Murphy’s Law strikes again

Actually, to be more specific, it was Finagle’s Law (a subset of the Murphy corpus). And to be quite specific, O’Toole’s Corollary to Finagle’s Law.

While Murphy holds that if things can go wrong, they probably will, Finagle states that if things can go wrong, they will do so at the worst possible time. O’Toole’s Corrollary additionally notes that the perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum.

And all of this Universal perversity was aimed squarely at my freezing rear end this morning when, stepping into my vehicle (which hubs generally starts about 10 minutes or so before we leave so it will be nice and toasty inside) I found, instead of the relaxing warmth of a small cab truck serviced by a full sized heater, nothing but frosty breath and a chilly bum, despite the vehicle having run for more than an adequate warm-up time.

For those who aren’t mechanically inclined, this is a Bad Thing.

See, heat comes from the heater core, which works by transferring excess thermal energy, dumped into it by the coolant circulating through the running engine, into the cab of the vehicle. Since the engine was indeed running, it could only mean one thing – no heat means no coolant was being circulated to pick up this heat and thence dump it for recirculation into the frozen cab of the truck. No coolant circulation means that said engine that will quickly overheat and die, as ours did not a mile from home, as we desperately tried to get to me to work before all hell broke loose.

So I ended up spending some quality time in a warm Burger King this morning (thanks oodles to the kind staff who agreed to let me hog their corporate oxygen for free) before getting a ride in with my supervisor, who was out running some errands anyway.

The culprit turned out to be a sticky thermostat (as I suspected – the thermostat is the thingamabob situated in the coolant stream that opens like a gate when the engine gets warm enough, thereby allowing the engine to balance it’s heat load without over-cooling it early on. If it sticks, which is fairly common since these things have a pretty short life span, coolant stays in the coolant holding area and never gets to the bulk of the engine) coupled with an inadequate level of antifreeze in the mix, all bound together in mutual Murphosity by teen-digit temps overnight. So hubs spent the morning fixing the thermostat, and then the rest of the day tracking down and replacing the thermostat housing after the original broke mid-repair (which meant getting rides from the neighbors for parts because although you can drive with a housing and no thermostat, you can’t do the opposite – the housing is the lid keeps all the coolant inside the thermostat’s hole). So what would otherwise be a quick, 20 minute job, had it been a warm, sunny weekend with no pressure, turned out to take all day in seriously cold weather during which hubs was unable to make progress on an ongoing job with a tight deadline and a big pending paycheck.

*shakes fist at sky* O’Tooooooollllllle!!!!!!!!!

I got off easy with a Friday meeting and a Fun Friday movie day at the homework club (Ice Age 2 – score!).

But in addition to this funfest being a huge pain in the pants pocket for all concerned, it also scotched my plans to spend my long lunch working on a holiday gift that needs to be completed in time for our team holiday party this Sunday, meaning I’ve got a lot of work to do and little time to do it in, a few hours of which will happen late tonite and most of the rest of it in one big rush tomorrow.

Not to mention the fact that I’m the one who spent two years in auto mechanics just so I could handle this sort of thing.

Poor hubby.

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