Music Of Your Time. Click on your Year.
The window pane in my daughter's apartment was a tad too tight for my liking, so I thought a few drops of engine oil on strategic spots should solve the problem. I went down to the car to fish out some from the engine with the dip-stick.
But upon opening the bonnet I was horrified by the sight of the mess my battery had done to the engine compartment. It looked like the acid had been blowing out of the battery due to overpressure after my 400 kilometer drive from SP to KL. This had never happened before, at least to my car, in all my years of driving.
I don't remember ever adding any water to top up the electrolyte of this battery because the last time I checked it was still at maximum level.
The maddening thing about the #$%&! Yokohama battery is that the walls of the plastic casing are so opague you can't view the electrolyte level at all without opening the caps and shining a torchlight into the holes. I used to shine a torchlight behind the battery and viewed it from the front and I could see the liquid levels clearly. It worked for my former Iswara but this Myvi has the battery completely covered by a black jacket on 3 sides. So, no shadow-play trick this time. But I still swear by this brand because every one of them last at least 4 years when others would have gone kaput in half that time.
This over-filling looked like the work of the service centre mechanic. I made a mental note to talk to the supervisor the next time I send it in for servicing. And I did. But it seemed like there was a language barrier that prevented my message from getting into his head. When I looked at the bill I noticed a line stating, 'check & service battery - RM2.60'. This time I guess the barrier was in my head. I didn't say anything.
That evening when the engine was reasonably cool I decided to do a random check just in case. Lo! The electrolyte levels were way above the max line! I couldn't go back to the workshop as it was already closed for the weekend. Besides, there's nothing much they could do to rectify the problem except to drain out the excess. This would definitely lower the specific gravity of the acid. But, oh, it's already lowered after they added the water. So what more damage could I do?
I decided to drain out the excess electrolyte myself. But first, I needed a device to measure the levels. Let's call it a gauge. I found a strip of white plastic. I placed the lower end against the minimum line and marked the spot in line with the top edge of the battery. I did the same with the maximum line. Then I cut 2 notches in the plastic strip where the markings were. Upper notch = Min and lower notch = Max, and we're in the acid-level checking business.
To check acid level - open the caps, lower the gauge inside slowly until the tip touches the top of the acid. Look at where the max or min notch is. Whichever is in line with the with the top of the hole is the level of the acid.
I made a note in my service booklet that I'd check the battery myself.
If I could only find another service center nearby I'd have said bye-bye to these guys.
Or maybe I have to teach them how to check my battery?
Sunday, 03-05-09 - Are we all having a fish-bone-stuck-in-the-throat galore?
I had one to pick this morning. Rather, wife had the bone. It was somewhere to the left side of the entrance to her throat where the tonsils are. She figured it was somewhere further down but it wasn't. The nerves gave the impression that it was. I flashed a torch light in her mouth and told her to say "Aaah". She tried, but the sound came out gurgled. The tongue kept getting in the way, but I caught a glimpse of the 1.5 mm part of the needle-like bone buried in the flesh. Couldn't tell how deep it went but I said maybe I could use a pair of tweezers to remove it. But I still doubted that's the culprit. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's really further down.
She wanted to try the traditional stuff first, like swallowing lumps of rice. Nothing happened. She swallowed half a dozen bananas. It didn't budge. She poured some water into a cup, took it outside under the sky, stirred it round, wrote the Chinese word for 'well' in it and drank the water in one gulp. It's supposed to sink into the well. Nichts.
That was yesterday, I mean, last night. Heard there's a guy at a local sundry shop who charges RM15 for that mumbo-jumbo stuff. They say it works. I never tried it. Can't write in Chinese unless I practice it but I never bothered.
A few hours after breakfast today, she was still struggling with it. Finally, she said, 'Can't take it anymore. Let's try the tweezers'. She was scared she could throw up if I tickled her throat. We can't do it standing up then. So she tried lying down on the bed. I got a spoon with a long handle. I washed the tweezers thoroughly and wiped them clean and dry. Can't afford to let them slip out of my hands while performing the 'operation'.
I asked her to hold the torchlight. I pressed her tongue down with the spoon and with the tweezers in my right hand, picked out the pesky thing in one go. Phew! That thing was about 6 mm long. Years of picking beard stubs from my chin gave me all that practice for this one moment of glory.
Her neighborhood friend asked her about the fishbone later. She told her, hubby got it out. 'Waaah!, she exclaimed. 'That would cost RM25 at Dr. Khoo's'. Heck, I didn't know. People rush off to the doctor's for a little thing like that? I imagined putting a sign outside my window: "Have a bone to pick? RM10 only". That should give them doctors a run for their money. But then, that would make me a quack. Oh well, just blame it on the economy...
to slowly descend
there's no applause, this show has no end
my mind's in a muddle, the hours are long
my present's a puzzle though nothing's wrong
shuffle my time like a pack of playcards
pick on what I do on a whim and a song
meandering, wandering, wondering I move along
I don't know where I should be but I'll soon be gone
hand on the clock edges northwards getting near
my mind is out somehwere else but I'm still here
it's jumbled but it's still thinking
and nothing seems to be moving...