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˜€

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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.)

Chocolate for all! Well … for some.

Today was the last day of school for our homeschool. It was also Shannon’s normal grocery shopping day. To celebrate, she was inspired to bring home a special surprise treat–Ultra Decadent Triple Chocolate Coated Ice Cream Bliss Bars (not their real name). After lunch, as teacher and students were all enjoying their treat, while practically humming a chorus of “mmmm”s and “yum”s…

Amanda: “I wonder if God eats these in heaven.”
Shannon: “In heaven, these would be good for you … and non-fattening … and free of guilt.”
Emily: “What guilt? I feel no guilt!”
Shannon: “I do. I’m not supposed to teach you to think chocolate is a good reward.”
Emily: “You didn’t teach us that … we already knew it!” (Adopting a regally haughty manner, complete with dismissive hand wave) “So, free yourself of guilt.”
Amanda: “And bring us more chocolate!”

These Ultra Decadence bars were so special there were only three in the box, leaving none for me. Discussing this:

Shannon: We have appreciated these as only the female of the species can. Since there are no more, we’ll have to do something special later that includes the Principal (Me – ed.).
Amanda: (Immediately) Dog pile!

Oh, great.

Of course.

“Hey! Look at that camo truck!”
– Amanda, noticing a pick-up truck decorated in camouflage

“I’ve seen one like that in pink. It was terrible.”
– Emily

“What would that be good for? Hiding in an 8-year-old’s bedroom?”
– Amanda

“Nah. It’s for hunting unicorns.”
– Emily

“Okay. That makes sense.”
– Amanda