Ali (now 5 years old) thinks the local Halfords auto-parts ‘specialist‘ is a bit of an idiot. He’s not wrong….
Mind you, when it comes to cars, Alex is a total sponge for information (as mentioned in previous blog entries). He is very curious as to how things work, so when I had to swap the old ignition coil out and replace the leads he wanted to help.
One explanation to Alex as to how the ignition system works and we then drove off to get the parts. We visited a couple of places to get prices for parts before buying anything.
The first place we visited was Camberley Auto Factors, who are usually pretty good at understanding parts and cars, although sometimes they need a hand, but all in all, they know their general stuff.
The second place was Hellfords… sorry, I mean Halfords… the high-street seller of overpriced parts to Joe Public and chavs/chavettes who want pink wheels and loud stereos. Once upon a time you could go there and get what you needed to keep your car on the road, but now all you can get are fluffy dice, fat penis compensating exhausts for poxy Citroen boy racer hatch backs and gaudy crap to sprinkle over your pimp mobile…. and the wrong windscreen wipers, regardless of what you ask for…
Generally Halfords (from my experience) is now staffed by people who couldn’t get into the fast food business because they didn’t have the required qualifications…. (Now and then you can get lucky and find a helpful member of staff… but they generally get better jobs and leave Halfords very quickly).
We got the prices from Camberley Auto Factors with no problem, then went to Halfords as a comparison.
I asked the PARTS COUNTER SPECIALIST if they had an HT lead set for a Land Rover… to which the drone responded in a close approximation to English “Is dat summit to do wiv der stereo?”
Alex just tutted and said loudly “Let’s go back to the other shop. THAT man knew what he was talking about…”
Spanner? Errr... wassat?
Parts Specialists…? I should have known I was on to a loser with them, especially as last time I asked for a Series 3 Land Rover part, they responded with “Is that the Defender Rover or the Discovery Rover?“…. No, you arse-hats, it’s a SERIES 3…. just like I JUST SAID IT WAS!!!
So we went back to Camberley Auto Factors and picked up what we needed. Once we got home I put all the new parts in place with Ali’s help (and lots of questions about how THIS bit works, and WHY does THIS bit do THIS?). Next I needed to do a bit of tinkering with timing, so Alex ran around to the drivers seat and awaited my instructions….
Worried about safety? Well, he knows to check the car is in neutral before starting up…. but to be on the safe side I had selected neutral on the diff’ too, just in case he accidentally selected a drive gear (this way the car was never going to move with him in it). Ali started the engine up when I asked him, adjusted the choke and gave the engine some throttle when I asked for it. Yes, I could have done it on my own, but he wanted to help, and he made things easier for me.
Timing is nicely set now with the new coil and HT leads working well.
I’m one proud dad… although that’s mostly due to his slam down of the guy in Halfords…
Okay, I’ve seen lists in other blogs about wants, wishes, favourites and such like. Credit crunch means lottery thoughts make for a diversionary trip through cash fuelled dreams. Sure, I hope and aim to reach these goals, but until then, they are just lists…
Obviously I want the best for my family, so that goes without saying (same with World peace, man).
Ten things I would like:
1. Flight in a Spitfire. Not a Harvard or Yak or similar vintage aircraft. It has to be a Spitfire.
2. Own an original or replica Cobra or Jaguar. In fact top of that list would be a replica Jaguar XJ13…. Big V12 sitting right behind your head, and you sit wrapped in the most elegant shaped bodywork ever. Failing that, a trip out in one of these would be superb.
3. Harley “War Bird” style low rider. You might have started to notice I have a fondness for V engines.
4. Big enough house with workshop (so I can build and keep cars and bikes). It would need a fair amount of land, as I’d want space for number 5.
5. Percheron or similar horse. 18 hands will do it. I love the shape of these horses.
6. A Doberman or Husky type dog.
7. A yacht. Proper job like the America cup types. For those times when I’m not riding my Percheron down to the field behind my workshop to work on my Jag XJ13. Even a trip out would suffice for now. Just need to learn to sail first…
8. Large enough land to build a safe rifle range. 1000yd range would be tops. Needless to say I’d need certain rifles to use there. I’m thinking Tac Ops stuff (x-ray), or some other very accurate long ranger. I don’t care too much about machine guns – I like the thought and precision of a long range bolt action.
9. A Tiger Moth. I’d also like the pilots licence so I could fly it… Obviously!
10. Corrective laser eye surgery. Yup, not a major thing, but something I’d like as contacts and glasses are annoying some times.
Well, that’s my first Blog list. Triggered by the Jacks blog (Thoughtful Spaz – see my links). Some times you just need to make a list!
You have to have goals and dreams. All of the above are possible if things work out, although some are more possible than others!