Day started good. Since we had Erik all weekend, the morning was easier, not having to get up early and go get him. Went out to the farm, relaxed, had a good time. Ray and I discussed the further plans for building a playhouse/jungle gym for the grandkids, and set off the area to do it...a great spot, partially under fir trees and thus shady, easy to see from the house. Looks like it'll be pretty cool. Also introduced Ray to Colors, by Ken Nordine, which he enjoyed.
Another up side was a little project I planned. Erik had been playing with some chairs and an old sheet, making a tent, and he had asked Dianna if we could run a string across from wall to wall, over his bed, so a sheet could hang over it like a tent. Well, Di asked if I could make something even cooler, and I thought, and planned, and came up with, dammit, the coolest thing ever. The simple version of my plan was this: take four dowel rods, and use hooks and eyebolts to connect them into a rectangular frame. Hang a sheet from each rod. Run some rope or twine from each corner, up to an eyebolt in the ceiling, then down the wall to a handle. The really cool part was the idea to have a hook close by that the handle could be pulled towards and hooked to, allowing the "tent" to be raised and lowered. Yeah, this was gonna kick ass.
OK, so we headed for home to make some measurements, and everyone was really jazzed about it. We get back in the car...and it doesn't start. Now, a little background. A week or so ago, Dianna, on the way home from work, stopped at the store. When she got back to the car, it wouldn't start, just made a small sound and clicked. She waited a few minutes, only got a click. Waited a few more, and it started, and no worries. Days go by, and it happens again (I was with her this time). Tried to start, nothing. Waited, and started fine. So, when this didn't work, it was no immediate surprise, though we weren't happy. We waited...nothing. We waited...nothing. We waited...nothing. Finally, back inside we went.
Several times, we tried it, over the course of the evening, and no dice. it seemed well and truly deadski. Di was...well, it was really bothering her. She was pretty upset, and the evening passed really quietly. I talked to Erik, letting him know what was happening, and asking him to be understanding about not being able to do this thing we had planned to do, and to help me by giving Di her space. I have to say, he was great. Good behavioured, didn't bug her, never once gave even the tiniest whine about missing out on this...and I told him how proud and appreciative I was when bedtime rolled around. He's such a great kid, it just grips me sometimes.
Anyway, we tried getting hold of a friend of the family, James, who is one of these guys that knows a little bit about all these kinds of things, but could get anyone to answer. I called dravengodvamp fro some advice, and we talked a while. Eventually, fatigue wore us out. I got up early and tried the car again, just in case...nothing, of course. Eventually, we got hold of James, and it turned out that he was gonna be in our direction anyway, going to the auto parts store (serendipity), so he came by. He looked over things, tested the battery to be sure (fine) and when he went to the store, got their opinion. On his return, he stated his opinion that it was probably the starter, which had been the consensus so far. He removed it, and we went back to the parts store to test it.
Gotta tell you, it was pretty funny. Since we weren't 100% sure this was the problem, this test could be a good thing or not. When the starter was tested, we waited with anticipation, and the guy helping us went about his work. Finally, he looked up, said "it's shot!", and James and I erupted into laughter, high-fived, and damn near cheered at having figured out the problem. This guy looked at us like we were crazy...and go figure: why else would people be so happy to have a malfunctioning car part? ;)
Anyway, long story short (too late!), the part is ordered, will be here tomorrow. James will be off work at 4pm, will pick up the part and come install it, and that should be the end of this little saga. Man, it sucks that I went to a high school that didn't offer auto shop.