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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sheet Metal Drama

Since this city doesn't believe in a viable public transportation system the ability to have a reliable car to transport my sorry butt around is critically important. What was a one time occurrence of the Mighty Green Ranger not wanting to start unless I push started/popped the clutch has occurred multiple times now. It occurred in the airport parking garage after I saw someone off. It occurred New Years Eve in a Target parking lot. (I would like to thank the kind gentleman who offered to push and I scorn the two ladies going to the Church Van who pretended I didn't exist. The people involved in the potential drug deal I can live with them not helping me out.) After the second time in the shop it occurred 5 hours after getting a clean bill of health. (Mush Whumpa mush!)

My normally emotionally restrained facade let loose after Whumpa pushed the MGR to start up. I'm kicking a tire as I shout the F-bomb 20 or 30 times.

Whumpa: Tell me Brian how do you really feel?
Me (kicking tire again and dropping more F-bombs): When the Ranger finally dies I was going to light a huge bonfire to send it off to Valhalla. Now I'm tempted to just push the damn thing into a river and be done with it. Whumpa: You're right this is not the behavior of a warrior.

Now it is at a Ford dealership to see if they can figure out the mysterious intermittent starting problem. Where is Dr.
House when you need him? Assuming I can get a job this year and not end up as a pizza delivery driver I hoped to not replace the MGR this year. I wanted to direct the paycheck to items I considered more important. This may no longer be a possibility. On the other hand I could still get a motorcycle and baby the MGR along for a year. The bike I want is only $7,000 and gets over 50 miles per gallon. The fact such an efficient form of transportation happens to be fun and women dig bikes are just fringe benefits.

The fact that is is Auto Show Season fires up my lust for new hardware. I attended the auto show in town after Christmas. Though Indy is a smaller, less important show it is what we have. The new Ford Fusions are surprisingly good. The top level SEL versions have a piano black interior finish that is amazing. Sadly Ford hasn't introduced a V6/manual tranny version yet. Also it is very difficult to find a 4 cylinder Fusion with a manual that isn't a stripped S version. Ford, like most manufacturers, assume that if you're wanting a stick shift you're just wanting to save money. The concept that someone would prefer to drive a stick is beyond most marketers. A top of the line 4 cylinder SEL version with a manual hardly exists; however, I know at least ONE exists. Stupid marketing types never show love to the enthusiasts like me. If you're in the market for a mid-sized sedan the Fusion offers something competitive with Accord/Camry/Sonata/6/Altima finally so give it a look and test drive.

I hoped to visit the Detroit Auto show (formally the North America International Auto Show) within the next 2 weeks. A few people expressed interest in going, but no firm plans have materialized. Though the concept cars are always cool I'm more interested in crawling through a compact hatchback of the soon to be introduced
Dodge Caliber. Right now I say the best compact car under $20,000 is the Mazda 3. Thanks to an auto show I can crawl through both within a few minutes and really compare them. Yesterday I decided the Chicago Auto Show in February might be better to visit. It is half the distance and I have plenty of friends in the Chicago area I can stay with for an overnight visit. Besides it would be cool to go through an IKEA again.

Oh well I'm simply posting to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. I've just been a bit busy lately and didn't feel like blogging much. Too much I wish to talk about yet too little time. Have fun.

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