Saturday, October 5, 2019

The biggest thing that's been on my plate for over a month now is this boat.
And getting it fixed.
The first mechanic finally started talking to me after 17 days of blowing me off - through FB direct message but better than nothing.  He claims he's been laid up in bed and sick.  I have no reason to believe or disbelieve him - tho I have noticed they haven't updated their ad in almost 2 weeks so that lends some credibility. 

But, he went into this long thing about other mechanics are going to want to replace the stator, the power pack, coils, all the ignition stuff.  Notwithstanding the fact the he wasn't going to come out and fix it, he certainly had his opinions on the matter. Well, the other mechanic by that time had already texted me back after asking if he had any luck yet - and had narrowed it down to "Well its sputtering at all rpm ranges. If the carbs were rebuilt within 2-3 years, they should be fine. Compression is good on all cylinders. All 6 coil packs are good according to multimeter. The only other possibility is the power packs, stator, trigger, and rectifier. The voltage regulator appears to be fine because voltage is steady, not erratic. The trigger sends current to each power pack bank at a certian degree in rotation, basically a distributor. It is good because you would have no fire at all if not. I havent checked powerpacks yet but i will. That is my best guess hypothesis"

Later on, he called me.  Said he had checked everything. The stator has a hole through it - so much for the first mechanic's theory that the stator isn't bad - he had replaced a power pack with a used one he had, had found that only 3 of the 6 cylinders were working, but after putting on the power pack 5 of them came to life and that some switch box - didn't understand that one - was also bad.  Something like this motor's version of a distributor.  He had taken compression, it was all good.  That's the thing that worries you right off the bat.

If the compression isn't good and not within 10 pounds of the other cylinders, you are in for an expensive repair job.  If the compression is good, then you are looking at either electronics of fuel.  Or a combination thereof.  Anyway, he came up with $260 to order the parts.  I don't really have any choices here, I have to take his word for it and hope he's right. He tested everything with a multi meter, he wasn't just guessing. Well he was guessing at first as evidenced above, but he wasn't going to do anything until he was certain that he had a correct diagnostic. 

So I was going to send him money via paypal, facebook dm, or cash app - or whatever he preferred.  He doesn't do business that way, lmao.  It's cash in person.  So, he won't order the  parts until I hand him the cash in person.  Not to worry, the place where he is doing the repair work is also his house.  I know where he lives, lol, and I will be getting a receipt.  He "seems" to be an honest, upright person that has some morals and values.  That was my first impression and I have no reason - yet - to think anything else.  It's just plain and simple here - there aren't that many options for getting the thing fixed. It's an older boat and the shops mostly don't want to touch it.  If I had taken the boat to the place that said they would look at it, they would have sent it back because they didn't want to fool with electronics and apparently, electronics are what the problem is.

This is a live and learn process for me.  Boats are out of my range of knowledge and I'm a newbie.  I'll get the thing going one way or another - got some money tied up into it now, no looking back part came and went a while ago. 

Onto other things. After having a long discussion with another driver who has also been doing the 2 day sitting thing in between loads - while seeing others going out the next day or the day after - we came to the conclusion that our manager is really only going to consider what's in front of her. If you are in her chair, sitting in her office, you are going to get a load.  If you aren't, good luck.  If you text her telling her you are ready and available to go out, you will probably have better chances than not saying anything at all. I have refrained from saying anything because she is easily offended at even the slightest hint that you don't like the way she is running things. But if I sent her a text saying "Hi Ann, I'm at home and ready to go out again", without inferring anything about the way she does things, at least I have given it a try.  If I get into it with her about her "first in/first out" and the fact that it doesn't actually work that way, she'll go directly into sending me out into the system on-call.

That's her standard, modus-operandi with everyone. Instead of discussing anything, she gets defensive and just basically tells you she will get rid of you.  Well, I would go out on-call for a week or two, maybe, but I wouldn't do it permanently. That would be the cue to go find a new job.  And right now? I don't feel like going through all that s***. It's a lot of work and mentally draining and sometimes even depressing looking for jobs. 

And then there's the "other" house.  Maria is getting discontent with her living situation.  I saw that coming, just waited for it to materialize.  I'm not going to help her anymore than what I am already doing, which is quite a lot. If she doesn't like it, she can go find a new place to live.  My name isn't even on the current lease now, so it's whatever to me.  I've already discussed with James about watching my dogs if it comes to that to see what his reaction would be - and also offered to pay him for the headache. Tho, my dogs aren't that much to deal with. Put them out in the morning, bring them in at night and please feed them. That's it.  He likes Addler anyway - I think everyone likes Addler - that helps. 

Anyway, she got all pissy with Taylor a few days ago. Taylor went out of town for work for a couple of days, maria agreed to watch the boys, for pay of course.  When Rene was here, she did it for $40 per day.  Or even less if Taylor said she was in  a pinch financially.  Or babysitting - Rene would do it cheap.  So, Taylor went to Houston on work assignment last week, Maria agreed to the $40 per day. But, by the time Taylor got back, the whole story had changed.  She was angry about "not getting paid enough" - even tho she agreed to it.  It was obvious those boys had gotten to her.  They are several handfuls, not just a handful.  She's demanding double the pay.  Listening to Taylor relay the story, I got a bit irritated with Maria. 

She wanted the same from me.  She wanted me to start paying her to watch my dogs.  This was after we had already agreed that if she stayed at that house after Rene left, she would watch the dogs, I would be responsible for the bills and I would pay whatever is above and beyond what the 3 incoming rents didn't cover.  Tho I went well beyond that buying her food and supplies for the house. She doesn't have any grip on me, my dogs don't have to go over there. It's a better setup if they do, but it's not mandatory. They're dogs, they will survive. She knows this.  She is poor, broke and has nothing.  Instead of being thankful for people helping her out, she is getting pissy about it all and if she starts up with me?  I will give her a dosage of the foulest tasting liver oil she has ever had from anyone.

If you're going to be thankless, ungrateful and belligerent when people are trying to help you, piss off.  Is that the Christian thing to say? I don't know, but I grew tired of being a doormat long ago, when people would tell you you aren't a Christian because you won't beckon to every command.  You offer to help people and they walk allllll over you.  That didn't stop me from helping people, but it certainly changed how I go about doing it.  I could write a book about helping people who came to the point that they thought I was their personal slave and could just call me at any time of the day or night and demand I come over right now and do this and that.

I'm not making that up, it's no exaggeration.  I learned how to place boundaries and limitations.  People calling me non-Christian because I wouldn't drop everything I'm doing and go help them right then and there began getting it right back at them.  There's a mechanic shop down the street from your house, go pay them full price for the work. Or - there's a Uhaul at such and such address, they will rent you a truck versus taking mine, emptying the gas tank, leaving dents on the body and leaving it trashed out.  And a LOT of other stuff that I am not going to bother going into here. The point is my views of helping people have been tempered with a lifetime of experience with it.  Once a person starts showing signs of discontent, I'm inclined to start pulling out of the situation..

But, I'm not going to say anything to her, the signs are telling. The 18 year old she let in there was of her own accord, I neither asked her to take him in nor pressured her - and even gave my doubts about it.  Now she is regretting it and that's alllllll on her.  The boy is working now, at least.  I'ma play this one by ear and see where it goes.

On the way down here yesterday - I'm in Brownsville again - I saw one of the worst wrecks I have ever seen.  I came up on a back up of stopped traffic. Got out my GPS and saw it went on for literally MILES.  I was amazed GPS hadn't alerted me to this and given me an alternate route.  I looked, there were definitely ways to get around this mess, but by the time I got to the back up, too late. I was stuck in that for an hour and fifteen minutes, stop and go, mostly stopped, until I finally got to the accident.  The skid marks showed that something had rammed into the center divider, bounced off it, skidded along way and then....finally getting past the fire trucks and wreckers.....a mobile home, still attached to the truck pulling it, the truck was totally trashed and the front axle was hanging over the center divider!  That divider is 3 feet tall, it's taller than others that appear about 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall. It must have been a terrible impact for it to force that entire truck up that divider and over the other side.  That's solid concrete reinforced with rebar - it didn't phase it.

I didn't think I was going to make it down here yesterday, but I pushed hard and got down here with 5 minutes left on the 14 hour clock before I quit for the day.  There was one other driver ahead of me getting down here. He apparently had tried to let me get here first because he had just pulled in when I got there. He left the plant 2 hours before me and didn't get stuck in that traffic. I know how some of these drivers work, lol, they want that detention pay as bad as I do.  But, he still beat me.  There are no other drivers waiting down here, so I doubt it's going to make any difference. Those empty trailers almost always come in one right after the other. Unlikely that I will get much more wait time than he does. 

But, I don't have another run until Tuesday at the earliest.  So it would be nice if there were no trailers coming in today, otherwise it's just another 2 day off scenario. 

Well, that's enough for this one. Sit and wait.  It's 10:00 am, if trailers get here before 1ish pm, I can make it back tonight. 

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...