Wednesday, October 31, 2007

There are crank sensors, and then there are crank sensors

Crank Sensor It is an engine component that measures the rotational speed of the crankshaft. If it doesn't work, then the engine doesn't work.

Last Thursday, my brother and I were coming back from Michigan. We were on I-90, and paid the Indiana toll (at Lake Station) and shifted into fifth when the car began losing speed. The speedometer needle went beserk. My brother, the driver, said "maybe I better pull over and take a look." So we pretended we were in control and pulled over.

He popped the hood and peered in, stepped back and said, "You know it's the transmission, right?" Nuts. Of course we knew it was the transmission. And we're stuck in Indiana. For chrissakes.

Roadside assistance was called, who estimated a tow truck would be there in 45 minutes. The tow truck was there in 30 minutes. Our luck was changing already.

The tow driver confirmed it was the transmission, hooked up the car, and drove us hell-bent for leather to Chicago (doing 80-85 mph). The plan was to drop off the car at the shop on Stony Island where it has a history, and as luck would have it, they were still open.

The keys were handed over, and we strolled the 1.5 miles home. The next day (Friday, October 26) the shop informed me it was the transmission AND clutch.

Monday (October 29) they called and asked if I had an alarm system. No, I did not. Why do you ask? Because we put the new tranny & clutch in, and now the car won't start. My heart leaps to my throat.

Tuesday (October 30) they call to say the crank sensor took a powder, and that's why the car won't start. They're putting a new one in now, but it's labor intensive. No car today.

Wednesday (October 31) they call to say the car is ready to go. I steel myself and ask, how much? And they repeat the original quote. But what about the crank sensor? They said, that was our fault for not catching it, so we're sticking with the original quote. Whoopee!

Tonight I pay the ransom and liberate the car.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

God Responds

Update to the Fuzzy Theology post:
Jim died.

And for the hell of it, God is also smiting Malibu.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Fuzzy theology, or, I'm an egomaniac because Jesus was one too

If you have an email address, and at least one other person knows it, then you've been on the receiving end of epistles like the one below.

This one does a particularly nice job of mixing in extreme hubris with dolorous calls for prayer while asking the eternal question: Why, why, why does God kill Catholics?
Editor notes are in the text below. Enjoy!

---- Forwarded Message ----
From: [name withheld]
Sent: Friday, October 5, 2007 10:20:18 AM

I received some devastating news today regarding one of my colleagues. This very fine and deeply religious man (Catholic) took seriously ill two weeks ago.
[Ed. note: I can't tell if the Catholic designation means that only Catholics are capable of being deeply religious, or he is deeply religious despite being Catholic.]
I have since learned that he has a very aggressive form of exocrinetic cancer that has spread through his liver and pancreas. Jim is a PHd. in finance and management and one of thos [sic] most unselfish, brilliant and dedicated individuals I have ever worked with. His hard work and creativity matched with mine has made us a dynamic duo here at my job.
[Ed. note: Would we even be worried about this guy if his hard work and creativity DIDN'T match the petitioner's?]
Every major, important and exciting assignment has been thrown to us.
[Ed. note: And now he's going to be stuck doing all the work - for a change.]
Now, it's all meaningless as he is in a fight for his life. They have been unable to keep him stable and he is on kidney dialysis. He is gravely ill and in need of chemotherapy but they [sic] hospital is concerned because of his instability. It is almost a no-win situation.
[Ed. note: So what does it take to get to a no-win scenario?]
They are proceeding this morning with the chemo - if it doesn't help (and it is last ditch at best) he'll die of the cancer, but because of his instability the chemo itself could kill him.
[Ed. note: To be clear - this is NOT a no-win situation?]
I have not spoken with him although my manager has -
[Ed. note: Wait! You haven't spoken with the other half of your dynamic duo? What a lousy rotten $%(@&.]
Jim has made his peace with God and has been given the last sacraments. Short of a miracle our expectation is that he only has days. The last thing he said was how his suffering was nothing compared to that of our Lord's on the cross.
[Ed. note: For chrissakes, just die already.]
I ask for your prayers that God's will be done.
[Ed. note: The petitioner seems unaware that God's going to do whatever He damn well pleases, whether you pray or not.]
If Jim is to survive this or leave this life, I pray that he will find peace and ask you to share in this prayer.
[Ed. note: It's an extreme way to get out of that dynamic duo predicament, but Jim is happier already.]
Life is truly short my friends and I encourage you to live it to the fullest,live your dreams, love the person you know you were meant to be with and be purposeful in this world so you have something to account for yourself when your day comes to stand before Jesus. Amen - [name withheld]
[Ed. note: And there it is - the trite send-off.]