Farewell, Grand Viagra!

It’s been a great run, but this week I decided to retire my little white putt-putt– my 1999 Suzuki Grand Vitara, lovingly known as the “Grand Viagra.”

I got the Grand Viagra in 2006, shortly after my dad died.  My old car took a dump and became scrap shortly after his funeral.  When my cousin’s grandma died later that year (my long-time readers — all 2 of you — will recall that 2006 was a terrible year for my family), I had to rent a car to come home for the funeral.

I bought the car from my co-worker, and it was in really great shape when I got it.  But I am tough on cars, and this one is no exception.  The fact that it had a manual transmission probably didn’t help matters.  I can ride a clutch like nobody’s business, and I wrecked two on this car.  Maybe I never learned how to drive a manual correctly– but two clutches in the span of 5 years is a lot– and a lot of money.

Still, the little Grand Viagra was a great car.  I loved that it was a mini-SUV– mini enough that it could fit into tight parking spots that you would never have thought it would fit into.  It transported tons of camping equipment and even my bike a few times; and I don’t know what I would have done without it when I moved last year.

But time took its toll, and earlier this year I did a bunch of major repairs that probably cost more than the car was worth.  Last week, the final nail was tapped– the “Service Engine Soon” light came. on.  The damage was somewhere in the $800-900 range.  I decided that it was time to retire the girl.

I’ll still have the car until I find something new, so I can use it– for what it’s worth– as some sort of trade-in.  So tonight after work and the gym, I will pick up the tired old girl, drop a few gallons of gas in her tank, and drive her home, where she will sit and wait for the day when I either decide to trade her in or sell her off; only being moved for street cleaning and to avoid tickets for being abandoned (they do that here in Chi-Town, you know).

In the meantime, I’m a total public transportation guy.  Which is probably a good thing.  I needed to start being smarter about that anyway.

Snowy car

My car in a huge hole!

Autumn street

What's Bugging Rick? (Episode #483)

1. I really like my new blog template, but I hate all that crud at the bottom.  And I don’t like that it just says “Comments” where you click to go to the comments page.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to (easily) fix this?

2. My allergies have been THROUGH THE ROOF this last week, and even though drugs are helping (yay drugs!), I still feel like my head is full of cotton or poly-fill or some other crud that doesn’t belong there.  Is there ANY time during the year where allergies are not a problem (besides the dead of winter?)  Just being rhetorical here… unless, of course, you have some magic solution.

3. I just bought a new 22″ flat screen monitor that I LOVE but now I have three… count ’em… THREE monitors hanging around my apartment: The new one and two 17″ CRTs.  Anyone need a monitor?
I bought a new mop a couple weeks ago that featured a “convenient” telescoping handle for “easy storage.”  I can’t get the goddamned thing extended.  And I was desperate for a mop, so I used it anyway.  The kicker: It cost me $15 for the stupid thing.  Now I’m stuck with a mop fit for a little person.  Any little people out there that need a mop?

4. My air conditioning is out on my car (and has been for the last year and a half), and now the brakes are going.  It just doesn’t pay to have a car.  It costs.  Lots.

5. Barack Obama made his VP choice and the media has leaked the news… before I got my text message.  (His website now shows Biden.  I guess it’s official now.) And instead of more people jumping on the bandwagon, all I see in news comments and other reports are more bitter Hillary supporters saying they are voting for McCain.  What the hell is wrong with these people?  I just don’t understand their supposed logic.

*UPDATE* 4:00a.m. – I finally got my text message.

6. On the other hand, I am fully in support of Obama and will vote for him in November, but the man has got to grow a pair and fast.  I’m tired of his silence in the press.  Lately it seems that all he does is defend himself against McCain’s attacks.  It’s time for Obama to start attacking.  Change, schmange.  It’s MAKE IT WORK time.

And that’s all for this week’s installment of “What’s Bugging Rick?”  Have a great weekend!