There was some wind in California last week (Nov 30 to Dec 2 2011) that caused problems all around the state. In Santa Cruz County, we had power outages all over, especially in the mountains where I live the wind in the redwoods played havoc with the power lines. The wind wasn't particularly strong, but the power lines were clobbered everywhere. We lost our power Wednesday morning and it wasn't restored until Saturday night. The cell tower near here went off line. The cable tv/phone/internet also was out from Wednesday evening until Sunday. But no damage to our house. No limbs through a car or the roof. The little generator kept the fridge cool, the TV running with old TiVo recordings, and the most important, the sewage pump to the septic tank. Propane heat for water and warmth! No problem!
So what happens? Liz gets a nail in a tire coming home Thursday. I see it Friday morning. I tell her to take my car to work and I'll drive my truck in. She is nervous about my car and asks about the lights... I mention something about them coming on automatically and point to the switch. Coming home from work Friday and she calls me, "Tom, your car won't start!" Huh? Did you push the clutch in? "Yes!" Did you try turning the key all the way off and then try again? "YES!" Uh oh. Did you turn the lights off when you got to work? "YOU TOLD ME THEY WERE AUTOMATIC! I am going to cry!" Wait! Do the lights come on when you open the door? "NO!" Oh hell. Ok, I'll come jump start it. I am an hour away. I get there, battery is pretty dead, and successfully get it started and we get home.
Saturday. You take my car to work and I'll get your tire fixed. "Ok! You would do that for me?" I had to make up for confusing her about the lights on my car. She takes my car and goes to work, I get her car on level ground and change to the spare tire, no problem. I drive it to Firestone and they patch it for "free" since I bought the road hazard insurance, and I pick it up on my way back from the airport. So far, good day. I get home and fire the generator back up since the power is still out. Liz is still gone. Shortly she calls. "I'M STUCK IN THE ROAD ON HWY 9! YOUR CAR WON'T MOVE!" Oh no. What do you mean it is stuck? "I can't get it into gear to get moving! I've tried, the flagman tried, people are honking. I HATE YOUR CAR!" The engine is running? "Yes. PG&E is working on power lines and a lane is blocked and we had to wait until it was our turn to go around them." Oh. I know. Another Jetta feature. Is the clutch petal stuck down on the floor? "Yes!" Stick your toe under it and lift it up. "Wait a second... that worked! BYE!" Liz got home safely. The look she gave me wasn't too full of hate.
Sunday. Got up, went to town for breakfast and then came back home. Ok, lets put the fixed tire back on Liz's car. Hey Liz, want to see how this is done? "Ok." Got the tire and jack out, set the jack under her car, loosened the lug nuts, jacked up the front. Taking lug nuts off. One off. Another off. Uh oh. No. The third one is totally jammed up. It won't come off. It won't even tighten back up. CRAP! (Liz would tell you I wasn't really this calm about it.) Tightened the rest back up. I gave Liz her car keys back and told her to go to Firestone and get that fixed.