Wednesday, August 09, 2006

If Anything Can Go Wrong....

Hi All!

If I were to share with you every one, or even some of my daily travails you would soon become inured to my misfortunes, not to mention, bored to tears.

Just for fun, I'll pick today to show you what I mean.

What with my current economic crisis, the Trooper, which finally got a nibble from three months on Car Soup suffered a catastophic alternator failure. The technical detail is that that voltage regulator part started supercharging the battery until it quickly died. Put in a new battery -- fried in 1 minute. Alternator is supposed to put out 13 or so volts. The Trooper's was pegging the meter at 17+, which, sparing the details, is really really bad for the car's electrical system in general and the battery specifically.

After a day wasted mucking about with half-dead batteries trying to get the beast running long enough to make the 10 block voyage to the mechanic, I spared what was left of God's daily portion of sanity and slept on it. Not on the car -- on the bed. Figure of speech for those in Quad Cities Michigan.

My really nice daily driver Scorp has a "Rigid Hitch" towing attachment. So I strapped her up to the Trooper, put a kid in the latter and started slowly pulling it to my friends Perry, Randy and Digger at Roseville Auto Repair.

Three blocks, down, seven to go, a sickening sound akin to the collapse of the WTC emanated from the rear of the Scorp. The bumper had been pulled nearly off the effing car. After sitting on the curb and having a sad cry, I bit the bullet and called for a tow.

The tow guy, Dave of Dave's '66, is kitty corner from the mechanic. He came right over, took a look at the Trooper and informed me that he would not tow it with his old "hook up truck" as it is 4WD and must be transported on a flatbed to save the drivetrain mechanicals.

At this point, I could possibly have pushed the sucker to the shop myself, such was my mood. But Dave came up with a solution. He had a portable jump starter which is pretty much a portable battery. Hooked it up and despite frightening electrical buzzes, beeps and the alarm going off, got it started and I was able to finish the last 7 blocks of the trek.

I thanked him profusely and reached for my wallet, which had about $30 cash in it. Considering his 10 minutes of time and 14 blocks of travel without needing to hook up his hook, I almost thought he would call it a favor. Dream on, Wog.

"What do I owe ya?" I asked noddingly and winkingly.

"$45.00" Dave said, quite seriously.

I pocketed the wallet and stumbledly mumbledly allowed as how I hadn't the funds on hand and would need to return with my check book.

"No problem." said Dave, as he drove across the street to his service station.

When I recovered from the mild sticker shock, I realized that I hadn't thought to ask for a ride home, so this officially and truly disabled tub of goo had to limp 10 very long blocks home.

Then, as a moth to the flame, I decided to finally get around to a three-year-old idea, which was, to see if I could fix the ice maker. Homemade ice is a pain in the posterior and of course no one in the household does it save Laura and me, and our family is quite demanding of the compacted H2O molecules.

Did my Google homework. Piece of cake -- like every simple home project I have ever botched horribly.

Found the petcock on the water supply line down in the basement, turned it fully clockwise, went back upstairs, pulled out the old Whirlpool and set to the water valve connection with my trusty pliers.

Soon I had the experience of the comedian and the exploding water fountain bit. Blinded by the eruption of water it took me way too long to get the damned pliers back on the nut and staunch the flow, but not before having at least two gallons drenching me and the floor and a dog--not so much Stan, as dogs are pretty quick to escape trouble.

I wish I could say it got better after that, and for awhile it did, as, using my newfound expertise in late model modular crescent cube Whirlpool ice makers, I was able to trouble shoot the problem to a bad solenoid on the inlet valve. Found that I could just poor water into the machine up in the freezer compartment and the apparatus would produce crescents.

Picked up a new valve at Dey Appliance Parts -- didn't even need any part or model numbers, my description of the problem was apparently quite a common complaint and they knew just what I needed.

As the petcock, which taps into a cold water line to supply the ice maker, was obviously not shutting off the supply of water, I had to turn off the water to the whole house.

Abrupt ending, as this is way too long:

Hooked back up to new part, leaks like a sieve, still doesn't send water upstream so apparently the switch in the "brain" upstairs is not telling the solenoid to let water into the ice maker.

And Dey don't allow returns on electrical items.

This post is the most productive thing I've accomplished today and it makes me rueful.

Ten-Thirty almost. Time for refried beans and Buzztime Trivia at Ol' Mexico, which I continue to haunt, albeit with altered drinking patterns, to spite perhaps the worst memory of my life which started there way back in May of 2004. If you are a veteran reader, you know what I'm talking about. You newbies should check the archives for my tales of woe.

I always promise to write down the whole test of my Kuettel mettle and some will be amazed that I am still here acting like a responsible adult...mostly.

I saw an art film, "The Libertine" with Malkovitch and Depp. Got it out of the RedBox vending machine at McDonalds. The kiddies who beg their parents to rent a Johnny Depp movie will be in for a big surprise. I guess there isn't an X rating anymore.

For me the protaganist, a real historical person named John Wilmot, reminded me so much of me (well, the destructive creative-drinking cycle at least, not the hedonistic sex) that I saw much of the movie with misty eyes and Laura and me hugged hard and long for a couple of minutes when it was over.

Remind me to post that goofy story that I drafted a few months ago but have been too chicken to risk publishing here. I think it's good, Laura think it sucks. Laura is usually right in these matters, but it wouldn't of stopped the Earl of Rochester from putting it out for all to criticize.

Think I'll run off a copy and scribble on it at Ol'Mex in between the beans and the games.

PS. Didn't return to Dave's with a check--yet. Make 'im sweat, I sez in smuck, sick satisfaction.



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