[F]ixed [O]r [R]epaired [D]aily

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 11, 2011 in Fail | Subscribe

“The best laid schemes of mice and men,” Robert Burns wrote a couple centuries ago, “go often askew[.]”

That pretty much sums up today :beatup:

One thing I left out of yesterday’s update on life was that I missed AppAd last Monday to get repairs made to my car, a paid-off-but-aging-rapidly Ford Focus that I’ve driven across the State of North Carolina several times over.1 My cursed tire was flat again for reasons unknown so I headed in to the repair shop, got the tire fixed (gratis), and decided to get the usual pre-winter maintenance done as well: oil change, tire rotation and alignment, coolant flush, and so on.

Sure it came out to a few hundred dollars, but I thought to msyelf “At least this car won’t need any more maintenance until Spring semester.”

Ha. Hahahaha. Ha.


So today’s Election Day in the Bull City, I leave the apartment a little earlier than usual with the plan to go vote before class… and notice the car feels funny. When you’ve been driving the same vehicle for nearly a decade, you can just tell when something’s wrong. And sure enough when I get to the next stoplight the battery warning light comes on to tell me something’s awry with the electrical system.

Rather than turning right to go to the polls, I turn left to go to the repair shop again. A few minutes after turning my key over to them I learn that the refurb’d alternator I had installed back in 2008 picked today to stop working :mad:

And unlike my old 1987 Mazda pickup truck (the first vehicle I had), today’s cars are manufactured by machines that cram parts so @#$%ing tight that it’s damn near impossible to service yourself and takes repair shops a few hours to fix things too. My Focus is actually intentionally designed so the only way you can really replace the alternator is by machine-lowering the entire engine block a few inches :roll:   So I’m at the mercy of the repair folks, shell out more $$$, and head on my way 3 hours later.

In time to completely miss both Tax and Employment Discrimination, less than 24 hours after promising Prof Tax I’d be in class on-time and caught-up…

Over the past just-over-a-month I’ve now spent in excess of $1500 on auto repairs:  getting the cursed tire fixed 3x, replacing some part that holds some other belt in place,2 last Monday’s maintenance, and then this stuff today. That not only totally wipes out my savings account that barely endured what is already my most expensive semester of all time, it also erases the $700 I had set aside for my NC bar application due January 1st :(

And just to add insult to injury? I was late getting out of Sales & Secured Transactions tonight so I couldn’t even make it to the polls before they closed, making this the first election I’ve missed since I started voting 12 years ago :beatup:

Needless to say your friendly neighborhood blawger’s in a bitter @#$%ing mood. Heading to bed with the knowledge tomorrow will inevitably be a better day — have a good night y’all! :)

  1. Literally — I’ve driven it to every campus in the 17-institution UNC system at least 2-3 times apiece. :D []
  2. Which just completely fell off while I was driving one day, destroying the belt in the process :mad: []

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Oct 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Oh.my.gee, Mr. T. At least you’re going to bed with the right attitude- you can only look up when you’re sitting at the bottom of the barrel.

Cars are the most difficult chattel with which I’ve ever dealt. I kept my same 1989 740GL Volvo throughout high school and undergrad. Finally gave it to a friend (his brakes went out on the hwy while we were on our way to Crowder’s Mtn to hike in May 2009, so his van got totaled) but felt guilty doing so bc it’s such a POS we’d all (lovingly) nicknamed it the “Failvo”. I got a hand-me-down from my lil sister, as she’d traded up her ’93 Camry (now mine) for ’05 Rav4, but the dang heat doesn’t work and with winter around the corner, I dread even getting an estimate of what this thing’ll cost.

Oct 22, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Yes ma’am, I’d have to say cars have been my least-favorite chattel. No predictability on what will break when, and no real “backup” like I have when my laptop randomly dies… ::sigh::

Oct 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I think it’s time to invest in some of the Michelin ‘runflat’ tires that are all the rage with heads of state and other politicos in non-stable surroundings. No air, no pump, no problem!!! Of course, you may need to upgrade to the 12 inch wheels and saw out the wheel tubs to make them fit, but hey, no more flats!!! OR… upgrade to a ’68 VW Kharmann Ghia.
Air cooled, no sensors to fail, all the A/C you can stand with the windows down at 55mph. Stylish appointments with affordable Porsche-esque engineering! And of course, the color is Guards Red.


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