Monthly Archives: February 2011

Murphy’s Law

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It seems that I’ve been proving Murphy’s Law right for the last couple weeks. For most of the trip to Belgium and now back in Kansas. Yesterday I woke at, my now normal 5 am, only to find it 50 something degrees in the house. The furnace wasn’t working. So, I spent the better part of the afternoon trouble shooting the flashing codes and messing with it. Finally after a few hours, I found that the collection sump for the condensation was clogged and it was shutting off the gas. So, I felt pretty smart and lucky. I figure that would have cost at least $300, probably more, and the guy probably wouldn’t have found the problem any faster than me.

Then, the weather changed dramatically here in Kansas. I was going to go for a ride before this blizzard hits, but the roads were black ice. I went to the store to get some stuff and it was out of control. You could hardly walk up any isle. It was like the day before Thanksgiving. The gas station in front of the parking lot had lines of cars waiting to fill up. It was supposed to dump up to a foot of snow today, but it seemed like people were being a little extreme in this day and age.

So, now Murphy’s Law. The brakes went out on my AWD van last night. Completely out. I nursed it back to my driveway, put on my overalls and got a flashlight. The brake line to the rear wheels is broken above the gas tank. Something completely inaccessible to get to. I called a Chrysler dealer in California, since they were still open, and the guy in the parts department told me they don’t sell the lines anymore. So I have to remove the two brake lines to the back and either fabricate them myself or take them somewhere and have them made. All this with the high temperatures today supposed to be in the upper teen’s. Plus, don’t forget, up to a foot of snow. There is no reason that this broke on the coldest and nastiest day of the winter. It could have very easily broke on a nice sunny, summer day. It is just Murphy’s Law in full force.

This might put a damper on going x-country skiing for a few days any time soon. It’s right about now I wish that my garage wasn’t completely full of bikes and wheels.

Not close to enough room for a car. But, there will be soon, I hope.

I was just trying to get some fruits and vegetables.

Ever Had 3 Cars Stolen on One Day?

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I have. Now. Yesterday was a Comedy of Errors. Yesterday made the day before look like a vacation. Yesterday pretty much sucked. I’m pretty sure that yesterday has to be in the top 5 of all weird days of my life.

Yesterday started at my now normal 5 am, with a little dog surgery. Then the engine of my van caught on fire while trying to get it into the garage. But the highlight of the day was discovering that I am missing 3 automobiles that I previously had.

I have been meaning to write about Jeff. Jeff is a desert storm vet. He has lived in a house I own here in Topeka for 2 1/2 years. He is/was my “renter”. But, he never paid rent. Not one month. He got behind the first month and, I guess, could never catch up.

I liked Jeff. He is raising 4 step kids. He seemed pretty honest. Other that nothing he ever said about money ever occurred, he seemed pretty nice. I didn’t really care that much about the money. I cared some, but not enough to confront him.

I think I justified Jeff by thinking it was a charitable thing. A poor black man, who was disabled through the Iraqi war, raising kids that aren’t his. And his kids are great. But, things went downhill fast today.

I got a call in the morning by the Gas Service Co. that they had a disconnect order for my house. I asked if it was because of lack of payment, but it was because a service disconnect had been ordered. Jeff was moving. I told him to leave the gas on.

I drove over to Jeff’s only to find no one there. There were no footprints in the 8 inches of fresh snow. There was a lot of furniture on the porch, so I figured they weren’t gone yet, but weren’t living there.

Behind this house is a detached 2 car garage. With 3 of my cars in it. A 1970 Saab Sonett, a 1983 Honda Civic S, and a 1986 Dodge Caravan (manual transmission, 4 speed). I noticed that the door to the garage was open. I had a padlock on it last time I saw it, which hadn’t been for awhile. Anyway, I go look in the garage and all three cars are gone. And there is a bunch of other stuff being stored there. Crazy.

There has been a ton of stuff in the paper about people ripping off metal to sell for scape. There is a crime spree by some guy that is going on top of commercial buildings mainly, and stealing the copper out of the rooftop air conditioners. And three city employees just got caught stealing metal from the city and recycling it. I thought you were supposed to have the title to scrape a car, but this is Kansas.

So, I’m pondering what to do here. Report it to the police? Forget about it? Civil court? Maybe just rack it up as a life experience? Pretty strange day.

A highlight of yesterday was riding indoors. I know, I usually hate that with a passion. But, yesterday wasn’t so bad. I rode for and hour 15 and had pretty unbelievable power. For me at least. I’ve had this Tunturi ergometer for nearly 30 years. It just uses spring tension for wattage, but that is accurate enough for me. As long as it is consistent, it doesn’t really matter what the numbers are.