Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fire Lizard Hog Car

I know you can't see the mountain, but that cloud is mostly smoke and steam.

You know those catch-up entries I do occasionally when I have no particular rants in mind, but lots of little bits of news and update stuff to pass on?  Here's another one of them.

I didn't get a good picture of the fire today, but you can probably tell from this picture that the smoke (and probably steam) pretty much completely obscures the Santa Ritas as seen from South Wilmot.  Some of that white stuff probably is cloud now, but it's impossible to say how much.  As of today, the white stuff that starts over the Santa Ritas south of Tucson extends all the way to the Rincons east of town.  It seems likely that the monsoon is probably on its way, but meanwhile the fire continues to grow.

Lizard in a BathtubHere is the promised photo of the lizard I found in my bathtub Thursday night, the night of much lightning and little rain, the night the fire started.  Usually it's little black ladybugs (they're black with pale green spots, but they still look like ladybugs) that find their way in there, up through the drain or in through the closed window.  My policy with lizards, geckos, ladybugs and crickets is to catch them and release them out the window sill.  (Mosquitos and spiders receive less mercy.)  But the lizard got his picture taken first.  He's about half this size in real life.

The other pictures I promised the other day are of the hog on a hog.  These were taken in the Park Place Mall parking lot, near the food court and movie plex. 

Hog on a hog.

Hog on a hog.

And now the news.  As some of you are aware, my beloved husband John has been driving my mom's hand-me-down 1984 New Yorker for about four years now. It has extremely iffy brakes, a bashed-in trunk, an unreliable engine, a lousy carbuerator and an electrical system that shorts out the radio when John hits the brakes. Thisis what he's been driving 44 miles roundtrip to work each day, trying to avoid getting us further into debt by buying another car before I arrange for a refi or home equity line of credit.  (I'm working on it.)

Well.  When John got home from work last night, he announced that the New Yorker's performance had reached the point at which even he was uncomfortable about driving it any further.  I welcomed this news.  For months I've been worried about the car stalling in traffic, and someone else being unable to stop in time.

John didn't want to spend any more than he absolutely had to on the car's replacement, but I knew from recent experience that he wasn't going to get anything decent for the kind of money he wanted to spend.  Complicating the issue:  John needed a car immediately, since it's impossible for me to share a car with him, given where and when we each have to be at work.  I called Enterprise, Alamo, and National Rent-a-Car.  No cars available at all.  I called Hertz.  $350 for a week, five day minimum.  Worldwide Travel was already closed for the evening.

But Ed at Saturn told us about an older purple Baretta he had in John's price range.  So off we went to Saturn.  But the Baretta was gone - sold, or sent to auction, because the dealership doesn't normally keep its low-end trade-ins.  John reluctantly drove a 2001 Oldsmobile around the parking lot instead.  It was in the price range I expected, and they gave us $1000 or so off because I'm a repeat customer.  John wasn't happy - he hates making major purchases - but he bought it.  I gather he had a rather pleasant commute today, listening to Les Baxter exotica on the car's CD player.

John's Olds, lit by my Eagle.

I haven't taken any pictures of the Olds by day yet, but here are a few I took tonight after returning from the gym.  The Olds is it by the Eagle's headlights, and secondarily by flash.  The two vehicles behind it need to be hauled away.

John's Olds, lit by my Eagle.

It's pretty much the same size as my Eagle, and seven years newer.  I'm almost jealous - almost, but not quite.  It's also the color of my half-destroyed Honda Elite 250 scooter - champagne.  That's another story I'll have to tell you sometime.



gaboatman said...

Congrats on the new car purchase.  Glad to hear John is going to get to work with some reasonable expectation of safety.  Nice post Karen.

yankeygr said...

I dont know, but it looks like a very nice car to me. It will be alot safer anyway. Good luck.   Rhonda

deabvt said...

Very neat!

ryanagi said...

Nice car!  As for the junkers...donate them. The Association for the Blind and some Jewish organization here advertise for donated vehicles all the time, running or not. It's a tax write off. Check around and see.