Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Salt Shaker and Baseball Games

This isn't a Living in the South Thing:  Even back in Chicago, even before the World Series run in 2015, it was getting harder and harder to watch Cubs games.  

Pay Us! 

I'm too lazy to look it all up but it might have started with the 2015 playoff games and only being able to watch those on streaming services.  

I don't like the Cubs, let alone baseball enough to pay for a subscription.  But i do like the Bears and football.  It was worth it to buy the YouTube TV Sunday package (or whatever they call it) so I could watch my terrible Bears games.

I have to make a decision on whether to renew the package this year in the hopes that Caleb Williams elevates the Bears and they are at least exciting to watch, or save the money and do something else on Sundays.  

What a waste of a perfectly good power cord:  For Christmas last year, at Nightingale's request, I got her this electronic salt and pepper shaker set.  it came with a warranty and I actually remembered to register the product.  

One of the shakers broke, in that you couldn't lock it closed because the glass was broken.  I contacted Cuisinart support via telephone and they told me they don't replace individual shakers and would have to send me a new unit.

Wasteful, but okay.  But the catch was, I had to cut the power cord and send them a picture.  I asked why and the support person agreed this was wasteful, but policy.  Also, while she took all my info, she did not send me any email with instructions or confirmation.  She said that the email address was just to send me tracking information after I sent the picture.

So I do as instructed, which admittedly is a rarity for me when something doesn't make any sense.  I get a confirmation "we got your email" message.  After a bit of time goes but I contacted them again, via the website online form (I should have done this in the first place).

They claimed they never got my email with the picture of the severed cord.  Oh no, now you've done it.  I emailed back attaching the email with my picture and the "We got your email" message attached.  They respond that they cannot open/read the attachments.  I copy and paste the picture within the email and they tell me they will expedite sending me the shaker.  It still took another week or two before it arrived but I did get it.

Since the warranty is now completely over and I don't want to go through this again, I've saved the working shaker and power station although I really would have liked to have a second working cord.

Friday, July 5, 2024

More Car Trouble

During our vacation, we had to replace the battery in the Minivan.  Less than a week later, I had to replace the thermostat.  On Wednesday of this week, the car wouldn't start while I was at Boris' OT.  I got a jump and made it back home, but then the car died again.

When this light comes on, it's serious

Since Thursday was July 4th, no auto shops were open.  For fun, I tried jumping the car again and had mixed results.  The car did power up but I accidentally crossed the streams of the jumper cables when I took them off the car providing the recharge.  This caused the car to turn off and a red dot to appear on the dashboard.  Uncle Google said this is a security feature that supposedly makes your car inoperable in case...it's not clear why this would help.

Working on your car in the South be like

There was no power to anything else.  Which means car doors don't work.  The trunk door won't open.  The driver and passenger have manual door openers but you really need to be able to open side doors and trunks.  

I didn't spend too much time on it because it was so Fucking Hot yesterday I couldn't be outside without breaking into a sweat even just standing still, let alone trying to troubleshoot a vehicle.

This morning, for grins and giggles, I decided to try again.  The red dot was still there.  I put my jumper cables on my battery and purposely cross the other set to see if I get a spark.  A spark would mean the battery has power.  I did get a spark.  But only one.  the second time I tried, there was nothing.  I removed the cables and checked the cab.  This time, the lower-level things did work, but the car didn't start.

I went back and attempted to put the cables back on.  when I put the red on the positive side of the battery, the battery shook, and the car simulated the sounds it makes when you try to start it up.  

I tried to start the car and it powered up.  Yes!  And then I put on my Bad Decision Jeans.  I told the kids that they had to come with me or go over to Kendra's house.  They chose the latter and wisely so, as it would turn out.

For some reason, I was locked into the idea that the car didn't have enough charge.  So I decided to drive it around for 30 minutes.  But about 15-20 minutes into that, the dashboard display and other electrical systems started to flicker.  I decided that I should turn around and go straight to the automotive place I had tried calling all morning with no answer.  I was about 2 miles away when the car went dead while driving.  I didn't have the smarts to pull over because Missippippi Road shoulders don't really exit.  I was trying to make it to a cutout to a subdivision but was stopped 50 yards short.  While driving, I put the car in Neutral and tried to restart, no luck.  So I put it in Park, which was good and bad.  Bad in that there was now no way to push it. But good in that it wouldn't get into an accident by suddenly moving on its own.

So there I am dead in the water at Pleasant Hill, between Goodman Rd and Nall Rd.  At the moment I decided to enact a U-turn and head toward the auto shop, I was also talking to my FIL.  I would need a ride home.  At his bequest, I called Triple-A again because we would need a tow.  I wanted desperately to avoid that because it is such a painful process to get them to send anyone (feature, not bug), but I did so.  

Because I wasn't completely off the road -- not even close -- all the cars going North had to go around me in a No-Passing Zone when it was clear to do so.  Many good samaritans wanted to give me a jump but I explained that was not the problem.  And because I was in Park, there was no way to move the car.  

While we were waiting for the Tow Truck, I decided to try to repeat my earlier steps to see if I could get the car started.  My FIL felt it was futile but I've learned to go against his recommendations and once again I was right.  I got the car started and was able to drive it to the Autoshop, where I learned why they weren't answering their phone.  They were closed.

It makes sense.  Nobody wants to work anymore.  They are closed on the weekends and were obviously closed for the 4th.  Why not give your crew a 4 day weekend, especially since it likely doesn't cost the shop owner since the mechanics probably get paid only when they are working.  

Triple-A called at that exact moment to tell me they were on the way so I was able to cancel the tow.  The options were to leave the car there or find a place that was open.  The risk was driving a car that might become disabled at any moment.  A quick call to Nightingale confirmed the right decision was to leave the car.  

Next week Natasha starts Soccer Camp.  We could technically walk there but the heat will still be terrible.  So we will rely on the In-Laws to get her there and back, while I deal with the car.