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What I Learned This Week – 3/19/17

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I am sure many of you were already aware of what I am about to tell you. But, this series of posts is called “What I Learned This Week”, not “What Everyone Else Already Knew.” So, ya.

I left work for my lunch break on Tuesday, something I don’t usually do. When I went to restart my car, it wouldn’t start. I’m a woman, so my only guess was my battery was dead, although it had started up just fine a half hour prior. And the dashboard lights were acting…unusual. They would all come on and sort of dance when I turned the key to try to start the car. Even where the “P” usually lights up to tell me it is in Park, it was cycling through and lighting up “R”, “N”, “D”, and “1” as well. It truly was the strangest thing.

I tried to jump it–nothing.

I have a cuter picture of it with a Christmas tree on top, but it would take me forever to find it.

I called in my husband, who while not a trained mechanic, totally understands engines and how to take them apart and put them back together. (I, on the other hand, believe they run on hamsters on wheels and fairy dust.) The crazy lights with the lack of success at jumping had him convinced it was an electrical problem.

During the next 24 hours, we proceeded to juggle the one remaining car and our two jobs and elementary school pick-up of M. I contemplated the hassle of having to pay a tow truck to tow my car the literally .3 miles my car died from the actual dealership. But as crappy as all that was, I have to admit the timing was actually fortunate because my husband was still home to assist me.

But while my husband was at work, I realized something…

In the old days when your battery died, it just died. Your headlights were weak, nothing would work. You could just jump it back to life and be on your way.

What I realized is that we don’t live in that time anymore. (Let me take this opportunity to reiterate that I don’t understand how a car engine totally works.) We live in a time where computers are ingrained into everything from our cars to our televisions to our electric toothbrushes. Computers are made by humans. Computers have unnecessary safety features. Computers fuck up.

I remembered that the second time my battery died in my beloved Aztek, I thought it had an electrical problem. Turned out that the battery got so low, that it tripped the anti-theft system. See what I mean about computers having unnecessary safety features?

So I hypothesized my battery had just gotten low enough that the car was like “Ya, we are done with this battery” without actually giving me a clear message that that was the case. Figuring that would be the least expensive option, I talked my husband into taking it to O’Reilly’s and getting it checked out. Sure enough, it was dead. After we spent some more time in a parking lot in a -10F degree windchill, it started right up.

The lesson this week kids is if your car is acting goofy and you have no idea how old your battery is, it may just be that you need a new battery. Your car is not your grandfather’s car. Unless, you know, it is. But if your family has children early, then chances are your grandfather’s car could be computerized as well. My family waits to have our offspring. My dad drove a Ford LTD from the 1970s. I am pretty sure it would have exhibited the standard blasĂ© of a car with a dead battery. 🙂

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What I Learned This Week – 5/31/15

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This week I learned that my car cannot get fixed if there is no Internet.

Can you believe that?

I mean, I understand that stores can’t load gift cards or access your EBT account without Internet, but car repair?

Typical dashboard warning lights

Typical dashboard warning lights

My car started doing very funky things on Memorial Day. Warning lights that I had never seen before and had no name for kept illuminating on my dashboard. (I literally have NIGHTMARES about this exact sort of thing.)

So, on Wednesday, after a rather large storm, mind you, I took my car in to get it looked at. The car dealerships Internet was down. With no Internet capabilities, they could not plug in my car to the diagnostic to see what was wrong. They could not access my warranty information to see if it was covered. So, I left my car there. The dealership was nice enough to give me a ride home. I assumed I would be picked up again by the end of the day. I didn’t get my car on Wednesday. Or Thursday, for that matter, although, to be fair, I did add another repair onto my order for the dealership. The warning lights only indicated that the sensor was bad, and needed to be changed.

My husband was disgruntled that I didn’t get a loaner car. I was grumpy because they had my car there to work on at their leisure. I assume they probably gave priority to the customers who were waiting in the lounge, repairing their cars first.

I ended up getting my car back on Friday. I mentioned my long wait to the cashier, hoping they had planned on giving me a discount or something. No, I just got an earful about how hard the outage had made her job :-/

I learned something else this week as well.

Let me tell you a little story. You know how sometimes you hear music in your head, like a certain song that just won’t stop? Well, in high school, I used to have Garth Brooks and George Michael singing in my head. At the same time. Singing different songs. This went on for weeks, maybe months. Long enough that I still remember it to this day. It made me realize that they both had really nice voices that actually went pretty well together. I also realized this dueling music in my head made it hard to concentrate on listening to the boring teachers.

I actually just found out today that this magic in my head actually became a reality back in 2000. I found the video below of Garth Brooks joining George Michael on the song “Freedom” at an event called Equality Rocks on YouTube. Garth shows up at the 2:30 mark. See below.

Have I mentioned that I was fortunate enough to see Garth Brooks in concert this year? Thanks Patti Keno!

Garth Brooks at Joe Louis Arena, 2015

Garth Brooks at Joe Louis Arena, 2015

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