Ode to tire goo

The last date stamp of a post like this … January. Ffffffffffff. If this happens again, I’m really going to develop a neuroses around road trips.

So the last time I had tire related carnage, we were an hour and a half from the start and we turned tail and flipped it around. This time around, again, about an hour and a half from the start. Everything was chill up until the tire pressure management system in the car said ‘Heeeeeyy girrrrrll. It’s ya boi right front tire. Just hollerin to say I’m down to 37psi which is pretty weird since all my homies straight chillin at 45. Ok byeeeeeee’.

Well shit. We know how this works, right children? There’s no hopeful thoughts of maybe the system being wrong or that we can fill it and keep going. I pull it on over on the next exit and praise be that we were still in civilization. Quick check of the tire next to the air pump and I didn’t see a machete hanging out of the tire at least, but I could hear the parseltongue hiss of my tire saying “i hate you” coming from somewhere. Back in the car, J was checking around for places that might mend a tire since it was only 10:30ish and there was one down the road. Roll up to the super mom and pop shop and while they normally would, the guy wasn’t around and she wouldn’t know when he’d be back. But hey, she gave a list of a couple other places to try. Trying them out, one said they might have some time around 1 and the other said we could drop it off and they’d get to it when they could.

Executive decision time, right? I took a final jeopardy amount of time to deliberate and decided to roll the dice to get home in the early AM versus the later AM. The cooler comes out the back with some other minor items and I fetch the emergency goo kit and the inflator. You know, an inflator that I tried to use last time and it kerploded a little and if you wanted to get a new one from Audi it was $500 for something that was really a $30 item down at wally world but that’s what warranties are for and they gave me a new one. I hooked up the goo IV bottle into the hemorrhaging beast and started pumping. After no more sloshing in the bottle, I rolled up to get real pressure into the tire from the gas station air pump and we hopped back on the highway.

I quickly brought it up to 72mph, far beyond every warning sticker that said ‘ACHTUNG NO MORE THAN 50MPH, DUMMKOPF’ and waited for TPMS to say no thank you to the impromptu fix. 1 mile. 5 miles. 10 miles. 700 miles later, home. Not a single pound of pressure was lost. It may not work for all your tire ills, but it worked for me in a pinch. Yes, 72, because 50 on the interstate is a death wish.

I rolled back to the discount tire to have it checked out since that’s where I had my winter tires swapped out and they said I had a warranty there too. I checked in, dude said ‘oh yeah, I remember that one. everyone was talking about how big the brake calipers were’. Yeah, that’s right. My wagon milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. But an hour and a half later, my ride rolls back out for me with a patched tire. I was expecting some kind of bad news saying it was unfixable and I’d have to go find another 4 tires because they are made of unicorn hide and they only have those at the central warehouse in narnia. But I figured after 10 minutes that I hadn’t heard anything, there weren’t any show stoppers.

But yeah, that was high and low light of my wednesday and thursday.

Consumer reports gave me an education though around the different products to make emergency tire fixes. There are a few types, one is an aerosol can that adds goo and inflates the tire a little bit. It’s not very good. the other one is where you have to take the valve core out and dump some amount of goo into the tire directly. It also worked, but getting valve cores in and out is fiddly. The last type is the one I have where it has a container of goo and that you plug into a tire and then put the air chuck into that bottle to blow the shmoo into the tire. As far as I can tell, the big manufacturers all get basically the same stuff that may come from a company in the UK called ‘Airman’. You can get a kit with the combined compressor and goo off amazon. Since the car tires are giant, the 620ml bottle wasn’t available on amazon, but it was from grainger but I suspect that’s only a me problem. If I get another flat before it gets here on tuesday, I might as well end it all.

Ode to the Dodge Journey

Every time that I hop in my wagon now, I think back to those 2,000 miles we put on the the rental Dodge Journey. It was a traumatic time. Just shortly before it came into my life and then slightly more traumatic while it was in our lives. It was by random chance that we crossed paths with that specific specimen. It would have have been a Nissan Rogue, a Jeep Cherokee, or a Ford Flex, but no. As fate would have it, we picked the Journey. Or did the Journey pick us?

Some things I’ll remember most about that magnificent beast.

The headlights. I can only describe them as romantic. So gentle, they could not blind a fly even at their brightest. We crossed through much of the country by candle light. They also had an aquarium-esque feature where regardless of how much snow, rain, or fog that existed outside, ginormous drops of water would appear on the inside of the lights.

The engine. It was the worst of all worlds in it’s Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde demeanor. From a stop, it was incredibly eager to prove itself and the might tap of acceleration would cause wheel spin and a sudden jerk of your head. It took a very educated right foot to properly tame that behavior. At speed, however, it showed no such ambition. From a stop, it’s mantra was “I am speed”, but at 30mph, the only words it could barely muster were “I think I can I think I can I think I can…” From 55 to 70, it accelerated in ways that wouldn’t rouse a rocking chair into action.

The transmission. A weak 2.4 liter engine, coupled with a 4 speed gear box. As I mentioned before, the first gear was Lightning McQueen aggressive. Cruise control didn’t often demand much of the car except when going up a modest hill in 4th gear. It would dive, dive, dive below the requested speed only to realize that it was futile and down shift. It always let you know that it needed help because if cruising speed was around 2400rpm in 4th, when it wanted power and shifted, it was up in the 4500rpm range. This shift was amazing at drowning out anything that might have been playing on the radio or waking a sleeping passenger from a shallow sleep.

But with all that said, it did get us where we needed to go.

i blame china for my vacation delay

Tire got swapped today and I asked to keep it. I mean, I’m pretty sure i can throw it away for free if i don’t think of another use for it. I’m sure they would have charged me some kind of disposal anyway. So after dissecting, it wasn’t a razor blade, but I could’t say what it was.

Explains why i couldn’t find it looking for it while tire was mounted.

Itty bitty evidence from the inside.

And I extracted it. Oh right, the other side said ‘China’ on it.

It wasn’t as bad as I expected, though it did probably go through some cords and it sliced up the tread block a bit, so a few thousand miles on it was probably unwise. So, what do I do with a 285/30/r22 tire? If those numbers mean nothing to you, just think… fucking ginormous.

the long way round [home]

Not much to say for the trip home. it was pleasantly uneventful and we chilled in kentucky for a bit. What was a surprise though, I didn’t realize how fancy the horse farm we visited was.Perhaps not the right expression, but hey, i stood over secretariat yesterday and saw some of his kids. didn’t think that would happen.

Peachtober #14, scout

Casey was the first to hand his homework in before the daily dead line, so, first billing for me. 
J next. I joked maybe our pictures were the same universe. 
And then M. A scout from Attack On Titan, the team that protects the people from giants that usually don’t have skin and are super creepy in general. The giants that is. 

Ding dong

I heard. Huh, weird, someone at the door? Not expecting a package, not that they would ring the bell anyway. I don’t remember maintenance leaving a note up to do anything else either. Well, let’s master the fear and go see who it is.

Open the door… no one here. Oh no wait. Insurance salesman.

insurance salesman

We went sight-seeing

Well hi there. Been a while, hasn’t it? That sums up 2020 for pretty much all of us, doesn’t it?

We are still more or less house bound, but just slightly less than almost a year ago, but sometimes we find some things that require a couple hours of driving and are mildly interesting.

There’s a thing called the NC Musician Mural Project that show cases NC born musicians. There aren’t many currently, but the few around here that are an easy drive include Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. Earl Scruggs and Randy Travis are a much larger drive, west of Charlotte. Maybe another time. Maybe.

Coltrane’s is on the back of the Hamlet Opera House, at least when it did that. These towns are super small, and Covid has made extremely sure that the downtowns were heavily ghost like. So many boarded up or empty shops in Rocky Mount on the main drag and it felt kind of recent.mural of john coltrane in hamlet nc

thelonious monk mural in rocky mountand all of this, was made extremely comfy in <price is right voice> a new car!!

helgaApparently it’s a 3 year itch because Ingrid had just had a birthday. There was a lone tear, it was a good car, no complaints there. But, this is going to likely be the last hurrah for the gas powered cars, so I went big. This is Helga. She be stout, matronly, cushy, but, believe it or not, a rocket ship.

We are all now indoor kids

The plus side of not going outside, we get to do all those projects that we talked about months ago, but never did. Here was our Sunday, though mostly J’s and not mine since mine was way less effort. I suppose it’s real handy that I bought some lighting for photo stuff a few months back… daylight isn’t something I’m getting much of. Though I could tell you the harrowing journey of how I went out for the mail once.

You can click on the images and get a much prettier movie out of it.


Hagrid’s hut.

spinning ncc-1701d

Enterprise NCC 1701D.