Monday, August 20, 2007

Around And Around...

It was 46 degrees outside this morning. (that would be somewhere around 7 or 8 on the Celsius scale, I think...) Having once again neglected to close the windows before turning in last night, it was not a morning that inspired leaping from the bed and getting an enthusiastic start. The Big, Fluffy Kitty, who normally retires to another part of the house after seeing me safely off to bed at night was by my side and looking concerned. I can only assume that this was some sort of selfless act aimed at keeping me alive with her vast body heat because she really does like me. That or she wanted to ensure the morning filling of the food dish...either way, the gesture was appreciated.

There could be no lolling about and congratulating her quick thinking, though. I needed to brave the cold temperatures and get out of bed. As much as I hated to do it, I had to venture forth once more to the dealership service center and face the people who fix my truck. Nothing too dramatic this time; I just needed to get a couple of tires replaced. Routine maintenance, really. I'd simply put it off for a while. Part of it was due to the expense. I hate spending money on my vehicle that could be more happily put towards pretty hair bows and gum drops. Or yarn.

Those who have followed this blog for a while know that I don't have the best track record with the mechanics. Over the past year, I have spent more on my truck that I care to admit. Or even think about... But, tires are important and, with school starting soon, I needed to take care of this. I'm a commuter. I pile on the miles. I need tires with actual treads if the vehicle care manual is to be believed.

I arrived at the service center bright and early, turned over my keys and was told that the shuttle would be available in about ten minutes to take me back to my happy (if chilly) home where I could wait out the repairs from the comfort of my own couch. An hour later, a message was left on my home answering machine stating that the repairs were on schedule and asking if I wanted an alignment as well. Which I did. I just forgot to mention it when I made the appointment.

All in all, this was really pretty efficient given how busy they were over there this morning. Yup. This could probably stand as a model for car fixers everywhere.

Well, it could have been an example had it not been for one thing: at the time the call was placed to my home, I was sitting in the waiting room of the service center staring with bewilderment at the cuff of a sock and thinking, "Either I have become the world's fastest knitter and have set some sort of record for how much one can stitch up in ten minutes or I have been here a bit longer than I'd planned."

It was not the former.

The poor head mechanic came out to the waiting area, turned a rather alarming shade of white and said, "Oh my God! We forgot about you! The shuttle left without you!!!" I was given the choice of waiting an hour and a half or so for the repairs to be finished or going home and coming back later. I did a few quick calculations based on the data available. If I knew that a ten minute wait for a shuttle equaled one hour, then what exactly would 90 minutes translate to in "garage time?" The math was complex and the variables many, but it was clear to me that I would probably be spending the night had I elected to stay. A salesman was pulled from the floor to escort me home since the shuttle driver was nowhere to be found at that point. The shuttle was there...just no driver. Since no one else seemed to find this alarming, I opted not to panic and start gathering up a search party.

My decision was a good one. It was 2:30 in the afternoon, a good four hours later, before I was able to retrieve my vehicle. After running a quick errand, I returned home and prepared to forget my vehicular woes (and the $500.00 price tag). I had another few minutes to spend on the whole matter, though. I went in to have the tires on the passenger side replaced this time, leaving the other two on the "pending" list. After ten minutes of walking around the truck and staring at the new rubber, followed by the input of my neighbor who obviously thought I'd had some sort of cerebral episode and was now lost in my own parking space, it was clear. Two tires had indeed been replaced. But they'd moved the new ones to the front. A good choice. I like having two new tires on the front. I just needed the heads-up is all. I'm sleeping in the numbing cold and losing large amounts of time while knitting socks in the service center waiting room. There is every reason to believe that I have lost a few brain cells. I need clear information regarding where my new tires be.

Oh well. It'll make for good conversation the next time I go a' knitting with Noolie. I know that some of you are sad because you don't get to knit with Noolie. I understand. It is fun to knit with Noolie. But you know what you can do? You can Light The Night With Noolie!!! No flames or explosions involved, just a little donation to a very good cause is all. If you hate the dark and all things cancerish, then why not go light things up a bit?

After making a donation to the college funds of several children I do not know but whose parents work at the auto service center, I dropped some dollars towards a lighter night myself. It's most certainly a worthwhile endeavor. And I may need the karma points.

The truck is due for its state inspection this month. I am told I need to "take care of a few things..."



Anonymous said...

The news all seemed so good until the end. Nothing good ever comes from a state inspection. I hope you manage to get away without one of those reject stickers. We had one of those a few cars ago and the price to make it pass was the GNP of a small country.
At least you got some knitting time while waiting for the illusive shuttle.

Mel said...

$500 actually is about what I'd expect for two new tires and an alignment. Both are rather 'spensive.

I'm off tomorrow and should be rested, so I'll be planning on knitting with Noolie a bit myself.

kmkat said...

Thanks for the heads up for Noolie's cause. Enjoy your knitting together!

Lorraine said...

Whew, four days out of communication and so much happens . . . Vehicular maintenance is definitely on the top of my "most-hated" list of things to deal with. That and oven repairs, which are becoming far to frequent at this house.

Happy you're going to be commuting safely and crossing my fingers for the upcoming inspection.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out about Light the Night!

I'm thinking if you take the truck to a different garage for inspection (not the one that is used to taking all your money) perhaps they will not notice the "few things" that need taking care of.

Leigh said...

Some days I wish we were back with horse and buggy. I envy you your cool night temperatures! Around here, we think we're doing good if the temp gets below 80 at night. Also, thanks for th elink to Noolie.

Annie said...

I agree with Leigh- I can't even imagine those cool temps right now. We've been way over 90 degrees every day in August so far....most days close to 100. Combined with no rain, it's HOT!

Sheila said...

Did you say 46 degrees? How can that is still August!!
Those inspections always make me nervous, like taking a final exam kind of nervous. Good luck on yours!

Mia said...

Karma points are always a good thing :)

Cold here too! I tried to BRIBE my own BFK into snuggling (keeping me warm) this morning.. she thought she had died and gone to heaven *grin*. Oh well, It's kinda nice to put on the warm sockies and sweaters.. but it's supposed to be 90 on Thursday!!

Bobbi said...

hmmmm, given that it's FREAKING hot here I'm having a hard time with the sympathy for the open windows! :)