Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It Comes in Threes - Part Deux

I just wrote about Omne Trium Perfectum in mid July and here we are again. My first thought was now what have we done to piss off the goddess of the manor? But then I realized humans aren't the only things that age and have parts wear out.

One – Hmmm, I wonder how long it's been since we changed the filters on our water system. Much of Sebastopol's well water harbors bacterial iron and other minerals so it's a given that things get will get funky on a regular basis. One should change filters annually. Check the paperwork - oh crap - it's been two years. Hey Culligan Man! Filter change quite reasonable, but what's that you say the compressor's shot too? Whoa $760 is an expensive lesson, but we’re trainable and a filter change is on the calendar for next summer.

Two - White Fang the Jeep ~ the extremely comfortable, 5.9 liter, deep throated and trustworthy beast I've have had for almost 12 years. She just turned up 180K so I was banking on a major tune up this week which is an ouch by itself at $550, though well worth expense. I trust my mechanic!

But life isn't always simple is it? I notice a small leak on my front differential and make a note to show him the next day. I take off to go workout and start hearing a really strange noise. I'm thinking this isn't good and since I was less than a ½ mile from home I turn back. It started getting louder. As I start up our road I'm chanting "Come on baby just get me home, just get me home". On the second to last corner of the driveway I hear a loud "thunk" and all of a sudden I'm driving a Mack truck with no power steering. I park in front of the house and open the hood. Yikes, no serpentine belt and fluids hemorrhaging everywhere. I walked back down the road and retrieved the belt.

Because the Jeep is a 4X4 a flat bed tow truck is in order to get it to my mechanic. All of a sudden I’m really glad we have AAA (first time I’ve actually had to use it). The guy shows up about 7:50am with a 26 footer and his first words are "I can't turn around up here". I said "Of course you can, bigger trucks than this little puppy have turned around here". He gave me a really testy look.

By then my neighbors up are because their kids heard the big truck and all are out watching. They're kind enough to move their vehicles so the big guy could get turned around in their driveway at the end of the road. He loads up and off he goes. About 30 minutes later I get a call from AAA to verify the address where he’s supposed to go (the street is like 3 blocks long). I call my mechanic to see if he's arrived. Kathy, his wife says “No but I just saw the tow truck go by he'll figure it out eventually.”

She called back the next day and said "Well, we expect things wear out with this much mileage, but not all at once". At that point we just burst out laughing. The front differential needs R&R, water pump replaced, power steering repair and major tune up. The job is done and I pick the Jeep up this afternoon. The invoice is only $1,968.79.

This is what my friend Trisha would have called an “Oh Well” moment. It a huge amount of money, and really inconvenient, but even this is really "small stuff" in the big picture.

Three – Oh well, oh well!

It seems the cement pad that surrounds our well head and holds the pressure tank is slowly crumbling and heading down the hill (It's over 40 years old and had a falling tree rock it's world about 6 years ago). Our well guy suggested we might want to replace the slab prior to winter. Preventative maintenance called for here, so let's stay one step ahead on this one. Estimate is about $500, seems like chump change at this point!

Messages here:
  • Due diligence on preventative maintenance whether it’s your body, your home or your vehicle.
  • Set up an automatic amount to go in your savings every month (no see ‘em, no spend em), no matter how small it adds up and can save your proverbial bacon.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff because most of it is small stuff.
  • See the humor in everything.
  • Now go treat yourself to a massage, you've probably earned it!