atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#763: More mindless blather

When I really think about things I'm glad my life is pretty uneventful.

I cleaned out my spambox this morning, seeing nothing worth commenting on here, but there was another iteration of the "Pass an unforgettable night" one. That made me think, "I did, a week ago--I fainted on the pot and had to take an ambulance to the hospital. That was pretty unforgettable."

Most of the time, "adventure" means "deal with a lot of hardships, lots of them potentially fatal, or dangerous other ways."

An adventure is best enjoyed vicariously.

* * *

I was going to drive the Escort to work Friday night, so I could show it to a woman who is interested in buying it.

The woman who wants to buy the red car may be buying something a bit better than me old jalopy, depending on whether or not she can get a loan. I don't know whether or not to hope she does, for many reasons. I won't know until Monday night if she even wants the thing. But I didn't know all this Friday morning; and so Friday morning I pumped up the tires.

Added air to the right front tire, which was pretty much flat, and checked it--not much in there. Hmm. More air, checked, about 15 PSI. Added more, finally got it past 20; by the time I had it past 30 on the air gauge, the compressor was down to 60 PSI in the tank, so I hauled it up the driveway, plugged it in, and let it pump back up. Then back down the driveway to fill the right rear tire, which was down about 20 PSI....

Halfway through that I finally twigged to the notion that something might be wrong. I looked at the tire gauge and realized it was kind of stiff. Finally I got the one from the Jeep and tried it.

The right front tire was over 50 PSI.

I hastily let some air out and checked it again; the tire gauge--the good one--gave a plaintive PFFT! and blew apart.

Swearing, I found the bits in the half-inch of snow that had fallen the night before and reassembled it; and after a bit I had the tire down to a more-sane 35 PSI. The right rear tire was over 40, so I let air out until it was also around 35.

If a tire had blown it would primarily have been an inconvenience; they're radial tires and they don't blow out, not like bias tires do. It would have made a noise that would have required me to change my pants, but it wouldn't have done any lasting harm to anything other than my dignity. But it was still kind of scary.

Anyway, then I tried starting the car, and it wouldn't even crank, so I hooked up the battery charger. I finally got it started about half an hour later; I drove it around a bit and was sure everything was A-OK for taking it to work that night.

9 PM, time to leave, engine gives one sullen revolution and won't crank.

But as for the Escort, on Saturday morning I pulled the battery out and hooked it to the battery charger, on trickle charge. My original intention was just to remove it and be ready to take it to AutoZone, to trade in on a replacement, but then I thought about it: that battery is 3 years old. It replaced the original equipment battery in my green Escort, which had finally lost its gumption after being in the car since it was new. Those cars aren't hard on batteries, and I knew that I hadn't really used the car enough since August to keep the battery charged--so I decided on a test.

I hooked it to the charger and let it charge from 10 AM until 2 AM the next morning--16 hours--and then put it into the car. The car started immediately. Now I'm letting it sit at least until noon, and we'll see how it starts, or if it won't. If it does start, then the battery was just low on electrons; if the car won't start, the battery is shot and needs replacement.

Sometimes a couple of the plates in one cell get shorted together, which effectively ruins that cell. The battery still pumps out most of its voltage, but the current is cut by more than 1/6th since the shorted plates represent a significant resistance. Low-current devices will work fine, but the biggest draw in the car--the starter--won't work. That's how the battery that came with my '85 Fiero spontaneously died. The car would start if I put it on the battery charger for a few moments, but otherwise it wouldn't.

If the Escort has the same problem, the fix will be relatively simple--just get a new battery. It'll cost a few (tens of) bucks but oh well; it won't even take that long, and I could probably drive the car to AutoZone instead of taking the battery out here and getting into another vehicle....

* * *

Once I had the battery on the charger, I went to bed, and I slept until 1 AM. I had intended to charge the battery for at least 12 hours; I had not expected to sleep until 1 AM. Woking up, making and eating breakfast, etc--suddenly I was finished with the job and it was 2, so WTF.

* * *

It looks like another December weekend is going to pass by without the Bunker getting decorated for Christmas. Well, next weekend is the traditional date in our household--about Dec 15th--so that's not such a bad thing.

* * *

Around this time of year I set up Holiday Lights as my screensaver--decorate my desktop for Christmas--and the "falling snow" screensaver is pretty nice.

It doesn't work under Vista, of course. [much cursing]

Oh well. I can get almost the same effect by turning my desktop background black, turning off the desktop image, and activating the lights.

* * *

The air is cold and heavy today. "Chance of precipitation" 100%, and the precipitation in question is destined to be "wintry mix", which is code for "DON'T GO ANYWHERE".

Usually that means some combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain, and it's always an utter mess. So I'm staying home today, and I couldn't be happier to do so.

* * *

Saturday, the car shows were pre-empted by Spike's moronic Ultimate Fighting Challenge or WTF-ever it's called. It's a stupid "reality" show in which stupid men pummel each other senseless in the ring and act like drama queens out of it. It's a whole mess of stupidity and crap, and Spike periodically feels the need to show it on Saturdays instead of the car shows.

"Senseless" is not the right word, really, since they are already senseless, but you get the idea. To say the show and the people are "stupid" is to give them too much credit--at that level, "stupid" is a compliment.

I have never thought much of boxing as a sport; how much does it take for a couple guys to pound each other until one of them can't pound any more? And in recent years the "sport" has gotten broader as they added kickboxing and other forms, so now it is--or can be--even more barbaric than the original version was.

No matter what the proponents of this crap add to it, in the end, it's just two adults hitting each other until injury or exhaustion forces one to stop. The rules, the idea of "rounds", and the gloves they wear, were all introduced to prolong the fight. And it's all pretty barbaric.

* * *

Not that the car shows are much to write about right now. I guess their writers are also on strike and the shows are in reruns, so they're showing all the most recent shows--ones I've seen about 40x anyway. We'll see what's on today.

As for the writers' strike, even this keeps me from giving a rat's ass. I don't care about the plight of rich Hollywood liberals. This strike isn't about "downtrodden labor" and "rich studio fat cats"; it's about one group of rich people versus another group of rich people.

"Rich"? A TV writer makes about $70,000 for a half-hour of prime-time TV script.

If anyone in Hollywood wants to hire a writer who's willing to work under the old system at union scale, give me a call. I'm pretty good and I don't care about internet residuals, 'cause I'll take the up-front pay for the script and invest as much of it as I can. And I don't even care what happens to the scripts once you've paid for 'em.

* * *

Yeah, right.

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