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September 02, 2004

adventures at the starlite, part 1

the first of many, i am sure!

i went out to the starlite last night and met bob, carla, robin, and of course blackie, the biggest german shepherd i have ever seen.

i flew my car show idea by them and they had no objections and basically told me to go for it. i also offered to create a web site and they gave me the go ahead on that.

there were a bunch of other folks around, too, all women, clearing some metal bars out of the ashes of the screen.

we sat up in bob's front yard which is right next to the screen. he told me that he had to live for five days without power before he could get it restored, and that whoever had done the work to restore it-- not sure if it was an electrician or duke power or both-- had overcharged him. but he found a member of his mason's lodge who is an electrician who will do the rest of the work for a reasonable rate. i think he hopes to have power to the theater building soon.

the best news of the day seemed to be that a contracting company, siteworx contracting, has agreed to come out this morning and clear the debris-- for free! they are donating their time, manpower, and equipment to clear this stuff off and haul it to the dump.


i noticed that carla's jetta was a TDI, so of course i had to mention it. i told her that both my bug and my van (which i'd driven out there) were diesels. and of course, i couldn't help but say, "i know a great mechanic if you need someplace to take your TDI!" and she turned to me and said, "Oh, I do all my work myself, I'm in auto mechanics school."

Now, keep in mind that this is a young woman in her early twenties, dressed to the nines including dainty little kitten heels, who sells Avon. I was surprised, and completely delighted.


after we'd finished discussing fundraising business, i went down and took a few pictures of the screen to put on the site. then i hopped in the van and went through the usual little procedure-- seatbelt, cycle glowplugs, pull out cold start knob. turn key.


now, usually, the van starts up instantly. it starts better than the bug. this is one way in which the van has been completely reliable-- up until now.

i tried it again a few more times. absolutely nothing, no cranking of the starter motor, not even really a click.

so i grabbed carla, and pretty soon everyone's standing around my open engine compartment scratching their heads. i broke out the voltmeter and proved that the battery was fine, but since no one knew what the hell to do they said, "let's jump it anyway, it can't hurt". so we did. of course that did nothing.

now the van was parked on an incline, nose down. my first instinct was that that was causing a problem, but i had no rational explanation for it. i didn't bring it up, but someone else did. so it was decided that they'd push me up to a level spot. and they did.

all the women that is. bob and the other guy who had arrived by that time stood around and watched five women push my van up the hill. i can't even begin to tell you how much i wish i had pictures of this, both from my perspective from inside the van with five grinning women staring up at me expectantly, and of course from the outside with all of them-- including carla in her kitten heels-- pushing.

anyway, they got it up to level and-- it started magically and i drove away. and immediately went to a gas station and filled the tank. it still had 1/4 left, but who knows- maybe that had something to do with it.

i've put this to the diesel vanagon list and no one has a very satisfying explanation. possibly, the ignition switch or wiring is flakey, which seems plausible-- other wiring in the steering column is flakey too. mark told me that in europe, part of routine maintenance for the vanagon is to clean the fuse contacts, because the fuses have such tiny contact points. i think i might break out the denatured alchohol and do a little cleaning one of these days. when i have time.


the web site is actually already active-- i spent the rest of the evening pulling it together. sarah has graciously agreed to develop a stylish design for it. once i get the paypal link on it-- carla has to set up a paypal account for the foundation's bank account, first-- i'll be asking all of you to blog the web site. pretty please.

Posted by lisa at September 02, 2004 10:22 AM | TrackBack


I love that the Avon lady is a future auto mechanic! That is so cool.

Posted by: Sarah on September 2, 2004 11:59 AM

wow, that's the same weird problem mary had with her honda that time in front of your house. of course, she was sitting on "E" (way less than your 1/4 tank), but as soon as we got it pointed uphill it was fine. downhill=bad.

Posted by: christa on September 2, 2004 02:00 PM

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ok, so a) your comment won't post right away because i have to approve it first and b) you might get a server error but your comment probably posted anyway and c) previewing doesn't work so i've removed the preview button.


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