Since I’m trying to get back into the habit of doing something to improve or maintain the house every weekend, this weekend I chose to fix a leaky shower knob and “accidentally break” the shower-head (that is, I took out the restricter that makes a shower into a dribble).

Actually, despite my call to Dad for advice in the midst of a family breakfast, it went reasonably well. I was able to jimmy a few stuck pieces back where they needed to go, and now there’s no leak and the shower is showering!

So, for the house it was an improvement. The car, however, suffered an exprovement.

When I was popping out to Home Depot to stock up on shower repair parts, I stuck my key in the ignition and it wouldn’t turn. I wiggled the steering wheel, and the key wouldn’t turn. I figured out how to put the car in neutral and I rocked it back and forth, and the key wouldn’t turn! It was very frustrating. So I googled for “key will not turn in ignition ford focus” and found an endless stream of pages and forums and blogs detailing how the Focus has a poorly constructed tumbler that wears out – some people have had to replace theirs three or four times, so I guess so far I’ve been lucky! How frustrating!

I learned a trick, though – if I bang on the key while it’s in the tumbler, it will knock the pins into place in the tumbler and let the key turn. I don’t know how long that will work without breaking something more, but at least it buys me some time to figure out what I want to do about a locksmith.