Saturday was a fairly busy day. I decided to take a look at the brakes on Brinestone’s car, which have always kind of sucked, especially in hard braking. They start to grab and then kind of crap out after a second, which can be somewhat frightening when you’re trying not to rear-end the car in front of you in a sudden stop. I figured I’d start with the brake fluid, which is supposed to be replaced every few years anyway (and which I haven’t done in six years of owning the car), and see if that helped.
Lego came out to help, because he’s really big into watching me work on the car. I thought I didn’t really need any help, since I had a bleeder kit, which makes it a one-man job, but I enjoy the company and figure it’s a good way to teach him stuff. He actually came in pretty handy, though, because the hose on the stupid cheapo bleeder kit kept popping off the bleeder screw and squirting brake fluid everywhere. He kept an eye on it and let me know when it popped off. But because it kept popping off, it turned into a rather slow process, and eventually I needed to break for lunch.
After lunch we went over to Macey’s, where they were holding a kids’ safety fair or some such. There were a few fire trucks, a police car, an ambulance, a life flight helicopter that sadly was gone before we got there, and a big bouncy slide thing that the kids wanted to go on again and again. We also got free snow cones and popcorn and were going to get into the line for free balloon animals, but by that time they told us they were getting ready to pack up. Lego was pretty upset that he didn’t get a balloon animal, and I told him that maybe I could buy some balloons and make something for him, since I used to know how at some point. That cheered him up a little, but it seemed he had completely forgotten about it by yesterday.
After the safety fair I went to Sears to try to find a better brake bleeder kit, since they usually have better tools, both in quality and selection, than auto parts stores like Autozone or O’Reilley. I found a kit that was actually cheaper than the one I got at O’Reilley, and it worked a lot better. I also swung by a craft store to try to find balloons for making animals, but no luck. They recommended I try a party supply store, but I didn’t have time.
I finished up with Brinestone’s car and took it for a test drive. Success! It appears that the major problem was indeed the crappy old fluid that probably had never been changed. For the record, new brake fluid is almost clear, and the old stuff that came out was a murky brown. But I noticed that the rear brakes are wearing unevenly, so I’ll have to come back to that sometime.
Sunday was pretty boring except for the part where we forgot it was stake conference until about 15 minutes before it started. We rushed out the door and managed to get there only about 10 minutes late, which was pretty remarkable, in my opinion. The parts that I managed to hear were quite good, but little children are always rather distracting, and the sound quality of the broadcast wasn’t that great in the room we were in.
Today after school I went to a party supply store and bought a pack of 20 balloons. After dinner we had family home evening, and for the activity afterwards I tried making a few animals. I had reasonably good success considering I haven’t made balloon animals in over fifteen years, but the principles are pretty simple. I think I only popped two balloons in the process, and even though the cat, lion, monkey, and dinosaur I made look kind of terrible, the kids had a blast. And so did I.