Friday, April 28, 2006

I'm a sucker for a broken car (meet Chico)

I just realized that several of the cars that I have owned over the course of my driving career have been broken when I bought them. While one good reason for this is that I come from a family that believes in fixing things, and have now married a guy who does, too, it occurs to me that this is not normal behavior. That said, I have come out ahead just about every time, even if I've driven the car for a couple years. My first broken car was Frank, a mid-80's Volvo 242 sedan with a cracked head. I bought him for $50, and invested maybe $200-$300 more. Not bad for a vehicle that I drove for a year and sold for a profit. Then there was the 1985 BMW 528 that I bought for (I think) $500 with accident damage to the hood and fender, and had repaired. I did end up having to drop an engine into that car, which was an extra $350 or so. I believe I drove the Beemer for 4-5 years, and finally sold it for about what I had originally put into it. Let's see, then there was a BMW 535 that had no problems that I drove for awhile, and then a Saab 900 named Mr. Frisky (well, I had to have Mr. Frisky's sunroof fixed, but for an $800 car, that's not too bad) and then I bought Lola, my Corolla wagon. She was also $800, and had a failing clutch when I bought her. I babied the clutch for almost a year, and then S. replaced it. She still runs like a champ, 240,000 miles notwithstanding. And the Golf. We all know about the trials and tribulations of Mary Margaret. (If you don't, feel free to check the archives.)

Why this long-winded recap? Because I've done it again. Call me an automotive Florence Nightingale, I just can't help but want to nurse (worthy) cars back to health. My latest patient is Chico (so named by his former owner.) A 1999 Saab 93, he is suffering from a blown head gasket and has an electric window that won't roll down. Luckily, my friend Jerry is just about the best Saab mechanic in the Twin Cities, and Chico is in his capable hands even as we speak. I think that Chico has it in him to be great once more, he just needs some love. (his former owner left him for a new Mini.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

So Far the Braces Don't Suck

It's been six days since I got braces, and I would have to say that so far they're very tolerable. The first couple of days I ate very soft, mushy foods, (I don't recommend pureed salmon and macaroni and cheese, by the way...) but it was as much because I had to learn how to eat with a mouthful of sharp stuff as because my teeth were sore. Since then I have been doing well, though I found out today that a well-frozen ice cream bar is more of a challenge than I would have thought. I ended up sort of slurping at it after I discovered that biting was out of the question, and had chocolate all over my face by the time I was finished. It was Cherry Garcia with a dark chocolate coating, though, so it was worth it.

I suspect that as the months progress and I am moved to less flexible bands I will have painful interludes, but at the moment I'm just asking myself why I waited for so long to get my teeth straightened.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

So Much Depends Upon. . .

I always think about that William Carlos Williams poem in the spring, especially after the first few days of rain, when the sun returns and everything looks new, washed clean.

A lot has happened. Who am I kidding? I so seldom update this blog that a lot has always had time to happen. Perhaps it's simply a matter of critical mass. I wait until I have enough to write about. But that's not really true. I'm sure I could write most days about all the little things. I'm just busy, or lazy, or simply otherwise occupied. Lately, the "otherwise occupied" has included the following exciting activities:

-Learning Dreamweaver. This is a program for creating web pages. It's much more counter-intuitive than some of the other programs that I've been working with, so it's an interesting and sometimes frustrating endeavor. I am also just beginning to use Flash. When I'm done with my project, I may post a link here, if I think that it's good enough for public consumption. I would not advise you to hold your breath☺

-Selling Mary Margaret, the 2000 Golf TDI that I posted about last fall. We finally got her up and running in February, after S. rebuilt part of the engine. (I was afraid that she wouldn’t rise again until Easter, having been owned by a priest for most of her life.) I'm happy to say that she went to someone in Madison, WI who was thrilled to buy her. I'm sad to see her go. She was very cute, and, with her peppy turbo, fun to drive. She was, however, a 2-door, which drove me nuts, and my dear brother had some reservations about V dubs in general. He is, after all, a BMW guy. And soon, I may return to the fold, (it's always a good idea to buy something your family is willing to fix...) if I don't find a good little station wagon first. Alas, Lola the Corolla wagon is pushing 240,000 miles, and though we don't like to talk about it in front of her, she has some very weird noises coming from her rear end. (maybe a wheel bearing?)

-Adoring my new niece. Born on February 28th, she has already grown and changed so much. The "baby blog" link in the sidebar is for my mom's photo blog of K.Q.

-Cleaning up my gardens. So much has already started to come up. My Bleeding Heart is in bloom! Family readers of this blog will know that bleeding hearts hold a special significance, because Gram always had one growing by the front sidewalk. Every time I look at the bush all summer long I am reminded of her love and strength. It's a good thing.

-I will be getting my braces on today, at long last. I was almost through with my spacers when I ended up in the hospital in December. After that I didn't feel up to a new challenge, so S. removed the spacers (at the orthodontist's go ahead) with a tweezers. Now that I'm feeling better, it's time to get this show on the road. It will probably be a good source of blog-fodder.

Well, I have homework to do, so I'll sign off. I will probably post a follow-up on the braces. There's only one way for you to find out, gentle reader, and that's to check back here☺