Friday, September 17, 2010
For the last week or two, the old Dodge that I have was acting as if the battery was low Ė it didnít go ďyeah, yeah, yeahĒ when I turned the key, it would go ďI donít wanna, I donít wanna, I donít wannaĒ instead. Yesterday I had a 9:00 appointment with a podiatrist, and when I wanted to go home, the car went, ďI donít -----.Ē Fortunately, it did start on the second try, so I took it to McBeeís and left it. They called about four hours later and said it was ready. It had a new starter. The bill was $337.77, and I was happy to pay it. The Stratus is a 2000, and has 62,000 miles on it, mostly in short trips. Any time thereís a problem, I deliver it to McBeeís, and they make it run like a new car again.
When I told this story to the TOPS group, one lady asked what it cost, and told me that the alternator cost $123, or some other price like that, and someone would put it on for me as a courtesy. Maybe they would for her, but I doubt that they would for me. I looked at the receipt, and they charged me one hour ($80) to diagnose the problem, get the new part, and replace the starter. It is not a rebuilt starter, itís brand new. I like it that way.
To change the battery, you have to remove the left front wheel and the inner fender to get to the old one. The engine compartment is packed incredibly full of stuff, and I probably couldnít even find the starter if I could get the car up in the air.
I also remember when Annie had my old Firebird convertible, and they were going to charge her $80 for a new starter. I told her that she could buy a rebuilt starter for $20 and change it herself, or pay the $80 if she wanted to do that. Then I asked her how long she had to sell lipstick to make and extra $60. After she thought about it, she decided that she would get her hands dirty. She bought the rebuilt starter; I got the car up on ramps, and helped her by loosening a couple of the mounting bolts. I also bought a new contactor (switch for the starter) and installed it, because that would be the next thing to go bad. It only cost me $5.00, and I didnít want to mess with it again.
When she took the bad starter in for a refund, the boys in the parts store didnít believe that she had done it, but she really enjoyed getting her hands greasy that time.
I also went through three replacement starters in tow years for our first van when we were living in the van and trailer, and the third replacement was a brand new unit. I learned the hard way a couple of times that rebuilt stuff isnít always as good as new, and when you keep getting stranded in the middle of nowhere youíre willing to pay. The best is barely good enough.
Anyhow, Iím running around in a car that turned 10 in July, and thereís no real point to this blog.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Yes, I was talking about KOPS. The rule is that you must weigh in within your range at on your KOPS scale at an official meeting within two weeks. If the club doesn't have a meeting two weeks later, that's too bad, you are now a TOPS again, and have to start over, which isn't really a terribly difficult thing, but you need a new note from your doctor on his stationary or prescription form, to be within his goal within three pounds over or seven pounds under, and pay five dollars for the request. Meanwhile, you can just be part of the gang, and start the meeting with everyone else. Since I'm the only KOPS in my group right now, it would be a little embarrassing, but not the end of the world.
When my neurologist had a fit, I yelled back in his face. He said "(expletive deleted) I have been telling you to lose a half a pound a week for two years, and you have gone from 265 to 282 pounds! I said, "I can lose weight, but I can't lose a half a pound a week. Where do I have to get to?" I actually yelled back in his face. He stopped, though a while, and said, "Well, I can't say for sure, but based on several thousand patients, if you got down to 220 you could probably get off the neurontin."
Then he set up an appointment to see me in six months instead of the three months that it had been before. That was a Friday, and I was down 11 pounds by Sunday evening, and really wanted to call Monday and demand a quick appointment so they would weigh me. Instead, I showed up at the next TOPS meeting and joined for life.
So I'm committed for life. I have been in leeway for two years with a goal weight of 185 pounds in street clothes, and I weighed in tonight at 185. Germans are stubborn people - I could tell you stories about my father.
I owe it all to Dr. Karp.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Last night the BW made penne pasta with chicken breast and a garden salad which was good, and which I ate in spite of the fact that I wasnít hungry. I also ate too much yesterday. Today I had my standard breakfast, oatmeal, flaxseed, and prunes, and stayed away from the goodie table.
We had a pretty good class Ė but the remote quit controlling the DVD and the manual controls only let you turn it on and tell it to play. From scratch, that put it nearly an hour behind the video I wanted, and I finally gave up and skipped the rest of the videos. As I was leaving I saw Joel in the hall, and he said that the remote connection had probably come loose again, and if it happened just call the operator and have him paged. I wanted him to show me where the connection was, but he was in a hurry. Iíll try to get back to Coral Oaks before next monthís class and beg him to show me the weak point. The video equipment there is so complicated that nothing worked the first five or six months I taught there, and no one buy Joel could get it to work again. He even got the tape player to work once, which I preferred, but the next month he couldnít get it to go again, so Iím stuck with a DVD player that turns itself off if itís too long between uses, and which sometimes just doesnít work. The videos would take up an hour out of the eight hours of class time if I used them all except for the recruitment stuff, and the ones the class missed were the two of the three most educational.
Beyond that, I stayed away from the treats today, and the four peanut butter cookies are still safe in the freezer. I have to weigh in tomorrow, and yesterday put me on the high end of my weight range, so Iím at 1070 calories in my pocked notebook now. Iíll have breakfast tomorrow and maybe a handful of nuts for lunch and not drink too much. Then a fair supper, and it will be another low calorie day. If I weigh in out of my weight range I have two weeks to weigh in back inside, or they throw me out. Thatís why I havenít gained all the weight back in two years.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I got up at six this morning, fed the dogs and myself, and got to Coral Oaks on time. The room was already set up for the number of students I expected, and I had laid out the name plates I made yesterday, along with the registration blanks just before the first students showed up. One lady didn't show, but the class started on time. It went fine, and we read every word on every page of the Florida supplement, but I still think it was a better class when I did it my old way.
I finished at 1:00, cleaned up, and was home by 1:30. Unfortunately there were a lot of leftovers, so I ate a couple of miniature chocolate donuts and brought home four peanut butter cookies, which are in the freezer. My mother used to make peanut butter cookies, and at least once I was eating them as fast as she could bake them - so when she got done there were about 18 cookies left out of six dozen. It's hell to be a teen aged boy.
I finished the paperwork by 3:30, and started going through my e-mail at 4:00, then segued into the Spark People. Now it's nearly six, and this is the end of everything. Unfortunately, the BW is working on supper but I'm not really hungry.
With luck, I won't do much but read a book this evening. All the material for tomorrow's class, and the certificates, are in my trunk, so it's time to loaf.
Monday, September 13, 2010
I just wrote a boring blog, and tried to post it, but it gave me some message and hung up. Today I walked the dogs, got ready to teach a safe driving class, watched the wife back out of the garage and miss the driveway (going to the doctor) recorded the stuff she bought in the budget, and generally did daily living things.
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