Artist’s misadventures with cars
As many of our close friends and family know, we were recently without a car. The short of it was a throttle control arm that had to be replaced. Nicolette and I had almost given up when things turned around. Nicolette did not give in, because of her determination, we now have a car.
If you are still curious, then do I have a story for you.
We had just finished handing over the last commission piece that was due, Ryan’s dockside view. Ryan exclaimed “Wow” and left holding his piece close to his heart. I felt accomplished and on the way to being the professional artist I knew I could become. As my success grows, so does my spouse’s success and skills. You see, to each painting sold, her exposure as a coder grows too. Nicolette codes for a living, building websites and webapps. She created my website as well as her own and other artist websites. I think artistically and she thinks logically. Your favorite du have been searching for the last seven years on how to be together 24 hours a day, seven days a week and still be productive members of society. We are always together, trying to better ourselves and encourage each other in our individual journeys. We have discovered over our 10 years together our individual strengths and how we can make a living together using those strengths. I paint, she codes. I have found we can do this successfully by having me paint in public. We go to locations together. We set up and I paint, she codes, and we sell paintings and websites.
Thanks to a door being opened by Denny, a dear friend, that allowed me to set up my easel in a local grocery store where customers would pass and be able to watch me paint, like in Paris. The store manager called it entertainment and I called it fun. After doing that for a couple of months, It made me realize how much I enjoy painting in front of people. How wonderful it was to crack jokes with art lovers and hear stories about people’s family members that painted. Always reassuring those that tell me they can’t paint, that I had their back when it came to painting and could paint anything they wished. I was really in my element and being able to set up “painting in public” and talk directly with my customers seemed to be the perfect direction. I started making contacts to “live paint” at other stores. When making these social contacts painting live, Nicolette would be coding nearby; It was perfect. While as creative as I am, and as logical as she is, we are a powerhouse at what we do. However, just like any superhero team we have our weaknesses; cars seem to be our proverbial kryptonite.
As we watched our painting leave the grocery store, we got back in our little Dodge Caliber that we had loved for six years. We loved how our furry boys fit so well, when we had our little pack of dogs, and how much easier it was sleeping back there now that our furry boys were all gone. The artwork and the booth now all fit in the car and the mobile painter career seemed to be a success. Before this Dodge we had a Kia. The moment we knew our car was going, we began searching for this one. When we got this one, the last thing our old KIA did was die in the driveway on the way back home; immediately after picking up this new dodge, as if it wanted to make sure to get us home by its last breath. Well, on the way home, the Dodge started to sputter and wouldn’t accelerate well. It was really scary, we couldn’t tell whether it was going to die at any of the stop lights. It didn’t want to accelerate uphill, I had to rev the engine a bunch just to give it enough power to get over the hill. However, just like the Kia, it managed to get us home safe.
A few months before all this we had already had it professionally tuned up, and evaluated. It was having a misfire issue, but they couldn’t recreate the issue to find out what was happening. We were not sure what that was about, but then the tires needed to be replaced, so we forgot about the misfire and worked on finding tires. Thanks to our dear friend Joe, we had working tires with nice tread. Thanks to another magic man, Mark, we got them mounted and balanced. One of the tires had a hole that we had missed. Joe found another and sent me a link to talk to the guy. I swapped that tire for a painting I had just finished. The guy with the tire gave it to his wife and told me that she loved it. Shout out to Spokane Discount Tire for mounting that tire and balancing that tire at no extra charge. Seriously, their customer service is beyond amazing. They really act like they want people safe out there on the road. So here we are now, sitting in the driveway with a car having a misfire problem.
The Point of no return.
So, we did some research on the internet to try and fix the problem ourselves. Replacing spark plugs and ignition coils was the first suggested fix. Thanks again to Joe, who seems to have our back a lot. Sadly, we still had a misfire issue. So Joe brought a diagnostic tool over, a OBD2 sensor. It told us that there was a P0300 error, nothing else. The internet said it could be so many different issues. When we found a crack in the exhaust manifold header, we were starting to feel depressed because of setback after setback. We, the mobile artist and coder extraordinaire, were reaching our breaking point. Our stress levels are so high, asking ourselves if we were actually going to be able to achieve our dreams. We have neither been able to code or paint for around two weeks due to car troubles and finding fixes for those. We were starting to look at scrapping the car and crowdfunding to raise the funds for another.
Enter the final magical steps.
At this point, Nicolette’s dad asks where we were at with the car, as Nicolette’s mother had told him a little of what was going on. We explained what was happening and the error code we were getting. He suggested taking the car for a small 10 minute drive to try and get any other codes to throw after the engine had warmed up. Sure enough, that threw a new code P2017, which we were then informed could be fixed with a cheap replacement part. We started to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but didn’t know where or how to get the part… and then Rob and Misty Keeler offered to help to change the part over, as Rob has the exact same car we do. He comes over with a new part in hand…With his Wizardry and Nicolette’s logic, they replace the part. No new codes. No alarms. No problem. Car is fixed. Now we have that means to do what we needed a car to do. Thanks to our friends and family and Nicolette’s never wavering tenacity we can continue to accomplish our dreams.