Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The World May Never Know...

"Mister Owl, how many visits to the GM Service Center does it take to fix a defective windshield wiper?" 

"Ah-one...ah-two...ah-three...ah-four...ah-five...ah-six...." least (I've lost count) and the problem still isn't fixed.

I have a lot of trouble believing that this is such a major problem. I Googled "2002 Impala Windshield Wiper" or something to that nature and found a ton of information on the problem I was having, including a lengthy video tutorial on YouTube for the exact make and model. It appears that it is a relatively common problem that many people have experienced. This is not a hole-in-the-wall garage, it's the largest GM dealership in southern Ohio but they don't seem to be able to find their backside with both hands and a mirror.

I'm pretty sure I've described the problem in previous posts, but I'll tell you again so you don't have to go back through half a dozen posts to find it.  The wipers were not folding back down in the correct position when they were turned off. Instead, they stopped sticking straight up making it look like you were driving through a pair of goal posts. This happened a while back and I drove around with them like that for almost a year. It  wasn't a major problem, so I waited until I needed something else repaired (wheel bearings) to have it done. I've tried to reconstruct the timeline below to the best of my memory....

  • Trip 1 - The wipers were supposedly fixed along with the wheel bearings and a few other minor things, I turned on the wipers after leaving and discovered they were still busted. I called them when I got home and scheduled another visit.
  • Trip 2 - They supposedly fixed them but, turning them on before I left, I discovered that although they folded down correctly when turned off, they stopped in mid-window in delay mode. The mechanic decided the new motor was bad and he would have to order another one.
  • Trip 3 - The second new motor failed to fix the problem, it must be the wrong part. They would have to order still another. The service manager gave me tickets for two free oil changes.
  • Trip 4 - They determined it was apparently not the motor, it was probably a special spring that was not available anywhere but from GM. They would have to special order one.
  • Trip 5 - They still couldn't get the wipers to work correctly so they gave me a loaner car and said they would call when they were fixed. Loaner car had plenty of nice features but was so small I could barely get my head in...and I'm only 5'9" tall.
  • Trip 6 - I drove their clown car for six days before the service manager called and guaranteed my wipers were working correctly. I turned the wipers on before I left this time...the original problem is back. Now they say it's not a mechanical problem, it's electrical and they have rescheduled me again for next week. 
I'm going to drive Vlad the Impala rather than try squeeze into their sardine can again.

On the health front, I'm still feeling okay. I had to cancel several doctor appointments due to the deep snow storms in February, so it's been well over a month since I've been checked. I have an appointment early tomorrow morning, I suspect they'll want to schedule a new CT scan soon to determine my progress.

One of the side effects of the medication I've been taking is supposed to be blisters on the bottoms of your feet. I haven't noticed any blisters, but I had some diabetic peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet before I started taking the medication. Up until now I attributed the discomfort to the neuropathy, but the bottoms of my feet have become increasingly sensitive and somewhat painful to walk on. I am suspecting the medication might have something to do with that. The tremors in my hands also continue to give me some problems but the neuropathy in them does not seem to have progressed to any significant extent.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Klaus Barbie?

Yes, it appears that Barbie Millicent Roberts has joined the National Socialist Party! 

I stopped at McDonald's today and picked up a girl's Happy Meal for my granddaughter. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the toy was Nazi Barbie. Notice that her right arm is raised giving a "Hitler Salute." In addition to this she has no knee joints, so she must goosestep everywhere she goes. 

She may not be wearing a brown shirt or a swastika arm band, but she might as well be.

Next thing you know,  Ken will be sporting a toothbrush mustache...

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Facing the Cold Hard Facts

My house is heated with propane. Each winter we usually go through about two and a half tank fulls. I've had it filled twice this year and, since we've had a colder than usual winter, I decided I ought to check the tank level on Monday afternoon. was down to about 10%. A quick call to the dealer revealed they were really backed up with orders and didn't know how soon they could get to us. They were also rationing their supply so I couldn't even order a full tank. It's now Wednesday afternoon and we're still waiting on a delivery. I checked the tank again this morning, the needle is now hovering above the "E" and I don't think that stands for "Enough." All the heaters are turned down to their lowest settings to try to preserve what little is left. Time to throw on another blanket.

Thursday morning. Shortly after posting the above, our electricity failed...our backup plan for heating the house. Then the snow started to fall. Six to eight inches were predicted. To our relief, the power returned after about an hour and the snow appeared to have stopped. Opening the door to check on the snow depth, the wife spotted a paper tag hanging on the outside door handle; a receipt from the propane company. At least we wouldn't freeze!

Upon waking this morning we were greeted with what looks like about a foot of freshly fallen snow. More snow than I can recall seeing at one time in many, many years. Beautiful, but it looks like my next doctor's appointment will need to be cancelled. That's at least three, maybe four, cancellations due to winter weather. I can appreciate, to some extent, what the Boston area has been going through.

Thank you, Lord, for the gas, electric, and all the other comforts we enjoy daily.

Updated update
Thursday evening. Less than five minutes after posting the first update our electric went off for about 8 hours. Snow continued throughout the day with a final accumulation of around 2 feet. At least we don't live in Boston...

Tuesday, March 03, 2015


I had a visit to the oncologist scheduled for yesterday but had an upset stomach all night and experienced some dry heaves first thing in the morning so I rescheduled the visit for later this month. I didn't want to make a two hour trip feeling like that. This is the first time I've experienced that since my bradycardia event several months ago. I'm not sure it it was a side effect of my medications or I just had some sort of stomach bug. I'm feeling okay today, so that's a positive sign I guess.

It's been three weeks since I first went to Glock Nerds to get my car repaired. I made my third trip today and I'm still waiting to get the windshield wipers fixed properly.  The first trip they replaced the wiper motor but it just created a new problem with them. On the second trip I discovered that a new motor needed to be ordered. This third trip reveals that the wrong part was ordered. Perhaps the fourth trip next week will be the last...but I won't hold my breath.