Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spontaneous Healing

I'd noticed that my brakes had begun squeaking a little. It didn't happen all the time; I'd notice it more when I first left the house and came to a stop sign, or when I left the office. So I was thinking (hoping) that maybe it had to do with them being cold. It didn't seem to do it when I was on the highway, for instance, and had to slow down. But I knew I should get them looked at, but I was putting it off because it's such a pain.

Then last night I was on the way home, listening to an audio book, and when the CD changer switched from one CD to the next one, the CD changer died. It wouldn't come on, wouldn't eject the CDs that were in it; it displayed a "CD Error" message, or said, "Initializing."

I thought maybe it would reset after I turned off the engine, like a computer, but no, nothing. I tried it when I got home, in the garage, and I tried it again this morning, but it still wouldn't work. I was really bummed -- not only do I love listening to audio books and music, if I don't have the CD player, I listen to NPR, which is great most of the time, but lately it's nothing but politics and war, and while I know that's all important news, it doesn't really start my day off very well.

So when I got in to work, I looked through my warranty papers, and the CD changer was covered, but brakes weren't. But oh well, not really something you can just let go. So I called the dealership and made an appointment to take it in on Thursday morning--they don't have an on-site stereo/CD repair guy, they have someone who only comes in for a few hours a week, and his day there was Thursday. I also made a reservation for a rental car, intending to go there on my way to work Thursday, drop off the car, pick up the rental, go to work, then pick it up on Friday morning.

So toward the end of the day, Kurt was in my office, and I was telling him about having to take the car in. He's pretty automotive-repair savvy--he works on his own car, and he has a couple of motorcycles that he takes apart and puts back together a couple of times a year, I think.

He asked me how many miles I had on the car, and I said I think around 32,000, and he said he really didn't think that my brakes could be bad with just that many miles. He said he thought they were probably just dirty--that they sometimes "glaze," and that if they were really bad, they wouldn't just squeak, they'd squeal.

He said what he thought I should do is get on the highway, get up some speed so the brakes heat up, then really tromp on the brakes, i.e., not baby them the way I've been doing, but really give them a workout. We left togther, and he got down and looked at my car, and said that I have plenty of brake pad, that while he couldn't see the inside pads, the outside ones looked perfectly fine.

So I did what he said that tonight, and while I don't know that they won't still squeak at the stop signs, I did feel better, because if they were really bad, I'm sure they would have complained, and they didn't.

Oh, and as I was driving out of the parking lot, my CD player miraculously, spontaneously healed itself.

So I get to call the dealership in the morning and cancel my appointment. And I should probably buy Kurt a drink or something for saving me potentially hundreds of dollars, because you know if you take a car into a dealership, they're going to fine something wrong, even if they have to really search.

We have two floors at work--the third and fourth in this building--and there's a metal circular staircase connecting the two floors. Simon and Jojo refused to use it, it wasn't even in their vocabulary. I don't think it ever really registered that it was something they could go up, or down. When Dave needed to bring them upstairs, like for our long Monday morning staff meetings, he'd bring them up in the freight elevator.

But today Cello brought in his dog, Sunny, and Jojo really likes her. Sunny was up on four, and Jojo just spontaneously ran up the stairs to see Sunny. We all stood around amazed. Then she ran down, then back up, then back down . . . So proud of herself! Simon just sat at the foot of the stairs and looked up -- no way he's doing that! We all praised her and told her what a smart dog she was. It was really fun to see her discover something like that.

Even though it's full dark when I get up now, it's wonderful to be able to leave the office while the sun is still shining. It was in the 60's today, and I opened up my office windows, and it was so nice. When I got home I told Bob how amazing it is that I feel SO much better, so much happier, when the weather turns. He said that it wasn't amazing to him, that he's known it for decades. But I guess it always surprises me a little what a big difference it makes.

When I got home, he had a Bloody Mary waiting for me, and he had cooked asparagus and fish, and I changed my clothes, and sat down and had a lovely dinner, and it was just so nice. I keep meaning to mention these little fish things that I buy -- they're called Oven Poppers, and I buy them at Target. They're usually around $5.99 a box -- I have one for dinner, and then take the other one for lunch the next day. They're really good. Tonight I had Crab Stuffed Sole. The Sole with Spinach and Cheese is wonderful, too, and the Cod Au Gratin, although I haven't seen that in the store lately. They have salmon, too, but I wasn't crazy about it the one time I tried it, so I've stuck to white fish.

Ooh, now that I'm looking at the site, I see that they have "Club Pack Products." I should see if the wholesale club carries them.

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