Saturday, December 07, 2013

Dead Car

My car is dead.  It will not start.  It would not start two days ago, but I got a jump and it did start and then I drove it around for over half hour, realizing I rarely drive anymore, which makes an old battery unhappy in retaining its charge.

The battery is 62 months old and has a 100 month warranty.  It is a Costco battery but I do not have a Costco card, so I must have bought it when I was on another person's card, years ago, back in 2008.  I did drive the car a lot in the years after purchasing that battery when I was going in high gear with Poppa Inc. funds trying to stop feline reproduction and overpopulation in this area.

Sure, it's been cold here, down to 12 degrees last night.  But my car stays in the garage, and with my creative heat source techniques the garage remains shirt sleeve weather in temps, even at night.

Water does not freeze inside my garage.  So.. it certainly does not dip below 32.  Usually it is 50 or above.

I have a multimeter, but I can't find one lead and its battery is dead.  It's the old analog type of meter.  When it wouldn't start two days back, a voltage meter the man had who jumped it for me said it had 11.4 V, which is just below what it needs to start.  However it should have adequately charged up driving it around after I got it started, to start today.  So that means the battery needs replaced or the alternator is draining it.  I'll go with choice number one because I like that one better!  It's easy enough to check to see if it is the battery or the alternator with a functioning voltmeter.  But mine isn't functioning.  They're cheap items however, sometimes even sold at the dollar store.  I think before I go off and spend that kind of money (batteries are no longer the price I thought they were, like $60.  Nooooew, now much more like $100 or higher) I better invest in a cheap voltmeter to check out the alternator's ability to keep it charged.  I don't think the serpentine belt is slipping, which would be another issue with maintaining charge.  That is something I can check.

I went for a long walk this morning, in the snow and ice.  Makes me feel happy and alive, to breath that freezing air and crunch through snow in my boots.

I may have just one pair of everyday shoes right now, but I have some hiking boots great for snow.  And I love wearing them.  Takes me back to times gone by when I lived in some harsh places under very harsh conditions.

It would be a very very long walk, in the snow, however, to a store that sells a voltmeter.  Several miles in fact.  I may do it anyway as I have cabin fever being stuck as I've been with the weather and also a car that is not reliable.  My tendonitis in both hips and my pulled leg muscle are doing much better with the exercises I was given and rest and time, two things that heal such injuries better than anything else.  A long walk might not be damaging if I did not go too fast.  I think I could handle it.  It's just a few miles.

Tonight is supposed to be the coldest night yet with temperatures dropping into single digits here.  One report said the temperature could plummet at night to areas with snow on the ground to near zero degrees.

I don't mind the cold.  I lived in Alaska after all, in the winter, in a shack out in the woods, with a plastic tarp for a roof and a sheet metal wood stove.   I still have my Alaska sleeping bag, rated to minus 55.  I couldn't part with it as I aged, even though the zipper no long works.  Just one of those links to times gone by I can't shed, I guess.  Would seem like some kind of betrayal to get rid of it now. Like killing a friend who was very kind to me in hard times.  In the winter in that awful slumshack in Corvallis, the average temperature inside hovered around 40 degrees.  I was so used to living cold I had a tough time with the working heat here in this place where I live now.  Now I like coming in to a warm house.  After seven years here, I am spoiled rotten.  Go figure.

I also lived briefly in an apartment in Alaska.  At one point, one winter, the apartment was so cold the window just above the radiator heater had an inch of ice on it.  My father and brothers came up to Alaska, to see me.  I warned them of the cold, as it was bitter that year, below zero with the wind chill, but they didn't take me seriously.  Only my one brother who is a traveler knew of real cold.

They came with only flimsy cold gear, for an average Oregon colder than normal event.  And they froze.  My father was blue with cold.  They cut their visit short and went home early.  Severe cold is something you adjust to, until it seems normal to your body I guess.  Or maybe some people are better built for cold.  I would guess it is more an adjustment until it seems normal, given my experience in the Corvallis shack and my subsequent difficulty adjusting to life with working heat.

I was so excited that they came.  I wanted to show them all my haunts up there, the beautiful and wonderful places I loved.  But they could not tolerate such cold to do that and we ended up just going to coffee shops to try to keep father warm.  And then they left because there was no keeping him warm that winter there. I've always had such a slow metabolism and maybe that's why cold is not as much an issue with me.  Maybe like an Alaskan brown bear, hibernating, only awake.  I could always hold my breath longer underwater than most people too, and that is why I excelled in diving and maybe why I feel so at home in water.  Maybe its just how I'm built.  Who knows.

One of my fondest memories of living in the shack in Alaska, was a time just after Thanksgiving, one winter.  I heard something coming up through the woods.  Then I saw lights and heard singing.  My nearest neighbors with some of their friends were making their way up the trail, singing Christmas carols, carrying lighted candles, and bearing gifts for me.   The shack was on a bluff in the woods, about a half mile or so, up a trail, from the nearest neighbors.

On another note, my computer has been doing crazy stuff and I finally determined I'd been malware afflicted.  Even my e-mail address was hijacked for zombie bots.  I apologize to anyone who got zombie fake e-mails from my address.  I have been working to resolve the issues.  I now have malwarebytes on my side also.

There is a sad story in the news of an 11 year old girl selling mistletoe in Portland who was told she could not do so without a business permit.  This rule goes for everyone, not just her. But she has a media savvy wealthy conservative type father, who immediately exploited this episode and turned his daughter into a victim of the liberal agenda and the episode into a rampage against the "wimpy lazy poor".  He got his daughter on all sorts of media outlets for interviews immediately and that night registered a domain in her name, set up for donations and to sell mistletoe, which comes from her uncle's farm.  So how many poor people have uncles with farms?  How many poor people have fathers who can purchase domain names and a website that takes payments overnight?  Or with the connections to get his daughter turned into a conservative anti poor, anti social programs media mogul overnight, the ultimate victim, who now not only gets donations, for being a victim of rules that everyone else must abide by, but is selling product to people who believe in their politics, not the product.

If this is success in America, god help us.  Kid, if you don't like the rules, in this case the business permit requirement, change the rules.   You're not a special victim.  Those rules apply to everybody.  You're a special victim because your dad knew how to make you into a mega victim.  You'll be rich as a result, in money, but most victims of real injustice don't get anything. 

However, I smell a rat, something not quite right with the story.  Her dad is a venture capitalist, a businessman.  He had to know she'd need a permit to sell there.  The speed the website went up and the media got into it makes me think it was preordained, a plan of action.  Teaches a kid  how to manipulate people and the media, with politics, and turn it into a fortune.

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