A Monday from heck…


Not a good Monday.

It started off with me messing up the Sudoku, which I like to do in pen. Mondays, the newspaper publishes a one-star puzzle, so when I louse that one up (never) it’s not good.

Then I go out to start the car. Nothing. It’s a Prius, so uses the 12-volt toy battery in the trunk just to boot the computer and operate the locks. And the roof light, which may have been on all weekend. No battery, no computer, no action. Tried to jump it off our other car, a Matchbox Honda Fit. Nope, didn’t work.

So, fine, detour via Spouse’s office – and dropping Younger Kid at school, with her 300 pounds of first-day supplies- and a traffic jam– and then, just for even more fun, taking a wrong turn out of downtown Saint Paul that led me through quiet residential streets in search of a freeway entrance. Glad to have an iPhone with GPS and maps.

Got to the office in time to download an updated class list for the first day, did the usual syllabus-this class is hard so plan lots of time – worry more about what you know than what your grade is routine of the first day.

Once I got to the office, things went smoothly. Somehow the routine and my position allows me to feel more competent.

After the lab intro – come prepared, don’t blow yourself up, wear your goggles, here’s the eyewash, here’s your lab equipment drawer – I zipped (well, “zip” might not be the best word for what happens in that car) off, picked up Older Kid and took her to the U. of MN to get her student ID card – taking PSEO classes at 16 – and textbooks. Then, in jungle heat & humidity, home to try again on the Prius.

I don’t do heat well. It makes me cranky. changes in routine stress me out. Somehow, I managed to retain sanity. Eventually, after crawling through the back seat to get to the battery, still without success, I gave up and called AAA for a tow to the dealer, 15 miles away.

The truck eventually arrived and the driver offered to try his portable battery pack jumper. Bingo. It booted right up, but failed as soon as he took it off. Another try, leaving it on longer, let the car stay running. I drove around for 20 minutes, aimlessly, and pulled over to call AAA. I wanted to give a big thanks to Josh from Bobby & Steve’s Auto World, so hopefully the dispatcher will pass that on. I like to recognize good service.

Some more driving on the streets, and the freeway, and then back home. Just to make sure, I turned the car off and back on, successfully. With any luck that’s the last of it. On the other hand, that wimpy little battery is six years old and probably could stand to be replaced.

Morals from today:

  • Feces Occurreth.
  • Sometimes, it continueth to occur.
  • Radical Acceptance helps.
  • Doing something you are competent at can be the best part of your day.
  • When you think you’re doing everything right, sometimes it still doesn’t work.*
  • A good amateur knows when to give up and call a pro.
  • Recognize good service lavishly.

Tomorrow, I hope everything is back to normal.


*after several years of teaching O-chem labs, you’d think at least that one would have sunk in by now.

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