luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
Last Tuesday -- a week ago tomorrow -- Maugorn and I picked up the Honda Accord from the auction lot in southern Anne Arundel County, and then we had enough time left in the day that we took my 1996 Pontiac Sunfire to the salvage lot in Jessup. I hated to think of my beloved automotive partner of 20.5 years going to "the junkyard," but I need the cash more than the tax deduction (because I may not have enough other deductions to itemize, anyway).

Fortunately, we could get to the salvage lot via U.S. Route 1 instead of limited-access highways. Maug followed me the whole way, in case the bent frame collapsed or something. (I was in a then-SO's 1974 Dodge Dart when the frame broke. He was driving about 5 mph in a parking lot when there was a sudden "bang" like a gunshot and the entire car started to shake like gelatin. So, yeah, I didn't want that to happen to me on this final trip.)

The day was mild and sunny. My Pontiac's engine worked perfectly well, even if there was a lot of noise from the exhaust leak. However, it didn't feel like a dying vehicle. I listened to the all-news station, WTOP, which was just breaking the news of Carrie Fisher's death.

At the salvage yard, the sun shone heartbreakingly brightly through the open sunroof:

IMG_6162 Last view through the sunroof!

Maugie took a photo of my last embrace:

IMG_6170 Maug took this photo of my hugging the Sunfire for the last time.

Final odometer reading: 197,570.

Shortly after leaving the yard, I asked Maug: "Why does this feel as if I just left a beloved family pet at a high-kill animal shelter?" And then the tears came. Well done, good and faithful servant.

Anyhow ... I took the Accord to the local friendly garage for mandatory Maryland inspection. It needs a new muffler and front pipe, plus an upper ball joint on the left front side. Not too bad for a 1993 vehicle. Despite the car's age, several of my Facebook friends have assured me that I made a good choice, with one guy saying that the early-1990s Accords are among the best cars Honda has ever made.

Normally I just call my cars "Baby," but this Accord is going to be known as Draco, as in Draco Malfoy, because R. will take one look at my Accord and exclaim, "SLYTHERIN!!"

IMG_6173

R. owns a champagne-colored 1993 Honda Accord himself -- he bought it brand-new from a dealer and takes meticulous care of it. For whatever reason, though, he hasn't asked me about my car situation since I got the Accord. And he and I went to the Wizards game together on Friday (it was his company's employee outing, so it was all free of charge to me). When I do finally tell him about it, he'll get quite the surprise....
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Star Wars Against Hate)
Quiet night at home. The Accord is in my possession; the Pontiac is gone; I'm watching the annual silliness on CNN. Times Square is blinding, there are so many LEDs. Yay optics.

The highlight of this year was the Lithuanian folk dance festival, Sokiu Svente 2016. Google it if you are curious.

I am extremely pessimistic about the future of America.
luscious_purple: Ganked from many people (damn not given)
Everybody, it seems, is saying how terrible 2016 has been because of all the deaths of celebrities. Well, I personally know a fair number of people who have lost loved ones this year. Two friends lost their spouses within a week of each other. One of the bereaved friends was the only bride for whom I was a bridesmaid (most of my good friends either are perpetual singles or were already married when I met them). Also, I know two friends who lost adult children this year -- cruelest of all -- and then other people are fighting major health stuff, like cancer and complications from detached retinas.

Yeah, the happy glow from the big Lithuanian dance festival of midyear has kind of worn off, in no small part due to the Giant Lying Russian Stooge.

Oh, yeah, I am not going to Massachusetts for Christmas this year due to the ongoing car issue. I have paid for a very cheap 1993 Honda Accord, though I am still waiting for the thing to pass inspection so that I can drive it. I went cheap because I am borrowing money from friends in order to buy it. I hope I can get a year or two out of it.

Dammit, I am SO SICK and FUCKING TIRED of this "gig economy" shit and this "get the baby boomers out of the workforce" mentality. Unlike the Trumpkins, I am NOT mad at the government. The government actually has LAWS against age discrimination and against trying to claim workers as independent contractors when they should be employees. The former is just damned hard to prove/enforce and the latter is hard to track down.
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
On Monday, September 5, I marched in my town's Labor Day parade with my local Toastmasters club. While we were lining up to get ready for the parade, I took some photos that I thought might be of interest to CZ.

First, a couple of images of a plug-in BMW:

IMG_5335 Electric BMW in the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade 2016 IMG_5334 Electric BMW in the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade 2016

THEN ... I saw a car that looked an awful lot like the orange Porsche that CZ used to own back in the 2000s:

IMG_5336 Solar-powered Porsche at the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, 2016

Note the solar panels -- I sincerely doubt that these were factory-installed in 1974 or whenever the car was built!

IMG_5337 Solar-powered Porsche at the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, 2016
IMG_5339 Solar-powered Porsche at the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, 2016

I even photographed the dashboard for clues to the retrofit:

IMG_5338 Solar-powered Porsche at the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, 2016

Lots of other cool things. I really need to update my Flickr site.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
Happy Purchase Anniversary to You!
Happy Purchase Anniversary to You!
Happy 15th Anniversary, Patty's Pretty Purple Pontiac!
Happy Purchase Anniversary to You!


It was 15 years ago today that I sent my 1985 Mercury Marquis Brougham off to retirement and purchased my then-brand-new Sunfire. I had looked at the Dodge Neon, but I didn't like driving it as much as the Sunfire. (In fact, the second Neon I test-drove had really loose steering -- I thought something was wrong with it.) I had a $400 credit coming to me from GM because I was still a grad student, even though I had a full-time job by then, so I used the money to pick out a car that already had a $400 after-market sunroof installed -- and just happened to have an exterior paint job called Deep Purple Metallic. While I was inside signing all the paperwork, the detailers cleaned it up and put a little gold stripe down the side.

I remember driving it to the neighborhood where I now live because one woman at my church (then the DRE) was throwing a baby shower for the woman who later became our DRE (and is now the DRE of the Columbia UU church). I got there late and announced that I had just bought a new car, and my friends wanted to go out and see it and ooh and ahh.

Now, 15 years later and 10 years after I paid off the car loan, the Sunfire has a few dings and needs some minor maintenance, but it still gets me from point A to point B. Today, when the boy toy and I were on our way home from the Amish market in Laurel, I took him down Route 450 in New Carrollton, past the old Disclave hotel, to show him where I met my purple baby. Darcars bought out the old Bob Banning dealership (where a friend of my then-housemates worked -- that's why I bought the car there), but the building still stands.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
Yesterday was the annual church auction. I didn't want to spend too much, of course, but I did manage to snag this Magellan GPS unit for a mere $45! Woo-hoo!

Of course, I'm not going to keep it in the car for everyday use, because that's an invitation to get my window smashed in and the GPS stolen. However, when I know I'm going to venture into unfamiliar territory (such as many of the non-Storvik SCA events I attend), it will be nice to have that little extra voice telling me where to go. Even on the familiar routes like my annual trips to Massachusetts, I will be happy to be routed around traffic jams, or to be advised of nearby eateries other than the ones advertised near the exit signs.

I suppose the GPS wouldn't have helped me earlier yesterday afternoon, though, when I went to my ex-boss's house in Springfield, VA, for a brunch to celebrate her 40th birthday. (I know at least three people who were born in November 1970; she's one of them.) Apparently Fairfax County is building/rerouting roads and renaming others in that neck of the woods, and GPS services and Google Maps haven't caught up yet, according to the chatter at the party. I went about five miles out of my way after getting off I-95 and had to call the ex-boss's husband for updated directions. Ah, well, I got there eventually.

Anyhow, I'll probably call the GPS unit "Lady Magellan," given that it will largely be taking me to SCA events. :-)

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