Monkey wrench

Nothing like spending a few hours working on a car only to get to a problem you can’t fix and have to back out. That’s just what happened to me. The kids went off to church and I decided I didn’t have enough projects going on and decided to start a new one. I ordered a trailer hitch for the CRV last week and it came in yesterday. I wanted to get it installed for our road trip this weekend.

I managed to get the rear shroud off the undercarriage, cut a hole in it for the hitch, reinstalled it, dropped the muffler, then spent another hour trying to get the hitch in place with the help of a floor jack. After cutting some more of the shroud off, I finally got the driver’s side attached. Then I went to attach the screws around the muffler… and couldn’t. The receiving threads were too corroded. They weren’t protected by the shroud, and ten years and seventy thousand miles was just too much. Then the storm clouds started rolling in, so I had to detach the bar and get everything inside before the storms came in. I managed to get the muffler hung back up, but there’s not much else for me to do on my own.

In the morning I’ll have to make few phone calls to the local indy shop and see if there’s anything they can do. Otherwise I’ll have to call the stealership and see what their protocol is. We’ll see how that turns out.

I managed to do a good bit of griping about the situation, both to Missus and to D. when he came back to drop off the kids. I’m not really too frustrated about it, but it seemed the only appropriate response, to bitch about it. I’ve been reading Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is The Way, which I suppose can be classified as modern stoic philosophy, and the last few chapters which I’ve been reading are about how to act when all of your plans go awry. It’s about perseverance. One of the chapters even described the highest ambition of this philosophy about being glad, truly glad, about all obstacles and setbacks that happen in life. I kind of I’m glad that this happened to me so that I can deal with the challenge kind of mindset. I’m sure there are versions of this in other philosophy, Job in the Old Testament, for instance, and it’s good to be reminded about it.

Another book I’ve been reading, Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists, has been on my mind a lot as well, especially as the kids have been attending church more often. They’ve been singing Sunday school songs constantly, asking me if I was saved or believe in God and Jesus and that kind of stuff. I’m trying to tread a fine line between letting them know how I fell and shitting over everything that they’re picking up there. I think I tried to explain to Younger that stories of Jesus’s miracles are basically myths, like ancient versions of the Avengers or Sailor Moon, but I don’t think she really got it. What else can I say to a five year old?

My point here is that de Botton makes a good point that secular society does a lot of things well, but there are a lot of things that religion does better. Imparting a philosophy of life being one of them. That’s not to say that they don’t exist in secular society, it’s just that our institutions, namely schools and government, aren’t designed to provide them. And while I’ve been trying to find a way to impart some sort of family values to my kids, I’m afraid it’s been hard going so far, and although I hate to say it, I can’t really compete with the Baptist church.

So I don’t mind my kids picking up a bit of philosophy from the church. And it’s cute when they start singing their songs on our road trips. I just fear at one point it’s not going to be cute any more. I just want to make sure I keep their faith tempered. I do have a bit of worry about what they’re being indoctrinated with, but for now it seems harmless enough. We’ll see.

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