Things flatten out


Although yesterday was the March 1st Korean Independence Day holiday and my office was closed, I went in to catch up on some work.  I left pretty late, after making significant headway on two of ongoing projects.  I left work at about 10:30 p.m., got into my car, turned on the engine, and started to drive away.  Then I heard a thwump, thwump, thwump.  Oh no!  My car had a flat tire.  How did that happen?  I put my car in park and got out to survey the damage.  I looked and saw a huge nail protruding the back right tire.  That’s great, I thought sarcastically.  I’d been working all day, on a holiday no less, and now this.  It’s been about 10 years since the last time I’d changed a tire, so I pulled out the car manual, found the instructions for changing a flat tire, and went to work.  Fortunately, a colleague who was leaving saw me and offered to assist.  I was really grateful for his help.  Last night was a balmy 20 degrees Fahrenheit in Seoul with a light dusting of snow–not much fun when you’re changing a tire.  The snow and wet pavement made the work messy.  At least the flat tire happened on my day off, when I came to work in jeans rather than in a business suit.  We wrestled with the tire and eventually changed it.  I made it home at about midnight.  The night was short, and I slept fitfully.  The next day, after a 7:30 a.m. business breakfast in honor of the Korean Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Energy, I drove my car to the dealer to patch the tire and change the oil.
 
Although the flat tire was a major irritant, I’m thankful it did not happen under even more adverse conditions.  It could have happened on a mountain pass or in the middle of nowhere.  It could have happened right as I was heading to work or for the breakfast.  Still, I wasn’t adequately prepared for this to happen.  Having lived in Korea for a year, I’ve been lulled into a false sense of confidence that everything will be OK (everything did turn out fine, after all).  I could have called my insurance company for roadside assistance, but I didn’t have their phone number handy.  My cell phone went dead because the battery was low.  My colleague mentioned that I could have used an aerosol patch kit to temporarily patch the tire and inflate it, enabling me to drive it to the repair shop.  Nope, I didn’t have that either.  Instead, I had to do it the old fashioned way and use the spare.  Thank goodness the spare tire and jack were readily available.
 
This brings me to my helpful hints for the day–check your tire pressure frequently, and make sure you know what to do if you get a flat tire.  You never know when or where it will happen, and the odds are that sooner or later you’ll have to deal with one too.
 
Blog Notes:  LarcenIII and Chuck from Ohio, thanks for words of the encouragement and sage advice.  Sometimes the creative well runs dry.  When there isn’t enough time in a day, blog writing sometimes become yet another task on the to-do list.  Fortunately, things seem to be "flattening out," meaning it doesn’t feel like such an uphill slog to finish all these nefarious action items.  After working a full day yesterday, I feel better now and am ready to tackle some more creative writing.  I’d rather blog than write reports and nonsuch anyday.
 
I’m sorry to hear that Comedian Don Knotts, best known as bumbling Deputy "Barney Fife" on "The Andy Griffiths Show," passed away this week at age 81.  He lived a long, fulfilling life, and he will forever live on in TVLand re-runs.  It think that’s one of the greatest gifts of television and film–beloved moments and personalities from the past are captured and preserved for endearing fans and for future generations.
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