Well, I skipped yet another post yesterday. No real reason for it, I just didn’t write anything. Sure there were external factors that controlled it, such as wasting my time in numerous ways, but as writing anything here is not really productive in any way it is hard for me to gauge which action would have been more productive.
I actually got off of work early yesterday, (well, I got of at noon, which is when I am supposed to get off, but it rarely ever happens) and after also just picking up my pay, I decided that I may as well go get the oil changed in my car. I did not know until I got to the oil change place that it had not been done in fourteen months, but that is another story. Anyway, after an hour, and dropping $105 dollars, I walked out of the local grease ‘n go joint with fresh oil and a flushed cooling system. It kind of made me grit my teeth to have to pay for them to do it, but I just did.
There was a time, say a year ago or so, when the thought of simply letting someone else change the oil in my car was laughable. I kind of let go of that foolish notion about the time that it cost the same or more to do it myself. That really only started to happen when someone decided that you couldn’t just dump used motor oil on the ground anymore, which requires that you haul your used motor oil to a place that has the facilities to recycle it, and you have to pay them. So, if you don’t buy the oil on sale (or if you buy a really shitty brand, the type that I wouldn’t even put into my neighbor’s lawn mower) you are out ten bucks for the oil, say five for the filter, then three bucks to dispose of the oil, add on the gas to drive the oil to the nearest recycling center and you are at about twenty bucks; that is assuming that you have all of the necessary tools to do it in the first place. When you can get it done at a shop for 25, without getting your hands dirty, and with the airing the tires and vacuuming and the such, I just no longer see the reason to do it myself.
The cooling system flush, on the other hand, was something that I really hated to pay for and wish that I had done myself. I believe that the manufacturers recommend that you get it done every 50,000 miles, though I could be wrong on that. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter all that much how many miles are on the car when you do it. If you have a car with 300,000 miles on it, and the water in the radiator is still clear, well, green Kool-Aid colored, but without a lot of rust or gunk in it, then you don’t need to get it done. My car has 105,000 miles on it, and it has never been done, so I went ahead and let them do it. I don’t know how they can charge you 60 dollars to do it with a clear conscience. I figured they would drag out some big extragavent device that would send little robots with scrub brushes into the motor to clean it out, but no, they did it just like I have always done it. Only they did have a machine that took out the human effort. All you have to do is run clean water through the engine and radiator. The way I have always accomplished that is to drain the radiator completely, then hook my radiator hoses to clean pans of water and let the engine run for ten or fifteen minutes, pumping the clean water in through one hose and the dirty out through the other. No real science to it, it sucks the water in clean and pushes it out dirty, when the engine is clean the water is pushed out clean. After that I would just use a sprayer nozzle to blow all of the gunk out of the radiator. Total time, about 25 minutes, depending on how dirty the engine is. The same amount of time it took them to do it, but for only the cost of water, Not the sixty bucks they charged.
• The other thing that happened yesterday that directly contributed to my not getting around to doing an update was Diablo. I hadn’t played the game since the last time I mentioned it here. I was worried that my on-line players may be getting near the termination date, so I logged them all on to make sure it wouldn’t happen. Then I noticed that I had a Paladin that was just starting act 2 in normal, I hadn’t played in so long… What could 30 minutes hurt, or so I thought. Radament was gone in ten minutes or so, so why not go get the cube? Of course since the map doesn’t save in on-line play, I also wanted to get the waypoints for the other two staff quests. About thirty minutes into it I had the cube, so why not just run and get the staff, I never have any problem with the worm pit (or whatever they call it). I don’t remember them having those lightning beetles in there before, but anyway, I mowed right through it. Might as well go ahead and complete the staff quest, only one item left. I found the temple, got all the waypoints along the way, and got the headpiece. I then stopped, since the rest of that act can be done as a stand alone. It only took me about forty-five minutes…in my mind…In the real world it had somehow just consumed almost three hours of time. That damn Diablo time warp is a very strange thing. I bet there are physicists out there that wish they could explain how it works and harnass the power…
• As for today, well nothing happened of note. I got up in the morning and went down to the barber. I have been in desperate need of a haircut for a couple of months. The barber shop was, of course, closed, so I came back home and jumped into the shower. –That is something that I have always thought was a bit odd. If you go to a barber they prefer that you have dry hair for the cut, while if you go to a salon they prefer that your hair be wet. I don’t have any idea why that is, but it is.–When I got out of the shower and looked in the mirror, my bangs were hanging to my bottom lip. That is way longer than I have had my hair for about a decade, so I took matters into my own hands. I have never used scissors on my own hair, at least unless there was a big wad of chewing gum involved, so I was a bit apprehensive. It turns out that it is not that difficult to cut two inches off of one’s own bangs, at least if they are long enough that cutting two inches off of them still leaves the hair pretty damn long. No one at work noticed, and it kept my hair out of my eyes, so it will do until I can find the barber shop open. Though I am now developing a theory that he hides when he sees me coming. He is the only game in town, and charges a flat fee for all haircuts. It usually takes him three times as long to cut my hair as the other guys that go in, so I can see why. Fear not, I have developed a new strategy. The barber shop has windows on only two sides of it. I normally approach from the main road, where he can see me coming. If I just use some of the back streets to get behind the shop, park in the alley and crawl past the one window to reach the front door I will be in! Though that seems like a hell of a lot of work and planning to go through just to get an eight dollar haircut that looks like an eight dollar haircut…
• Now a quick story about the least intelligent mother in Florence:
Have you ever seen those wide, white stripes that are painted on the ground next to stoplights? Sure you have. Do you know what they are for? Sure you do. They are cross-walks. Those are the places that are designated for pedestrians to cross busy streets. Now I am not sure how the laws work in all states, but in the state where I took my drivers test, “Pedestrians have the right of way in all cross-walks, marked or un-marked”. I take that to mean that you can cross the street anywhere you want to, and you will have the right of way, as it should be, but use some discression for your child’s sake.
In case you are really bad at picking up on fore-shadowing, there was an incident that happened to me today that directly relates to this all. You see there are only two stoplights in this whole town. Neither of them is ever very busy. Cars will usually stop for anyone crossing the street on North Main St., which is the historic part of town, regardless of whether there is a cross walk nearby. The thing that one must consider, especially one pushing a baby carriage, is that if you are pushing your baby across the street, behind a huge SUV, and only the SUV’s length from the cross walk. The driver, that is turning left, not being able to see past the SUV, is not going to see you pushing your baby across the street only 10 or 12 feet from the cross walk.
Follow me here. I had full view of the sidewalk on the other side of the street, there was no one on it. I had full view of the cars in front of me and no one turned down the street I was going to go down. There was no indication that there would be anything but clear pavement there. I made the turn and had to lock up the brakes when I saw an obese woman pushing her kid out from behind that SUV. Honestly, in the entire time I have been driving I have never seen anything like that. That was more like the scenario that they put on the driver’s education videos. Why didn’t she walk the additional ten or twelve feet to get to the cross walk? Why didn’t she wait until there were no cars coming? Why did she give me the finger after I locked up my brakes to keep from hitting her and her child, without even honking my horn?
I was not going fast enough at the time to kill anyone, at least I don’t think I was, but had I hit her and the little stroller, I would likely be going to jail for manslaughter. Not because I was drunk, not because I wasn’t paying attention, not because I was talking on the phone, but because this little fat mom pushed her baby into traffic only a few steps away from an intersection. Though I don’t suppose she got fat by walking all the way to the intersections.
I must note that had she not flipped me off, I would not be writing about this now. I must also note that had she not been wandering into traffic behind an SUV I would have seen her before I rounded the corner. I must also note that if it had not been be (or another responsible driver) rounding that corner (someone in an SUV on the cell phone, for instance) this would likely have a vastly different outcome.
Now the question. Would you risk the life of your child to save yourself taking three steps?