We all have them every now and then. Today was one of them for me.
I am writing about my crappy day not only as self-serving catharsis, but also as entertainment for those of you who are into Schadenfreude.
It started pretty early. Morning came and I awoke. Jenny was sleeping, but I automatically wake up at 6 am on garbage collection days to take the garbage can to the street for pick-up. Why not the night before? Because we have suburbanite bears roaming the streets at night, and they can smell a good garbage can from half a mile away. (If you’ve ever seen a job done by a raccoon on a garbage can, it ain’t pretty. But a hungry bear will scatter garbage all up and down the block, and will all but eat the can.) The county’s solid waste people tell us that we have to have our detritus ready by 6:30 or risk having to wait for the next collection day. I had already skipped last Friday’s, so no way I could let the compressed, odoriferous, 80 pound block of garbage in the compactor fester for another three days.
I wrestled the hefty bag (no pun intended) out of the compactor. It seemed stuck, so I yanked the heavy gauge plastic bag really hard. As I unintentionally tore the bag, the ensuing explosive decompression of garbage undid a week’s worth of compaction and I was faced with the task of putting 80 pounds of crap into a 40-pound bag. Helluva way to start the day!
Actually, I used two bags, because there was no way I could compact the decompacted stuff by hand. Took a while, but I got it all cleaned up and into the large can for transport to the street. I had a bowl of cereal with some blueberries, then climbed back into bed to await Jenny’s arousal — read that any way you want — because my next task of the day would be driving her up to Deltona.
“Are we taking the M3?” Jenny asked as we entered the garage. She saw that I had opened the garage door on the M3’s side of the garage when I brought the emptied garbage can in.
“Yes, we are,” I responded.
“Well, hang on, because I left the rice in the Jeep because I thought we would be taking it.” She had bought a couple of ten pound bags of Basmati rice at the Indian emporium yesterday, hauling them home in the Grand Cherokee because of its capacity to carry huge quantities of rice as well as the fact that Jenny had never learned how to use a stick shift, ruling out the M3.
“Wait!” I said. “Before you move the rice, I better make sure the M3 starts.” I had noticed that the five year-old battery was showing signs of behaving like a five year-old battery. Having recently replaced a five year-old battery in the Jeep, I knew all about that behavior.
I depressed the clutch and turned the key to start the M3.
Click! Click! Click! was all I got.
“Never mind. Leave the rice in the Jeep. We’ll take it.”
Now I knew what my next task of the day would be.
I called the dealership and got a price for replacing the official BMW battery with an official BMW battery. Once I scraped myself off the floor, I asked if I heard that price correctly. They wanted over $300! If wallets were human, this would be classified as statutory rape. So, I did some on-line research about replacements, found what I needed, and bought the battery on-line from AutoZone for in-store pickup. The cost was around $150.
Within an hour, AutoZone confirmed my order via email. In the meanwhile I needed to remove the old battery from the M3. It is under a plastic cover beneath the floor in the trunk. I removed the interior trim first and then remembered that I needed to do something to provide power to avoid losing the radio settings and Bluetooth pairings. Glad I remembered. I hooked up a charger to the jump start terminals under the hood, and then removed the battery from its compartment in the trunk, loading it in the back of the Jeep to take to AutoZone so I didn’t have to make a second trip to get my “core credit” of $12.
The AutoZone transaction was slick. I had my new battery and they had their old one in a couple of minutes. Someone even carried both of them for me to save what was left of my back. [Read more…]