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Monday, April 8, 2013

Wheel Hubs, Flubs, and Idiocy...

    Welcome to Georgia!  The warm-weather pollen has arrived and a blanket of yellow powder has now covered most of our otherwise lovely state.  Unfortunately, when I was twenty-two I developed seasonal allergies for the first time in my life and since then I have had good seasons and bad seasons.  Last year I did not need to take a single allergy medication, but I have a feeling that will not be the case this year.  So much for sleeping with the window open at night, because after doing so last night, my head felt like it was going to explode the second I came back indoors for an extended period.  That is where my allergies are strange because I can stay outside all day and be perfectly fine, but when I go indoors for more than an hour, something snaps and I feel as if I were run over by a combine and my head beaten with a brick.  It's the best, I tell you...
    
    I had to run to a job with my dad earlier than usual this morning, and even though this had nothing to do with our agenda, I took a picture of something I noticed when standing by this person's door.  This house probably has a market value of over $500,000, easily, but like any subdivision home built in the past fifteen years or so, it was thrown together by people who either did not care or had not a clue what they were doing.  This is the corner of the house. 

Check out the joint:
 Granted, there is some separation from the wood expanding and contracting with the weather, but you cannot tell me truthfully that this could not be prevented if the builder actually cared about the longevity of this house.  Exterior molding that rots and separates like this is so common that some people make the majority of their income by fixing it for home owners specifically.  My advice is this:  If you are in the market for a home, have two inspections done before closing.  Have the recommendation of the real estate agent go through the motions, and then find another of your own who has no connection to the agent or the seller.  This type of thing adds up quickly and if one instance of this is found, there are certainly more either on their way to happening or in process.  Wood rot spreads, and leaks around joints lead to many other problems down the road if they are not addressed by someone who knows what they are doing.

Moving on.  About six months ago, the caliper on my dad's truck exploded (when I was driving it, of course) and I spent a day doing a rebuild and replacement on that side of his rear axle.  Somewhere in that process, I also found a faulty axle seal.  Go figure.  Today, the replacement we put in became faulty and meant it was time for another tear-down to remove the leaking seal and replace it with another one under the terms of the warranty on the part.  Why do I work on cars myself?  This particular job saved him about $1500 the first time around when I had to do the brakes, caliper, and seal.  Paying someone to replace the seal again under warranty would have probably been somewhere around $300 in labor.  Doing it at the shop took about an hour of time, but the job would have been quoted at a few hours to cover overhead if taken to a technician.  Here are a few pictures of the process.  It's dirty and greasy:
 After the first stage of tear-down and removing the axle shaft.

 The hub is gone, so we just have a straight axle tube.

After re-packing grease into the inner bearing.  Yummy. 

 The new seal pressed into the hub.  $30 part, but would have been hundreds in labor.

All slid back together and after about 30miles, there are no leaks anymore.  Luckily we had another job in the late afternoon that required a pretty decent drive, so that gave us a chance to test our work.

Next on the list we have my local newspaper.  I do not actually live in the city that this paper is from, but one city over.  Nevertheless, ever since I moved in I have had a paper dropped on my driveway every Monday.  I would say a solid seventy-five percent of people in my neighborhood either let this gift sit on their driveway and rot week after week or immediately throw it into their curbside trashcan.  Not me, I love to read and there is no better newspaper for me than the one that deals directly with my community.  Unfortunately, however, you sometimes have these little gems of blatant stupidity thrown into the mix that make you realize there is some truth behind the fact that bad genetics are making mankind less intelligent with every passing generation.  Putting your illegal activities online in a blast to the public is just one example of why I find this to be true:
Really?  I mean, I do have a video posted on my Facebook page of some friends and myself detonating a car airbag on my front lawn at midnight a few summers ago.  With near certainty, I can claim that doing such a thing in a residential area is probably a bad idea, but there was also an off-duty police officer friend of mine partaking in the stupidity that night, so that made it legal, right?  At least it was fun and not a felony.

This article ruined my plans for the weekend.  I wanted nothing more than to play a game of "Police Intersection Bowling" but he killed my buzz by writing this piece.  Is that not a fundamental section covered in your driver's handbook in every single state?  You know, the section that talks about yielding to anyone in the road, especially cops?  The only thing that makes this article more entertaining on top of it's own redundancy is that it was written by none other than the editor for this paper, who is also the editor of the newspapers for four other neighboring cities.  I guess, at the end of the day, actually publishing something in print still holds more ground than the usual Facebook slacktivism.  Onto a rant that has been brewing in my mind all day...



    Rarely do I get infuriated by what I hear on the radio unless it pertains to Niki Minaj, but this morning was much different.  If you have ever listened to a morning talk show on the radio, you know they are produced to be entertaining more than enlightening.  Sometimes the hosts get people on the phone to discuss their personal problems, using a fake name and a voice filter to protect their identity.  The hosts will occasionally give decent advice to the caller and the calls they take from other listeners can be either good or bad, and eventually progress is made.  What I am about to tell you is the core of my disgust with so many people in this world.
    A woman called in last Friday morning to ask what she should do about her suspicions in relation to her husband.  She had somehow read a text message conversation on his cell phone in which he had been speaking suggestively with another woman.  When she asked him what was going on with those messages, he brushed it off and synced his phone with his computer over the weekend to remove the data from it.  She called back this morning to give the listeners an update.  This woman was asking those listening to the show if she should confront him about his behavior further or just let it go.  Really?  What sort of terrible circumstances have happened that we marry someone and share our lives with them, but need advice from others about whether or not we should communicate with them honestly?
    The way I view relationships is different than most because I do not play games under any circumstances, which would probably explain why I am not in one.  If you make a choice to love someone, and you make the agreement to stick with them in marriage, why in the world would you be afraid to ask that person anything at all?  We are not honest with each other in general and live inside of lies every single day in most cases, but wondering if you should confront your spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend about a legitimate concern that is eating you alive is entirely asinine.  Being accusatory is easy enough to do if you get into a rage, but you should probably have strong evidence to back up such a thing;  but an actual, realistic conversation is a much better idea.  This woman, had a genuine concern about her marriage and really had no idea of what to do about it.  She was so misinformed about the world that she called a run of the mill radio talk show of all things to figure everything out.  
    Where have we gone wrong?  I cannot for the life of me wrap my brain around someone cheating if they are married or even just in a serious relationship.  Infidelity disgusts me more than essentially anything else when we are talking about the contact and affection of people to one another.  I am not sure how anyone can live with doing such a thing, knowing the cognitive toll it will take upon the person they supposedly care about.  Excuses such as "I was caught up in the moment." hold no ground when you are playing with someone else's mind.  I can honestly say, without the slightest doubt, infidelity is something I would never be capable of.  Anything I am involved with, I give my all to.  Being honest and breaking off a relationship is better for both people if there is even a shred of doubt on either side of the spectrum at any point.  Love is not an emotion, nor a feeling.  Love is a decision two people make to care about each other with a compassion, respect, and devotion that should be entirely unbreakable.  We get so caught up in these superficial "moments" that we are blinded by the reality of our situations.  Finding a real, and solid connection with another person seems to be more and more rare with the social acceptance of divorce on a constant climb, and even more shockingly, infidelity is also becoming more accepted.  The world is on a dangerous path and we have come to the point of romanticizing activities that were always considered unacceptable in the past.  I hate it.  It must stop.  I will not play along.  We must start being honest with each other in marriage, relationships, friendships, business, and life.  I am terrified for the next generations to come.  Terrified.  

Grace and Peace,
    Drew


Current Song:  Tristan Prettyman - Say Anything
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