That accursed focal length
I spent most of last night laying on the concrete floor of our garage with my head shoved under the front end of our Subaru. It’s a pretty low-slung car, so, yes, it was a tight fit. An intelligent person would have put the car up on jack stands, but an even more intelligent person said ten years ago that fixing cars was no longer worth my time and it’s too hard anyway. That works until you have a few trips to the mechanic in short order and you get tired of shelling out big bucks. That’s how I ended up on the floor last night, doing a job I knew I could do myself.
The story ends well enough. I did the job right with no major drama (replacing radiator hoses and thermostat), only opening a minor but ugly gash on my finger on some sheet metal. I’m not sure I fixed the larger issue of coolant leaks seemingly all over the place, but it felt good to do something meaningful for which I won’t have to pay someone else.
As I laid there on my back staring up at the thermostat housing (yes, it’s on the bottom of the engine to make it extra fun to replace a disposable part), I had one of those Oh Crap I’m Getting Old moments. I was looking directly up at it, and made the sad discovery that the distance between my eye and the housing was no longer sufficiently long to allow me to focus. Last time I crawled under a car like this (15 years ago, more?), that wasn’t the case. I mumbled something profane, shifted to the side to increase the eye-to-housing distance, and got back to work. Aging is such a gas.