I Can’t Explain It – Can You?


I put this blog in the category “The Strange and Unusual” as mystical forces have been put in motion to prevent the installation of an alternator for almost a month now.

This all started back on Wednesday 5-17-2017 and came to a thundering head on Tuesday June 13, 2017.

The Toyota pickup needed an alternator, I guess after 200,000 miles it was time as the truck still had the OEM from 1989. I headed up to O’Reilly Auto Parts.

5-17-2017 – O’Reilly Auto Parts, a fine auto parts store in East Nashville, which I recommend no one uses, told me that the alternator would need to be ordered and be in the following week, but they would call me when it arrived. I figured what the heck that’s only five days away. I ordered and paid for the alternator and came on home.

5-26-2017 The official – unofficial start to summer Labor day weekend was about to start. Still no alternator, but hey I didn’t need the truck for any of my festivities, its was a 3 day weekend made for bike riding.

6-5-2017 – The day I was dreading, it was Monday and time for a 2D Echo to see how the heart was, now that’s a grand way to start your week off. Oh by the way still no alternator. During the test the professional, nice and pretty Echo technician informed me she needed to get someone to start an IV. I asked why, I’ve never had an IV before when taking an echo. “We are having trouble picking up the blood flow on the left side of your heart,” so replied. She explained what the stuff was and how it would help the echo pick up the blood flow as it would make the blood appear as being bright white.

6-6-2017 – Call from the doctor. The echo showed some change from the last one, the left side of the heart is worse no better. Not bad enough to change my follow-up appointment and for now I was told to cancel the appointment to have the planters wart removed from my left foot. Then he informed me we needed to add a few more activity restrictions and at the first sign of pain behind the left shoulder blade or left jaw get to the ER (him) as fast as possible. Always made sure I had my Nitro with me, at all times, no  matter where I was at. No exercising with free weights or machines, all I could do was walk. Then he added, while walking no pushing or pulling, that includes cutting grass. I explained to him that I had a riding mower. He was fine with that, but pulling on anything, even rip cords for the weed eater, push mower, and leaf blower were out. The he added more medicine and told me to stay relaxed, calm, and close to Vanderbilt. Alternator still not here, I’m beginning to get more than perturbed about this issue and quickly headed into my Steffon personality which puts a damper on relaxed and clam.

[The restrictions this man keeps adding has made for a boring Joe, Joe doesn’t like to be boring. I’m about tired of these restrictions or as he calls them life style changes. They have began to change the way I think and look at life. I have yet to see a healthy person live forever, we all die sooner or later. Sure some sooner than others but we all die.]

6-10-2017 – It was Saturday and my moms birthday. Since the sixth I hadn’t gotten any writing accomplished, yep that’s my job now, as I didn’t feel like doing nothing. My body was trying to adjust to more heart medicine and was kicking my butt. Things were looking up, a grounds keeper was hired to take care of the Sleepy Cougar grounds. The place was looking good as the birthday activities started Saturday around noon. When my little brother showed up it was on. If there is a person who can lift one from the pits of hell it would be him. He had his chair in the shade and I had mine in the sun, the old-time rock and roll was playing and the grill was smoking as the neighbors were trying to figure who the two hunks in dark sunglasses were. Yep that’s the way me and Bro roll. After the burgers were done we ate, ate some more, the ate some cake and had more great conversation.

[I know what you are thinking, why not get your brother to put on the alternator or help you do it? That’s easy to answer, the alternator had not arrived from Idaho yet. Yep I guess it was coming from a potato farm.]

6-12-2017 – Another birthday celebration, yep it was the Queens birthday who is also my personal nurse, who I refer to in blogs that deal with this responsibility affectionately as BSRN.  Thank God BSRN finally turned 30, tired of getting strange looks from people when they ask for her ID, especially at the nudist resort. The celebration began early but had to be cut short. My son and I had an appointment at his college to finish up some grant paperwork. On the way back I stopped and picked up a special gift for the Queen, in order to guarantee that the celebration would continue once I arrived back home. On an impulse I also stopped by O’Reilly Auto Parts, in East Nashville, which I recommend no one uses. The alternator had arrived several days before, they just hadn’t got around to calling me, like they said they would.  Between the present and the alternator there was nothing but pure jubilation at the house when I arrived. Now being a man I knew what my priorities were, but instead of installing the alternator I continued the celebration.

6-13-2017 – After morning pills and breakfast it was time to slap the alternator on the truck. BSRN advised against this, and suggested we pay someone to do it or at least help do it. I balked at this and told her I’ve replaced hundreds of alternators in my life time and it shouldn’t take no more than an hour, two at the most. I headed out to the truck and began. BSRN came out to help, after changing into the outfit she wears to help with vehicle repair. This is also one of my favorite outfits of hers.


[A good BSRN is always close by to monitor and ready to spring into action. They have the medical equipment, blood pressure cuff, oxygen sensor along with a stethoscope and medications within arms length. A top-noticed border line perfect BSRN has all the above plus. She knows the difference between a wrench and a socket, bolt and a nut, flat head from Philips, metric from standard and knows where everything is at in the tool chest.  They also don’t mind getting there hands greasy or their head under the hood. Yes BSRN does all the above and is Top Notch!]

6-13-2017 Continued – The first thing that I noticed the alternator was in a weird location, not on the top or bottom. It wasn’t accessible from either. In order to get to it the air intake system had to be removed. This involved the filter canister and the lower system tucked neatly under it. I began unplugging all the wiring from the system and then removed it. Now with it off, I could at least see the two bolts that held the alternator to the brackets. I removed the bolts, removed the wires from the alternator and lifted it out.

[As most of you know I’m not an early riser, since I limited to what I can do, I figure why get up early just to be bored, so I started this task around noon.]

6-13-2017 Continued – It was now around 12:45. My shirt was soaked and sweat was running from my brow and splattering on the fender of the car. BSRN stomped her foot and informed me to get in the house and cool off. I agreed, not because of her insistence but I decided that since I had taken the truck this far down I would replace everything I could get to on that side. Once inside I was calling Advance Auto Parts as BSRN handed me a Potassium pill and began removing my shirt then wiping me down with a cool cloth while I was on the phone. Jessica at Advance was very helpful and professional, the only thing they didn’t have were the plug wires, but she guaranteed me they would be there the next day. She furnished me with the quote and said she would began pulling my order. I hung up and was informed by BSRN to lay down under the ceiling fan to help cool me down. I didn’t argue as I was beginning to feel lite-headed and I was sure that nausea wasn’t to far behind. I was a sleep in a matter of minutes.

[Sweating is another one of those things I’m suppose to avoid. I take three types of water pills to reduce the load on my heart. Combine sweating with that and I became dehydrated fast and my Potassium drops, causing muscle cramps and an irregular heart beat putting me in something they call bigeminy and other weird stuff.]

6-13-2017 Continued – I was awaken from my nap by the dinner bell. Once I had stuffed myself with meat loaf, I headed to pick up the parts I need to from Advance Auto Parts. Rain had begun to fall lightly on the windshield, but since the sun was out I figured it would be stopped by the time we got back. Sure enough it had and the sky was clear of clouds. I placed the parts in the garage as BSRN come from the door leading from the house to where I was. She looked me over took a few stats and suggested since I didn’t look to good and was still pale I should put the job off till the next day. I shook me head and headed outside with the battery.  I was placing the new battery in the battery tray, as she joined me back outside, in my favorite outfit. I explained why I wasn’t going hook the battery up as I needed to get the alternator wired. I placed the alternator in the bay of the truck and attached the necessary wiring. I then lined the alternator up with the top bracket and slid the bolt, which BSRN handed me, through attaching the alternator to the bracket. I stretched out my hand, BSRN slapped the bottom bolt in it like she was handing a scalpel to skilled surgeon. As I headed back under the hood she suggested once again, since she noticed my normally calm hands were shaking, that we should finish the job the next day.  I kept working, after all I only had one bolt to go. However I was having difficulty getting it lined up . I shouted several obscenities as I drop the bolt. The bolt rattled against the lower parts of the truck before clanking to the asphalt. She got on her knees and looked under the vehicle as I did. I spotted the bolt and retrieved it. As I walked back around the truck I was greeted with the most spectacular sight. BSRN was still on her knees bent over. While admiring the scenery I informed her I had gotten the bolt. As she stood up with a smile she let me know she was aware of that. With a wink she suggested once again we go in and finish the work tomorrow. I stuck my head back under the hood. As I was reaching my hand to the alternator a loud clap of thunder shook the ground and continued rumbling across the sky as the rain began to fall from the clear sunny sky. She began picking up the tools and headed to the garage with them as I closed the hood. Looking back over her shoulder she grinned and told me she had her ways of getting what she wanted as the thunder echoed once again and the bottom fell out, drenching me before I reached the garage.

[Once back inside my blood pressure was checked, it was way to high, along with my heart rate. The oxygen sensor had me at 91, BSRN doesn’t like for it to be below 92, and would prefer it be between 95-97. I was ordered to bed, but she did bring me lap top so I could write this. According to her I was only minutes from an ambulance ride to Vanderbilt.]

Here are the questions I have for my readers. Was the Thunderstorm that came out of no where on a sunny day some sort of  divine intervention, freak occurrence of nature, or do you chalk it up to an act of the strange and unusual that can’t be explained? Maybe BSRN can control the weather through mystical powers, nurses have been known to have them? Through her mystical powers did she delay the arrival of the alternator somehow or another? Did BSRN do all this because the doctor placed more restrictions on my activities and I refused to listen to him or her?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

[Blogger Note: Jessica works at the Advance Auto Parts on Gallatin Road in Madison, just up from the intersection of OHB and Gallatin Road headed North.]