austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in

For the weekend we'd left our pet rabbit with bunny_hugger's parents, since it makes two excuses to see them, and we're not comfortable leaving him alone all weekend as he makes long-distance phone calls. So the day after the con they drove up to drop him off --- he got very agitated that we were leaving him in the carrier, because we were setting up his pen and opening his cage, and demanded to be let out now so we did --- and to drive to a farmer's market/gardening supply place that's really good.

Her parents' car has been suffering intermittent stalls. This has usually been one or two at low speed and then the problem went away again. But as they tried to drive us to the market the car stalled, repeatedly, and even at normal cruising speed (for the road before we got to the highway). That was enough: we urged them --- maybe demanded of them --- that they take it to a dealer, and we thought about how to get them to the Honda dealership bunny_hugger uses for her car.

The catch here was, we didn't feel comfortable using the highway; and all the normal roads we'd use to get there are under construction, as Michigan is tearing up every road in the hopes something better comes along. Without exaggeration, not only was the first route bunny_hugger would use to get there closed, but also the second route, and the third was --- due to construction --- clogged into what looked like a merger mess that would be impossible to lead her parents through. All the courses were sufficiently bad that driving through the Michigan State campus was the best alternative, and as you may know from having ever been to any college campus ever, college campuses are the worst things to drive through.

Despite our best efforts bunny_hugger, taking the lead, lost us. But I'd stuck with her parents in their car, as backup, and was able to guide them to the dealership where they were able to review the car and figure out what to test before the place closed. We did have to drive her parents back home, so they could take car of their dogs, and then bunny_hugger drove back Wednesday to pick them up again.

The verdict was that the ignition points (or something like that) on their car were bad, which would normally be a fairly pricey fix, but because of some recall condition the dealer was waiving the charge for that. Of course, there is a conservation law regarding automobile repairs, and something else her father mentioned --- this unpleasant groaning noise --- satisfied that. The struts were rusted, and needed replacement, and that cost plenty. But, it's better that than (as they'd feared) needing a replacement car altogether.

Trivia: On 29 April 1985 two squirrel monkeys and 24 rats were launched aboard Challenger. This was the first time humans and monkeys flew into space together. Source: Animals In Space: From Research Rockets To The Space Shuttle, Colin Burgess, Chris Dubbs.

Currently Reading: Words From The Map, Isaac Asimov.

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