Monday, May 8, 2017

Bad Things Come in Threes

Bad things come in threes?

Who believes in these things?

Well, life has its way with things...

ONE -- On Saturday, I leave the office, by car, a little after 3 PM, and enter H-1 Freeway at the University Avenue on ramp. I had picked up my car at 7 AM from the dealer after its comprehensive 20,000 service was done.

One mile down the road, at about 3:15 PM, all hell breaks lose all of a sudden. Dashboard becomes orange, and the car self regulates its speed to 10 mph. On the freeway.  Thankfully I am past the Punahou Street on-ramp and thanks to the perennial congestion on that past of the H-1 freeway, almost nobody notices.

Chassis stabilization. (Now that's a warning lost in translation from German)

Drivetrain: Vehicle cannot be restarted (Really? Ever?)

Drive moderately (10 mph is not moderately. It is slug-ly)

Policeman in a big Ford Taurus stops me on Keeaumoku Street as I was limping back to the dealer.  He comes by my window with a smile and a little contempt in his voice.... "Run out of gas, huh?"

But then he sees all the orange flashing decorations on the dashboard... "Nope, I'm limping back to the shop" I said.

Four miles and half an hour later I arrive at the dealer and the service advisor from this morning became all flush with embarrassment because he had released my car earlier this morning all serviced, washed and ready for the next 10,000 trouble free miles... only to be back in less than 10 miles.

I get a free ride home in a better vehicle and about an hour later I get a call.  "An air hose got disconnected. All good now."

The car could actually drive OK with the hose busted, but this small defect was made into a big deal by the on-board computer.  That's the price of progress... all the digital nannies for getting 25 mpg from a 300+ horsepower engine.

TWO: Sunday 9 AM. My son Endie and I walk up our steep street with our bikes to load them on the old Mazda truck to go for a ride in the flat lands (Kapiolani Park is our favorite.)

Bad surprise... Something fell, or someone threw something and cracked the windshield!

It's a small set of cracks, but it can no longer pass safety inspection. Who pays $400 for a new windshield for a 1986 truck valued at $1,500 at best?

Buh humbug... Kidney Car or parts car on Craigslist.

But we loaded the bikes and went bike-riding anyway.

TWO AND A HALF: Sunday 10 AM at Kapiolani Park.

Glorious day for biking. Lots of people and bikers enjoying the park.  We had just finished the back straight of the Honolulu Zoo and ready to make a left down Kapahulu Avenue. But I nearly took a spill.  Front tire suddenly all flat!

There goes our pleasant bike ride. Rode back to the truck with the cracked windshield on the flat tired bike, on the grass for a sweaty and aerobic experience.


Our family of four boards the now repaired and fully serviced sedan of Thing One and heads to Kahuku for shrimp.

I wanted the car to "stretch its legs" on the freeway, so I chose the H-1, H-2, Haleiwa route instead of the trans-Koolau route via Kaneohe.

At 1 PM we hit the wall at the Joseph Leong Haleiwa Bypass. The longest and slowest queue I have ever seen at this location.  About half of the progress we made was because others gave up and looped out of the queue.

The five minute trek to Laniakea (Turtle Beach, which causes the congestion) took 50 minutes.

It was slow at Pupukea too. Very slow. Another 10 minutes of delay at the single traffic light by Foodland for a total of one hour extra time to reach Romy's Shrimp Shack where we had to wait 40 minutes in line to order, and another 40 minutes to get the food ready for pick up at around 3:15 PM.

And that's my 24 hours of three bad things.

Thankfully all my first world problems summed up to six or seven hours of delays, a cracked windshield, a bike tire that needs a new tube, and somewhat elevated blood pressure.  It can get a lot worse, so I'll take these and move on!