Repairs seem to be the theme this week!

Yesterday, 0n the advice of the CAA fellow, I gave the local automotive shop a call in the morning. The price was high, I thought, but I wanted the work done, and I wanted to explore for a reliable garage in the area. Doing business with the local automotive shop would give me an opportunity to do both.

Tank started without issue, so I took myself off to the grocery store to pick up milk. While parked at the grocery store, I walked across a two parking lots to reach the Canadian Tire store. I inquired about a battery for Tank. They didn’t have one. Their initial price was very inexpensive, $60 less than the auto shop. But here is the thing, they added a core charge of $20, and an installation charge of $24.99, and would probably insist on a test charge as well, probably for under $20.00. So although the price seemed less expensive at first glance, once the extras were factored in, the price was basically the same as the auto shop. Tank went to the local auto shop for its new battery.

I was immediately pleased with the auto shop. He said he would install the battery in the afternoon, they were too busy in the morning, so I drove over just after lunch time, parked in the lot, and headed into the shop. No expensive decor, bells, whistles, or other things I don’t want to pay for. Happy employees, obviously enjoying their day… that is crucial in my opinion, and something I don’t mind paying for. The owner greeted me pleasantly, chatted with another customer, took my keys, brought Tank into the garage bay, and ten minutes later the job was done. There is a great six year warranty on the battery. This is “our garage” now, I wouldn’t take my vehicles anywhere else!

Then Tank and I tooted around town for a little while, before heading home.

Tank is not the only thing around here that is aging and needs repairs.

My knee has been getting progressively worse. Last night I hardly slept, I was in so much pain. Enough is enough! I hate taking medication, particularly when I don’t know what the problem is. After my morning coffee, breakfast, and chat with Attila, I put on my parka and boots, locked the door behind me, and started up Tank. Tank roared into action at the first turn of the key! Off we went to the nearby hospital emergency.

It wasn’t very busy in the emergency department, thank goodness, I was back home in just under an hour. The upshot is that my meniscus is torn. I have been referred to an Orthopaedic Clinic, and physiotherapy. No more walks for now! Although disappointed about not being able to go for walks, I am relieved to know what the problem is. The emergency Doctor felt I would need minor surgery to repair the damage, but I guess I will know more once I go into the Orthopaedic Clinic. The Doctor also recommended wearing the knee brace when I needed to be active, and to keep walking around the house if I could manage it, which I am hoping I can. He also told me to take painkillers, and this I will do at night so that I can sleep.

I think I will still be able to shovel snow though, not much walking involved there! We shall see what they advise at the clinic, I will be listening to them closely.

So here is me today, taking it easy, and doing paperwork as I sit at the kitchen table. Not so bad, but I’d rather be out in that sunshine going for a walk!

P.S. My YakTrax arrived yesterday, just in time to not be able to use them! Funny old world. They will keep until I can use them.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 6:00 PM EST Thursday 15 January 2015
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -4.1°C
Dewpoint: -9.0°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SW 27 gust 41 km/h
Wind Chill: -11

Date: 9:00 AM EST Friday 16 January 2015
Condition: Light Snowshower
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -7.8°C
Dewpoint: -12.4°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: NW 28 gust 46 km/h
Wind Chill: -16


“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning… a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.”
Joseph Campbell
1904 – 1987

Tank’s Battery Madness

I was really looking forward to attending my Yoga class this morning.

The universe had other plans for me.

After breakfast I dressed carefully, checked my gear to make sure I had my slippers and the $3 fee, finally bundled myself up in parka, scarf and gloves, and headed out to Tank. And that is where my journey ended. Tank did not start. Tank’s engine did not even turn over. There was just a staccato clicking when I turned the key.

If I recollect correctly, last time Tank and I were out and about it was to the Yoga class last Wednesday. The temperature fell to -23C (-9.4F) last night, and it has been very cold all week. These factors ganged up on Tank’s battery, causing it to fail.

But I didn’t know at the time that it was the battery. What I knew was that I was going nowhere, and Tank was making horrid noises. What to do?!

First I called the dealership where we bought Tank. I described what was happening to the fellow, and he immediately said it sounded like the battery. I had a starting point!

Then I called CAA. We have a membership. The woman on the line said that I could either get a boost, or order a battery that they would bring to the house and install for me. Since I didn’t know beyond all doubt that it was the battery, I decided not to schedule a visit.

Then I called Lares and left a message on his cell phone. The day passed slowly.

Then I messaged Terra. Terra called Lares and discovered that since I had called him using Skype, the displayed number on his cell looked like a telemarketer, so he didn’t listen to the message. Late in the afternoon Terra and Lares dropped by on their way to Costco, bringing their booster cables. Since tank was facing into the driveway, a single driveway, the cables would not reach from their vehicle to tank. They drove off, promising to check on me in the morning.

Then I called Attila, finally home from work, who also thought the problem was the battery. He works with a lot of vehicles in cold weather, so when he voiced the opinion that the battery needed to be replaced, I made the decision to call CAA and request the Battery Service.

Then I called CAA and requested the battery service. The woman was very pleasant, gave me a price, we discussed methods of payment, and she arranged for the new battery to be brought to the house and installed free of charge within the next hour. I was happy.

The CAA fellow drove up. His cables did reach around to the front of Tank. Tank started, and the fellow advised me to keep it running for at least thirty minutes. I told him I wanted the new battery even though Tank had started. He looked confused, and explained to me that the is no Battery Service in our area. I explained that that was what I had arranged with CAA. He said he was sorry, gave me several names of local places where I might purchase a battery, and off he went.

Then I called CAA. When I explained what happened the woman on the telephone apologized, several times. I thanked her for her concern, and then told her that I wanted more than an apology. I had arranged for a Battery Service call, and I didn’t get it. I wanted the call struck from my limit, a limit of four calls per year. She took my information and is passing it along to another department, and I should hear from them in the next five days.

So, the upshot is that Tank is running, but still needs a new, and thus reliable, battery.

Following the CAA fellow’s advice, I drove around town for more than half an hour, charging up the battery. By this time I was beginning to feel a bit weary.

It was after 8:00 p.m. by the time I backed Tank into the driveway. I hate backing up vehicles, as I find it difficult to twist around to see what I am doing, and difficult to find just the right head position so that my bifocals focus on the mirrors. I did it though, after a few false starts. If Tank does not start tomorrow, Lares booster cables will reach!

Finally I sat down to a late supper, just finishing as Attila called.

A busy day, in an unexpected way.

Worldly Distractions


-14C (-6.8F)
Date: 9:00 PM EST Wednesday 14 January 2015
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Dewpoint: -14.8C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: NNW 10 km/h
Wind Chill: -19 (-2.2F)


“Let us, then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
1807 – 1882