First of all, my heartfelt thanks to those of you who donated money to support this blog; there was definitely a noticeable bounce after my last post. Your generosity sure comes in handy right about now. Don’t worry, I shall explain.
Today was truly a bad karma day, a comedy of errors, really. Since my car’s battery was basically kaputt, I called around to see if I could get it replaced somewhere, and found a pretty good solution — even had a coupon for it. So, I went outside and fired up my boss’s portable jump-starter. It didn’t work. The engine cranked a bit, but it just wouldn’t turn over. I recharged it a couple of times, and it simply wouldn’t work. The terminal connectors on the battery were pretty corroded, and the positive terminal was basically shot. I decided my best bet would be to bring a battery home, along with a couple of cables, and do the job myself. It just didn’t seem worth getting a tow truck out here for a battery replacement.
I took the bus to the auto parts store, got the battery and other sundries, and headed back. I had to make a transfer on the way back, and the second bus driver told me that I couldn’t bring a battery on board the bus. This was odd, as the first bus driver didn’t even care. This meant I had to walk the remaining mile or so back home, carrying this incredibly heavy car battery.
But the adventure had only begun. I popped the hood when I got home and got to work. I quickly realized that I lacked the right tools, so I made a separate trip, this time by foot, to the local home-improvement store. We live in a part of town where things are not nearby, so it was 15 minutes there and 15 minutes back. I did manage to get the battery removed (and took some flesh of my knuckles in the process, of course) but soon realized that replacing the battery cables was just beyond my skill set. The positive cable was so corroded I couldn’t even figure out what I was working with, what was connected to what, and what I’d need to replace. I decided to call it quits and head into work.
This was part two of that adventure. I had figured I could catch a bus that would set me up to get to work on time, but I ended up missing it by about 2 minutes. On top of that, I didn’t have the correct change, and had to stop at the bank to take care of that. By the time I’d settled all that, I watched two separate buses go by, neither of which I could have caught. I finally did board one that looked like it would get me to the transit center on time. This bus just happened to be driven by the same driver who told me I could not bring a battery on board. I think he recognized me, and I’m glad I didn’t curse him out the first time; this time I was well dressed, so he seemed a bit confused. This nearly did get me to the transit center on time, but my connecting bus was pulling away right as we pulled in.
I should mention that it was early afternoon at this point and all that I’d eaten all day was a bowl of oatmeal.
I had about 30 minutes to spare, so I headed to a nearby cafe to grab a quick bite. Service was slow, so I got out of there about 10 minutes before the next bus arrived. By this time, I realized I was going to be late for work, so I called ahead to let them know. (They took care of getting things started for me.) This bus got stuck in rush hour traffic — three times. I needed to make yet another transfer (yes, this is true) and it looked like I wouldn’t make it. Somehow, we got there with one minute to spare and I did make that transfer. I got on this third bus, and was hoping to get to work pretty quickly. No such luck. Three people in a row asked the bus driver if he went to such and such address, and the driver had to think about it, as though he didn’t even know where these streets were. This delayed our departure by about five minutes. Then, we hit every single red light on the way. So, I ended up arriving at work 20 minutes late.
I was fit to be tied by all of this, of course. I was able to get a lift home with a colleague (yes, this is luck!), but I still don’t have an operating vehicle. I am currently looking into getting a mobile mechanic out here to take care of the battery for me; they should be able to do it on short order, 15 minutes tops, I’d think.
I didn’t have much time to contact the wife today, or anything like that. In fact, I spent quite a bit of my time feeling rather annoyed with her. Don’t fret it folks, this is normal, and it happens to the best of us. I went through all the stories about how upset I was with her for being so selfish and so forth. They’re just stories. At the end of the day, she’s still my wife, and I’m not about to do anything so foolish as to blow my top with her over something like this.
I did email her in the morning to let her know that I had some important information to discuss with her. I had spoken with the graduate school at the university regarding some procedural issues with her dissertation, and wanted to fill her in on it. She emailed me this evening, somewhat tersely, to ask me what it was all about, and to say she’d be “out of town.” That is, at Camp You-Know-Where. My response was, “just call me please.” I do know that her dissertation advisor is on her case about finishing up. I suspect there will be some very real tension over this.
So it was very frustrating, this day called Thursday, September 27. Heck, I’m already out over $100 on the battery and parts, and will be forking over some more to get it installed.
By the way, I’m still open for blog donations, if any of you should feel so moved. Consider it a Rescuing Rodion’s Battery Drive, if you will. Old Rodion will be ever so grateful.
Let’s make it a great Friday. Cheers!