The New Car Decision

img_0876Even before the deer hit me, I’ve been thinking about getting a new car.

My 2008 Prius has been amazingly awesome and still is except for the deer damage.  The body shop can’t take it in for repair until January 2nd.  That’s a whole month away.

Hard to believe the body repair business is so good right now.


afterSince it is a month away and the inspection had already been done, I decided to take a crack at massaging it back into a little more presentable shape.

I was able to get the majority of the bumper dent removed by using a hair dryer to heat the plastic then push the dent out.  Thank you Youtube!  I tried to pull the frame behind the headlight forward to where it should be.  I was worried if I did that that the hood would no longer latch so I figured it would be best to leave it as is.  Not much can be done with the hood. It has to be replaced anyway.  I added a short metal tab to remount the grill trim and hold it in place.  I removed and re-positioned the headlight so it is at least aimed a little better.  It is at least 50% better now.

That was pretty much as far as I could go without ordering parts.  Since Insurance pays for it next month there would be no point.  At least it is partially presentable now.

chvyvltStill, I’ve been thinking about getting a 2013 or 2014 Chevrolet Volt.  It’s another hybrid vehicle but has a 40 mile electric range before the gasoline engine kicks in.  I can get one for around $12,000.  It would be really sweet but do I really need it?

I want it but once the body is fixed, my 2008 Prius still runs like new.  It has around 111,000 miles on it but operates perfectly in all ways and gets me 54 miles per gallon.  Especially considering that gas is only $1.79 right now I pay only $13.00 a week to fill it up.  That’s damn cheap.  I even use synthetic oil to keep the engine as new as possible.  It is still 100% reliable so I have no logical reason to replace it.  It’s still like new.

On the other hand.  I plan to possibly retire in two years and it would be nice to have a newer car that costs almost nothing to run.  I could just buy it with a check but even if I finance it, at 1.5% it would cost me only $250 in interest if I pay it off in two years and I keep the cash in the bank or invest it.

Damn.  This is a difficult First-World decision isn’t it?  I haven’t gone shopping for one yet because I know if I sit in one and drive it, the deal is done.  I really should use logic here rather than emotion.  Still.  If logic becomes deadlocked, emotion might be the way to go.  Besides.  You only live once and I may not live all that much longer anyway.  I might as well go out in style, right?

I think I will wait and get my Prius back then give it some thought early next year.  Maybe I can get a year newer Volt for the same price by then.




Dear Dad – Laundry Room Remodel

Subject: Laundry Room Remodel

Hi Dad.

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you.  Mom and I are working on a remodel of the laundry room at her house.  It really hasn’t changed since you last put on the paneling and shelves sometime in the 50’s.  The particle board shelving was getting saggy and a leak in the roof caused the ceiling paneling to start falling apart.  It had a pretty good run considering it lasted as-is for around  61 years.

We’ve worked on it for a few Wednesday evenings when I go visit and we just finished removing the paneling.  It was fun to see the old bathroom tile board that you put out there after removing it from the bathroom.  I never knew it was there.  It has some calculations that you had written on the wall as you were figuring out something.  That really gave me a connection to you.   That tile-board is on there pretty good with nails so next week I’ll bring a pry-bar to get it off.

Our next step will be to add a wall switch and maybe some recessed lighting over the machines.   The old ceiling socket with the pull string served it’s purpose.  Time to upgrade.  I’m also going to move the outlet for the machines to the back wall so the wires will plug in more easily.

Next we will put up the drywall and do the floor.  We will probably use some kind of ceramic tile depending on what the sub floor looks like.  It should end up being a nice modern and bright room.  Instead of shelves we’ll put up a couple of wall cabinets.

It’s going to be nice.  Wish you could help.

Love and miss you so much.


Be More Observant!

obsrvntI have been very unobservant lately.  Maybe it’s a good thing but I think probably not.  Everything I do lately seems to be done in a fog.  Maybe it’s because my vision is not as sharp as it used to be.  I think that may be the major cause.

For example:  Yesterday I went to the store to pick up some bulk snack mix.  I start with a base mix and add a few things to it to make it better.  One thing I added was chocolate covered raisins to add a little sweetness to the otherwise nutty mix.  It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed that the base mix I got already had chocolate chips.  Now it’s too chocolatey.  Is that possible?  Yes if you’re eating healthy.  First world problems…

Anyway, it’s just an example of the fact that I don’t look closely at things anymore. I do things generally without looking at the details.  Not sure what to do about that.  I guess the trick is to just take the time and look.  Don’t be in such a hurry.


Learning to run again

rnnrI’m supposed to get more exercise but finding ways is difficult when you don’t have a lot of extra time.  I’ve been walking around the block but not really feeling that it is enough exertion.  I entertained the idea of running but every time I tried I felt like I was stumbling and going to fall.  Little by little I would run for a 50-100 feet and walk again.  Now it is starting to feel more natural.

Today is November 22nd and instead of cold it was 77 degrees when I got home after work.  It was already getting dark so I stripped naked and put on my tiny black running shorts and some shoes.  I hit the street and managed to run quite a bit.  My walking app indicated that I had traveled a mile in 13 minutes rather than the usual 18 it takes if I walk the whole way.

I didn’t feel like I was going to fall.  It still feels weird but not entirely unnatural anymore.  The last time I remember actually “running” was when I was in elementary school.  That was many lifetimes ago.

I don’t know much about running so I wonder if it is bad for my knees.  That would suck to have fucked up knees in a few years.  I guess I’ll have to do some googling.  I do feel like the running is effective exercise so I think I will try to do more of it.


Another Land-Shopping Let-Down

fieldYesterday I go the land bug again and decided to do a little shopping.  I have pretty much given up on my dream of moving to Colorado to retire early.  I still want to retire early.  I’m only two years away from my new deadline of 50. (Holy shit!)  I don’t want to live in San Antonio.  It’s too big and there are WAAAAAAYYYY to many people here.  I just want to live in a small town far from the influence of any big city.

There’s a small town about 20 miles east of Austin called Bastrop.  It is a kind of special place because it has pine trees.  Unlike the rest of Texas, (except for East Texas) it looks beautiful.  I looked on Zillow and found some plots of land nicely in my price range.  $2-10k.

I was feeling optimistic but not overly optimistic because land hunting will easily let you down.  I jumped in my deer-smashed Prius and hit the road.  It took about an hour and a half to get there.  I found myself in a nicely unimproved neighborhood with Hawaiian street names.  Bonus!   Finding my first pick was not easy though.  The neighborhood is composed of both old and new houses and some streets that show up on google maps are nothing more than a barely visible path through a field of weeds.  I drove up and down the road like a fool trying to figure out how to get to the place Zillow said was for sale.  I had to stop and consult Google Maps on my phone constantly because it kept telling me I had to go pas the end of the road.

Finally I decided to throw caution to the wind and headed off the road and into the field in my off-road Prius.  I plowed through a field of high weeds barely able to see where I was going.  Weed chunks and grasshoppers were all over my windshield.  I powered through a mud hole and luckily made it to the other side.  The street I was looking for was nothing more than a deeply water-gouged trench.  Not going that way for sure. I continued on until I got back to a real road.  So much for that property.

Already disappointed, I consulted Zillow to see what else was available.  I drove to various plots of land that were either on the side of a hill or in a ditch.  Completely unbuildable.  I found a few lots that had potential but some bastard carved up the whole neighborhood into tiny lots.  Most were empty now but they are so small that once they are occupied each house would nearly be touching the next.  Asshole!

Some lots were shaded by beautiful pine trees but most of the ones I saw were just scrub brush much like the rest of Texas.  I guess all the good stuff with road access is already taken.  See!  Too many people!!!!!  What did I tell you?

Disappointed and depressed, I gave up on my quest and stopped in a nearby Chinese buffet to eat my sadness away.  I really wanted to find something because this town had everything I require:

  1. Hardware stores
  2. Best Buy
  3. Chinese Food
  4. A community band
  5. An area naturist club
  6. Grocery Store
  7. Not too close to a big city.

I drove home wondering what the fuck I’m going to do.

Do I give up on my dream of having at least 1/2 acre of land so I can have a house surrounded by a privacy field of trees and brush so I can go naked all day?

Do I settle for a house right up at the street like all the other common people always feel like I don’t have what I want?

Do I give up completely and live out my pointless life in an overcrowded city with infinite traffic jams?

I have two years to figure this out if I’m going to meet my deadline.  Now that I found out that I have Heart Disease and possibly have less time that I thought it is even more important that I do something soon.  I wish I could find someone who will let me buy an acre in the corner of their ranch and let me be happy.


Give me a break!

img_0876Can you believe this??  I just got my car back from the shop from my last accident where some lady pulls out right in front of me.  I’ve had it maybe three weeks and this morning a deer jumps out in front of me on a well traveled city street.  It just flew out of the trees and smashed right into me.  What a dumbass deer!  I hope it suffered.

I can still drive it but this time the damage looks worse than the last one.  The front frame in front of the engine is pushed back a few inches.  The bumper cover is going to have to be replaced again as well as the passenger side fender and the hood and various trim pieces.  I don’t need this shit.  The body shop can’t even get me in until Nov 30th.  Two weeks away.

I don’t have rental insurance so this time I won’t have a rental car.  My mom is going to let me borrow her’s but it will take at least three weeks maybe four to repair.  I could drive my RV to work if I have to.  They better not give me any shit about it being totaled.   If so, I am leaving that insurance company for sure.  If I have to, I can probably fix it myself.  The parts are relatively easy to replace and I can probably bend the frame back into place. Surprisingly, the hood still opens and closes.  I’m pretty sure it will be covered.

So is this Karma or something?  I thought I was being a good boy.  I was happy and friendly and feeling good and then the universe starts throwing deer at me.  I’m a bit depressed about it but shit happens and time will heal my wounds.  All will be OK in a few months.


The Happiest I’ve Ever Felt

hppydncI don’t know what it is but suddenly I’ve felt happier than ever.  That’s pretty good since I haven’t experienced real happiness since 1977.

Maybe it is the end of the oppressive summer heat.  Maybe it is because Donald Trump won the election.  Maybe I’ve just finally let go of being depressed.  I guess all are contributing factors.

In spite of the fact that I nearly had a heart attack and have to eat vegetarian.  In spite of the fact that the future I strived for has become a pipe dream due to health factors and family duty.  Despite the fact that I’ve lost my two remaining friends.  Maybe not lost, but letting them go.  I feel better than ever.

I’m not dwelling on my past.  I’m not obsessing about my future.  I’m living in the present and it feels really good.  I’m taking life day by day and not caring about anything that doesn’t matter to me.  Sounds pretty selfish but it works!  I feel like dancing.

I sure hope I never go back.  Life is perfect as it is so let the future bring what may come.   Insert link to Pharrell Williams Happy Song on Youtube.  I’m truly happy and if you don’t like it then don’t worry.  Be Happy.

Dooo doo do dooo dooo, dooo dooo doooo doo do do do doooooooo!