Continuing Car Saga

Several years ago I had a hard time with my car because, as I found out later, the mechanic I went to at the time was a cheat and not only didn’t do what he was supposed to, he actually sabotaged the vehicle. In one case, instead of replacing the leaky brakes, he cut the rear brake line and blocked it with a bolt. I still don’t understand the reasoning behind that. And there was something about the points. Either he put in bad points or used cheap ones, or something, because the car kept breaking down.

I eventually found a mechanic who only dealt in air-cooled VW Beetles. He switched out the original ignition with an electronic ignition, which eliminated the points problem. Of course, things are never that easy. It turns out that the electronic ignition and the carburetor no longer “spoke” to each other, so he had to put in an older carburetor, which entailed reworking various connections.

Fast forward to today. The carburetor he put in no longer works, so my current mechanic ordered and installed a new carburetor. And no surprise, it doesn’t speak the language of the electronic ignition. The mechanic spent all day yesterday trying to get everything meshed, without much luck. (I felt bad that he had to do all that work, but he seemed happy enough to have something different to do since it’s a far cry from what he normally does.) He’s trying one more thing today, replacing some connectors, but he doesn’t think it will work. While researching the problem, he found site after site that categorically said not to put an electronic ignition in this particular model and year because of the very problem he encountered.

So now the best option seems to be to order a new ignition of the non-electronic variety and install that. I had no problem with the original-style ignition until the days of the cheating mechanic, so I’m okay with that, and in a way I prefer it since it restores the car to its original condition. Although I had no objection to the electronic ignition, I never really liked the idea of a non-regulation carburetor.

I do like that this new mechanic seems to be invested in my car. I think he gets as much a kick out of people commenting on the vehicle when it’s in his care and listening to their reminiscences of their experience with a VW bug as I do.

Even though some people think I need to get a new car (and as I get older and have a harder time clambering in and out, I sometimes agree), I’ll stick with this one to the end — either my end or the car’s end. The money I put into the car each year is a lot less than a monthly car payment would be. Besides, it’s to the point that I almost have to keep it. I mean, how many people have bought but a single vehicle in their entire life, and are still driving that vehicle? It gives me a weird sort of prestige. And makes almost everyone I meet an instant friend.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Waiting

Today has been a day of waiting. My car was supposed to have finally been made road ready by this evening, but even after a day of waiting — another day of waiting — the car still isn’t finished. It started several weeks ago when I took the car in because it kept bucking and stalling. It turns out that the spark plugs had burned out way too fast because of a leaky carburetor. (Too much air in the gas makes the engine run hot.) He ordered a carburetor, which took a couple of weeks. When it came in, I made an appointment for my day off. He likes having the car all day, and he leaves in the evening before I get off work, which pretty much limits his ability to work on my car.

When I showed up for the appointment, he couldn’t work on it. He was backed up, and because of the heavy rain, I didn’t mind waiting another week.

So the next week when I took it in, he changed out the carburetor, but didn’t have time to adjust the valves, and without that adjustment, the car runs like an old rusted out truck that hadn’t been maintained for decades. So, another appointment for today.

And I’m still waiting.

Luckily, he was able to put the car in a bay for the night, which not only protects the car but makes sure it’s at the head of the line for tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed!

I don’t know why a day spent waiting feels any different from any other day. I mean, I did the same things — read, play a game on the computer, take a short walk, wander around my yard, talk to neighbors. Oh, and I took photos of my tulips!

I guess it’s more that I don’t have my normal sense of untimeliness when I’m waiting because waiting for something almost by definition indicates a timeline.

I should be used to waiting by now, considering how sporadically anyone comes to do work on the house. I’ve figured out the problem — the same problem a lot of people around here have. The jobs are too small for a contractor to use a full crew, and many workers can’t work without supervision, so it’s hard to split crews into smaller groups. Or something like that.

Not that it matters. If I weren’t waiting for any of these jobs to be done, I’d be waiting for others since there always seems to be something that needs to be fixed.

Meanwhile, there are tulips.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

Spring!

Spring slipped in between a couple of storm systems today, fully equipped with sun, warm air, a few fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky, and even a flower! I was so shocked to see this bright purple bloom I couldn’t for a moment remember what it was or where it came from, then I realized it was a dwarf iris from a bulb that I’d planted a year and a half ago. (I don’t know why it appears blue here. Maybe it’s my computer.)

Although I was disappointed in the dismal appearance rate of the bulbs I planted that fall, many seem to be coming up this year, and in fact, seem to have propagated themselves. Now it remains to be seen if I will have any blooms beside this one cheerful iris, though with a new weather system moving in, it’s hard to figure out what will happen. If it remains above freezing and we just get rain, the bulbs will probably have a growth spurt, but if it snows, all bets are off.

I’m hoping the storm holds off an extra day because I have an appointment with my mechanic on Monday to have a new carburetor put in my bug, and that’s the very day the storm is expected. Luckily, I’d only have to drive a quarter of a mile, so it shouldn’t be a problem, but I am not used to driving in inclement weather. Given a choice, I prefer to drive on dry streets, but this is one time I will have to deal with whatever the weather decides to do. Because of my work schedule and the mechanic’s, Mondays are the only days for the work to get done, so unless the weather is truly appalling, I will have to keep the appointment. I suppose if bad weather hits, I could reschedule for the next Monday and hope this isn’t a repeating weather pattern, but I do need to get the car fixed. I don’t mind not being able to drive, but in case of an emergency, I’d have to beg someone for a ride, and though they may be willing, I’m sure it would be an imposition, and I don’t like imposing on people.

But all that’s a consideration for another day. Today the sun is shining, spring is here, and I have a flower in my yard.

Life is good.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.