August 24th, 2008

krazy koati

Why do you dream flat tires when you dream flat tires?

I was politely asked in private channels whether anything interesting had happened to me in the past month, which reminded me I had let my enthusiasm over the day at Seaside Heights overwhelm my sense of pacing. Usually with an an extended story I'll space it out and I forgot my balance. I'll try to be more evenhandedon. And I think it'll be a nice dramatic pause to leave matters at the discovery of the carousel for a moment.

But the truth is that things have been much less interesting for me. The first big event to happen post-visit would be that I went to the library to return my audio book (the first half of First Man, the authorized, exhaustive, and exhausting biography of Neil Armstrong, which answers every single imaginable question about Armstrong, down to how often he visited the local guy with a telescope in the process of studying for his Boy Scout Merit Badge in Astronomy) and get a new one (the second half of First Man). This required going down to a more distant, but more robust, library branch, but what's a little extra driving?

Well, on the way back, at a light, a woman pulled up beside me to tell me the passenger-side rear tire was flat. Very flat. As in, stop driving this minute flat. She was worried I was driving on the rims. There was an empty lot nearby (this was in central-to-south New Jersey which always looks to me like empty lots). I'm not one of the world's great tire changers (there must be a world's greatest tire changer, and do you suppose she or he knows she or he is?), but I figured I could if I absolutely had to, and this would be an example of having to. I did have to get several boxes of paperbacks destined for The Book Garden out of the trunk, of course, and try to figure out whether the miscellaneous components of two jack systems had enough of the right pieces to be one functioning jack, and I lacked anything to chock the front tires. And not to sound like I'm grumping, but it was a hot day with abundant direct sunlight.

I used my rarely-used parking brake to try keeping the car from rolling forward while elevated, which may not have done anything useful but at least I tried. And I did have enough of a jack, apparently from a Toyota (not my parents'), with the hand-crank type lever which I find pretty good even if it requires several hundred thousand rotations to lift the tire half an inch. But for very little of the process did I feel like the car was going to tilt forward and crash into the chipped asphalt of the empty lot.

Trivia: Japanese Welfare Minister Koichi Kido did not consult the organizing committee before announcing the cancellation of Tokyo's scheduled 1940 Olympic Games and forfeit of the city's Olympic bid. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: Monitor: The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History, James Tertius deKay. That's a lot to promise in one subtitle.