the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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Learned My Lesson

This morning I had the overwhelming feeling that I should have just written off the day and gone back to bed. It turns out that my gut feeling was right, and I should really learn to listen to it more often.

Apparently I spent most of last night thrashing around in my sleep, as opposed to sleeping soundly. This, I believe, laid the groundwork for the rest of the day.

My right knee has been bugging me since Friday morning. Don't know why, it just feels like hurting. Tried a variety of different over-the-counter things for it, none of which help very much. Still hurts. I can walk okay, but stairs really kick my ass. Ouch.

I've got a huge pimple coming in, just in time to be a raging monstrosity before Andy's wedding (and the required umpty-thousand photos that will be taken). Sigh. Just when I thought my skin was deciding to behave.

Work was pretty much a wash too -- between Source Safe being down for half the day, and trying to deal with my various tasks, it was like beating my head into the wall all day long. I have two big projects that involve lots of tricky integration with different partner companies, and despite the need to Get Stuff Done, none of the technical contacts that I have seem terribly interested in Actually Doing the Stuff They're Supposed To. In fact, I can barely even get them to get back to me, let alone execute on things. Typical hurry up and wait.

Lunch tasted like ass, but apparently it wasn't as bad as what Liz ate.

Finally, I manged to accomplish a marginal amount of work toward my goals, and left the office at five, thinking that at least the day was over and I could go home and relax. About five minutes later, I was stopped at a light, and the person who rolled up next to me wanted to let me know that I had a flat tire.


I pulled into the nearest service station to take a look at the tire and maybe fill it with enough air to get me over to VW or to a tire place in Westlake. My driver's side rear tire was completely flat, and after looking at it for a minute or so, the chances of getting it across town look pretty dubious. Of course, it didn't help that I would've had to pay for air and didn't have any appropriate coinage (nor any appropriate cash) on hand. So, wussy software guy that I am, I phoned AAA to assess the damage and assist me with my spare tire. Thus I got to sit at the Marathon station on West 117 and ponder how my pleasant evening of leaving work early was about to completely disintegrate.

Once we put the spare on (props to the VW engineers for giving me a full-size spare; it's little details like that that make me love my car), it was too late to take it to the VW dealership, so off I went to Tire Kingdom over in Westlake. Of course, I still had to drive like I was on a spare, so I had to keep the car at about 50-55 mph on the highway; the car's sadness at not being driven the way it likes to be driven was palpable.

The Tire Kingdom guys took a look at the blown tire and quickly pronounced it thoroughly dead -- the nail puncture itself wouldn't have been a problem, but my nice big rims had pretty much ravaged the inside of the tire. The guy specced out a replacement tire at $193, which I thought was odd, since usually tires are supposed to be replaced in pairs. I said as much, and he said, "Yeah, we usually recommend installing new ones in pairs. Do you want us to install two, then?" I was a bit surprised that he hadn't come right out with that in his original quote, but I wasn't going to push my luck, and told him to go ahead and do two.

Time passed. I tried to watch a little of "The Daily Show" while I waited, but it was an episode that I'd already seen three times. I settled on CNN instead, which was almost as irritating -- their news was fresher, but they were still beating it to death.

More time passed.

Finally, they got done with my car and I got to deal with the paperwork. With tax and labor, I'm now out $410 for the repairs. At least they took Discover; there's nothing like getting a minuscule cash back bonus from one's misfortune. (I like to put visits to the dentist on the Discover too, for the same reason.)

The car drives fine now, and they seem to have done a good job with the alignment and so forth, but of course they didn't have the matching tires in stock, so I have to make do with two slightly different tires that don't look entirely right. At least they had the right size. I'll have to take the car back to the wash (just got it washed on Saturday) and get the rims done, since they're now covered in black crap from being removed and rotated.

So much for leaving work on-time/early -- I didn't get home until past 7:30.

Having now learned the lesson of when to give up before even getting started, I have decided to compensate for the day's bad fortunes by mixing up something cold and strong to drink, and to plan for the future by preparing a "Cranky" playlist in iTunes for the next time that the need for it arises.

Hopefully the week improves at some point... but I am not going to expect a whole lot. I prefer to be pleasantly surprised when things start looking up.

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