Friday, January 14, 2011

Can we skip to February already...

Maybe it's a bit of after-holiday blahs but I'm ready for winter to be done.  Fat chance living in Colorado like I do.  It just seems like January lasts forever.  I took a look at my calendar yesterday and realized it has only been a month since I've been off IVs.  A month.  Are you kidding me?  I somehow managed to believe it had been nearly two months at least and felt I was still going strong.  At one month, however, I'm not doing quite as great.  I used to not cough very much at one month out from IV therapy, but now I guess my "coughing reprieve" doesn't last as long.   It's messing with my sense of time.

Christina caught a bad cold while visiting friends in Denver last week.  I feel like a bad mother but I am so glad she decided to stay away from here for several extra days  But in doing so, she has managed to spread nasty germs at several different homes across the Metro area now and I feel bad that I'm not the one taking care of her.  Insert guilt here.  But honestly at this point in my life, getting a virus with its attendant stuffy nose, aches, fevers, sore throat, cough, and chest congestion is a one way express ticket to Hospital Land and a possible loss of lung function that I can't afford.  I wonder at times where "being smart about my health" crosses the thin line over to "thinking only of myself and selfishness."  It is a hard balancing act for me to navigate at times.

Today I went to pick up my Beetle from the VW shop and pay the outrageous-for-what-they-did bill. Yes, our battery died two weeks after the 2 year full warranty expired.  At least our cost was pro-rated since it's within the 5 year window so it wasn't full price to replace it.  But since the car was in for repairs, I decided to have them check the check engine light and my blinkers.

The check engine light is connected to over 100 functions so if anything merely hiccups, the check engine light comes on.  Ten years ago that freaked me out. Visions of me blocking intersections or being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a broken down car filled me with angst.   Now the check engine light is my orange dashlight buddy.  Things seem sort of off kilter in my little world if there is no check engine light to greet me when I drive.  To get the check engine light off, the VW shop has to run a diagnostic test on it which resets the system.  Well, this time some fancy smancy pump that helps in regulating emissions wasn't working properly.  Gasp, there really was something wrong.  650 dollars wrong!  Normally since it doesn't affect the car's performance, we would have cast caution to the wind and thumbed our nose at that stupid little pump.  But no, our state legislature just passed vehicle emission testing for our county beginning in January and guess who has to register our car next month.  Rats.

Then to add insult to injury, they noticed a slight oil leak on the top of our engine.  For the $450 price they quoted, I want more than just a slight leak.  I want a gusher of black oil...Texas tea.  We opted to "monitor" the situation and save that bit of cash.

When I mentioned for them to check the blinkers as well, the technician asked, "What are they doing?"  I answered, "Anything they want!"  For my long-time bloggy friends you know that I have possessed blinkers.  They either blink once or twice and then stop or frantically blink like they're having a seizure.  It makes for unhappy fellow motorists and some less than ideal driving situations.  So I was shocked when the technician called later that day to give me the repair estimate and also informed me that there was and I quote, "Nothing wrong with the blinkers that they could see."  Hello, I have no factory-authorized training and even little ol' me can tell that something is up.  But I calmly said, "Could you please have them recheck the blinkers, because there really is a problem."

Well, the shop called to say the car was ready to be picked up so Rheid and I went to get it over his lunch break.  The paperwork mentioned the blinkers were rechecked and still no problem was reported.  Well, Rheid and I decide that getting the new battery must have somehow affected the electric system and hence the blinkers were miraculously cured.  Wahoo!  So with steam still emitting from my credit card, the valet brings over the car and in I hop.  I drive over to the entrance and signal to get out onto the street.  Imagine my surprise when it only blinks once then stops.   Nothing wrong with the blinkers my eye!  I proceed to whip the car around and go back to the service desk.  Roid rage firmly in check but just barely.  To make a long story short I am now informed that it must be a signal switch issue which would involve disassembling the steering column and air bags.  But for a mere $350 they can reschedule a time for me to bring it in again for the repair.  If only someone had a blood pressure cuff handy, I'm sure I reached new heights in trying to maintain my cool.  

So if you're driving around Fort Collins and an oxygen deprived woman driving a bright Vortex blue Beetle doesn't signal before turning in front of you, please try and refrain from giving her the evil eye--she's just doing the best she can.


  1. Gotta love that eh, I am a service advisor and been doing it for more then 10 years now. It an outrage the price the dealerships charge for some parts and the crazy labour to replace them. I feel your pain. I hate makeing the calls to customers and giving them a horendous estimate. Do you deal with a dealership or a private garage? Sometimes they have extended warranty for some items that the customer never knows about without asking.

  2. Friend! Lisa and I have been thinking about you, so I started sleuthing and was so happy to find this! E-mail me when you get a chance and let's get caught up.

    SO glad you are sounding good. We love you!