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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Injuries and velocity

One day of work today. Just one, and then I get four off.

It wasn't bad. Actually it was quite nice, especially when compared to Sunday's extravaganza. Though I must point out that I got injured more times today than I think I have in the past fifteen and a half years put together. I sustained a burn to the center of the back of my right hand (roughly a 1/4" circle) from the tip of a plastic injection unit during the first fifteen minutes of production; I cut my second knuckle on my right hand through a latex glove, somehow, without tearing the glove, which began to develop a tiny bloodstain; I smashed my left thumb while trying to lever out a huge gob of polycarbonate purge from the inside of a press, again drawing blood; and I somehow took a neat diagonal gouge out of the side of my right middle finger just before lunch, yet still again drawing even more blood. Nothing major, though the alignment of three injuries on the midline of my right hand seems to be trying to indicate something.

But that wasn't the fun part of the day.

No, the real fun was shortly after I left the house, driving through the merest dusting of fresh snow. I got onto state route 29, a connector road that I stay on for about five miles to get to my major commuting thoroughfare, Interstate 81 North. I had just gotten on 29 when I saw a few cars in front of me. Several of them appeared to be moving at a good clip, but the truck in front of me seemed to be moving slower. How slow?

As I pulled up behind him and prepared to pass, my speedometer read 35 miles per hour.

Slowpoke! I thought as I began to shift into the passing lane of the road, which has a speed limit of 55 mph. Though, now that I think about it, I'm going as fast as he is, and I don't feel like I'm only going 35...

As I accelerated to pass I watched my speed drop to 30 mph.

As I passed, my speedometer told me I was doing 25 mph. Then 20. Then 15.

Uh-oh.

By the time I reached I-81 I was zipping along at a dizzying 5 mph, as far as my speedometer was concerned. Pulling onto the highway and the sparse but present stream of vehicles on the road at 5:00 in the morning, I kept pace with traffic at a steady 0 mph.

- Sir, do you know how fast you were going?
- Actually, officer, I'm gonna have to say "no" to that one.

Nothing else broke on the way to work. My transmission didn't seize, my brakes didn't fail, my alternator continued to recharge my battery. When I pulled up to a STOP sign at the end of the exit that I take for work, I was able to get the car moving again, no problem.

So now I have another unplanned expense to start the New Year. Nothing like some very necessary car repairs to set you back a few hundred bucks! I wonder how soon I can get the car serviced? I really don't like driving around without a speedometer...

6 comments:

Ashley said...

Oh that's a bummer. I once had a broken gas gauge, which was just annoying. A speedometer is way worse.

Marc said...

I had a car with a broken gas gauge for years. It worked for the first 1/4 tank, then went to empty. I just bought gas every 200 or so miles so that I never had to worry about how much was really in there.

D.B. Echo said...

My brother's first car, which he got when he was about 17, came with a non-functioning gas gauge. He drove around in it for a few days until one day it just stopped. Took a while to figure out what was wrong.

With the speedometer out, the odometer is also not working. So now I have to keep a mental tally of how many additional miles I've put on the car. Yesterday was 66...

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Oh that sucks! I'm sorry D.B.

hedera said...

Yeah, as we all know, you can ignore a broken gas gauge, but the speedometer? Another can of worms. Good luck fixing it cheaply!

anne said...

Ok, I am going to guess that there is another Marc out there that had a broken gas gauge for years other than my hubby. I suppose it's statistically possible...

Oddly enough, my hubby ALSO has a broken speedometer and (as a result I suppose) odometer.

Oh yeah, and both airbags are deployed.

Minor things. Minor things.