Sunday, July 15, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Busy, busy, busy is what a Bokononist whispers "whenever [he] thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is."

The Books of Bokonon
From Cat's Cradle
By Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

I want to make blog entries often. I really do. But sometimes other things keep jumping in the way and saying, "Pay attention to me!" This is the grist of life I think.

This last week involved a Friday the 13th that really was one. I ended up dropping Ladybug off at the Oregon Country Fair (near Eugene, OR) early so I could pick up the MiniSnab a day early at camp for a common situation that any competent adult could have handled easily and effectively, but that was not who I was dealing with so off I went. (Without going into details, the MiniSnab did nothing wrong and was not injured in any way)

The unplanned trek would amount to about 630 miles total. This is only 70 miles shy of my longest daily solo road trek of 700 miles from Portland, OR to Elko, NV (going the scenic way). About 250 miles into my trip at about noon, I hit a traffic jam just shy of Tacoma that lasted about 45 minutes. During that time, I noticed my rear left brake was not only out, but metal scraping on metal. After 45 minutes of listening to that, I knew the whole thing was toast and I would even need to replace the drum, so I decided to press on and go easy on the brakes.

Even so, the brake fluid got hot enough to make the pedal squishy when I got off the Interstate to head towards camp. I picked up the MiniSnab which gave the brakes time to cool off and off we went. I decided not to brave SeaTac traffic a second time because of the brakes, so we headed eastward for the open range of Eastern Washington and then curled back towards the gorge to head home. The course we took had only one hairy hill to descend and most of it was on interstates, so braking could be minimized. I also found that those extra gear settings that most of us never use on automatics were nearly as effective at slowing a vehicle as brakes. Every 100 miles or so, I would stop and check the brake fluid to make sure it was still full (I bought a pint to top it off but never needed it).

Luckily, the Friday the 13th demon was busy elsewhere and we got home without further incident. It appears the brake problem might have been caused by a failing anti-lock brake system that turned abruptly pro-lock, If so, it might cost more than the car is worth to fix it, so I am going to try to rely on my bike for a while (insert sound of Pandabonium clapping here). Shortly after we reached home, Ladybug arrived with my friend Richard who was gracious enough to drive her back from the fair. We all decompressed from our various drives with a little wine and chips (although MiniSnab had Minute Maid Lemonade with ZERO percent juice [from Taco Del Mar]) and Richard slept on our luxurious couch. I will let Ladybug post if she wishes about Eugene and the fair. Busy Busy Busy.


Anonymous said...

Don't you just hate it when your transportation goes haywire?

Pandabonium said...

There good busy and then there's having to drive a long distance with a bad brake and your daughter on board to boot.

I hope the repair isn't too much and that the bike works out in the mean time. Give yourself plenty of time so you can take it at a comfortable pace.

Pandabonium said...

Doh! Meant "There's good busy...."

The Moody Minstrel said...

What a sucky way to end up having to deal with a sucky situation for MiniSnab at a camp that sounds like it was suck central. I'm glad you got back okay.

I'm not sure whether that's testament to how sucky your car is put together or how well it is. Oh, well, at least you got an extra scenic drive out of it.

And you wound up missing the Oregon Country Fair, too. I know how much you always enjoy that. More suckdom.

And here I was griping about having to direct a Beethoven symphony I had no business directing for an amateur orchestra that had no business trying to play it. Your suckosis definitely beat mine, which really sucks.

You'll have to deal with the car eventually. There's no way around it.

Don Snabulus said...


YES!!!!!!!!! Luckily we have one car left.


Give yourself plenty of time so you can take it at a comfortable pace.

I will take that advice for both the bike and the car repair. ;)


Now that mine is over, it is officially an Adventure(TM). Yours is still suckdom until after the performance, so remember that it will become an adventure soon and somehow that should make you feel better (not really sure how yet).

Dean Wormer said...

That can be nerve-wracking. I hate the feeling that at any point the car could collapse in a puddle of metal and rubber.

Glad to see you made it.

Don Snabulus said...


Indeed. Thanks!

Overdroid said...

We should all be riding on monorails. Stupid Walt Disney, giving himself Lung Cancer.

Swinebread said...

Man the pain just keeps coming.