My First Greasemonkey Experiences are Forthcoming.

This week has been a bad one mechanically.

Although I am driving Pac-Man again, my van's alternator died, and it was towed to the mechanic yesterday.

This morning, at 8:30 sharp, [a full ninety minutes before I normally wake up] I got a call from the mechanic, telling me that I would need to replace the alternator, and possibly the battery, and that altogether with labor it would cost me about $430, plus a $40 service fee. $470 is a lot of money to a college student, especially when said college student is attempting to buy a new bass and amplifier rig.

I personally thought this number sounded high, but went about my day, telling the mechanic to shelve the van until I had time to deal with it.

When I arrived in my Radio and TV Speech class, several of my classmates thought the figure was extremely high, as did my professor, having worked in a NAPA Auto Parts store. The look he gave me when I said I was quoted $270 just as the cost for the alternator explained it all.

Other mechanical-type friends agreed that this was ridiculous, and offered advice and assistance to replace the alternator myself. Thus, I have decided that I can handle three bolts and a few cables as well as the next guy, so I'm going to replace my alternator myself. Here goes nothing.

As my RA, Brian, once said, "Have you ever built a computer?" "Yes." "Mechanics are scary until you actually do it. It's like building a computer, except easy enough for a three-year-old, since everything can only fit in one place."