Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Expectation vs. Reality

  • wake up early. Vons opens at 6:00, go there and rent a rug shampooer for the car upholstery.
  • some time between 8 and 10, go to Kragen to get some oil additive, Seafoam, new spark plugs, and a new wireset.
  • Vista Lock and Safe opens at 10:00, go there to get the trunk lid fixed, shouldn't take very long- maybe a few minutes.
  • Go to an 11:45 appointment at Mossy Nissan in Escondido, have them fix the trunk lever by the driver's seat, see if they have a replacement right side mirror hanging around.
  • for the rest of the day, clean the inside of the car and the engine, install the new parts and put in the aforementioned chemicals, give it a good wash and wax
All done in time for dinner and a relaxing read before bed, right? Ah, but the best-laid plans often go awry, as the saying goes...


It took a while to fall asleep in an unfamiliar bed, which quickly made it a bad idea to wake up as early as I had planned. But by 8 or so I was ready to work. Just one thing stood in the way of me being able to knock those first items off my to-do list: the front tires.
One was pathetically low, but workable in a pinch. The other, though, was almost flat, so the car was undriveable until this was remedied. Unfortunately, the trusty old air compressor was missing a tiny but vital part, without which no air would be going in any tires any time soon. The irony of having come 400 miles, only to be thwarted by a missing piece of metal the size of a fingernail clipping, was not lost on me.
But, a-ha, there were two more air compressors that my stepdad keeps around for things like his pressure washer and his nail gun. But after a lengthy search, he couldn't find the air hose adapter he had used not one month previous that would allow me to fill up the tires with one of them. My late start was getting even later. The clock was ticking, and my patience was running out.

Ultimately, my stepdad made the decision to go to a hardware store in Oceanside that he knew would have the part. It dawned on me that my carefully crafted schedule for the day was circling the drain, so it was time to switch tactics. I wouldn't be able to take the car anywhere for at least 45 minutes, so I decided to do some interior cleaning first, as the scripture from the previous entry directs. All the trash was removed, everything identifiable as someone's possession was set aside in a box. With the help of a new shop vac, the interior was actually a little bit recognizable again.

Then, a little bit of exterior cleaning was in order. I washed the car first, noting how the water almost seemed to soak into the paint, instead of beading up on the surface. Not a good sign. I thought it just needed a coat of wax, but the washing had revealed that the upper layers of paint on the hood, roof, and trunk had become oxidized into an opaque, filmy residue. My stepdad had come back by this point, and he got out some abrasive rubbing compound, which helped strip away the ruined paint. Luckily there was enough left underneath to look decent and to take a coat of wax. And I must say, where the paint's not chipped or scratched, it looks pretty good now.
But all this was barely the beginning.

No comments: