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07 June 2019 @ 10:46 am
In which things randomly die...  
Life did its best to undo the effects of our wonderful trip away Memorial Day Weekend. :O

After a long day back at work last Wednesday, I got a flat tire about three miles from home that turned into the Flat From Hell. It's always an annoying and filthy job changing a flat tire, and I only remember ever having two flats on the 4Runner over these past 23 years (!), so I'm not sure I've done the job entirely by myself on this car before.

It did not go well. :O After working on it in the evening heat, then calling HalfshellHusband for some better tools, then calling AAA for service (and being given a 4-5 hour wait time), the car wound up having to get towed to the tire store the next morning. The cable securing the spare under the car had to be cut because the padlock around it was frozen (even with oiling). The crank mechanism to lower the spare was no longer working either (regular maintenance a few days later revealed that everything was rusted out below and needed to be replaced). And the spare tire was actually garbage. It was ollld.

Finding all that out was actually a relief. I hadn't felt that incompetent in a long time—it was just a flat tire, for crying out loud! Though the last time I tried to fix a flat on the Prius, that didn't go well either. The jack tools that came with the car are lousy—it's nearly impossible to raise the car for a front flat, as it's super-heavy and the jack lever puts all the work in your wrists instead of your arms. HSH even struggled with it, and the next flat we got, he came to my aid in the 4Runner with its better tool set.

By contrast, the jack and tools for my '84 Tercel were a thing of efficient, ergonomic beauty. WTF, Toyota? How do you forget something you used to do so well?

Part two of "All Things Dead" was the discovery on Wednesday that our A/C is broken again. We had a sudden heat surge after a long, weird spring, and I finally turned the A/C on Tuesday night at bedtime (it was 79o in the house). At 3:30 a.m., I shut it off because it was still running and shouldn't have been. When I turned it back on late Wednesday afternoon, we noticed the outside unit (that does the actual cooling) was not coming on. YAYyyy. I rechecked the thermostat setup and HSH checked the circuit breakers, but no. It got up to 81o in the house before the evening temps finally started to drop around 9 p.m.

We called the service guy, but of course, a heat surge is when everyone ELSE discovers their A/C is broken. He referred us to a friend, whose soonest appointment was Tuesday. So, back to our guy, who is coming tomorrow.

Meanwhile, we have a few days of wind and lower temperatures, which will help. As long as the evening breezes and cooling happen, you can open up the house and super-cool it overnight. It's usually when those stop that the daytime temperatures get REALLY high, which makes the house heat up and causes you to need that nighttime cooling even more.

I expect that's what's ahead staring Sunday. Daytime highs of 95o to 102o are expected through next Thursday.

I hate this climate. I hate this climate.

Trigger Warning: Life: pic#128961362matchboximpala on June 7th, 2019 08:56 pm (UTC)
That flat experience sounds TERRIBLE. I'm so sorry.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Yikeshalfshellvenus on June 7th, 2019 10:49 pm (UTC)
I was originally going to repost more horrific detail, but it got so long. :O

The heat, the 40 minutes of trying to get at the spare before calling AAA, the 25 minutes on hold to talk to a live person at AAA (!!!), the 20 minutes of working through the problem with the dispatcher before getting that 4-5 hour estimate...

She suggested trying a regular road-service place and filing a reimbursement request with AAA afterward, and after some trying she found us a place to work with and transferred us. To the stupidest person I've talked to in years, who couldn't seem to work out what the problem was, why we would want the service truck to have bolt-cutters (for that cable) and weren't necessarily asking for a tow, and where on a map we actually were. /o\

Every interaction started with her saying "Hello???" like she'd forgotten who we were, or what she'd been doing. And then we got a 1 1/2 hour ETA from THAT place.

Who knew a flat could be so much _trouble_? Geez!
ecosopherecosopher on June 9th, 2019 07:17 am (UTC)
Ugh, that is HOT. Ick. And not having it cool down at night is the worst. We're having our first real cold weather of the winter (late, actually - May is usually quite chilly down here) and so I've been piling on layers of clothes today. Brrr! Once again, it would be nice if we could swap a bit out with each other to even the temps up :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 14th, 2019 06:51 am (UTC)
It would be nice to live in a more temperate area, most definitely! Sacramento's winters aren't usually too bad, though we'll get to freezing at night (so, it's cold enough to limit the kinds of plants that can survive here). But the summers? Ugh. And they go on SO long.

I guess May would be our November? November is a bit of a guessing game here-- it's usually colder in late November and then December/early January is our coldest and wettest part of the year.

But every once in a while, we have a Thanksgiving that is more like Indian summer than fall or winter-- and that's late November!
passing_through: ack Justinpassing_through on June 10th, 2019 10:18 pm (UTC)
What a nightmare! I had a tire blow out while I was driving my mom's car and while I can change a tire I ended up calling George because I couldn't get the wheel cover off. About the time he showed up a police officer pulled up so George got the cover off and then he and the officer proceeded to stand around and talk while I changed the tire! I didn't mind because I needed to make sure I still knew how to do it myself. I don't think I could change one on the van, though. It's too heavy for me to lift using the jack.

You have my deepest sympathy on your A/C. We have not had A/C in our downstairs for five/six years. Last year we put in an extremely efficient window unit in our kitchen window and it cools the whole downstairs and it doesn't raise out bill like a full-sized unit would. Two summers ago we replaced the upstairs A/C and that was a relief to not have to worry about that anymore. One summer it went out in the middle of August for fifteen days and it was unbearably hot and made it impossible to sleep. There was no way to get comfortable. I hope you get yours fixed soon!

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 14th, 2019 07:20 am (UTC)
a police officer pulled up so George got the cover off and then he and the officer proceeded to stand around and talk while I changed the tire!
Not sexist, at least, but kind of rude!

Good grief. 15 days without A/C in August? That's the worst time of year to have that happen!

Ours is fixed now, thank goodness. It was 95 today, but 101-103 the three days before that, and the A/C was back online in time to deal with that. :)