Monday, February 2, 2009

0-2 on the Day

For about a minute, more or less, my Super Bowl prediction was right on the money. The Cardinals were up by 3 as the clock raced toward the two-minute warning. I could scarcely bear to watch. (I probably shouldn’t have.)

I knew it was wishful thinking on my part, but at least it made for an interesting final five minutes of the game! The Steelers deserved the win, that’s for sure. And the Cardinals had nothing to be ashamed of. That turned out to be my second defeat of the day.

The first had come hours before when, in typical me fashion, I attempted to remedy the seatbelt situation myself. I had found a site online that offered some advice on getting to the seatbelt motor and manually moving the latch to where it should be. At first, I couldn’t find the panel in question.

When I got online again, I found another site with a drawing – I was in business! I crawled into the backseat, located and carefully removed the panel. Once inside, sure enough there was the manual control knob right on top as both sites has described. It was remarkably easy to move, in spite of the cramped quarters. (Anyone with hands even the slightest bit bigger than mine would likely have had problems.)

It was extremely slow-going though. Ten or 15 twists of the knob only moved the latch a fraction of an inch along the track. And, the rough edges of the knob did a great job of removing a layer or two of skin from my fingers. But, I persisted, and painstakingly got the latch into position. I slid the belt into place. Then, I reached inside and started the ignition.

Instantly, the belt slid forward, back into the OFF position – just what I did not want it to do. I shut the door and held my breath, hoping it would immediately sail back into place. It did not. All my effort was wasted.

So, the car will have to go and visit Uncle Jim, my mom’s long-time friend and our trusted mechanic for decades. Knowing that we might have to spend a day or so without a car, depending on Jim’s schedule, I made an early-evening grocery run.

While neither the seatbelt light or alert had gone off on Saturday when the problem first began, at intervals last night, it started going off. Ding – and that would be it. I’d drive a mile or so and then ding, ding, and the seatbelt light appeared on the dash. I’d rehook the belt and both would cease. The problem with that though is that in its current position, the belt interferes with the steering wheel, so I couldn’t leave it latched long. I’d undo do it and within a few miles, the ding cycle would repeat itself once more.

I’m encouraged by the fact that the latch actually moved along the track. That would signify to me that the track is in order. Maybe it’s just the motor. (I found one of those online for $25. I think it’s the right one at least.)

Here’s hoping this doesn’t become an expensive fix.