Archive for December 15, 2009

Proof of Octopus Tool Use

That octopus sure is fond of his/her cozy little coconut shell home.

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Got My H1N1 Shot Today

I haven’t developed odd neurological symptoms, started baying at the moon, or had any other side effects. Didn’t even feel it.

Update: I feel that sucker today! No pain going in, but a sore shoulder today.

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Flat Tire (Or, in the Vernacular, Tar)

I happily walked to the parking lot after work today, happy because work was over, but a lil’ grumpy about the prospect of buying for 5 great nieces and nephews whom I see once a year and do not have a CLUE about what to get them. My plans were unfortunately changed because my vehicle was setting there with a big ol’ flat tire. DANG!

I looked at the tire. It was really, really flat. I crawled under the vehicle and looked at my spare tire. It had been riding around under there for 18 years (grin), and wasn’t exactly full of air.

I called my husband, who gets off work an hour later than I do, and left a message. Luckily, I had plenty of reading material because I hadn’t taken out the sack of National Geographics and Smithsonian magazines that mom had given me. When he called back, I told him about the flat tire and the sad state of the spare.

“Look, I don’t know about the integrity of the tire. It might have a bigass hole in it or something, and the spare is nearly 20 years old, and I don’t think it’s been aired up in that time. Just drop by the house, fill up an air tank, and we can air it up and go. And get one of the hydraulic jacks because this lil’ fold up jack ain’t all that.”

Pretty simple, hunh? I thought it was pretty simple, anyway. But noooooo.

“What you really need is one o’ them lil’ air compressors you plug into your cigarette lighter. I’m going to stop at NAPA and get you one. The jack is fine, you don’t need a big one.”

“Uh, no, I don’t want to wait an hour for my tire to air up. How ’bout you go by the house, fill up an air tank, and bring it out?”

“No, that would take too long.”

So, a half hour later, he called with an update.

“That dumbass at NAPA is clueless. I’m heading to another NAPA.”

Sigh. It would have been waaaaay cheaper and waaaaaay quicker to just pick up the damn air tank and another jack! Since he was STILL at least 45 minutes away, I assembled my little imitation jack and went to work. I had the vehicle all nicely jacked up; unfortunately, the vehicle rolled while in park when the jack moved. I gave up, went back inside the vehicle, and waited.

When SwampMan finally arrived, I told him we had a lil’ complication.

“I, uh, jacked it up so that we could decide what to do with the tire, but there’s been a lil’ complication.”

“And?”

“The jack is under the tire.”

“How in the HELL did you manage that?”

“It rolled forward and ran over the jack.”

“That is IMPOSSIBLE. You did something wrong.”

So, with SwampMan’s watchful eye on the jack so that I didn’t do more damage than what had already been done, I slowly, slowly backed up an inch at a time while SwampMan extricated everything.

“Okay, where did you have the jack placed?”

“Uh, right there were the jack instructions said to place it!”

“Hunh. Well, that’s the right place.”

He put the jack back into the same location.

“Hey, be careful! I nearly ran over myself with my own vehicle with that jack!

SwampMan gave that smirk that indicated that he knew I’d done something completely moronic so he was going to ignore my advice.

He got about halfway through jacking up the vehicle when it rolled again. Since he hadn’t had it all the way up, he didn’t actually run over the jack but it was close.

“SONOVABITCH! It’s not supposed to do that!”

“Uh, yeah, I know.”

“Piece of shit jack!”

“Uh, yeah, I know!”

SwampMan hadn’t actually done anything useful in the way of bringing supplies except to get a plug in compressor that had to first be charged up in an AC outlet before it would work. No help at all. No air. Flattish spare.

SwampMan started questioning as to why I didn’t carry something as useful as Fix-A-Flat with me. (I actually DID have two old cans that did not work.) Since I usually blow tires while traveling at a high rate of speed, I have never found Fix-A-Flat to be particularly useful, but I said that I’d be glad to use HIS cans of Fix-A-Flat. Oh, wait, he didn’t have any. He bought an air compressor that DID NOT WORK, but no cans of Fix-A-Flat. I would have said more, but I was a 6 and 1/2 hour walk away from home.

So, the bottom of the jack was stabilized on scrap wood from the back of SwampMan’s truck, the 18-year-old very low air tire was placed on the van, and I drove home quite slowly, arriving after dark. SwampMan removed the offending nail from the tire and remounted it while I fed livestock. We had dinner at 9:30.

Tonight was supposed to be candy making night. Maybe this is the Universe’s way of telling me to forget it. Nah, that can’t be it. The Universe likes candy. Maybe the Universe is telling me that I shouldn’t buy any presents. Or maybe the Universe is telling me to buy a newer vehicle whose spare tire has actual air molecules in it.

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