Monday, July 28, 2014

Jeep Thrills

My hubby is a cheapskate.

No condemnation, just fact. He tries to buy the cheapest available thing no matter what the end result will be. Funny thing is, he ends up spending tons more money than if he purchased quality, and not always much more expensive, items.

Case in point: car parts.

I found an older Ford Explorer in excellent shape last fall. It was listed at $400 due to the automatic transmission having gone out. It was the second tranny failure on that particular rig which the people had purchased new, so they didn't want to deal with it any more. They just wanted it out of their driveway.

Heavens knows we really didn't need another car either, but I love a good deal.

Manlet and I were smack dab in the middle of an exciting Seahawks game on his fifty inch tv in our mancave when I spotted the vehicle listing in our local online trading post. I ran upstairs to grab Steve who was sitting in front of a crabbing show in our livingroom with a half dozen books and magazines opened around him. We jumped in my Jeep to hustle over to our neighbors' house before anyone else got there. The listing was all of seven minutes old.

Even though it was dark, we could tell the rig was in excellent shape. It smelled good. All of the leather seats were perfect, all of the buttons, levers, windows, and radio/cd player worked. Driver's door has to be locked with the key instead of the remote, but hey, the price was right!

I figured it would be about a thousand bucks to have the tranny rebuilt. Steve could slip out the tranny and drop it off for rebuilding, then put it back in. Easy peasy. He has the tools, a tranny jack, and the inclination for tinkering on cars. Perfect car 'flip' combo. The money above our investment could go towards a car for Manlet as he would be turning sixteen and getting his drivers license.

And no, he didn't want to drive the Explorer. Silly Manlet. He wants a Wrangler or a CJ5 or 7.

I peeled out cash machine money to the now-former owners, grabbed the bill of sale and title to transfer, and Steve drove the car home with me following, albeit slowly as the rig wouldn't up shift.

I was back in time for the second half to start. And yes, of course, my beloved Hawks won. And yes, they ended up winning the Super Bowl. 

Gloat, gloat.

Meanwhile, The Hubster comes home from work late one evening and dashes excitedly through our front door.

"I found a tranny for the Explorer!" says He. "It was only $100!"

"Did you drive whatever vehicle it came out of to make sure all gears work?" questions I.

"Well, no, but the guy told me that it worked fine before his wreck," assured my Spouse.

"But you have no idea if it really does?" I asked. "Can you take it back if it doesn't?"

"Well, he is moving to New York tomorrow, but when he met me at Walmart he looked like a good guy," stated Steve. "He was driving an old Dodge pickup."

Oh dear.

Of course you know that the used tranny, after taking out the old one and putting in the new one, plus a new pressure plate and tranny fluid for another $100, didn't work.

All Steve said was, "Oh."

Flash forward to a few weeks ago.

I sent Steve off to have the original tranny rebuilt. It costed $975. It worked when Steve put it in.

Uh huh. Plus another $100 to replace the new pressure plate he broke taking out the broken used tranny, and all new tranny fluid. I made sure that he didn't reuse the 'fresh' stuff he had just put in. Who knows what was in that old, used, broken tranny.

Steve drove the Explorer to and from work to make sure everything worked well before we put it up for sale. Ends up that the thermostat housing needed replacing, $25 on eBay, along with two temp sensors at $25 and $10 respectively.

Except that he went with a cheap second sensor which didn't work when installed. So we ordered a second one for $22. 

Yep, the cheap one didn't work because it was the wrong part. So the more expensive one also didn't work because it was the wrong one. Once opened and installed those parts weren't returnable.

I asked Hubby to take the original sensor to our local auto parts store to get the right sensor. He couldn't as he had thrown it away when he ordered the first wrong one. But the parts guy figured out which one Steve needed by looking at the second wrong one. Steve paid the $27 for the correct second sensor, brought it home, installed it, and drove off to work this morning.

It worked just fine. I tried to point out that if he had just gone to our parts store to start with the two sensors would have been $54 instead of the $84 he has spent.

"I was just trying to save money!" says He.


(Side note, that really is my 1946 Willys Flatfender pictured here. I love Jeeps!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Who Cares?

If I had a dollar for every time my spouse said "My God! Who cares? What does it matter?" over the last twenty-one years of our marriage, I would be a very wealthy woman. 

I am very glad that I don't pull on my own hair when Steve pops off with his standard reply to anything he doesn't understand, doesn't like, doesn't want to  do. Otherwise I'd be bald.

Rich doesn't help bald.

The sad thing is that he cares about stopping on the freeway for a total stranger driving thirty miles per hour to merge on from an on ramp. He cares about his truck getting door dings so he parks on the opposite side of a parking lot from the front door of whatever store or restaurant we are going to.

Even though he has personally dented, crushed, sideswiped, smashed or otherwise marred his truck a dozen times already.

He cares about letting a person with two full shopping carts step ahead of him when I send him to the store to grab a single ingredient I just ran out of while in the middle of making dinner.

He cares about the possibility that one of our neighbors might be napping in the middle of the day when I've asked him for the hundredth time if he is going to mow the eight inches of grass in our yard or should I hire someone to do it.

It hurts my feelings that he doesn't seem to want to consider whether or not I care, or want to do things that would be pleasing to me.

Earlier this year, while buying plants for our expansive back deck's flower boxes and hanging baskets, I also purchased several sugarsnap pea plants. I did so because I know Steve loves them and I thought he'd enjoy having several batches of fresh pea pods to take in his lunch each week. I mentioned that to him while trying to explain that many married couples do things like that because they love their spouse and enjoy pleasing them.

To which he replied, "Well that's stupid! I can buy my own peas when I want."


Steve also insists that he is empathetic. That when people state that Aspergians don't seem to feel empathy, they are dead wrong. He always cries about sad stories and movies. He feels empathy when dogs are sad or locked up. 

But when he forgets to tell me that he's going to be four hours late coming home on a particular day, refuses to turn on his phone to receive calls or texts and we sit waiting to have dinner until he gets home, he says that I am just too controlling.

"What about common courtesy?" I ask.

"You aren't my mother!" snorteth He.

Boy oh boy, Sweetie, don't I know it! You are always polite and courteous to your mom. Just not to me or our kids.

Oh, by the way, we care and it matters to us. I sure hope you read this today. Perhaps by the time you get home I can find something to laugh about.

And thank you for putting up the ceiling fan for me that I bought last year. It made the room much more bearable yesterday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thoughts Can't Change Reality

*Sigh* Oh dear. Another vehicle dead in the water.

I really do love baseball season. I just hate car trouble.

After a desperate call to The Hubster, Manlet and I exit our now-inoperable car, then set out on foot to find sustenance for my hunger ravished ball player.

I think back to the last couple of weeks and wonder how my hubby can honestly believe the things his mind puts forth as truth.

My Jeep has been giving us fits for weeks. It seems to be something electrical. Steve thinks that he's fixed it and refuses to believe that it won't run after I had to have it towed home the weekend before last. He couldn't get it to run either.

Trust me, I don't have cars towed just for the fun of it. That weekend our oldest son had to drive 35 miles to come rescue Manlet and I. I don't call for help just because.

After accusing me of leaving my lights on to drain the battery or running out of gas, and following an extensive investigation by my spouse of the a fore mentioned Jeep, Steve finally admitted he couldn't get it running. 

Right. My diagnosis and judgement regarding my vehicles is pretty good. Something was wrong and the Jeep couldn't be driven.

Due to an impending trip across our state for another baseball tournament, I went and rented a vehicle. I didn't want to break down three hundred some miles away from home.

The Hubster stayed home and put another new tranny in our Explorer. He had already done that this spring but the $100 used tranny he found on craiglist didn't work. Neither did the phone number of the guy he bought it from. 

Yah, right.

"But the guy said that it worked just fine when he pulled it out of his wrecked car," states Hubby.

"I thought I asked you to actually drive whatever vehicle you were getting a used tranny from, or have the original tranny in the Explorer rebuilt?" questions me.

"It should have worked!" states The Hubster.

"But it didn't!" stateth I.

"But it costs so much to rebuild one!" blusters my Spouse.

"But you give so much money away to people who sell you parts that don't work!" respondeth an indignant Me.

Had I not walked off, this line of conversation would probably still be going.

Dial forward to two days ago. I jump in the now rebuilt tranny-ed Explorer. I drive Manlet and myself to a game. Game over, we jump back in to head off to grab dinner, then home. As I drove up a slight incline of an major arterial intersection intending to turn left, the Explorer began huffing and snorting as if it were out of gas. After Manlet assured me that he and his father had driven to the gas station the night before to fill up, I cut sharply across three lanes of traffic to my right in order to turn into a store's parking lot. The Explorer literally died right there in the driveway.

Hubby arrived about an hour later. Manlet and I sat waiting in the rig, pizza disappearing down my teenage son's throat at an alarming speed. Steve determined that the battery was completely dead. He had brought a different one with him.

"Steve! Why didn't you change the battery before you sent me off in this if you knew it was bad?" I asked. 

"Well, I thought it would be okay," said He. "It seemed to have a little juice left in it."

"But Steve, a car can't run without an electrical charge from a battery!" I thought to myself, for once able to keep that thought from escaping my mouth.

Holy moly, I just don't get his logic. Or lack thereof, lol.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Normal Family

Through this blog and various social medias, I come in contact with thousands of people who are welcomed acquaintances, but not close friends. 

Just last night, as Manlet and I return from another out of town baseball tournament and I endeavor to catch up with messages and emails, I ran across this:

"You guys are blessed. Its good to see your family happy."

Say what? Seriously, I am not really feeling 'blessed' or 'happy' right now. I've been focused on what hasn't been done around the house while we were gone. 

Unmade bed. "Why should I have to make it? I am just going to unmake it to sleep in it tonight!" explains my Hubby. "Why should I have to waste my energy?"

Kitchen sinks filthy. "I just washed some cookie sheets!" retorts The Hubster. "The sinks get clean while I'm washing!"

Ummmmm, what about the chunks of baked pizza that had stuck to the baking sheet and now lie glued to the bottom of the sink, as well as the various scrape marks all around from the corners of that same sheet? Apparently those things are invisible to my Aspergian Spouse.

Stinky garbage smell radiating from under the sink in the 80+° weather we are having right now. "But it's not full!" proclaims Steve, now very agitated. "Why are you so controlling?"

I give up. 

I am trying to contact the insurance company to make sure that our newly licensed Manlet is added to our policy, and that his car is adequately covered.

I am trying to print out proof of insurance cards for him. 

I am trying to ignore everything else around the house. 

I am going to choose to be happy.

Which must mean it's time to go to bed, lol.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Does Not Compute

Communication. isn't. easy. with. an. Aspergian.


I really, truly try to keep my communications simple. Steve doesn't process quickly, therefore he seems to focus on single words, not necessarily the specific word or words that the subject is about.

I, on the other hand, am verbally free flowing. I do love language, and try to incorporate new words and phrases whenever possible. The Hubster tends to get 'stuck' on unfamiliar words and phrases. If he doesn't 'get' something immediately, he stops listening at that point.


Last weekend the Manlet needed a different uniform for his tournament game. The field that his team was playing on was about forty-five minutes from our home. I called Steve and talked him through our house to get the needed items, then had him drive to a halfway point to meet me. I had slightly less than an hour to perform an act of parental heroism.

I was driving our oldest son's pickup as my trusty Jeep died the day before, and we had it towed home. I reminded my Hubby that I was in the truck, but sure enough, when he got to the prescribed meeting spot, he drove right passed me. I honked at him, waved my arm out the drivers window and flashed the headlights. He kept on driving.

I pulled out after him and frantically called his cell. He wouldn't answer. It took me five minutes of maniacal driving to force him to pull over. Time was a tickin'.

"What are you driving?" demanded my Spouse.

"Son's truck!" I yelled, ripping Manlet's clothes out of my husband's hands. "My Jeep broke down yesterday! Don't you remember?"

"But that is my dad's truck!" replied my startled Hubby.

"Steve! Your dad gave it to the kids right after they were married last year! You know that cuz you helped do a tuneup on it when they drove it back from your folks! I don't have time for this!"

"Why are you always yelling at me?" thunders Steve.

Now firmly ensconced in the truck-of-questionable-ownership, I ignored him and peeled out.

I know, shame on me for losing my temper - but I was really pressed for time. I talk too fast. I talk too loudly. I wasn't patiently waiting for everything to compute in his mind.