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OK, can someone please stop this ride so I can get off? I’ve had enough!

Alright, it really isn’t all that bad … and things are finally starting to settle down. But man, the last few weeks have been completely insane. It’s been crazy enough that I’m having a hard time remembering what happened when so I’m just going to go through the events without worrying about what happened when since some of these overlap in time.

Those who know me well (in real life) know that a lot of people annoy me for various reasons. The two groups that have the greatest number of offenders are the twits at work and those on the roads here. And they’ve all been in prime form recently. I think work probably seems worse only because I spend more time there than on the road. Now that we’re finally getting some hardware to work on, the management twits are freaking out over schedules. Yes, schedules are important when you need to make sure whatever you’re building makes it out the door on time, I get that. But when you have a bunch of numbskulls who refuse to accept reality it gets a bit trying at times.

To me, it’s really simple. Tell me what you need done, give me the date you want it, and go the hell away … I may not meet the individual dates someone arbitrarily stuck in a schedule (mainly because they keep changing them and refuse to listen when I tell them the dates are bad) but I’ve never missed a deadline. Ever. I figure if they don’t want to listen they can deal with their own mess. It’s still aggravating to deal with.

With regard to drivers … I’ve seen a number of “Worst Driver” lists and they are all different, but Los Angeles makes it into the top 12 on every one of them. People here are some of the most rude, obnoxious drivers I’ve ever seen. A full third of the idiots I see every day are on their cell phones. I’ve seen people texting, reading the paper, putting on makeup, and watching movies while driving. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the freeway or surface streets. I have an extremely short commute, a full 8 miles one way, and on average I’m almost hit at least twice on the way to work and again on the way home. Yeah, they all make me a bit nuts.

Last week was the worst for both work and driving. On Tuesday (the 7th) we had a full moon and Saturn went retrograde. Saturn “rules” responsibilities, restrictions, and limitations as well as deep thinking. When Saturn is retrograde people may act more irresponsibly or without thought … or they may feel overly restricted and trapped which can also cause some odd behaviors. Coupling that with the full moon seemed to throw everyone into a snit and the whole week was really bizarre.

But it didn’t stop with work and driving. Several close friends and I run a forum and we had loons coming out of the woodwork! Two in particular were really bad. Both were extremely obnoxious, tossing out posts that made it clear they think they are better than everyone else, talking down to everyone and generally acting like asses. We ended up banning both and changing our terms of service so that canning twits like this will be easier in the future. Some people just refuse to get it regardless of how hard you try.

As if that all wasn’t bad enough, we’ve been having loads of fun with machinery as well. We have the company that installed our heating/AC system come out every 6 months or so and do any maintenance needed (like changing filters) and they were out in late January. After inspecting the system, the tech said we had mildew on our condenser. Huh? We’ve had the system for 11 years and have never had a problem before. I asked hubby if the condenser was upstream or downstream of the filter … it’s downstream. So why the heck were we getting mildew? So the tech suggests an air scrubber. Um OK, but shouldn’t the UV system we had installed be doing the same thing? Then he says we don’t have a UV unit in the system. WTF? Dude, when your folks upgraded our system a year and a half ago they should have either kept the UV or replaced it. I was told they didn’t have boxes for our filters that were larger (which was desired with the larger unit we had put in) so we had them keep the old box and add a plenum so it fit. If they weren’t replacing the UV, they should have said something. On the one hand I was a bit pissed about it. On the other hand it explained the sneezing fits I was getting in the evenings.

Then there is my poor truck. A few weeks ago I got a low oil pressure indicator light. I figured it was the oil pump about to die and took it in. No such luck. From what they could tell, the head was leaking somewhere (no idea where as I didn’t have any of the tell-tale signs of a bad head gasket) and they were concerned that the heads might have started to warp. I opted to just replace the engine with a remanufactured one. Cost wise it was only about $100 more than rebuilding the existing engine with new heads (assuming they would have been needed) and a lot less expensive than a new truck. And it came with a 3 year, unlimited mileage warranty. Since I’m not quite ready to replace my truck yet it was a nice compromise.

After leaving her for a week to get the new engine I was happy to get her back. And almost immediately realized something was amiss. The engine was running a bit rough and somewhat anemic on the low end torque. Not enough to scream “problem” but noticeable to me. I called my guy and asked about timing and computer settings … no, they’d checked it all out. Then, when I got home that evening we had oil on the driveway. I’ve had my truck for 11 years and have never seen anything other than a little condensation from the AC drip on the driveway. Called my guy again the next morning. He thought it might be overfill and asked me to drive it over the weekend and let him know what happened.

By Sunday it was still leaking and the new engine was down 2 quarts of oil! I tool her back in (on their dime this time) and they said the galley plug seal in the passenger side head was what was leaking. OK fine. Stuff like that happens and seals are easy to replace. My guy called me the next morning and told me the seal didn’t fix the problem … there was a hairline crack in the new head. Argh! So I had to wait another week, stuck with a crappy rental car, to get my baby back. But there is some good news here. That head was messed up. They found at least one more crack on the inside after they pulled it apart. I think the factory probably screwed it up royally. I finally got my girl back two days ago and all the problems I’d noticed are gone.

So I’m taking it that the leak was a blessing in disguise … we likely would have never looked at that head as the cause of the problems and chalked it all up to just the characteristics of the new engine. With the internal problems with that head, there could have been much bigger problems. And months down the road, trying to prove that it was the head all along would be tough. At least she’s finally fixed and back home. And I should be able to hang onto her for at least another 3 or 4 years.

In and amongst all this going on I still haven’t gotten all the Christmas/Yule stuff put away. The tree got taken down and the ornaments boxed up (two weeks late) but that’s about it. The poor fish haven’t been cleaned in almost a month. And I still haven’t resorted my beading stuff. I did at least get to the fabric store (last weekend) but now I need to find time to make a couple of tops. And I haven’t been able to work on my grids as much as I’d like. Sigh

I’d like to say that since things are starting to settle down that I will be able to return to some sense of normalcy and get some of these things done. The reality is that it’s not likely to happen soon. Hubby has scheduled a surgery for the 21st and has another he needs to get done by April. Work stuff is still going to be insane until June. And there is going to be a lot of strange stuff going on astrologically until at least June when Uranus and Pluto finally hit their “square” that they’ve been dancing around for the last few years. The last time we had this sort of configuration going on was the mid to late 60’s. Unfortunately it’s likely to be a bumpy ride.

I hope all of you are doing better than I have been the last few weeks. I’m ready to go hide out in Shasta now! Sadly, I have to wait until June. So I’m just gonna tuck my head down and plow through as best I can. Hopefully things won’t get quite as bad as they’ve been the last few weeks … if I’m lucky I can keep my head above water until our vacation.

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