Sunday, January 6, 2008
Happy New Year? (Sounds Good In Theory...)
Ahhh, a new year; a time for new beginnings, fresh starts and good things to come.
Four days into the new year as of Friday and it has just not been real "Happy" so far.
Garden Kitty is STILL not right; we have literally been to our vet's at least once a week, sometimes twice a week for weeks. We are there so often that we are getting the cut rate discount for follow up visits within 30 days. I half jokingly suggested a frequent shopper punch card might be nice. Ever since the stupid tooth pulling at the Cat Dentist, she's not been right. In fact, the Monday after the surgery we were at our vets 15 minutes before closing. She's been doing this swallowing, gulping, burping thing for weeks, she twitches her head like she's feeling a sharp pain, we had some major kitty constipation going on that ultimately resulted in a kitty enema; her blood work's fine, no fever, back to the $30 a month bottle of mineral oil/tuna oil to lube her insides (working by the way), not wanting to eat which resulted in stuffing an antihistamine down her to increase appetite (worked), not wanting to eat again but not sure if it's because something's wrong or the fact that Meow Mix stinky wet food with mineral oil/tuna oil mixed in sure tastes better than Science Diet Prescription Diet Dry Cat Food does so why eat the crap stuff. She bakes kitty by the electric radiators, is not as active and is just plain not herself and we miss our little Garden Kitty the way she was! It's very upsetting and stressful and expensive!
So, we went another round of a different antihistamine and gave it through the weekend and I'm making another call to the vet tomorrow as she is still not any different...sigh...
And then there was the mouse. I'm just not going to go into a lot of details here because it's just plain nasty and disgusting but Old House = at least one per winter. But, please, stay out of my bedroom and the nightstand in the future. And don't tell your furry friends my husband keeps snacks in there. (finally got him, in the drawer no less, can we say ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING?) So, on that note, let's talk about my car problem!
Here comes last Thursday night and I leave work at 5 and head home. I get about 5 blocks down Main St. and my car makes this beeping noise and a light/symbol comes on my dashboard and I hear clunking underneath the car. The symbol looks like the back of a car with swerve lines behind each tire so I figure I'm losing my brakes or something. Pull over and pull out my trusty Toyota Highlander manual and find that it is a SLIP LIGHT INDICATOR. Okay. So, I sit there and ask myself, well, what the heck is a SLIP LIGHT INDICATOR? Look that up in the back index but no such mention. Call Husband. He has no idea. Call EZ AutoCare where we take our cars and they know us by our first names. They have no idea. But they are hunting on the internet for me and all they are coming up with has to do with jet planes.
Dale says go home and I'll stay on the phone with you. That was nice of him. So, I get home and pull in the driveway and get the heck out of the vehicle. Tell Dale bye and thanks and head inside to call Toyota before they close.
Call Greentree Toyota's service dept and the guy there has no idea what it is either! That's always a bad sign. So, he puts me on hold forever, so long in fact two other people pick up thinking I've just been left dangling forever, which I, too, am beginning to think. He finally comes back on the line and says it's a safety feature and has to do with my traction system and blah blah blah and I mention there was a little, teeny, tiny piece of compressed snow turned to ice under my front tire as I pulled away from work...he says well must have been enough to engage this and all you have to do (now, important, remember this) is turn the car off and it will reset itself and Voila, when you turn it back on all is well in my Happy New Year again!
So, we wait awhile and Tim goes and checks and sure enough, still doing it. Okay, so we'll give it overnight and it will be ok in the morning right? Well, I'm in a tizzy trying to figure out come 8:30pm if I'm really going to need to plan on dealing with this in the morning when it hasn't reset itself before going to copy files for work at 11 or if I can sleep in a little and not have to deal with it. So, I get in the car and mind you, it's like 16 degrees outside, so it's freezing cold and the car is REALLY cold. Go for a little drive down Main and yep, you guessed it, still doing it.
At this point, I realize I am going to need to plan on dealing with it Friday morning all before 10:30 when I need to head to L'ville.
Okay, so get up Friday morning and pile on warm clothes and hope no one sees my bad hair and no makeup and go for another spin. Oh yeah, still doing it. Am very mad now that it just hasn't "reset itself" and this is now going to cost me time, money and aggravation! I call Toyota back and get Scott who actually has heard of this and assures me that my regular car repair place wouldn't be able to deal with this problem and actually maybe it just needs to sit over the whole entire weekend to reset. Is this guy kidding me? No car all weekend? I have plans buddy! I need my car, one that doesn't clunk and have a STOP LIGHT INDICATOR coming on. I mention the clunking noise and his tune changed to oh, could be a mechanical problem then and you had better go ahead and bring it in and you shouldn't drive it because it could definitely make the problem worse and so just call AAA and have it towed.
Okay! That's what I'll do then! And, everyone in the world of AAA membership has free towing, right? I mean, that's sorta why you have AAA, right?
Not us! Nope! We are their "Good Basic Customers" and have free hook up and the first 3 miles free, after that it's $2.50 per mile. That's what we pay $80 a year for, sounds like a deal to me. So, they will send someone within 60 minutes or less to my house to tow my car and I'm doing calculations and figuring it's gonna be about $20 overage. Am not happy. Mr. Towing Guy calls me and says he'll be there in about 30 minutes and agrees that I do have time to take my shower if I'm not a marathon showerer, which I'm not, so that makes me happier to know that I will at least look human when he comes knocking. And, he'll call me back with the overage amount, just like AAA said he would and AAA said it wouldn't be a problem that I could pay with credit card or cash. I don't even have to go to the dealership w/him because they took all my info over the phone and all I have to do is call and let Scott know when it's on its way!
I swear while in the shower five minutes later that I hear the doorbell ringing. Sure enough, just as I step out, I get a call on my cell phone from a rather irritated Mr. Towing Guy. He wants to know if I'm with my car. I said, well, it's in the driveway and I'm in the house and he proceeds to describe how he's rung the door and banged on the door and no one has come. I said, we'll I'll be right down, let me put a robe on okay?
I let him in and tell him that he told me I had time to take my shower and he sure got here faster than 20 minutes. (I have learned that since I was a beginning driver and it used to take at least 2 1/2 hours for AAA to come, they now always come in less than 15 minutes, not giving you time to get ready for them) I then remind him that he was going to call me back with the overage amount too. He then looks at me and says, well, he has no idea how many miles it would be to Clarksville and he doesn't take credit cards anyway! AND, listen to this: I'm going to have to go with him to pay the overage! Excuse me, AAA said he would figure it and I could pay him at my house! I point out that I have JUST gotten out of the shower and can't go anywhere and, hey, I have cash and that still works doesn't it?! He still stands there like he can't figure out the mileage so I offer up that it takes me exactly 8 minutes to get from my house to Hobby Lobby and it's right near the dealership. So, he decides it will be 4 miles total and I owe him $2.50 which I'm sure AAA will never see. At least it wasn't 10 miles....
Bye car! Off it went to Greentree Toyota and they'll call me when they determine the problem.
Change my copy time to the afternoon when I can use Tim's van and go upstairs to finish up the beauty routine.
Scott calls me in the early afternoon and says, Good News (Happy New Year!), there isn't actually anything wrong with the vehicle, it's just that apparently the conditions were EXACTLY right (wow, wonder how often that happens because I've driven and slipped and slid all over ice getting out of our driveway for the past couple of winters and it's never engaged before to help me out) for this safety feature to engage and it's just not resetting itself so they'll have to hook it up to their computer to reset it and then all will be well again in my Happy New Year!
Total Cost: $80 Toyota
$2.50 Mr. Towing Guy
Here's the description straight off my receipt (it's so hilarious, I have to share):
Customer states that VSC Light is on and there is a noise from under the cart when the light comes on like a clanking noise.
VSC System has activated and locked the traction control and stability control system in.
Performed recalibration to repair VSC System.
Happy New Year!