The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Time for an Oil Change

I have to take my car in for an oil change today. Routine maintenance. When I was young, we were supposed to change the oil every 1000 miles. Few did, we mostly went 2000 miles. A few years ago, the auto makers suggested 6000 miles and most dealers (and quick oil change places) suggested 3000 miles, they still do. Now my car manual says once every year or 22,000 miles, whichever comes first. So, I try to change it around 6000 miles.

Well, let's be honest, I have it changed. I don't do it myself anymore. I'm too old to be crawling around under my car. And too lazy. Now I complain about sitting around in the service center's waiting room. Can anyone tell me why they have to be so uncomfortable? The chairs are left over from some nightmare of a fast food restaurant, the magazines are two year old People and US issues, and the TV (if it works) is showing a very fuzzy broadcast of a rerun of a Jerry Springer show with the sound turned off (or not working). You can have coffee, free, if you like it really old. Or pay $1 for a tiny bag of stale potato chips.

And it only takes an hour to do that 15 minute job. Unless they forget you told them you'd wait then it takes two hours; the one hour you waited and the additional hour after you reminded them you were waiting.

I am really looking forward to this. But I am bringing a book and my own coffee.

Addendum: It is now two hours later and I am back. It took a little over an hour to do that 15 minutes of work because they found a nail in my left rear tire. If I had changed my own oil, I would not have found that... until the tire got real low.


MilesPerHour said...

I get great coffee, cookies, bottled water, internet access and all kinds of wonderful things with each of the maintenance requirements on my Lexus. I also get a nosebleed looking at the bill that comes with owning a "luxury" car. Bleh.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Apparently Douglas goes to the wrong gas station...

I just get on the bus with a good book, no oil to change.


Aaron said...

More importantly, why does an advertised oil change price of $19.99 always cost me $34.50!? I'm always too nervous to argue because when it comes to cars, I know nothing (throws his hands up in despair)!

Douglas said...

MPH- I have a Buick so all I get is the big bill for maintenance.

AV- It's a pain to lug my golf clubs onto a bus (not that we have any of those in this town) to go to the two different courses I play.

Aaron- Because it's basically kidnapping. Fork over the money and your car doesn't get hurt (too badly).

The Logisitician said...

General Motors vehicle owners with models between roughly 1996 and 2003 should be aware of a problem with the long life patented coolant known as Dex-Cool. It deteriorates into a gummy sludge which damages gaskets and repairs run about $1200 - $1500. The coolant was to last for years. Part of class action lawsuit. Google for further info.

yolanda said...


AV - there is a lot to be said for public transport, and the freedom that it gives you to have 'you time'. but personally i find nothing more rewarding than a few hours driving in my car, alone. it gives me a chance to review things. its my form of meditiation.


Argentum Vulgaris said...

Douglas, I good reason that I don't play golf...

Yolanda, don't get me wrong, in NZ I had a car all my life (well, from 17) and I love driving long distance, but here in Rio one needs a certain level of insanity to drive, and while I boast of being weird, I haven't qualified for the former, yet. And you have to also consider that Rio's bus drivers are all qualified Kamikazi pilots.

Buick, nice car, friend of mine had an older '38 straight 8, loved it as much as my older '56 De Soto, although that was equipped with a 380 Dodge V8, I was a bit of a cowboy in those heady days and wore chaph


Douglas said...

AV - The US is a great expanse. Full of the open road which often beckons to us. I know of no one who likes to drive in cities, or even towns. But a country highway, snaking across prairie, mountains, or through forests gnaws at the straps which bind my wanderlust.

I have taken buses to work. Hated them. I have used a bicycle and, for a period, could walk to work. These last two were enjoyable. But to truly unwind the mind and soul, nothing beats a long smooth ride over asphalt.

It is why I drove out to California last summer rather than take a plane.

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