Damn stuff

Ok, will the person with the Voodoo doll of me please put it back in the drawer and quit letting your dog chew on it and toss it around?!? Geez, enough already…

So, I normally don’t write with much of a negative slant, but I’m just getting my butt kicked lately. Permit me to go into whine mode.

I guess it all started about 4 weeks ago. I got sick with a cold/cough that has put a damper on my performance racing-wise. Not in a huge way, but enough to make it kind of a downer – especially considering how much hard work I put in over the winter. Guys I was regularly thumping are starting to close the gap now and even pull ahead. Around 2 1/2 weeks ago I was riding up in the hills and had a bee fly into my jersey. I actually didn’t notice it until I heard the buzzing. I slapped around a couple of times and thought that was that (see, I was on my record-breaking ascent of High Grade and couldn’t be bothered to stop…). A few minutes later, more buzzing. I pulled over and unzipped my jersey and flapped it around until the thing took off, clipped back in and immediately resumed hammering my way up the hill. A few days later, I started scratching my right shoulder blade and felt several bumps that shouldn’t be there. I checked in the mirror and had a cluster of 12+ bites in a two inch area. Damn bee. Well, I don’t know if it was some sort of venom, a reaction, or just how I slept, but I now have several huge knots in the muscles just to the inside of my shoulder blade that haven’t gone away for over 2 weeks now. Even as I type this, I feel the fiery burn in that part of my back. I’ve tried heat, massage, pills. Damn knots.

So, I’m in all-out scramble mode as my 4 year lease on the Jetta expires soon. So much to fix and get taken care of. Tell you what, don’t ever do a 4 year lease. 3 years max. Get the thing turned back in before it falls apart. Better yet, buy one and maintain it… This last year has been a lousy one for things going wrong with the car. Anyway, I have made/canceled/moved more appointments in the last week than Donald Trump’s secretary. Juggled estimates on scratches, dings, dents, gouges, and brakes. Then, right at the start of one of my busiest days, a piece of my tooth decides to break off. Damn tooth. Into secretary mode I go, making appointments with the dentist, checking insurance, moving everything else to accomodate the dental appointment – thankfully they had a cancellation and could get me in quickly (wasn’t in any pain, whew).

After the dentist put a temporary crown on my tooth, to the tune of $535 (damn dental insurance), I took the car over to the body shop to get my insurance estimate/adjustment done. Turns out, that after I pay the $250 deductible, the insurance company is paying a whopping $117. Why did I even bother filing a claim?!? Damn car insurance. I thought for sure the repair would be closer to a grand.

Now the hubcap story. The hubcaps on our van have slowly been disappearing over the last few months. Too many on-and-off’s for tire rotations, etc. The clips start to break and get weak, and one by one, they bail. Quitters. Well, I finally got around to ordering a brand new set. Put them on and a week later, one is missing. Damn hubcaps. We’re driving down the road a few days later when my daughter in the back seat shouts that she sees one of our hubcaps bouncing through the weeds alongside us. Another one gone! Damn, damn hubcaps. Nowhere to stop right then, so I pulled over and hunted for it while I was on my way to the body shop today. I had to park at a very steep angle since there was no shoulder and left the car running while I looked up and down for a couple hundred yards for the hubcap. No luck, still MIA. As an added bonus, once I got back on the road, my car started chugging and the check engine light came on. Barely made it to the body shop. Damn, damn, damn hubcaps.

It’s a beautiful day, and my car appointment finished just before lunch time, so I brought my bike so I could get in a ride over my lunch hour on my way in to work. The ride was going ok, I put in a few hard efforts and am finally starting to be able to drive my heart rate up high again, then I was doing about 30mph down a hill and BOOM – there goes my rear tire. I hit a crack/hole in the cement road and it totally blew out the sidewall of my tire. My 2 week old $50 tire. Damn cracks. Fortunately, I had a Clif bar in my pocket and was able to use the wrapper as a tire boot to prevent the new tube from poking out of the hole in the sidewall and blowing again. As I put some air in with my CO2 inflator, I stopped part way and took it off to check the blowout area to make sure everything was seating correctly. When I pulled the inflator off, the valve was leaking a little bit so I closed it while I checked the sidewall. Apparently, my short-term memory isn’t so good because I then proceeded to try and reinflate my tire with the valve stem closed. That caused some major heartburn with the inflator and blew a foam-rubber gasket out of the chuck. I picked it up and worked on getting it back into place for a few minutes, and had a few bites of Clif bar while I was at it. Something tasted a little different, but I didn’t think much of it until I looked at the bar later and saw big globs of grease (transferred from the gasket, to my hands, to the bar, to my mouth) on it. Yum! I was pretty hungry, so I just ate around the greasy parts…


Posted on May 10, 2005, in stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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