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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!