A lot has happened since my last post, in both the public sphere and in my own life. In no particular order:
- Helen Thomas has demonstrated why, even today, Jews must remind themselves, “Never again.” And her half-assed “apology” seems to revel in a show of moral equivalency between tolerant Israel and genocidal Hamas.
- Turkey is gearing up to join Hamas’ genocidal ways, in a brazen attempt to re-capture the “glory” of the Armenian genocide. Charles Krauthammer has an excellent deconstruction of the action itself, and the reactions to it, but from (ahem) left field, even Joe Biden affirms Israel’s right to self-defense.
- My parents lost an answering machine, a computer, and a small television to a nearby lightning strike. It wasn’t a direct hit, as not one circuit breaker tripped, so it must have been the magnetic surge radiating from the bolt.
- SlackBuilds.org and Gnome SlackBuild have started their new branches for Slackware 13.1.
This year, my family’s picnic was held very early, for the benefit of an uncle who is not long for this world. All the remaining kids were there, most of the grandkids, and lots of great-grandkids. One of the kids there was my aunt, who can no longer drive long distances. One of her own grandkids brought her from out-of-state to my parents’ place, and then my parents took her the rest of the way.
She was going to stay the week, but her son couldn’t be bothered, leaving her with no way to get home. I had offered her transportation earlier, so I was called upon to take her from my parents’ place to her home.
There was just one catch. On the way home from the picnic, I noticed that my car’s starter was acting difficult. It normally starts on the first or second try, but it was taking three or four attempts to get the car running. Well, I couldn’t let a little thing like that stand in my way, could I?
Wednesday morning, and off we went. I had a full tank, and made a point of not stopping the engine for the next 120 miles. We made it to her house, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
We were both hungry, so I went to a local fast-food joint for some munchies. I got there, bought the food, went to the car, hit the starter, and got… clicks. No cranks, just a clicking sound, sometimes. The solenoid had given out, and the starter gear was no longer meshing with the engine. Not even a jump could get it to start. Crap.
My aunt called her granddaughter’s boyfriend (straight-A’s, physics major, and all-around good guy) to take me back to her place. By then it was almost 2:00 pm, and I was exhausted, so I took a 3-hour nap.
Once 5:00 rolled around, I was awake, and the day-shifters in my aunt’s family were ending their work day. She called upon her youngest daughter to drive me to my car for one more try at a (failed) jump start, then to a parts store to get a new starter. One more ride back to my car, and then I called the tow service, to drag my car back to my aunt’s house. By that time, I had the parts, I had the tools, and I had the car, but it was close to sunset, and I had no desire to do anything but flop down and watch television.
The next morning, I was awake at 8:00 am, and ready to start repairs on my car. I had tools, but not all of them; in particular, my aunt has no ratchet wrench for the sockets, so I was stuck with just box-end wrenches to remove the starter. It was a four-hour task, but I managed to remove the old starter, and connect the new starter, complete with the required new wiring. That’s the second time in my life that I’ve replaced a Ford starter.
I did make it home in one piece, tired, sore, and grateful to God that I wasn’t bereft of caring souls.