1995 Chevy Lumina Battery Access, or “Did the designers ever OWN a car?”

Broken socket-connector & cracked socket.

Broken socket-connector & cracked socket.

In the continuing saga that started Tuesday night with our car breaking down…

Took the car to an Auto Zone to get the alternator and batter tested – short story shorter, the battery had to be replaced and I had to do it. Auto Zone, I believe, will usually change your battery for you, but not for me. The designers that GM employed to design the Chevy Lumina (at least the 1995 version), must have been new on the job.

The process to get the battery out was this:

1) Open hood.

Simple enough, that makes perfect sense.

2) Remove three bolts. Remove two bolts one one end and swing a support strut out of the way.

One was frozen, but I am so strong that I broke a socket and a socket connector (pictured). For the record, I am super strong. [Note: This is sarcasm. I am not super strong.] Swing the stupid arm that shouldn’t be over the battery out of the way. Why would you put the battery under a support strut?

3) Disconnect and remove the windshield-washer fluid reservoir?!?@!

Why would someone put the windshield-washer fluid reservoir over the battery? This is the stupidest thing ever.

4) Oh, crap. There’s another piece of metal over top of the battery. I guess I’ll remove that too.

I shouldn’t have guessed that would be easy. It wasn’t.

Hello busted knuckes!

I couldn’t get at the bolts very well – there was a hidden one, too. After I wrestled it out from underneath the air filter housing I did a piece-of-metal-etcomy, that thing didn’t go back in. It was far too bent up to be useful anymore.

5) What the crap? Why isn’t the battery moving now?!

There was some other random stupid bolt that was holding it down. Got it.

6) How do I disconnect this thing?

Now – granted – this is my own stupidity here, but I wasn’t sure that I wouldn’t be shocked as I unscrewed the connectors from the side of the battery.

I wasn’t, I’m still alive.

7) The re-insertion.

No problems, just too much to re-insert.

I had avoided, for a lot of years, having to replace the battery in this thing myself. I have hated the thought of it for the 6 years that I’ve been a co-owner of it and now I know that my fear and loathing of the thought were warranted.

After owning this car and other stories that I’ve heard, I will never buy a GM car if I can help it.

The battery was under the windshield-wiper fluid!!!! What the heck?

My thoughts on the whole Koran-burning thing.

Very few of you will be surprised to learn that I’m opposed to it.

So, the rundown as I can gather at this point is that the Dove Outreach Center and it’s pastor Terry Jones were/are planning a Koran burning tomorrow to “celebrate” 9/11 and to take a stand against radical Islam.

I can come up with a few reasons why this is a bad idea:

  1. It really does put people at risk. From the men and women in the armed services overseas to missionaries that are serving in Muslim-majority countries. It places them in harms way for what amounts to a publicity stunt.
  2. It does not forward the Gospel. One of the purposes of any Christian church is to bring people to a point of considering the claims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This stunt does the opposite. Muslims who are considering their beliefs about Jesus will likely be pushed away and it fuels only more animosity toward the fail within most of the general populace that we’re trying to reach. The only people that you might please are already Christians (or at least call themselves one) – and that is grossly self-serving.
  3. I don’t quote Rick Warren much, but his quote on today’s topic is good, “Book burning is a cowardly act by those afraid their beliefs aren’t strong enough to attract if people are allowed a choice.” It communicates that Christianity fears other religions’ beliefs – that they might be so right that believers will be convinced away from the Gospel they have been saved through.
  4. [EDIT: Added at 11:18 AM] The church previously partnered with Westboro Baptist Church and agrees with them, it seems, on how to “preach the truth of the Bible.” Westboro does not preach the truth of the Bible. They are a non-Christian cult who misrepresent God and the Gospel of grace.

My last reason is communicated in a Photoshopped image that a friend of mine made:

Ironic picture of Terry Jones and a Bible misquote.

image by John Biddle

That and how dare anyone profane the name of Terry Jones?!

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Today starts my second week in my cubicle.

I’m working at Campus Crusade for Christ’s headquarters in Orlando, FL. The position may only be for a year (10 months, really), but we’ve really moved and it’s a real change and challenge for my wife and I.

We’ve developed friends here already, but (so far) they’re shallow (as in “not deep”). I enjoy the team that I’m working on and really believe that it’s will be a good fit – there’s sufficient freedom to work as well as a decent amount of structure to help me know what my job really is. The members of my team (I’m working in the US Communications group and working on web publishing) are fun and the right kind of dissimilar to make it a lot of fun.

We miss friends from DC and from our neighborhood in Arlington. A lot.

Even now I’m a little teary thinking of the people who left before we did. The teammates that we worked closely with – laughed, debated and fought with.  I am tempted to want to “go back.”

I miss our small group, the friends that we’ve now had for 2 1/2 years and the ones that we met 6 months or just under a year ago. I miss my unofficial small-group men who helped to heal my heart and to rile my debating nature.

I miss the sweet Pakistani family that lived below us – mom, dad and 4 kids. I miss helping with math & social studies homework. I miss trying to explain what it means to be a good tipper and a good grownup – but in a way that doesn’t communicate that those things are what determine your value and worthiness as a person.

I miss the church that has been the perfect imperfect home for us for three years.

I’m looking forward though. To an opportunity to do church different than we usually have. To work in a job that is more defined than I’ve ever had, yet as free and open as well. I’m looking forward to new friends that we may have to let go in a year (in the normal CCC fashion).

Ultimately, I am learning to trust God with my past and my future. It will be good.

Missionary Lifestyle

A former student sent me this video the other day. I’m always encouraged to see people far younger than myself who are giving what they have up to follow God’s call.

The funny part is that I was most convicted when I started to write this post and was going to nitpick how he defines what the missionary “lifestyle” is. I just need to learn to give up to follow God.