Our first stop was Seawolf Trading Company, a "pirate store" located a short distance from the apartment. We had some idea of picking up pieces for pirate-based Halloween costumes, but were generally unimpressed by the store. I suppose if I had more money I wouldn't mind spending nearly $200 for a mass-produced pirate captain outfit that would probably fall apart on one wearing, but it didn't appeal to me in my current finances.
After escaping the clutches of the pirates, I dropped Cheryl off at the Hub shopping center in Fremont and drove over to Jiffy Lube. They informed me that I was overdue for transmission fluid service as well. As I recall, when I did the oil change prior to the trip to Worldcon, I was faced with the "perfect storm" of every single maintenance item coming due simultaneously, and I postponed the transmission fluid change in favor of all the others; however, I had to bite the bullet today.
They asked about the air filter. Now, on my van, it's impossible to get at the air filter without removing the "doghouse" cover inside the vehicle, so they've not changed it in recorded history. (I'm not joking; I do all of my routine service at JL, so they have the whole history in the computer.) Anyway, since I have the area around the "doghouse" partially disassembled anyway in anticipation of smog repairs next week, I told them to go ahead and do the replacement today. Figuring all of that would keep them busy for a while, I went off to have a cup of coffee at a shop elsewhere in the center.
It did keep them busy. Even after I returned, they were still wrestling with it. I should have stayed behind and showed them how to remove the "doghouse" cover. They weren't familiar with it. It's not terribly difficult once you know where the four attachment points are, but it can be a little tricky to get it reassembled, and I find that putting it back together is better done by two people -- one turning the captive screws inside the engine compartment and one making the fine adjustments required to get the cover in just the right spot.
While I waited, Cheryl called to ask for a progress report. I explained that they were still working on it and apologized for the delay. Fortunately, they finished up about five minutes later and I was on my way shortly thereafter. They forgot to apply the $7 repeat-customer discount, but given how much extra work dealing with the "doghouse" had been, I decided to call it even this time.
Heading back to the Hub, I connected up with Cheryl. The earlier delays meant it was time for lunch, so after a stop at the New Hung Kee Noodle house in the Hub, we were able to complete our various errands and head back home. This being the final day before daylight saving time ends, I proposed we try to get out for a walk around Quarry Lakes, but Cheryl -- having been stranded by me at the Hub for over an hour -- was too tired for it, and I can't say as I blame her under the circumstances. Maybe tomorrow, although we'll need to remember to go at least an hour earlier than we normally would during the summer.