Friday, 21 June 2013

08:02 – Thanks to everyone who posted or emailed condolence messages. Barbara, Frances, and Sankie are all doing well. As hard as it is to lose Dutch, the worst part of it was watching him suffer, knowing that there was no hope for recovery. So now he’s at peace. We’ll all miss Dutch a lot, but now our lives can return to some semblance of normality. No more waiting for that middle-of-the-night phone call. No more dropping everything and rushing over to the nursing home or Hospice to stand vigil. Barbara actually got a full night’s sleep last night, the first in a long, long time.


10:10 – Barbara is out running errands this morning. Yesterday, she mentioned to me that the unlock function on the keyless-entry remote for her Chevy HHR was working only intermittently. She’d replaced the battery recently and the lock function works fine, so obviously there’s a physical problem with the unlock button on the remote. The car is still under warranty, so I called the Chevy dealership this morning. The guy I talked to said she could just stop by, no need for an appointment. So Barbara drove over there first thing, only to be told that the remote wasn’t covered under warranty. They wanted her to pay $100, so she called me. I told her that was bullshit, and heard her tell the guy at the Chevy place that I’d told her not to do it. She told me he then said he’d check into it and see if he could get it covered under warranty. Yeah, right. A few minutes later she called back and told me that the guy had discovered that it was in fact covered under warranty. Geez.

When it comes to trying to get customers to pay themselves for work that’s covered under warranty, some car dealerships are slime. I told Barbara I could get a new OEM Chevy-branded remote on Amazon.com for less than $20. Of course, programming it requires special equipment that only a Chevy dealership or an automotive locksmith has access to. I’m told that programming the remote takes about 12 seconds, literally, and that most dealerships will do it for free as a courtesy. I think I’ll buy one of those Chevy-branded remotes on Amazon as a spare and see if I can get one of the local Chevy dealerships to program it for me at little or no cost.

18 thoughts on “Friday, 21 June 2013”

  1. Of course, programming it requires special equipment that only a Chevy dealership or an automotive locksmith has access to

    Not true. Different brand vehicles are different but the majority can be programmed by the owner. In the case of my Ford truck I just needed one of the keys with the security chip that was known to the truck. A key turn sequence (or some such setting) and then pushing a couple of buttons on the key fob registers the key fob serial number with the vehicle computer. I think there is a limit such as my Ford where the limit is 8 keys and key fobs.

    I did have to have the dealer reset my Toyota Highlander computer. My wife’s purse got stolen, broke the window out of my car and all they got was $4.00. Cost me over a $1,000 by the time I get the car repaired, changed the door locks and reset the Highlander computer.

    In this case I wanted the computer wiped clean of any known keys and key fobs. I got two new keys, same key pattern but different serial numbers in the chips, and two new key fobs. I only wanted those two registered to the vehicle. The cretin that stole my wife’s purse might be able to use the key to unlock the vehicle but he/she was most certainly not going to be able to start the vehicle.

    the worst part of it was watching him suffer, knowing that there was no hope for recovery

    Most certainly true. My case with my aunt and the last four years of her life I wanted her to die. She was not happy, I was not happy, no one was happy. There was no quality of life. She did not want to live like she was living existing. I am sure Dutch probably felt the same way as most sane adults would feel.

  2. And because of the FEDs I have lost over $40K in the last three days. I really think that Bernanke is told by the Obama administration to report in such a way as to cause the markets to suffer. Of course the Obama administration has sold their securities as they watch the market tank. Obama does not want people with money as he wants everyone to depend on the government so his highness can rule with an iron stick.

  3. Most certainly true. My case with my aunt and the last four years of her life I wanted her to die. She was not happy, I was not happy, no one was happy. There was no quality of life. She did not want to live like she was living existing. I am sure Dutch probably felt the same way as most sane adults would feel.

    Pardon me for asking an intensely personal question here. Please feel free to ignore me. Would you have euthanized her if available? I have been wondering about this for quite a while. My problem with euthanasia is who decides? And is euthanasia just government approved murder?

  4. Would you have euthanized her if available?

    Yes. Once she basically forget who we were, who she was, where she was, became nothing more than a living shell I would have authorized such a procedure. Spending $6,000 a month for her care when she did not want to be in such a condition euthanasia would have been a viable decision. A decision I could have made and supported.

    I would advocate that anyone that makes such a decision have been counseled by a doctor and two doctors would be required to sign off on such a procedure. Along with one family member (maybe two). Spouse first, children if spouse is deceased, siblings if spouse is deceased and no children. Last in line would be people such as me that are related and in charge of the affairs and primary care. These people have been making decisions all along and should be responsible for the final decision.

    An injection to put them under. Another injection for amnesia. A final injection to stop the heart. The problem becomes one of finding a doctor to perform the injection because their oath technically does not allow a doctor to take a life. That has to change. As do the laws in this country.

    It would also help if the individual perhaps had signed a “Right to Die” document before their mental condition wasted away. This document should be legally binding and absolve anyone involved in the decision process from any legal repercussions. People should have a say in how they leave this physically existence.

  5. I can answer that for Barbara and me. Yes, we would both have chosen to euthanize her dad, as I would have for my mom and dad. As Barbara said, it’s outrageous that the law allows us to end the suffering of a beloved pet, but not to end the suffering of a beloved family member.

    As to who decides, obviously if an adult patient is able to communicate rationally he or she can make the decision at any time to end his or her own life. If the patient is unable to communicate rationally, regardless of that person’s expressed wishes while he or she was able to do so, it should be up to the closest next of kin (in the case of an adult, the spouse as primary, followed by the child or children as secondary, followed by the parent or parents as tertiary; in the case of a minor, the parent or parents). In the case of disagreement between or among next-of-kin with equal close kinship, any one should be able to make the decision in favor of euthanasia even over others’ objections. A court should never have to be involved.

    Euthanasia should become a routine part of end-of-life decisions for people, just as it now is for pets. And it should be an option for things like severe Alzheimer’s and PVS, not just for terminal patients. When someone’s mind is gone, that person is no longer a person.

  6. It’s not really about euthanasia. Keeping bodies alive once the person is already gone has been pushed way too far. Once the quality of life is no longer there most of us wish to pass away peacefully.

  7. BTW, we do practice euthanasia here in the USA, a limited sort thereof. When my MIL had her 10th heart attack, she was without blood to her brain for about 15 minutes. The paramedics shocked her heart back into rhythm but the damage was done. At that point her brain was dead as proven by several tests over the next few days at the hospital. We then took her off the ventilator which she actually survived to our surprise. We also stopped all food and water and she passed away in three days.

    It was a tough decision to do that and we had to help my FIL make the decision. When you spoke to her, her eyes would open and look blankly around the room. Never at you or with any intelligence in them. We knew that she had gone.

    I probably would have voted for euthanasia at that point. I remember thinking at the time that withholding water and food was cruel.

  8. BTW, today is bring your dog to work day. I’ve got Lady, my 10 year cocker spaniel, laying not very calmly right next to my desk.

  9. Another (dis)advantage of working at home: Colin is lying right next to me every day. When he’s not pestering to go out and sniff or play, that is.

  10. Cringely is pretty much right on target with his description of the recent past and current situation at IBM; however, the cuts and layoffs began months ago, not just a coupla weeks; to answer his question: the reason they don’t report the actual numbers is so they don’t have to report them until they’ve reached a certain level, to whichever state they’re operation is in; for example, Vermont state gummint wants to know when the number hits 100, so locally IBM will lay off 95 here this month and 85 next month, and so on. They knocked off all their contractors up here first, some with twenty years on the job. Now they’re cutting into the “permanent” ranks and the only thing that matters to them are the numbers, period. To this end they will cut older people, younger people, etc. so no accusations of age discrimination can be make, and up here they don’t have to worry about minorities much. Other states may be different; I would bet they don’t lay off any minorities or management-level women.

    At the rate they’re going and with the current management remaining in place, their days are numbered. They’re a corporate microcosm example of our Fed Leviathan; they don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t care about consequences. Some top dogs will get theirs, as always, as the ship sinks, and everyone else can eat shit. In the past there was simple indifference to the fate of others; now they actually laugh at us as we suffer.

  11. We have defacto euthanasia already. When my father-in-law died a few years ago, they hastened it at the end, after he was pretty much unresponsive, by withholding food and water. That seemed to me to be more cruel than if they had actively ended things. In Oregon, and a few other states, they have physician assisted suicide. My mother, who is 82, is all there, although she is frail physically. She has repeatedly said that, if she were terminal and in pain, she would voluntarily check out. My siblings and I know her wishes and we will do what we can to follow them. My mother’s husband, being from a Catholic background, is not willing to commit suicide. We will honor his wishes as well.

    The Nazis, by calling murder euthanasia, made the discussion of euthanasia to end suffering off limits. If a competent person chooses to end his life, with or without help from others, he should be able to. A competent person should, in a living will, be able to delegate the responsibility to make such a decision.

    Rick in Portland

  12. [snip] In the case of my Ford truck I just needed one of the keys with the security chip that was known to the truck. A key turn sequence (or some such setting) and then pushing a couple of buttons on the key fob registers the key fob serial number with the vehicle computer. [snip]

    Much the same with my Dodge. Last year the anti-theft computer krapped out and took the chip in the key that I carried with it (or vice -versa, not really sure which). After replacing the module, the dealer had to collect all the copies of my key and re-program them. The key I had used for 10 years I just punched the chip out of; it still works for getting into the doors so it’s permanently clipped to my golf bag.

  13. Our 2000 Buick was also easy to program for new key fobs. I found the instructions online. It involved a byzantine sequence of steps, but worked with no problem. I found new fobs on Amazon for under $20. My 2011 Nissan has fobs which cost over $100/each and must be programmed by the dealer or a locksmith with specialized tools. What a ripoff.

    Rick in Portland

  14. My wife took her car to get inspected (annual safety inspection is required by NY) and the regular place was out of the window stickers, so she went to a Goodyear shop. They saw a Chinese woman who doesn’t know much about cars and told her she needed $600 of work to replace everything for the rear brakes, including an amusing $20 charge for lubricating the rail that the brake pad rides; her car’s brakes have a liner on the rail so no lube is required. I didn’t look at the estimate for the front brakes, but assume it would be higher because the rotors and pads are bigger and more expensive.

    More amusingly, when I took the tires off to check things, I had to fight them off; they obviously hadn’t been taken off when the mechanics came up with their estimate. I was so amused by this that I’ll send a complaint to Goodyear headquarters and the state Dept of Motor Vehicles.

    By the way, I replaced pads for all four tires for about $80 and two hours’ work, half of which was just going to the auto parts store. The rotors were in perfect shape, the parking brake cables did not need to be replaced, and the brake fluid did not need to be flushed. Astonishing!

  15. “…I’ll send a complaint to Goodyear headquarters and the state Dept of Motor Vehicles.”

    What will be even more amusing and astonishing is if you ever get a satisfactory answer anytime soon from either of these entities.

  16. When I was much younger, I used to buy all my tires at Goodyear. When steel-belted radials came in, Goodyear ignored the technology, so I left Goodyear for Sears, who sold Michelin radials with “Sears” stamped on them.

    Then, when my dad died suddenly 8 years ago, I inherited his Econoline panel truck. It greatly helped in my disposing of my folks stuff, and it was the only vehicle I had access to when I was in the US with my mom (who only lasted a year after my dad’s passing), as my mom’s ’74 280SL Mercedes diesel had fallen into disrepair, after my mom let her driver’s license go.

    One day, I was in Indy with the truck, taking care of stuff for my mom. I came out of a store in the big Castleton Mall to hear a hissing sound coming from the truck. Turned out the left rear tire was leaking air fast. It was about 10 minutes before 5:00pm. Goodyear store was across the street from where I was. I drove in. They said they did not have tires for that truck in stock. This was Friday at closing, and that store was not open during the weekend. Being in somewhat desperate straits, I asked them what I should do. ‘We’ll check with the store next door,’ was the response.

    Store next door was a family-owned Indiana chain called Tire Barn. The guys in there told me the Goodyear store definitely had my tire, as that size Econoline constituted one of the most common trucks on the road. They just did not want to stay past closing to help me out. Tire Barn stayed opened for the extra 20 minutes it took to change my tire. Since that episode, I have bought 2 sets of tires personally from Tire Barn, steered 2 family members who bought from them, recommended them to more than a half-dozen people, of whom I know at least half of those bought tires there. Funny how I keep hearing similar stories about Goodyear where they actually seem very good at driving business away for keeps.

  17. Interesting tale. I imagine the “family-owned” was the key part. The guy at Tire Barn was putting the profit in his pocket. The guys at Goodyear would at best have been getting an extra half-hour’s pay while the corporation got the profit.

    Regardless, neither my wife nor I will do business with this Goodyear again and I’ve taken every opening to tell others about it.

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