Thursday, March 27, 2008

Speaking car

You never really learn to swear until you have to fix a car.

As you know, my car was broken for FOUR months, my husband The Barrister fixed it, I had it back for 24 hours, and then it broke again. I had thrown some clothes on to take the kids to school, stopped real quick at the grocery store and then the car wouldn't start back up again! So, I grabbed my groceries and my dog (who likes to ride in the car when I take the boys to school) and walked home. Luckily I don't live too far from the grocery store.

I then proceed to call The Barrister and my mother...no, I wasn't crying but I was very frustrated. The Barrister was in court in Dallas, so he couldn't help. My mom drove right over. We got the car to start again and brought it home. Then we figured out the problem was with the alternator, through a quick diagnostic test my stepfather talked us through on the cell phone. See exhibit A below, my mom on the phone with my stepfather:


The next picture shows my car's guts. Lovely, old, dirty insides that keep breaking.


Here is my mom performing the diagnostic test, where we hooked up jumper cables between our cars, then my mom had to undo a bolt...and the car promptly died, therefore identifying the most likely suspect as the alternator. She is removing the bolt below:


See this pretty, colorful little information sticker on the battery where my mom was removing the bolt? I don't know about you, but all I could focus on where the words "danger" and "poison" and my favorite, "explosive." Now you see why I was taking the pictures...



This sticker also caught my eye. Not sure what it was trying to warn me of...or maybe it was in a different language...see why I'm taking pictures with my zoom lense and backing away from the car?

So, I get a little distracted at this point. Look at the pretty red bird in the tree next to my driveway? Pretty bird...


Oh, and look at the park across the street! Look at ALL those birds in that tree. A little freaky. I had no idea so many birds hung out there.


Oh, I guess I need to help my mom as she busts her knuckles on the guts of my car and handles explosive, very dangerous insides. Look, this is the alternator, which converts power from a gas engine to electrical energy for the battery. Pretty important little doodad. It took us a while, but together (ok, my mom did more work than I did, but I did climb up and help!) we got it out!!


And, this is the pretty, shiny NEW alternator we got at Autozone, where they were very helpful. I think they might have been laughing at us as we shared the story of how we removed the ugly alternator next to the dangerous stickers and busted our poor knuckles...Oh, and I somehow managed to touch one cable to a metal thingy and shoot sparks everywhere...not sure what I did but I backed away again at this point and started taking more pictures. :o) I'm so helpful!




The moral of this story is: Women CAN do car things (with a little guidance) but we would prefer the men do them, because it's awfully messy work, and I still can't get the word "explosive" out of my mind...I just don't speak car very well.

DISCLAIMER: This story is told tongue-in-cheek. Seriously. Where else would my tongue be?

This post is not complete without the requisite car joke:

Four Engineers and a Broken Car


There are four engineers travelling in a car; a mechanical engineer, a chemical engineer, an electrical engineer and a computer engineer. The car breaks down. "Sounds to me as if the pistons have seized. We'll have to strip down the engine before we can get the car working again", says the mechanical engineer. "Well", says the chemical engineer, "it sounded to me as if the fuel might be contaminated. I think we should clear out the fuel system." "I thought it might be an grounding problem", says the electrical engineer, "or maybe a faulty plug lead." They all turn to the computer engineer who has said nothing and say: "Well, what do you think?" "Ummm - perhaps if we all get out of the car and get back in again?"

30 comments:

Kat said...

Oh I am so impressed that you fixed your car! I truly don't speak car. I can't change a tire...or even jump start my own car. That's why I have a husband. He speaks car :-)

Rhea said...

Hey, Kat! Well, really my mom did most of the work getting the alternator out...and then we're weren't able to put it back in completely because the main belt that goes around it was too loose...which meant we didn't have it right. We left it up to my husband at that point!

When I got my first car at age 16, my dad made me change a tire in our driveway, just so I would know how. I'm not sure I could do it now...but I do have the general idea. It's so nice to have men in my life who can help with these things. I'm so glad your husband speaks car too!

crazy4danes said...

Women rule! :D Thanks for stopping by my blog today...I love your story about fixing your car...it's actually kinda familiar...lol

Your kids are darling by the way...

carrie said...

I hate cars so much. I love how you got distracted while someone else worked on your car. I would so do that!

and the green things on my header are peas and carrots. frozen ones. that spilled all over the floor and then I took a picture of the travesty. then my hyena dog ate them.

I know -I'm a weirdo.

Rhea said...

Thanks for coming by, Crazy4danes! Surely everyone can relate to a crazy, broken car story. I've got worse ones, but I still trying to get over my PTSD from them, so maybe I'll save them for another time. lol

Carrie, I think I could go back to the days of riding horses...ok, maybe not, but it sounds nice! I love the frozen peas and carrots, makes for a great picture! Hyena dog? hmm...that must be a new breed. lol

moosh in indy. said...

Too funny. And the birds, they do that out here too. Freaky little buggers. Damn you Hitchcock.

tearese said...

We've had to replace more than one alternator, unfortunately! Good luck with this one.

Valarie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :) Golly I really don't know what happened with that thing, but i'm sure it was a user problem.

That is awesome that yall fixed the car, I would just take it to the dealership. My husbad speaks car, but getting him to talk to it takes alot.

Rhea said...

Moosh, I agree, freaky little bird buggers. lol

MOre than one alternator, Tearese? ick. I'm hoping this is the only one for now...

Thanks for coming by, Valarie. I'm glad your husband speaks car, but too bad he seems reluctant to do it. I always feel like the dealership (or auto shop) is taking advantage of me since I can't SPEAK the language. :o)

~**Dawn**~ said...

I have *nothing* useful to say about cars. =P So I am just going to add my thought about all those birds: The funny thing is that I bet they hang out there all the time, but there are usually leaves there covering them up! They always look extra creepy on a naked tree! And now when you hear all their racket in the Summer, this is what you're going to picture. If you're anything like me, anyway. LOL

Jeff B said...

Hey my truck is up for its 60k tune up. Is your mom available next Tuesday?

Cherrye said...

Ha ha...funny joke!! (it took me a second...shhhh).

car probs are the worse!!! ours was in the shop for 2 weeks!

Rhea said...

Dawn, thanks for coming by! I agree about the birds. Creepy and now I'm going to picture them there always.

Jeff, funny. I'll see if she's free. lol

Cherrye, two weeks is nothing! FOUR MONTHS!!! No, really, two weeks is a long time, I totally understand. SO frustrating.

Thanks for coming by everyone!

ti'mo said...

too funny!! i agree, car stuff is for boys. they like to get dirty and curse and throw tools around the garage. i stay as far away as possible. :D

April said...

You are woman and I can hear you roar! I would NEVER be able to do that with a car...explosive, corrosive, sparking things scare the crap outta me. LOL I normally just watch over someone else's shoulder while they fix it.

Kat said...

Hey Rhea. I just found a blog that Jorge Garcia writes - thought you might like to stalk it with me: http://dispatchesfromtheisland.blogspot.com/

KP said...

bahaha. this was great. nice pictures!

KP said...

bahaha. this was great. nice pictures!

Bliss said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Personally, I learned to swear at the sewing machine. When the kids were little, my husband saw the machine come out & immediately said 'Come on kids, we are off to the park for a while.'

Pickles & Dimes said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

That is awesome that you guys fixed your car. I've always wished I had that capability myself.

Rhea said...

Ti'mo, I tend to stay away from the garage as well. And, all car stuff is SO dirty.

April, my mom and I were roaring alright! lol

Kat, how exciting! I would love to stalk it with you. Thanks for letting me know. hehe

Hey, KP! Thanks for the laugh. :o)

Bliss, that's too funny about your husband taking off with the kids when the sewing machine comes out. I love it!

Pickles and Dimes, thanks for commenting!

Everyone, thanks for coming by, I really appreciate it! I've been away from the computer all day and I'm trying to get caught up on all my blogging now. :o)

Tammy said...

I don't think I could have that much fun fixing a car, or even narrating your mom fixing the car..lol. Don't feel bad, the pretty red bird distracted me too, I had to enlarge that pic. Wouldn't want to be sitting under the tree full of birds though.

Rhea said...

Tammy, I can find humor in almost anything, but whether or not it's appropriate is a whole nother matter! Glad you enjoyed my wandering attentioin pics of birds in trees. lol

Kiera said...

All this car talk sounded like blah blah blah blah blah and then the clouds parted and ahh yes, that is a beautiful bird. Wow, how cool is that? Were all those birds in the tree the same red color? I bet that was beautiful.

Rhea said...

Kiera, you seriously had me laughing out loud just now.

No, only that one bird was red. All those in the tree were black...probably those horrible grackels, not sure.

Irene said...

I'm impressed that your Mom could do that. Good for her.

I read the joke to my husband who used to work for IBM as a systems engineer. He laughed and laughed :)

Rhea said...

My stepfather is an aerospace engineer, and he's the one who talked my mom through the car work, thank goodness. I'm sure he had a good laugh at all of this as well.

Rhea said...

My stepfather is an aerospace engineer, and he's the one who talked my mom through the car work, thank goodness. I'm sure he had a good laugh at all of this as well.

Firefly mom said...

I don't speak car, either. My hubby doesn't even like me to wash the car because I don't do it "right" (right is defined as meticulous, and includes the use of toothbrush and Q-tips). Of course, I married a man who has a degree in automotive technology, so that might have something to do with it ;) Now if I could only get him to stop asking *me* to kill the big bugs...

And you're not the only one who finds a tree full of birds a little creepy. I always feel a bit like Tippy Hedren when I step outside and they all stop chirping and just stare at me...

Rhea said...

Firefly mom, that's too funny about washing the car. I used to go to the drive-through washes, but my husband informed me those were bad for the car. Only the touchless ones are ok...sheesh.

I agree, birds creepy. :o)

Thanks for stopping by!