Talk about penny wise…

This is a post where I throw my husband under the bus. He wasn’t “pound foolish,” but rather flat out plain foolish. I know I wrote that I wasn’t going to complain about my husband ever again in this post, but that was so last week.

sunrise in the Sonoran desert reflected in swimming pool
Our first sunrise back at home.

We drove eight hours from Santa Barbara to our Arizona home on Saturday. The car hadn’t been driving as smoothly as it normally does. Anytime we got close to 80 mph it shook. It’s never done that before. But we managed to keep it in the 70s and we had an amazing drive home without hitting traffic.

Now for the penny wise part. After we unloaded the car, I noticed the right rear tire had gone flat. I had taken the car into the dealership twice — once for servicing last month and for a recall days before our trip. I was told both times that we needed to replace the two back tires. The first time I was told this, I called my husband. I didn’t trust the dealership because one, I’m a woman, and two, some dealerships try to upsell you. The being a woman thing in my experience is that I don’t know enough about cars and mechanics and dealerships can take advantage of that.

So I relied on my husband. He said the tires were fine. He didn’t want to spend the money — the penny wise part.

We were too tired to deal with the tire after our eight-hour drive on Saturday. We called Triple A Sunday morning to change the tire. The spare tire turned out to be a little skinny thing I call “the donut tire.” Triple A came three and a half hours later. My husband said when he saw the back tire, he was shocked. It was down to metal without tread! That was on the inside of the tire where he didn’t check it — obviously — when he told me we didn’t need new tires.

We called Costco and other tire stores and NOBODY had our tires. They said it was a supply chain issue. Service at the dealership was closed.

Last night, I noticed the donut tire and left rear tire were both losing air. I called the dealership this morning at 7 a.m. and the service person said they didn’t have the tires either! I called back and asked to order tires and the guy in the parts said they DID have the tires.

I told my husband I’d follow him to the dealership. He pumped up the donut tire and put in “fix a flat” and pumped up the left rear tire with a bicycle pump!

I prayed as I followed him for 25 minutes to the dealership, watching the tires get lower as he drove.

I was shaking when we finally made it. I am so thankful we didn’t have a blow out during our eight-hour drive home from California. It could have happened anytime — on the freeway through Los Angeles — or in the desert in 110 plus heat without any cell service. We could have been stuck anywhere along the way with NO tires for days. As annoying and inconvenient as the past two days were, we are safe and it could have been a whole lot worse.

green desert views after monsoons
It must have rained while we were gone. The desert is so lush and green. Even the hillsides are green.

Have you or a family member ever been penny wise and pound foolish? In what ways? Would you do things differently if you had a chance? Have you had any experience with car dealerships or mechanics taking advantage of your lack of car knowledge?

Why does our garage door open randomly?

archway gate

Olive the cat sitting at our archway gate.

We’ve had something very weird going on lately. Our garage gate, which is powered by Liftmaster, keeps opening and closing on its own.

I went outside to take out the trash, and the gate closed behind me — effectively locking me out of the house. Thank goodness I had my phone in my pocket. I called my husband and asked him to open the gate. I blamed him for locking me out. He looked confused.

I came back from my walk this morning and the gate was partially open. I swear I closed it. I start to doubt myself though when this happens over and over. The other night I woke up in the middle of the night and saw our gate was wide open and the kitchen door wasn’t locked. I was scared and couldn’t fall back to sleep.

My worries have been that our homeless man who thinks he own our house somehow got a hold of one of our remotes and he’s messing with us. We’ve been missing one remote since shelter in place began. The other evening, he walked by our house and threw a shoe box, complete with tennis shoes, over our wall. I feared he was stalking us and watching as we come and go — which he’s been known to do. Or, maybe our house is haunted? Or is Olive the cat messing with us and walking on our lost remote?

homeless man caught on camera

Here’s a picture I captured from our camera of our homeless guy.

But then I had the brilliant idea of reprogramming our remotes so if someone has one, it will no longer work. So I googled our brand of gate and this popped up:

screen shot how to fix gate

Problem solved I hope.

So, I’ve changed the batteries of the remotes and we’ll see what happens. All that worry and weirdness for nothing. I guess the lesson is if something is going haywire around the house, use the internet to figure out what is going on. There’s plenty of helpful information out there. Unfortunately I let my imagination go wild.

metal garage door

Here is our rogue gate. I hope it behaves thanks to the new battery!

What weird things have you seen happen in your house? How did you solve the problems?

 

 

Is There Something Apple Isn’t Telling Us?

One of our earlier Macs.

One of our earlier Macs.

I never realized how much I depended on my iPhone, until it went down!  It’s almost like missing a good friend. I’ve written about my relationship with technology in a blog post here.

My son called to tell me he finally got new tires. After a nice talk, I put the phone down and next time I picked it up I discovered a white screen with the Apple logo. (Which reminds me of a funny video called, “Put Your Phone Down!” — by Smog and Fog, the Whole Foods and Yoga Girl guy.)

Not good. I got the phone in March, so I knew it was still under warranty. I backed it up when it acted skittish a few weeks ago. I wasn’t panicked because I knew I wasn’t losing anything irreplaceable.

This looks like the very first Mac I owned.

This looks like the very first Mac I owned.

The only thing I was truly suffering from was inconvenience.  I got online and tried a bunch of technical fixes from Apple Support like updating and restoring. Repeatedly. Nothing worked. I drove to AT&T where I bought it to see if they could do anything. Nope.

I had no choice but to go to Apple and visit the Genius Bar. The only problem was the next available appointment was five days away! I went ahead and made the appointment. What other choice did I have?

During the next days, I checked myself every time I reached for my phone. I posted on FB that I was phone-less in the off chance someone needed to reach me. I still have a home phone, email, etc. My morning walks were without my iHeart radio. I couldn’t take photos of the beauty during my morning walks, nor post to insta. I couldn’t tweet. What on earth was a person to do?

What we used before computers.

What we used before computers.

I decided not to wait for my appointment. Instead I drove to Palm Desert, which is 30 miles away, to the Apple store before it opened this morning. Was I shocked to see 50 people standing in line on the sidewalk!

“Oh, great,” I thought. “I pick the day they release the iPhone 6s to get my phone looked at!”

But, no, standing in line, feeling the camaraderie that happens when you’re waiting with strangers, I discovered that the new iPhone won’t be in stores for about a week. People I talked with had the same white screen with the Apple logo on their iPhone 6. This cannot be good. What the heck is going on? Is there something that Apple isn’t telling us? Is it the upgrade to iOS 9? 

When my hour and 45 minute wait was over and I got a coveted stool at the Genius bar, my “appointment genius” couldn’t answer my questions.

My favorite typewriter. The IBM Selectric II.

My favorite typewriter. The IBM Selectric II.

“It could be because of anything,” he said. “No, it’s not an upgrade glitch.”

Hmmmm. I glanced up and down the Genius bar at all the frozen phones. Interesting.

The best thing I can say about this adventure is this: the customer service at Apple is amazing. I walked away with a new phone, feeling thankful to have my friend, iPhone 6, back in my daily life.

Has anyone else had their iPhone freeze this week?

I wonder if the world as we know it would come to a halt, if there was a truly huge Apple glitch? What does that say about how dependent we are on technology and electronics?

It's back!

It’s back!