Rosie & Noëlle

Well, it’s taken a while but I’ve finally gotten around to getting the pictures off my phone, nuts almost wrote car… that’s a headache for you. Yesterday on the way home and after getting both cars here, I took a few pictures of each.

An awfully long time ago, my grandmother dragged us across the Ford dealer and came home with a used 1993 Tempo GL, same light blue that she always got. Don’t know how long it took but it was dark by the time we left, felt like all day. I’m sure we walked the property at least twice!!!




Maybe the Tempo isn’t an important model to many people but for me, it’s a slice of history. My memory of that car goes back as far as the guy at ford explaining how the radio worked during the test drive. It’s the same car that my grandmother put a curse on after the alzheimer’s took her off the road. Same car that took us all to disney world, and again left me with numb legs the first time we came to Newnan. It’s the car my brother learned to drive in the parking lot, by giving the seat belts a real run for their money. IIRC, it was a Sports Authority parking lot. Like wise, it’s the the first car I was in an accident with when ma was turning right at the intersection and someone ran a red light and creamed us on the way to pick up my brother from work. I can still remember countless times in that car. On the same coin, it is also the car that I learned to drive in. Yeah, a little HSC straight four engine with a three speed automatic, that can peel out like a flash yet still go smooth at a low crawl and rattle all the way.



I learned how that car responds, what she is capable of, where the rattles come from, and how to manoeuvre it to her the edge of her envelope. To compensate for all the damage, I’ve even had to learn how to drive with minimal help beyond wheels. To starve off Murphy, I usually give myself margins measured in feet when driving but know that car enough to only need inches. What can I say, we’ve known each other a long time, even closer since I got to start driving. At some point, my mother had nick named the car “Rosie” after Katharine Hepburn’s role of “Rose Sayer” in the African Queen. It’s kind of stuck, and well, beats referring to it as “Car” :P. So, I refer to this car as Rosie whenever `the family ford` or her make/model isn’t the only appropriate form of address. Whenever I hear Somewhere With You on the radio, I’m gonna be thinking of Rosie.

My family never really took much care of that car, so it’s always been a mess, fluids almost never checked beyond anti-freeze (my mother is paranoid about that), oil changes more like 2 or 3 times in 17 years, tyres when they’re flat, etc. Most things taken into the car, have stayed there for /years/ and it’s been used like a trash can for as long as I can remember. I’ve never volunteered to clean out the car, because I know I’m the only asshole who would keep it clean. After taking pictures of the interior, I threw some of the trash out when I was unloading Rosie.



My mother’s never given a crap about keeping the car clean. You’ve always had to move something before sitting in my brothers car, and I don’t think most people seem to care. Well in my case, if it comes in with you, it better go out with you, or ya gettin’ out and walkin’ the rest of the way!
The 2007 Ford Taurus SE that I got yesterday, seems to have gotten the nick name Noëlle. Something that ma suggested, it being Christmas time and all. Where as Rosie and I, could probably described as a crazy pair, I would say that Noëlle is a more sensible car at heart. Maybe we’ll rub off on each other lol. 
Me being me, of course, I’m opting for the spelling Noëlle rather than the more common (here) form of “Noel” as in the song. That is of course for linguistic reasons.
While getting everything sorted yesterday, I went about checking the things I had to forgo at the car dealer, and top off the fluids. Didn’t need much of anything really and the tyres are basically new… kind of refreshing from running on next to nothing lol. Noëlle is clean on the inside and I intend for things to remain that way. While I doubt it will stay as it is, right now the engine is so clean you could practically eat off it, but that might offend the car :-/.
So far I’ve put >= 200 miles on it between the drive home, a trip to Griffen, and us going up to Carrollton for dinner last night. Having a full set of mirrors, working turn signals, and gasp, high beams that actually work, is shockingly different.
The real question I reckon, is whether or not it survives until 2024, +/- me, hehehehehehe.

Every drivers right of passage…

While not /quite/ as time consuming as my grandmother dragging us across F.O.R.D. motors cica 17 years ago, it seems almost the entire day has gone to procuring a car. Didn’t think there would be any savings on time >_>.

Went down to a dealer called Navigator up in Marietta this afternoon, nice little drive actually. Spent the morning at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Since I wasn’t able to get a ride up there, and well, being a stubborn, gundanium headed person, I’m not gonna skip out on an appointment (and a good deal) that easily, no matter how much my mother complains. I didn’t push the old car into work tomorrow because I was worried it would damage the vitals; if the mechanic is giving it a death sentance however, well I know how far she can go. We’re both tough old, crazy birds in that way. I love that car.

To make my mother ‘happy’, I got a rental for the day instead of tempting fate. Can’t say that the Kia Spectra is particularly inspiring as a car but it’ll do the job fine when you need one. Took long enough between my mother and Enterprise, that we were running late—so for a change I drove like a proverbal bat out of hell.Yeah, just like one of my friends likely does… I’m thinking of you Escrt!!! Usually I go around the speed limit and let people going much faster than that pass me at will. But hey, if people are making me almost an hour late and everyone else on the express way is doing 80+, I’m riding with traffic when safe to to do so.

Must admit, I’m used to driving a car that only has a passenger side view mirror: so having a driver side view and rear view mirror, is almost like having a HUD :-/. Coming home,  it felt alien to use the mirrors, instead of having to drive straight and look over my shoulder whenever changing lanes to the left. I guess it’s fitting, as someone whose usually the train harder, fight easier type, that I’ve had to deal with a car that has next to null driver aids (unless you count power steering and good breaks, hehe).

Financing a used car is a lot of paper work, I probably signed and or initialled my name a good 40 times today. Overall the interest rates I’m getting are so miserable that after everything is said and done, it’s like paying for a new car instead of a used car, but I’m fine with that. If I had the cash laying around un-needed, I would just buy the car outright like my grandmother, instead of paying double that when everything is said and done.

My main concern was the drive away costs, because I’d like enough of my pay left over to drive into work after the holidays ^_^. One reason I tried the dealer I did, their way of doing the down payment is you pay about the normal price but it’s split into 3 chunks instead of an initial lump sum. Basically 50% of the down payment followed by a pair of cheques for 25% in place of the regular payments. The regular payments ain’t so bad either, so it’s just the interest rate is very high, thus making the cost more a lot more than the cars resale value. I’m fine with that. I just want a good car, not extra wealth.

In the end I got a white 2007 Ford Taurus SE. Breaks ain’t as good as Rosy’s, nor does it quite have the pick up of that old ’93 Tempo GL, but it is more to my taste than the other cars I’ve taken on a test drive. The best of which, was rather like my brothers car, and I don’t really like his car lol. The Taurus has a lower fuel efficiency ratings than I would like, but by contrast it’s a Vulcan V6 rather than an old HSC straight-4. It’s also an American car, which means it’ll stay put together with duct tape and chewing gum, which is kind of cool.

Except for the fluid levels, I inspected it as thoroughly as I could without having a tool kit on me; and I’ll check the fluid levels tomorrow when I get a chance. I liked that the tyres are in great shape (I’m used to having steel showing). Ironically a lot of things have changed: shifter is on the steering column (old style) rather than on the floor like every car I have ever seen. The parking brake is even a foot pedal/pull release instead of the lever type I’ve always been exposed to. For my mother, it’s reminiscent of 1960s fords lol. Engine and car body is what I really focused on with the Taurus – I can seem direct similarities to the Tempo’s engine, especially the alternator and belt design, but it is a rather different beast. I’ve spent enough time staring down Rosy’s engine, that it ain’t hard to figure out what is what, in as much as I know what I’m looking at that is. I’m a programmer after all, not a mechanic.

Much to my distaste, this Taurus also has the same “Power everything” mentality as my mothers Tempo. Power locks, power windows. I remember when those were optional “Luxaries” on cars… yeah. If you’ve got kids or something, I would recommend it but other wise I view power windows/locks as just another moving part that can break down. Modern key less entry systems are kind of nice though. To the interior, the only thing I really car about is that the radio works, so I can stop using my phone and ear buds :-).

Me being me, of course looking at the trunk space, all I could think of is “Wow, you could fit three bodies in this thing”. Yeah, lol. Seems that newer cars really go for a snub noise, big engine, and large ass compared to the things I grew up with; which were rather more like cardboard boxes on wheels.

Either way, I am happy. Got a car, it’s an improvement, and I ain’t totally broke yet. While I really don’t care much for FORD in general, I’ll admit, I would rather have a car that rattles with a good engine than have a car with a shitty engine and no rattles. Even if this Taurus rides pretty dang silent right now, I have never known a ford that didn’t start to rattle eventually. It’s not a sign of trouble, it’s a sign of FORD engineering lol.

Tomorrow if things don’t totally Murphify, I’ll take some pictures of both cars. Need to go pick up the old Tempo from the parking yard at Enterprise, so ma will be driving my Taurus and I’ll coax the old girl home. Now as long as my mother doesn’t crack up my car and Rosy doesn’t halt and catch fire, we ought to be O.K.

I love that damn old car…

Defining Georgia Drivers: PEBSWAC

For “Problem Exists Between Steering Wheel And Chair”, a variant on the popular tech support term. Just returned from HRPs errands, well reminded that Georgia has plenty ID10T errors on the road.

Coming up to a light in a neighboring town, I was closing the gap (~1/3m) between our stack and the cars just accelerating as the light turned from red to green—when some clown in a bronze Saturn zipped through the no-travel area between the lanes, passed at least one or two other cars (at the minimal) behind us, evaded the turn lane, and tried to cut me off right in traffic with waaay less than car length of space for him to move into. He ended up with his tail practically sticking into the left lane and no where to go, and he had to wait again because the light turned red by the time he got there, hahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!

He broke at least four or five laws that are on the state books let along proving moronic, all to cut ahead in line, just to have to wait for another light, some how I can take sick pleasure in that knowledge xD. If I had been moving at a typical GA drivers pace, my mothers tempo would be missing its side view mirror but when stopping in traffic, I tend to move a bit more cautiously: just in case the moron behind is paying more attention to her SMSing then break pedal.

For bonus points, less than ten minutes down the road, some moron was trailing so DIA, if I had farted you would have a stain on his windshield. Finally after almost five minutes, he zoomed past just as we hit the no passing zone. Sorry whoever it was but I am not going to drive at 85 mph (~136km/h) in a 45 mph (~72 km/h) zone, it would become one hell of a speeding ticket 8=). Cheers!

A short look at the big 3

Hmm, the idea of GM, Ford, and Chrysler go under? What can I say, but burn baby burn!!!

Chrysler is so bad, they’ve got a big flash-sign on there home page; Fords website is actually quite nice, I’m rather impressed; especially how they’ve the flash / non-flash parts; GM’s website I am not even going to comment on. Looking at there stock prices though, I’m glad I don’t own any stock in Ford lol.

I would hate to see a company like ford go under, because of their history; I wouldn’t mind seeing less fords on the road though >_>. I’m anxious to see what happens in the coming year. It’s an imense amount of jobs,

What a screamin’ and hollerin’ filled day, AGAIN!.

Let’s see, where do I start?

Stuck getting up for work, overslept and got bitched at..

When we’re about to leave for work, the battery is discharged.

So I end up walking the dogs, but Coco doesn’t get her turn because their is no time.

So Ma calls the place from yesterday to get someone out here with jumper cables for the car…

Then it’s a waiting for the road service, because the place from yesterday don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. And coco is whining because she didn’t get to go out.

The guy with the tow truck and jumper cables explains the battery problem is bacause the internal lights were stuck in the always on position -> BP or PAC, piss on you!

So we head to the normal family mechanic… Good guy, know him and his wife from church.

The alternator is still working (thankfully), so the battery charges and passes sanity checks when hooked up to a voltmeter. He also dismantled something on the engine and whatever he pushed had the same effect as putting the gas pedal flat on the deck,

Ma decides to get a new battery, since it was 3 years old… Which is roughly another $100 between battery / service / warranty / whatever.

I spend ~50% of my laptops own battery charge righting code.

5 minute down the road, the engines running worse then ever… return to mechanic, and guess what? I hose up top near the crankcase was cracked. As far as I can tell from google and his description, it was probably some kind of breather tube for a PCV system.

Son of a bitch, replacing that tube has fixed the cars chugging up and down the road, which has been driving Ma crazy, for what? Nearly 3+ years by now loool.

It is always the simple things in life that getcha !!! Be it a broken serpentine belt driving the alternator and power steering among other things, leaving a light on, just righting to the teletypewriter device, or replacing a stupid hose that helps regulate the amount of air / gases in the chamber to the right levels.

Get stuck going shopping, since we missed work, and I bloody hate grocery shopping !!!!!

I managed to leak the trooper by accident over instant messenger, and had to change it in a hurry, then report myself for stupidity.

To top it off, there is almost nothing on TV; just Keeping The Faith.

Scratch that, to make it even worse! I just ended up having to rub her royal majesties feet.

If tomorrow is like today, yesterday, or worse, I am really taking the weekend off doing shit for awhile loooooooooooool.

Bartender: Let me get this straight, I’m talking to a priest who went on a
bender, because his best friend; a rabbi, stole his girl.

Priest: Right

Bartender: I want to thank you for telling my this story.

Priest: Why?

Bartender: Because now I can retire.

Priest: You have to give me advice, that’s what this is supposed to be about.

Bartender: Oh GOD, what do I know? I half Punjabi Sikh, one quarter Tummel
separatist, my sister married a Jewish doctor from New Jersey, and our
other grandmother was an Irish nun; who left me this bar, which is a VERY
long story.

Priest: You’re a Sikh, Catholic, Muslim, with Jewish in-laws?

Bartender: Yes, yes, it is very complicated… I’m reading dynetics.

Priest: I don’t blame you.

Priest: I thank you for listening to me, I feel like I should ask you for my

Bartender: I don’t do penance, I do shots!

both: *snorts* Hahaha

*pours them both another shot*

Bartender: I tell you what I know

Bartender: May those who love us, love us. And those who don’t love us – may
GOD turn their hearts. And if HE cannot turn their hearts, may HE turn their
ankles, so that we may know them by their limping

Priest: *nods agreement*

What a day !!!

Woke up early, fairly good for a change, but still… 30min before I had to get dressed for work lol.

On the way out of the complex I thought I smelled something, noted it for comment if I still smelled it in a bit, thought it was just something in the terrain. Also heard an odd raddle, but hey… She’s a F.O.R.D.

About ~25 metre down the road, Ma is like “I can’t steer!” and said the AMP light was on the display; so I told her to pull over while their was still a place to pull over.

A quick thumb through the cars manual to make sure of what the bleeding heck the amp light might mean, aside from a low battery (that’s still got 2 years on the warrenty, and hopefully the specs to back it up) says to have the electrical system checked (real helpful). So I got out, popped the hood, and took a quick scan of things.

Sure enough a look at the alternator revealed a broken belt 🙁

I was just happy it’s the belt & tensioner instead of an electicral problem… That would be as good as totaled fincially, but getting the belt and the tensioner done is only ~$150 or so. Ma called the clients we were supposed to work for, and they came out and got us (their very good folk). I started work on the monster sized house myself, while Ma took care of getting the car towed.

Despite a very large work area, I actually made quite a not of headway… Expecting to have to complete everything but the mopping without aid.

Then Ma got in, and I had to brief her twice on what I had gotten done, to avoid her redoing it *grrr*. To be followed by a lot of interupts, hence a sudden drop in productivity… lol.

Got off work around 1630~1700, which is pretty late; usually we get done around 1500, but I only got to start solo around 1052~1058.

As usual, I skipped any concept of breakfast, but we got off late, so I skipped lunch — stopping for lunch takes to long. I’m somewhat like a camel really; little food & water, good imunity to temparure change, barely any rest, and still works like a dog… lol.

At least though, the volume of dinner made of for the lack of lunch xD

A a side effect of everything, since the car won’t be fixed until tomorrow, I’m off work… so it’s just a quetion of whether or not I’ll be both home and available to get stuff done.

Still, it does make me wish I knew more about cars. I know just enough to understand how they work, but not enough to fix them lol. Hmm… that reminds me of a family joke haha, about the person I’m named for. I was named after a close friend of my parants, who introduced them; but as the story goes. My Dad, who could rip an engine apart and put it back together again; called up my mom to explain that he wouldn’t be making it into town, because Terry took apart the Corvairs engine apart, and had parts left over xD

Someday, I think I’d love to take an engine apart (with the manual as he did), and find out if I’d have parts left over or do it right. If I did have parts left over or fouled it up, I could just imagine my father cursing a blue streak from beyond the grave… lol.