Code Monkey Turns Grease Monkey

This past weekend, I performed an oil change and coolant flush on my car for the first time (instead of paying someone else to do it). I learned a lot in the process:

1a) My oil drain plug requires a 15mm socket.
1b) I do not own a 15mm socket.
1c) My neighbor had a 15mm socket.
1d) My neighbor also had a couch in his garage that needed to be moved into his house.

2a) When reinserting the oil drain plug after draining the oil pan, one should move the catch basin filled with used motor oil from under the oil pan.
2b) Socket wrenches can be very slippery after handling oily drain plugs.
2c) Socket wrenches are fairly simple to clean after being dropped into a catch basin filled with used motor oil.

3a) When changing the oil filter on my particular vehicle, one should probably remove the passenger-side front wheel to have better access.
3b) If one does not remove the wheel, a magnetic light fixture can be a great help to see what one is doing.
3c) When installing the new oil filter, one should move the catch basin filled with used motor oil from under the oil filter.
3d) My little magnetic light fixture is tougher than I thought, surviving being half-way submerged into a catch basin filled with used motor oil.

4a) The coolant flows from my radiator drain plug at a fairly slow rate…at first.
4b) The rate at which coolant flows from my radiator drain plug is apparently inversely proportional to the attention being paid to it.
4c) I should really not turn my attention completely away from my radiator while it’s draining.
4d) Next time, I’m probably going to disconnect the lower radiator hose instead of messing with that stupid radiator drain plug.
4e) It takes a great number of disposable shop towels to mop up most-of-a-radiator’s-worth of coolant from my garage floor.
4f) Next time, I should probably do a coolant flush in the driveway instead of inside my garage.

5a) I should start tasks like this much earlier than I did.
5b) The nearest auto parts store is open until 10 P.M.

The rest of the eveni…well…night…went well enough for the first time. I expect to learn more (and clean less?) next time. šŸ˜€


Sick thoughts

AsĀ my body seems to find three-day weekends to be an opportuneĀ time to succumb to oneĀ sort of contagion or another, I found myself lying around today, feeling generally miserable. Things were made much better than they could have been by the presence of my wife, lying around for a bit right next to me. (She’d been painting a bathroom ceiling all morning and was feeling generally miserable as well, but for very different reasons.)

Me: Oh … did I tell you? Today, in the shower, I coughed so hard it made my back tingle!

Shan: Um … that can’t be good.

Me: Not likely … maybe some sort of signal from my body … “Structural failure imminent.Ā Evacuate immediately.”

(Both of us laugh aloud at this.)

Me: I am immensely comforted by the fact that there is research that shows that the “man cold” is indeed a thing … that we suffer more than women do when we’re sick.

Shan: It’s because weĀ have to go through childbirth. Our pain tolerance is higher.

Me: I think it’s moreĀ like “since we have to go through childbirth … since you did this to us, you men will have to be unbelievably miserable every time you have a cold. And by ‘unbelievably’, we mean that we won’t believe you.”

Shan: ThatĀ researchĀ was probably done by a man.

(Both of us laugh aloud again, this time more-or-less uncontrollably.)

Grasping at Pickles

Talking to Emily about biology lab, and she tells me: “… and sometimes [the instructor] looks at our answers and laughs, because we were just completely grasping at straws, and that wasn’t even a straw– that was a pickle– but we put it in there anyway, because we had no idea what we were doing.”

But, Emily also scored a 101/100 on her 2nd biology exam, so I’m not going to sweat the pickles.

Always be prepared

As usual, I took my rings off before our family hike, since my fingers tend to swell when I get warm. When we got back to the car, in preparation to walking into town for ice cream, this happened:

John: “Are you going to put your rings back on, or do I need to keep my hiking stick with me?”
Me:Ā  “Of course. Why would you need your stick either way?”
John: “Well, if you didn’t have your wedding ring on, I’d need to be prepared to beat off all the guys sure to be after you.”

This after 21 years of marriage and a particularly sweaty hike. I love my husband!!

Happy Dance

Originally posted by Emily on Facebook:

My mom and I: *look at newly posted ACT scores*
Mom: *Starts ecstatic happy dance*
Me: “What does that mean?”
Mom: *adds whooping to happy dance*
Me: “Ok… guessing that’s good, but what does it mean?!”

I brought my composite ACT score up from 25 to 30, with the biggest difference between this year and last year being in my math score, which I brought up from 19 to 26! Seven whole glorious points!