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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

Can I get there by candlelight?

First off, if you are interested in the deeper mechanics of fantasy and science fiction and all their wicked stepchildren, it seems to me that you could do worse than to read the Deep Genre weblog. Because yes. Much enthusiastic nodding. Often over mutually exclusionary points.

Anybody know if there's an lj feed?

In other news, commodorified and I were going to head down to Mystic yesterday so I could show her the tall ships and the waterfront. Unfortunately, on Route 2 in Colchester, Eunice The Little Red Truck began to vibrate violently, an oscillation that rapidly became a shudder. We pulled over and inspected, decided that the passenger side front tire might be a little soft, and resolved to pull off the next exit to find a service station.

Oddly enough, I couldn't get the hazard lights off, but we decided it might be better to have them on, anyway.

We pulled out cautiously, and as we came up to about 40 MPH, there was a sudden, loud thumping sound. Of course, at this point, there was no more shoulder. We slowed down, pulled into the climbing lane, and decided that we were not going to make it to the exit and that the safest place to stop was at the very top of the hill, where there was some shoulder to kind of hunker over into.

Pulled over, got out, inspected....

That tire commodorified thought was maybe a little soft? The front passenger side one?

There was an eight-inch diagonal rip across the tread.

We made big eyes at each other, shared a silent moment of there but for the grace of god, and got out the jack. (For your reference, it was 95 degrees and about 60% humidity.)

...and could not budge the lug nuts. Which I had had tightened by a mechanic after the last tire I changed myself. And yanno, he seems to have taken the request a bit seriously.

So we decided, fuck it, we have Triple A for a reason.

Of course, we couldn't get a connection on my cellphone, so we dug hers out and got through (for some reason they routed us to New Jersey, but after about half an hour of trying we got everything sorted) and I 'splained summed up while commodorified got the snacks and cold drinks out of the cab of the truck. We hiked about ten feet up the hillside to get (a) away from the traffic (b) into the shade (c) out of the blast zone if some moron plowed into the back of the truck and settled in for a wait.

Half an hour later, a lovely gentleman, representative of Connecticut Troop K (they're sort of legend in the state, and that stretch of road is known as Troop K Country around these parts) pulled over and asked if somebody was coming for us. When assured that we had called the AAA, he was kind enough to sit three car lengths behind Eunice with his flashers on and do his paperwork.

Ten minutes later, another smokey pulled up behind the first one (regulation three car lengths), got out, waved to us up on the hillside (commodorified: "Do you think the drinks wil hold out?") and stuck his head in the passenger side window of the first car, where they had a confab for about ten minutes.

Second smokey: (calling up the hillside to us) "Your tow truck got hung up on a lockout; he should be here in about fifteen."

Two Stranded Girls In Skimpy Tank Tops: "Thanks! Want a tonic water?"

Fifteen minutes later, my partner in crime nudges my shoulder and points. On the other side of the highway, the welcome silhouette of a flatbed tow truck.... and yellow lights as he slows down for the turnaround. He pulls in ahead of Eunice, creating a sort of cop-cop-littleredtruck-flatbed club sandwich, and wanders over to us as we scramble down the hill. "You have a problem here?"

He's from the company I was told to expect, so I start in pointing him to the shredded tire and so on and so forth.

Tow Truck Guy: (NOT OOGLING) "So, you girls have Triple A?

Me: "Oh, they didn't send you?"

Tow Truck Guy: "No, but I'm a provider, it's okay."

Meanwhile, a second tow truck pulls up in front of the first. For those of you playing along at home, the menage-a-internalcombustionvehicle now runs: cop-cop-littleredtruck-flatbed-flatbed. Current assembled personnel: two smokeys, two grease monkeys, two stranded girls in skimpy tank tops.

commodorified: "We're going to need more chips."

Second Tow Truck Guy: (NOT OOGLING) "Hey, where's your spare?"

First Tow Truck Guy: (pointing at cop cars) "So, those lazy bastards wouldn't help you with the lug nuts?"

Second Tow Truck Guy: "I'll get the jack."

First tow truck guy was laughing at us, too, until he hit the third lug nut. And his buddy had to come give him a hand. Mmm. Biceps.

Second Tow Truck Guy: (quietly, upon inspecting the damage to the tire) "Holy. This isn't flat. How did it not blow?"

First Tow Truck Guy: (even more quietly) "Guess it was those ladies' lucky day."

commodorified: "I blame Bear. She was smart enough to pull over when it felt funny."

matociquala: "Eunice saved us all. She is a Good Truck."

Epilogue: First Tow Truck Guy reached in, grabbed the toggle for the hazard lights, and flicked it off no problem. The crisis, apparently, was over.

I wonder if my truck can tell me when Timmy is down the well.

Final count: one blown tire at 65, requiring: two cell phones, two state troopers, two tow truck guys, $100,000 worth of towing equipment, two bottles of tonic water, half a bag of smartfood, $8.00 in tips, and a bonding experience.



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So, "deep genre"==midlist, is that right?
If you assume that anyone discussing the ways genre machine functions is always talking about his own work.
note to bears... Always tighten your own lug nuts... and make your cheap ass dad send you a better lug wrench for St. Swithen's Day..
I can't get them tight enough by hand to feel safe driving on them. And what I really need is a length of pipe for a lever. I think there used to be one back there, but damned if I can find it any more.

Also, figured out where the leak was coming from: the windshield is cracking on the passenger side.

I know where my next advance check is going.
It's all a matter of the telling detail.

...although really, it's more like the setup for a porn movie.

I was reminded at the time of one of Jim Croce's live introductions to his song "Speedball Tucker." He talks about hearing a radio interview with a trucker who had over a million miles, and the trucker saying, "Well, I been driving a long time, I've seen all kind of things. I jacknifed, blown tahrs, broke axles..."

The interviewer asks: "Well, let me set up a hypothetical for you. Say you're coming down out of the Rockies, and it's two in the morning, your partner scrunched up sleeping on the seat, and you tap the breaks... nothing."

The driver says, "Uh huh."

"And you make it around the first big curve, that big forty footer just glides around. You're feeling all right, maybe... until you come out onto the straightaway and you see, coming up the other side, a fuel oil truck in low low gear. And on your side, pulled off to the side, a volkwagen up on jacks."

"Uh huh."

"What do you do?"

"I wake my partner up."

"You wake your partner up? How come?"

"Because he ain't been driving long, and he ain't never seen a wreck like this."
In case you didn't try this, here's a technique you might consider the next time you encounter a lug nut too tight to loosen with pure muscle power.

1) Fit the crowbar on the lug nut so the handle runs to the left of the lug nut slightly above horizontal.
2) Stand on the bar.
3) Bounce your full weight on it gently till the nut starts to loosen.
4) Go back to muscle power.

To tighten the lug nuts firmly after replacing the tire, reverse the process, making sure this time the handle runs to the right of the lug nut before bouncing on it.

Hasn't failed me yet.
I'm not secure enough of my ability to do this without causing myself an injury, personally, though I'm not averse in cases where roadside assitance cannot be obtained.
From the sound of things (the fact your tire didn't blow) Eunice is a young enough lady to have been designed with the "Don't kill your passengers when a tire gives way on the freeway" feature." That may be the greatest innovation in vehicles in the last 30 or so years. (My mom tells these horror stories about her childhood where blowing a tire was a terrifying experience because there was a real chance that your car wouldn't remain upright. And of course, the plastics they used then meant that tires blew out a lot more often than they do now.)

Yay for AAA! (And Cops who stick around until you get help.) (And girls in skimpy tank tops. Take that as you will.) (And helpful tow truck guys. I've met both kinds.)
From the sound of things (the fact your tire didn't blow) Eunice is a young enough lady to have been designed with the "Don't kill your passengers when a tire gives way on the freeway" feature."

...I realize you don't mean this to sound condescending, but it kind of does.

I'm not an idiot. And I don't really need the obvious explained to me. And it tends to come across as patronizing.

...just saying.
Man, you sure know how to have fun.
Must have been a quiet Sunday in Colchester.
There was a DeepGenre feed, but they changed websites and the feed is broken. I'm not a paid LJ user so I can't start a new feed, but if you ask nicely, I bet that the Admin over at DeepGenre would let you start a new feed. (And since you are a paid account livejournal would even let you do it.)
This info would appear to be out of date. See my comment at http://matociquala.livejournal.com/828915.html?thread=12239347#t12239347
LJ feed: But yes!


(In general you can type a feed address into the form at the bottom of http://www.livejournal.com/syn/ to see if it already exists here.)
Yes, I'm aware of that. First you have to know the feed address, which I somehow overlooked.
She is a brave little toaster.

The thing with the hazard lights, a bit freaky. Probably just Mechanic Syndrome. But still.
The important thing is that you, commodorified, and Eunice are all OK.

There are times when AAA is worth its weight in gold. Cell phones, too.
Ditto. My hubby has finally learned to listen that when I say: "honey, something sounds wrong with the car", he pays attention. It took a cracked engine thingy on his Miata for that to happen, after I'd been saying something was off for a while. We took a car for a test drive, and he thinks its a good car and I'm "honey, the engine shouldn't be running that rough" and he listened and he agreed. And we got another car.

I may not know how to drive, but I know what an engine is supposed to sound like!

Anyway. So kudos for being attuned to Eunice!
*giggle* i can't help but giggle at the image here... especially w/ the troopers in "smokey bear" hats and you all dressed for the hot weather.
There's nothing like a good road story!

Once I heard about a cow, raised as a pet, that would frisk and frolic for its humans and would sometimes try to come into the house with its family. That's what I keep thinking of when I imagine Eunice trying to tell you that Timmy's in the well. :)
Just one stripe on my left shoulder where I think my strap rubbed the sunblock off.
*loves* I'm so glad you're both okay.
Glad you're all right! I had a tyre blow out at 70 on the M5 last autumn. Pain in the arse. But I didn't skid, anyway.
Last blow out I had was in the outside lane of the M6 at rush hour, it took over a mile to get across to the hard shoulder, by which time the tire was totally shredded. It took about an hour to change because I couldn't get hold of it even when the nuts were eventually loosened to lever it off properly.
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