Was heading back from the
supermarket and noted that my low oil light had come on. Well I was
just heading for Shoppers Drug Mart and then back to the house so I wasn't
too worried about it.
That said it occurred to me
that as I had purchased my car in January 2005 and as it was now August
2006 that I hadn't had an oil change or a service done on the car. I
thus went to check my car manual to see what the service intervals were
like and I noted they recommended that you changed your oil at least every
10,000k and that you had a car service at least every year <gulp>
I then checked my oil and
found it below the low level <even bigger gulp>.
And so I headed for the
Buick dealer that had fixed my lock system the previous year and discussed
this with them. They gave me a check sheet...
They recommend you get your
oil changed every 3 months or 5000km. The Lube, Oil and Filter
service is $29.95 and that includes a 15 point check and oil filter
replacement. The mechanic who dealt with me stressed you should never go
more than 12 months without having Lube, Oil & Filter Service. I had done
around 27,000km since the last service.
They also have a
semi-annual service and a full annual service. The pages above detail what
you get for your money. As I understand it the semi-annual check is
$29.95 and the full annual check is $49.95. So I have also booked the car
in for tomorrow afternoon for a full annual check.
I really don't know why I
didn't think of doing all this before. I know back in Scotland I
would always take my car in every 6,000 miles for a full service.
Perhaps it was due to me noting I had a service light on the dashboard and
just assumed it would come on when I needed a service.
Anyway.. pleased to note
that this is now all in hand and will check things out more frequently now
that I know. Having done the oil change for me they also washed my car :-)
And now we get to the painful bit... the next
day while going in for the service I got a wee phone call just to let me
know that I needed both front lower control arm bushings replaced and I
also needed to replace the right front hub and bearing and that little lot
plus the service came to $1019.39 <gulp>
I also decided to join the CAA (Canadian
Automobile Assocation) and took out there Plus membership. Essentially the
Basic membership just gives you a tow up to 10km whereas the Plus service
is up to 200km. As I plan to motor down to the USA later this year I
figured it was worth the extra. Also noted that CAA roadside
assistance is also available in the USA. They also provide free maps as
part of the service.
This week has seen me out having a Roast Beef
dinner with Nola and Harold and also a Lamb BBQ, the same one I went to
last year courtesy of the Ontario Sheep Farmers Association. I also
implemented the security advise that the police constable gave me about
getting better lock latches installed on all doors and keying them all so
that all doors can be opened with one key. I also replaced the front
door lock with a manual combination lock.
The general advice I've had about alarm
systems is that they won't really make much difference as if someone wants
to break in they will. All it really does is help to prevent people
spending a couple of hours in your house as even if the alarm goes off
they'll still figure they have a couple of minutes to steal the most
obvious stuff. So the good security locks just means it will be
noisier and take longer to break in which will likely deter most burglars.
I guess it's a gamble either way as by telling folk you have an alarm
system it also advertises that you likely have something worth stealing
When Nola and Harold visited me this week Nola
brought in two large ring binders with Photostat copies of the
Biographical Records of the County of Kent. She has offered to type
in some of them for me and so I started working through them ticking all
the Scots descendants and I was amazed that they came to at least 160.
At a rough estimate that meant that at least a quarter of all these
biographical records were of Scots descendents. That was pretty
amazing to me as I really wasn't aware that the Scots made up such a high
percentage of the local population. I note that the actual
publication was done in 1904 and as a service the local library will
produce a copy of it for you which is how Nola got this set.
It also occurred to me that if the County of
Kent had done this type of publication then surely other counties had done
the same in Canada and other parts of the world. It's a bit of a pity that
I couldn't get folk around the world that read my weekly newsletter to go
out and see if they can find anything similar and perhaps transcribe the
records for me and send them by email. We could really get some
excellent material that way.
August is looking like an expensive month as I
again spend some more money. I decided that the air conditioning
system, central air, needed an inspection but I'd never got around to it
so when Sears phoned to offer a free inspection I took the opportunity to
get one done. Was quite staggered at the amount of dirt that had
accumulated in the central air system. Also the last official
inspection of the furnace was logged as 1998. I figured my health was more
important than money so went with a complete cleaning and maintenance
service and also decided to install a humidifier. This little lot cost
They bring around a truck with compressors
that apparently suck out all the muck in the system and also sanitize the
Actually I have no real knowledge of these
types of systems as I never had central air in Scotland so all this is
rather new to me. The engineer that arrived put down mirrors so I
could see into the ducting and yuk was all I could think of. So this
should all make things cleaner, healthier, more efficient and should save
me a bit of money on my electric bill. But most important, I think I will
be healthier as a result.
You Know: Your duct system is a breeding ground for
mold, fungi, bacteria, germs and
microscopic dust mites. Every time your
heating or air conditioning system comes on, these particles become
airborne. As our homes become “tighter” and HVAC systems become more
energy efficient, pollutants are trapped inside your home. If you suffer
from allergies, asthma, sinusitis, dry coughs, sore throats, chronic
breathing problems, itchy watery eyes, headaches, it may be a result of
poor air quality.
Humidifiers - During our
long winter, dry heated air can lower the humidity level in your home. The
results? Itchy skin, scratchy throat, annoying coughs and even nosebleeds.
Not to mention static electricity, squeaky floors, wilting houseplants or
a piano that sounds a bit off-key.
Anyway, on 31st August they
appeared to commence the work. The first person to arrive was the man to
do the furnace maintenance and fit the humidifier. He was not a
happy punter as he couldn't fit the humidifier and would have to get some
metal work done to install it. He reckoned this would cost another $50
and it would take a couple of weeks. He then took me to task for not
having a hose... like how was he meant to clean my air conditioning and
furnace if I didn't have a hose. I suggested that he might obtain one and
he suggested I might buy one! In the end he phoned his office and
got permission to purchase a hose :-)
And so this is him hosing down my air
And this is my furnace stripped down to be
informed me that the duct cleaning side likely wouldn't arrive until
between 3 - 4pm instead of between 12.00 to 1.00 so it will be interesting
to see how long they take to do the duct cleaning. At least this furnace
chap arrived on time. He did mention this was his last call today.
It took him around 1.5 hours to clean the system and he figured it had
never been cleaned.
Here is the check list of
things that were done and observed...
As an aside... while he was here I got in an
email asking where they might be able to purchase a spurtel. A spurtle is
a wooden stick that you stir porridge with. I had a quick look on
the web and found a few places selling them but none looked like the one
my family have been using all these years. Here's a picture of
I also got in a Tom Tom 901 GPS navigation
system for the car which will hopefully mean I can find my way around the
US and Canada :-)
I haven't got around to fitting it in the car
yet but am looking forward to trying it out.
And so I am now waiting for the duct people to
arrive and the previous chap said they'd likely take two hours when they
arrive so we'll see how they get on :-)
And they arrived at 4:30pm telling me there
were huge hold ups on the 401 highway which were. The younger one is Joe
Regan and the more senior chap is Ralph Donald.
Essentially they air blast any dust downwards.
They then seal all the returns and then use the suction pump to suck up
all the dust. They then wash and sanitize the returns and the system.
Takes about 2 hours to do this. And here is the check list they left