Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bad Thing Happen In Three's, Right?

Bad things come in three's.... right?

Because my Monday sucked.

Ok, fine, it wasn't completely horrible. I mean, I had a wonderful ride on the Tillner. She was up and light and honest. Have I ever mentioned how much I love this pony? I love her... lack of spook and all.

Then I worked Delight... Who needs a new saddle. As it would turn out my medium wide Schleese no longer fits chunky pony shoulders... So she's getting crabby about the pinching. I would love to put my w-i-d-e JES back on her, but it's loaned out at the moment. I suppose that beautiful brown Stubben will just have to do. It tends to ride a little too close to her spine through the channel, but with a half pad, I think I can make it work (for now). This is why I have 8 saddles and three horses. They just keep changing.
Since the saddle was not ideal, I went ahead and just took her out for her first official 'conditioning ride' (aka a trail ride on the aids) across the street. Trot up the hills, trot down the hills, canter around the tree, race across the pasture. I had so much fun, and I think Delight did too.

She's a speedy gigantic pony.

Then for my bad day.

Let's get one thing straight. I am not a mechanic. I can treat a wound, know what to do with a colic-y horse, pull shoes..... but vehicle repair is beyond me.

And I had a flat. (Bad thing #1)

So after an hour of reading the owner's manual and struggling with the basics of a car jack, I had located the jack, assembled the jack, disassembled the jack and used the pieces to lower my spare, disconnected my spare from it's 'leash' (which had rusted to the rim) with the help of a handy ball-peen hammer, and jacked up the truck.

When I went to remove the lug nuts, I came up against a universal truth: I am much weaker than a guy with a pneumatic gun. Those bastards Would. Not. Budge.

So I used my significant mass, jumping up and down on the tire iron, hanging on to the rail of the bed for support. And those bolts loosened!
Immediately after celebrating my success, I vowed to diet harder and more effectively.

So with much cursing and sweating I jacked up the truck (after setting it down when I read the manual that said loosen before jacking up... wasted all that effort because I can't bother to read) unscrewed all six bolts using my body-weight method of bolt loosening, and wrestled the tire off of the truck.

Now came the hardest part.... lifting the spare up so that the holes aligned perfectly with the bolts...
More bad words ensued in which I cast aspersions on the parentage of everyone ever involved withe the manufacture, engineering and/or design of this particular system on my truck.
And finally: Eureka! It all came together with one giant dose of luck, the wheel aligned and settled into place. I then qickly reapplied at least two lug nuts so that it wouldn't fall off and require me to try that again.

Patting myself on the back, I settled down to lower the truck back to the ground.
And lower.
And lower still.

The G*%-D@$#  M*%$#^F@#%!$& spare was flat. Flatter than the original. (Bad thing #2)

Pretty sure my uber-religious neighbors were praying for my soul after my last tirade.

I brought out my air compressor.... And it didn't work. If anything, it made the tire flatter. Piece of crap... Guess it's time for a new one (good thing my birthday is right around the corner, right?)

All in all this little project took me several hours. So I missed the appointment that I made on the tire place last friday to get new tires.... (Ironically, bad thing #3).

So today I drove it in to the tire place... all 12 miles averaging 20 MPH. Of course, everyone who saw me slowly driving by with my flashers on felt the need to let me know that I had a flat but no, they didn't have an air compressor I could use. Helpful.

 But I knew it was going to be a good day. One woman in her speedy little minivan got stuck behind me for 200 yards of windy, unpassable road, which evidently pissed her off to no end. At the stop sign at the end of the road, she opted to cut through the parking lot of a business to skip the sign and get ahead of me while flipping me the bird.
As it would turn out, cutting through parking lots to skip a traffic sign is crappy driving at best, and actually illegal. As she discovered when the red and blue lights of the sheriff's vehicle fired up behind her.

I slowly laughed my way the last 200 yards to the tire place. Win.

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