Home...But... (part 2)
San Carlos Travel Blog› entry 68 of 71 › view all entries
Wow, it's good - and wierd - to be home. I still feel kind of out of it. In a daze. Trying to adjust. Trying to believe that I'm really home.
I appreciate the few calls I've gotten, and I've returned some of them. But I also need to tell you that I need a couple days to adjust, recover, and deal with some things.
Like my electricity.
Like my heating.
Like my car issues. Yeah, that's the latest fiasco. I woke up this morning, hungry. So I thought I'd go to the grocery store and get some food before dealing with the house problems.
The Trooper was parked in the driveway, nudged up against the garage door as extra protection against someone trying to break into my garage. I put the Trooper in neutral and pushed it out a bit so I could access the hood and therefore the battery, which I had disconnected two months ago. I reconnected the battery and turned the ignition. Chug chug nothing. Uh oh. A few more tries and I concluded the battery had drained, despite disconnection.
Frustrated, I changed activities and called my America Home Shield warranty people to at least get them to send an eletrician over to fix the power issue, and maybe therefore the heating issue. Well, they couldn't get someone out here until Tuesday. Shoot. That's no good. I begged and pleaded, telling them my story and situation, playing up the fact that here I am in a house in California in the dead of winter with no heat. They bought it. Finally, they agreed to an "emergency" request and would search again for a local electrician to get out here today - but it would take a few hours. Fine, I said.
Back to the Trooper. No battery, no start. Ok, no biggie. It's a stick shift - so I'll get some people on the street (like the gardeners down the block) to help me push it out of the driveway and down the street. Then I'll pop it in gear, and off I'll go. Well, not quite. The gardeners were nice enough to help me push it out into the street - and as I rolled down Eaton Ave - I tried 3 times to pop it into 2nd gear. It just wouldn't start. Was I not going fast enough? The gardeners then suggested we jump it with cables - and they had cables! Great! Let's do it. But again, no luck.
Ok, I would call AAA.
But first, I thought, I'd better try the Honda S2000 to make sure IT starts! So I went into the garage, uncovered the car, hooked up the battery, and pressed the start button. Vrrrooom! It started on the first try! Sweet! I let it run for a minute or two, but then realized I was sitting in a car in a closed garage with the engine running. Ooops. Not so safe. I pressed the garage opener button. Nothing. I pushed it again. Nothing. Rats!! No electricity!! By now, enveloped in carbon monoxide, I shut off the engine and opened the side door to the garage to air it out.
I still can't get to the store. The Trooper won't start. And the S2000 will start, but is trapped in the garage.
Ok all you smarty pants - it took me a while - but I finally realized there MUST be a way to manually open my garage door. I grabbed my headlamp and poked around the garage door contraption. I finally found a red instruction sheet that explained how to open the door manually. And it worked. Ecstatic, I rolled the S2000 out into fresh air.
I called AAA about the Trooper and they were on their way. I still couldn't get to the store, because now I had to wait for AAA.
Fortunately, the AAA guy came relatively quickly. He checked the battery. It was fine. Apparently the problem was my reconnection of the battery - I didn't tighten the bolts tight enough, and the battery nodes and cables weren't making a solid connection. Ooops, sorry Mr. AAA for my complete lack of competency. He put in some spacers to ensure a tight connection, and the Trooper started on the second try....with a lot of blue smoke from clogged arteries or something... I thanked the AAA guy and drove the Trooper back up to my house.
I was blocking and tackling, making a bit of progress. At least the cars were working, and I avoided carbon monoxide poisoning.
Still no word from American Home Shield. So I headed to the grocery store. Finally. I loaded up on fruits and vegetables - which for the most part have been missing from my diet for weeks.
Back home, I heard from American Home Shield. An electrician was on his way. To spare you, I'll just say that 3 hours and $400 later, my power was back on, fully functioning, along with a recommendation from the electrician that I completely gut the wiring in my house and redo everything. It was old, outdated, and "incorrectly done." Ok mister, maybe sometime in the next 3 years, but not now.
As a bonus, by the way, the furnace and fans popped on when the electricity came online.
Wow, now I'm in business -- power on, heat on, cars working, fridge full, clothes in laundry machine. I'm feeling better, but it's been a long day.....
I'll wrap things up (i.e., this blog) in the next day or two with some final thoughts, etc.