Malcolm R

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I just ordered one of these to try and get more exercise in my day since the gym is closed:

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Jeffrey D

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A word of warning to those of you staying at home and not using your cars very much -- still get out there and start them up occasionally. This is especially important for the newer vehicles with all the electronics that run even when the car is shut off -- those electronics drain your battery.

We've been driving my wife's Buick Encore mostly for errands around town, but I have tried to use my GMC Acadia at least once a week (plus it's the vehicle we take back and forth to northern Michigan to my parents home). Even with that, my battery was dead yesterday when we were heading to pick up a take out order from our favorite micro brewery (have to support our local businesses). The AAA road service person who showed up today said he's replaced 6 dead batteries already this month from people who have not been starting their vehicles and charging the battery.

I was cognizant of this from an incident with my mother's 2017 Ford Escape this past winter. After my father passed away in December, she was staying with us in southeastern Michigan and her car was sitting unused in their pole barn in northern Michigan. When we went to start it (it had been a month since it had been driven), it was completely dead. Up there, the company doing the AAA road service did not carry spare batteries, nor have a very good jump start device. Plus, chipmunks had built a nest in her air intake (luckily they didn't chew any wires). We had the vehicle towed to the local mechanic up there who has been servicing my parents cars for 30 years (if you are ever in the Roscommon / Houghton Lake area of Michigan and need a mechanic, go to Lonnie's on M-18). All this when she had only about a month left on the vehicle lease!
I’ve had good luck with my 2015 Charger- I’ll let it sit for 2, even 3 weeks, and she fires right up with no problem. I’ll put a battery in her next year
(seems to me you don’t get much more than 6 years out of a battery, no matter what). I’m more worried about the tires dry-rotting (my right front tire has a slow leak- could be due to cracking).
 

TonyD

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In the continuing adventures of my 79 year old dad.
He is still going as if things are normal.
Just goes to Lowe’s too often.

Today he calls and tells me he took his pool pump apart and can’t get it back together.

He has this crappy old pump on his in ground pool that I’ve told him needs to be replaced and continues to break down and stop pumping.

A couple weeks ago he calls me and asks me over because the pump wasn’t pumping.
I reluctantly went over and tunrned it off and on a couple times and it worked just fine.

Today he calls and wants me to come over because he can’t get the bracket and the O-ring back together and needs an extra set of hands to do it.
His wife can t help due to a broken leg and is basically chair bound.

So despite me telling him that I can’t come over unless it’s a real emergency and numerous times asking Him to just get a new pump he can’t help himself and takes it apart and can’t re-assemble it.

So frustrating.
I know I’m going to half to go over there tomorrow and I know I’ll have to take a mask for him because I’m sure he doesn’t have one.
 

John Dirk

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seems to me you don’t get much more than 6 years out of a battery, no matter what).
I'd say 6 years is pretty good for a car battery these days. Most are already a year or more old by the time they even make it to an actual car, even if the car is brand new. Conversely, I've never had to replace any of my motorcycle batteries. Probably because I keep them on trickle chargers.
 

John Dirk

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So frustrating.
I know I’m going to half to go over there tomorrow and I know I’ll have to take a mask for him because I’m sure he doesn’t have one.
In the context of current events I understand your frustration but, I have to say, I like this guy!
 

Josh Steinberg

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In the continuing adventures of my 79 year old dad.
He is still going as if things are normal.
Just goes to Lowe’s too often.

Today he calls and tells me he took his pool pump apart and can’t get it back together.

He has this crappy old pump on his in ground pool that I’ve told him needs to be replaced and continues to break down and stop pumping.

A couple weeks ago he calls me and asks me over because the pump wasn’t pumping.
I reluctantly went over and tunrned it off and on a couple times and it worked just fine.

Today he calls and wants me to come over because he can’t get the bracket and the O-ring back together and needs an extra set of hands to do it.
His wife can t help due to a broken leg and is basically chair bound.

So despite me telling him that I can’t come over unless it’s a real emergency and numerous times asking Him to just get a new pump he can’t help himself and takes it apart and can’t re-assemble it.

So frustrating.
I know I’m going to half to go over there tomorrow and I know I’ll have to take a mask for him because I’m sure he doesn’t have one.
It wasn’t quite as adventurous of a situation, but I felt like I had to have “the talk” with my mom too. Because she’s a hospital nurse, once this hit NYC we had to make the difficult choice to put her several-times-a-week visits on hold. Once there’s more widespread testing available and once hospitals can get a normal supply of safety equipment we’ll reevaluate but for now it seemed like the safest choice. This was before NY officially shut down but when it seemed inevitable that it was moving in that direction. On the day of her last visit she came over with new picture books for the twins and on the one hand I of course appreciated the gesture and on the other hand, it was like, we’re going into lockdown, why are you going to any store or really any place you don’t have an actual need to go to? Shes also someone like me in the sense that she’d prefer to go to the grocery store more frequently and pick up just a day or two of ingredients at a time, and I was strongly advising her to consolidate those trips, especially since she’s out in the suburbs where she has a car to carry the groceries and extra room in the house to store it all. By now she’s doing the right things (or at least telling me all the right things) but that first week was really nerve wracking for me. I worry so much about her and my stepfather; they’re both hospital nurses, my mom is in the operating room and my stepdad is a nurse anesthetist. Technically what they do doesn’t really overlap with caring for covid patients but with non-essential and elective surgeries put on hold indefinitely, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they’ll be asked to pitch in specifically with those patients. Is it selfish of me that I’m glad that their hospitals have been trying to keep them protected and away from it as much as possible so that they be in good health to provide care for any emergency surgeries that still do have to happen?
 

JohnRice

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I'd say 6 years is pretty good for a car battery these days. Most are already a year or more old by the time they even make it to an actual car, even if the car is brand new. Conversely, I've never had to replace any of my motorcycle batteries. Probably because I keep them on trickle chargers.
Yeah, pretty much. The battery in my 2014 Grand Cherokee went 6 1/2 years. The fun part is, it costs about $250 and is nearly impossible to replace. I watched a video and decided I didn’t have the agility or upper body strength to even do it, so another $75 to have a mechanic do it.

Seriously, look at a video showing how to replace that thing, which is UNDER the front passenger seat. :rolleyes:
 

Jeffrey D

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Yeah, pretty much. The battery in my 2014 Grand Cherokee went 6 1/2 years. The fun part is, it costs about $250 and is nearly impossible to replace. I watched a video and decided I didn’t have the agility or upper body strength to even do it, so another $75 to have a mechanic do it.

Seriously, look at a video showing how to replace that thing, which is UNDER the front passenger seat. :rolleyes:
Wow- under the front passenger’s seat? My other vehicle is a 2017 Grand Cherokee. I’m pretty sure the battery is where it’s supposed to be- under the hood (it’s in the trunk in my Charger :lol:)
 

JohnRice

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Wow- under the front passenger’s seat? My other vehicle is a 2017 Grand Cherokee. I’m pretty sure the battery is where it’s supposed to be- under the hood (it’s in the trunk in my Charger :lol:)
I’d double check that. If there are jumper posts in the engine compartment, then it’s under the seat.
 

Jeffrey D

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I’d double check that. If there are jumper posts in the engine compartment, then it’s under the seat.
Yes I’ll have to look more carefully. How does the video explain how to remove the battery? Do you have to unbolt the seat?
 

JohnRice

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Yes I’ll have to look more carefully. How does the video explain how to remove the battery? Do you have to unbolt the seat?
You slide the seat all the way forward, then you can barely access a plate from the back seat that's removed to get to the battery, which is about twice the size of a regular battery, and there appears to be very little room to maneuver or grip the battery.

A few months after I got the car, I was just looking around under the hood, because like to know where things are when I need to replace the air filter, check the oil, add washer fluid, etc. I saw the jumper posts and started looking for the battery. After a lot of digging around, I deduced it wasn't there, which is when I looked up the video.
 

Jeffrey D

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You slide the seat all the way forward, then you can barely access a plate from the back seat that's removed to get to the battery, which is about twice the size of a regular battery, and there appears to be very little room to maneuver or grip the battery.

A few months after I got the car, I was just looking around under the hood, because like to know where things are when I need to replace the air filter, check the oil, add washer fluid, etc. I saw the jumper posts and started looking for the battery. After a lot of digging around, I deduced it wasn't there, which is when I looked up the video.
Sad that the days of the “shade tree mechanic” are no more- even though I can’t do/have no interest in doing auto repairs, I didn’t mind changing my own oil, swap out a battery- I even replaced a
thermostat on one of my beater cars a long time ago. We can’t do this stuff now- things are too hard to get to or disassemble, or we need specialty tools for a lot of the work.
 

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Is it selfish of me that I’m glad that their hospitals have been trying to keep them protected and away from it as much as possible so that they be in good health to provide care for any emergency surgeries that still do have to happen?
Maybe that was meant to be rhetorical, but I’ll chip in anyway.

Absolutely not selfish. Entirely understandable. Of course you want the best for everyone everywhere. That doesn’t override the love, care and concern for your nearest and dearest and wishing them personal safety and protection.

Take great care of yourself and your loved ones, Josh, and don’t for a moment think that there is anything wrong with that.
 

Mike2001

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A few weeks back, I had a hard time convincing my 85 year old mom that the social distancing directives were indeed necessary. I spoke with her and she said she’d been good but in the next sentence she said she’d been to see Onward in the theater with my brother and his family. She then said that she’d been to a bridge party the day before and was planning to go to another the next day. I managed to talk her out of going to the bridge party but that turned out to be her come to jesus moment. The next morning, the hostess called her and told her that she had to go into self-quarantine for 14 days, along with 40 other seniors, because someone had tested positive who was at a bridge club event the week before. Mom finally got religion and has been good ever since.
 

Robert Crawford

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I went shopping about 45 minutes before my grocery store closed tonight and there were maybe 20 people in the entire store. It's a huge store so it was much better crowd-wise than it would be tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. when it opens up for seniors and people with health conditions. I found everything I needed so I won't be there tomorrow morning.:D Matter of fact, I'm probably not going to shop for two more weeks. So my new shopping day will be just before closing on Wednesday's night.
 

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I went to the supermarket tonight, a task I wasn’t looking forward to. Amazon Fresh had been great but there hasn’t been an open delivery window in weeks and we were running low on too many things to keep putting it off and hoping. So out I went.

Honestly, the experience has been much the same as everything else I’ve experienced in NYC since this began. Walking on any main street is like being on a damn obstacle course, or trying to get through bumper cars without being hit. You’ve got the majority of people taking it seriously and distancing and wearing cloth face coverings (as the city has now required of everyone), but you’ve got a small yet substantial number of people who either don’t take it seriously, don’t believe it’s real, or just don’t give a fuck, weaving in and out of everyone who is distancing and not covering their faces. My cloth mask is to protect you from me; you not wearing one doesn’t put you at a higher risk, it puts me at one.

So I expected the worst when I got to the store and saw that there was a small line with about six people waiting to enter, all standing way too close together. I backed up six feet and figured if anyone wanted to cut, I wasn’t gonna argue. But the people who joined the line after me kept the proper distance.

Inside the store, they really were keeping it empty enough so that you could go down aisles without being bothered by people. And they had plexiglass between the line and the cashier, and tape on the floor to distance you in the check out area, and not enough people to form lines anyway. They were limiting everything to two of each so there were most things you’d want where you’d expect them to be. One or two people got a little too close for a fraction of a second, but I think a woman getting her face a foot from my calves in a bizarre vegetable grabbing maneuver was probably not a life threatening encounter.

I didn’t want to hoard anything but practically speaking, I’m the only one that can do the store runs, and with baby twins still mastering the concepts of “sleep” and “night” there’s never a great time to go out anyway, so I just wanted to get as much as I could not to be selfish and not out of panic but just because there are only so many hours in the day.

But I am excited for my bounty! Eggs, an essential ingredient in pancakes, brownies, pecan pies and fried chicken cutlets/pork chops, all things we’ve deemed as being essential to our sanity. I have chicken cutlets to bread and fry for sandwiches, ground beef that could be used in so many different ways, a giant pack of pork chops, a whole chicken to roast, salmon, and a megapack of drumsticks. Plus I have some good stuff already frozen here. Got frozen vegetables so I can have an ample supply without worrying about spoilage. And also, the days are busy enough without having to have each component of every meal be fussed over like a gourmet feast; steamed broccoli is fine too. Oh, and the fun part to carry home - ten pound bags of potatoes and onions. A million ways to use those. I’m actually excited for all of this. Can’t wait til the kids are older and I can draft them into meal prep.

If I ever mention something I’m making here or in the “what’s cooking” thread and you want me to walk you through how to do it yourself, I’d be glad to. We’re all in this together and friends don’t let friends suffer the same crap over and over again :)
 

Scott Merryfield

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Yeah, pretty much. The battery in my 2014 Grand Cherokee went 6 1/2 years. The fun part is, it costs about $250 and is nearly impossible to replace. I watched a video and decided I didn’t have the agility or upper body strength to even do it, so another $75 to have a mechanic do it.

Seriously, look at a video showing how to replace that thing, which is UNDER the front passenger seat. :rolleyes:
Yes, batteries have gotten a lot more expensive (mine was almost $200 for my 2018 GMC Acadia), and while mine is under the hood, it's buried underneath a wiring junction box. The service person did say the previous Acadia model design placed the battery under the seat like your Jeep. Luckily, the company AAA sent out carries spare batteries for about the same price as our local Belle Tire, so he just changed it on the spot for me as part of the service call that's covered under our membership. I wish the company AAA sent for my mother's vehicle in northern Michigan did the same -- it would have saved us towing the vehicle (they couldn't jump start hers, as that battery was 100% dead -- even our trusted mechanic up there said he couldn't jump start it).
 

Carlo Medina

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I knew I should have moved to New Zealand.
;)

Seriously, though, good on them for taking it seriously and making the hard decisions early on. I fully understand that what they implemented would not have gone over particularly well here (nor would it even be easily enforceable even if it were).

But if when something even nastier than COVID comes along in the years to come (i.e. significantly higher R0 and mortality rates) then we know the playbook countries will have to enact to combat it. Maybe they can codename it The New Zealand Protocol. That sounds like a book/movie/series waiting to happen.
 

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