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Jason Pawlak

Me and my Internet

Husband, Dad, Navy Officer, Coder, and Tinkerer. I have many interests and am always looking to learn something new. This site is a launching point to the many areas of the Internet that represent me.

White Death Fail


For those keeping up, I wrote last night about my 1996 Honda Civic which has over 250K miles on it not starting.  Well I am happy to report that the fail in this post is not the car’s fault.  It is quite the opposite, really.  The car gave me hope, showed me that sometimes you just need a little loving.  But let’s start back at the beginning…

7:15am Making my way outside, determination fills my mind.  I will make it to work!  After opening the driver door, the dome light is on.  It fills my heart with hope.  The key is in the engine… turn… click… silence.  A wave of disappointment overwhelms me.

7:25am Still sitting in a cold, silent, and still car, I take out my phone to email my boss.

"Boss, so far I have my car unburied and tires dug out... but only to find it won't start.  Rough week.  I'm going to keep working at it."

I had tried everything I could think of to get my little red baby to make her engine purr.  I got out of the car and slammed the back door once… twice… three times… four… five times in a row; all testing my theory which I wrote about last night, that slamming the door was like a crank, and the more I did it, the better the battery would do.  The silence was deafening.

7:30am I’m talking to my Civic.  “Come on baby… do the locomotion with me…“  A few other cars slide past on the road; I can tell my car is embarrassed.  “You can do it!  I know you can!”  Leaving all doors shut, I reach into the back seat and open the door from the inside and give it a good, but loving, slam.  I was losing hope, but I didn’t want my Civic to see it.  I kept a strong face and turned the key, VrOooom… stutter…  Gave it gas and let it cough a little.  We have a working car!  I let out a few cheers, gave my car some love, and let it run for a few minutes.

7:35am - 8:20am Apparently my wheels were not as “dug out” as I had originally thought.  With my car’s engine running beautifully, and after a few unsuccessful attempts to roll my car out of its spot on the street, I told her “don’t worry, you did your part, I’ll do mine, I won’t let you down.”  I lied.  During this 45 minutes, I must’ve gotten in and out of my car over a dozen times, rocking it, getting out to see where I was getting stuck, hacking away at the ice with my hand held windshield scraper.  Rinse and repeat, yeah?  I was getting no where real quick.  This is also after I heard on the radio during my shower this morning that 71 North was shut down at 275 for an accident, so that doubles/triples/quadruples(?) my commute.  I was getting frustrated.

After I had been outside for an hour, I decided it might be time to bite the bullet.  Picking up my lunch box and water bottle, I reluctantly turned the key backwards and silenced my baby that had treated me so well.  “Sorry” I whispered to it.

"Boss, Fail.  I got the car started about 10 minutes after that last email... but what I thought was my tires dug out, well not so much.  Apparently there is a 1/2 inch of ice coating the road underneath the other snow and ice that's making it very difficult.  I spent the next 45 minutes shoveling and rocking the car. It's a bit frustrating.  I doubt I'll be coming into work today.  I'll get on Kroger mail here in a few and respond to any emails that have reached me there."

On the brighter side, in response to my post a few days ago about people being silent when its cold out, today was different.  The kids that walked by, going to class, were all very friendly in wishing me luck.  One guy even told me he saw a shovel a ways down the street leaning up against a telephone poll.

I’ll end this post with a letter to my car.

My dear little Civic, I am truly sorry that I failed you.  After you pulled through for me, showing me that it just takes a little loving (and possibly ridicule from others), you can succeed.  You did not let me down.  It was me that let you down.  I did not hold up my end of the morning.  For that, I am deeply sorry.  I know you may not trust me next time I turn the key, thinking I am just teasing you with dreams of the open road.  But I hope to regain your trust soon.  ~Jason


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