My original plan for the day was to go to Fort Scott and wander around the downtown, since it was a much nicer day than last time I was there (i.e. about 30F cooler), check Ace and True Value for some tool stuff, then go to Pittsburg and swing back via Lamar to try out a different path to Pittsburg for time-of-travel. And if I got to Lamar before the comic shop closed at 4, I'd stop in and grab whatever they had in my pull.
The plan didn't even make it out of the driveway. I noticed the gravel seemed a lot rougher than usual, so stopped and got out. Flat tire, gah. Called the road assistance for my insurance (the number I had for AAA was still Nebraska, didn't feel like messing around getting transferred), got an estimate of a 45 minute wait. Fortunately, one of my neighbors came out and helped me get started in replacing the tire, but the rim was stuck to the hub until the service guy showed up and applied a hammer to the problem. (As an aside, the neighborhood kids still ask me when my brother Scott will be back, he's becoming a local Arthurian myth or something.)
Cruddy spare tire in place and inflated, I headed for Wilson Tire, where they found the problem:
They got on it right away, though, and the patch job only took a few minutes and $12.50. So I was able to salvage part of the original plan, but doubted I'd get to Lamar before 4PM.
Fort Scott was nice, I found a cool used book store called Books & Grannies and picked up a 1988 copy of McCaulay's "How Things Work" (I think I own a more recent edition somewhere, but a spare is always nice), a 1982 copy of Chet Raymo's "365 Starry Nights" (the stars don't move that much, and it'll be helpful to have around the office) and a humor book called "Dinosaurs by Design." Well, okay, it's not intended to be humor, but any book that tries to fit dinosaurs into Biblical literalism is bound to be unintentionally hilarious. Apparently dinosaurs were naughty in God's eyes and snuffed it when the flood happened, I've only skimmed it so far. And Tyrannosaurs ate plants in Eden.
Across the street from the bookstore is a very good pizza place, Papa Don's. Had a "pocket" for late lunch (basically a calzone), oooooh so good. And over three hours later I'm still feeling full. So, the day was looking up. And I found all of the wave 3 Microchangers at Walgreens in Fort Scott after lunch.
Once in Pittsburg at Hastings, I decided to call the comic shop and see what was sitting in my pull (they hadn't gotten Astro City, so I figured if it still hadn't come in I'd grab a copy at Hastings), to see ig it was worth asking them to wait for me to get there. And they told me that due to Diamond being its usual "if you don't move thousands of comics a week, we don't want your business" self they were giving up on carrying comics. So back to not having a local comics shop, only now I'm an hour away from the nearest bookstore that carries comics (at least in Kearney I could hit the local Hastings for better-selling stuff). Picked up the Astro City issue, and a copy of Sky & Telescope to see if it's worth trying to use school funds on a subscription to use in Astronomy class.
Having decided to not bother rushing to Lamar and instead hit a few more stores in Pittsburg, I headed straight home when I was done, trying out an alternative route (Highway 126 instead of 160). No particular difference...still takes about an hour to get from Pittsburg to my front door. It may be closer than Joplin in space, but all the routes involve slower roads, so it's about as far away in terms of drive time. And if I'm going to be on the road an hour each way, Joplin is MUCH better than Pittsburg.
Oh, and my water bill finally arrived, less than $40, with more than half being the sewer part of it (I'm guessing that fee is non-metered, just based on an average for houses this size). Heh, the water going out costs more than the water coming in.