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Monday, April 20, 2009

Car, Lighthouse Living, Rain

new tire tread

In some ways today was really frustrating. I am getting down to the final two weeks before hiking and I have preconceptions about what I should be doing right now. But this blog holds my feet to the fire in terms of finding the positive. And there is plenty if I'm honest about it. I accomplished a lot of things, it's just that they weren't what I was thinking of doing today.

First of all I had to take my car in for one final tweak of repairs from its encounter with a deer when hubby borrowed it last month. That was supposed to take two hours, and I was fuming about that since they had originally told me 30 minutes. So I hadn't made any arrangements for anything except "sit and wait." I took my crochet project and... it took only 15 minutes! So I made use of the "found" time to go to the hardware store, and a tire garage.

The tire story has a long history. For over a year my car has had a thumping shimmy at 55 mph. Not good. But it also had a more serious issue that had to be solved when that first started, and I managed to pay for that and ignored the thump, trying to drive at speeds where it was less noticeable. Well, I didn't completely ignore it. The place where I bought the tires told me that I had a bent wheel. They even took the wheel off and rotated it on the jig to show me the uneven spot. The problem is that I am not a mechanical idiot. He was asking me to look at a line of mud on the edge of the metal, not the edge of the metal. So I wasn't buying that diagnosis. A different place where I get most of my auto work done said, "the wheel is not bent, the tire is defective." But of course the tire store didn't want to hear that (you know, they could have just sent the tire back... I don't know why they wouldn't even consider this option... wanted to sell me a wheel, I guess). One of the things that makes me NUTS is to put me in the middle between two auto repair places that don't agree.

But I'm heading out for a long road trip again, so I knew I had to do something soon. So I went to another tire place that is close to my house that I've dealt with occasionally for repairs, and asked them to look at it. The wheel is NOT bent, the tire was obviously defective and dead. So I have two new back tires, and I can cross that off my pre-trip list, at any rate. And I feel vindicated in my non-idiot status.

I went to the bank and the Post Office. Isn't this exciting? Why does this stuff all take so long? But a big chunk of the afternoon was spent interviewing a man for my monthly local newspaper column. The column is titled "Get Off The Couch." (No big surprise there either, right?), and the title of this episode will be "Growing Up Off the Couch." I found out a while ago that the auto repair guy I like grew up at the Big Sable Point lighthouse in the 1950s because his father was the Assistant Lighthouse Keeper. Now I just have to write it up before Wednesday noon and I can cross one more thing off my list.

But, you don't see any mention of working on hike food there, right? Better happen tomorrow!

Hike Planning Report
Rain all day... no walk, nothing else either.

For a few examples of my monthly news column that I've also put on line:
See Encountering a Great Horned Owl
See In Search of a Simpler Christmas
See Got a Bike? Make Your Own Adventure


Glynis Peters said...

Don't you just hate it when that happens! Hope all goes smoothly soon :)

rainfield61 said...

This is what I hate but have to live with.

betchai said...

i hope all will be well and go smooth in your coming road trip and long hike sharbytes. good luck also to your article.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Glynis & Rainfield- We sure do have days like this, but we all wish we didn't!

Betchai- Thanks for the kind thoughts! I am working to get more focused and ensure that the trip prep will be done.

Rick (Ratty) said...

I've had plenty of fix-it shops try to cheat me like that. I'm glad you got through that one well.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Ratty- We've heard lots of bad things about that shop over time, but up until this they had always treated us well enough. But they've lost my business now. You have to wonder why integrity can't be more important to businesses.

WiseAcre said...

I'm lucky - I found a place that takes good care of our vehicles and goes out of their way to keep the costs down.

Sure it wasn't just bad air in the tire?

Sharkbytes said...

HI WiseAcre- Yes, I have a great place that does most of my work, but they don't do tires or a couple of other things.

Bad air!!! I like that... there was at least bad karma.