Over I went, and the Guy Who Runs Things (who *is* a mechanic, but mostly works the counter) verified the list of things I wanted the techs to look at, and then said he'd noticed that my tires were looking a little bare. We went outside and checked (because I'm a doofus and don't pay attention to these things), and not only were both front tires almost down to the tread indicator, one also had a nail in it. Whoops. While we were out there, he was wowed by two things: my NZ All Blacks rugby ball on display behind one of the rear headrests, and the (stock) white ball shift knob. He doesn't get excited very often, so having two things that got that reaction from him totally made my day.
So we had our list of things that needed to be looked at, and he said it would take most of the day. They don't usually give people rides, but because everyone I knew was at work and it was pretty cold out, GWRT offered to take me home. I knew that if I went home I'd spend all day in front of the computer, and I'd brought my knitting bag with me, so I opted to stay at the shop and work on socks (Ravelry link) for one of my uncles.
Between 11 and 4 I finished the instep and turned the heel, doing most of it while watching the techs work on my car. At the end of the day, GWRT asked me if the socks were for him. I might have said yes if the bill hadn't come to nearly $800 (nearly half of which was labor).
So yeah... I learned a bit about how the shop is run, the techs' pecking order, how often the NAPA guy comes, how many parts places and dealerships the shop has on speed dial (the speed dial codes go to three digits), and how much GWRT hates it when his wife calls him at work. Plus, I got a lot done on the Uncle Sock.
Just before I turned the heel, it occurred to me that I didn't know what size feet my uncle has. I took a guess, started the heel, and then called my mother. She didn't know his shoe size, but she gave me his number, so I left him a message.
"Hi, Uncle Ron, this is Lilith. This is totally going to give away what I'm making you for Christmas, but... what size shoe do you wear? Leave me a message at home, k? Thanks!"
Later this evening, I got his message:
"Uh, hi, Lilith, it's Ron. My shoe size is 10.5 or 11. *pause* All...righty then... um... I hope that helps. Have a good weekend!"
I don't think he knows what he's getting. It's great!!! He was really excited last year when I gave him a simple stockinette beanie, so I think the socks are going to floor him.
This is what knitters live for: the sincere excitement and gratitude over hand-knit gifts. Now if I can just come up with more car trouble so I can get more knitting done...