As an agronomy educator, one of my duties is to teach the certification classes for the Private Pesticide Applicator's license. If you need to get licensed or recertified, you may attend one of the following sessions: the last sessions of the season will be at the Extension Office in Canton from 1-4 p.m. and again from 6-9 p.m. on March 14.
Recently, I helped teach the PAT session in Yankton, and we left there around 9:30 in the snow. The blacktop roads were still snow covered and rough in a couple of places. I got to a neighboring town and pulled up to a gas pump when I realized that neither one of the doors on my two-door car were working. I was essentially a prisoner in my own vehicle. I even rolled down the windows and tried the outer door handles, they didn't work either.
Disgusted, I drove the rest of the way home. Fortunately, upon arrival, my passenger door opened. The next day I took it down to the mechanic shop to see if they could fix the problem. They worked on it half of Friday and all day Saturday and still, the driver's door wouldn't open.
I had to replace the outer door handle on the right side of my car because I broke it last year. I had them do that and they shut the door. That door wouldn't re-open. Now, I had a car with two doors that wouldn't open and both windows were down in the middle of February in South Dakota. That doesn't paint a very good picture, given the equation.
I thought, why won't these doors open? I asked the mechanic if they had tried unhooking the battery to disable the electrical system. They had not. They tried it and the passenger door with the new handle opened. The mechanics at that point were laughing from pure disgust.
They unhooked the electric door locking mechanism on the passenger door so it does not re-lock itself every time I put the car in gear. That leaves me near the point I was last week when I took it to the mechanic in the first place in that I have to crawl over an automatic-on-the-floor console every time I want to drive my car.
Since the driver's door won't open, I still have to take it to a body shop to have the door extracted piecemeal from the vehicle so the lock on that side may be electrically disabled as well.
I hope that those of you reading this column have had better luck than I the past few days. Planting season is around the corner and the 2007 corn, soybean, and small grain seed performance trial books and the new weed control guides for corn, soybeans, or small grains are now available. For these and other information, call or stop by the SDSU Cooperative Extension Service office located in your county.