VW TDI Dieselgate (personal update)

We got a letter from our VW dealership today, letting us know that if we wanted to, we could bring our TDI Jetta in early, provided we'd gone through the website registration process, and they'd give us the full value of whatever Volkswagen was going to pay us, as credit, weeks or months early, keep our car on their lot, and then deliver it to VW when the time came.

The downside to the proposal was that we had to buy something from the VW dealership, but since we were looking at slightly used non-VW AWD stuff, that wasn't a deal breaker.

The upside: I didn't have to drive the equivalent of forty cars to work every day.

So I drove down to the dealership today, found a low mileage 2013 Rav4 that met our eclectic criteria, and made the trade. The payback from VW was high enough (pre-dieselgate bluebook, plus $5000) we were able to make up the difference ourselves and buy the car outright, as is our preference.

Everything wasn't roses and champagne: the used vehicle has only one key fob, so I'll need get a second fairly quickly, and for some reason they couldn't pull up the VW estimate for what we'd get paid for the car, so they had to go by the manual, using the lowest estimate for our make and model, and then write us a check for the difference once VW finally does the buyback. The troubles caused a few twinges of buyer's remorse, but I'll get over it.

But… that said, we've got an AWD vehicle again (useful for those rare Denver blizzards and not-at-all-rare trips up to Loveland for family skiing), and big enough to carry the whole family (dogs included) without being so big Kate wouldn't be comfortable driving it (she took the kids for a spin this afternoon).

I wrapped up the day by building a second above-garage-door storage platform for our paddleboards, so all in all, a pretty busy day and YES I BELIEVE I'LL HAVE THAT ICE CREAM NOW THANK YOU.

VW diesel settlement and buyback program nears final approval
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer, who has been presiding over the diesel settlement proceedings between VW, several federal agencies and a class of almost 500,000 plaintiffs, indicated that …


"The biggest landslide election in US history was the election of Warren G. Harding in 1920, when Harding won with about 60% of the vote to his opponent’s 34.2%."

"Some polls are reporting Trump with as little as 35% of the popular vote right now."

"If turnout is large enough and loud enough, we can make Donald Trump the least supported major candidate in US history. Since the recording of him bragging about sexual assault came out, he has turned to dragging the whole election into the mud; the usual goal of that kind of tactic is to drive down voter turnout. Trump’s band of Redcaps is pretty much guaranteed to vote, so they figure if they reduce turnout enough, they’ll win."

"I want their plan to fail. I want their plan to fail so fucking spectacularly that NO ONE will dare to run for President on a platform of thinly-veiled fascism again."


"If turnout is strong enough, the possibility exists for a massive upset."

"All you need to do, voters, is show up."

Economy-Class Whywolf – Time for another political essay. If you’re not an…
Time for another political essay. If you’re not an American citizen or able to vote in this upcoming election, my apologies.
I make no secret that I fucking despise Donald Trump. I actually like…

Writing Update

My agent just sent over the submission list for ADRIFT (editors/publishers we're sending the manuscript to next week). It's pretty much "all of them."

And I have to tell you guys…

I mean, first: probably nothing comes of it.

Yeah, the book's good – I know that – but it's a big weird sci-fi fairy tale THING clocking in around 150 thousand words, with sequels pretty much baked in to the DNA. The mainstream market for that is ROUGH.

But that doesn't matter. Because I'm looking at long list of names. I'm looking at my agent's PLAN.

Goddamn I can't explain how nice that feels.

Anyway. Clearly defined, BIG next step forward; one that will soon (well… "soon" for publishing, which mean 'inside 4 months') tell me what the NEXT step will be. One way or the other, I'm going to have a lot to do in 2017.

Pretty good day.

Steven Universe may be one of the most entertaining and, not for nothing, one of the most important shows we're watching with our kids

I love it, but as much as anything else I love the conversations it opens up with +Kaylee Testerman about the nature of relationships and what that word even means – what our assumptions are and how they're different for different people. SU isn't (solely) about that conversation, but it provides the best possible medium for it.

And aside from all that, it's about emotions and growing up and learning how to deal with all that messy stuff. One of last night's episodes choked me up, and gave me a really good thing to talk about with our very own Ruby (+Sean Testerman).

So… where was I going with this? Hell of a smart, funny, lovely show, and quite often just the thing we need, right when we need it, even when we didn't know we did.

Rebecca Sugar, Cartoon Network’s first female creator, on writing LGBTQ stories for kids
Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, spoke with us about her new book, attitudes toward LGBTQ themes in children’s media and her personal history with fairy tales.