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The Day That Started Out Nice…

Today started out on a high: booting up my new Mac Mini Server with my old computer’s backup migrated onto it from overnight.

Today is ending on a pretty sour note: in a LaQuinta in Locust Grove, GA – an hour south of Atlanta – stranded with a burned out alternator… when we should be halfway through Tennessee now.

Here’s my story about a grandpa

My grandpa. Where do I begin? Now I don’t think my dad will take any offense to this since he would agree that it’s a good choice, but I can’t think of anyone in the living flesh that I could aspire to be and look up to on every area of life than my Mom’s dad. He’ll be 81 in November and has had diabetes for well over a decade, had both knees replaced a few weeks after turning 65 (his big retirement present after Thanksgiving), and congestive heart failure.

He’s had his ups and downs with his sugars, potassium, and all the stuff associated with things that go wrong when you have both heart issues and diabetes. I’d be a huge liar if we didn’t get concerned every time we hear that he’s having another issue like some skin cancer spots, kidney issues, etc. What can we say, we’re crazy about my grandparents and want to get every chance to see them that we can. Last year, we spent Labor Day weekend with them so we could go to their county fair: one of my fondest memories growing up.

Well, Monday morning we got an e-mail from my aunt who was visiting them that they took him to the ER at 2am with shortness of breath (we all know about that, don’t we?), O2 under 80%, and disorientation. She said she noticed last week that he’d had breathing and confusion issues. While he’s quite old by my present age, that is very much out of character for him.

We are the closest (willing) relatives to come give them a hand, so we packed up the Sorento after gathering things yesterday, clear up until 9:30pm, got up at 6:30, and were on the road at noon with a plan of driving straight through with a nap at a rest area to arrive at or after lunch on Thursday.

It was a good plan.

It was a good plan that wasn’t going to happen.

Oh… crap

We were in Georgia right about 4pm. A couple of exits past Valdosta, the cruise control kicked off. I looked at the gauges and the battery, ABS, emergency brake, and traction control lights were all on. A minute later, the gauges started acting funny before dropping to the bottom of their respective arcs and the car started running rough. We got off the exit without any gas because the manual said that it was a brake system issue. The brakes worked fine coming up the exit ramp.

I almost stopped the car there to shut it off and see if that reset everything, but proceeded on to turn right (not seeing a darn thing to the left). We passed a boarded up and overgrown BP station (great exit, Jesse) [Read more…]