Lucky to Be Alive

COVID-19 At-Home Test

I’m still mentally beating myself up over my dereliction with regard to the RAV4’s gasoline smell. It could have been a disaster. The rodent caused nick in the fuel line was on the part of the line that is above the engine. According to the service tech, gas was squirting out of the pressurized gas line. It easily could have ignited, either on a hot manifold below it or since the gasoline eventually shorted an oxygen sensor, on the hot exhaust pipe. We were so lucky.

I called my insurance company today, to poke them along and it seemed to have some beneficial effect. It opened a dialog between the insurance company and the car dealer. Toyota is all ready to go, they have the parts in-house and are ready to go. We’re just waiting on the insurance company’s adjuster to inspect the vehicle. Hopefully, that will happen to this week, because if it doesn’t, then I’ll have the insurance company rent me a car.

Pictured is our government supplied COVID-19 at-home test kit. It showed up Monday night. Neither of us are feeling ill, so, we’ll just leave the tests in the box for now. I heard on NPR last night that after this Omicron wave subsides, over 80% of all Americans will be immune to the virus, either like us, because they have been vaccinated or like others, because they have already had the disease. Hurrah, herd immunity!

No word yet on the fraudulent credit card charges that I found on Monday, except that my credit card company, which also happens to be the same as my auto insurance company sent me my monthly bill and those fraudulent charges were on the bill. Because of this credit card fraud and all of the auto insurance issues, I took an unknown number call yesterday that turned out to be a phishing attempt. The woman claimed to be representing Amazon’s fraud department and said that someone else had bought an iPhone using my account. It was so eerily similar to the credit card fraud that had just occurred that I got sucked into it a little bit, but only enough to just give up my name. While, she was speaking, I used the desktop computer to check my Amazon account, and there were no iPhone charges. I questioned her and asked, if she was the fraud, to which she said, “If you think that you should hang up.” Which I did. I later changed my Amazon password, which required a two-step authentication involving my phone. That and the fact that the credit card that I use with Amazon is dead after the previous hack, there is no way that she could have been for real.

Finally, since I am unburdening myself of all of my problems, with this post, we’ve been experiencing toilet issues of late. I tried plunging the toilet and then snaking it too, but for the last two days, it has been flushing slowly or as of today, not at all. I decided to call a plumber, because often in the past, a non-flushing toilet has often been an early symptom of a main sewer line backup. I called the plumber, who lives up the block and who replaced our main line several years ago. When he called me back and miracle of miracles, said he was willing to come by today—He is so good that normally, I have to wait several days—I had to tell him never mind, because by then, Anne had fixed the toilet.

What a world! What a world! What a world!

Our Car Caught Covid or Not?

RAV4 Hybrid Limited

At first, I feared that our RAV4 had caught covid. Yesterday morning, I drove Anne over to Barnes hospital for a doctor’s appointment. It was just a checkup and she’s OK, but parking around the hospital is impossible. After dropping her off, I got a check engine light on our “new” car. I ran a diagnostic, and the code came back as oxygen sensor circuit malfunction. Our car has multiple oxygen sensors that measure the amount of oxygen present in the exhaust. Get it, oxygen problems, covid? I ran this kind of diagnostic before on the Prius, but those tests were short and sweet compared to the one that the RAV4 has. It has 131 different things to check. As it turns out there was a different cause.

For weeks now, there has been the smell of gasoline about the car. Anne has been making Nice and Gentle (NAG) assertions about taking the car into the dealer for service and last week, I had happened to make an appointment for one that day. After lunch, I drove to the dealer. They diagnosed the car’s problem as rodents, which I believe was a squirrel. In the engine compartment, the fuel line had been nicked and some insolation under the hood chewed on. We’ve hardly driven the car and I believe the trip across Forest Park and back was probably the longest that we have done for a month, which is probably why it triggered the check engine light. Gas had been dripping down the fuel line and had soaked the affected oxygen sensor, shorting it. They said that the car was not drivable, which begs the question of how much danger were we in before then. I was a derelict fool, but also a lucky fool. I spent a good amount of time on the phone with my insurance company making the claim, before I left the dealership via Uber. The insurance agent was excellent, and she really knew her job, like did you know that most wiring insulation is soy based. She was sure that a man had come up with that brilliant idea.

But wait, it gets better, while mucking about in my insurance company’s app, which doubles as my main credit card app too, I noticed that two days ago that my card had been hacked. Two grand had been charged via the Apple store. I am contesting these charges now. I have now newly implemented credit card charge monitoring on all my cards, like what Anne has been doing for some time now.

What a day! What a day! What a day!

Demon Squirrel

The Jurassic vs. Technology

RAV4 Hybrid Limited

Well, the internet came back on last night. Fitfully at first, hesitantly, it had coaxed along. Next, Direct TV came back too. Crisis solved. We will be all ready for Cyber Monday tomorrow. With this overarching issue that overshadowed everything else now solved, let us now turn to my other technology issue. Last week the RAV4’s infotainment screen started coming up with a message complaining/asking for service. This was different from the oil change light that resides on the dashboard. I’ve already figured out how to deal with that. This was different. I made an appointment at the dealer and took the car in. The service rep said that I was a little early for service, but they were more than ready to do the work. An hour later, we got the car back, along with its annoying message. I was already on my way and didn’t want to turn around and go back, so I decided to fix it myself. After much pawing over message boards, I came to realize that the RAV4 wasn’t asking to be serviced, hence the rep’s comment. One cryptic Suggest entering the name and address of the dealership. I tried it and it worked. The startup message had disappeared. Another victory for the Jurassic over technology.