A Few Quick Things, vol. 17

rsz_google_mapsYou know what I’m craving right now? Just a string of ten or twenty boring-ass, ho-hum days. Is that too much to ask? There’s not nearly enough ho-hum in my world right now. Every week is chaos, at work and at home, and I just can’t seem to find my ho-hum mojo. Ya know? Pass the beer nuts.

The brakes nearly went out in Toney’s car last week. I drove it for two days like that — didn’t want her in that death trap — and had to mash the pedal all the way to the floor to get it to stop. We took it to a garage that’s part of a chain, and received a $600 to $700 estimate. They said the entire brake system needed to be replaced, more or less.

Funk dat. All those guys look like they’re coming off a four-day drunk, which is not necessarily a deal-breaker. But at a chain you expect a little more attention to employee appearance. Ya know? It’s a jarring experience, walking into that place and seeing five or six Bad Santas hanging around. Toney gives them some leeway, but I’ve always been skeptical. Something just doesn’t smell right, both figuratively and literally.

So, we took it to an independent garage in Scranton, a place that was recommended to us. They’re friendly and honest, we were told. And they fixed it for $158. One of the brake lines was corroded from salt and brine on the winter roads, and everything else was fine. Nothing to do with the master cylinder, or any of the other stuff that was mentioned by the first place. Grrr… I wish it wasn’t necessary to carry around so much distrust. But, if you don’t, you’ll get bent straight over a chesterfield.

Also, I attempted a DIY project in our upstairs bathroom. Yeah, and it didn’t work out… Every time I mention that I paid a person to fix a problem, it’s just an avalanche of super-haughty “Why didn’t you do it yourself?!” comments here. So, I thought I’d give it a shot. Thanks!

Why don’t I do things myself? Because I don’t know how, am not interested in knowing, and am now so goddamn irritated I’d gladly fight a pack of howler monkeys. That’s why.

For the record: I’m out close to fifty dollars in parts at this point, as well as an entire weekend day, and our shower is fucked six ways to sunset. If I turn on the water up there, it’ll probably come out of the electrical outlets, like on the Three Stooges.

Also… I attempted to watch Adam Carolla’s new movie, Road Hard, on-demand last week. It was on the menu — $6.99 to rent, $12.99 to own — but, no can do. When I clicked the rent button, I got an error message that said I’m not subscribed to that movie group. WTF?? What does that even mean?

Screw it. I just won’t watch it. I literally don’t have it in me to investigate that bullshit. So I’ll just rent the DVD someday. Or not. It doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing works. Nothing at all. Bring on the monkeys!

Speaking of Carolla, this guy was on his show last week. I’d never heard of him, but his song gave me one of the biggest laughs of the week. Be careful where you watch it, but definitely don’t skip the thing. Great, great stuff. Complete with a poignant ending.

On Friday I had a health screening at work. Turns out… I’m fat. Yes, I was rocked back on my chubby heels by that news. Who knew?! Everything else checked out, though. Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar were all where they were supposed to be. I just need to drop the equivalent of a fourth grader, or somesuch. And I’ll get right on that.

On a happier note, I successfully waited out Daylight Savings Time and the clock in my car is now correct again. Ha! I never changed it during the Fall Back era, and now that we’re into Spring Forward, all is right with the world. The clock here in the bunker is wrong, though. It’s an hour behind. Haven’t decided how I’m going to handle that situation yet… It’ll require me to take it down, turn the dial on the back, and line up the nail in the wall with the tiny hole on the back of the clock. I’m not sure I’m emotionally prepared for such an ordeal.

Now I’m going to drive our son back to school, which is about three hours each way. Then I have to stop by work for a couple of hours. Yes, it’s quite a life I’ve carved out for myself.

What’s going on with you guys? Anything new? Please bring us up to date on it in the comments.

And I’ll see you again soon.

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  1. The Qweezy Mark says

    Lining up the nail in the wall with the tiny hole in the back of the clock is one of life’s greatest horrors. My home office wall clock runs about a minute slow per month, so about six times a year I’ve got to be beaten down by that bastard.

  2. Ha Ha Ha Ha

    I am made to do that to all the clocks at work twice a year. Big fun.

  3. revashane says

    My shade tree Volvo repair guy looks like Bad Santa but I love this guy. He is eccentric as hell and we get along great. He’s pulled my old wagon out of the fire many times.

    The touch pad fried out on the dishwasher. 65 bucks to come look at it, bull shit on that and I ordered the part. It arrived and daughter and I tore into it. When we got it up and running we both screamed at that old machine like Muhammad Ali over Sonny Liston. God we were proud.

    We have a clock next to the BAT that daughter and I won’t let Dad/husband change. Drives him crazy but we are used to it. Its an atomic clock that can’t figure out that it is in central time. Its default is eastern time, its a bitch to change, so we keep it that way.

  4. My whole life is ho hun right now. Went on 2 different interviews over the past 2 weeks and both guys told me they’d get back to me. Its like dating in the ’80s waiting for the phone to ring. At least drop me a note saying “no dice, sister.” I feel worthless and it sucks. On a bright note, we did an improv show last night and I killed on the Irish drinking song.

  5. I went to a St Patrick’s Day parade yesterday and was drunk by 3:00. I can’t do any repairs to an automobile. I was never taught and, like you, I don’t care to learn. I’ve gotten used to the smug, “You could have fixed that yourself in under two minutes for less than $5” bullshit replies. Thanks, I’ll just spend the $60 and go on with my life. Drink bleach, bad santa.

  6. johnthebasket says

    “Every time I mention that I paid a person to fix a problem, it’s just an avalanche of super-haughty “Why didn’t you do it yourself?!” comments here.”

    . . . Jeff, I don’t think that tells the whole story. Actually, whether you attempt to fix it yourself OR decide to pay some registered sex offender in a uniform of questionable odor, you get shit out here.

    There’s no right answer about when to call for help, but on the car and the shower you did what I would have done, except I wouldn’t have had the balls to try the plumbing myself before calling the RSO.

    Also, we disagree about chain places versus locally-owned places of all kinds, including mechanics. The chain car fixit shops have been indicted so many times you’d think they were all part of the Nixon administration. You certainly need a reference or two to select a local mechanic, but once you have one, you have one. I’ve used the same mechanic since 1988. He’s about ten years younger than me, and, with any luck, I’ll die of some horrible disease before he retires.

    I’m glad the brakes and the shower are fixed without associated fatality or dismemberment.


  7. johnthebasket says

    . . . and it’s nice that you got to spend some time with the older boy. I’ll keep flipping shit about all the school vacations, but the paucity of actual class time does cushion the pain of fledging. I’d spaced right over the Ides of March holidays. I’ve done no shopping.


  8. Sitting at Las Vegas airport on the backend of a 3 day golden fest with 6 other guys from high school as we are all turning 50 this year. Lots of booze, laughs, gambling and fun. We went out to the desert and fooled around on bulldozers and front loaders for 2 hrs at a place called digthisvegas.com

  9. I have learned that the advantage of attempting a home repair before calling a professional is that you will definitely know it’s screwed up when they get there to fix it. Because if it wasn’t totally broken before I tried to fix it, it surely is now!

  10. Got myself into a D.I.Y. project a couple of weeks ago due to a leaking pipe under the kitchen sink.
    Disconnected everything to find that 2 gaskets were shot. One was split in half and the other was crumpled and stuck inside the elbow piece.
    So off to Lowes I went, found the replacement parts fairly easily, then back to the task at hand.
    Put everything back in place, tightened it all up…. and it leaked worse than ever. Grrrrrrrrr.
    After several hours off back and forth, disconnecting and reconnecting, same results. Leaking like a sieve.
    Bottom line; wound up having to call a local plumber. A half hour and $85 dollars later, problem fixed.
    But I tried, Ringo. I tried real hard.

  11. My husband came home from his annual doctor appointment last week and as he walked in the door he was ranting and raving about something. When I asked him what the problem was he said, “they told me I was fat! I’m NOT fat !” The poor man is in denial.

  12. I’ve got the best plumber… he used to be part of a cult here in the Waco area and is as honest as can be. I have two houses here and last winter both of them had pipes freeze and hose bibs start leaking. I called a big chain to come out and fix house #1 and it cost me $350 for 20 minutes of work. 3 days later I noticed the same problem at house #2… so I called my office to get the plumber we use (my new cult plumber) and he came out to fix it and charged me $65. He earned a customer for life. Last week I had him replace my hot water heater with a tankless unit because he told me he didn’t have much going on. Next time he tells me that I’m going to have him remodel 2 guest bathrooms.

  13. Don’t be afraid to ask us about your future fix-it jobs. Between the lot of us, you should be able to figure out if you want to try it or farm it out.

    Never allow a chain to work on your vehicle.

  14. Stuart from Oz says

    I had a leaky toilet and my wife badgered me to get a plumber in to fix it. I went to the hardware store, spent @2.70 on a new rubber seal and fitted the bastard thing….it still leaked. So I swapped over the seal from the guest bathroom downstairs – upstairs bathroom fixed! Guest bathroom now leaks! Im still googling how to fix these buggers!!! I wont be beaten.

    • revashane says

      Go MacGyver on that teerlets ass!! I used a Q-tip to K.O my dishwasher.

    • Leaking from the tank flapper? Get one of those yellow (forget the name at the moment) flappers. They are a bit more subtle and stand up to harsher water.
      Modern rubber comes from china or india. it is inferior and will soon harden and fail again.
      If its a basic washer in the shut-off valve, find an industrial supply house, bring the original with you and odds are you’ll have a better quality product. Not always though since the entire supply chain is getting polluted with that china crap, but odds are at least still in your favor.
      And if its some funky manufacturer specific thing, see if you have some plumbing supply houses that sell to the public. If you don’t, and have a work shirt with your name on the chest, wear that when you go in and drop the name of where you work if they question selling to you.

  15. Road hard was good. I bought it hopefully successfully through your link. I had some extra credits waiting for me on amazon.
    it’s good. Not the best movie and you’ve heard most of the bits but it’s a pleasant movie.

  16. I just woke the wife and the dog after reading about the “bad Santa’s”‘.it seems like the only time I have to read websites anymore is when I should be asleep.

    Whatever, sleeping (pseudo-death) is creepy anyway.

  17. Speaking of the wife, I always get her to guide the nail into the while I just shove the clock.

  18. I would love a pile of ho-hum days. I’ve been stuck at a client’s site since October. All day, every day. But at least it costs me about $10 out of pocket for each trip, so there’s that to compensate. Be nice if it were deductible.

    And hey! The column o’ comments is the full width of my browser window! What’s up with that?

  19. Went to Pittsburgh for the Brit-Floyd concert on Saturday, five guys between 45 and 52 years old. City was full on with drunks as the Saint Patty’s Day Parade went through at 10 AM. We were forced to call one guy’s wife to retrieve him before the concert started as he had too much something and kept falling down by 5:00 PM. Rumor has it that he is grounded for the next 20 years.

    Thanks for the Ballad video, funny stuff right there.

  20. After my son and I installed a MAF Sensor and a thermostat this week, car passed inspection today with nothing having to be fixed. I think this is the first time every. Virginia is very hard on inspections, it seems. So, that made my day . . .

    • It depends on where in Virginia you are. Here in NoVa they require emissions inspection. I hear that in the more rural areas they don’t, and also that you can get ethanol-free gasoline there.

      But a working MAF sensor and thermostat will make your car run better, so it was a worthwhile thing to do anyway. And congrats on doing it yourselves; some would not have had the courage. Tomorrow I’ll be taking on the daunting task of replacing my wiper blades.