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Paul Cuenco

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Member Since: Jun, 2010

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Blogs by Paul Cuenco

Predicament: Saving Money
5/23/2012 1:23:46 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

I saw that my running lights and brake lights were not working the other night. Worried that I may not use it in the evening, I requested my mom that we should go to a shop the morning after next to fix it. (I had an interview in San Francisco, so I traveled to the Bay Area from Portland, Oregon.) The next afternoon, my mom approached me and mentioned about what had happened when her light bulb died. A Cousin-in-law said that it was easy to fix a broken light bulb. All he has to do was buy the light bulb and he changed it himself. So, she bought a light bulb nonetheless, and he changed the ones in my mom’s car. So what my mother was saying, it would be easy to change the light bulb without incurring a lot of expense and time. We studied the back of my car. We started the car, switched on the lights and stepped on the brakes. The broken lights were indeed broken. Soon, I was convinced that we do not need to bring the car to a repair shop; rather we’d do it ourselves.

Early this morning, we headed to O’Brien’s just like it was an ordinary day. We fell in line and waited for our turn and when it was our turn, we ordered the light bulbs. We went out in the hope that changing the light bulb would not be too difficult. The last time I change the light bulb by myself, I had a hard time that I asked the clerk to help me with it. Of course, he just changed it like it was Spring and he smell like roses. The last time I changed it was without my help. I went to a shop and like before that, there was no issue. It was wham bam and a dunk! All went smoothly. Of course, I paid dearly for it. It was not that much as fixing an engine but more than enough to have four cups of Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks just for one light bulb. So I figured this time that if I could just change the light bulbs by myself, I would not spend a lot. I’ll just pay for the light bulbs.

I read the instruction on how to put the light bulb on. I must smear the goo around the butt of the light bulb so that it could be easily removed and so that the tin would not stick; and also so that water would not penetrate the cubicle the bulb sat in. Then I concentrated my effort in removing the bulb to the right of the car. It was difficult but I got it unhinged. I wiggled it and pulled it apart that the bulb got separated from the cubicle. After putting the good bulb in the cubicle, I concentrated on the second bulb, the one to the left of the car. I figured that it would also be as difficult as the first and so I tried. I tried pulling the bulb from its cubicle. It did not work. Then I wiggled it. Nope, nothing happened. But I repeated the process until the glass part of the bulb got unhinged with the butt still in the cubicle. I took a goose pliers to pry it off. Mom said that she’ll go in the shop to get some help. I proceeded in twisting and turning the metal butt but it did not budge. Mom came back and said that they can’t help. We needed to go to a shop to do the repairing. Soon, my twisting and turning made the metal butt give way that the entire bulb was soon free from the cubicle. And proudly, I connected the new light bulb to the cubicle, of course smearing the goo first to the butt.

We tested the lights. We started the car, switched on the lights and stepped on the brakes. All worked out fine. But when I pressed on the button to let the handle slide on the transmission to Reverse, the stick just wouldn’t. Oh, another set of problems!

Mom called her mechanic which is just two blocks away. He mentioned that in order to let the stick slide, I needed to press a tiny button which was right on top of the transmission panel. I eventually found it and by accident press the button which was in a deep hole with a small Phillips screw driver. But the check engine lighted; and when I slide the stick back to Park, it wouldn’t slide back to Reverse or Drive unless I press that small button again. So off to his shop we went.

He took out his tools and studied what was wrong with my car. He has this wand which lighted whenever there was a current flowing through it and a reader that tells him what could be wrong with the electrical charge. He explained what the matter was and he was terribly patient even though he was suffering from gout. A short time passed and all was clear. He started the car, switched on the lights and stepped on the brakes; and all went well. Even the Engine Brake light which was set off by some incident was cleared; after which, my mom pulled out the checkbook and wrote a check.

I’m sure that we would have spent a few dollars putting on the bulbs ourselves. But for the bother and the subsequent problems we tried working on, it could have been cheaper to go to a shop in the first place. We spent less with this shop only because mom knows the mechanic well and she had her car fixed by this mechanic all the time. If this were another shop, we could have spent more fixing what we messed up; and we could spent a tad less if we had gone to this shop to change our light bulbs. Only if the lights didn’t give us trouble. Only if the clerks at the store we bought our light bulbs from could have helped us. Only if I were a mechanic knowing how to fix my car; but I ain’t a mechanic.

Website: www.paulcuenco.com

Other literary works are at: www.lulu.com, www.kindle.com, www.bn.com, www.amazon.com and www.nook.com



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More Blogs by Paul Cuenco
• Predicament: Dave and Annette's Housewarming 2012 - Sunday, September 16, 2012
• Predicament: Portland Sands and its vicinity - Sunday, September 02, 2012
• Predicament: Mississippi Street Fair, Portland, Oregon - Saturday, August 25, 2012
• Predicament: Astoria, Oregon - Friday, August 17, 2012
• New Book for Father's Day! - Saturday, June 23, 2012
•  Predicament: Saving Money - Wednesday, May 23, 2012  
• Predicament: Old Haunts - Sunday, May 13, 2012
• Predicament: Courteous Portland Traffic - Wednesday, May 02, 2012
• Sorry - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
• Predicament: A Day at the Beach - Thursday, April 05, 2012
• Predicament: Dinner at a Deserted Restaurant - Tuesday, April 03, 2012
• Predicament: My Stroke and Writing - Monday, April 02, 2012
• Predicament: The World of the Bay Area - Sunday, April 01, 2012
• Predicament: A Competitor Indeed - Saturday, March 31, 2012
• Predicament: Democracy! - Friday, March 30, 2012
• Predicament: The Garden Party - Thursday, March 29, 2012
• Predicament: Gift-Giving - Wednesday, March 28, 2012
• Predicament: Suicide - Tuesday, March 27, 2012
• Predicament: Water, Water Everywhere - Monday, March 26, 2012
• Predicament: The Floods Of Manila - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Predicament: Tita Dimple's recollection of Papa Trining - Saturday, March 24, 2012
• Predicament: The Future Should Be Brighter - Friday, March 23, 2012
• Predicament: Death of a Writer - Thursday, March 22, 2012
• Predicament: The Season Re-liveth - Wednesday, March 21, 2012
• Predicament: Time Had Forgotten About - Tuesday, March 20, 2012
• Predicament: Closing Time - Monday, March 19, 2012
• Predicament: Hasan Baharin - Sunday, March 18, 2012
• Predicament: A Pimple of my Nose - Saturday, March 17, 2012
• Predicament: What is Mike Cooking? - Friday, March 16, 2012
• Predicament: Papa Eriong - Thursday, March 15, 2012
• Predicament: Kind Words - Wednesday, March 14, 2012
• Predicament: Music and Whit 2 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• Predicament: Music and Whit 1 - Monday, March 12, 2012
• Predicament: What You Want to Be - Sunday, March 11, 2012
• Predicament: Father and Son - Saturday, March 10, 2012
• Liza's Life Plan - Friday, March 09, 2012
• The Colleague - Thursday, March 08, 2012
• Oh Taylor! - Wednesday, March 07, 2012
• Dena - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Losing My Job, Again - Monday, March 05, 2012
• A Plane to Nowhere - Sunday, March 04, 2012
• A Slave No More - Saturday, March 03, 2012
• Cirque du Soleil - Friday, March 02, 2012
• Mendocino - Thursday, March 01, 2012
• Th Coming Storm - Wednesday, February 29, 2012
• Becoming Old - Tuesday, February 28, 2012
• Ordinary Lives - Monday, February 27, 2012
• Books I Read - Sunday, February 26, 2012
• Discrimination - Saturday, February 25, 2012
• Quintessential Jokes - Friday, February 24, 2012
• The Catholic Experience - Thursday, February 23, 2012
• Promises, promises - Wednesday, February 22, 2012
• Sleepy - Tuesday, February 21, 2012
• Art for Art's Sake - Monday, February 20, 2012
• Mike's Ash Wednesday - Sunday, February 19, 2012
• Holy - Saturday, February 18, 2012
• Summer Home - Friday, February 17, 2012
• Pickpocketed - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• A Penny for a Drink - Wednesday, February 15, 2012
• My Roman Holiday - Tuesday, February 14, 2012
• Luck and Popularity - Monday, February 13, 2012
• It's Valentine's - Sunday, February 12, 2012
• Bosses - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• Education and Options - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• Windy Portland - Thursday, February 09, 2012
• My Job at Costco - Wednesday, February 08, 2012
• Compassion - Tuesday, February 07, 2012
• The Day Paul had Two Parties and other things - Monday, February 06, 2012
• When I Die - Sunday, February 05, 2012
• Sleeping and Dreaming - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• The Loneliness of a Country Road - Friday, February 03, 2012
• Jordan - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Taxes Galore - Wednesday, February 01, 2012
•  It's almost Valentines - Monday, January 30, 2012
• Habits We Indulge Ourselves In - Sunday, January 29, 2012
• To Cruise or not to Cruise - Saturday, January 28, 2012
• Blah, Blah, Blah - Friday, January 27, 2012
• Rain - Thursday, January 26, 2012
• Charlie* and Dad - Wednesday, January 25, 2012
• Writing and Being A Writer - Tuesday, January 24, 2012
• True Snow - Monday, January 23, 2012
• Reinvention - Sunday, January 22, 2012
• What I Miss - Saturday, January 21, 2012
• A Gift for Valentine - Thursday, January 19, 2012
• Venerable Mr. Wu - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• The Snow Storm That Wasn't - Tuesday, January 17, 2012
• The Russians - Monday, January 16, 2012
• The Older Generation - Sunday, January 15, 2012
• What is the other half doing today? - Saturday, January 14, 2012
• Mike's Bird dog Stories - Friday, January 13, 2012
• Dying - Thursday, January 12, 2012
• This Modern Life - Wednesday, January 11, 2012
• Jabberwocky - Tuesday, January 10, 2012
• Marriages and Such - Monday, January 09, 2012
• Poetry in America - Sunday, January 08, 2012
• Old Friendships - Saturday, January 07, 2012
• Clark and a whole of other things - Friday, January 06, 2012
• Being (almost) Late - Thursday, January 05, 2012
• At my Starbucks - Wednesday, January 04, 2012
• The Sandusky Affair - Tuesday, January 03, 2012
• Happy Reading 1 - Monday, January 02, 2012
• New Year 2012 - Monday, January 02, 2012
• A Day with my Nieces - Sunday, January 01, 2012
• To Live and Enjoy Life - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• Goodbye Uncle Paul - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• It's Hector - Tuesday, December 27, 2011
• Going Home - Thursday, December 22, 2011
• A Night in Copenhagen - Wednesday, December 21, 2011
• Trivia Night - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
• Paul's Novels - Monday, December 19, 2011
• Europe - Sunday, December 18, 2011
• Kimmy, my good friend - Friday, December 16, 2011
• The Sad State of my Affairs - Thursday, December 15, 2011
• Once There was a Mansion - Wednesday, December 14, 2011
• Lauren's Happy Uncle's Day - Tuesday, December 13, 2011
• Santa Claus - Monday, December 12, 2011
• Mike, the Francophile - Sunday, December 11, 2011
• The car that never died, I hope - Saturday, December 10, 2011
• My Christmas Lights - Friday, December 09, 2011
• Small Memories - Wednesday, December 07, 2011
• Owning a Business, Bar - Tuesday, December 06, 2011
• What A Wonderful Day - Monday, December 05, 2011
• My Typical Sunday - Sunday, December 04, 2011
• Steve Jobs book - Saturday, December 03, 2011
• Moving on to Spirit Mountain - Friday, December 02, 2011


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