A day in the life of Common Man

This past week has seen a few common events that we all have to face, but can be a challenge.  I upgraded an older PC (about 7 years old now) and all the growing pains that go it.  Had to get my car inspected, but the “check engine” light was on (instant fail) and I had to get my haircut (which has become “a thing” since my hair is longer).
I have upgraded this PC before with additional memory and reinstalled the OS.  This time around I took the RAM to its maximum 2gb, upgraded the video card with EVGA GeForce 6200 Video Card which was a challenge to find since the motherboard is pretty old and can only take the AGP interface.  Finally, I added Windows 7 since it has gotten past it’s awkward beginnings and is a little faster than XP.  All totaled, I spent about $100 on it and it should last another year or two before I get something more powerful as a media center.  The only real trouble I ran into was reinstalling the printer which apparently does not play well with W7.  It was a bear trying to uninstall and W7 has made it a nightmare to locate and install driver manually.
 Next, I needed to get the car inspected to appease the highway overlords.  The trouble is, my car has a charcoal canister as part of the emissions system and the sensor has decided it’s time for a new one, which is a mere $500 installed.  Being a cheapskate…er…thrifty, my mechanic told me a little trick about Camrys, at least for my year model.  When the tester plugs your car into the blackbox, it reads for items and at least three have to be active and ready.  For some reason, the Camry’s emissions system takes a while to cycle.  What that means is, if the system is reset, by say undoing the battery cable, the computer will reset and start cycling through all its checks and for a month or so, the check engine light goes off and I have a window to get my car passed.  So far, this has worked twice.  The only real trouble is, I don’t have the alarm key, so you have to do a special combination of key turns and button pushing to override the anti-theft.  And unless you undo the horn first, it will blare the whole time.
Finally today, I went to get my haircut only to find my usual person had up and quit.  It took a while to find the right person to get my hair right and now I have to start over.  The girl today did a pretty good job, so I may have gotten lucky.

Me and Discount Tire

So I bought four new tires in February from Discount Tire off of Beltline and 121 and as I drove off I noticed there was a slight wiggle in the wheel. I thought it was just the feeling of new tread that needed to get worked out. A couple months later I find the time to go back since it was time for a rotation and the wobble had gotten worse. I told them about it, they said they were fine so I drove off. The problem persisted so I made it back in June determined to get this fixed. The charged me for a “road force balance” and sent me on my way. I went a few miles down the highway. turned around and came back, still not fixed. The looked again and told me a “control arm bushing” had worn out ant the horizontal movement might be causing the problem. I had that fixed, but, you guessed it, no better. In all my time buying tires from DT, I had never had a problem and I have bought many plus a few set of wheels. So I had looked for any other problem feeling they just could not be that incompetent.
So I had enough. I took the time to get me car down to my Uncle (Bill Shores of Bill Shores Automotive, convieniently located in downtown Fort Worth.) He went over it and noticed, just by sighting the tire, that not one or two, but three were out of round! So, I took my car back again (all to the same location on Beltline). I told them I wanted all new tires and for the trouble they had caused me, I would like them to upgrade the tires. I was informed that they would happily replace the tires (I had bought the warranty so they had to anyway) but to up grade would cost me. Was I asking too much for the trouble I asked? No, but they could only discount the upgrade, not give it to me.
So I took my tires and left and then wrote a gently worded letter to the regional and home office. I received a call from the region and worked out a deal to keep me a customer. I went to the location on Harwood and was treated really well. I can still recommend the company, but I would avoid the location in Irving on Beltline and 121. They don’t seem to care much if your are happy even if you have working tires. I know the one on Camp Bowie was always great.