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Marilee J. Layman

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07:05 pm: Strange Car Thing

Last night I watched TV and read the paper and got to bed to read a bit after 12:30am. I read until 3:30am and came out to have a bagel & cream cheese with hot tea because I was short on calories and protein. I went back in about 4am and got straight to sleep. I got up at noon and checked online to see if the rheumatology nurse had answered my email.

I was down to 12 of one of the narcotics and she wrote that the doctor had faxed the scrip to the pharmacy. Well, the government doesn't let you do that with narcotics. The doctor has to personally sign the form in ink and then the patient takes it to the pharmacy. I'd told the nurse that faxing wouldn't work so since I didn't get the email, I called and they had the scrip so I headed up.

I stopped on the way to get gas -- I only had $.10 off each gallon, but it's still saved money -- and the only way out is to turn right on a street, move into a left-turn lane, then turn around and go back to the main street. Getting out of the clinic with the pharmacy is exactly the same layout and when I made the turn around, the van and steering wheel shuddered like crazy. It was really scary. I stopped as soon as I could and looked at the tires -- they looked fine. I didn't have any problems driving home, but I didn't turn tightly like that again.

I stopped to ask the guys at my regular shop and one said he couldn't tell until they looked at all of it and if I didn't have the problem again, don't worry. So I steered around tightly in our circle and then in our big extra parking lot. No problem. I'd go try the exit from the gas station tomorrow except we're supposed to have snow. It would be nice if it doesn't happen again.

DC got an incendiary letter today, and it wasn't even opened before it ignited. The postal worker who was sorting letters ran out and flagged down a police officer, so they were able to get help quickly. This one was addressed to Janet Napolitano. The dog at Dulles yesterday turned out to be wrong -- the package had laptop batteries.

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Comments

From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 8th, 2011 01:49 am (UTC)
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It must have been scary when your car shuddered like that. I hope it either doesn't happen again or turns out to be something harmless and easy to fix.
Doris
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From:mjlayman
Date:January 8th, 2011 09:51 pm (UTC)
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Xeger seems to have the answer in her comment.
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From:xeger
Date:January 8th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
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The shuddering might be related to anti-lock, presuming that you've got it...

I recall having a pretty similar experience -- all of a sudden, for no discernible reason, the steering wheel shuddered like the car was losing wheels... -- and that turned out to be a side-effect of the anti-lock 'feature'.
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From:mjlayman
Date:January 8th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
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You know, I googled forever and can't find a website that has a 1987 Chevrolet Astro and anti-lock brakes (or ABS) connected. I see power brakes listed, though, so it's probably not anti-lock brakes. I think I can still reach the manual in the van where I originally put it; I'll look when I go out next.
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From:xeger
Date:January 8th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
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Digging around, it looks like anti-lock brakes got added in the 1990 model; the other things that come to mind as possible problems should all be things that are relatively straightforward to duplicate under the same circumstances...
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From:mjlayman
Date:January 8th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, the snow turned out to be a dusting, but I took too many narcotics last night (and today) to feel comfortable driving. It's a lot of walking for both clinics -- the one where the doctor is and the one where the pharmacy is -- and I had to sit up straight for a long time. My back is complaining loudly. I'm going to get yesterday's and today's mail tomorrow and I can try the gas station setup then.
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From:capemaynuts
Date:January 11th, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)
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Is it possible that as you were making the tight turn, you hit a patch of gravel? What you describe sounds like what happens with my Astro when I turn onto a street by my house. Due to some gravel/dirt/oil on the road I get the shuddering when I make the tight turn. I also get the shuddering when I hit some rough ice/snow patches. I believe it has to do with the minivan being rear wheel drive, as my husband's truck and my mother's minivan (both front wheel) don't do the shuddering on the same turn. Or it could just be an Astro quirk.
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From:mjlayman
Date:January 11th, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
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I don't think so. It's a fairly major road for that area and I don't think they'd leave gravel out. I probably would have noticed if it was there. I'll check the next time I'm there, which will be almost two months from now.
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