Zen and the art of spark plug replacement

Implement of torture

Our lives have become much easier because of so many gadgets and devices. So why is it that simple tasks of auto maintenance such as changing spark plugs have become a bigger pain in the ass than ever?

My Tacoma pickup last week started running like a terrier with distemper. So I have begun the old process of elimination routine of automobile repair. I started with the simple stuff: gas treatment, carburetor cleaner. No change. So I bought some plugs and finally had time to put them in this morning. The first sign it was going to be a bad experience is when I finally got the first wire off and looked down at my plug which appeared to be 40 feet below. It was way down there and I had no tool to reach it. So I went to the auto parts store and purchased the above 6-inch extension for my ratchet drive, pictured above.

Now it would seem like changing plugs would be a snap in my truck. They are located on top of the engine block, the same configuration a Corolla I once owned had. It was very easy to change the plugs in that car. But like most automobiles built in the last 20 years or so there are so many wires and assorted other crap crammed under the hood that it is a chore to get to anything at all. So it was a challenge getting to the plugs, getting them out and putting the new ones in. In the process, I pulled a little too hard on a plastic covering on a wire and broke it. So now I am awaiting a ride to the auto parts store to buy a set of wires since they don’t sell just one wire. Oh well, I guess a new set of wires is a good thing.

Birds fear me. Yeah, right.

It hasn’t been a very exciting day. But on the bizarre side, my downstairs neighbor planted a small garden next to a fence and has put up two of these scare owls to keep the birds away. They look pretty strange. I think it would be funny if a large flock of birds landed on the two owls and they fell under the flock’s weight and busted. I would almost pay to see that.

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