bunt sign

Thursday, August 4, 2005

Something was wrong with my carís engine. Thatís what I thought, anyway, when I heard the rumbling that seemed to be coming from beneath the hood as I turned onto the street where the post office is located. I got out of the car and headed for the box with my mail, but I took a backward glance and saw that the right rear tire was flat.

There hadnít been a blowout or any sign while I was driving that told me this was the source of the noise. Itís been a long time since Iíve had a flat tire, but my first thought was that I knew how to use the jack and I could put on the compact spare and get myself to the gas station where I always go. No problem, right? That was my first thought.

My second thought was that I pay the auto club a hundred dollars a year for their highest rated membership, and I have aches and pains all up and down my body that would be aggravated by trying to change a tire, and that Iím the least mechanically adept person I know and if there was a way to do it wrong Iíd find it. And also, I wasnít out on a deserted highway where no one could see me doing it wrong. I was in the middle of town, in a safe place, where the tow truck driver could easily find me.

Thatís a lot of second thoughts, but they paid off. I called the auto club, they sent the tow truck, and in half an hour I was on my way to get the tire repaired at the gas station where I always go. That, it turns out, was a mistake. I was born in the era of the ďserviceĒ station. I can even remember when three or four guys in uniforms would take care of your car when you pulled up to the pump. I was a wee bairn then, without a driverís license, but I remember it.

They donít do anything mechanical at my station, except cook burritos in their microwave. Theyíre as useless as I am. I drove through the station to make sure, then drove on, looking for a place to get my tire repaired. The tow truck driver had reminded me that I could go about 50 miles on the compact spare, and for a while it seemed Iíd hit that mark and have to find out what happened after I passed it. For some reason Loganís Run flashed through my mind.

Well, I know of one full service station still operating in Santa Rosa. There may be more, I donít know, but I went back to the place I used to go before I started pumping my own gas. I drove up to the garage area and asked if it were possible to get a tire repaired. In another half hour I was happily on my way. What could have been an all day ordeal had cost me maybe an hour and a half of my valuable time. It would have been less than that if I hadnít wandered all over town before landing at Keith and Donís 76 station.

4 August 2005

Aiden helps Dakota with cleanup duty.

Even so, I was worn out. All that standing around watching other people work can do that to you. By the time Tammy called and asked for some company for an hour or so tonight, I was revived and ready. Iím (almost) always ready to spend some time with that family. And today was the first time Iíve seen Aiden jump. He doesnít get off the ground, but he has all the motions right, crouching low and then raising his arms in the air and stumbling slightly forward. Itís a little like watching a penguin trying to fly.

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For once, a few breaks fell the Giantsí way today. They were trailing, 4-1, in the eighth when three straight batters hit balls that could easily have been outs. Two of them hit fieldersí gloves and the third hit the pitcherís foot and died there as he looked up, down and sideways for it before finding it below him. Those three hits that might not have been loaded the bases, and the Giants added four more hits in the inning to come from behind and beat the Rockies, 6-4.

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