Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Ken Carr car just won't quit

Today was one of those days that I'd like to forget.

It's the middle of a three day weekend, the first one I've had this year.  Even though I have tomorrow off, we still needed to get our usual Sunday stuff done -- dinner and a trip to the grocery store.

Dinner was at Taco Bell at Grant and Tanque Verde.  I had a couple of Chalupas and a taco, Payton had a taco salad, and Anthony had a Cantina Bowl that was supposed to be chicken and they gave him steak.  That wrong order may have been an omen for what was ahead for the evening.

We went to Walmart Neighborhood Market and 22nd and Craycroft.  Despite the incredible joy it brings me to shop at that store, Anthony despises going there.  But, I insist because it's cheap.  Walmarts are built for people like me, who are needing to make their money stretch.  I can't afford the luxurious grocery stores with employees who bag your groceries for you and customers who dress fashionably while they shop.  He's kind of bitter about my forcing us to shop there.  That played out in the store when he wasn't very patient with me today.  A minor argument occurred when we were near the peanut butter.  I hope I can make him happy by being able to afford some other kind of store one day... just as soon as I win the lottery.

The real drama came on the drive home.  I got up to Broadway and Craycroft and decided I couldn't make it through the traffic light that was changing (it's one of those red light camera intersections) so I slammed on the brakes.  The Ken Carr car didn't like that and the engine died.  I don't ever remember that happening before.  I attempted to restart the car and it was cranking but not firing up the engine.  I made a quick decision to get out of the car while asking Payton and Anthony to help push to get it out of the intersection and off to the side of the street on Broadway.  A few more tries to get the engine to start were unsuccessful.  So, they helped get the car pushed off the street and into a nearby parking lot by BJ's Brewhouse.

The car has needed a valve replacement for over a year but I haven't had the $700 that I was quoted by Jim Click Mazda to get it replaced.  It starts a little slow and smells like it's running rich (unburned fuel odor) but has been limping along in that time.  I started thinking that the abrupt stop at the traffic light might have flooded the engine and that's what caused it to die and refuse to restart.

Anthony called his dad to come down and take the frozen food items out of the trunk of my car and take him to our apartment to retrieve his SUV.  When Anthony returned about half an hour later, Payton suggested I try starting the car and it actually started.  But, it began making quite a tapping noise when I tried driving it around the parking lot to see if it was going to run.  I ended up parking it over by the Office Depot in the same lot and leaving it so I could go home and retrieve the info I needed to call Progressive Roadside Assistance to have it towed home.

Anthony drove me back to the car a couple of hours later so I could arrange for the tow.  I decided to try starting it again and this time it turned over and wasn't tapping anymore.  It seemed to run the same as before it had died at the Broadway / Craycroft intersection.  After a little debate, I decided to try driving it home with Anthony following.  It ran fine the whole way.

I'm sure that I am a lucky bastard that the car seems to be hanging in there a little longer.  Hopefully it will stay that way long enough for me to figure out how to manufacture the cost of repair.  How I'm going to do that, I have no idea.  Maybe a bake sale or a car wash.

Anthony's Cantina Bowl at Taco Bell.
It was supposed to be chicken but they made steak.
I'm KENvinced if they had made it correctly
my car would not have broken down.

Payton's taco salad at Taco Bell

My chicKEN Chalupa with a bite taken out of it

My taco at Taco Bell

Little Hug Fruit Barrels at Walmart Neighborhood Market
Who doesn't want a little hug?

Ticklebelly Cake Pops - BFF Strawberry Shortcake
8 of these for $9.98?!
For that price, they better give me a hand job before I eat it.

Lunchables Nachos cheese dip and salsa
with a little chocolate bunny for dessert.
If you missed Easter, this will make up for it.

Campbell's Mega Noodle Soup
Mega Noodle = sounds like a date I've had

Secret photo of Anthony looking at stuffing
while a really short woman stands near him.
I wanted to put her in my pocket but I think that's illegal in Arizona.