Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And that's not even mentioning the flat tire on Tuesday

So the long-awaited trip to the beach is meant to happen tomorrow. Turns out the girls actually have a half-day of school, which is normal for the last Friday of the month, but which I had understood wasn't happening this month because they had last Friday off. Anyway, it is happening and I've simplified the trip to a much closer beach, so I can pick them up at 12:00, pass them back a sandwich and hopefully be there around 3:00.

Of course, the car started making a funny noise this afternoon. Not (need I say it?) funny ha-ha. More like, funny "screeeeeeeeeeeeee" when the clutch pedal is depressed (who can blame it?) at low speeds.

So I took the kids to Yolanda and went back to see my old buddy Marvin. He pulled a hose off of something and stuck his hand in somewhere and said it looked like the same thing that went wrong before.

Oh, by the way, I never actually mentioned, but they didn't replace the engine when it went back to the House of Engines before. They repaired it - turned out it was a broken "balancín" which is one of about eight little arms that go up and down over the valves inside the engine. I know that because I got to see inside the engine today.

Here, you can see too:

Anyway, they pulled the top off the engine (assuring me that this would not void my warranty because the other shop wouldn't be able to tell they'd done it) and found that the engine had, not a broken balancín, but rather--literally--a screw loose. They checked that it wasn't stripped and tightened it back down, then Marvin did a thing where he adjusted the space between each balancín and its valve, apparently just to take advantage of having the top off.

I got the go-ahead to go to the beach (and Marvin's cell phone number) and started to back out, when I heard my funny noise again.

Oh, THAT noise (said Marvin). THAT'S nothing to worry about, just a loose spring in the clutch. Can you put it in gear okay? You can? No problem. Go ahead, go to the beach.

Umm. Great. I keep hearing these words, which I actually said to Marvin about two weeks ago: So what's left? We've done the brakes, we've done the engine. I guess the transmission is up next.

I wish I hadn't said that.

Anyway, we're apparently going tomorrow and wish us luck. I leave you with some pictures of what we did last weekend, after our original beach trip was so tragically canceled.

We ate tepid hot dogs or teriyaki veggies (depending on age)

We kicked back

We cooked marshmallows

We talked to Alex

We made passable s'mores

I had a beer (you like my self portrait?)


And then I said "Yes, it's okay to roll on it"

And then the sun set

And then the girls found the tent I put in their room

And then they slept in it

The end


Jill May 25, 2006 10:10 PM  

That looks like a fabulous weekend. Thanks for sharing it.

Dad May 26, 2006 7:43 AM  

That kitchen shelf we assembled seems to work well as a picnic table!

Dad May 30, 2006 5:25 AM  


What's Robin holding in the "And then the girls found the tent I put in their room" picture? At first I thought it was a book, but it looks like something is sticking up from the (her) right side of it.

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