Labor Day Weekend is a four day weekend for schools in California, in part because of observance of “Admissions Day” on the Friday before Labor Day. For non-Californians, that’s a state holiday celebrating the day that California became a state. I didn’t really know about it either until about two years ago, so don’t feel like you missed something.
So, yesterday, my bank account suddenly filled with Quatloos, I went downstairs to the garage to go pay the nice people at the storage unit that houses my stuff. I dimly remembered my car being cranky about starting the night before, at close to midnight, when I left the Epic Day of School Activities. That became a sharp recollection, as my beloved car decided that today was the day she would not start.
I had been expecting this, actually, and it came on a good day. I had nowhere to be, and nothing to do, except finally put up yesterday’s post. A quick call to triple A brought forth a gentleman to give me a jump start, and exhaustively test my engine and battery with a really cool diagnostic tool. Everything was as expected…the alternator was fine, working well, the engine clean and running smoothly…but the four year old battery owed me no more favors, and needed to be replaced.
AAA can actually put a battery in your car right there, for you, if the man is carrying the kind of battery that you actually need. My thirty year old Mercedes needs a fairly heavy duty battery, and was not on hand. Again…no trouble…I had no place to be, and was happy to give some low stress business to my mechanics, the guys at Culver Automotive. These were the same kind gentlemen that rebuilt my engine about four or five years ago, and have kept my aging vehicle in running, smog test ready condition for ages.
I’ve been there often enough over the years that they recognize both me and my car. I explained the low stress service that I needed, and the gentleman shook his head for a moment. “I just sold that battery yesterday,” he explained.
I shrugged. “Can you get another one? I don’t have anyplace to be, and can either catch lunch at the french restaurant two blocks away, or walk home and pick it up tomorrow. It’s no sweat, and honestly, I’d like to give you guys the business.”
With a smile, he replied, “Go have lunch…I can have the battery here in like an hour.”
I had a nice lunch. Steak au poivre and palm frites, with a glass of iced tea that didn’t end. It was as if the universe had aligned to sort of force a “quality of life” experience upon me by enforcing “quiet time.” After lunch, the car was all set.
Car batteries are expensive, I’ll tell you that. The kind of heavy duty battery that is needed to run all the bells and whistles on a 1985 Mercedes runs about $150.00…those are American dollars, not some other kind of dollars, or Monopoly Money. I had expected it though, it’s par for the course as your car gets older, and technology changes around it. Once again, if anyone should get that money, I think it’s the guys at that shop, which I can’t recommend enough.
When I got in the car, it surged to life in a way that it hasn’t for a while. A new battery will do that for your car, what with being totally responsible for the ignition process. Feeling good, I rolled over to Hot Topic to get some Millenium Falcon stuff, what with the day being Force Friday, releasing droves of merchandise in preparation for the new film. I felt the Millenium Falcon was thematically appropriate…and aging but beloved spaceship, constantly being repaired by Han Solo and Chewbacca. A t-shirt and some other items later, I was pretty happy.
So, the art is pretty obvious here, in terms of where it comes from. I felt that the arc reactor that powers and Iron Man suit would be a fine power source for the flying robot pony, and they have been used numerous times in adequacy already as a sort of generic super hero power source. Previously, I depicted my car as a ’66 Batmobile, but I’ve moved over to the flying robot pony, almost subconsciously. The reasons, though, the moment I reflect on it, are obvious. Although my vehicle hasn’t changed, changing schools did in fact change my method of transportation…I used to car pool often, and now I don’t. That change resonated in a way with me, that came out whenever I put pencil to paper…I just couldn’t draw the old vehicle.
I’m also not the best driver…I get very stressed. So the idea of a more stressful means of transport seems much more on point, without carpooling.
The dog man mechanic was awesome. Conceiving of him, and then drawing him, really brought home the fun of the new setting (the Edu-Mountain) and it’s fantasy genre beast men. I looked up “peasant clothing” to give him a reasonable suit of clothes for his job. Still…it’s his face that makes me like him…I think he’ll be returning whenever the flying robot pony needs service.