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The Further Adventures of Super Mom

By Ldyosng ·
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Life in a Country Song

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<font size="2">
<p>Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 1998 3:57 PM
Subject: Life in a Country Western Song

<p>I don't know if you've seen the truck I've been driving for the past few weeks, so here's a general description:</p>
<p>1973 1 ton, crew cab, lowered, duelly, with velour high-backed seats, running lights from here to next week, custom striped paint job, and a Cadillac emblem hood ornament.  Oh, yeah, it's a stick shift, and there's a trailer hitch on the back, and a fifth wheel hitch in the bed.</p>
<p>With all 120 lbs of me driving this monster . . .</p>
<p>And of course, there are several little quirks to driving this thing, as well.  For one thing, the syncro is all but shot, so she tends to pop out of second sometimes, and she doesn't always go right into first on the initial attempt.  Oh, yeah, the gas gauges don't work, and even if they did, there's something wrong with the right tank - it's full (and it only leaks a little), but the gas will not come back out, so I'm running on the left one, and hoping I fill it up before it gets too close to empty.  10 gallons a day seems to be working OK.  There is an ignition cut-out switch behind the cigarette lighter, that has to be enabled before the truck will start.  There is also a battery cut-off switch, that has to be turned off if the truck is going to sit for more than a few hours, because there is an unexplained drain somewhere in the system otherwise - leading to a very dead battery after about 8 hours.  The trick to the battery switch is that if it is in the off position when you try to start the truck, it will try to start from the secondary deep-cycle battery that is there to run the auxiliary stuff (running lights, clock, etc), but since the starter draws so much power, attempting to start off the deep-cycle battery will fry the wiring.  Are we having fun yet?</p>
<p>At the beginning of last month, the electrical system developed some type of trouble, and neither of the batteries were charging.  So, Mick replaced the deep-cycle and the alternator, and charged up the primary.  Then he drove the truck to my house and parked it out front. Next morning, I go out, pop open the hood, flip the battery switch, flip the ignition switch, turn the key, and see smoke and smell hot electrical wiring.  I yanked out the key, popped the hood again, turned off the battery, and called the tow truck.  Over an hour later, the driver showed up and towed the monster back to Mick's house.  That night, Mick fires the truck right up, and decides that I probably had tried to start it with the battery switched off.  Grrr.  Other than that, he could find no evidence of damage, and so brought it back to my place again.  It worked fine til I had to turn the headlights on about two weeks ago.  Seems the dimmer switch had gone south, leaving me with no headlights (could it have smoldered on the 7th?), so he replaced it, and brought the truck back to me once again.</p>
<p>Dissolve back to yesterday morning . . .</p>
<p>Did I forget to mention the air bag ride adjustment in the back of the truck?  There is an air bag suspension system in the back.  She rides best at about 30 psi, and there is a switch in the cab of the truck, with a pressure gauge and a pressure relief valve all of which hooks into the on-board compressor.  Each morning, the pressure has dropped overnight to about 20 psi.  I fire up the truck, pull the button, and watch the gauge.  When it reaches 30 psi, I push the button, flip the toggle switch for the running lights, release the emergency brake, drop the steering wheel into driving position, put her in gear, and drive away.  No problem.</p>
<p>Yesterday, I did all these things, and made it about 2/3 of the way to my daughter's school, when I noticed that the turn signals were not working.  Hmmm.  I decided to drop her off, return the truck home, and pick up a rental car.  Changing lanes in that behemoth is challenge enough, I'm not gonna try it without blinkers!  So, I drop her off, pull back into traffic, and notice that the air pressure gauge is pegged at well over 100 psi.  Curious.  I reach for the switch, to find it will not move in or out.  Strange.  So, I head for home, with one hand moving back and forth between the release valve and the stick shift, and the other on the (did I mention that it's been a little loose for the last day or two) steering wheel.  A little  challenging, but do-able.  The pressure is going down, and not coming back up, so I have no idea what happened, and continue toward home doing this little juggling act.  Then the real fun begins . . .</p>
<p>The truck drops down to idle just before a major intersection.  No amount of goosing the throttle will bring her back up to speed.  OK, she popped out of second again, but I stuffed her right back in, so it's not out of gear.  Besides, if she was out of gear, the motor would race, not drop to idle.  Bummer.  Oh, yeah, I am in the center lane, and remember, there's no turn signals.  Fortunately, there's a slight brake in traffic and the light is green.  I manage to slide her over to the far right lane, and coast her up into a roomy parking lot just as she dies.  This takes away the power steering and power brakes.  Man, without those little amenities, that truck handles just like a one-ton truck (imagine!)</p>
<p>The first tow truck is too small.  The second one shows up an hour and a half after my initial call.  Of course the truck fires right up for the tow truck driver, and he wants me to drive the thing home.  I refused, and made him tow it home.  When we get there, it fires right up again, and I drive it into the drive way as if none of this has happened.  The tow truck driver and the next door neighbor both think I am daft.  Let them drive that damn thing, I'm not gonna do it!</p>
<p>Dissolve to last night when Mick tears into it to find out what happened.  Near as he can figure, the air switch turned in it's mount, and the screws that hold it in dead shorted.  This caused the switch to overheat, and melt the switch, forcing it into the open position.  Fortunately, the short took the switch out of the circuit, so it stopped pumping air into the bags as soon as it died, but there's a safety release valve that I didn't know about that would have kept the air bags from exploding anyway.  Wish I'd have known that before the juggling act . . .</p>
<p>The air switch was wired into the turn signal circuit.  OK, that explains THAT chain of events, but why did the engine die?  "Oh, I forgot, I  also wired the switch for the extra gas tank in the bed of the truck into that circuit, since I never use the extra tank, and figured the extra load would never be a problem."  Sweet.</p>
<p>The translation?  The switch that he knew was "a little" under-rated for the air system, and was a little too flimsy, twisted in it's mount, thus taking out the switch, the turn signals, the back-up lights, AND switching me over to an empty gas tank!</p>
<p>He's a little hurt that I insist on driving this rental car til my 57 is fixed, but I think he understands . . .</p>
<p>So, does that sound like a country song, or what!?!?!</p>
<p>Yee-haw!</p>
<p>- T -</p>
</font>

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Advice to Young Women

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<p>From my daughter:</p>
<p>Subject: ADVICE TO GIVE YOUR DAUGHTERS</p>
<p>This is cute! Enjoy!</p>
<p>~Ema</p>
<p>1. Don't imagine you can change a man, unless he's in diapers.</p>
<p>2. What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door.</p>
<p>3. If they put a man on the moon, they should be able to put them all up there.</p>
<p>4. Never let your man's mind wander, it's too little to be out alone.</p>
<p>5. Go for younger men. You might as well, they never mature anyway.</p>
<p>6. Men are all the same, they just have different faces, so that you can tell them apart.</p>
<p>7. Definition of a bachelor; a man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable.</p>
<p>8. Women don't make fools of men, most of them are the do it yourself types.</p>
<p>9. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest they are too old for it.</p>
<p>10. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.</p>
<p>11. If you want a committed man, look in a mental hospital.</p>
<p>12. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years. Even in biblical times, men wouldn't ask for directions.</p>
<p>13. If he asks what sort of books you're interested in, tell him checkbooks.</p>
<p>14. Remember a sense of humor does not mean that you tell him jokes, it means that you laugh at his.</p>
<p>15. Sadly, all men are created equal.</p>
<p>************************************************************************************************************************************************</p>
<p>My reply:</p>
<p>It's also WAY too close to true. Believe me, ladies - they just get older, they don't grow up. Think about that when you think about "settling down" with a guy. If you can afford to back out gracefully, it might be worth the risk. Otherwise, think long and hard before you take a vow to put up with some guy's silly, arrogant crap for "the rest of your life." It's one **** of a ride. I hope it get it right one of these days - but please learn from my mistakes! </p>
<p>1) They really don't ever change. What is mildly irritating today will be magnified by the number of times it happens. Can you live with it? </p>
<p>2) We don't ever really change. If we don't like something about ourselves now, we probably won't like it later, either. How long can you cover up your feelings of inadequacy? </p>
<p>3) "In love" is grand, but it passes. Friendship lasts much longer. Make sure you can be friends with the guy, even when you're sick of his crap. If not . . . NEXT! </p>
<p>4) But make sure he's not your ONLY friend. That's also known as "co-dependence" and it is NOT a good thing! Having a life and friends of your own makes you much more interesting. Keep hold of who you are! </p>
<p>5) I've learned the hard way, since I never had many female friends - every woman needs the company of other women she finds interesting. It helps us keep the crap-tolerance detector tuned up and working properly! </p>
<p>6) At the end of their days, people don't regret what they HAVE done, they regret what they HAVEN'T done, so go right ahead and ignore my advice if it will help you lead a more satisfied life! </p>
<p>Love,  - T -</p>

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Advice to Young Women

by jdclyde In reply to Advice to Young Women

As a guy, I would love to counter your bullet points one by one. Problem is, most of them I can't. The secret is to rember that many of the points also go the other way too.

The problem with girls that can't or don't make friends with other girls, is the same as men that only have girls for friends. Do you really want your life mate spending a lot of their time pal'ing around with people of the opposite sex for the rest of YOUR life? And as you said, just because you find a mate doesn't mean you write off your friends.

As someone who just had their wife say "next" to me, I can see that women have their fair share of hangups. But just because some women are nuts doesn't mean all are, and the same goes for the other way around.

Good luck finding whatever it is that makes you happy.

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Advice to Young Women

by Ldyosng In reply to Advice to Young Women

<p>Sorry to hear about you and your wife, jd. The only thing worse than breaking up is forcing yourself to stay in a relationship where both parties don't want to be there. That "staying together for the kids" stuff blows.
<p>My 18-at-the-time daughter sent the first part of the message to me and several of her girlfriends. I decided to take the opportunity to dispense some woman-to-woman advice. </p>
<p>I think the first 15 items are petty, and on second thought, my own # 3 could have used some softening. Gentle though it isn't, it's a pretty accurate reflection of what happens when "in love" wears off and there is no friendship underneath. So many relationships end up in the scrap heap because couples focused on the sizzle.</p>
<p>Being two for two on marriage and divorce, I'm hoping to get it right the next time. But rather than getting married in Tijuana or Vegas (been there, done that, 1 each), the next time there will be a lot more planning and consideration.</p>
<p>~ T ~</p>

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Advice to Young Women

by jdclyde In reply to Advice to Young Women

Hope three is the charm for you.<br />
<br />
As for my situation, we didn't stay because of the kids.  We
stayed until she could get her education and support herself. 
After I got her self-reliant she was able to walk away.<br />
<br />
It took a few years, but it was better for everyone involved.  Had
she left right away, she would have run the chance of getting stuck in
welfare he!! and that isn't in the best interests of her or the kids.<br />
<br />
Good luck!<br />

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The Great Water Pump Adventure

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<p>Date: 97-04-14 09:46:52 EDT</p>
<p>From: Ldyosng</p>
<p>It's not just a job . . .</p>
<p>Thus ends another exciting weekend in exotic Torrance - home of "Super Mom" - that zany redhead with the dangerous combination of class(car), brass(attitude) and ***(if you have to ask . . .).</p>
<p>When we last checked in with our heroine, she was planning on taking herself and her children out to the Long Beach Grand Prix this weekend to watch a little racing, and look at a lot of exciting cars.</p>
<p>Cut to Saturday morning - she tells the kids to get dressed for the day's adventure. By 12:30, when the youngest is still in his sleep-shirt and is just starting to grumble about wanting to eat breakfast, she decides to do Long Beach on Sunday, when she'll have all three kids anyway. Out she goes to swap a new water pump into her car. Should be a piece of cake - right? NOT!!! There is a hose fitting screwed into the body of the old pump that has to be relocated to the new pump. She has no vice (bench vice - let's leave personalities out of this), and no wrench to fit the nut on the fitting. After seriously straining her wrist trying to get the $%^&* nut off the pump, she decides to call it a day. The old parts are off the car - all she needs is to get someone to pull the fitting out of pump #1 so she can transfer it to pump #2. No problem - Dad to the rescue! Dad picks up pump #1 at 10:30am Sunday, and returns it by 11:30am (along with a fresh spool of silicon pipe tape and some good advice). Piece of cake!</p>
<p>OK - the pump is in by 1:30 - but the fan won't turn. Crap - she's never done this before - she must have done something wrong. Remove fan and pulley, shim pulley, replace fan. (spend 1/2 hour looking for something to use as a shim - the ID on the shim has got to be over 1/2 inch) Still dragging. Remove fan and pulley, shim pulley some more, (good thing I found 2 wrong things that might work, instead of just one) replace fan. Still dragging. Remove pump, remove fan and pulley, inspect the heck out of the thing. Hmmm, the pulley is dragging on the pump housing. OK - look through every container I have that has nuts, bolts, nails or screws in it to find at least one shim per bolt (there are 4 bolts) - but hope to really find 2 shims each. That shoots down another 1/2 hour. The race was live at 1:00pm, and came on TV at 3:00. So much for dreams of watching the Grand Prix. By this time the neighbor (auto mechanic by trade, but working on a project of his own til now) comes over to look at this thing - my frustration is unmistakably audible by this time. He takes the lock washers off the bolts and uses them between the pump and the pulley. Good, but still not great. Then he grabs a hammer and a screwdriver and uses a little finesse on the unit. All better now - but he forgot to bolt the fan onto the pulley, and when he removes the bolts and reinstalls them with the fan, the fix unfixes. More finesse is employed. By this time it's 5:00pm. The pulley still drags a little tiny bit - but Dave and I look at each other and figure - heck, it'll wear down. Let's go with it. Then he and I spend the next 15 minutes slapping that Chevy together like we were between races at the local dirt track. We fire up the engine for about 15 seconds to see if it sounds OK. Yup, it sounds OK. I add coolant, clean up my mess, and head in to take a shower. It's 6:00pm on Sunday. So much for weekend plans.</p>
<p>Oh yeah - I mentioned that I tweaked my wrist, right? I left out the part about the monster sunburn on the back of my neck and shoulders. The shoulders are OK by me - I burn 'em a couple times every spring, just to kick off the season. This is the first time with short hair in a few years, though, so the neck is good and crisp. Oh, yeah, I left out the massive bruises on the knees from standing in the engine compartment, leaning over the radiator and using my body for leverage to tighten / loosen all those nuts and bolts. Or the scratches and bruises on the arms for the same reasons. I am thrilled to report, however, that Playtex rubber gloves are wonderful, and that I have not ruined (or even damaged) a single fingernail!</p>
<p>Stay tuned to see how the trip to work goes tomorrow.</p>
<p>SO - how was YOUR weekend?!?</p>
<p>- T -</p>

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Dear Claims Department

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<p>October 25, 1998</p>
<p>Dearest Claims Department, </p>
<p>In response to your request, here?s what happened on the morning of 08/01/98. </p>
<p>It was a dark and stormy night . . . </p>
<p>No, wait.  That?s not it. </p>
<p>It was a clear, bright Saturday, with a promise of weather over 100 degrees.  I was preparing for a move three weekends to come.  I decided to work on the patio before it got too hot to work outside.  I was wearing shorts, a tank top, and was bare-footed.  Dumb, I admit, but ever so comfortable.  </p>
<p>Anyway,  among the things to be packed on the patio was a steel shelving unit retrieved from an industrial remodel site years before.  It serves well as a plant stand.  Ah, but it?s heavy, and unwieldy, standing over 6 feet tall.  I was disassembling it.  Part of the process involves lying it on the ground for disassembly.  I dropped it on my toe when in the process of lying the unit on the ground.  I whimpered (ok, I sucked in my breath, my eyes watered, and if it had hurt just a little less, would have probably cursed a purple streak.)  I hobbled into the house, and ran it under cold water.  It wasn?t bleeding, so after a few minutes, I hobbled back out onto the patio to continue my mission.  </p>
<p>About half an hour later, I looked down and noted that my toe was an ANGRY shade of purple.  Far more purple than I expected to see.  It was more than a little painful, as well, and the addition of such extreme coloring was all the convincing I needed to opt for a quick trip to some local medical center to see if it needed to be straightened, splinted, or ?tsk-tsk?ed over.  Hence the call to your nurse, and the following authorization for treatment. I hope you are not too disappointed with this tale of the events of that morning, but there is really no more to it than that.  When body parts turn that dark a shade that quickly, I fear the worst, and seek medical attention.  </p>
<p>Is this enough information?  I was sure the nurse and I covered all this when we spoke the first time on the phone, but perhaps the literary leanings of this missive will aid the cause?  One can hope.  </p>
<p>The toe, by the way, healed quite nicely, but the weeks immediately following the incident were an excellent argument against manual transmissions. Operating the clutch in traffic was enough to bring a tear to my eye on more than one occasion.  </p>
<p>Again, I hope this is enough information.  </p>
<p>By the way, the medical center where I was seen was surprisingly uncrowded, clean, pleasant, and efficient.  I recommend it. </p>
<p>Sincerely, </p>
<p>~ T ~</p>

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My new job - week 2

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<p>On Nov 18 I started a new job as MIS for a nonprofit with offices in 11 locations across the U.S.</p>
<p>The person who had this position before me left rather suddenly about 8 weeks ago under murky circumstances.</p>
<p>All evidence points to the person having been in a bit over their head (to say the least.) I'm being charatible.</p>
<p>The people who interviewed me said there was a server that held the database - the heart of the organization - that had been linked with a workstation via a closed network, and that no one could use this spiffy server. I used ERD Commander to get into the server so it could be opened back up to the user community.</p>
<p>Here's the reality: the database, which consists of many parts brought together from several sources, was incomplete. Only the core module was on the "server". The machine that holds the whole db is sitting across the room from me, and has no logon or password challenge. That machine was given the same name as a domain (which it is not on), and which is not on the "server". The database actually resides on an unprotected machine in a workgroup.</p>
<p>So far I haven't been able to find the domain server anywhere in the building, but there are a few locked offices that will not be opened until: a) the boss comes back from an illness that has kept her out since before I started working here and b) the all-around facility guy comes back from a vacation that has kept him out since before I started working here.</p>
<p>They say there is a DSL router somewhere - haven't found it yet either, but I have DSL access, as does the person who has been serving as my main contact thus far. Unfortunately, the person who processes payroll for 1000 people is stuck using dial-up to send payroll to the outside processor. Oh, and the payroll person doesn't do backups because they are too complicated.</p>
<p>Just this morning one of the program coordinators said that I was supposed to be doing her backups for her once a week. Hmm. OK, I'll have to walk over to her office and find out what kind of media will be required. I found a stack of zip disks, a box of floppies, and an almost empty spindle of CDs. I hope one of them is the right thing.</p>
<p>Oh - back to the server under my desk - what little documentation I can find says it's a Windows 2003 Small Business Server. Wrong. It's a Windows 2003 Standard Server. But that didn't stop PM (past MIS) from loading Exchange software on it. And that's about all that's loaded on that machine. Oh, and it has only 512M of RAM. Of course, PMs machine has a Gig of Ram, and a piece of software for running unlicensed games and a meaty Harmon/Kardon sound system: stereo speakers on the desk and a "surround" unit on the floor.</p>
<p>I'm having a hard time grasping how someone who is supposed to be safeguarding a business network would need some of this stuff, but who knows.</p>
<p>At least I've had ample opportunity to read all of the documentation for the quarterly reports we are supposed to submit. Might as well study, since there's not much else I CAN do right now - except wring my hands and pray that everything keeps working. *gulp*</p>

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Stupid question: Should I be single again?

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<p>Either I should be single again, or I'm dumb as hair. The sad thing is that I can't tell the difference.</p>
<p>I've been with the same guy for 7 years. In all that time, I still couldn't ventura a good guess what he's doing when he's not standing right in front of me, and even then it's iffy. Right now he's staying in a hotel, or at least that's what he says, but he's been staying in a hotel for several weeks and never gave me a room number or a phone number. Hmm. Does that strike anyone other than me as strange?</p>
<p>I don't know how much money he makes, what he spends it on, or who he owes it to. I don't know what he believes in, what he dreams about, what he wants to do when he grows up (and since he's pushing 60, that decision SHOULD come up soon, one would think.) AND, since his arrest for attempting to bag some underage nookie a couple of years ago, that cheap physical thing between us has been rare and uninspired at best. </p>
<p>He's mean to my kids, and he tries to make up for lack of intimacy and honesty by waiting on me like a cabana boy. My kids call him my man-b!tc#. My kids, by-the-way, are 17, 19 and 21.</p>
<p>OK - I admit, having my very own cabana-boy/retired military officer-gentleman guy who likes nice restaurants, live music, swing dancing, opening my door, helping out where I volunteer as a computer geek for a non-profit has been really nice. Oh, and here's the deadly part: my parents - BOTH of them (Dad dislikes everybody), AND my Grandmother (whom he dances with every time we see her for dinner) LOVE him. If I break up with him my grandmother will be so disappointed. He LOOKS good. He's your basic trophy-guy. At least he used to be. And he used to play guitar for me while I sang - that seems to have gone the way of the lovin'. And now he's even growing a candy gut to go with the previously listed unattractive features.</p>
<p>The sad thing is that I don't have the self-esteem to give him the boot. I'm pushing 50, with a (really, really messy) overcrowded apartment full of teenagers and college kids (across the street from the high-school and two blocks from the college.) I wear glasses and have a body like a stick figure. Short of another "nobody else wants him" kind of guy, what are my chances? I work all the time, don't go to church, don't drink, don't smoke, don't drink coffee, am rotten at sports, and like to read books and play with computers and cameras (and cars, but that takes money I haven't had for a while - but that part changed recently). So here I am at 2:30 on a work night (OK, morning), writing this trash, knowing that he has me marked as a contact, and will read it and still not having the gumption to do the only reasonable thing TO do, which is to send him on his way and to carry on. As if.</p>
<p>Or am I just being a b!tc#?</p>
<p>I went to therapy for several months trying to get up the nerve to break up with him four years ago, 'cause the first time I tried it right after we got together originally, he turned stalker and I gave in.</p>
<p>If anyone has some wisdom to impart on how I can grow a spine and get a life, PLEASE share! I'm a second-generation geek. I have no clue.</p>
<p> </p>

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Hey, Lucy: I'm home!

by Ldyosng In reply to The Further Adventures of ...

<p>Been offline for a couple of months - did anybody miss me? No. I doubt it. When last I was here there were a bunch of flame-wars going on with a bunch of noob trolls and some of the more hot-headed regulars. I'm hoping it will be better this time. We'll see.</p>

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