My A to Z line-up schedule:
Every day of the week will have a different theme

A to Z Challenge Line-Up

Monday - Photos, Tuesday - DIY, Wednesday - Fiction, Thursday - Memoirs, Friday - Poetry, Saturday - Food

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Dodge Saga

Hello there,

When we last met I was blathering on about my reflections of the A to Z challenge.
It is over.  I enjoyed it and now on to other things.

Update on my truck:
A few months ago I noticed a strange ticking noise coming from the engine compartment on my 2011 Dodge Ram.  This truck has always been my baby and I take care of it as such.  I was quite perturbed by the noise.

I first heard the noise at the tail end of the winter.  A cold snap had swept through the great mitten state and temperatures were down into the single digits.  My truck was due for an oil change (of course) and I braved the elements and performed the necessary work.  Crawling under the truck on a 2-degree concrete floor is not much fun but mileage is mileage. 

The very next day is when I heard the ticking noise.  The colder it was outside the louder the noise was.

I was troubled to say the least.  So I took the truck to the dealership, as it was still under warranty.  There were two recalls that had to be tended to as well.  I discussed the noise with the service lady and she said her tech would look into it.

She called me back the next day and said they couldn’t hear the noise.  I presumed it was too warm out.  It seemed to only make the noise when cold.  I picked up my truck and life went on as usual.  I heard the noise again a few times but only faintly and it went away quick.  The temps were warming steadily as spring approached.

Shortly after the temps dropped again into the 20’s and 30’s and the nose came back with a vengeance.  I made an appointment with the dealership again and this time they heard it.

It took them a week to make any repairs and I had to fight with them to get a rental car.  Chrysler is pretty stingy with money I guess, even under warranted vehicles.  After 4 days, they caved and gave me a rental mini-van.  (The guys at work were pretty hard on me for driving a mini)

So Chrysler tells the tech to replace the connecting rod bearings in the engine.  All 8 of them.  So he does.  I pick up the truck.  I don’t hear the noise again, for a while that is.  Within 150 miles, the noise comes back.  This time it makes noise cold or warm.  I get funny looks when I start it.

So I call them back.  Ok just bring it in and we will look at it.  Apparently they assume that it is super easy for folks to just drop their vehicles off at random and arrange for pick-up as well as rides to and from work.  I immediately ask her about a rental.  She says if you don’t hear from us by Friday then tell them to give you a rental because I won’t be here.  I’m on vacation in a couple hours.

So I call on Friday and I get the run-around.  They have not even heard from Chrysler on what to do next.  It has been 3 days now.  I need a car to get back and forth to work and I begin to get a little “scratchy” on the phone.  After speaking with three different people the manager gets on the phone and relinquishes a rental car to me.  I call the rental car place and ask them for a truck.  Not a mini-van.  I am right in the middle of spring projects like gardening and such and I need a truck to haul stuff.

Nope, I get another mini-van.  A week goes by without any progress at the dealership and while hauling bags of compost in the back of the dastardly min-van I discover the license plates have expired back in March.  I call the rental and ask them to swap it out with a truck. 

“Sorry sir, we don’t have any trucks right now.  I can get you one by Friday.”

“Ok, I’ll wait the two days and see you on Friday.”

The very same day I get a voicemail from the dealership.  It seems that Chrysler wants to replace the entire engine.  They don’t even know what is wrong or what caused it.  Just replace it.  The voice on the message tells me that the new engine will arrive on Monday and they should have it fixed within a day or so after. 

 I call the rental.  No, we do not have a truck, but we can put you in a car.  I don’t want to drive a car and haul lumber and mulch and topsoil in the trunk.  I’ll stick with the expired plate mini-van I tell the guy in my most snotty tone.  Such great customer service.
An entire week goes by again and I get another call from the dealership telling me that their service techs have been out sick all week and no one has even touched my truck, but we should have it done by early next week.

I call the rental place.  I have a trip to make, a couple hour drive and I don’t want to use expired plates.  I guess I’ll trade down to a car.  He tells me he has another mini-van he can put me in now.  I accept and I tell him that I will be there the next day for a trade. 

On my way there, he calls and tells me that a truck has just shown up and that I can have that.  Late, but oh well.  So now I have a brand new Dodge Ram 1500 loaded truck to drive.  Now I want to call the dealership and tell them to take their sweet time.  LOL

So anyways that is the current saga on my truck.  Not to mention all the other garbage that is taking place right now.  I think my hair might be totally gray by the time summer is over.

Stay tuned for part two of Bushman’s egregious beginning to summer.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

A to Z Reflection

I have decided to go ahead and do my reflections post


Who cares?

After a month of following rules and guidelines I’m about fed up with it.
Kind of makes a fellow want to drink a beer…or ten.

As a matter of fact what doesn’t make a fella want to drink a beer?


Whoa getting off track a beer bit.

I have successfully completed the challenge three times now.  The first two I think were my best.

This year I was an Ambassador for Arlee and I have to say it forced me to visit a lot of blogs that I otherwise wouldn’t have given a second look.  You know the ones.  I kept the ever changing challenge list saved on my favorites bar and would scroll through it regularly.    In a recent chat with fellow blogger Pearson we lightly discussed blog visits and visitors and I mentioned that I had probably visited around 400 of the challengers.

To me, that is a lot.  Of course, I lend tribute to my ambassador duties and the sadistically changing list.

Every couple of days, the list would roll up and I would have 10 or 20 new blogs to check on.

Some of those blogs were so far off course that I was getting a little perturbed that other helpers or co-host were not doing their job. 

It may not seem like a big deal, but it does take time.  Time that I could have spent finding a new blog to read.

For instance towards the end of the month I checked in on my “current numbers” which had just rolled yet again and discovered blogs that had quit posting after the letter C.  Here it was the end of the month.
Where in the heck was anybody?

All in all, I was not as happy with this challenge like I was the first two.  I guess once the virginity of it has disappeared then it loses some of its romance. 

I also noticed that I received very few comments from folks that I hadn’t already visited and left a comment first.  
Not that I’m not grateful, it just shows that maybe there wasn’t a whole lot of random blog surfing going on.  (or my blog sucks that bad)

Which I think is the fun part.  I would bring up the list and close my eyes and roll my mouse over the list.  Wherever it stopped, is who I would visit.

Enough of the crappy stuff. 

I did find several new blogs to follow and for that I am thankful.

A great blog about storytelling that holds a lot of the power of stories of old.

Ruth from Welcome to Me
I actually discovered her from another blog I had been following for years, just never clicked.
Very funny blog.

Betty from A Bench with a View
Betty is a blogger like I am.  Here for our own personal fun.  An online journal type.  Betty is in the top ten of commenters.

Her challenge about living in Guatemala was fascinating.  Almost like reading an adventure book.

Robyn from Life By Chocolate
Another funny blog that keeps you coming back for more.

There were many, many more and the list could go on for another page or two.
I picked up 22 new followers.  They even left comments!
My twitter followers went through the roof with around 30 new.

My top commenters were:

I don’t believe I will accept the role of ambassador again.  I am grateful for Arlee and the team and I was glad to do my part in keeping the ball rolling, but my time is over.  I hope someone else can fulfill the role next year.

What would I change?

I think if the hosting team could develop a mid- month check-in it would be helpful.  At the end of 13 days, you would be required to validate your sign-up.  If not, you are auto-removed.  There would be a 3-day window or so.  

This is an active challenge and if you can’t keep up or don’t even attempt it then you should be dumped and quickly.

Bloggers really need to make it easy to leave comments and or follow.  I spent a lot of time filling in details just to leave a comment.  Also make sure your comment button or follow tags are easy to find.  There were a few I almost gave up on because I couldn’t find their buttons. 

After the challenge I always say, “I’m not doing this again.”  But……

Thanks to everybody for their comments and follows and congrats to all who finished.

A special thanks to my good buddy JP for being there all month to chat with about our ambassador roles.