The Handy Manny and Guido in me

Our transfer to Batangas has made me do more things on my own. The first few weeks I got myself pretty busy. I became the real Handy Manny, I can be seen with tools that where never out of the toolbox for so long. I got drill, screwdrivers, hammer, and ladder as my usual companion—they don’t talk though unlike in the cartoon show. There were fixtures to caulk, frames to hang, curtain rods to install. All these I did even on weekdays just before or after I report to night shift.  I was a regular at the hardware stores.

Then there’s our car to take care of. I realized that I actually have an answer to wifey’s question: “Do you miss Cavite?” I used to say “no” without any hesitation but now I seem to wish I am still close to Honda Cars Cavite. The car dealership wasn’t perfect but it was home for our Honda City for almost six years. There’s a Honda dealer here in Batangas but I decided against availing its services after talking to one of its service advisors. He doesn’t not show good customer service, he gave a pricey quote, and he spelled spark in spark plug with a ‘u’. Yes, I get easily turned off by price and wrong spelling.

Soon I found myself under the hood of the Honda City, this time I become Guido. After eight years, I am taking over the car’s preventive maintenance. I discovered that the task wasn’t easy. I had to familiarize myself with the car and had to read its manual more thoroughly for the first time after I almost loosen the wrong nut thinking it was the oil drain plug. The design of the City’s engine also made it harder to access its eight spark plugs as these are deeply seated unlike the ones in our Kia Pride (duh). I almost quit changing the four spark plugs located behind the engine block. That week I went to work showing everyone a dirty finger, fingers to be exact. I will wear gloves when changing oil next time.

I need my own lift.

But other maintenance jobs are better left to the experts and the better equipped. Yesterday, I watched a car parts store’s mechanic figure out how to change the car’s gear oil. He later conceded that they do not have the tool to drain the oil. It was about an hour and a half wasted. With my temper running low, I drove a few meters to a Caltex gas station where I found someone in greasy overall uniform who did the job in barely 30 minutes. I gave him a tip.

While our routine has normalized, there are still lots of things waiting to be done. For one there are still boxes in our other room with its contents waiting to be transferred to their proper cabinets and shelves which are yet to be made (hint: budget). Others need to be disposed. Then there’s also our parking space that we plan to have cemented. Who knows I could do less messy and faster oil change when I don’t have to worry about the jack stand sinking into the loose soil.

***

Car talk

Marcus and I stayed very late last night. He played Roblux, I watched TV. I landed on a channel that shows Formula E and watched it for the very first time. I learned that Formula E is similar to Formula One except that the cars are electric but just as fast. Since there is no fossil fuel to pump, the driver transfers to a fully-charged car on scheduled pit stops. Marcus was right to remark that the Formula E cars sound like those in Star Wars. How soon would mankind be driving 100% gas-free cars? Tesla is  around so the answer should be sooner than we expect it.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Regular Sunday: no more fiesta, no more outing.)

The Real Oggy And The Cockcroaches

Photo from the Web.

Cat and mouse. This I’m sure that anyone will recognize the famous rivalry. It’s been like that. For example, when I say Tom, someone will highly likely say Jerry. When I start with ‘when the cat is away…’ it will be easily continued by anybody with ‘…the mouse will play.’ Yes, everyone just knows the relationship between the two.

But how many are aware of cats and cockcroaches. For one, I don’t, I never did. I was so clueless that I scratched my head when I first saw the cartoons Oggy and the Cockroaches. Who would have thought that it’s a good idea to create an animation about the misadventures of a blue cat named Oggy and his archnemeses Dee Dee, Marky, and Joey. Well, Jean-Yves Raimbaud seems to know what he was doing.

Marcus started watching Oggy and Cockroaches when he was a lot younger. He loves the show so much that now at age six and with our cable TV subscription gone, for a year and half already, he would mention that it is still one of his favorite cartoon shows. He now hates the others he once watched almost regularly–like Ben 10, Dibo, and, thankfully, Barney–yet his fascination of Oggy and the Cockroaches stays. But do cats and these horrendous smelly creepers meet in real life? Yes, just not as amusing.

We have seen our cat, Mittens, so many times bring inside our house– of course, to our utter disgust–cockroaches to play with and eventually kill. I would often wonder if the poor cockroach would have preferred being sprayed with pesticide rather than the torturous demise due to being tossed around from the cat’s fangs and to be pummeled by its soft paw with sharp claws. Sometimes out of compassion, I deliver the quick death with the classic slipper whack.

The latest encounter happened this early morning while I drag my sleepy self from bed to the toilet. As I was about to open the faucet to wash my face I came eye to eye with the shiny brown pest and by instinct I had my hand ready with a slipper. I saw also that Mittens was right behind me, its iris opened, fully focused, and ready to pounce. The poor cockroach was almost trapped, it hesitated, and decided to avoid the cat. It seems that our cat’s notoriety has spread around the filthy roach community. Oh by the way, its name should’ve been Oggy but we later learned it’s female.

***

Here’s a trivia I read from Wikipedia. Did you know that Dee Dee, Joey, and Marky were among the members of the American punk rock band The Ramones? Now what are the chances that their song I Wanna Be Sedated is about a cockroach begging to escape slow death from a cat.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Holiday today. Another day off for Marcus.)