March 3, 2009

Today's object in rebellion: My car.

Over the weekend, my furnace died. I have a boiler and a furnace, so it's not a huge problem if one or the other goes out. Still, some rooms were quite nippy. But my heating people quickly responded on Monday, and everything is fine.

Today, my car died. Some switch went bad, causing the brake lights to stay on, which destroyed the battery. I was stranded in a parking lot, but not in the middle of nowhere, and a competent technician came by to jump start the car, which I drove to the Audi dealer, where they fixed everything, while I waited with WiFi.


When little, fixable things like this go wrong, I take it as a reminder that there are so very few problems. What great good luck I have!


MadisonMan said...

The one time my car really just died, I was next door (and uphill!) from the car dealer. And this was 6 states away from Wisconsin! I just coasted to the service door.

Similarly, when the water pump petered out on my old Cavalier, I exited the interstate at the first possible exit, and there, at the exit, was a Chevy dealer, and they had a rebuilt pump (and I pulled in at 3:30 PM on a Friday too!)

It's always very nice when small things (or big, in the case of my current car) go wrong in a very convenient fashion.

Marcia said...

Your Audi dealership looks like an elementary school cafeteria.

Ann Althouse said...

"Your Audi dealership looks like an elementary school cafeteria."

That's the part where you drive your car up. The area where I'm sitting with the computer is on the other side of a glass wall, and it's really quite posh... but the iPhone pics aren't too good.

Michael said...

Now that's what I call really "killing" time...reading Drudge.

traditionalguy said...

The beauty of free market capitalism is that it works so well for the consumer of goods and services. When everyone is rewarded for their work, then they competently and happily produce high quality goods and services. The brillant new Socialist system rewards every one without a competent work requirement, and it only suggests they show up and delegate their work to someone dumb enough to show competence in doing actual work. The Professor's wonderful experiences Monday will soon disappear into a new dark age of re-distributed rewards for incompetence. Welcome into the preferred system of all the Affirmative Action beneficiaries.

Titushadadreamaboutsnakes said...

My "check engine light" has been on in my fabulous beamer for the past month.

I just probably get that checked out.

JSF said...

And Michael wonders why he is having problems on other threads?

Maybe some more Karma is needed.

ricpic said...

There's a passage in a Wallace Stegner novel in which the protaganist, who lives in arroyo country in California, has to deal with a flash flood that threatens to wash away an access bridge to his property. As he's mucking away to unblock the debris choked creek under the bridge he says to himself, "I cope, therefore I am."

AJ Lynch said...

What do you mean by "you have a boiler and a furnace"? You have 2 heating systems?

Curtiss said...

Were there any good car deals at the Audi Dealership?

Ann Althouse said...

"What do you mean by "you have a boiler and a furnace"? You have 2 heating systems?"

Yes. The old part of my house, built in 1923, has radiators and a boiler. The new part, built in 1970, has forced air heat with a radiator.

Titushadadreamaboutsnakes said...

I had taking my car into the dealer to get work done. They could tell me anything and I would be like ok. Most of it is still under warranty but I am clueless when I go into those places...and they know it.

Unlike when I am at Niemies and talking to the Prada sales queen. She knows I know my Prada product and she can't mess with me.

Car repairs, hello, they must say let's screw this fag.

Titushadadreamaboutsnakes said...

I used to have sex in my last car which was also a beamer.

A friend of mine would come into the car and say, "it smells like cock in here". I would always ask him to get one of my "mittens" from the back seat. He would then notice that the mitten had chizz on it..he would then scream and I would laugh my ass off. You see I laughed because he was touching one of my chizzed filled was funny.

The next time I would pick him up in the car he would say, "now it smells like vanilla cock"--because I put vanilla car deodorizer in it, get it?

I haven't had sex in my most current car.

AJ Lynch said...

Got it. Those radoiators are great for warming gloves, hats, scarves and other stuff.

You know like when Meade ain't around.

ricpic said...

I have forced air. What a roar when it's coming up through the floor vents.

Titushadadreamaboutsnakes said...

I was just on a very important conference call for work.

How are you?

Peter V. Bella said...

I have usually had good luck with service people, especially trades people. I just found a great mechanic for my car. He goes above and beyond anyone else I have used.

David said...

Yes, you are a most lucky person. May both your good luck and your awareness of it continue.

My first winter in Milwaukee (1971) was one of the coldest on record. The pipes in our circa 1908 house froze three times. We figured that was just the way it was.

The fourth time they burst.

The same day we learned our third floor renter had stolen some of my wife's jewelry and maybe some cash.

My wife was distraught. The world was ending. I was quite happy. We had two healthy kids and some of our rooms were still habitable after the burst pipe.

She is still unhappy much of the time (or so I am told.) I am still happy.

commenter said...

most people with money, and yes, ann, you have money if you drive an Audi TT... well, they surround themselves in insurances.

I would not call it lucky. I would just call it your own private social insurance system.

Pogo said...

Just imagine how much fun national health care will be, when doctor visits veer toward the customer service model of the county driver's license bureau, rather than the Audi repair shop.

Currently, my masters at Medicare are telling me to order fewer tests when caring for old people.
Yes, master, sez I.
And since I cannot serve two masters, the patient will simply have to deal with it.

Recently, a daughter asked me about a PET scan for mom, since it may be able to tell if the nodule in her lung is cancer, otherwise we have to wait 3 months and repeat the CT.
A PET scan?
In Medicare?
I had to stifle a laugh.
Ha ha ha.
Boomers have no idea what they are in for.

No scans for you.

Tibore said...

Sheesh, lucky you. My car died a few weeks ago while going uphill in the middle of traffic. Yes, uphill. Yes, traffic. Turns out a bad wire to the starter - one, single damn wire - went bad and finally disconnected when I hit a bump, so the repair itself was trivial. The inconvenience was rolling to a quick stop - in traffic - blocking everything behind me while I tried and failed to restart, then having to push my damn car to the closest parking lot and call for a tow.

And thank God there were a couple of people nearby willing to help, because all I could do by myself was slow the downhill, reverse descent. Oh, did I mention I was in traffic at the time?


All this during our last big snowstorm in Indiana. Insert barrage of 4 letter words here. Yeah, the damn thing doesn't choose to break when it's warm out and I'm not on a two-lane, two-way street with no parking spots on the side. Oh, nooooo, it wants to break in the middle of the damn snow, grumble, mutter...


I do have to say: The Audi dealership looks way cooler than the local garage I use for my car repairs. My mechanics are talented and awesome, but their business sure does have the look of the "local motorhead shack". The wall separating us from the "garage" is particle board, and the floor is just too far gone to be cleaned with a simple mopping. But they know their stuff.

Tibore said...

Oh, and my mechanics don't have wi-fi. Man, I'm really missin' out... I wish I could afford an Audi. :(

jdeeripper said...

Everything's amazing, nobody's happy.

Cousin Bob said...

Hey, Titus!
So you had a bad dream about snakes, eh?
Snakes are what got me off of shards.
Used to be a trucker. Had to tweak to make the schedule. You know what it's like. Think about that next time you see that big Volvo diesel on your ass at 85 mph.

Anyway, I was on I-81, and all of a sudden snakes started coming out of my radio. They were kinda wavering with the music, so I figured how bad could they be?

Then it dawned on me this could be a bad situation, 'cause snakes usually don't live in radios. "Them snakes ain't real!" I thought to myself.

Trouble is, I couldn't make them go away.

Now THAT, Professor, is vehicle trouble.

I pulled into a rest stop. People were looking at me. Trooper shows up, takes one look, and busts me. My driving career was over.

To make a long story short, I wound up in rehab. No more snakes.

So, Titus, snakes probably saved my life. Don't think too badly of them when they show up in your head.

And if things really get bad, you can always get a mongoose.

George E. said...


Um, you're wealthy, not lucky.

Then again, you're lucky to have that professor job, since you are perhaps the least productive law professor in UW history.

fcai said...

I might as well post now since George's hate will get pinned on me anyway...

I owned 3 Audis, liked them, but found them unreliable. Come to think of it, one of them was the best handling car I ever owned. Oh well, good times, long gone.

former law student said...

By commentariat standards, Audis and Beemers are made in a Socialist country. All the assemblers have single payer health care.

Why don't Titus and Althouse buy the products a truly free market makes for them?

Titushadadreamaboutsnakes said...

I am a commie Law person.

I would never buy a domestic car.


Jennifer said...

Very lucky, indeed. Our heat pump went out in the middle of the worst snowstorm the state had seen in some crazy number of years. We were also completely out of firewood and the entire city sold out simultaneously. Several of our friends were convinced ice had just fallen down in the pump and that's why it was making a god awful noise. So we decided to turn the system off and wait for days for the temperature to warm up before we called for a repair. When we finally got the service guy here, he asked us why we didn't just switch to the supplemental setting and let the system bypass the external pump instead of freezing for days on end. Well, shit.

dick said...


It depends on what Beemer or Merc you have whether it is made in a socialist single payer healthcare system. Not all are made in Germany, you know.

k*thy said...

Yes, what great good luck you have and too, hope it continues.

Anyway, I too have had my share - sometimes being on the right side of minor incovenience, and a time or two through some dark, life changing experiences that I wouldn't have wished on anyone. A busted pipe here, a dead battery there...we're breathing, so for us today sounds like a can o'corn.

chuck b. said...

My house is 102 years old (just has one furnace) and sometimes I'm afraid the whole thing is just going to fall down in a big crash.

(And if it does, I guess it will take out the wireless, so I better learn how to tweet from my cell phone.)

Lem said...

Rockford Files [Episode 204] Answering Machine...

Okay, pal, it's Harry... I just checked my car. You kept the battery charged all right, you also put 3500 miles on it.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

If you had lived in early Mideval times, you would have lived through several famines and epidemics that would prominently feature lots of infirm, elderly and young friends and family die pitiful, heart rending deaths.

Marcia said...

"That's the part where you drive your car up. The area where I'm sitting with the computer is on the other side of a glass wall, and it's really quite posh... but the iPhone pics aren't too good."

Okay, I missed the glass wall. On closer look, I see the reflection now. And the parking lines.

So now my comment is: Your Audi dealership's service area has really nice flooring.

Peter V. Bella said...

Why don't Titus and Althouse buy the products a truly free market makes for them?

Because they believe in buying quality. That is something the United Auto Workers Union has taken out of the equation. Hung over on Monday, call in sick on Tuesday, and the rest of the week do as little as possible. This results is shitmobiles.

Ralph said...

Peter, they're a lot better than they were 20 or 30 years ago. It's those retirees, who did such a crappy job then, that have pushed the big 3 to the brink. People complain they don't make good small cars--they lose money on each one as it is (and always have), why should they lose more?

former law student said...

It depends on what Beemer or Merc you have whether it is made in a socialist single payer healthcare system.

Not true for Audi, true for BMW if we're talking SUVs, not cars.* And who said anything about Mercedes?

Audis are assembled in Germany, Belgium, and Hungary, all of which have national health care. A contract plant in China assembles them for the local market -- you wouldn't get one here.

BMWs are assembled in national health countried Germany (some 85%) and Austria. Two models of SUV are assembled in the US for the US market.

*Some of the 3XX series are assembled in South Africa; some few of these may find their way to America.

Dan from Madison said...

Hopefully your HVAC guys bought some of the parts needed from me!

Chet said...

Did I hear the word "nippy" ???

Tell me that a law Professor in a public university did not actually use that word.