March 9th, 2003


An arm, a leg, my firstborn....

The title will make itself clear in a short enough time, dear reader. Just grin and bear it for a moment while I set up some of the back story.

For the last two or three weeks I've been listening to my pickup truck make a noise that can only be accurately described as "frowny noises" (Thank linnaeus for that term!) each time I step on the brake pedal. It started out as a light whine or squeak when I hit the brakes, and that progressed into something not nearly as subtle and a lot more shrill. It became highly alarming to me on Wednesday night when I was coming home and I heard a squeal that sounded a lot like metal pressing against metal. There was no sign of the sound I was dreading the most -- the angry grind of rivets against discs -- but it was possible that wouldn't be far behind. Thursday I spent the drive to and from the office doing everything in my power to avoid pressing on the pedal at all, going so far as to jake-brake the truck to a nice leisurely coast before I gingerly applied the brake pedal.

Like most automotive problems I've encountered the time-tested tradition of ignoring the matter and hoping it would go away on its own did, in fact, do nothing for me in terms of actually fixing the problem. I knew from previous experience that this was something I would have to get fixed, and that my procrastination would only serve to make the repairs more expensive. I've been down the road of brake repairs numerous before, you see, and I've seen the damage that a brake caliper can inflict upon a disc once the pad has worn away and there's nothing but rivets left to stop your vehicle. This situation had already occurred once upon my pickup and I wasn't terribly thrilled about the idea of it happening a second time on a new pair of discs. Since I wanted to go hang out with a couple of friends from FurryMuck on Saturday I decided that Friday would be the best time to take the truck in for repairs. The end of the week seemed ideal because I could escape from work an hour or so early, skip up to the shop and get the work done. Once they were done I could pay my bill and get on my way knowing I was driving a safer vehicle and that I'd save myself a good chunk of change by not doing further damage to my discs. Pity that plan fell apart.

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I woke up this morning at 11:00 AM and was greeted by a headache that's bordering on achieving migraine status. I'm currently trying to put it down with diet Coke and aspirin in the hopes that'll do the job and save me having to get out any of the big guns like the Vicodin. I hate medicine as a whole so I'm not feeling terribly inclined to go to any of the narcotics-based solutions without trying something minimal first.

This thing feels almost exactly like the kind of hangover I can get when I've had far too much beer before I started hitting the hard liquor. The thing of it is I didn't even touch any booze yesterday. I was good and stayed completely dry! I don't think I even thought about a gin-and-tonic or a beer, and this is the "reward" I get? To hell with that noise!

Tick: It feels like my head is giving birth!
Arthur: It's called a headache, Tick.
Tick: It has a name?!
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    Peter Gabriel - Games Without Frontiers