22 November, 2008

This just in

Life has been pretty good for me recently.  It hasn’t been without its share of frustrations and setbacks, but I’d rather not give them any power by writing about them. 
I had been needing a car very badly; mine was on its last lug nut for over a year, and I had been riding to work with a friend of mine.  While she was very nice about it, I felt like I was an imposition on her as well as I was tied to her schedule.
I saved up a couple thousand dollars and was scouring the classified for a reasonably priced vehicle.  I missed a few because I didn’t have the cash handy, but after I had the cash it seemed like there were none to be had.  Then one day on the way home I saw this Taurus on the road by a title pawn shop for which they were asking $2195.  That was right in my price range.  Unfortunately, the next day it was gone.
A few days later, it was back, so I filled my cars radiator up with water (it leaks, so I have to fill it up before I try to drive it) and ran up there.  It looked pretty good, but was not cared for.  I test drove it and found it shimmied pretty hard at high speeds.  The car had a lot of power, though: 200 hp, 24 v DOHC.  It was the luxury model; leather seats and six-pack cd changer, six way adjustable seats, and the floor pedals could even be adjusted to come to me instead of scooting my seat forward.  It was a lot of car for $2200. 

The shimmy was caused, I assumed, by the tires being worn down to the wire.  The car didn’t pull during emergency braking, and the alignment didn’t seem to be far from true.  I would have enough left to rotate the tires which would put the bad tires on the rear end, and then on payday I would buy four new tires.  I went to the bank and got the cash, bought the car.  I pulled the plates off my old car (since they are my military retired plates) and put them on the new car.  I would have ten days to transfer them, and that would be after payday.
Because of the safety features of the car, my insurance rates didn’t go up at all, even though the car is newer.  I pay in full every six months (saves 48 bucks a year, which is almost a video game) and I still won’t have to pay anything til March.
When I went back up to get my old car the other day so I could donate it to charity, it had a note on it that someone wanted to buy it.  Turns out there was someone wiling to pay me $200 for the beater.  I paid $900 for it almost four years ago.  Hell yeah.
Doug (at work) had told me about a tire store that sold pulloffs (good tires that came off of cars when people wanted different tires; slightly used but still good) and I checked if they had any tires in my price range.  My tires are pretty big.  225/60R16.  Turns out they had four for $254 installed.  So,  I used the money from the sale to get new(er) tires on the new(er) car.  And the tires are awesome.  I looked them up and they are normally like $185 apiece.
I also took the car in for a mechanical inspection, to have them clean and adjust the brakes, change the oil, check the tranny, and to have them read the codes causing my check engine light to come on.  It was nothing more than an emissions problem, which is far from critical. 
The cherry on the sundae which has been my month was the fact that Sarah, from work, who lives on a farm, heard that I was looking for firewood.  She had just chopped up an old birch tree and offered it to me.  So the other day she followed me home with a half a cord of wood in her truck and I offloaded it and then I carried it upstairs.  It was a pretty good workout and I realized I have spent way too much time in front of a computer lately.  The wood still has to cure a little before it burns well, but I have bought some firelogs to keep the flames going until the wood dries enough to burn on its own.
I just hope my cats, who seem very curious about this fire thing, stay the hell out of the flames.  Angelina has much more curiosity than fear.  Brenna seems content to watch Angelina do the exploring.  I swear Brenna laughed at Angelina leaping into the air when the fire popped and hissed at her.

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