What to Write About


Mikey

Sitting here at Covert Ford
waiting for my truck
just a routine service call
and with any luck
I will be out of here real soon
on the road to home
back to the happy little dogs
whom I had left alone
they will be pleased to see me back
with waggily tails for greeting
and I will make a fuss of them
and show them how I’m feeling
happy to be back home
to do my normal things
tend to the ponds and feed the fish
and calm all their misgivings

Written 9/12/2019



My Ford Truck-Another Service


Once again I find myself back at the Ford Dealership getting my truck serviced. I have routinely and I might add, faithfully brought my truck back here to get it serviced every 5000 or so miles. Now, there is 30,000 miles on the clock and we are at a major service with a lot of stuff having to get worked on.

The Dealership is Covert Ford which is also where I originally purchased the truck a couple of years back. They have always treated me with respect and the service has always been good but it is still a hassle every time I bring it here. They service on a first come first served basis for the normal type of services that most vehicles require. Consequently, it is a bit of a free for all when first arriving as it doesn’t matter what time I get here, there is always a long line of cars and trucks in front of me.

I attempted to bring the truck in the day before but a series of events prevented that from happening. Well, actually, that is not quite true. The first thing that happened is that I slept through the alarm not waking until an hour after I had set it at 7:00 am. I scurried around and got on the road only to run into the normal rush hour traffic as the commuters wended their way to their various jobs. The traffic was stop and start and when it did move, crawled along at a snail’s pace until coming to another stop. I feel really sorry for the people that have to face this every day. What a hassle and nightmare both to get to work and to get home. When I was a working man, I faced the same traffic problem but not anywhere near as bad as it is nowadays. We moved into the house that I currently live in 34 years ago and it used to take me 30 minutes to drive to the University of Texas where I was employed. By the time I retired 17 years later, the traffic had increased so much that it took me an hour to make the same trip. Goodness only knows what it would take today.

But I digress. I attempted to drive in although much later than I should have and got stuck in this traffic. I went a few miles at a stop and start and then decided that I was wasting my time and turned round and went back home with the idea of delaying the trip for an hour or so hoping that the rush would slow down to a somewhat more normal flow.

I tried again an hour later and made it to the Dealership in a more normal time only to be told that it would take all day to complete the work and that the best thing I could do would be to bring the truck back in the morning as early as possible. The next day, I set the alarm close to my head so that I would hear it and got up at some unearthly hour that I didn’t know even existed since retiring. I rushed around and got on the road by 6:30 am and even then, traffic was beginning to pile up in places. I made it to the Dealership by 7:00 o’clock and there was already a long line of vehicles in front of me.

My Service Agent, an older gentleman by the name of James, wrote out a long list of items that needed to be checked or replaced at the 30,000 mile service and rattled off a few numbers which represented the dollars it would end up costing me. I could tell from what he told me that this was going to be a lot of money. I handed over the keys and found my usual seat in the lobby, got out my computer and started writing…

A couple of hours and a couple of blogs later, another gentleman came in to tell me that my truck was ready and I could go home. I paid my bill which was not unreasonable considering the amount of work they had to do and hit the road. This journey was much quicker than the one coming in. My homecoming was noisy as 3 little dogs greeted me at the door with waggly tails and noisy barks as they jumped and cavorted looking for attention.

At least I have a truck that should be good for another 5000 miles before I have to do it all over again. The next service will be at the 36000 mile mark when it goes out of its factory warranty although I do have an extended warranty that I purchased which will cover me for any of the large items that might require attention in the future.

Written 9/26/2019

Waiting Around


I had to bring my truck back in
for a service it was due
as I keep driving it around
and the miles they have accrued
I spend a lot of time on the road
sometimes just driving around
as I listen to Audiobooks
and the stories I have found
to be most interesting to me
and keep me all involved
trying to figure how it will end
to get the mystery solved
I sometimes listen when I am home
but it is not the same
as driving around in my truck
adding miles that I have gained
and so I find myself once more
back at the dealership
to keep the truck in tip top shape
and keep it running slick
this time it took a half a day
for them to do their bit
so I used the time to write this poem
using my clever wit.

Written 6/5/2019

Back at My Ford Dealer-1


bluetooth-logo

Well, I am sitting in the waiting room at my Ford Dealer and this time, they are taking a look at my truck to see why the Bluetooth and GPS System only works spasmodically. As I have mentioned many times in previous blogs, listening to Audiobooks is one of my favorite pastimes. I always use the Bluetooth system to have my I-Phone play through the speaker system on the truck and usually, the system works very well.

A couple of weeks ago, the level of consistency dropped considerably and the Bluetooth started to lose signals causing a very disjointed playback. At first I thought that it might be the I-Phone as mine is an older model even though it is loaded with the latest software but it suits my needs very well. I took it to my ATT store and they ran a few checks and told me the phone is just fine. Back in the truck, I began to have problems with the GPS system as well as in just making the Audiobook connections and so I knew it was time to make yet another trip to Covert Ford which is located a little over 20 miles from my house. To get to it means travelling up a super highway affectionately known as Mopac to the locals, which during regular daytime hours is the second most heavily traveled road in Austin with IH35 as the busiest. During rush hour, this road is bumper to bumper with the traffic crawling along at a stop and go rate.If ever there is a wreck, then you can almost guarantee lots of sitting in place in the middle of hundreds of vehicles all with their engines running  and polluting the atmosphere. Not a great place to be. Mopac, also known as Loop 1, connects the North end of town to the South end and has just undergone a major rebuilding from Town Lake almost all the way to West Anderson Lane. This has improved the situation dramatically.

Monday morning rolled around as if by clockwork and I made a big effort and got up at 6:00 am which to me is an ungodly and unhealthy hour to be awake. I was out of the house by 6:30 am and on the road. To my surprise, there was hardly any traffic on the road compared to later in the day and I made the trip to Covert in no time flat and was fifth in line. They open at 7:00 am and are usually very busy almost all day long in their service areas.

My Service Adviser is a young lady who goes by the name of Whitney and she took down all of the details. I thought that I would be leaving the truck with them while I waited in the Lounge Area writing this blog but it turned out that because it is a Factory Warranty Item, Whitney had to wait for paperwork to come through before going forward with the repair and that she would call me as soon as it does.

So, I drove home and was going in the opposite direction to the early morning rush hour traffic and made good time. I was greeted at the door by two very excited little dogs with the third one out in the yard who also made a big fuss of me when I went out to check the ponds. Now if only my wives had been this affectionate…

The following day, Whitney called and we set up an appointment for the next day which was a Wednesday. Again, I made the tremendous effort and dragged myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 6:00 am and was back up at Covert Ford by 7:00 am. I handed the truck keys over to Whitney and settled in with my Surface Tablet to write this blog. Since my last trip, Covert has installed a new fancy coffee machine that dispenses all kids of coffee drinks. I went with my usual Latte as I settled down to write this blog.

An hour later, Whitney walked in and said that “They have finished on the “discovery” part of the work and that they were going to have to order the part which would take a couple of days and I will call you to set up the next appointment”. She also explained that the next part of the work to actually install the part would only take 45 minutes which was good news. I have never been to Covert Ford and been in and out in 45 minutes so I am a little dubious that it will be that short.

I packed up all of my stuff and made the journey back home and again and as I was going in the opposite direction to the rush hour, made good time. Again, I was greeted at the door by the same little dogs as before only this time all three of them gave me a cheerful welcome home.

So here I am at home continuing to work on the the most recent events with the ongoing saga of “Me and Life at Covert Ford”.

 

A Trip to My Ford Dealer


As I wrote in a previous blog, I have the good luck to own a new Ford 150 truck that I bought a few months ago. It really is a nice piece of equipment and very comfortable to drive. I tend to spend a lot of time in it just driving around and listening to Audiobooks.

It does have a few drawbacks that I wish I could do something about but somehow, I can’t see that happening. I don’t know if any of you may have noticed but the size of regular pickup trucks especially the double wide cab has increased dramatically. When I first drove it home, I did as I have done for years with my other vehicles and that was to open the garage door and drive it in. As I slowly made my way into the garage, it was obvious that this truck was going to be a tight fit if there was any fit at all. When the front of the truck was touching the far wall and the back was still sticking out beyond the overhead door, I knew I was in trouble.

I backed the truck out of the garage and from that point on, the truck has had to sit outside. The good thing about it is that I have a lot of free space in the garage now that the truck is not there. Bad news is the truck is already super heated with our Texas temperatures by the time I want to get into it for any reason and it seems to get dirty a lot quicker. The other problem that I have is in parking the darn thing. I’m not talking about the actual process of parking but about the fact that I cannot see the front of the hood and have no idea how close I am to anything in front of me. I have to park, get out and take a look and then make the necessary adjustments if they are needed. The truck is fitted with what Ford calls a “back up assist” which is essentially several cameras located in the rear bumper that show a picture on the dashboard screen. I used to have front ones installed on the Escape that I traded in but I guess I didn’t get the right model for front cameras on the truck. Oh well, I will just have to back in to all of my future parking places.

The reason for writing this particular blog is due to the fact that I keep getting a message on the little screen telling me to “Change oil very soon”. So, I am currently sitting in my Ford dealership waiting to get the truck serviced with an oil change and tire rotation. They told me when I came in that it would take at least two hours they were so busy. If you think that is a long wait for an oil change, I was here yesterday both in the morning and afternoon and both times was told there was a four hour wait to get the service work done. Needless to say, I declined both times and was about to drive on my way when one of the Service Reps came out and gave me her card and told me to call ahead next time and she would be able to tell me the estimated length of the wait. They have this flag system so that the Service Reps have a rough idea of the time. The black flag means around four hours, the green flag around two hours and the white flag means come back some other time. I had followed her instructions and gave her a call and she had told me to “Come ahead” which is Texas talk to get here as quickly as you can because the situation may change. It is a thirty minute drive from my house to the dealership and any number of vehicles could drive inline in front of me in that time.

So, I am in the waiting room sitting in front of my Surface computer and writing away hoping that the promised two hours will be a lot shorter. It does allow me time to write so it is not all bad. Wait, I hear someone calling my name. It is my service guy telling me that my truck is ready. I quickly made my way to the front desk to settle up my account very pleased that in fact, it had only taken forty five minutes and I will be on my way.

Not bad at all. Now to face the rush hour traffic which will be stop and go for a large part of the way home. I know of a Starbucks just around the corner so a Grande Latte will sure help as I sit in that traffic along with all of the hundreds of frustrated drivers.

Written 6/8/2018