5:00 PM — Come home, whiz through traffic since some drivers seem to have some difficulty understanding the speed limit is astronomically set for 55MPH.
5:30 PM — Used the local car wash to hand wash my car. Impressed with it looking better, I decide to clean the windows.
6:00 PM — Sarah comes home, and we decide to use her scissor jack to raise my Neon by a few inches.
6:15 PM — Contemplate to work on my car with an emergency jack. Obviously, I went ahead with doing it.
6:20 PM — Unscrewed drain plug, and successfully got the oil into the pan without any mess.
6:25 PM — Put all my strength into my hand to attempt to unscrew my oil filter. Many attempts were unsuccessful. Sarah comes out wondering if everything’s OK. We decide to eat dinner at this time.
7:40 PM — Attempt to do oil filter again, unsuccessful. I finally have to buy an oil filter wrench.
8:00 PM — Drive to Shell (gas station), and they sell everything EXCEPT oil filter wrench. Ditto for Harris Teeter.
8:15 PM — Arrive at Wal-Mart. Partially upset at some s-l-o-w drivers who seemed to be puzzled by the Yield sign. Whatever. I find my way to the back of the store where the Autos section is. Grab my wrench, and hurry back to the register hoping to leave this pit.
8:23PM — My dreams are crushed by the 11 people in front of me at the 10-Items-Or-Less register. I look around hoping there might be a cashier that is free. My chances are bleak, so I just waited. OMG — someone wrote a check. WHO WRITES CHECKS?!! Argh…
8:40 PM — Drive home. The BMW in front of me must have mistaken the 55MPH for a 40MPH for his casual drive home. Well, whatever, he got the red light.
9:00 PM — Use the proper tool, oil filter wrench, and pop that sucker off.
9:05 PM — Installed drain plug, cleaned up my work area.
9:07 PM — Installed my Fram oil filter.
9:10 PM — Began pouring Oil into my valve cover.
9:16 PM — Started car, checked the dipstick to verify the proper level. Finished off my last quart, and its perfect.
9:20 — Cleaning up my work area, and this is when a neighbor three stories up comes down, and we have a little exchange after I started my car to idle and make sure everything is functioning well:
Her: I don’t want to be mean, but…
Me: (I turn around in an open gesture, maintaining direct eye contact)
Her: … it’s past 9PM and do you have to be doing this?
Me: I’m actually wrapping up, sorry for the inconvenience.
Her: … Do you have to be doing this on a Monday night at 9PM — I work nine to five in the morning.
Me: (Oh please. Drop the pity party.) Yeah, so do I. Whether it’s Monday or Tuesday is neither here nor there. I work nine to five as well, and I have to change my oil. I don’t believe I’ve made any unreasonable noise, have I?
Her: It’s monday night —
Me: If you wish to formally file a complaint, please feel welcome to contact Loudoun County Sheriff. Have a good evening.
Oh, for sweet Christ. I pay the same $1000+ a month as you do, I can damn well change my oil and idle my car if I wish. I’d probably be more gratified if she did call the police.
That is one thing I miss about Tucson — someone can freely work on their American Muscle, and tune their carburetor without any distraction from neighbors or the Po’, thus, not being stuck up. Hell, I’d be impressed to hear that dude with a Camaro down the street tuning his car. It felt like home.
BTW, Loudoun Co. Sheriff seems to not have enough crime to fight lately. An officer drove through our apartment complex (private property, mind you) and issued emissions tag compliance citations. I guess that officer seems to not have understood how to check an out of state plate’s registration. AUG – 07 … that means I’m legal. In any case, more on how this shakes out in the future.
I’m sweaty, tired, and I have oil on my hands (5W-30 = man’s moisturizer. Off to take shower.