Saturday, February 13, 2010

Uh, brrr.

Today, my sister invited the girls and me to Ogden to watch the Polar Bear Plunge. It's an Ogden first and a highlight of its WinterFest, which dragged thousands of people downtown to watch horses pull skiers, human bowling (sit on a disk and head for the pins), snowmobile races and more.
Forget that Ogden's been buried in snow. Today, most of it melted and it rained a cold misty rain most of the morning. They had to truck in snow by the huge load. Nevertheless, it was fun.
By the time we'd left the house to travel the 30-odd miles, Jen had decided she was going to jump with her cousins into the freezing-cold Lorin Farr Park swim pool.
After we stood in the brutal rain for a bit, Al decided to join her.
I figured someone would chicken out, but I figured wrong. The only chicken (sane person) among the three of us was me.
Beaux had to work. Here's what he missed.

Weird family shot. The shot's not weird. The family is.

Lined up, in the rain, waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Wish we were still waiting. CCCCCcold, huh Avery?

Thanks, Mr. Polar Bear, for the very nice cups.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Open sesame!

I had a little car repair need so freakish that the dealership folks looked at me blankly when I pulled in. Then proceeded to tell me they'd never seen such thing. Followed by billing me for such a princely sum that none of us will ever forget it.
Sunday afternoon, I went out to my car and discovered that the driver side door would not open with a remote or with the key. I could lock and unlock the other doors. But to get into the driver side, I had to drag my pudgy middle-aged butt and bum knees and hip myself over the console, bend parts that no longer do to clear the steering wheel and then scrunch in.
At that point I discovered another way the driver's door would not open: from the inside.
Beaux and I nearly killed ourselves maneuvering in and out trying to change fuses and try other tricks because this couldn't be real, right?
Monday, I started my day at the dealership, which is never a happy thing.
The very nice manager looked at me blankly , clicked the remote and tried the key a few times and couldn't figure it out, either. I got one smile out of it when he went and got the littlest, youngest worker to climb in and try from inside.
A few minutes later, he told me that no one had ever seen such a thing, but they'd called around and found one Ford guy who said he had. Sounded like the latch and motor had gone busto. Swell. And it was going to get better. The conversation went something like this:
"The good news is I have the latch in stock, but it's $183. From there it gets tricky. We have no idea how we will get the door panel out, since we can't open the door. And labor is a flat $115 an hour. Plus, if he damages the door, the door panel goes for $243. And we might have to take out the seats to maneuver. This could get ugly. We'll do the best we can."
It's not like I had choice. I really can't drag myself in and out two or three times a day when I go on assignment. So I told him to tell the kid doing the repairs to be careful, work fast and if he ruins my door, I won't get it fixed, but will live with it, so there's no money to be made there. So don't ruin the door panel.
Then I sat down in the waiting room and tried not to watch the clock, which felt like watching the rolling log on a fundraiser. One half hour! $57.50! Whoohoo!
Finally, they came back to tell me the good news -- job done, door panel intact. And, he added quietly, "You took quite a hit on the labor costs. Sorry."
Final cost for the repair: $459 I don't have. The assurance the repair is fully, completely guaranteed for a measly peasly two weeks?