Monday, November 29, 2010

Off the Road

#1 daughter is okay. She called us from the ditch of the Interstate, between Osakis and Alexandria. After calling the State Patrol, and getting a wrecker sent her way.

She'd been staying with us over Thanksgiving weekend. The original idea was that she'd go home Sunday evening. A job came her way, designing a flier, so she extended her visit. The job needed a fairly powerful computer: and my son had what she needed.

I was glad to have her company an extra day.

This afternoon, after getting the final revision done & approved, she packed up and set off for Alexandria. That wasn't as daft as it might seem: snow was letting up here, there was no wind to speak of. And the Weather Service has been known to exaggerate - or miscalculate - a storm's severity.

The Interstate was fine - until around Osakis.

She had company - she and the wrecker passed a few other cars that had gone off the road, too.

She's okay: That's the big thing. So is Twitches, the cat she lives with, who was riding with her.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

About 100 Miles of Errands

The family's van is back. The overheating I mentioned last week (November 20, 2010) was due to a leaky water pump.

We've got a new one now. That, plus a change of oil & filter, and a quick once-over, should take care of the van's maintenance needs for a while.

Famous last words?

I spent the afternoon on the road - going to St. Cloud to get a copy of my son's birth certificate - so that he can get a photo ID - and then stopping in at Melrose on the way back to pick up medications.

I'm looking forward to staying inside tomorrow: the forecast involves sleet, freezing rain - and a winter weather advisory.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Overheated Van, Common-Sense Advice

Yesterday afternoon didn't go quite as-planned.

I thought I was going to drive to St. Cloud, get a copy of my son's birth certificate so that he could get a photo-ID - which in turn would make it possible for him to get tested on a computer maintenance course he's taken - and pick up medications for me.

That was the plan.

I was a few miles out from Sauk Centre when I heard a 'beep' from the dashboard. Never a good sign. The oil warning light was on, and the gauge was climbing to the top of its range.

Several miles later, after coasting in neutral, accelerating to highway speed and repeating the cycle on the shoulder - hazard flashers on, of course - I made it up the Melrose exit, about ten miles from Sauk Centre.

I'd figured how long it would take me to get to St. Cloud at that rate - and the Stearns County offices would have been closed by then.

I called home (sensible act) and told my wife what had happened. I then opined (not-so-sensible thing) that I could get the van back, the same way I got it to Melrose.

I then felt very 'married,' when my wife told me in even, deliberate tones: "Call - Flowers." So I called Flowers Collision service here in town - and eventually got a tow back to Sauk Centre.

I still think I could have coaxed the van back into town - but asking for help was a lot more sensible.

No wonder I've heard that men live, on average, ten years longer if they're married.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here We Go Again

So, this morning I wake up: and my left ear is plugged again.

During lunch, I pressed the 'reset button' (tragus, that projection just forward of the ear canal) on my left ear. And - pop! - I could hear normally through that ear again.

Aside from the intermittent popping and slurping that goes along with this cold. Or whatever it is. And there's the familiar tinnitus. Rather louder these days.

Aside from that, though: Hey! I can hear in stereo! Wow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wow! My Other Ear Popped

About 2:30 this afternoon, my left ear 'popped:' and I can now hear more than the inside of my head and low-frequency outside sounds on that side. It's 'nice' to have stereo hearing again.

Now, if I could get rid of this cold. Or whatever it is.
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