Monday, February 25, 2008

All I wanted to do was go grocery shopping

Apparently, that was way too much to ask.

Last week, I noticed that the truck had a flat tire. This is the second flat we've had since we moved down here. The first flat was quite an ordeal; there were a few other things that needed fixing at the time. When the tire went flat, I finally resolved to take it in to the shop. Unfortunately, I was unable to get the tire off the truck to install the spare tire for the drive over to the shop. I felt really silly asking for a tow for a flat tire: I should be able to fix a flat by myself, thank you.

The repair last time ended up including two new tires, and a rotation of the tires. This flat is one of the old tires, but it's in the same position as the first flat: rear, passenger side. I don't think they're entirely unrelated. I found a nail sticking in the tire this time, and I think both flats are a result of how and where I parked the truck on those two occasions (that might be best explained in an upcoming post).

Changing the tire took three hours. First, the lugnuts were rusted and stuck. A lot of WD-40 got them lubricated enough to loosen. Then I started jacking the car. Wait, I'm not supposed to do that yet: I have to get the spare tire out from the underside of the car first. So I jacked it back down, and tried to remember how to get the spare tire out. I vaguely remember seeing my father do this once, at least 12 years ago. But nothing seemed to work. So I asked Nora for help. We finally decided that that mechanism needed WD-40 as well. We also double-checked the internet to make sure it actually worked the way we thought it did. That gave us enough confidence that we were doing it correctly, that we went back and tried one last time. Lo and behold, it worked.

The tow last time cost $90, and doubled the amount of time it took me to get the car to the shop. And because I was stupid about it, I had to spend another $20 for a cab ride back home. The shop is about 3 miles from us, mostly along the river, out of the city and into unincorporated Jefferson Parish. It's an easy, pleasant, and safe bike ride along the river levee. So when I take the truck in tomorrow morning, I can drop my bike into the bed, drive over to the shop, leave the truck, and bike to campus (it'll be about 5-6 miles by that point).

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