Thursday, 21 June 2007

Repeat after me: It's only a coincidence

This is the perfect sequel to my last post.

Fucking technology. Actually, fucking vehicles.

This morning, a day not quite as terrifyingly coldest-recorded (in Toowoomba, at least) as yesterday, I nipped out early to check that my oil topup the other day had been accurate, and found that it wasn't, and put more oil in my car.

Which rewarded me for my care by not starting. This has happened before - it's something electrical but not the starter motor, which therefore means that there are gremlins and black magic involved, being auto electronics, and not something I feel mentally tough enough to tackle at the moment.

So I ran indoors, trying not to wake my partner, threw on bike gear (no way in hell I will ride in work pants - I prefer something that offers a little bit of protection), threw work clothes into gearsack, grabbed rest of riding gear, took everything outside, pulled cover off bike... Which wouldn't start. This vehicle at least turned over, slowly, and then the battery died.

Okay, so it's been sitting for two weeks thanks to weather and a bout of illness, but not even a battery that small should lose that much charge that quickly. The XJ600 is notoriously cold-blooded, but it should at least crank vigorously even if it doesn't catch. Hell, the TRX was left for two months in storage and still started first time. Which probably means I need a new battery. Which, being a low-volume-manufacture bike battery, will be into three figures, never mind the fact that it's about the same size as a Dolphin torch battery.

So I'm standing there half-dressed in riding gear, about to start getting late, swearing because my two available vehicles won't start. Try and bump-start bike? I'm not pushing that to the top of the driveway for a roll! Not to mention lack of traction on a gravel surface to kick over the engine's compression. Jump-start? That requires a running vehicle to jump-start off which, as we have established, I don't have. Or the time to get it right if I used my partner's car. Wake her and ask if I could borrow said vehicle?

Try car one last time...

Which starts...

Grab work clothes from gearsack on back of bike, run (quietly) into house, get changed, leave riding gear thrown over a windowsill, throw brief-case and lunch into car, check pockets, grab wallet and mobile from gearsack, check head, can't find sunglasses, find on seat of car under lunch, drive off...

Get to work and send explanatory SMS to partner.

Who reported, at lunchtime, that XJ600 had started, reluctantly.

It's coincidences like this that lead people to believe in malicious forces of nature beyond the ken of physics.

There's a mediaeval fair on in Brisbane this weekend and I'm looking forward to being surrounded by no technology and women in corsets.

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