Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Car - Part (How many parts have there been to this car story, now?)

So, I took the car in yet again today.  Yesterday, they simply didn't have time to get to it.  Today?  I just said I would wait after getting there at 2:30 and they still hadn't had a chance to look at it.  To their credit, they were down 2 technicians to illness. 

I think I was there about 3-1/2 hours.  Well, I wasn't going to try to drive that thing home again the way it was acting up.  In fact, it was doing some really strange things.  The worst of which, however, is dying out at lights, dying while driving on the freeway, lights coming on  and off, fuel gauge jumping around all over the place.

So, we get into all kinds of discussions - just like the last 2 times, we sort of think alike and look at things pretty much the same way.  I waited quite a while before they even got to my car, but, this shop has one of the best reputations around the valley, in fact, their reputation spreads to all parts of Arizona and beyond.  In other words, no sense in getting cranky about it, I had resolved to spend the rest of the afternoon when I got there and saw they hadn't done anything to it, anyway. 

This story goes on with us bantering back and forth, but, the deciding moment came.  I knew what that tech was checking and I started feeling sick.  He was banging on the computer.  I have come to learn that - as primordial as it may sound - this is how they figure out of the computer is bad.  Have the car running, diagnostic computer hooked up and start banging on the thing.  He banged, the car started coughing and choking.  Back and forth, on and on. 

The owner - the guy I was chatting with - came to the verdict before the tech - his son - could say it: bad computer.  I knew what that meant: a LOT of money.  At least, I thought so.  I had a car 10 or more years ago whose computer went out - it was priced out at $500.  I told him my thoughts, he shook his head, no.  I thought, even MORE than that?  No, he said, they don't cost that much. 

He made a phone call, got off, told me his price was $179 and that he normally would have charged $300, but he would give it to me at cost plus labor.  Labor at $80, which included the diagnostics AND the installation.  He gave me the cost - easily less than half of what any other shop would have charged me.  I don't know why he was being so generous, maybe cause I had the car in there twice already in the past month, maybe because we get along so well, dunno, but I jumped all over it: yes, get that thing and put it in there.

Here's the embarassing and bad part, for me anyway.  I deposited a check in the bank this afternoon.  They always give me $100 credit instantly on a check, they have never not done that.  I have never deposited a bad check or money order, either.  With that credit plus what I had in there already that would cover it.  If not, I had cash on me as well.  I told him to put $220 on the card and the rest I would pay in cash.  He goes to do that and it comes back - declined. 

Under the "old" bank rules, the card would have gone through and then, if I didn't have the money in the account before bank closure that day, that night I would be assessed an overdraft fee and owe the money left.  New rules?  Well, this is the first time I have been subjected to it.  No go, Joe.

Well, I said, put less on it, I should have that covered.  Otherwise, I guess I'll leave the car and will be taking a taxi home.  I hated to say that, but I felt pretty - lame - having a card declined.  He looked at me and said: "well why don't you do that".  I thought he meant take a taxi - I wouldn't expect any repair shop to just let me take the car home without paying for it and I didn't expect it here, either.  I said, okay, I'll take a taxi and tomorrow afternoon I'll pay for the car.

No, no, he said, just take the car, I know where you live.  You want to talk about genuine shock, I was there.  Here's the owner of a shop telling me I can take my car without paying for it.  He didn't just start in this business yesterday, I'm sure he's had more than his share of deadbeats,  and that's exactly what I felt like: a deadbeat.  Yet, he smiled, we shook hands and yes, I left with my car.  And yes, I will be over there first thing in the morning, cause that check will definitely clear by then and I can pay that bill. 

I haven't heard of anything like that in a long, long, long, long time, much less be on the receiving end of it. 

I must say here that I did not expect this car to get into the price range it has in getting it operational.  New tires (2); harmonic balancer; crank sensor; new battery; new computer; major tune-up; emissions testing; registration.  My son definitely got the ball rolling with the initial $435 he gave me to get it fixed, I figured it would go a little over, I will admit here it went well over that.  There is still a leaking valve cover gasket that needs to be replaced and it sounds like it has an exhaust leak. 

If I am lucky, that will be the end of it. 

Whatever the case, this is the end of this one.

ben

Thursday 11/4/2010

Thursday


Didn't sleep well last night. Another one of those wake up at midnight and get back to sleep - whenever it was - hours later - deals. Plus, my car wasn't fixed yesterday, they didn't have time to get to it so, driving to work was a barrel of fun. I think I might be just a wee bit cranky this morning.

I have a huge delivery to make first thing, fortunately it isn't far away and I hope they get it unloaded quickly because I want my car in that shop first thing this morning.

Pretty much throws off the day when I haven't slept well enough to feel good in the morning. Get the work day over with, go home and take a nap. Or, more likely, get the work day over with, go to the mechanics shop and wait. Actually, if I don't get out of here until around 7:00 am this morning, the gates will be opened to that shop and I can just leave it there.

Whatever. Just that once that delivery is over, I am supposed to go pick up some clay pipe and then return the stuff. That's in west Phoenix. I have a pretty good driving day now that I think about it.

I was listening to Obama's speech yesterday, pretty pukish stuff. Now, suddenly, he's willing to talk to the "other side". His campaign promise included that CNN would be allowed to see the open door meetings that would transpire with the health care bill, we all know NONE of that EVER happened. It was a partisan thing all the way down the line. There was no "reaching out to the other side of the aisle" as Obama said he would do - over and over he continued to say that - now what? The Senate minorty leader - whatever his name is Mitchell I think - is saying they should vote to repeal the bill and do it over and over and over if necessary.

Obama's free ride is over, that's what I can say about it. He also refused to admit yesterday that the voting was just about the economy, it was also specifically about the health care bill. There was some exit poll that asked that question and a large percentage of Americans had shown up to vote against the Dems and that bill, not for Republicans. The GOP has it's opportunity. They can act on behalf of the majority of American voters or they can blow it again. If they blow it again, the next election will undoubtedly have even more dramatic and vast changes being doled out.

My staycation looms nearer and nearer. No, I don't plan on going anywhere unless I go to my dad's for Thanksgiving. I would rather, for once, just stay home and cook a big turkey. The trailer tenants can help cook it and we can have a big feast. They're pretty good cooks, those people, both of them actually. I suppose I could call it disconcerting, but neither of them go out hunting for jobs at this point.

Perhaps it just seems futile to even look, I don't know. The guy is 62 and has some health issues, but the lady is 49 I think she said and probably could start thinking about getting a job somewhere. I am not saying I don't want them there, but are they seriously considering living in that old thing for - ever? I guess that's up to them. They were asking me about finishing the project we started before they moved in there - cutting out the rest of the wall panelling and installing it.

I'm attempting to motivate myself to do such as I really don't want to. It's a lot of work. But, I did buy the materials and it's just sitting out there in my shed, a nice project to get over with. They did install the carpet that I secured - for free- in it and it made a huge difference in there. Really, a simple thing such as carpet on the floor - instead of bare, playwood floors - really makes it far more livable.

Well, anyway, work day approaches and today? Plenty to do. I think I've read enough political "news" this morning, the political forecast, at least from my viewpoint, for the next 2 years: gridlock. Nothing will get done. At least, nothing of any major importance. I don't know how they are going to repeal the health care bill unless they get some folks on the Dem side of things in the house to vote against it. But, since the President would block it, it would need a majority of both houses and I don't see that happening, certainly not in the Senate. Still, it's the best route for GOP if they want to look good 2 years from now. They will be able to say: "See, we tried to get rid of this thing, "they" said no". If the same majority of Americans are still opposed to it 2 years from now as they are now, voting could be very interesting, especially in the Presidential race.

Well, have a great day.

ben

Wednesday 11/3/2010

Wednesday


Lost an entire entry : (

Ummm, anyway, I'll just put it this way: I'm VERY glad to see that Pelosi is going by the wayside, I wish Reid were going with her.

IF the GOP does what it says it will do, then if nothing else, the bloodlet of outrageous spending in Washington should be stemmed. I don't see how the GOP is going to be able to DO anything without a president to back them and the Senate controlled by Dems.

However, they CAN make proposals, send them through to the Senate and if the Senate rejects it, make themselves look good if it's something the American people want. We, the voters, tend to remember, not forget as many of these arrogant, obnoxious politicians seem to think we do.

I did vote for one Democrat in this election: South Phoenix Justice of the Peace Cody Williams. I have been in his court room several times with tenant issues, he's always there, always doing his thing, always following the law. He hasn't always been so "nice" to me, but that doesn't matter to me. I don't know if he won or not.

Brewer won - pretty much figured that, McCain won, pretty much figured that too. Brewer's opponent - Terry Goddard, well, I remember when he was the Mayor of Phoenix. A blithering.......let's say that my view of him and how he acted in public was that of a circus clown. I'm totally serious. It was a long time ago, I can't remember the issue he took a stand against as Mayor which made him look very, VERY bad, but whatever it was, it's still sitting there in my fading memory banks, telling me this guy was a nutcase.

I actually would have rather seen the Independent candidate go into McCain's position, but I voted for McCain because I'll take him over the Dem opponent that was running against him ANY day. Regardless of what anyone thinks of McCain, he did serve our nation in war, he was a prisoner of war, he has paid for it with skin cancers for the exposure of being left outside and I have great respect for the man for that if nothing else.

Oh, and they wanted to pass the Medical Marijuana law. Gimme a break. I've seen what happens in other states - docs give a prescription for it if you claim to have a freaking headache. I smoked massive quantities of marijuana when I was a teenager - the stuff isn't any worse than drinking. That's my take on it, not that it's a GOOD thing, just that if you are going to allow people to get drunk/high legally, you might as well allow them to get pot/high and get the tax revenues while you're at it. Too many people of all ages think pot smoking is just aye okay. I hate the stuff, personally.

Anyway, work day approaches. Car is dying again. I mean, how many times am I going to have to take it into that shop before they get this right? One more time. If they don't get it right this time, I'm going to have to find somewhere else to take it. There isn't much to do in the truck routing system, just a pickup for a delivery tomorrow. The delivery tomorrow is a pretty good sized order, so I will have a couple hours of work to get that pulled, palletized, shrink wrapped and ready to go.

Whatever the case, c'ya later and have a great day!

ben

I didn't sleep worth a crap last night. I might have gotten 2 hours of sleep.  I just tossed and turned, wondering about this new job, w...