One I’d Like to Write Off

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Yesterday was just one of those days.  One of those days that never seem to end and you really want them to badly.

It all started with not sleeping much at all.  On a tooth I have a crown, it hurts and is getting worse, not better.  I emailed my dentist in Minnesota and he said that most likely I need a root canal.  Great.  So I called all the endodontist in the city of Topeka and none of them could see me within a week.  Which didn’t even work because I am not going to be here.

So, I go over to where my AWD van is and the battery is dead.  I had ridden my bike so I figure I’ll just go get a backpack with a battery charger and charge it.  I get back there and find that someone had stolen the battery.  Worse than that they had cut the positive battery cable because they were too lazy to undo the 10mm nut.  Plus they had stolen all the relays, the gas cap and siphoned the gas.  WTF?

So I rode home and started looking for the necessary parts to repair it.  I knew I had a bunch of $20 discounts at Advanced Auto Parts, so I looked for them on my computer.  There were 3, expiring on June 2, 2016.  But when I tried to use them online, they didn’t work.  So I drove down to Advanced Auto to make sure they had the parts and ask them about the rewards.  They said I had to call to fix it.

I called and was on hold forever.  I finally got ahold of a pretty nice woman that explained they expired on June 2nd and yesterday was June 2nd.  I told her that generally when something expires on a date, it is on the end of the date, not before.  Like if something expires on December 31st, it doesn’t expire on December 30th, it is good until midnight on the 31st, or essentially, January 1st.  She told me that wasn’t the way they did it.

So I used a different tact and said that the rewards said they are good for 30 days.  And I made the purchases on May 3rd, so 30 days would be June 2.  Through June 2.  So she put me on hold for a supervisor.  They guy said they would send me one to use immediately by email and when I needed to use the other two, I had to call back to get them reissued.  What a drag.  It took over an hour.

I ordered the parts, the battery was $135, plus the relays, etc.  It was nearly $250.  I was splicing the positive battery cable back in the dark.   I got the van started and drove it home.

On the way, I stopped by to drop off a seat.  My brother needs the van to drive a tandem to Dirty Kanza tomorrow morning.  At the house I was planning to leave the seat, the sump pump had quit working and there was 12 inches of standing water in the basement.  The house is over 100 years old and it is a limestone foundation, low ceilings.  There was nothing there to ruin, just the water itself.  After I fixed it, the pump ran for nearly 15 minutes straight.

Adding misery, I had two ticks on me.  I hate ticks.  It seems this is going to be a bad year for ticks.  One was just crawling on me.  They other one was stuck where it would be, by far, the least desireable place a man could have a tick stuck on him.  I’ve been trying to put it out of my mind for the last 12 hours, so I share it here with the world, go figure.

I have about 5 hours to decide whether I’m going to drive down to Oklahoma City and race tonight at 9pm.  I wouldn’t be back home until 3 am, then have to drive to Kansas City to race tomorrow at 6 pm.  I’m going to skip the time trial at the Tour of Kansas City.  It is at 8 am and the race is just an omnium, so it really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, I’m glad yesterday is over.  Did I mention I lost my keys for a couple hours too?  Seems like the whole day was just trying to get back to square one.  It was one of those days that you’d just as well forget.

I don't understand why they had to cut the postive cable. They obviously had the tools to remove it correctly.

I don’t understand why they had to cut the positive cable. They obviously had the tools to remove it correctly.

The water level after it had been pumping for 10 minutes or so.

The water level after it had been pumping for 10 minutes or so.

Tucker must be a tick magnet.  I've been taking him out to the country to romp every day.  (I don't have a photo of the tick.)

Tucker must be a tick magnet. I’ve been taking him out to the country to romp every day. (I don’t have a photo of the tick.)





20 thoughts on “One I’d Like to Write Off

  1. Joe

    As far as ticks go, I read they have to be embedded for 24 hours before they can infect you with Lyme or whatever.

  2. Robo

    Top City! Man, I wish I have been there to lend them a wrench. I attended Washburn and lived in a fraternity house on 17th near capital hill. Every fall new students would arrive and the thieves would just pillage and plunder their cars. My first year, I left a tool box in the back seat of my pick up. They broke in, and then used my tools to break in to everyone else’s car. Found my tools in different cars throughout the parking lot! I always parked on campus and stored my tools inside from that that point on. The tools probably would have been much easier to pawn, but what do I know? As an aside, my tools were stolen again a few years later, but this time by a fraternity brother. He contacted me 12 years later to return them to me after he found God and became a Jehovah’s witness. Talk about an awkward exchange! But the tool box is back and properly filled with bike tools… and memories.

  3. steven r wilson

    Positive comment? It all happened in 1 day and didn’t drag on for weeks. Thanks for sharing your diary with the rest of us.

  4. Joe

    Wow! Damning with faint praise. And here I thought Kansas was all bucolic farms and honest “American Gothic” style farmers!

  5. Just someone

    Two problems with your story, Robo, and the root of many of the world’s issues.


  6. Barb

    The 24 hours theory has been disproved. How you remove them when they’re embedded is more important.
    However, if you’re riding in areas where ticks are frequently found, there is a very easy preventative measure (for humans) that I’ve used ever since I learned about it, and it’s pretty inexpensive and not toxic like using Deet products. Might also be able to use it on the dog bed, but I’d check with the vet on that one first. If you’ve heard of this before, sorry for the dept of redundancy department. Wal-Mart sells a spray called Permethrin spray and it’s about five bucks. It’s sprayed on clothing (not while you’re wearing the clothing because it has to dry and you don’t want it on your skin) and lasts through 5-6 washings (warm water). Once the spray dries, and I’m not sure how it works, but it instantly kills any insects that are unlucky enough to come into contact with your clothing. Ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, whatever. If you have a dog, letting them run all over through hill and dale, they’re sure to pick up ticks, which then can crawl from the dog to the owner. Ticks can’t jump or fly. They do this thing called questing. They hang out on the ends of branches and leaves, and when an unsuspecting mammal brushes the leaves or branches/blades of grass or whatever, they latch on. If you’re wearing permethrin treated clothing, they die and fall off pretty quick. For mountain biking, and I know this sounds extreme, but aside from not wanting the Neapolitan ice cream graduated tan lines, I always wear long cycling tights and long sleeve jerseys. They make really thin, SPF jerseys, and super lightweight long cycling tights as well. I’ve ridden in pretty hot temps with this outfit sprayed with Permethrin spray and it wasn’t uncomfortably hot at all…Better a little hot than tick bait. Aside from Lyme, ticks carry other co-infections like Bartonella, which are even worse than Lyme.
    As for your day Steve, it’s painful hearing about it, some people are just desperate (or diesel truck buttheads), can you put a lock on your engine door hood? As for an after-market locking gas cap, those locks are cheap and always malfunction, so the ticket would be (if available) to retrofit a quick release for the little door that covers the gas cap. Been through this before myself, I was stranded at night in the middle of nowhere in some po-dunk town where I stopped to eat, because someone stole all the gas out of my van, and it truly sucks.

  7. Krakatoa East of Java

    In Topeka, the solution is probably putting a live electrical wire on the car. The thieves will naturally come in and try to steal it for the copper. Then ZAPPPPPPP!

    Yeah, I’m one sick fuck.

  8. mv

    At least the transmission of the Van is working well?
    Was that not the unlucky purchase from California?

  9. mike crum

    damn brother, i wanted to meet you.. i am trying to bum a ride to race the time trial.. i never raced a sanctioned race before.. all i do are 10 mile time trials on the country roads on hard days and ride ez the other few days..i finally increased my distance to 15 mile time trials .. did 2 of them this past month.. got a pr of 33:03.. not great but for me i’ll take it.. this tt tomorrow is only 3 miles so its gonna be tough as i imagine the pace will be way faster than i’m use to going.


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