Winn Dixie, Sears, and CVS.

Let’s start with Winn Dixie (WD). After a hard day of pedicabbing on the last day of the Surf Expo last Saturday, I needed to replenish myself with some meat (get your mind out of the gutter). I realized I didn’t have any confections at home so I hit up WD because they sold both. The deli is a good spot when it’s near closing time because they discount the hot food. I got the baked chicken because it’s tasty but if they had some meatloaf out, I would’ve gotten that in a heartbeat. Ever since most Albertsons stores bit the big one, cooked meatloaf is hard to find. WD has a separate area where they place hot food like fried chicken already packaged and ready to go. The 8-piece package I saw had a big tear in the side, exposing the chicken. I figured it was just a package failure.

When I was getting my baked chicken deal (you have to ask the employee behind the counter specifically what kind of deal can they give you), I told the deli employee about it. Her response was that someone probably opened it and took a piece of chicken out of it to eat and if she saw it happening, she’d just let it happen because “people are crazy” and “you don’t know if they might have a gun.” Such a sad country we live in when terrorists take a back seat to grocery store shoppers when it comes to instilling fear. The fucked up part is that she’s right. With massive over-population and a broken system, the wrong types of people are continuously breeding and themselves and their offspring slip through the cracks of society to cause this degree of social anxiety.

She said she’d simply throw the chicken away. Good food wasted. Higher grocery store costs to make up for it. Taking shopping carts off-property, employee theft and turnover, and shoplifting are what get all the attention when it comes to why retail prices are so high. What about shitty customers that consume products in-store and don’t pay for them? You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen the open bag of potato chips. The half-empty bottle of soda. Hell, I’ve even seen liquid laundry detergent that’s been opened and I know it had to be combined with another bottle to make it fuller. You already know the used bottle was still sitting on the shelf. That was genius. I gotta admit that.

You gotta be careful these days. I make sure to check the caps, seals, and dates on everything that I buy. And when I buy detergent, oh yeah, after that discovery, I make damn sure my bottle is as full as it’s supposed to be. Is there a solution to this problem that’s existed since the invention of big-box retail stores? Probably not and that’s because of the low-quality management that exists these days. When you have a shit manager, they hire shit employees. It’s a trickle-down effect. Shit employees don’t give a fuck. Therefore, customers don’t give a fuck. People these days act first and don’t think at all about later. Consequences don’t exist for bad behavior much anymore since it’s now rewarded. The fried chicken thief was rewarded with a free meal. There’s the proof.

Later on, I found her response to be absolutely hysterical and preposterous at the same time. It never would’ve dawned on me that someone would actively open a package of fried chicken (or something similar) to eat a piece in that manner. Never in a million years would I have thought that. I suppose she came to that conclusion from experience and you know what? I believe her. Sorry, no pic of the package containing the parts of the chickens that died for nothing. Didn’t occur to me to take one at the time.

I’ve been in the market for a couple of months for a Bluetooth speaker with big sound and bass for my pedicab. Music is definitely more of a detriment than a benefit when it comes to getting rides but it does help to have on occasion. I have a personal speaker for when I want to listen to music for myself but it’s not loud enough (depending on the environment) for my passengers who request music. After a lot of research, I got the Nakamichi BTSP80 from Sears.com because it was discounted by $20 ($100 down to $80 plus tax) and they were giving $70 in Shop Your Way Rewards points. I read A LOT of online reviews that said how great the sound was. Well, I’m here to tell you that most people clearly have no idea what high-quality audio is supposed to sound like.

I want something that can produce a level of sound comparable to the surround sound system in my home or the speakers in my car. I know, I’m asking for a lot, but Bluetooth speakers are pretty prevalent now and you’d think overall sound quality would trump volume level but that’s not the case yet. Sure, a lot of the speakers available today might get loud but the quality for the price and size ain’t there yet. The BTSP80 had a little weight to it and is good for an indoor, small room or small office environment only. It does NOT have a lot of bass. It has more bass than cheaper speakers of the same size, yes, but that ain’t sayin’ much.

It ain’t gonna blow out your eardrums. It ain’t gonna rock a party. It ain’t gonna vibrate anything. If you want something with the same form-factor as other small Bluetooth speakers with a little more punch to it, and I mean a little, then this is your speaker. If you’re looking for something that’s gonna pack a wallop, this ain’t it. I made sure to make the purchase from a retailer that I could do a simple return to if it wasn’t up to speed. I’ve learned that for some products, it’s just better to buy from a reputable retailer with a solid return policy. Nothing worse than buying something relatively expensive online and return shipping is coming out of your pocket and a hassle.

The day I got it and tested it is the same day I returned it. Took 2 employees to process the refund which is foolish. The worst part is that Sears tried to hit me with a 15% restocking fee for a product that was still in brand spanking new condition. I had them call a manager and he refunded me the fee immediately. On their part, they couldn’t find anywhere that the fee was applicable. On my part, I’ll make damn sure to give an even more thorough review of the return policy for any future big or electronic purchases. The point of this? Make sure you’re reviewing return policies too. And be wary of online reviews (paid ones are obvious). Start with the negative ones before the positive ones. You’ll be able to find the truth about something easier when you see a pattern of complaints. Mind you, some customers are complete morons that don’t even know how to use a fucking Hot Wheels toy so you gotta be able to spot idiot reviewers. But you also gotta know when someone’s standards are low. Like, if you’re in the mood for some really good pizza and someone recommends Domino’s or Little Caesars…yeah, I ain’t gotta finish that, do I? All the reviews I read were mostly good and I know now that they were either exaggerated or from people with low standards. As a result, my research standards have gone up.

I was in need of some milk and sometimes I watch Fox 35 morning news. They have this Savings Angel guy on sometimes and he was talking about how milk at CVS was $2.69 this week. That’s a better deal than the $3.49 milk at Walgreens from a week or two ago that I took advantage of. I was all in. I just happened to already have an ExtraCare card (that I only used once years ago) so I made sure to bring it with me. I don’t shop at CVS often because their prices are high. Probably gonna be higher eventually since they gotta make up for what they’re gonna lose in cigarette sales (yet they happily still sell beer). Anyway, until then, they had a good deal on milk and after I returned the Nakamichi to the Sears at the Florida Mall, I went to the CVS that’s also located there. Yes, another thing about return policies is to check and see if you can return in-store for places that have a B&M.

Before CVS, I hit up a toy store that clearly buys from other places and marks up the price significantly. I don’t buy shit from them but I do go in to check their inventory for new items I might want but would get elsewhere. Arkham City Solomon Grundy? Haven’t played the game but I might get that toy regardless. That thing looks sweet as fuck. My concern with a mall CVS was that the prices would be even higher than normal (they weren’t). A gallon of the TG Lee milk that was on sale was a regular price of $3.99 which is cheaper than Wally World and Target to my surprise. I bought one gallon up to the register just to make damn sure I could get it for $2.69. The cashier checked their sale paper and it was confirmed. I’ve never experienced a discount quite like this one.

When I first approached the register for the price check, no one was there. When I came back with two gallons, two guys in front of me checked out fairly quickly because they only had one item each. When I checked out, all of a sudden a long line of people appeared out of nowhere. Where the fuck did they emerge from? The store didn’t seem that full before. Here’s where I was impressed with the customer service. My cashier was by himself. When that line appeared, he called for backup and it came. When the line mysteriously got even longer, he called for more backup and it came. This reminded me of Publix where they make sure when it comes time for you to checkout, you ain’t wasting 30 minutes of your fucking life like at the world’s largest retailer which doesn’t give two shits about your time.

Here’s how my cashier gave me the deal: He rang both gallons up at regular price and then applied a 30 cent discount to each which generated a coupon for a $1 Extra Buck each (the Bucks allowed me to get the milk at the sale price) after scanning the ExtraCare card which is needed to get the Extra Bucks. I paid $3.69 for each gallon at first. Then he refunded me for each gallon. Then he rang them both up again while applying the 30 cent discount to each and also used the Extra Buck coupons for each gallon to bring the price per gallon down to $2.69. These were all individual transactions and it did take him some time (which he apologized for) and even I got confused about what the hell he was doing but it made sense in the end. Was all that really necessary? I guess. I got some cheap milk with good expiration dates on them so I ain’t complaining one bit!

Watch out for those Marvel Zombies. They’ll make you laugh like your favorite sitcom.

army_of_darkness_13My introduction to Marvel Zombies (MZ) started at a Megacon several years ago when I used to attend regularly. My first and only issue was Dead Days. I most likely bought it for chump change compared to the cover price of 5 bucks. No way I would’ve ever paid anywhere near that much for it even when it was first released. That’s way too much money for a fucking comic book that still has advertisements in it. At the time, I didn’t really know shit about MZ. I saw the comic, probably for sale on the super-cheap, thought it might be something completely different from what I’ve ever read before, and indeed it was. It can be read as a stand-alone (something you don’t wanna do) but what I also didn’t know was that it was a snippet into a larger story.

Publication order and chronology/read order are two completely different things. The zombies first appear in Ultimate Fantastic Four (FF) #21. By itself, that storyline really ain’t nothin’ special but it was the beginning of something that would go on to be legend. Dead Days by itself was incredibly funny and well-written and that’s to be expected from Robert Kirkman. He’s a damn good writer. After reading it, I let the comic sit in a short box for years (because I didn’t have any long boxes at the time) before I decided to revisit the zombies to get the full story from start to finish and that required some research because I would say online forums and answer sites aren’t that reliable. They all say something different. The Pirate Bay (that’s right, THAT Pirate Bay) had the most reliable read order list. No, you don’t start with Ultimate FF. You don’t even start with MZ vs. Army of Darkness (AoD). Or even the first MZ limited series. Surprise! You actually start with Army of Darkness #13. Who knew?

marvel_zombies_vs_army_of_darknessI’ve learned that sometimes it helps to let big stories play themselves out before jumping onboard because the industry likes to publish shit later on to fill in holes or to capitalize on a book’s popularity after its initial run is complete. Reading MZ in publication order would be convoluted as hell (don’t do it) so I’m glad I was years late to the party. Some comics I had the physical copy of. Others, I downloaded. AoD #13 is essential reading in the fact that if you don’t read it, you’d be wondering what Ash has to do with anything. If you’re not an AoD fan, you won’t get much out of reading the comic as a stand-alone. It ain’t that good of a read to be honest but it does lead directly into MZ vs. AoD.

marvel_zombies_dead_daysAsh’s involvement is question one as you start reading and that involvement only has relevance with this crossover. Outside of that, he doesn’t matter. Question two is how the whole thing got started to begin with and that does get answered further into the storyline. There’s a third question but I’ll dig into that later on. I bought a hard copy of MZ vs. AoD from an online comic shop and lemme tell ya, that book is entertaining as hell! I don’t say that about too many comics but that one has definitely earned it. It’s written by John Layman. He’s good. You start reading Dead Days after reading several pages into chapter 2 of MZ vs. AoD. The two comics are directly related. If you read one, you’ve gotta read the other. There’s so much good stuff in both books. It’s not even the excessive gore that makes the books awesome. It’s the writing, plain and simple. Reed Richards, Doctor Doom, and Henry Pym in particular but Doc Doom’s characterization was what really stuck out. Layman took him to the extreme of his arrogance. All of the art for both books was appropriate and a good fit for the material. There is a trend in almost all of the MZ books where for a few pages, a different artist would take over. Why they did that, I have no idea.

ultimate_fantastic_four_23One thing I noticed while reading these was how underpowered the characters from zombie Earth (2149) were compared to those in the regular Marvel Universe (616). Hulk and Black Bolt being the two that stuck out most. Black Bolt can destroy planets with his voice yet he gets infected somehow? Let’s fast forward to Ultimate FF where 2149 Hulk gets owned by Ultimate Thing. Not just owned but pwned! Such a thing (no pun intended) could never happen in 616. That lead me to conclude that there was a reason the zombie plague spread so fast (which was explained) and did so much damage in that world: these characters simply aren’t as powerful as those in the 616. You do have to suspend your disbelief when it comes to that one aspect. You really do, especially when you start reading MZ2.

marvel_zombies_evil_evolutionWhat are Marvel Apes, you ask? They’re another book that’s essential to the storyline. You don’t have to read all of the Marvel Apes comics. Just Evil Evolution which continues the main story, answers more questions, and summarizes events from the other Marvel Apes comics (which is why you don’t have to read them all). And you know what? The writing quality by Karl Kesel was on par with the other books although it was poorly edited with many grammatical errors. Those errors aside, it was still a high-quality, entertaining read. I bet you’re wondering, by this point, where does Ultimate FF fit into all of this? NOW is when you’d read issues 21-23.

How important is it? Very. Not only do you see an example of the underpowered Hulk pwnage that I was talking about earlier (and let’s not forget how well 616 Grimm fared against 616 Hulk in FF #535) but it leads directly into MZ1 which I managed to get the oversized hardcover in near mint condition on half.com for 4 bucks. Man, I was ecstatic about that shit. That book culminates in one of the most absolutely absurd things you’ll ever see in any comic book. Massively over the top and completely unexpected but that’s what makes it great. You thought the likes of Hulk and Thor were underpowered, well my dear reader, you ain’t seen jack shit yet! Trust me on that. It’s from the same creative team as MZ vs. AoD so you know it’s good.

marvel_zombies_5Oh no, the saga ain’t over. You switch on over to Ultimate FF 30-32 to see a possibly overpowered Ultimate Dr. Doom dispatch some zombies. One thing that was never talked about in any of these stories is the differences in power levels of each universe’s version of a character but if you’re paying attention, you can see it for yourself which is good enough, I guess. Everything so far has been a must-read but Ultimate FF 30-32 isn’t. You can skip it if you want unless you’re a fan of the Ultimate series or you want it for completeness’ sake. I bought volumes 5 and 6 of the trade paperbacks online because they were much cheaper than buying the individual issues. Plus I like Mark Millar. The Namor and President Thor stories were decent although written for a less mature audience. Like Doc Doom, they sure made Ultimate Namor pretty damn strong. But you can check that out for yourself. It’s not called the Ultimate universe for nothing. For the rest of the storyline, I read it digitally. I even bought a tablet primarily to read comic books on it. A 10.1 inch is sufficient for comics reading. Any size lower and you’ll be straining your eyes and constantly resizing pages. I got a cheap Chinese Android one (a chablet) that works perfectly fine although I’m still waiting for tablet sizes to get into the 13-15 inch range. I’m patient.

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Next in line was Black Panther 27-30. It is related to events at the end of MZ1 and it’s a fun ride but it’s not vital to the storyline. I’d say read it anyway. You won’t regret it. What is vital is MZ2. It picks up where MZ1 left off and it’s from the same creative team. You’d think by now the story would be getting long in the tooth but it doesn’t. A particular characterization I can’t mention (because I don’t wanna give too much away) is done so well in parody that you can’t help but laugh at their dialogue. I can’t think of anything to compare it to. It was unique to say the least. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in any comic is within the pages of MZ2 and the image you see below is a tease. When you read it and if you’re not busting a gut when you get to the end of that page, you need fucking therapy! One thing you’ll definitely start realizing is why that entire universe was so easy to become fully infected. I mean, Dark Phoenix is supposed to be boss, ain’t she? Ain’t she? You’ll see.

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MZ Return is the next read and it wraps everything up nice and neat and explains pretty much everything. It doesn’t have the level of humor of most of the comics before it but it’s an essential read that basically concludes the story of the original MZ universe. It follows the classic technique of ending a story where it began. You really don’t have to read anything MZ related beyond these stories but you know you’re going to. I’d highly recommend getting the essential comics from AoD #13 to MZ2. You won’t get bored.

Going forward into MZ3, you could say it’s a continuation of the other books but for the most part it just begins a new series of books featuring A.R.M.O.R. characters from our 616 Marvel Universe (yep, that includes Howard the fucking Duck) and some from the original MZ universe. What’s good about it? It portrays Machine Man as a total bad-ass, I’ll give them credit there. You’ve never seen that character used like this before. And if you’re into robosexuality, you might get your kicks out of seeing Jocasta’s shiny lady parts. What straight male doesn’t? The main story here is about keeping the zombie plague out of the 616 and finding a cure for it if it ever did. MZ3 is less humorous and becomes mostly serious when you get to MZ4. Power differences become evident once again.

MZ5 is completely skippable along with MZ Supreme. MZ5 is mostly a bunch of connected one-shots showing an A.R.M.O.R. team (featuring your favorite Marvel talking duck) collecting samples of different strains of zombieism from different universes in an attempt to find a cure to prevent zombieism from ever becoming a threat to the 616. Now, how come 2149 never thought of any of this? One story even shows zombieism in the real world. Yeah, the world where you lose a quarter tank of gas by just idling in traffic. Where hot chicks have selective hearing. Where ER wait times are displayed on highway billboards. THAT real world. Does the name Superboy Prime mean anything to you? The story was ridiculous and probably should’ve used actors instead of art (probably would’ve been good if they tried that) but it had a good ending.

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MZ Supreme is a stand-alone story with the original Squadron Supreme and showcases its own form of zombieism. I didn’t do too much research into these before reading them because I didn’t wanna spoil anything for myself. I went in thinking it was gonna be a story set in the Supreme Power universe. I’m here to tell you if you’re thinking the same thing that it in no way, shape, or form takes place there. The best thing to come out of the Supreme book was a character named Pioneer: a female who survived going toe-to-toe with zombie Hyperion. Most notably, she didn’t back down from his ass even after he did something we’ve seen in other comics like what Colossus did to a train in Ultimate X-Men #10. The crazy bitch put up her dukes against him and was ready to fight. It would seem that the story takes place during the Avengers Initiative and she’s repping her state but it’s a shame that it seems this is her only appearance in a comic book. Even after seeing what Hyperion had done to the team she was with, there was no turning tail on her part. Perhaps there was more power to her than what was on display in her brief appearance. Wonder Woman-level power perhaps? Maxima maybe? Time will tell if we’ll ever see her again.

MZ Destroy is the last big story and is more of a continuation of MZ5 because it features A.R.M.O.R. and the duck again trying to stop another form of zombieism. It’s like World War II alternative history Marvel Universe style. I recommend MZ Destroy because the writing quality is much better than the other A.R.M.O.R. tales and it does have surprises similar to the way they were presented in Ultimate Power (another recommended read). There are many other MZ tie-in comics with Deadpool probably being the most significant one (and I do have his story arc sitting on my hard drive) but I’m not much of a fan of that character and what happens in it isn’t anything important to the progression of the storyline. I’ll read it and some of the other tie-ins someday but they’re not on my list of priorities.

Remember that I mentioned that there was a third question about these books? What’s the origin of the original zombie strain? It seems to be the most dangerous one but where did it come from or who created it? With such a powerful infection, and after seeing what it did in the Earth 2149 and Z universes, I think Marvel should bring it back and treat it with utmost seriousness in the 616 universe. It should have higher stakes than in MZ3 which should be treated as a precursor to a future, bigger, company-wide crossover. It could be the next event comic. It could be as big as something like Annihilation which was a huge, epic story. I’m okay with them going the slapstick route too; to maintain the flavor of the first parts of the series.

ultimate_fantastic_four_31I feel the zombie strain chose the 2149 universe because it knew it’d be an easy takeover. By saying this, I’m saying that it’s sentient. I can’t talk too much more about that without spoiling your reading but the books do mention how the virus prefers hosts with superpowers and that part made sense. The 2149 universe may have similar characters to other universes but they’re weak and that’s why they not only got chosen but also why they got fucked up so quick. The number one reason they got chosen, in my opinion, is because they had a dimensional portal. To spread itself to other universes, the plague would need backdoor access to them. It certainly would’ve failed if it came full-frontal to the 616 or Ultimate universes looking for a portal but with 2149 characters being so weak, it could gain access to theirs with ease. And if it managed to succeed in infecting 616 or Ultimate, characters with those power levels would’ve made the plague all but unstoppable when it came to infecting other universes. 2149 characters didn’t get the job done for it. Could the whole thing have been an experiment? When the plague got to 616, it didn’t go far. With the Ultimate universe characters being even more powerful than 616, the plague did even less damage. As you read the series, like any virus, it mutates. That mutation is what could contribute to the creation of that big story I’d like to see.

Why wouldn’t Marvel do it? Because they’d just undo the damage like they did with Spider-Man/Mephisto and Magneto/Xorn, for example. Such a plague would certainly kill popular characters and ravage other planets BUT…remember that A.R.M.O.R. was seeking a cure. Just keep that in mind. If the plague has a creator, couldn’t it send the plague elsewhere, like the Shi’ar Empire or other worlds with suitable hosts instead of straight to Earth? I suppose it could but Shi’ar and Skrull couldn’t stop Avengers and X-Men. You know what? I think it’s way past time for a Marvel Zombies What If. I’d really like to see an in-universe story bringing back the original plague but I’d also be happy with a good What If. A few of them actually. One wouldn’t be enough. Anyway, you’ll have your own questions as you read these stories. Get to it and prepare for some hysteria. Once you start reading, you’ll have a hard time stopping. The original MZ universe stories really are that good.

Who knew that a battery cable could make a check engine light go off?

I found out I had a broken battery cable about a year ago while working out of town in St. Pete. My battery had died and I was stranded 2 hours away from home in the wee hours of the morning with plans on staying in town to work that whole weekend so I needed to get back up and running. I haven’t had AAA in years. Didn’t have a need for them anymore since my car had proven to be quite reliable. I knew they came out to charge up a person’s battery so I ordered their service online on my phone and called them for a service call right afterwards. Within an hour, they were there. I showed the service tech my digital card as proof of membership and he let me know that my battery was way past due for a replacement. Years past due, actually.

Old battery terminal.The warning signs were there but I ignored them (something I don’t do anymore). I managed to get charged back up and on my way to someplace private to sleep (I always sleep in my car when working out of town). He advised me to get a new battery ASAP. I took his word for it but when I shut my car off again, it died again. It managed to start back up after some patience and that’s when I proceeded to park myself in the lot of an Advanced Auto Parts store. I slept there and waited for them to open. When they did, I got my new battery and the employee who swapped it out showed me the broken terminal. He suggested a universal terminal as a replacement and I bought one but never used it.

Fast forward to the present. At the time, I wasn’t anywhere near as knowledgeable about car repair as I am now. Just like the warning signs of my battery failing, I also ignored having to replace the battery terminal. Since I’ve started doing my own car repairs, it’s been on my list of things to do and for a couple of weeks, finding a replacement part for something so simple was a huge chore. The universal terminal? While doing my research, I discovered that there was no way it was gonna work on my car. It required cutting the cables and then crimping them which required an expensive tool that wasn’t available to be rented. Further research showed that terminals that are sold online and in stores just wouldn’t get the job done either. Nothing fit right. Nothing was simple and I knew from the way the original cables were setup that there had to be a simple solution out there.

While buying parts for other repairs online, I discovered the official Ford parts site. I mainly use it to get the right part numbers and for parts identification. For instance, Ford calls it a negative battery cable. Other sites call it a ground strap. Ford uses part numbers 14301 and WC-95829 for the same damn part. Other sites use 4F1Z14301AA and other numbers. Shit can get confusing but I found the exact part I needed. I didn’t order it from Ford directly because the price was too high. I bought mine from Rock Auto for 15 bucks less (total was $26 and some change). Same Motorcraft part at a fraction of the cost. It pays to shop around.

It became something that had to be replaced with urgency because when doing certain auto repairs, you gotta disconnect the negative cable. While doing so, where it was only broken in one place before, it was now broken in two. A year ago, I didn’t spend much of any time under the hood of my car. How long that terminal was actually broken is a mystery. Did the AAA guy do it? Did the Advance Auto Parts guy do it so he could sell me a part? I don’t put anything past anyone but at the end of the day, it’s up to me to make sure work is done properly on my car if I ain’t the one fixing it. I didn’t supervise their work so I put all the blame on myself.

Let’s say my shit was cracked the way it was a year ago while at the parts store. There are those people who definitely take advantage of other people’s stupidity and my car knowledge was next to nothing when it came to any type of repair. I was sold a piece of shit of a part that accomplished nothing and required the use of other items to be useful. Let’s say the employee wasn’t taking me for a ride and sold the thing to me, thinking it was what I needed. What’s that say about their competency and the usefulness of what they sell? For my car, there was only one part that was gonna work and none of the usual parts stores sold it. It was an OEM part. Nothing else would work and no one thought to suggest it. They’re either dumb or smart. Dumb by not knowing or smart by knowing but sensing your ignorance and selling you on some bullshit.

New battery terminal.Don’t get taken to the cleaners by some of these joints. That universal part wasn’t expensive but it was still a waste of money and I wasted time when, in the end, I had to discover for myself what I needed to get the job done. The so-called experts were expertly useless. The part didn’t cost much, didn’t take long to get to me, and installed in less than 10 minutes with absolutely no problems or mess of any kind. If you ever have to deal with replacing a terminal, find out what you can about the OEM part as well as what’s sold in stores. DON’T just go by what’s sold in stores! DON’T let a repair shop do it for you (unless you wanna do that). Anyone can replace a battery terminal. Even a kid. Well, a tall kid…

When the second crack occurred, it didn’t dawn on me that it could cause my check engine light to go off because my car was still starting and running fine with no decrease in fuel economy. I thought it was something else. Perhaps the occasional misfire that would clear itself. Well, today is when I swapped cables and when I started the car up afterwards, the check engine light wasn’t on anymore. I’ve come to learn that so many things can make that light go off. This time, a bad battery terminal was the culprit. I’ve even heard of gas caps and engine additives causing problems. I don’t have a code reader but it might be something worth looking into investing in. I don’t really trust what parts store and dealership employees tell me anymore. If what they say makes perfect sense, I’ll soak it in but if I detect bullshit, which is usually the case, I’ll let their information flow around rather than into me. I’ve learned more on my own than from any person face-to-face. The internet is one of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. Use it to save time and money.