In the land of the blind…

Being seriously burnt out and in general need of Getting Away From It All, I drove out to my mother-in-law this afternoon. Not only is she an All-Around Nice Person, but she has a garage with a level concrete floor. When you own and maintain a fifteen-year-old car, you’d better have a garage with a level concrete floor, or know someone who does.

The main reason I needed a level concrete floor this time around is that today was the last day I could legally drive with studded winter tires, and it is much easier to change tires using a hydraulic floor jack on a level concrete floor than to do so using a mechanical screw jack on uneven asphalt. That, and my summer tires were actually in my mother-in-law’s garage…

I figured that while I was at it, I might as well put the car up on jack stands and change the rear right caliper bearer. The old caliper bearer was so deformed by rust that the brake pads were practically stuck. Continue reading “In the land of the blind…” »

On elevators and public transportation

First, elevators. You’ve probably heard that in many elevators, the “close doors” button doesn’t actually do anything. People who have never experienced this think it’s an urban legend, but believe me, it’s true. As pointed out in the Straight Dope article referenced above, in some elevators the “close doors” button has no effect unless the elevator is in “service mode” or “fireman mode”.

Where I currently work, the “close doors” button definitely does work. Everybody uses it, simply because if you don’t, the doors take forever to close. But the funny thing is that if you press the “close doors” button just as the doors are actually closing of their own volition (elevator doors want to be antropomorphised!) they will actually pause for a second or two before closing completely… Continue reading “On elevators and public transportation” »

Lock, stock and barrel

Spent a couple of hours out in the cold dismantling and reassembling the front passenger side door, which wouldn’t open from the inside. It was also damned hard to close from the outside, as the door latch wouldn’t spring back into position. Turns out the Bowden cable from the inner door handle had slipped, and the door latch retaining spring is actually mounted on the cable.

Unfortunately, I yanked a little too hard on the locking rod, and it broke out of the clip that connects it to the locking mechanism. Luckily, these clips are fairly cheap…

The electrical mirror adjustment didn’t work after reassembly—most likely the electrical connector just needs cleaning. I’ll take care of it when I take the door apart again to change the locking rod clip—preferably on a warm, sunny day…