September 20th, 2005

dork L

The Perils of Paulisa, Pt. II

[cont'd from here]
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Antenna Saga of the Millenium
or
How A Small Solved Problem Is a Big Deal
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CHAPTER TWO, In Which An Antenna is Procured, Research Is Completed, and Then Very Little Happens But Blathering Analysis


Having secured the broken antenna & decided I needed to come up with some fix (not only jonesin' for radio in the car, but thinking no radio might hurt the vehicle's already-piddly resale value, should I manage at some point in the fantasy future to replace the sore spot that is the Pam Dawber), I managed to find, on antennaX.com, a cheap alternative to a power antenna: the "EuroStyle" rubber non-power replacement for the apparently many broken-off power antennas there are in the world [see this somehow-amusing gallery of this item on a variety of vehicles]. Just $14.99 + shipping, purchase price refundable if you manage to get after the job within 30 days and conclude that you're not up to it. What the hell, I thought, typing in the digits of one of my credit cards. Worth a shot. Beats the hundreds for the real McCoy.

A few days later, and I had the cheesy little thing in my hands. Now it was just a matter of taking a stab at replacement. I'd printed out the half-assed instructions at the website; I had the half-assed instructions on the back of the package. I was ready to go illicitly consult the Chilton's manual at Murray's, taking notes surreptitiously, for details on the relevant part of the rear end of a '99 Taurus wagon, but had found out (after complaining to homovegetarian) that Chilton's online database can be accessed through an Ann Arbor Library patron account---so I had the printout of its 3/4-assed instructions, with only two significant flaws: no diagram (illustration is so helpful in automotive matters), and an assumption that I was replacing the power antenna with another power antenna.

What happened next, though, was a delay. What caused the delay? My best take on that one is that is wasn't simply the kind of procrastination about chores I tend to fall into when left to my own devices. It certainly wasn't a plethora of excellent cassettes to listen to, making the missing radio irrelevant: I ran out pretty quickly of unlabelled mix tapes from my salad days, and those were just so much more fun (with the surprise factor) than any labelled, all-one-album sides that I listened to tapes for only maybe a fortnight.

Part of the problem may have been that a preliminary examination of the area involved in the repair ---behind the spare tire inside a side panel of the trunk-ish area next to the jumpseat--- revealed quite a number of options for what nuts were the nuts on the bolts in question---not to mention the news that there was some insulation to be pulled aside and a likelihood that I didn't have the proper tools for the job. Those factors weren't going to stop my effort to save a coupla hundred bucks, but they might have contributed to the delay. Mainly, however, the culprit was the psychological funk I'd fallen into, with its close association to a theme of unstaunchable deterioration---household, automotive, and other. An unfortunate coincidence of various emergent cases of disrepair combined with other emotive difficulties to prompt me for a good bit to want nothing but to be unconscious, literally even more than figuratively.

As you might guess, however, eventually I did get back on the project. Sunday afternoon, in fact. And if you join me again tomorrow, you'll get to hear the good stuff.

{Remember: a good serial .plan makes you wait for it, like one of those groaner story jokes, playing it out at some length...}