remember two things

I wondered where I'd be. I got the answer tonight; an answer that was nearly four years in coming. As usual, the answer wasn't what I expected.

It was less.

It was more.

Katy lies; you can see it in her eyes

In olden days, the twelve days of Christmas were likely to bring a standard human unmanageable herds of drummers, milkmaids, lords, rings, and the ever-present partridge. However, it's with tepid pleasure that I note that the holidays are becoming a bit more inventive in their 'gifting' this year.

The "twelve days of Christmas" now refers to the twelve days that my overly-adored Jetta spent at the dealer's, having innumerable tests run upon the suddenly-quirky engine. I strongly suspect the silly thing spent most of those days cozied up in the back of the repair shop, drinking spiked eggnog with distant relations, swapping owner stories, and totally living up the vacation.In the meantime, I got stuck with a crappy Audi A4. Older. Base model.

Say goodnight, Gracie

Lot A was for the newer cars. Lot B was for trucks, vans, ATVs, SUVs, and anything that didn't quite qualify as a "car." Lot C was for older cars.

We were the sixtieth car in Lot C at tonight's auction down in Cullman. While waiting for the first fifty-nine cars to be processed, Jeff and I had plenty of time to talk over how much we wanted our reserve price to be. We knew we wouldn't get a lot of money for the car—it was, after all, an eight-year-old Sundance—but we wanted to see if we could do better than the trade-in offer we'd received.

On the drive down to the auction, I found myself laughing as I thought about all of the places this little car has taken me since 1994. Nine states: Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois.

Going for a drive

We agreed to go test-drive a couple of vehicles today. We know that we're going to buy a new car sometime this year, and my preference is for a Jetta. However, we didn't know how the different engines compared to each other, so we decided to go drive one of each today.

The first car, the four-cylinder, was acceptable, certainly—the engine fired up faster than the four unionized hamsters that run my current car. But it whined a bit when I pushed it to highway speed, and it was working harder than either of us would have liked. We turned around and brought it back.

I thought I had a handle on things; I had an idea of how touchy the brake and accelerator were, and felt fairly confident when I got behind the wheel of the six-cylinder version. Since the car was almost out of gas, the salesguy had to ride along with us to the gas station.

Plan Z continues...

It's axiomatic: no decent auto repair shops are open on Saturdays.

I sent Jeff off to Tuscaloosa early this morning in my car. I got an extra hour or two of sleep, got up, tended to a few things, and talked with Geof. The end result was that he offered to drive out to "the sticks" to bring me takeout Chinese.

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We are now officially on Plan Z.

Please abandon all previous plans!

So, no Tuscaloosa for me. Why? My God, what a day. Hello, half-empty bottle of wine. :)

Jeff says to me last night, "I need you to take the truck in for some maintenance work before we drive out on Saturday morning." Turns out the truck is driving oddly, so it's off to have the tires rotated, and the wheels aligned and balanced.This requires two trips. The first place says, "Hey, your tire is out of round. It was under warranty, so we replaced it." Take it to the second place, where they tell me, "Hey, your frame is far enough out of alignment that you need to take it to a body shop for repairs. Ask your spouse if he hit something and needs to confess…"

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