Monday, April 19, 2010


I don't know if there is a saying such as this or not (but if there isn't, maybe there should be?):

"One person's logic is the next person's perplexity"

Part of my perplexity is the language - things don't always translate literally so sometimes I miss the meaning, or I understand it differently than was intended.

But some things that I do completely understand in translation, still leave me shaking my head in amazement that it made sense to anyone.

The little hamburger stand that we like, near the lottery booth, used to open around 7:30 pm. While sitting on the parked cart waiting for Miguel to buy his tickets, I pass the time watching the activities at the stand. Sometimes it is early and they are cleaning the cart. Sometimes the woman who owns the cart is frying up a pile of onions in advance of opening up. Sometimes I've hopefully gone over before 7:30 to see if I can order, only to be told they won't be ready until 7:30. Sometimes we wait, sometimes we don't.

When the clocks were moved back in the fall, I was surprised to see the stand doing their opening activities early. I went over and asked if they would now be opening earlier. The answer surprised me. Basically, I was told that since the clocks had been turned back, they would be opening at 6:30, which used to be 7:30. Why the change in the time would have any effect on their hours of operation is a mystery to me, but all season they opened earlier. Now that the clocks have moved forward, I'm curious to see if they are once again opening at 7:30. Because it would make sense, wouldn't it? (scratching my head at understanding any of it).

Our golf cart is a mechanic's dream or nightmare, depending on whether you are a mechanic who just sees dollar signs or rather one who sees the pain in the neck that this golf cart has become. My mechanic winces when he sees me, so I know he'd rather forfeit the money and be done with this thing, once and for all.

But without the funds to replace the cart, we keep fixing the issues, and since they are inexpensive issues, it makes sense to keep the family vehicle running for as long as we can. With all the issues we've had, Miguel has learned quite a bit about the mechanics of the golf cart, and often he is able to do a 'repair' (well, maybe not a repair, rather a patch fix) without bothering the mechanic.

Starting the golf cart in the morning is an ordeal. Just pumping the choke no longer works. We have to lift the front seat and change the gear wheel to neutral (so we can rev the engine without it going anywhere). Then we squeeze the black hose as we step on the gas pedal. Finally we push the little clip forward, which seems to control the flow of gas. And we keep doing this until the engine kicks in. Once the engine kicks in, we keep the engine going to warm it up. When we think the engine is sufficiently primed, we flip the gear wheel back, replace the seat, hop on and hope we go somewhere.

But we now need another little thing to get us 'going somewhere'. Even with the engine warm, the accelerator pedal just doesn't seem to be able to pull gas into the engine upon take-off. So Miguel rigged up a piece of fishing line that he threaded through a hole he drilled to the front of the cart right at the driver's seat. With one hand on the choke button, the other hand pulls on the fishing line which pulls gas into the engine, and off we go. Once we start moving, Miguel lets go of the fishing line and the accelerator pedal does its job. Until we have to stop at an intersection, then he may have to yank the line once again. Just depends.

We have taken the cart to the mechanic numerous times, but this little issue just never gets resolved for any period of time. So the last time we had the mechanic work on the cart, Miguel explained the issue to the mechanic, and showed him why he has to use the fishing line, even though that was not why the mechanic was fixing the cart (that time it was the micro thingy that controls the electricity to the cart). I think Miguel was hoping the mechanic would fix the issue once and for all. Mind you, we've have several mechanics try to fix this, so it is not a simple fix, apparently. And here's what happened:

The mechanic returned the cart with the new micro thingy replaced. He lifted the seat to show us where he had replaced the part. And when Miguel mentioned the difficulty we have starting up the cart, the mechanic explained about using the choke, etc. And then, much to my amazement, he said that if none of that worked, he could always pull on the fishing line! Dead serious!

Later I commented to Miguel that it was very odd that a mechanic thought his rigged up fishing line was the solution for a cart that didn't want to start. I guess the logic is that Miguel has found a way to address the issue, and it works, so why look for another solution? Shaking my head on this one too, but living here makes one realize that some things you just have to go with. This is one of them.


Anonymous said...

My only guess for the hamburger cart hours is that maybe the island has lots of fishermen, or people whose job depends on when it's light out, not on specific hours.

Does that make sense? I dunno.

Moongrl722 said...

I love the pic of your pets. My cat sleeps like that, too. Talk about comfortable in their environment!

KfromMichigan said...

I love your new photo of Loco and cat. So darn cute! Good luck with the cart.

Anonymous said...

Had to laugh at the visual of you starting that golf cart! I used to have an old car on which the gear shift was broken, and you could pull it out as you were driving. It was fun to freak out unknowing friends while driving down the street! ;-)

Isla Chica

Nancy said...

Maybe now that 7:30 is what used to be 6:30, they'll open at 8:30. Or something like that.

Reminds me of the people here in Indiana who say "I just can't get used to this fast time." Fast time?

Sue said...

Gringation - well, from all the times I've sat and watched that cart, I don't think that fishermen are frequent customers. But maybe, you never know!

Jana - thanks for visiting! You should post a picture of your cat! We seem to have a lot of cat lovers around these blogs. :-)

K - thanks!

Linda - that would be funny to see!

Nancy - nope, they are opening around 7:30, sat them starting the setup routine last night at 7. That is so funny about 'fast time'!! Made me chuckle - thanks!