Archive for April, 2016

Car Trouble

April 25, 2016

When is it time to get a new car? Last summer I helped a friend negotiate for a new car, a Honda CRV. I had new car envy for a few days. But I’m a planner and I’m not getting a new car for another two years. And when I buy that new car, I have to look ahead. I’ll need to get one a little higher up from the ground for two reasons: ease of getting in and out and to save my front bumper from crashing into parking curbs.

I have a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid. It gets great gas mileage (35-40 miles per gallon,) and I have that special cloud license plate that lets me drive by myself in the carpool lane. That’s quite handy when I’m working temporary educational jobs and I have to be at a school at 8 a.m. My car is comfortable. The only time I need more room is when I’m moving up or back from the cabin. It takes two trips because of my plants.

The thing about cars is they need repairs. Two weeks ago my outside temperature indicator broke and the air conditioning didn’t work well. I took it in and sat for two hours while they did “diagnostics.” I didn’t mention that I’d gone over a landscape median the week before.

The bad news was that my air conditioning system had leaks, my front brakes needed to be replaced, and the outside thermometer had been sheared off. (I know how that happened,) and I needed the next 30,000-mile checkup and fluid replacements, an oil change, and various other things. The service rep said the thermometer was optional, so I decided to forego that $541 expense. They paid for a rental car for the day it took to fix my car. I was expecting the $1800 bill, but I still blanched as I handed over my American Express Card.

I went up to my cabin that weekend and the air conditioning still didn’t work. I was not a happy person. I made an appointment to take it back the next week.

Again I sat around for two hours for them to figure out the problem. It turned out I did need the outside thermometer for the air conditioning to work correctly. So they put me into another rental car for the three hours it took to install that.

My car is humming along fine again, and shouldn’t need anything but an oil change for a year. $2300 a year is better than a new car payment, but still I took more notice of new cars on the road. I haven’t yet found a small SUV that I can afford and would qualify for my cloud license. I do feel quite smug passing lines of snailing cars when I use the carpool lane during rush hour. As I get older I don’t know how patient I’d be stuck in traffic jams. That gives me enough of a reason to wait the two years to buy a new car. Perhaps by that time an auto company will make a hybrid SUV I can afford or I won’t be working and need the carpool lane.

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The Pontificator

April 4, 2016

I’m not desperate to find a man. Even though I’m still on the free internet dating site POF (Plenty of Fish,) I don’t look at my “matches” or initiate contact with anyone. I do answer messages I get through the website.

One guy messaged me, “I’m ready to kiss you.”

I answered, “Your message makes me not want to meet you.”

He replied, “Yours too.“

I got a message from a fellow who lives in Cornville. Maybe a summer roman, I thought. Cornville’s not too far from Munds Park. His profile was a bit too good to believe: artist, would be open to less than finding a soulmate, very educated, likes to eat gourmet meals, and like to meet rather than email back and forth. So we agreed to meet in Black Canyon City.

We were going to meet at Rock Springs Café and I was salivating at the thought of a slice of one of their pies. But he called to say he was already there and it was jammed due to some event so we switched the meeting place to Chilleen’s.

I got there on time and so did he. That’s always a good sign. We sat at a booth and ordered beers. I usually try to pump a guy for information on the first date or two. He talked a lot, but not that much about his current self. I did ascertain that he had a teenage daughter at home. That was a strike against him. I’m done bringing up teenagers. He talked about old friends, bringing up a different daughter alone, and name-dropped a famous author he knew. He didn’t ask me many questions about myself.

He was my type of good looking but I didn’t feel any instant chemistry.

We ordered some chips and salsa and began a political discussion. He’s a liberal Democrat and supports Bernie Sanders. I can understand that although Hillary is my pick. He talked on and on and on about his views on current issues, rarely stopping to acknowledge what I said.

It reminded me of conversations with my father. He would pontificate on the issues of the day; sure he was right. My father was a certified genius, and this guy might have been, too. But that doesn’t make that trait any easier to live with.

As I headed for my car he gave me a sideways hug. Never heard from him again.

I like living alone.