OK, I admit it. The shoulder and neck are doing their summer thing–going out–and leaving me a bit sore at the end of each day. Having a tough time sitting still to read and write, but I’ll give it a shot this evening.
Good news–at least for me. For some time, the belts on my friendly little Scion xB were chirping. My good friend Roger, a fine mechanic, helped me replace them a while ago and he did a fine job. However, I discovered the chirp, thought it was something else, went through consternation of all different kinds. For no reason, of course–it’s just that when I’d start the car up, or turn the air-conditioner on or step on the gas….”chirp.” Or…”chirp, chirp…..chirp chirp…” Sometimes so loud that it was distracting. For a guy who doesn’t know cars that well–it was a pain. I couldn’t just write it off: “Oh, that’s just the fly wheel. Nothing serious.”
While back in Maryland this summer, I connected with my cousin’s son, Brandon. He is a Toyota mechanic of the finest kind and since Scion is a Toyota product, I told him about it. He said, “well, that car has a bolt that needs to be tightened when you change the belts and it’s hard to get to. Unless you get it on the lift, you’ll have trouble doing that. Have your mechanic just check it. I’m sure that’s it.”
So, on my quest today for an oil change and tire rotation at Barry’s, my trusty neighborhood mechanic (well–as trusty as such mechanics get), I told Troy (not Barry) that my pal and I had changed belts, I noticed it was loose, etc. and explained about the bolt. Troy said he knew about the bolt and he’d check it. Sure enough–the thing was loose–he had the mechanic tighten it, et voi la! No more chirp. I drove home giddy with the clean and smooth sound of the 1NZ-FE engine and it’s 108 horsepower chug along (yes, I laugh at that too. Gutless wonder–but great mileage).
It’s amazing what something so….well…nuanced will do for you. I have the courage of a lion, now–whether I choose to sell it–or drive it up to Oregon. I don’t know which.
I’m in my “I’d like to buy an Alpaca farm” mood, which I’ll grant you is an odd mood to even discuss let alone be in. But such is the view of the world one holds when one has gone from, “all is lost–even my crummy little 108 hp car sounds like a bird” to “life is great. The car runs beautifully, rotated tires and new oil–and no chirps. Just a Toyota engine. Life is good.
So, on to a few deadlines and stories–got some biz to attend to, not the least of which is to enjoy myself a bit more–slow down, enjoy the summer, write some stories, get a few more writing gigs and sit on the patio–my office, as Sue calls it–a bit more.