Monday, July 18, 2011

Cars and Aging and Aging Cars...

Well, summer in Ohio.  Heat index is 105.  You walk outside at 8 am and in two minutes you need a shower and a change of clothes.  We have lots of rumbling, but only a couple drops of rain so far this evening though there are storm warnings all around us.

It's been an odd (therefore normal) week.  My 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. with it's fancy Hemi (aka gas guzzling) engine croaked without warning in the driveway.  It was running, I turned it off and it would make weird noises, but not start.  Good thing Mark was home.  He of course immediately said if you buy a Chrysler, you had better own AAA.  Then he admitted lots of makes "I call them breeds, dog person that I am" of cars have failed us (except his darling Ford trucks.)  Turned out all it needed was a $170 battery to fix her right up.  OMG, the last battery I bought was maybe $50!  I still don't think I'm out of the woods, because two minutes later I couldn't get my passenger window to stay up.  It would just bounce around.  I got it to stop by using that door's control, but it might have been a fluke.  It also dings and buzzes for no apparent reason. But I must say that when I need it, that Jeep can pass everything on the road but a gas station!

Now mind you, this was not a Cheap Jeep.  It's only four years old (lasting three years, 11 mos and a week longer than the first one if you recall the accident.)  Normally they fall apart right after you make the last payment, but nobody clued it in that we went with the five year plan since the interest is nearly nothing.   I have had nice cars, crap cars and nice cars that turned out to be crap, so my fingers are crossed that my Jeep doesn't fall into the later category like my Range Rover's eternal electrical problems!

I will be the big 5-0 Wednesday and it is so weird.  Started thinking of all the fantasy bucket list things I would like to have or do.  Sunday I had to kill an hour while Audra met a friend at Starbucks so I went next door to the Toy Barn Auto Dealership and some others.  Just to tire kick mind you.  We are trying to be reasonably debt free and have a kid starting college who we just found out needs a car to commute as her full tuition scholarship doesn't include room/board and it's more than $10,000 a year.  Are they staying at a Hilton????

Anyway, I was struck by a few things...the car I like will never be in my price range.  OK, no surprise there.  The 2011 red Porsche Carrera was a deal at $111,000 and change.  But on the sticker it listed piddly $200, $400 etc. "options" included in the sticker price.  In my world, a $111,000 car should have everything including it's own garage and driver.  Can you just picture someone haggling over the $100 remote key option or whatever????  I really doubt it!  I did, however, find a Porsche I could probably afford (nowadays they don't put prices on used cars so you have to ask a salesperson...so annoying.)  The reason I know I can afford it as it was parked at this fancy car lot, but literally backed into the woods in the corner.  The seats were ripped, spare parts in the back.  Which begs the question if you own a Porsche because it's a cool car, why on Earth would you let it get in that condition??

Well, I recalled a cute, ticket-me-red, two-seater Mercedes convertable when I was dreaming years ago.  I had the time, so went back there only to find, without exception, a couple hundred Mercedes that were black, white or a version of gray.  Not a single red car in sight.  It must be part of an "austerity" looking program, for those who can splurge on cars, but don't want to be too obvious.  Not me baby, bring on the red.  The world needs to know just how cool a 50 year old broad can be (when not sweating from hot flashes or humidity...)

Until next time, stay COOL!
Gale
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