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Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Time Event
12:05p
Baby you can drive my car

As I won't. I got the car in March through my father's agency; he paid for the original expense and I was to pay him back when I could comfortably afford it. Several months of my being paid for sitting nervously in an office later and even I was comfortable that I could swing the $2,000. Of course, this comes after the car was up to the mechanics an hour away because my father Does Not Trust anyone closer to get the distributor cap actually screwed on, and to get the brakes repaired, and to get the brakes repaired again because it turned out the brake lines were clogged up from the car sitting unattended for several years, and to get the brake lines replaced (which took two attempts since they weren't able to get all the cables needed at once), and the tires replaced, and the radiator hose replaced because in the years it had sat unattended it had turned into a lump of rubber-inspired product. That's come to a total in repairs of about $1,500, and at that the air conditioning still didn't work because the coolant needed to be recharged.

So. You know the part of starting the car where I turn the key, and the car starts? I was living up to my end of the bargain, and the car was not. There are places and times in life when it's nice to be unexpectedly delayed and left where you are; the gas station island at a Wawa is not one of them. Slamming down the hood and punching the car helped, certainly emotionally, but also in getting it to start again and go back home rather than anything else I might have wanted to do that day, although it didn't start after that.

And that's it, then. My car is fired. This may be a simple problem -- in fact, it seems to have been just a loose wire leading from the battery to the starter, and my father was able to get it running again by jiggling with this connector that's hidden, of course, in the spot which while technically open to the outside requires the greatest feats of contortion at the greatest length one can reach one's arm inside -- but I don't care anymore. It's too many problems. I am looking for a new car, one with advanced features such as ``working''. My current baseline of ``something like this'' is the Saturn Ion 2, which the dealer estimates would cost around $250 a month or roughly speaking, per year, five hundred dollars less than what I've put into a dozen-years-old Mercury Sable. And it even has working air conditioning.

Trivia: In the simulated docking with their S-IVB upper stage immediately after liftoff, Apollo 7's crew maneuvered their Command Module to within 1.2 meters of the Saturn rocket third stage. Source: The Apollo Spacecraft: A Chronology, Volume IV, Ivan D Ertel, Roland W Newkirk, Courtney G Brooks. NASA SP-4009.

Currently Reading: The Fabric of America: How Our Borders and Boundaries Shaped the Country and Forged Our National Identity, Andro Linklater.

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