Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
My Wife is Cursed....
Tuesday evening she complained that the power cable on her laptop is not working and worse than that the machine is stuck on the Bios page and won't boot. That was easy to fix, as the Dell laptops check the incoming power on startup to make sure you don't have a crap power supply hooked up. Since the power supply was really flaky, the Bios hung. Unplug the power supply and it worked.

Yesterday noon. She calls me at work. She has a flat tire. Changing the tire on the Excursion is no small matter. Good thing that I had my workout clothes with me. Once the spare is on the beast, she tries to start it up. It won't crank over. So I have to jump start it.

Off she goes to Walmart where they tell her they think it might be a bad alternator. She gets the kids at school, drops Reagan off at UofG and then takes the car to The Auto Shop. They tell her that the alternator will cost $450 plus another 200 clams to install it. I love how their web site sez, "To perform high quality repair service at a fair and just price." What a crock of shit. So Fran calls me to tell me about the $650 repair bill. I tell her that sounds like thievery to me. So while we are on the phone I punch up Autozone.Com and I look up the part on their web site - $150 bucks (Punch in part no: DL3603-18-2 for zip code 75082 if you want to see for yourself!) That really hacked me off. So Fran tells the crook at Auto Shop - my husband sez $150. Then he tells her well do they have it in stock (yes, this is like one of the most popular engines in the world); it must be the wrong part; and bunch of other FUD.

It was 4pm and I had no meetings. Fran had to get Reagan and take Marissa to practice. I was not sure what to do, but I figured I had $300 bucks to work with which was the difference in price of the part. So cut out of the office.

There was an Autozone right around the corner from the theives. I stopped there and sure enough they happily sold me an alternator for $150 Then I drove around the corner to get Fran. Now I was going to just give them the alternator and have them install it. Of course they probably would have rejected that idea. But when I got there I was still pissed off about the whole thing. Fran had left the truck idling. I was thinking that I might have to have it towed. I gave Fran my truck so that she could run the kids around. I took Logan.

Now the good thing about a diesel is that it really doesn't require much electricity to run. In fact, just enough to control the fuel pump and the injectors. Real trucks don't have spark plugs! So I drive the beast home.

Once home I discovered that a rookie can install an alternator on an Excursion in less than 30 minutes. Fan belt, three bolts, two wires. No kidding. That made me doubly pissed when I think that the Auto Shop wanted 200 clams to install the Alternator. That's $400 per hour!! Unreal. Don't go to the auto shop in plano texas. Those guys are thieves!

This morning Fran answered my phone and it went off into la-la land. I had to pull the battery to get it to reboot. My wife is cursed.

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All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012