Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This was the most aggravating day I have ever had!

Quick note: I am not saying this is the worst day I have ever had, just the most aggravating.

The day began like MOST others.  The main difference was Chrissy wasn't feeling well so she was staying home.  I also had an afternoon meeting anyway so I was driving solo regardless.  I headed out early to try and make up time for having worked a short day the day before, and was having a nice, low-traffic commute to work (keep in mind, early for me means I left the house ~4:15 am).  I am MOST of the way through my commute when traffic comes to a screeching halt on Rt 32.  WTF?  I turn on the radio and find out that there is apparently an overturned car.  I spend most of the next 45 minutes IN PARK on Rt. 32.  There goes my plan for arriving early!

I get to work, have some minor annoyance emails to deal with, but then find out that someone has been accessing a page that they shouldn't have even been able to which has caused them to know 'administrivia' type information that they shouldn't.  JOY!  So, I have to lock that down, and make an apology of sorts to the people potentially affected.  This day is not looking up.  This is then followed by a chain of aggravating software development related decisions that stretch through most of the day.

At lunch, I also check my email to see if I have finally gotten the go ahead from Summit Point to register for Group 2 on November 9th.  Not only have I not received a response AT ALL, but registration is now FULL.  I even picked up an upgraded brake package for the Rabbit that I now won't be able to try on the track till at least MARCH :(  I really needed another track day to unwind, especially with how this day was already unfolding.

Now it's time to leave for my meeting.  Two of my co-workers and I are all going to the same meeting, but are going different places afterwards, so we all drive separate.  I was following one of them when I heard a loud noise as I drove over something in the road.  I hadn't seen it because I was following my coworker.  It was only later that I found out what it was I had run over.  More on that in a bit.  Due to some traffic, I pass my coworker and get down the road ahead of her a bit.  As I am driving along (at 60 mph) I notice the ride feels a little (not a lot, just a little) rough.  I am a little concerned, but it could have just been the crappy road surface, until the smell of burning rubber hits me.  I pull over (on the shoulder of 295), hear some horrendous noise from the right front, stop, and watch as smoke is rising from the wheel well.  I get out, walk around the car, and what do I see?  THIS:
Tire Down
That black clump in the bottom of the picture is rubber from my tire!

In case you can't quite tell, that is the sidewall of the tire that has mostly separated.  YAY!  Also of note, just after I saw the tire, my coworker went zooming by.  (To her credit, she did call once she got to where our meeting was to make sure everything was ok).  I pulled out the jack and lug wrench, loosened the lugs, and started jacking up the car.  This is where my haste comes into play, as the car rolled off the jack in my first attempt.  Fortunately, the wheel was still on the car and I was able to get the jack set in place again and start over.  Ok, tire off, go pull out spare....hmm....crap...this feels a bit mushy.  Sure enough, 20 psi :-(.  I throw it on anyway, and work my way to a convenient gas station (driving a bit faster than I should have to get there, but felt safer being at speed in traffic than going slowly even with flashers).

I get to the gas station and it requires $1.00 for the air pump.  I don't have any cash, so I have to go inside, pull cash out at the ATM (with an ATM fee of $3.00 from the ATM itself), and then buy something so I can get change.  I go out, fill up the spare, and head off to my meeting.  I made it JUST on time (finally, something good for a change).  The meeting/briefing then went horribly because I was very scatterbrained, and I also had to go back to my office after the briefing.  I was talking to my coworker before I went back to the office and found out that what I drove over was a folded up umbrella.  Best I can tell it punctured the sidewall (and maybe actually made part of that full tear).  So, now I head back to the office and just as I am considering leaving find out that THE BAY BRIDGE IS CLOSED!  FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

I finally decide to suck it up and take the LOOONG way home (via Aberdeen) and head out of the office at 4:45.  I am a few minutes out from work when my wife calls to say that the bridge is no open, so I turn around and head that way, knowing traffic will suck, but it will still be better than going the long way.  5:39-5:40 I stop at the WaWa just before the bridge for some food and a drink, back on the road really quick.  6:15 I am FINALLY on Kent Island.  I also stop at Mr. Tire, and wouldn't you know, they don't have the tire I need in stock.

7:10-ish....I FINALLY make it home.

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