30 thoughts on “September 15, 2023: Moral Victory”

  1. Was grabbing something from my car last night. Sound was much clearer than the daytime. I can't embed the audio in this LTE (at least I don't think I can), so I added it to the body of the post.

    It appears it's from my neighbor to the south's house somewhere, but I didn't want to poke around there at night.

    1. I hear it. I only hear it what I assume is some of the time, since I'm not tracking a consistent pattern in the sample you've got here. I feel like I heard it at 5 seconds, 12 seconds, and 22 seconds. But maybe not at 12 seconds?

      Is it sometimes louder and sometimes softer, or is that just the ambient noise interfering? If it is, that suggests movement and/or moving objects interrupting the sound. How far away are you? If you're any significant distance, presumably this would be a lot louder a lot closer? So are your neighbors not home? I'm inclined to think of it as a alarm of some sort - a water sensor, or filter sensor, or somethign along those lines. Something with less urgency than a fire or carbon monoxide alarm?

      Would a welfare check be appropriate?

      1. Phone was stationary (sitting on a garden rock). No welfare check needed; young family outside all the time. At least if I picked the right house. In the day it's a lot harder to discern. Was clearer and sounded closer than I'd originally thought at night.

  2. Ugh, damn dog ate twelve ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips so I had to take him to the emergency vet. A$3 bag of chips is going to turn into $500 in vet bills. (He'll be fine, though. I got him there quickly after ingestion.)

      1. If it was something like donuts or brownies I probably wouldn't have worried so much, but seeing as how it was straight chocolate chips means it would turn into a thick, chocolatey sludge I figured better to be safe.

    1. Glad he’s okay and sorry for your bill.

      One of ours has eaten two loaves of bread, plastic bag and all, in the past 6 weeks. It generally comes out okay, but of course that then doesn’t help the rest of my family remember to clear the counters or close the dog gate because at 9 years old, he is what he is. Other dog eats more than a couple blades of grass and he’s retching and hacking and puking for days.

      1. Our golden ate so much dumb shit when she was younger. It's find chunks of plastic and entire pairs of underwear in her poop. She's not tall enough to reach the counters, fortunately. I'm not really used to having a dog that's a frickin horse yet.

        1. Our last dog (German shepherd mix) ate a light bulb. We don't think she swallowed any glass, she just chewed it up real good. I was on a business trip when she ate half of my daughters acrylic paints. She also opened a can of cat food with her teeth so she could eat it. She had a mouth of steel.

  3. So, I thought I would save some time and a few bucks taking mrsS's Jetta to the local carwash/oil change chain place for an oil change. I have used it before for my car, but never for hers. Instead, I have always taken hers to a spendy-but-honest-and-excellent garage in Sactown.

    But wait! Prices are up. $49.99 instead of $39.99 and they no longer offer coupons (usually $7-$10 off). Oh, and I discover AFTER it's being worked on that they now charge separately another $19 for the filter. WTF? This oil change is gonna cost me $70! Well, at least it comes with a car wash.

    Car pulls out of the bay. I start it up and pull around to the carwash side, but notice a "check engine light" is on. Take it back around. They plug it in, scratch heads, add some coolant and reset the codes.

    I drive home. Light comes back on almost immediately. Oy.

    Instead of returning again, I get appointment at the spendy place, since I know he will find and fix the problem (code says air intake error).

    He does a smoke test, finds smoke coming out of...the fucking oil cap, which was not reinstalled correctly. (Not super self-evident, because there is some sort of cover over it normally). He cleans up splattered oil, refills (half a liter lost) and puts the plug in correctly. $149. We commiserate. He gives me pictures of the findings to take to the other place.

    I go back to the chain place. No refund. Best he can do is free oil change next time. RUFKM? No, dude, I am not coming back (I didn't say this to him; he seemed nice enough -- newish manager, trying to find and train competent techs. Said he'd had to fire 5 guys in the past week....)

    Anyway, lesson learned. I won't be cheating on my spendy guy again, even for an oil change.

    1. Yeah my guy is only like ten bucks more than Valvoline. Only thing that bugs me is he doesnt give appointment times, just appointment days. So every oil change is 12-24 hours without the car plus coordinating someone to drive me there and back.

      1. Anytime I take a car to my mechanic I know it will be there for several days because he also doesn't do appointments. But he's owned and run the same Sinclair station here for almost 50 years and he and his crew know cars like nobody's business. I've never had a complain with the work, just the timeframe for getting it done. And on occasion he'll find little ancillary stuff and fix it without telling me until I get the bill, usually filters or hoses and the like. But Jim is 79 years old now and he has bladder cancer, so the future of his shop is in question.

      2. I go to an independent mechanic who offers me the choice of an appointment or drop-off. I usually drop the car off the night before and let them work it in. Sometimes I get a call at 10 am saying the car’s ready; others, it’s mid-afternoon. I figure I’m giving them some modest control over the tempo of their workday, and they’ve been so good to me over the years that I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else.

        Case in point: the 2002 Buick with 44k miles inherited from an elderly relative was welcome at the shop, which only works on foreign cars, because the owner’s parents have one and he was familiar with the vehicle. I needed to tow it in once, and when I told the driver where it was headed, he said “C’mon, Bob doesn’t work on American cars!” I replied, “This one he does.”

        That said, you can bet I’m taking the free maintenance from Toyota until the car falls out of that service program. The minute it does is the last Toyota sees of it.

        1. There's a lot fits and starts when you work on cars and it usually involves getting parts. Jim took an extra day replacing the steering rack and tie rods in our old minivan when I was recovering from bypass surgery because he found a good used rack that saved me about $100 over a new one, but he had to send someone to pick it up in Princeton.

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