Home Forums Archives Ramblings… Alive and errr kicking…

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  • #2706
    Scandinavia, WI

    Hey guys

    I’m back around. Sorry for the absence. Been trying to get over some back problems which were not as bad as the never ending head ache that seemed to go with them. I just couldn’t think clearly. *sigh*

    Welp, things were getting better and my wife dragged me off to our annual trek to Florida to visit her mom for the holidays. I was actually looking forward to it this time. I was feeling pretty good and wanted to get some quality time in with coding on the laptop. Exactly 1122 miles into the trip the van’s transmission died in Cordelle, Georgia. I guess for over 160,000 miles on the odometer it shouldn’t be a surprise. After the loud clap from underneath there was nothing left. I was doing 80mph down I75 south at the time but was able to coast to an off ramp. I then pushed the vehicle to a pecan store’s parking lot. (the only thing around at that exit)

    The kid attending the counter of the pecan shop loaned me a local phone book and we started racking up the roaming charges. At first I had thought we were in Cornel, Georgia (if such a place exists) not because of the kids rich southern accent but because of the softball sized wad of chew in his mouth. Fortunately I had glanced up at the pecan road sign to see that we were at the “Cordelle Pecan Store”. Our only major credit card was maxed (as usual) so rental cars or any such solutions requiring such where shot down immediately. We did have AAA so that covered the towing and 5 miles of travel to the nearest dealership or place of repair. Of the 3 local shops I called they all said the same thing. It sounded like the planetary gears had failed. Price quotes ranged from 2,200 to 2,900 dollars depending on what else was taken out when the gears went. The lady at AAA said it would be about an hour and a half before the towing service would arrive. Having already sat in the vehicle for an hour with the phone book and our kids getting restless I called a taxi service to get us moved to a hotel. Of the two taxi companies in the book we were lucky that one still had a phone number that was not disconnected.

    My wife, being the forever optimist she is, was going to do some shopping in the pecan place. I had informed her that there’s only tables with sacks of nuts in the store and a soda machine. Shop for what? (my growing pessimism emphasized) LoL

    Not to long after the taxi arrived. The car was an older 4 door chevy celebrity? with magnetic “Safe Cab” company door plates. The car looked rough but seemed to run well. The driver, Earl (I believe), dressed in dingy “just finished milking” bib coveralls and a blue button down shirt looked to be a farmer who also drove taxi on the side. Earl was a very nice gentleman, for sure, though. He waited quite patiently as we proceeded to unpack the mini van and force it’s entire contents into the trunk of his car. I told him we just wanted to get to a hotel and that the one displayed on the next billboard up would do. He suggested we go in the opposite direction (south) because it was closer and there were more choices with restaurants close by. Being from the area and knowing it better than I we took his suggestion. He was correct, of course. About two miles down and over through the pecan forest, farm, tree preserve (what ever) laid Cordelle. We unpacked at the Holiday Inn Express (the very fist place we came to) and got two rooms for the night. We had called my wife’s mom and she was on her way to pick us up but would need to spend the night as it was to much of a drive for her to handle in a day. (she’s handicapped so it was quite understandable)

    After getting settled in at the hotel I called Safe Cab again and asked for a ride back to the van so I could sit and wait for the towing service. Earl returned within minutes and I was off again. The tow truck showed up shortly after Earl had left me with the van. Either an hour and half had flown by rather quickly or they got there earlier than expected. Either way I was glad they were there. We shook hands and exchanged names. His name was Bubba and his son’s name was Jarred(sp?). I proceeded to explain what went wrong with the vehicle and then we go to push it back from the fence it was facing so it could be hoisted onto the flatbed. To our surprise the van’s tires were locked tight. It’s an AWD (all wheel drive) type and yes, all four wheels seemed to be froze. We ended up spending some time getting the vehicle dragged into a position where it could be pulled onto the bed of the truck. Once that was accomplished Bubba winched the van forward. All four wheels screeched across the diamond deck plating. *wonderful* (sarcasm)

    After the vehicle was loaded I informed Bubba that I wanted to take the van to the local chrysler dealership, (the only one in town I guess) but that I really just wanted a place to store the van until I could return with a trailer and take it home to be fixed later. Bubba said he didn’t think it would be a problem with his boss if they kept the van for a while so he called and sure enough his boss didn’t mind. Bubba dropped me off at the hotel and drew me a detailed map to the farm where the van would be kept. Yes, I said farm. I thanked Bubba for his help and waved good bye to him and his son and our van.

    My mother’n law arrived later that evening and we all went to bed early. We left Cordelle the next day around 7 am and made it to her home in Orlando around 1pm. We unpacked quickly and her and my wife rushed off to get some last minute gift/food shopping in. Twas the day before Christmass, after all. I began setting up my laptop’s dial-up connection so I could get my mind off things. As of this post, I still have not been able to get my SuSE 9.0 install’s dial-up settings correct in order for me to connect with the laptop. I need to search for some help online about doing such I guess. Broadband spoils a person, really. LoL

    So, I have spent the last two days fixing and tuning up my mother’n law’s computer. This was on the list of “to do’s” anyhow. I can’t believe how larger I thought 800×600 resolution was after seeing it for the first time, compared to the 14 inch monitor and windows 3.1 she had years ago. Now I look at 800×600 with absolute apathy. But, it’s her computer and her eyesight is worse than mine so it works for her.

    We’re going to be flying out of Orlando on the 31st. Let me tell ya, the airlines must be trying to limit terrorist activity by keeping ticket prices at Bill Gates costs. The five tickets along with all of the unexpected costs that have occurred we pretty much have killed any additional spending we may have done otherwise. My wife continues to be optimistic and content with just being in Florida and enjoying the weather. I’m not in to bad of spirits myself. I’m spending some time getting my butt kicked by my sons on their Game Cube. I, errr my wife’s mom, do have a few things in mind to keep me occupied as well. I have been blessed with cleaning the garage, pressure washing the patio and fixing two toilets as tasks to accomplish before leaving. (at least it will keep my mind off things) LoL

    I haven’t checked email in a long, long time until today. I logged into the web interface provided by my host to find that I have 35,472 unread messages. I filtered out as many ‘keepers’ as possible (121 so far) but will have to delete the rest in blocks of 200. I really hate my host’s mandatory ‘catch all’ email requirement. A few years back I had offered ‘free’ email via everyone.net and I had about 500 users who must have signed up for spam where ever possible. I canceled their accounts but now receive all of their junk plus my own junk. LoL

    Ok I gotta scoot. Need to head to home depot for some toilet repair kits. *joy*

    Nothing rhymes with Cindy Crawford after 9 coronas...

    Ugggg! That all sucks. I know how you feel, kinda. But we were trapped in NYC with family when our transmission blew all the way. But being carless with children is a VERY bad mix. All of those country people do know what they are doing, LOL. I got to school in cowville…

    But your Christmas went well right? I will trade places with you. You can come to cold,gloomy NY and I will glady go straight to Florida!

    ~~~Misty~~~{@ Im the little one...and mysterious one
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