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Re: Dealing with the parents in law
Old 09-09-2006, 07:08 PM   #21
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Re: Dealing with the parents in law

1) great story
2) you may be frustrated, but are fortunate

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Re: Dealing with the parents in law
Old 09-11-2006, 12:19 PM   #22
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Re: Dealing with the parents in law

Christmas is coming up, Nords. I see a tool set in FIL's future.

I think your idea of just fixing the car yourself is worth considering, but on the other hand, that would reward bad behavior and encourage more of same, would it not? ;-D

This reminds me of my father -- the lens kept popping out of his glasses so he figured out how to keep them in -- shoe goo. It sticks out all around the lenses, but hey, it didn't cost anything to fix.

I can't TELL you how entertaining it is to go to the store with him. The double-takes on the faces of the check-out workers are priceless.

I asked him if he should go to Lenscrafters and them to fix his glasses or sell him new ones... but that would cost "real money!!!" ;-D

He repaired the mini-blinds with shoo goo also, when the handle broke off. It now sticks out at a 45-degree angle, but hey, it didn't cost anything to fix.

If it's any consolation, you should be making BIG, BIG points with your wife.


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Re: Dealing with the parents in law
Old 09-11-2006, 05:01 PM   #23
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Re: Dealing with the parents in law

What goes round comes around!

Keep in mind our 80+ year old parents do things that they would never think of doing 20 or 30 years ago. IQ tends to drop as the decades progress.

We are all heading down that same path. My 87 year old mom and 93 and 91 year old aunt and uncle want things done "yesterday". The best you can do is "do the best you can do".

Most of us here are retired. I don't mind doing stuff at all for the ones who guided my formative years.
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Re: Dealing with the parents in law
Old 09-15-2006, 07:07 PM   #24
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Re: Dealing with the parents in law

The rest of the story:

The Subaru is back in action with a new camshaft position sensor. Elapsed time nine days (including a three-day delay searching for a dealer and ordering the part over a weekend plus a four-day shipping delay). Of that nine days there's at least 10 hours of his personal troubleshooting labor (and fixing what he broke) plus two more days of phoning/driving from one Subaru parts dealer to another.

Total cost: $265
$25 NAPA parts guy troubleshooting with his laptop,
$140 retail camshaft sensor from Subaru dealer,
$100 mechanic's diagnosis fee when the car still didn't work
$0 mechanic hooking up airflow hose that came loose from the air cleaner
$0 personal labor (ER time is worthless, right?)

Elapsed time if he'd taken the car to the mechanic the day after it broke: four or five days (depending on the part's shipping time). Personal time: an hour of dropping off & picking up.

Cost if he'd taken the car to the mechanic the day after it broke: $220
$100 troubleshooting fee
$60 mechanic's discounted parts cost
$60 mechanic's "hour" of installation labor.

Not having to expend any personal labor: priceless.

During the drive down to the shop he seemed to be having an exceptionally incoherent time discussing the whole incident-- chronology, engine vocabulary, where they went, prices, delivery times, and even the name of the highway we were driving on. When he got in the Subaru he asked us how to retrace the two blocks back to the main road, insisted that he knew a better way, and drove off in the exact wrong direction. What the hell, the island is only 30x40 miles, he has a full tank of gas, and MIL will call us if he doesn't come home.

As spouse and I went on our way to run other errands I tactfully brought up the possibility of mild cognitive impairment. She acknowledged the diagnosis but said that he's been that way for five decades, so today's behavior didn't necessarily indicate a trend.

Next time she takes her mother shopping, spouse is going to quietly bring up the car's repair time/cost issues. (At least he got treated very well at the shop, so maybe next time he'll just call the mechanic.) We're also going to suggest that while they're on their cruise we take their Subaru to the dealer for its 60K checkup-- plugs, wires, a new starter motor, maybe even the timing belt* that he mentioned. The persuader will be that putting the Subaru in the shop means we'll have their house's entire garage available for us to lay out & cut new kitchen sheet vinyl.

MIL's basal cancer was malignant. The dermatologist excised it and applied a skin graft from another part of her ear. It started bleeding the next day (another emergency trip to the doctor) but after three more visits her stitches & bandages will be removed next Monday.

I hope the drama is over for at least another week or two but I'm not very optimistic. I'm looking forward to tonight's tae kwon do sparring and a weekend of 6-8 foot father-daughter surf...

* I sure hope that a '96 Subaru Legacy doesn't have a timing belt because if it does, it's over a decade old and could go at any minute...


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