The Little Things

the broken buttonI’m always kind of torn when I sit down to write here. Sometimes I’ve got something important to say (e.g., if I happen to have left my job), and sometimes I think I’ve churned out what I think is darned good wordsmithing. The kind of stuff I’m proud of and Really Want people to read. Other times, I just want to whinge or chatter about some trivial thing, or I feel obligated to keep thems what cares up to date about where I am. What I really want then, without having to begin each post with a prologue, is a way of letting folks know which is which, so they can filter out verbal perambulations like this one from the posts that really matter. I’ll probably resort to tags for posts of (perceived) importance, the same way I currently do for geographies, like Antarctica or Africa. But for now, you’re just going to have to rely on preambles like this one, saying “You know, I’m just making small talk here – it’s a lovely day out, and unless you really have nothing better to do, I’d suggest skipping this post and going outside to enjoy it.

Go on, then…

So – if you’re still with me: remember how a couple of days ago I said I was rekindling my inner tinkerer? Not because it was cheaper, but because it was fun? Heh. Turns out that sometimes – only sometimes – it’s cheaper, too.

For example (you knew I had an example here, right?), yesterday afternoon, Jem and I hopped in our trusty Prius to head to the JCC. But when I reached up to the rear view mirror and pushed the button to Close the Pod Bay Doors, Hal, it came right off. The button, not the mirror or the garage door.

Peering in with a flashlight revealed that a little plastic tab holding the bottom of the button in had snapped off inside the mirror. Okay – called the Toyota dealer to find out how much it cost to replace the button. No, of course they don’t have just the button – you have to replace the entire rear view mirror + garage door opener assembly. How much for that? $799. No, there’s not a missing decimal point there: that’s seven hundred, ninety nine dollars.

Did you ever hear about the man who walked into an auto parts store and said “I’d like a new rear view mirror for my Lada”?  Guy behind the counter thought a minute and said “Okay, that sounds like a fair trade.”

Ahem. Now, it was a while ago, but I still find relevance in pointing out that I bought my first car for less than what they wanted for that rear view mirror.

Dr. Klick's kitOne of the advantages of marrying a geek girl is that she’s happy to get you birthday presents like Dr. Klick’s Kit of tweezers and pointy things, so I poked and prodded until I’d retrieved the missing piece. Then I got out the Superglue and “third hand” solder tool to hold everything (again – thanks, Devon!) and glued the damned tab back on myself. Stuck it back in place and pushed it a couple of times to verify that the garage door moved as it should, then gave myself a hearty pat on the back. Sometimes, it’s the little things that bring you the greatest satisfaction.

2 responses to “The Little Things

    • Ah yeah – I’ve not yet learned how to work the 3D printer yet. That’s still on the TODO list. My Plan B was to just keep the button stuck on from the inside with some tape (for cosmetic reasons) and reprogram one of the other two unused buttons on the mirror to take its place.


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