This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Ever hear the old saying about watched pots never boil?  Here is a new twist.

One of the stats for my job is the time spent on a call.  And we got this cool little program that we can run that lists that time on the top bar next to date time and all that stuff. And very slowing my times were climbing.  Now I understand where I might have higher times because of my need to take care of callers, holding on when others would schedule callbacks, etc, but this was just going up and up.  So, my solution, don't run the program, don't have the time on calls for the day posted, and guess what happened?

The next two days shaved 10 minutes off the time on call.  Weird huh.

Don't you love driving along and suddenly a light appears on your dash display?  I know I do.  And last Friday it was the ETS light, which I had no clue what that meant.  So as I drove home, waiting for the car to explode, dissolve, drop the engine or just catch fire, I played, 'gee, what could ETS stand for?' in my head.  I figured the E was easy, electronic.

The joy of technology.

After getting home is discovered that just about every Volvo owner from the late 1990's and early 2000's should know this one by heart, the Electronic Throttle Module, you know, ETS.  Clever of the Swedes to put in a warning light that doesn't actually match the part about to be history.

Near as I can put together, what the Electronic Throttle Module does is what the points, rotor, condenser use to do under the distributor cap - except those parts which cost about 30 bucks are now contained in the cool little 20lb thing with computer chips and required programming modules and run about 800 bucks, if you buy at Volvo - labor not included.

Isn't that a great improvement?

Apparently these modules were badly designed and after millions of people complained Volvo offered Americans so sort of recall special deal to cover their butts, which I guess is the definition of lagoom, it is enough to keep us out of court.

But, of course, mine won't be covered.

What was real cool was last Sunday the light went out, there were no signs normally that accompany the thing going and I thought "thank you God".

Then last night, again on Friday, it came on again.  Still not seeing any problems with the car and after spending all last weekend reading the history of ETS/Volvo's and ways to make sure you car is stolen while having plausible deniability, I know it could be a simple wire or the whole assembly.  Plus I found a place that will provide a preprogrammed Electronic Throttle Module for 499 with instructions on how to install.  And fortunately, this is happening as my bi annual extra monthly check is about to hit in July, though I really was hoping to put 50% down with an attorney to file bankruptcy, buy some shoes and get a physical, but what the hell.

Also debating can I live without a car?

I promise if I have to change out an Electronic Throttle Module that I will record the whole thing in a video and post the comedy on you tube.  Will make sure my first aid kit is well stocked, buy some extra peroxide and have several tourniquets ready build and ready to go.  Plus I thought I'd just cover my knuckles and fingers in bandaids before I start to save time.

Twenty bucks for points, rotors and a condensor that can be installed in less than 30 minutes replaced by technology that costs an arm and a leg, another example of life designed to cost an arm and a leg.

But then, as the next blog will discuss, by now we better be use to da man, or da system, or whatever you want to call it screwing us into the ground.

 Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For doing the jobs that nobody wants to
And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
For helping me escape

Just when I needed to
Thank you, thank you, thank you
I want to thank you
Please, thank you, oh

The problem's plain to see
Too much technology
Machines to save our lives
Machines, de-humanize

The time has come at last
To throw away this mask
Now everyone can see
My true identity, I'm Kilroy, Kilroy, Kilroy, Kilroy