Merry Christmas - part II

We went car shopping this weekend. Actually we went on some errands and ended up spending the majority of the day car shopping. I think My Wife has settled on something The Kept Woman described as boring and lame. We found several models with all the options for a good price and we'll probably buy one. I test drove several things for myself. I have to admit, I like the hemi Dodge Ram quad cab, but 11 mpg is hard to swallow. If I'm going to get 11 mpg then I'm buying the 2003 Mustang Cobra that they had for the same price.

The big problem with the Cobra was that it is all set up to race. That's great while you're racing, but not so nice to drive to and from work. The seat is designed to hug you like a hooker, so getting in and out of the car is an ordeal and once you're in, by God, you're not moving. But it sure is purty! Even the engine was shiny aluminum and cleaner than Britney's missing panties. I know I'd get a lot of tickets if I bought that thing. It's loud and fast and makes a nice healthy rumble. I'll be thinking about it for awhile, but it's really not quite what I need. Well, not unless I was selling my '70 Chevelle anyway.

Someone set something big on fire deep in the heart of Memphis while we were out doing errands. There was a pillar of smoke rising high up into the sky and then blowing across the city. At first it looked like mountains, which gave me a nice feeling because it reminded me of home. But once I remembered that Memphis doesn't have any mountains I began to study it more closely. Black smoke mixed with white smoke. What the hell? It must have been a HUGE fire. I never heard what it was, but it apparently took them all day to put it out.

The car salesman we talked to was a car nut. He was 5'2" and heavily into Fords. He said he's built several hotrod Mustangs and off-road 4x4s that he races. I asked him about all the trouble I've had finding decent mechanics to do some custom work on my Chevelle and my Monte Carlo. "Memphis is not a car town," he said. "It took me awhile to figure that out, but it's true. Everyone here has to do it all themselves 'cause there is no one in this area qualified or interested in doing that kind of work. It takes too much intelligence."

That's what I had suspected, but I was hoping someone out there had discovered the secret hidden cache of decent custom shops around here. I've got the money to spend, but not the garage space to do it myself. There is only so much you can do in your driveway and I've got too much else to work on inside the house. Damn this city!

The weekend was not fun. My battery finally died and I had to replace it. The house is a disaster and the tile guy who was supposed to come and give us estimates on doing the bathrooms blew us off on Friday, not answering his phone or ever calling to give an explanation. We've got other work that needs doing and we're getting sick of trying to hire anyone in Memphis to help with any of it. I talked to a woman in Sunday School who does major remodeling. She said her husband is mostly only doing large hotels and commercial buildings and she is doing the houses, but she is all booked up for months. She also said most of her contractors prefer to only work on new construction or very large houses and don't bother with regular homes. My Wife mentioned having to call halfway through the phone book to get a plumber that actually comes to exisiting homes and does regular plumbing type work. Most of them just want to install new pipes in homes under construction and gladly say so when you call them. Yeeha.

There is a good chance that by the time I leave this city I will be qualified to build my own home, electrical, plumbing and all. And then I'll get started on my Monte Carlo, which is in need of a good performance suspension, and twin turbos with a nice, big intercooler. Hey, if I'm stuck doing everything myself then I'm spending the money I saved on something fun. The Chevelle could use the same suspension mods and a nice new overdrive transmission to help raise my gas mileage a little bit.

Anyway, the day has just started and already I've got emails about system errors, one of which is NOT an error as the user would know if he had bothered to read it instead of just slapping it down on my desk. This looks to be another typical Monday. Hopefully the rain will hold off until after lunch so I can run and possibly blow off some steam.
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