Today marks twenty-four years of married bliss. Well, not minute for minute, but you know: Close enough.
Last night I took the girls out to the bookstore. Which was nothing but a convenient fiction – with the added benefit of being true – enabling me to sneak in my dozen roses, bottle of champagne and anniversary card. The lady at the check out counter smiled approvingly: “Well, you’re on the right track,” she said.
I know, I thought to myself. After nearly a quarter century, I was bound to eventually get it right.
So, it’s been a while since the Eldest Daughter totaled her last vehicle. And we’re in the market for a replacement. Which don’t get me started. But elsewise how does she get to work? Is the argument.
Our budget is around $10k, give or take, so we’re obviously in the used car hunt. Maybe go as high as $15K for the right vehicle. It would have to be economical to own and operate, ideally less than 100,000 miles on the body and engine. Automatic transmission required, ABS brakes and air bags essential, strong safety ratings a plus. Doesn’t need to go fast, doesn’t need to be flashy. Flashy she can buy for herself, some day.
Been looking at mid-2000 series Honda Accords. Have also started to look at same vintage Toyota Prius(es). I’ve never looked at owning a hybrid before, since I personally luxuriate in 8-cylinder engines. But ED is in a slightly different place financially than is your correspondent, and the idea of long gaps between gas station stops is potentially compelling.
I seem to recall having heard/read about occasionally surprising maintenance costs, and think I once heard something about useful battery life, etc.
You’re a pretty savvy group when it comes to such: Recommendations?
Doesn’t have to be a specific VIN, but would like to hear your thoughts on make and model.
Shelby-American, 1042 Princeton Dr, Venice, California
Between 1962 at their founding and 1965 there couldn’t have been more than a few dozen employees, including the bookkeeper and publicist. And yet, in 1965 they won the World Manufacturer’s Championship for Sports Cars, beating the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar.
The key was the people. From the mechanics, to the fabricators, to the world-class drivers.
The new gig – I’ve been at it two years, and still think of it that way – is comparatively ungenerous in the article of paid time off, at least as contrasted to the Navy, which offered 30 days of leave per year and six month cruises to ensure your can’t use much of it. As a consulting gig, PTO is doubly expensive, since 1) you still get paid for it (hence the “paid” bit) and, 2) the company doesn’t get to charge on your hours worked. So it’s fifteen days a year plus federal holidays (10), but the good news is that – unlike the Navy – you only charge against the hours you actually avoid.
For example, if a naval officer wanted to take a Friday off, followed by the upcoming Monday, that’d be charged as four days of leave, since technically you’re never off duty. In the civilian world on the other hand, you’re only charged the 16 hours for Friday and Monday.
This Monday being a holiday, I decided to take Friday off and get a four-dayer. Which I spent flying. And golfing.
Pretty much perfect.
Or nearly: Used to be that clearance to taxi to a runway was implicit clearance to taxi across all other intersecting runways. In the name of safety, the FAA has amended ATC procedures (pdf) such that crossing other runways – even off-duty runways – requires explicit clearance from ATC:
Rained much of the day yesterday, the wind blowing hard. Turned the heat on for the first time in the morning, just to take the chill off. The year has been an eventful one, but know it’s winding down, groping its way into a new year that holds perhaps less hope than trepidation. Foreign wars, economic malaise, politics as usual. Everyone wondering if this is the bottom, and if not, how much worse will it get. Wondering, when it’s finally over, what will emerge. Our “exceptionalism”, such as it is, I think was always based not so much on a certainty of rectitude – we’ve far too much experience being wrong – as a certain confidence that we’d figure it out in time. Now that confidence is badly shaken, and we have gone from young to late middle age in a seeming blink of an eye, harboring doubts and regrets, in debt up to our ears, no real way of knowing how we’re going to pull this off.
I was ahead of the shopping game for exactly two people in my life: The Biscuit wanted a replacement digital camera for the one she’d treated rather shabbily last summer, to put not too fine a point on it, all regardless of the fact that she seemed to take such great pleasure in the having of the original. That came early in the mail, and there was the school formal coming up, and it wouldn’t really have happened – the formal that is – unless it was preserved in perpetuity via the application of digital amber. So I deeded it over early, like, with stern remonstrations that this was in fact The Patriarchal Christmas Gift, and no fair thinking otherwise comes the actual. Knowing full well – as herself no doubt did too – that it was all bluff and thunder.
Thanksgiving is, I think, my favorite holiday. It is just enough time off work to seem sufficient without seeming excessive – there’s only so much can pile up over two days. There is always a log on the fire and usually football on TV. I also have what are only memories now, living on this coast, of the brittle snap of fall in the air, the whisper of winter to come, the smell of the harvest, the sound of the frosted long grass crunching under my boots with the weight of a side-by-side on my shoulder and a dog ranging out ahead, questing with her nose, looking for the birds.
Your humble scribe will meet an occasional reader (and blogger in his own right) tomorrow afternoon at Shakespeare’s Pub in Mission Hills at 1630, the better to quaff adult beverages and share sea stories. If any other Sandy Eggans are interested in joining the meet up, you’d be very welcome as well so long as you don’t bear any ill will to we few, we happy few, we band of bloggers. For the P-3 guys, no per diem will be provided and for the USAF types, government quarters are directed. I don’t write the rules.
And if the question burning on your lips is whether it would be appropriate to offer your narrator a pint of Guinness for his efforts to inform and entertain over the years, then let me take a stab at answering that for you: Yes. Yes it would.