The Rocker Arm Dilemma

If I have said it before…then I have probably said it thrice.

I am not a mechanic.

I leave that to the gear heads, grease monkeys, engine block heads, and basically any other name given to the members of society that can dissect an issue with a vehicle and fix it.

(Those names I used are not a bash to the profession of vehicle mechanics. I actually am extremely jealous of anyone who can…..and does work on vehicles for a living. I neither have the patience nor complex mindset it takes.)

My truck, a 1998 GMC Sierra with the highly original paint job known as “freaking black spray paint” (long story for another time), had to go into the shop.

My in-laws suggested a mechanic. I was quite skeptical. It is not because I don’t trust their opinion….I do….but…

The last time I had my father in law help me with a vehicle problem it got ugly fast.

Our 2 highly intelligent non vehicle troubleshooting minds decided that the alternator needed to be changed.

He and another relative starting taking parts off the engine. They would look at the parts and say,

“What’s this?”

They would both shrug their shoulders, put that part down and continue to take other parts off.

I watched close enough to be able to put the parts back on after they left.

I vowed to never ask them for vehicle help again.

And guess what…

Oops I did it again.

He suggested his mechanic. His name is Charlie. He said he was a good ol’ boy who was reasonable, professional, and honest.

I reluctantly took his advice.

Today, I went to pick up my pick up.

I was fearing the worst as in a cracked block or the head gasket. My fears were agreed upon by other bloggers who came by the same decision after reading my post entitled- “the Google Conclave”.

The problems I was having with the vehicle fit the symptoms of having a bad head gasket or worse.

I got to Charlie’s place and asked what was wrong.

He said,

“You had a broken rocker arm.”

My keen mind ingested what he had told me and a single image popped into my head…..

I thought to myself. Rick Allen has been playing drums for Def Leppard for well over 20 years with only one rocker arm. Why can’t my truck keep rocking without one?

I kept that question to myself. I don’t think Charlie was ever a Def Leppard fan.

He then showed me what a broken rocker arm looks like…

He then explained what he had to do to get to it and replace it. He also explained why and how it works in conjunction with the other engine parts.

I don’t know what he hell he said but he sounded knowledgeable saying it.

The question that was asked next always gives me a knot in my stomach.

“How much do I owe you.”

Typically….mechanics are cocky and expensive. They are a bit too proud for my tastes when it comes to how much they charge.

I expected an arm for an arm.

His reply…..


I get to keep my arm…..and he had earned another loyal customer.

And this also makes up for my father in law playing 52 part pick up….with my pick up.

With this successful trip to the mechanic my spray painted black truck should be able to rock for ages.


Trying To Catch 22

My teenage stepson is, has been, and forever will be looking for love.

He is currently 17 going on divorced with child support to as many females that will accept his penis in them.

Ok…so that may be a bit extreme.

There are a lot of yets to consider.

He is not married…yet.

No one is pregnant….yet

Therefore, no divorce and no child support…yet.

That’s not for a lack of trying on his part.

In the last 8 months he has proposed to 3 females that we know of.

Got caught in bed with one of them.

He has dated females in his grade (11) and females in grades below (9).

And is currently “hanging out” with a 22 year old that he works with.

My first 2 questions are-

What does a 22 year old want with a 17 year old?


Does he even know what to do with a 22 year old?

The answer to question #2 is no…..but he is putting in lots of effort into finding out.

This past Saturday, he came home at his scheduled curfew, which is midnight.

(He told us, that once he got off work, he was going to his friends house to play video games.)

He came home…..with his work shirt on inside out.

My wife says,

“Why is your shirt on inside out?”

He sputters for an answer as his face turns bright red and says,

“I changed clothes when I got to (insert friends name here) house and then I guess I put my shirt on wrong when I left.”

We just stare at him.

“So….” I begin.

“You want us to believe….that you went to your friends house….changed clothes to play video games….AND THEN….changed back into your work clothes to come home?”

He begins to storm out while saying,


I have strange suspicions that his “friend” is the 22 year old he works with…..and the game….

“Tune in Tokyo”.


I make jokes…..but this is a serious matter for my wife and I. Our son is almost old enough to legally make decisions for himself…..


She is well above the age of consent.

Parenting is not easy. The adorable children grow up fast and want to grow up faster than they should.

Sometimes, we, as the adults and guardians have to make choices and decisions that do not sit well with the growing child but are for the betterment of that child.

We really are not sure what to do.

I have heard it said over and over and over-

There is no manual that comes with the kids when they are born.

We just do the best we can.

A manual sure would come in handy, though.

The Google Conclave

My vehicle, to which I have posted of before in the literary greatness named “Black Truck Down“, is pretty much headed for a sequel.

My mechanical knowledge is crappy at best.

In my attempt to lesson the verbal beat down of someone much more knowledgeable than I, steps have been taken.

1- I got a full service high mileage oil change….pull it into the stall, let the oil guys do their thing, pay for it and get out.

It helped but by no means did it fix the issue.

2- Change the spark plugs. I did this myself and have the bloody knuckles to prove it.

It helped but by no means fixed the problem.

3- Tap into the wonders of vehicle troubleshooting forums found through “Googling” the troublesome issue. That pretty much tells you what I did…no need for further explanation.

The first issue- White smoke coming out of the tailpipe.

The forum answer…….

A new Pope has been elected.


The second issue- Engine knocking

The forum answer-

Who can it be knocking at my door? Stay way…don’t come round here no more.


Third issue- no acceleration

Forum answer-

Push down on the pedal harder.


Google forums….if you can’t fix it, they have smart asses who sit at computers all day who will gladly berate you at no charge.

Maybe the new Pope can fix my truck… by singing Men At Work tunes…while testing how far the pedal has to pressed to be able to accelerate.