Friday is as Friday Does


1973 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser (with factory PT...


Thank heavens it is Friday.  I don’t know about you but for some reason this week has been challenging for me.  I can’t say there is any one event that I can point to which could be considered the trigger.
Also when I say challenging I need to place a disclaimer on the condition: 1. No animals were hurt in the
making of the week.  2.  No laws were broken.  3.  No one lost their life.  4. No one ended up
in jail.  5.  There were no broken bones or visits to the Stich ‘em up joint.  6.  There were no police reports filed or
pictures taken against a celery green cement block wall with little numbers on
it.  7. No rain coats needed to be put over heads to avoid the press. 8.  There were no restaurant meals sent back to
the kitchen to collect the missing spit. 9.  No lines were cut in front of
me at the supermarket. (Caught ya…you thought I was talking about Bolivian
Marching Powder) 10.  There was no waiting to fill up at the gas station since there was a free gas pump at the
exact moment I pulled in.

So what made the week so nasty?  I guess it centers around three different things. 

The first was a letter that I got from good old Uncle Sam to the effect that my Medicare
premium will be increased in 2013.  Now in itself that is a normal thing so that doesn’t make it a letter from hell.  What makes it hellish is the premium is double what it was last year (a mistake) and I needed to go through a process
to get the mistake corrected.   The process includes: calling an 800 number and sitting on the phone for forty-five
minutes only to be told to call back later since all agents are “assisting” other old, feeble Medicare recipients like me.
This requires a call to the local office and after the required forty-five minutes to be told that an appointment needs to be set up because the agent is not qualified to handle the problem.  So today, I get to speak to the expert.  I know I will be required to file the paperwork I was required to file last April because nobody can look at the file
since I think I am coded as a double O, licensed to kill, member of the old people’s militia.

The second was the fact of having to go and get blood drawn for testing to make certain my vital blood signs are still good. This is done every two months and requires sitting in a lab waiting room
with a collection of my peers to wait an undeterminable length of time until my
name is called.  While waiting, I breathe in the air that has been expressed from those who are coughing, hacking and
looking like escapees from a malaria experiment gone completely wrong.  I do not know why old people cough so much but found out I can now book an appointment on-line as part of the perks of
being a frequent blood testee.  I’m gonna do that next time but yesterday was the same as it always is: HELL.

The third item was in the form of a breakdown of my trust 1978 Toyota FJ40 Land
Cruiser.  Well… I guess it wasn’t a breakdown exactly but a problem getting started in a bank parking lot. (No I
was not attempting a getaway)  When I started the FJ on the way to the bank, all was normal.  After finishing my business, I put the key in the ignition, turned it and nothing happened. This did happen once before and the problem was a loose wire.  Loose wires happen a lot on 1978 vehicles.   I checked and the wire was fine.  My only other recourse was to push the FJ down a slight incline in the parking lot and pop the clutch to start.(I’m sure
I lost most of you on this procedure)  As I was trying to push with one leg out the door and one on the clutch pedal so
that at the right time I could pop the clutch, a young man walks up and asks if he could help. Since offers like this happen a lot in my town, I gratefully accepted since I did not want to appear rude. So we pushed and the FJ fired to life. The young man asked if I knew what the problem was and I told him some rambling story about wires, interconnects and electronics.  “Sounds like a dead battery,” he says.  I did a mental scoff and thanked him and went
on my way.  After testing at home; it was in fact a dead battery which required a run to Wal-Mart.  Since I live in a small town, the run to Wal-Mart is a half day proposition. Buying a battery locally for a 1978 Toyota would mean waiting a week for the special order and then paying for a battery that was now worth more than
the vehicle.  A painful run to Wal-Mart was a better solution

Each of these three items didn’t really hurt they just came all at once and required long hours of friendly dialog and hassle to correct.  I am very grateful that these are the most of my problems since there are a lot worse.
Hope you all have a nice weekend.  New author profile on Monday






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