The Burb

Mother’s Day weekend was a nice family weekend.  A celebration of the woman who brought forth my two precious children.  We had laughs, went out to eat and just enjoyed one another’s presence.  Kinda makes you wonder why we don’t have more moments like this more often…

After the weekend was over, life went back to everyone’s normal routines.  My youngest has been struggling with school and in conjunction with his therapists and us, we’ve been able to get him approved to finish out the school year with a homebound program and a personal teacher.  Grades look good in a majority of the classes, with the only exception being Algebra.  But we’re working on that one.

School is over for me.  As promised, I haven’t signed up for any classes and I’m slowly starting to reintegrate into how life was before I started going back to school.  It’s been a little bit of a transition for me.  Even though school has only been about 7 months for me, it did change the way I organized my time.  Time was a commodity that was precious because I had so very little of it to go around.  Now, with not having to worry about classes and school work, I find myself lost at times as to what to do and in what order they should be done.  More times than not, I’ve found myself standing in the middle of a room in the house wondering what the hell I need/want to do. 

The last couple of weekends, minus mother’s day weekend, I’ve been trying to catch up on all the maintenance stuff that I’ve neglected with our cars.  First up was the wife’s M3… In typical BMW fashion, this thing is a basket case.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun, nimble car.  Last of what I would consider the true M3’s.  However, it’s been in the shop twice now for an oil leak that no one can seem to find.  This oil leak… is currently the bane of my existence.  It taunts me every time I walk out into the driveway as I see the remnants of where it’s been parked.  My driveway, once, near spotless is now stained with oil from the places it’s parked overnight.  The underside of the car is a nightmare for me as when I get under it, I see a thin layer of oil on EVERYTHING, with little drips just waiting to fall on the pavement below it.  I cannot begin to tell you how much it infuriates me.  In the meantime, I’ve tried to ignore it… there are other items that require my attention.  So, I fixed an electrical issue, reset the stupid low tire pressure warning system (no… it does NOT have TPMS… TPMS is infinitely easier that this old antiquated system that BMW used on the E46’s), was going to replace the steering linkage knuckle that I suspect is the reason for the play in the steering wheel, only to find out that I don’t have the damn socket needed to pull it apart… Stupid European specialty tools… ugh.  This past weekend, I decided to tackle our dedicated family hauler, our Suburban.  I had done pads and rotors on it a few months ago, but the wife had just come back from an overnighter and stated that the brakes are making a lot of noise in the rear.  Low and behold, the caliper piston froze on one side and destroyed the pads and rotor… A quick search revealed that replacing the caliper with a remanufactured unit would be cheaper, not to mention less time consuming.  So parts were ordered and I began the process of replacing everything.  In my infinite wisdom, I decided I was going to replace all 4 calipers… I didn’t want the brake bias to be all jacked up because one was new and the other three were old.  Made sense in my head, but this requires brake lines to be disconnected, which then requires the brakes to be bled, etc.  This shouldn’t be a hard task, I’ve done it a million times with other vehicles.  However… GM can kiss my ass… in fact, any vehicle that has some kinds of weird ABS system that requires a scanner to open the ABS modulator valves can kiss my ass.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much brake fluid I went through… And brake fluid scares the ever living crap out of me because it will eat through paint in a quick hurry.  Anyhow… THREE brake bleed procedures later, it’s done.  While I’m at it, I decide to change the oil and filter, rotate the tires, etc.  No big deal, right?  I pull the oil drain plug and it looks odd to me… the drain plug is magnetic, so I’m prepared to see a tiny bit of metal, but what I was presented with can only be described as… a gob… of fine metal shavings… it’s a lot.  Like… I’m seriously freaking out at this point.  I go and grab one of my magnetic tools and sure enough… its ALL metal.  Now, I’m trying to figure out where did all of this come from?  What damage has it done?  How much time does this engine have before it fails?  Fuck.  Ove the past year, this this had a displacement on demand failure (DoD, active fuel management system, AFM) where a lifter failed, wiped out the cam, etc.  The shop I took it to replaced the lifters with non-AFM lifters, dropped in a mild street cam, custom tune and some other stuff.  Engine has not been quite right ever since as in I’m not at all happy with the tune, but whatever, it drives and has more power, no misfires, etc.  Before all of that happened, I replaced the entire front end… new upper and lower control arms, new hubs and bearings, new end links, new bushings, new ball joints, new ABS sensors, all new alignment, new tires, new wheels, new compressor for the air ride, new brakes, new transmission (it broke after we got it back from the DoD failure)… and now this.  THIS is a game changer.  I do not have the time, patience, energy or money to keep fixing the Suburban.  For the last year, this thing has been a money pit.  I don’t want to put a new engine in it.  I think I’m done with it… Time to let it go.  Ugh…

“Let things come and go… The things that are meant to stay will stay…!!

-Sushil jain

Not Forgotten

I promise I haven’t forgotten about the blog. I’ve been trying to keep up with life these last weeks and it’s been… busy, to say the least. I actually have a draft entry that pics right up from my last post, but it’s not finished and I’m not at all sure if I should even try to finish it at this point. Some things have definitely changed since then, for the better.

But let me catch you up on recent events and happenings. The wife and I are in a very good place with each other at this point. As in, divorce is no longer on the table. I can’t even begin to express how this has impacted the entire family and the mood in the house. But, we are definitely in a better place now, which has led to things improving with our son. He’s still not returned to school physically since everything happened, but he’s been talking weekly with his therapist and he is making positive strides in school and at home. His grades in 2 of his 4 classes are stellar! And while he is struggling in the other 2, WE are ALL hopeful that he’ll do alright by the end of the school year.

Speaking of school… One of the reasons for my lack of posting was due to my own schooling. I made the decision to finish out my semester as best I could, and then… to withdraw from the college. I know… I know, I know, I know. With me coming to this decision, the likelihood of me returning to school again are slim to none. And you know what? I’m fine with it. I feel like part of everything that has happened up to this point was partly to blame on me having such a full plate. Full-time job, full-time student, full-time parent, no time for hobbies, no time for socializing, CORONAVIRUS, fix things with the house, fix things with the cars… All of that… with no kind of outlet took it’s toll, and EVERYONE paid the price. So, after much consideration and talking with the wife, a couple of friends, I made the choice to leave school. But on a good note. So, I did the best I could, and the semester just finished up this week and I’m done. I’m happy too, because I finished with better grades than I had thought I was going to end up with. There is still some administrative stuff to finish up with the school, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m done. The last few days have been nice and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with my family.


Okay, so a question to those of you who actually take the time to visit and read my ramblings… Do I continue where I left off prior to this post? Please post a reply with your opinion. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Thank you!

Nothing is born into this world without labor

Rob Liano