It got me.

Covid-19 finally caught me.

Stats: I’m fully vaccinated. Took 3 tests; 2 positive, 1 negative. My doctors office said to quarantine until end of Day 5 and that my first positive test day was considered Day 0.

Symptoms: Woke up in the middle of the ‘Night 0’ feeling headache-y and like I should take something for that. Spouse happened to be up and gave me a hug, said I was ‘HOT’ (not the good kind of hot, though) 😛


Update: I quarantined and then back to work I went. Today was my first day back – and it was a doozy/very busy/lots to catch up on. My brain is still a bit foggy, but otherwise I’m ok. Still have a headache – but that’s normal for me, and especially at the beginning of Spring.

During quarantine; I did some blogging, finished a jigsaw puzzle (minus 1 piece – that’s another story), finished looking at the whole internet twice, watched way too much reality TV, did some continuing education, and napped. So, it wasn’t too bad or too boring – I’m by no means complaining at all – I know I got lucky by getting whatever newer variant this was, rather than the original one.

In other news – I had set up ‘Friday Firesmith’ to post at 2am this morning.. but had it in ‘draft’ mode and didn’t realize it (I blame brain fog). But it’s now posted – CLICK HERE – if you missed it. Or you could just scroll down 😉

Anyway – stay safe out there guys.


Friday Firesmith – Check Engine

The last time I had my tires rotated, the yellow tire inflation light came on. No big deal at all, but try as I might, I couldn’t get it to go off. Air in, air out, so when they rotated the tires this time, the light still stayed on. The next day, I was going to go back and have them check out what was going on, but then the infamous and murky, “Check Engine” light came on, along with my anti skid light. My cruise control stopped working, and it was impossible to accelerate quickly. All hades had broken loose. 

If you go on social media and ask, “What do you think the problem is here?” You’ll get the right answer, but you’ll also get a dozen more answers ranging from “Check your battery,” to “It’s the Russians hacking into your phone to steal your guns from Jesus.”  I Googled the issue, forming the question differently a few times, and the thing that made the most sense was a sensor had gone bad, and once one of the “Check Engine” sensors go bad, it cascades into taking out a few more systems, hence the cruise control being dead, and the acceleration being missing in action. 

I went to one of those box parts stores to get a free test and the indifferent but interesting looking 12 year old girl told me the sensor was dead. No, I doubt she was really 12, but at my age anyone under thirty looks like they’re still in grade school. This woman has some great tattoos, and a very unique face, but she was bored to death, and anyone her age thinks guys my age are a hard sneeze away from cardiac arrest. 

Back to the tire place, where they replace the tire sensor and tell me the “check engine” icon is beyond their ken. I must travel to the dealership, and that means I’m about to take a very serious hit as far as money goes. 

At the dealership, the overly friendly manager offers me free doughnuts and coffee, as well as a free diagnosis. While waiting, I eat the doughnuts, drink the coffee, and search the internet on how much I can get for a kidney. The manager returns in thirty minutes, right after a piece of my liver is listed on eBay, and tells me I have mice. 

Mice? As in rodents? 

Yes. There’s a wire that’s been chewed through in the bowels of the truck, and they can fix it, but it’ll take some time because they have to get both ends to replace the whole wire. 

Okay, but how much will it cost? 

$137.00, and they’re going to replace the sensor, just in case.

An hour later I’m on the road, all the warning lights are off, I can accelerate easily, and my cruise control is back. I’m not a big fan of dealerships, but I have this odd feeling that I just got away from that place as cheaply as was possible. I have a sugar buzz from the doughnuts, a caffeine buzz from the coffee, and have to cancel my liver on eBay now. 

Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.