12:02 PM, Thursday, December 19th, 2019:
How's THIS for a fucking story. Here's the video version...
...now the details:
So Talya didn't put oil in or change the oil in the Expedition for a long time. Although I do drive it periodically, I just presumed she was on it. However it is NOT all her fault because of this next piece of information: the oil pressure gauge was being wonky as fuck. I now know it's because there was no FUCKING OIL IN THE CAR, but for like 6 weeks I just thought the wiring to the sensor was being wonky. It's a 2004 car. It has an issue with one of the tire pressure sensors as well. It would show everything as fine and then be COMPLETELY DOWN, then fine. THEN LOW. It seemed clear that the gauge was freaking out. When, in fact the oil was just moving to different parts of the engine and was absolutely running on fumes. My bad there. I never made the connection as my head is swirling with all things Delorean.
Of course, I get about 10 miles into my trip towing the time machine and that fucker says hell no. Stops, won't start ('cause the pistons literally can't move - LOL) and I'm able to pull over to the side. Problem now? I have to not only get the Expedition towed, I have to get the trailer back to U-Haul. I don't have AAA for all of that. So I have Talya bring up the trusty 1999 Camry (which had hitch put on 20 freaking years ago for the move out here) and in the meantime I have to take the Time Machine off, unhook the flatbed and then PUSH the Expedition far enough down the road to fit the Camry in.
But I did it. Hooked it up to the Camry and took it back to U-Haul, they were kind enough to give me a full refund on the entire 3 day rental and then it's back to give the Camry to Talya to drive home while the Expedition is towed to the mechanic. Of course that leaves me having to drive the Time Machine to San Francisco. That's an over 700 mile roundtrip. I may or may not have mentioned this but one of the rocker arm springs is broken and I haven't been able to fix that yet. Strangely it breaking lessened the tension (it's the same rocker arm that broke in the first movie) and since it's housed in a unit that is stil intact it runs fine, but you don't want to push the RPMs too much. I knew I was towing it this week so I didn't have to worry about it. Figured I'd have the first week of 2020 to address it...
...and then this. So I start to drive it and I then remember that the axle bolts that always come loose haven't been checked in a while. I go to an O'Reilleys and mother fucker - they were OUT. Like I have no idea how I didn't lose at least 3. Got some tools, fixed it as best as I could in the parking lot and figured I'd stop every 100 miles or so and check them. Which is about how far I could go before needing gas because it's only a 13 gallon gas tank and the engine is a fucking BEAST... but, it made it. It was fine. It was loud. It was absolutely exhausting and I'd never attempt it again but I got to San Fran and proceeded to just cry. Like literally get in the bathtub with a glass of whiskey and just cry.
I'm so sick of this car people. I'm so sick of the constant emergencies and constant danger of driving it. The responsibility is so heavy and although I am a tough motherfucker I just had to break down for a bit. Really nice hotel room actually... and an easy gig with enough time to lay in bed and do NOTHING so I could gear up for the RETURN 370 miles the morning after the event because guess what? Another gig in LA THAT night. Fuckin' fuck. What is it about this goddamned year?
But, increidbly I made it back, made the gig, got home and collapsed. I still have another gig on the 21st and maybe a NYE gig but if that doesn't come through I get a good three week rest period and holy shit do I need it.
However, it does have a happy ending: bought the family a 2020 Rav 4 Hybrid. Now that won't be able to tow anything, I'll still have to get something for that, but what we save in gas mileage may actually pay for the towing car in a couple years. We got 13 mpg with the Expedition. This car gets 41 mpg.
FUCK. 41/city 40/highway. That's insane. It's also super shiny and nice and the kids are now in regular booster seats instead of car seats and everyone is older and life is moving too fast and AHHHHHH...
...but it's the first new car I've bought since 1999 (still have that trusty bastard) and it's a Toyota. The kids will drive this car. My family is safe. We had a nice long discussion about oil changes... which, well, won't be an issue since this car will actually tell you. That was the problem with the Expedition, you needed to watch the mileage and Talya was used to her BMW just telling you. Well now this will.
Zero judgment here - we're all running around with our heads cut-off trying to keep life going. Just happy it will happen for my family in a new car. All's well that ends well.