google sent me an ill fitting t-shirt

summer river

But who cares, it’s summertime! Haven’t heard back from my editor but I’m sure things are fine. Was laying low because of the heat wave but managed to go to the local 4th of July parade, do some mucking about in the local woods, saw friends near and far, watched a soccer game and got a new-to-me car. It is ALSO a green Subaru AWD wagon but there are several important differences between it and the current machine. The new car has 100K fewer miles. Is a Forrester not a Legacy. And also has: cup holder, power windows, a cigarette lighter (without the lighter part, but with the power part) and air conditioning. Every time I drove between here and MA and was sweaty and forever cranking down the windows at the tool booths and watching my phone battery drain to zero I’d think “There has to be a better way” and yet was waiting for an opportunity to drop into my lap.

And, on the 2nd of July, it did. A woman who lives up the road, whose husband had passed away a few years ago, decided to get rid of the car she never drove. And, instead of doing my general heel-dragging, I got right on it. Called. Made a test drive appointment. Said “I’ll take it.” Took it. It’s nice.

This also means that there is a rusty sweaty old Subaru with roll-up windows for sale, cheap [think three figures]. Comes with a free Google Maps t-shirt.

so long wolf subaru

so long wolf-u-boat

So I haven’t been around much because I’ve been guest-blogging over at BoingBoing this week. I’m going to Florida tomorrow to give a talk and have a little beachside R&R. Looking forward to that and it’s been fun blogging on a big site, however briefly. But this is a story that is a pretty straight forward personal blog story. I’m sort of half looking for a new car. I love my car. What I really would like is a car exactly like my car but maybe a few years newer (less rust) and with a few extra features: working AC, power windows, a real cup holder and a power jack. I found the car of my dreams for sale up the street. Or I thought I did.

I have this terrible problem shopping. I have predictable buyer’s remorse. I get over it usually, but I always spend a few days hating whatever my most recent purchase was. So, I treat big purchases carefully. I am like The Kid in this Gahan Wilson cartoon which has become a metaphor for eveything I have ever bought. So, there was this car for sale. I took it for a test drive. It was lovely. I work at a school with an auto shop and they will look over a potential car for free. Nice deal.

I brought the car over today and dropped it off. Thirty minutes later I stopped by as the students were taking the car down from the jack. The shop teacher said “Hey… let me show you a few things.” And it turned out that the car had a Check Engine light that was supposed to be on, but was actually missing. And a muffler repair that even I could see was sketchy. And a few things that were supposed to be connected that weren’t. He said that when he called [someone?] to ask about the Check Engine light, they said that he was supposed to call the DMV and report the seller. He left it to me to let the guy know that — even in a world of plausible deniability where he didn’t know the Check Engine bulb was gone — he’d be liable if someone figured it all out. The shop teacher thanked me for being such a good example of “Why you need to get a car checked out before you buy it.” The students got to feel all smart and helpful.

I dropped the car off at the seller’s house (he just let me take it to the mechanic and he went to work) and went back to work myself. I’m pretty sure I need to call him back. Still looking for a car with power windows, but my car’s looking pretty good right now.