Monday, October 10, 2011

adventures in modern motoring

hi everyone

well, today i find myself sat at home instead of at verk, and it is not particularly by choice, really. i should be assisting the wheels of commerce to turn, but alas other wheels just aren't turning to allow this. once a year, it seems, my car decides somewhat out of the blue that it does not wish to perform its function in this world for a while, and last Friday was such an instance. up front, for those of a disposition that leads to concern, the car doesn't seem to be having a "major" issue this time around, but we shall get to that just now!

where to start? well, Friday didn't exactly get off to the best of starts with both James and Willam being somewhat under the weather. Michele needed to be at a top level, urgent meeting, so i stayed at home with them in the morning until she got back to take them to the doctor. skipping onwards to that bit, both seem to have a touch of tonsillitis once again; in the case of James it seems now is the time to take them out. oh dear.

anyway, after Michele got home, i headed off to verk in the usual way, and so very nearly got there. less than a kilometre or so away from the office, the car decided "nope, f*** you, this is as far as i go". nice of it, really. i managed to get it to the side of the road and in the emergency lane, much to the annoyance of several taxi drivers who considered this particular part of the road to be not so much for unfortunate vehicles and very much for their own use. oh well.

as my knowledge of what actually happens in regards of that whole combustion engine bit of a car working is limited, shall we say, i was somewhat delighted when another gent stopped near me. his car had overheated somewhat, and thus he was giving it chance to cool down and think it over. he was delighted to have a gander at mine and quickly saw the problem.

that, ladies and gentlemen, believe it or not is a shredded fan belt. new one on me, really. i am used to tales of these things (whatever the hell they are) snapping, but shredding seems new. i did know enough, at the least, to know that usually a fan belt is not a big or expensive job on a car. that thing in films where people use the tights of a lady as a temporary fan belt is true, apparently.

as i was close to verk i put a call in to my team of mechanics at the office. Jayson, the chief mechanic, suggested that it sounded simple enough to sort out, and said to hold on as he took a walk down to me. as i waited for Jason, who should happen to come past but my good friend and respected colleague Knox!

good of him to stop by me and check what was going on! we sat and discussed numerous matters affecting the world at present whilst we waited for Jayson to come along. Jayson did indeed arrive, and had a good luck at what the deal was.

to cut down on some of the details here, Jayson was able to nurse the car as far as the office, and then Knox kindly took us off to a car spares store that he considered to be appropriate for our needs. we obtained the required new fan belt, and indeed a rather tasty set of spanners. how tasty? there are 11 (eleven) spanners in the set, ladies and gentlemen. that's more spanners that i have owned in the total of my life combined all in one go!

we returned to the office, then, and Jayson set about the task of removing what was left of the shredded belt. before he put the new one on, though, i felt a requirement to take an image of him and Knox with the old one and the new one.

in case you are wondering, yes these images were taken with my blueberry phone thing, as i am not prone to taking a "regular" camera around with me. and yes, to answer the other question, Jayson did suggest more than once that the whole job could perhaps have been done a good deal quicker if he didn't have to keep stopping so i could take a picture. oh.

onwards it was then, as Jayson with a degree of confidence that was well warranted, set about installing the new fan belt thingie.

i tried not to intrude too much as Jayson did this, to be honest. i just hung around in the background and tried to take pictures without causing distraction. temptation gave in eventually, though, and i asked Jayson if fan belts always had to be black, and could you not get different coloured ones. his answer of "no" did not stop my pursuit of this idea, though, and i started a conversation about how different coloured fan belts would be quite class, as they would allow one to well and truly "pimp" their "ride".

it was around about this stage that Jayson decided that he would rather try and fix the new fan belt on from underneath the car, which alas put him out of earshot somewhat.

a pure co-incidence, i am sure. i think. although now that i think of it, Knox also kind of strolled off when i started asking him what colour fan belts he thought would be class. as he is also a Minister of the Church as well as a respected and much valued colleague, i do not think, in retrospect, he has all that much interest in "pimping" cars, really.

back to the task in (Jayson's, granted) hand, and things were not going quite as well as they could have. the new spanners were rather good, but what Jayson needed to do the job quickly and properly was a "socket set". which i think is a set of sockets.

we had no such item, alas, but Jayson carried on with the spanners as best he could.

every now and then, though - as was much of the case on Friday - fortune smiles on one, and wouldn't you know it Lance from my team came down on his lunch break. he happened to have an absolutely excellent set of socket thingies in his car, and this allowed Jayson to reattach all the bits as he wished to. nice one Lance, thanks!

Jayson carried out the final touches to adding the new (non-pimped) fan belt to my wheels (if you will excuse the slang) whilst Lance engaged Knox in a conversation around the merits of cheap, Chinese made CD cases in the form of a ball. all was done, and it was time to fire up the car......

.....and, alas, it just made a rather horrid noise. Jayson advised me that neither the fan belt nor something called the "power steering belt" were turning properly. his view, and it is a view that i trust without fail, is that whatever caused the fan belt to shred also knocked one of the pulleys or cogs or whatever they are out of alignment. a further assessment was that it wasn't all that big a job to do, but we just didn't have the resources available to us to "realign" those cog thingies.

to that end, then, a lovely bloke called Neil came along and towed the car to its home from home, the garage around the corner from South Fork. it remains there for now, and i await news of when they will be able to fix it. i too await news of the financial damage this will cause, but with not quite the same level of excitement as i await news of the car being "ready to roll", so to speak.

well, what can i say other than a big, massive thank you to Jayson, Knox and Lance for their efforts and assistance. they are exceptionally good friends to have! words have been spoken about the idea that - maybe - i should look at getting a new car, but i don't know. i am rather attached to this one, really!

i shall do my best to update you all as and when i have the car back! in the mean time, then,

do be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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