A little googling convinced me it was the air blend door actuator, having a gear with broken teeth. In the old days (probably on my Tercel, too), one adjusted the hot and cold vent air with a lever that went into the ductwork, on the Windstar the lever is a switch, that sends a signal to the air blend door actuator to mix the air, progress! and expense.
I doubted I would get a brighter, warmer day until March, so it was best handled today. I checked various auto parts stores, Advance Auto Parts on Empire had it for $35, Pep Boys in Henrietta, near Palin, might have had it for $45, if you called. I went for the cheaper one. Yes, Ex-Governor Palin would be in town that evening for her book signing, I expected traffic would be even worse.
Only to be told it was $45, the web price didn't include the $10 delivery charge, which I figure was a one minute walk down an aisle to get it. Nice work.
It took a few hours to replace it all. The console screws had a 7mm head, for whatever reason, the screws on the actuator were 8mm, that was a hassle. The asymmetric lobe was in the wrong position for the new one, until I had the great idea of connecting it to the harness and turning on the car, whir whir whir, it moved to the same position that the old one had been in.
I mentioned how old I felt when I mentioned MC Lars to the young woman cutting my hair, and she said she had never heard of him. A few weeks back I got my hair cut again, and she mentioned that she was 40, so she's really not that much younger than me.
In milhist news, I finished Matthew Cooper's The German Army 1933-1945, a book with the thesis that Hitler was a very poor General, and the German Army was too politically naive to successfully oppose him. It was good, perhaps it would have been too much editorializing, but it would have been comforting to read that it was good for humanity that Hitler was such a poor General, otherwise the war could have gone on another 5-6 years.
Thanksgiving was good, it was relaxing to have five days off in a row, though off is a judgement call, since I checked my work email, called into conference calls and generally did some work each day. The Beaujolais Noveau was especially drinkable this year.
Now, I'm trying to tie up loose ends while awaiting VP approval.
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