May 27th, 2009

krazy koati

Walking in time to the ringing bell

I had intended to get on to the next part of the shoulder strap adventure --- I've actually, for a rare change, got a list of topics going a comfortable range out, with the exception of weekly humor pieces --- but that got preempted as I was driving home from the library after work today when something unexpected happened. I had pulled just a bit ahead of the driveway I use to park, and pulled into reverse, when a most irritating thing happened: nothing.

I accept that with an older car one will have occasional quirks of performance such as the pickup being relatively slow; since I'm not a high-acceleration sort of driver that's normally fine. But I do expect that when I put the car in gear, it will start moving in that gear, and this wasn't happening. Forward was still working, but when I tried turning into a neighbor's driveway for a K turn I found that, no, the reverse was not working at all. Worse, I felt a distinct tug forward with the car in neutral. I tested out the assumption that the gear shift lever had gotten pulled over one from the marked positions, and this proved to be hilariously wrong.

Ultimately, after waving through the various people who lined up waiting to pass, I got the car out of the neighbor's driveway by the traditional method of putting it in neutral with the engine off and pushing, and I was able to get it into the driveway it's supposed to be in. My father's diagnosis from this is some sort of filter not being cleaned, and he frowned disapprovingly at my having had the oil changed at Jiffy Lube something like two months ago.

So, I've called in to report I'll be in to work late tomorrow; with luck we'll be able to get to the car place without my actually needing a reverse gear. And with luck repairs will not be excessive. But it is getting very hard to resist the logic of a new car with, what is the exact term, working parts.

Trivia: In the ceremony turning the Director-Generalship of New Netherland over to Peter Stuyvesant, the departing Willem Kieft thanked the colonists for their loyalty to him, and, per protocol, paused to let them thank him. The colonists, beginning with Jochem Kuyter and Cornelius Melyn, took the chance to taunt Kieft instead. Source: The Island At The Centre Of The World, Russell Shorto.

Currently Reading: The Peace Ship: Henry Ford's Pacifist Adventure In The First World War, Barbara S Kraft.