got to be a very late night out. The police were very helpful, though, if a little deafened by the thunder of six cylinders all roaring away. The Missus in Not Amused, as she shelled out some $2,000 for repairs after our trip to CinncyCon to keep the old warhorse running.
The van has now been seen by our insurance company, and has been declared a total loss as the 'book value' of a ten-year-old cargo van with 335,000 miles on it is less then the cost of getting the converter replaced. We've been offered $425 if we keep it, $825 if they scrap it, so The Missus is running the numbers to see if we can get a cheap ($1,000 or less) fix to keep us going or if we can find a used car for cheap. One complication is that the used dishwasher that Second Daughter was going to take for her new house is still in the back of the van, so we may have to 'borrow' it long enough to deliver the goods - unless we can find somebody with a pickup or something.
Net result, we're probably going to lose our 'heavy lift capability' that we've had for over a decade, as I don't think we'll be able to get anything larger then a regular type of car with our current budget. We're not particularly worried by this, as our need for this capability lapsed with the cancellation of the proposed Tekumel Room at Gary Con a while back; we needed cheap - read 'in-house' - lift to make that event really happen, and with it being highly unlikely that we'll ever need to do it again we really don't need to keep nursing the old warhorse along. I had a feeling, after the CinncyCon trip, that that excursion was going to be ours and the van's swan song; it took us a month to recover from the journey, and we had to put almost $2,000 into repairs to keep the van running afterwards.
While we had been hoping to get one more year out of the van, we have been preparing for it's eventual demise for over a year. All of the 'trade show booth' gear we've been building up will fit in a standard car, and if we we're being booked for a really splashy show - we can put on a show very much like the one done this past year for Gen Con about the history of RPG gaming, but specifically for Tekumel - there'll be a budget for renting a full-sized van to carry all the goodies to the show. Our plans for what we're doing in the future and how we do it are really focusing on "To Serve The Petal Throne" and we're more or less reconfiguring our in-house assets towards that end. Losing the van and the 'heavy lift' is not really a loss for us; we really haven't used it in years, except to help our friends out at CinncyCon, and we really don't want to keep putting money into a vehicle with all that mileage on it.
So, while I'm annoyed at the timing of all this - during my work week, and about a year earlier then we really wanted - we'll deal.
On the other hand, I had a really great time at The Source this past weekend. Fifth Daughter's game group was a hoot to listen to, as always, and then Dear Old Dad got called in to provide Sage Counsel And Advice on how to assemble and paint plastic figures. After that, it was off to dinner with old friends, which was a delight as always.
I also encountered one of my old players from my campaign, who wants to start their own game group and wants my help with that. Specifically, how to play in Ye Olde Style, and so I will have an Apprentice around the turn of the year. I'm looking forward to that - but I had better get the game room cleaned up!
So, some good news, some bad news. We've survived worse, and kept on going... :)