Why has my god forsaken me?

I swear, I must have offended the gods of transportation. I’ve been innundated with annoying little transportation mishaps for the past few weeks. Case and point:

May 31, 2004
I don’t hear my crappy alarm clock, so Bonnie and I miss our 7:15am flight to New York (EWR). Luckily, Air Canada has 6 flights to EWR daily (all of which are booked full though). They’re willing to put us on standby, and we manage to get on the next flight out.

Unfortunately it’s a tiny airplane, and there just happen to be several families on board, each with children in what looks to be the 16 to 24 age range. There’s one particular large fella sitting behind us – if he was pretty he’d be a poster boy for American Eagle, complete with wide cargo shorts that go past his knees, artificially distressed logo t-shirt, and mesh trucker cap. Throughout the flight he can’t stop laughing like a jackal, singing along to the tunes on his iPod Mini, and calling to his friend 5 rows ahead (who conveniently ignores him). Meanwhile, his mother sits a few seats over and doesn’t say a word, preferring to bury herself in some women’s magazine. While waiting for our checked baggage at EWR, the annoying guy’s father shows up to meet his family, and suddenly it all makes sense. The son is a carbon copy of the father. I wonder how the mother/wife puts up with the two jackasses.

Suffice to say, I have a new alarm clock.

June 1, 2004 – 9am
The bus to Woodbury Commons doesn’t show up. Upon phoning them, they report that their bus driver is sick. Fine, ShortLine it is.

June 1, 2004 – 7pm
The bus back to New York City stops on a street that no one has ever heard of. ShortLine it is again.

June 13, 2004
I somehow pick up a nail in my passenger side rear tire, in a position that makes the tire unrepairable (though I don’t find that out until after mounting the donut and driving to Canadian Tire – it’s a Sunday, so all Honda dealers are closed). I mount my winter tires on the rear axle and drive back to Waterloo. On the plus side, I’ve become a pro at changing tires. Given a decent jack, a long steel pipe, and a torque wrench, I can change tires about as quickly and comfortably as I can swap CPUs in a computer. In some ways, changing tires is even easier, it doesn’t require as much finesse.

June 15, 2004
The dealership in Kitchener assures me they’ll replace the tire with an identical OEM one, which is the only reason I agree to be gouged $189 for a single mediocre tire. After all is said and done, it’s not actually identical. The OEMs are Michelin MXV4, the replacement is a Michelin MXV4 Plus. The non-Plus one is apparently discontinued. The tread and performance characteristics are clearly different, though in practice I probably won’t notice. Still, if I had known beforehand, I would have bought 2 better tires for the same price and had them replace both the rear ones.

This is exactly the reason why I’ve mentioned before that I like people who are anal-retentive at their jobs. People say things like, “I want to find a good doctor/mechanic/contractor/etc.” In all of these cases, I think that “good” is actually synonymous with meticulous and anal-retentive. Unfortunately, traits that are not common enough in people on the job. To a certain extent, I find that the whole M&AR thing happens naturally for people who really enjoy their jobs. I guess that just goes to show how few people there actually are in this position.

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