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Roy Janik

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car go beep beep run over the easter bunny [May. 6th, 2009|05:48 pm]
Roy Janik
Today, I finally got my car back from the mechanic. Wait, let me back up.

My inspection sticker has been expired since August of 2008. No reason, really, just sheer laziness. Also, taking it in for an inspection always makes me nervous that they'll find something wrong with it and it won't pass, and I'll take it to the mechanic and they'll charge me 8,000 dollars. So I tend to avoid it.

Also, for the past month I've had a brake light out. Fast forward to me at the mechanic:

me: "Oh, I also have a rear brake light out."
mechanic: "So your front brake lights work fine?"
me: "Yeah, they're fi- Why, youuuuuuuu..."

Rewind. So the brake light's been out, I'm out of wiper fluid, the wipers themselves need replacing, I'm overdue for an oil change, and the the "brake pad" warning light is on. All that combined is not enough to get me to the mechanic.

Fortunately for me, 3 weeks ago I got pulled over, and got a ticket for the expired inspection sticker. The way that works is, if you get your car inspected and hotfoot it down to the Municipal Court before your "court date", you get the ticket dismissed and only have to pay 20 bucks.

So the deadline was this Friday. And since my brake light was out, I knew I needed to take it in to the mechanic. So Monday I did that. Kareem's been driving me around since, thankfully.

So the mechanic (Terry Sayther Automotive... great people, and they only service Minis and BMWs) does a bunch of stuff: fixes the brake pad light (it was a faulty light, not the pads), changes the oil, fixes a strut, replaces two motor mounts, fixes the brake light and another light I didn't know was out, realigns my headlights, puts fluid and new wipers in, and replaces a faulty cooling fan. They also inspect the car to make sure it'll pass inspection. It all added up to be pricey, but not insanely so. All the motor mount / strut / fan stuff was stuff we'd talked about before, so it didn't come as a shock.

So car fixed, I went and got it inspected. It did fine. The new inspection stickers that expire in 2010 have a big '0' for the year. That confuses me. I then immediately drove to court (the north location, with hardly any line), and got the ticket waved.

Anyways, my point is... just doing that little bit has removed a tremendous amount of stress from me. My car is now in tip-top shape (excluding the locks and doors, but meh), and I don't have to watch my back for cops.

My new goal is to tackle anything causing me stress and face it head on. Here's a brief list of things I can actually address and relieve in some tangible way, in decreasing order of amount of stress:

Wedding Planning
Southwest Portland video

I'm stressed about improv/Hideout stuff, but in sort of a vague, intagible, so much to do way.

So now for work!
And when I get home, cleaning!

[User Picture]From: cailin23
2009-05-06 11:15 pm (UTC)
you + cars
some things never change.
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From: hetchjay
2009-05-07 12:00 am (UTC)
One time I was replacing my break light and dropped one of the bulbs and it cracked, but I did not realize this, and while installing it, it shattered in my hand and cut a lot of blood out of me. That was dumb.

Also my inspection also ran out in January 2008, but my car has also been sitting in one place since September this year, so that's ok.
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[User Picture]From: antoniseb
2009-05-07 12:12 am (UTC)
work, weight, cleaning, wedding planning, Southwest, dentist, cholesterol check, general physical, Mothers Day... long list.
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[User Picture]From: mynde
2009-05-07 01:12 am (UTC)
oh roy...i promise not to tell my dying grandmother.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2009-05-07 01:14 am (UTC)
But the car is doing great! That's another point. They said it was fine. All that stuff they replaced is very normal for Minis.
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From: wettoad
2009-05-07 01:21 am (UTC)

Engine mounts and struts don't just go out...
I had Mini swear to me last year that my struts were going to explode at any time and shoot through the hood of my car and destroy the frame and that furthermore the some bearing in the lower strut was going to go out. They wanted over 2 grand.... Anyway I took it to another BMW aftermarket place and am told nothing is wrong at all. You have to be very careful with mechanics, even the nicest ones lie...

Otherwise hope everything is going well.
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[User Picture]From: apthorpe
2009-05-07 05:23 am (UTC)
The best thing, I've found, is to attack the stressors head on. Letting them linger just gnaws and causes way more stress than just capping them. Not that I practice what I preach, but I'm better about it.

When I got the Element, I sprung for the factory service manual, the giant glorious book that explains how to replace everything on your car. It seems pricy at $90, but it really isn't. My mechanic, a quite reputable fellow, charges $75/hr for labor. If the manual helps me avoid 1-1/2h of labor, it's paid for itself. This is predicated on one's willingness and ability to successfully meddle with one's car. Some people like it, some don't. At least the factory service manual shows you in gory detail what's all involved when replacing or adjusting a part so even if you don't do the repair yourself, you can tell when you're getting hosed, or at least you can ask the right questions.

Congrats on the Hideout. I wish I was around to help, though it's probably better this way. I should be starting Annoyance L2 soon; I'll let you know how it goes. L1 was really interesting and for an intro class I think I got some really good stuff out of it. I still hate The Pipeline with a passion though. That said, Annoyance has really worked for me.
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[User Picture]From: fiberboard
2009-05-07 05:57 am (UTC)
Tell me how taking on the nagging stressful tasks works out. I need a new approach to the same problem.
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