Open Source Software and Linux

Jan 19 2009   1:53AM GMT

Travels of a Linux consultant – Day 1

John Little Profile: Xjlittle

It’s been a few days since I’ve had a chance to write so I want to catch up.

I recently accepted a 3-5 week consulting job about 400 miles from where I live. I had to leave in the late afternoon because I had an interview for another job, this one closer to home and about 60 miles in the wrong direction. This meant that I wouldn’t actually be on the road until 1500 EST or later.

After the interview off I went. About 90 miles into the drive my truck started missing so badly that it was shaking as I drove and the “Service Engine Soon” light came on.

I called my wife and asked her to locate an auto parts store in the town that was coming up, Champaign, IL. 60 miles of a teeth rattling miss in my engine. This was fun. She called back with directions to a store that was about 10 minutes off of the highway.

I arrived there about 1700 CST. If you’ve ever been in the midwest in January you know that it starts getting dark between 1730-1800. I had them put a tester on the truck and sure enough the Coil on Plug 3 was bad. To top off everything it was 10 degrees F outside.

I had somewhat expected something like this as my truck had been acting up for the last few days. With that in mind I had brought along enough tools to pull a spark plug which meant I had the necessary tools to remove the coil.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been under the hood of an F150 4 wheel drive but some of the plugs and coils can be difficult to reach. It is also high enough that it is helpful if you have a step stool of some sort. Fortunately the coil/plug 3 is not under the firewall so it wasn’t too bad. I did have to crawl up onto the grill housing to get to the coil though.

I bought the coil and went to work. It took me about 10 or 15 minutes to get the old coil off and another 20-30 to get the new one on. By now I’m working by the light of the auto parts store and the temperature is dropping. Cold, very cold. I’m glad the wind wasn’t blowing or it would have almost been unbearable.

The rest of the drive was uneventful although driving through St. Louis wasn’t much fun. Finally I reach the hotel in Rolla, MO about 2200 CST. This puts me about 4-5 hours from my destination. Ahh, I say to myself, the hotel has wireless and breakfast so I’ll just hit the sack and check email and what have you tomorrow morning.

So much for day 1.


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