Thursday, October 23, 2014

End of October already

We've been busy, flustered, frustrated, frazzled and what have you over the past few months, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and this time, I'm pretty sure it's not a freight train...... I hope.

The car is actually being fixed, as we speak! We got tired of the changing prices, estimated time of being done, and the "whatever" attitude at the dealer we had her, so I went looking "up north" where people are different, and you're more readily helped, even if you don't speak the local dialect.... We found this dealership in Eindhoven, and I explained what had happened with the car, and asked what they could/would do. To my amazement, he was very friendly, put up with my half Dutch half English car-part description and talked to me as if I was human.... Didn't dumb it down, didn't BS me, just told me what the going process was when they got a car in like ours. He quoted me 3 prices depending on scenario, and told me that just a second hand engine wouldn't solve our problem, and possibly would cost us more in the longrun, than putting ours through a check-up. So he gave us options.... unheard of! At the end of our conversation, I asked him how much difference there could be in the end estimate, and he sounded confused, so I told him, that where we had the car now, we were made to believe that we would have it back within a week or two, because they would be able to find a revision engine, in no time, than they needed time to put it in, and we'd be driving by the end of the month..... Once we got the car there, it dragged out to 4 months, with no idea where they would get a second hand engine, with a warrantee...... Not one that been gone thru, as they first promised, but one out of a wrecked car, and the warrantee being that it would start! and the quoted price of 4 to 600 Euro's fluctuated now between 8 and 1200...... He started laughing, and said he would put all we had discussed, with prices quoted, estimates and time frame (barring weird things happening, or parts not being readily available) in an email to me.  What do you know..... He gave a hoot.  I told him I would discus things with Mike, and we would get back to him. We set a tentative time and date he would pick up the car, so he could work it into the shop schedule, and I'd get back to him the next day.

The day before the car was to be picked up, we got a call from the garage we had it at, to tell us they had found an engine! SAY WHAT!? It came with a warrantee, as promised, and the grand total would be about 2500 Euro's, give or take a couple of hundreds. I told him that we had sold the car, and it would be picked up tomorrow, as I had already told him the week before and he started to argue that he had put time and effort in getting the engine, and it was a good engine, it came with the guarantee that it would start because it had run last week.... To which I told him that our engine had run up to the moment it quit, and that a guarantee that it would start, was no guarantee at all, and that with everything they had promised and renaged on, this was too little, too late.  So, he gave us a bill of a couple hundred Euro's for time spent and supposedly putting oil in the oil pan after they drained it to see if there were metal-shavings in it.  I couldn't figure out, if you are going to pull the engine, and replace it why you would want to replace the oil, if you're not even going to run the engine, but.... I didn't want to get slapped with a storage bill, so we  paid. When I came in to pay the bill, he told me that if he had known we were thinking of selling the car, he would have given us 200 Euro's for it.... HA!  It proved that it was exactly as Mike and I expected from this shysterbunch.... Drag it along, until you can pick up the car for next to nothing, fix it up, and sell it on.  NA-AH, no way, not anymore!  The funny part of it was, that he told me that "Even with a warrantee we would still have to pay labor if anything went wrong if we bought any car under 3500 Euro's. But we were the kind people that would always buy old cars, and try to get things cheap, so if we had sold the car, good luck finding another one that would run on our budget....." Nice, huh?  (By the way, if you're in this area, and looking for a car, give me a shout, and I'll tell you where NOT to go!)  We should have known better, because when we first got here, we looked at a car there, and when Mike told him the throttle AND the brake felt sticky on use, and the check engine light was on, we were told that "People like us, that had had a lot of old cars were more picky, and most of their customer would have never even noticed....... The upswing, in their eyes, was that they could fix it though, but it would add about 4 grand to the car! We ran, and should have kept running, but what do you do, if they're the only Chrysler Garage in a 150 KM radius.

On to better things though. Our new garage! They've had the car a little over a week now, and within a day, found out it wasn't the engine at all! It was the oil and water pump that were giving us problems. They also found one of the A-arms was broken. They did go thru the engine, and the engine is good. They give a 2 year warranty on parts and labor (so if anything goes wrong, we don't have to pay labor, or parts) and they have checked over the rest of the car for things to keep an eye on, and have found nothing....... YEAH!!!!  I don't know what it is about the cars here, but that's the second car that has a broken A-arm? In all our years driving in the states, we've never had ONE, not even on the trucks! (And I took the mustang successfully up dirt roads I tried later with the Jeep, and she wouldn't pull it.....) Must be all those darned turn-circles/round-a-bouts and tight corners..... :-) But, we should be good for quite a few years, after this.

Not sure if I mentioned it or not, probably not, it seems like forever that I was here..... Mike's brother had a stroke, so, even though we can't do anything about it or help in any way, you can't help worrying about him, and his family. Mike's sister has kept us posted, and last we heard, he was on his way to a rehab facility. Haven't heard from her in a while, so when I'm done here, I'll check in with her, see if all is going to plan.

Over the last month or so, the computer decided enough was enough, and couldn't remember how much free disc space it had... I took of about 300 Gigs of stuff from the 500 Gig drive, figuring it needed the breathing room and it came back within an hour that the disc was full, and it was going to shut down.... I emptied another 50 megs off, and it still showed it had 7 mb room available. We took it to the Mac store in Eindhoven, on our way to see my dad, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong, and why it was doing what it was doing, but they advised to upgrade to Maverick OS........... NOOOOOO!!!! I So didn't want to do that! I like everything about my Snowleopard, the way it works, the way it looks, the fact that the swipe mouse works between finder windows when I'm looking for things on one (or all) of my 4 external drives, and I've read nothing but bad things about Maverick, and you want me to voluntarily upgrade to it?  Well, no, not voluntarily, per se..... Mac is forcing the issue, by no longer putting out security updates, and by making nothing at all compatible with Snowleopard within 2 to 6 months........ So I upgraded, and I've been in computer hell ever since! It DID manage to find the 300 extra gigs on the hard drive, but it's a small price to pay...... Now, it won't charge the mouse, I'm arbitrarily being locked out of my drives, it didn't recognize one all together (I fixed it, but still) the passwords that were in keychain are the only ones it remembers, no matter how many times you change/update them, it keeps putting in the wrong ones, and they're already starting to push for people to upgrade to Yosemite......... It's like having Windows!  As an extra bonus.... I think the superdrive is going out. Every time I put in a disc, it sounds like you're trying to start a really grumpy old dirtbike! (Normally, I would say "beautiful sound", but not if it is being generated from a computer! LOL)

I feel like I've been godawful busy, although, if you ask me with what...... I couldn't tell you. I guess that's where the frazzled part kicks in. I have my check-up a week from Monday, and I haven't been feeling well, so I'm double in a panic. Perky scares the bejeebees out of me, because he is constantly sniffing and doing the mouth-open grimace face, on the spot where they took the first biopsy, and than he lays on it and purrs......... (not helping in the re-assuring department) and on top of it all, Mike has been having trouble breathing, and actually asked me to make a doctors appointment for tomorrow. He assured me it wasn't his heart, but he still feels as if there is a very heavy humidity in the air, and he isn't breathing well.

And I had to go thru this without my therapy of scrapping! Finally, over the last couple of days, I managed to play along in the Progressive Scrap challenge over at the Studio. Not on the regular schedule of days, but with A LOT of patience from Min, whenever I could play, but I got 'em done! Also entered the QP exchange. There were some REALLY NICE pages, so I hope they didn't change them before submitting them as QP. Go have a look in the gallery here

OH! I almost forgot!  Our KA got broken into..... Thankfully, they "only" broke the lock, so we can't leave anything in the car. (Haven't gotten an estimate on fixing it, we're a little short......)  We already had taken the stereo out of it, because it kept falling out anyway, so that's on the hatshelf of the coatrack in the hallway, so what they took, was all there was; the Fuelcard, and the parking permit for Market-day. Neither one is any good to anybody but us, because they are car/base/person bound..... If they were lucky, there was an old broken set of earbuds in the glovebox, but I don't think so.

If you're still reading...... thanks for hanging out with me! And at the same time, sorry for bending your ear this long. Writing the blog is totally opposite of sitting down and writing letters...... There, I think of all sorts of stuff I want to write down, and when I sit down to write come out with nothing as to here, I just sit down to drop a line, and keep everybody posted on what's going on in our little corner of the universe, and I won't stop yacking! LOL.

Well, I hope this found (and left) you in good health and spirit! Don't forget to hug a loved one, (twice if it's a fuzzy roommate) and take care. Hopefully I will be in sooner next time, with less to say :-)


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