A Nickel for your Thoughts

My random thoughts about politics, cars, computers, sports, the environment and so on. For free. And that's about what they're worth.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I Bought a New Car! In other news, our medical system sucks.

On Monday, my wife and I bought a new 2006 Hyundai Elantra, in Moonlit Blue. Hyundai of Everett rox; we got a good deal and were treated very well, though we practically had to pay them to take my wife's old (seriously) broken car in trade.

On another note, a SNAFU on the part of either the insurance company or the doctor's office resuted in us getting a letter that told us we'd have to pay the entire $6,000 cost of my wife's recent surgery, after we (and the doctor) were told it would be covered. It was erroneous, but it scared the shit out of us until we found that out. I guess that's the beauty of Our Great Nation's broken medical system. Bleh.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Requiem for the Mitsubishi

On October 14, 2002, I bought my first new car, a silver 2002 Mitsubishi Galant ES, from Five Star Mitsubishi on South Tacoma Way (Tacoma's Auto and Pimp/Ho/Titty Bar/Smoke Shop/Flea Market/TV Repair Shop Row). I couldn't really afford it, but man, after slaving away for five years in college, I wanted a new car, and with Mitsubishi's zero interest, zero down, zero payments for a year promotion, I could get one. So I did. I just assumed I'd be able to afford the payments once they came due in about 15 months. As it turned out, that was the case, because by that time, I had landed a better job and was still living in a cheap apartment. Of course, a couple months later at year-end closeout time, Mitsubishi outdid themselves with a promotion in which you could buy a car with zero down, make no payments for a year, and pay no interest for the life of the loan. Bastards.

Two years, two months and 41,000 miles later, as described in an earlier post, her useful life ended much too soon. My crazy road-tripping days of college were over by the time I bought her, but she did take me on trips to Idaho, Oregon, Canada, and Eastern Washington, and she would have taken me down to Vegas by now had she not been smashed. I appreciated the sure handling, the good feature content, comfortable seats, clean lines (derivative of a 1990s vintage BMW's), and the fact that she never developed a single mechanical problem the entire time I owned her (unless you count the hose that fed the windshield washers getting inexplicably chewed up) . I could have done without the rattle that developed in the plastic trim around her drivers' door, and I was upset when running over a rock on the freeway resulted in a tear of her rear bumper cover (the back tire flung it through an unreinforced part of the back bumper).

For a while, the insurance company thought she could be saved, but that ended up not being the case. It's a bit of a waste, because she had been a nice car, but assuming I get fair compensation, it won't hurt me financially. In fact, it may open up some options like buying an inexpensive used car and not having a car payment for a while. There's a '98 (final year) Lincoln Mark VIII on Craigslist for $4300. It's got a busted heater but that's usually not an expensive fix (it can only be the heater core or the blend door), and of course that sweet ride will be long gone before I get a check from the insurance company. Probably just as well...That 280-horse 4-cam V8 isn't the easiest on gas.

Did I mention the Mark VIII has a 280-horse 4-cam V8? Clear the road.

Anyway, she was a good car and died valiantly in a successful effort to protect me from injury. My she rest in peace, and my her parts keep many other Galants on the road.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Two Thousand Six

New years' observations:

  • Six beers = Hangover.
  • Don't watch Serenity with a noob with a short attention span, when you could have watched The 40 Year Old Virgin instead.
  • Football is the thief of time.
  • My truck doesn't start if you park it on a steep uphill.
  • Damage estimate for my car is on the wrong side of $8,000. May she rest in peace (at least I expect that's what'll happen).
  • Dick Clark looks like death warmed over.