Blog Archives

My Miata is home sick today

Last night my Miata came down with a fever and a runny nose.  I pulled into the garage to find my temperature gauge all the way to the H and white steam was starting to roll out from the engine compartment.  I immediately checked it out and found a crack in the top of my Radiator.  It was spraying out white steam from the top of the radiator. 

Since my baby was sick, I had to take Sarah to school in the van and then drive the van to work right from her school.  I was only a little late for work which wasn’t too bad. 

I checked around online for some prices for a replacement radiator and found a website radiator.com which I used to contact them about a radiator for my Miata.  They are a direct to consumer distributor, and have price matching and guaranteed lowest prices which was good.  I ended up getting a new radiator, with a lifetime warranty for my Miata for $169 with free same day delivery to my home. 

The miata.net forums have a good garage section with a guide showing step by step how to replace the radiator on your own.  So I will save a little money by doing the replacement myself.  On the way home I have to stop by an auto parts store and pickup some radiator fluid and hoses, but most likely I’ll have it all done tonight or at the latest sometime tomorrow.  I really hope I can get it fixed tonight, because Liz and I are going on a date tomorrow night to celebrate our 9th anniversary.

Favorite time of year

This time of year is one of my favorites! Holidays approaching, cooler weather and more outdoor activities. To be honest, it only gets really hot for about 12 weeks out of the year, most of the rest of the time its perfect here in Tampa! It might get a little chilly at night, but 70’s and low 80’s during the day are the norm.

I had a beautiful sunrise to watch this morning during my drive to work. The sky was clear, and the stars still still visible when I left the house and a cool crisp clean feel to the air greeted me as I left the garage. I watched the sky during my commute, which turned into an awesome shade of blue that enveloped the entire sky. Following this was a large orangeish yellow spot as the sun crept over the horizon. All of this viewed behind the relaxing scene of nicely landscaped palm trees touching the blue sky as I drove by. Sometimes I stop and remember the things that made me stop in awe when I first moved to Tampa. This really is a nice place to live.

Crazy night

Last night was absolutely crazy from the time I got home, until I went to bed. It all started when I walked in the door and found the house to be almost 85 degrees inside. Liz had just left, and so I started checking out the system, resetting breakers, etc. Nothing I did would work, and so I resorted to checking the phone book to find the numbers of a good after hours A/C contractor. I found one of the ads for one of the companies we had out before A-Able. I called and they said someone could be out in a few hours. I gave us messing with it myself, and decided to make myself some dinner. I baked up one of those frozen pizzas from the California Pizza Kitchen. I must say I’m not a fan of frozen pizza, but the ones from the California Pizza Kitchen are really good. They are actually pretty close to the originals you can get at the restaurant. I love the Marguerita pizza, and its really good, even for a frozen pizza.

During all this commotion with the A/C I notice a car parked next door that looked suspicious. I saw some people going through the gate and they were playing with the pool supplies, and opening shed doors and stuff. As far as I knew this house was still vacant, and the kids in the neighborhood have been screwing around with the for sale sign for months, so I did notice it was missing, but it could have also been taken by the kids. So I called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to report something suspicious. I explained what I saw and that I thought the house was supposed to be vacant. About an hour or so later, a deputy finally arrived, and I met him at the garage door of my house, told him what I thought and he went to check it out. A little later he came back by my house and explained that they were the new renters and everything was on the up and up. I was concerned because we’ve had kids breaking into that yard through the fence to swim, and they mess around with the for sale sign, and we are afraid something will happen while they are back there, and no one would know they were there and someone could get hurt. So I assumed it was the same situation here, and was just trying to make sure this wasn’t someone breaking into the house. Especially since I didn’t see anyone use the front door, only the door in the fence (which the lock is broken). I chatted with the officer for a few minutes and then he left. I felt aweful calling the cops on my new neighbors. What a terrible first impression. And they knew it was me I’m sure since I was talking to the officer in my driveway.

Then the A/C guy gets to the house and walks in and I tell him about whats going on, and he says that its nothing but a clogged drain. He pulls out the end of a sensor and empties some built up water, and then we turn the air switch back on and the pump kicks on and the unit starts cooling. I felt like an idiot! At least I know there are two drains now, there is one outside and one inside, I had checked the outside drain, but didn’t know to check the inside one. The system still won’t cool properly, so he came again today and checked it out and agrees with the other two opinions we’ve had. Everyone is telling us we need to replace the pump outside. The bad news is that this is going to cost!!! I got a quote from a guy on craigslist offering to install a 4 ton pump for $1500 everything included. So I am going to follow up with that, make sure he can accept credit card payment, and then see about getting some prices from one other place.

Then Liz’s mom called me and I helped her with some issues with their new computer.

During all of this, I was also running around the house with the hand vac chasing down little winged insects that somehow decided to swarm in my house. I’m not sure what they are, but there were a lot of them and I had to go around the house several times sucking them up with the hand vac. I’d get done going around once, empty the hand vac outside, put it down for a little while, then I’d walk out in the play room and find more, so I’d have to repeat the whole process again. I finally got most of them I guess, and then shortly thereafter Liz and the kids got home. They were late and didn’t get home till after 9pm. We got the kids to bed, and talked about our crazy days for a few minutes, then it was off to get ready for bed. What a day!

Cleaning weekend

Saturday we decided we would try to tackle the garage again, and see if we could clean it out. We made good progress and got mostly done before getting distracted by things like eating and getting kids to bed that night. I haven’t parked my car in the garage for several days now. Its almost done and hopefully I’ll be able to park in there tonight.

Sunday, we took the kids swimming after some naps in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day, nice and sunny, and cool in the shade. I watched the kids play and swim and relaxed. I didn’t feel like swimming because I still had work to do at home when we got back. We got some pizza for dinner and had the kids cleanup the messes of the day, then it was off to bed for them. Liz and I crashed on the couch and watched Night at the Museum and then got ready for bed.

We also realized how sweet and cute our little Abby was. She said a few things this weekend that were so cute and the way she talks and how she says things is just heart melting.

Productive weekend

We had a busy but productive weekend! On Friday I had some work to do which took me until about 9:30pm; on and off a little after that or so. We watched a little TV before going to bed. Then on Saturday Liz went to a yard sale while I got the kids breakfast. We got done and loaded into the van and tried to go meet her there, to visit some friends and also for me to give Liz her cell phone which she left at home. We passed her in the Miata on her way home, but I waved her to follow me. We drove to a gas station and got some gas which both of our vehicles needed. Then once we got home we started doing some work, Liz got started on the playroom roof, scraping up the existing cauking and putting down a new layer of roof sealer. We talked to our neighbors a little while working on that project and then headed inside. We got some lunch and then headed off to Wal-Mart to buy Liz’s long overdue birthday present. We went to the New Tampa Wal-Mart and got her a nice new bike. It was pouring down rain while we were in the store, but fortunately, by the time we left it had stopped. We got home and I dropped her off at the curb by our house and she got to ride her new bike back to the house. Later that evening, I decided to start cleaning out the garage, partly beacuse it needed it and partly because we need a place to park her bike! Liz helped me and we got one side almost completely cleaned out. I’m putting out a bunch of trash tonight and we can continue working on the other half of the garage another day. Sunday we got to rest some in the afternoon and just spend time together. Liz is painting the girls room today so last night she broke down the kids bunk beds and hopefully when I get home, I’ll see a nice finished room.

garage door and other home items

For the past few months, our garage door has been getting more and more annoying. It would open a few inches and stop and we’d have to get out of our car and help it up while someone else pushed the button. Finally yesterday I had someone come and take a look. They adjusted some things and lubricated the whole system and now it works much better. There are still some gaps I’m going to try to get them to fix, where sunlight makes it through. This also means its not water tight in a few places. The door is older and will need to be replaced at some point, but for now I’m going to have them try to re-adjust it to keep it usable as long as possible.

This morning, I took the girls outside and we pruned some bushes and picked up the yard waste. Then we went in the back yard and I weeded the yard a bit, we had a few spots where some tall weeds were growing up.

As a side note, I had my car looked at by the auto shop that installed my new top and they are going to adjust a few thing and take care of the problems I’ve had with the top. I will probably make an appointment next week to have them take care of it.

Story of stupidity

This is hard to admit, and hopefully not many people I know will read this post. Its no secret that electricity and I don’t mix too well, just ask Liz. Well it all starts last night when I get home. It was a bit warm in the house when I got home, so I went to the thermostat and turned on the A/C. When I flipped the switch for the A/C I heard the thermostat make its little click like its trying to activate the air handler, but nothing happened. The air handler didn’t kick on and the pump outside wasn’t running either. I switched it to heat and the same thing happened, nothing! I checked the breaker outside by the pump and flipped it twice to see if that was it, but that didn’t help. Then I checked by the air handler and found a fuse box with cartridge fuses. I pulled out the box and found them badly corroded and falling apart. So I put in two spares that the previous owner left. That still didn’t help. I went to the garage and checked the breaker box and flipped the switches for the A/C and heat breakers. This still didn’t help. I propbably fiddled around for about an hour before giving up and sending an e-mail to my realtor to ask for a referral for an HVAC contractor to come and take a look. Liz got home and we talked about it for a bit, and ended up just going to bed. I opened the windows and it was a pleasant mild night, only thing that would have made it nicer is if I had a hammock tied between two palm trees!

So the story resumes this morning. Liz usually gets up earlier than me, and today, she woke me up about 10 minutes before she normally does. She indicated to me that the dryer wasn’t working either, and thought the two might somehow be related. I got up and started to take a look. The only place I figured the two could be related would be with the breaker box. Obvious they weren’t getting power so it must be a problem with the electricity. So I went back into the garage, opened up the breaker box and stared at all the switches. At the top there are the larger breakers to handle 220 outlets, and the rest are for the 110 outlets. All the 110 breakers were flipped inwards to the center of the box. The top breakers on the right column were pointing in the opposite direction. This did NOT catch my attention last night, so when looking at it today, I looked closer and noticed that the two 220 breakers were in fact switched OFF. I flipped them to the ON position and went back in the house, flipped on the A/C again at the thermostat and what do you know, it worked! Apparently last night I wasn’t paying enough attention and didn’t see that the two breakers were flipped off. When I flipped them, I had turned them on and then back off, and when the A/C still didn’t work, I assumed something else was wrong. I was extremely relieved to find that there was nothing major wrong, and the only problem existed between my ears. So the A/C system in my house is working again as it should, and I even got some maintenance done by replacing those bad fuses. 🙂

Fabreeze

In a desperate step to suppress the nasty gas fumes I’ve been breathing in my care the last two days, ever since I overflowed my gas tank; I spraed some Fabreeze in the interrior and also around the parts of the car that gas had leaked onto. I also sprayed some on the garage floor where the gas had leaked. So far, I don’t smell anymore gas in the car, now I smell strong Fabreeze scents in the car. It was so strong I felt like it was getting in my eyes and in my mouth, yuck! So the Fabreeze may prevent me from getting cancer from the gas fumes, but now I’ll have to seek help from a posion control center for ingesting the chemical contents of Fabreeze. 🙂

Somewhat productive weekend

Over the weekend our plans didn’t quite turn out like we had hoped. We were going to try to clean out the garage and Liz’s sister was coming over, and then Sunday we were going to have some guests over to play some games. Well on Saturday Liz’s sister did make it over, so they planned some Pampered Chef party. Then we started to clean out the garage, which was a disaster, we tore everything out of its place, went through about 1 box of stuff then ran out of time and had to put everything back so we could fit my car back in the garage. That didn’t work out quite as I had hoped. Then my Sheet Fed scanner came in the mail that afternoon, so all I wanted to do was scan in documents and clean up my office area. I think Liz and I watched an episode of Deep Space Nine just before bed. Then on Sunday, our guests couldn’t make it over, so we changed our plans slightly, and I took Sarah (in the Miata), to a store to see if we could find a decent ceiling fan for their room. Their fan had worn out and was making bad sounds. So we picked out a fan and thought it was one price, but upon getting home I realize that it was actually $15 more than I wanted to spend. (OOPS). We also picked up a new doorknob for the girls bathroom which had also worn out. I got some light bulbs for their new ceiling fan and some more powerful bulbs for our light over our dining room table. So Sunday afternnon I ended up installing a new ceiling fan, changing a bunch of light bulbs and de-fuming the house (this is so dumb of me). On the way to the store, Sarah and I stopped off at a gas station to get some gas. I was looking at Sarah through the back window glass making faces at her, and wasn’t paying attention. I overfilled my tank and put about a full 1 or 2 cups of gas into the reservoir surrounding my gas tank fill pipe. There is normally a dran that allows any excess to leak out of the car. I didn’t realize it but it was clogged which is why it wasn’t draining. I got home to find once I got in the garage, it decides to trickle all over my garage floor causing my entire garage to stink of gasoline! I ran some water through the reservoir and flushed it out clearing the drain so it worked properly. I mopped up all the gas from the floor and wiped down my car. I sprayed some oust air freshener in there, but it didn’t help that much. The whole house started to have a hint of gas in the air, which was extremely unpleasant let me tell you! And when I got in my car to drive to work, it wreaked of gas, all the way to my office. Its going to take days to clear all that gas smell out of my house/garage and my car! What a dummy!

Garage cleaning

We started today to clean out the garage a little, which is good because it will free up some room for our cars and make it easier for us both to park. The bad thing is now we have to go through all these old boxes of paperword and computer parts and clothes that have been stuck in our garage for a long time. Hopefully we can get the garage cleaned out and some tidying done before we have family down for a visit in a few months.