Selling a Car, Other Stuff


Can somebody tell me why every one with a .ru web address is a spammer?  Sort of a mirroricity thing to the observation about the ‘religion’ of terrorists.

Selling a Car

Saturday afternoon we sold Caution-Lady’s white 1993 Volvo 940 turbo sedan.  We’d had the car since 2002, at which time I was working as an underpaid reporter for perhaps the sorriest publication in the American Southeast.  When we set out shopping, Caution-Lady said, “I don’t want a white car – I don’t like white cars.”

Our shopping budget was $4,000.00, but we wound up paying about $6,000.00 which included tax, registration, and so forth.  The expense stretched our household finances, but we managed it.  When purchased, the car had 107,000 miles on the odometer – the standard break-in period for a 4-cylinder redblock Volvo engine and drive-train.   My wife absolutely loved the car.  I didn’t drive it much, but every time I got behind its wheel and drove it to the gas station, the mechanic’s garage, or on family trips, I found myself thinking, “This is a great car….I’m glad we spent the money to buy it.”

Well, if you’ve got even the sense to say and spell your name, you ought to know that the purchase of a car for daily driving is an expense and not an investment.  It typically loses value over time unless some disaster of biblical proportions destroys all the other cars of that model year, or unless that same thing happens over a very long period of time, or unless some half-witted administration in Washington implements a “Cash-for-Clunkers” program that removes a large number of good used cars from the marketplace.

The white car’s original bill of sale (found among its Volvo issued set of ownership publications in the glove compartment) listed a sale price when new as, if I recall this correctly, $22,9xx.xx.  In 1993 dollars.  I think Cadillac sedans were selling for about that at the time.  I believe that year I was driving a 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel coupe and grateful to have it.  Our selling price for the car about 17 years later was $1,500.00 – a reasonable mid-range price based upon the car’s condition, mileage (158,000) clean Carfax, and a look at Kelley Blue Book, Edwards, and NADA valuations for that model car in clean condition.

My wife is a teacher, and in 2002 taught in her class the boy who, with his family, bought the car yesterday.  Although she said she felt sadness about the car’s sale, she said the fact that it had gone to a good home that would care for it made the loss more bearable.

Last week, we’d had it out to the garage to get a sun-visor replaced, driver’s side carpet replaced (it was torn-up when we bought the car and we never seriously thought about having the problem corrected), and a new fuel-pump relay (a known weak spot for these cars – we’d had a new one a few years ago, but they typically don’t hold up well in the southern heat of Middle Tennessee).  The weekend previously, I’d fueled and washed the car, vacuumed it out, dusted all the dust-gathering surfaces, cleaned the door-jambs, cleaned the wheels, dressed the tires.   Even after a week in the mechanic’s yard, the 940T looked good.  I felt a sense of loss as I drove the car back to our house thinking it might be for the last time.  I thought, “This is a great car.”

Feats of Comparative Urination

It may surprise some of you to know that I correspond with three or four groups of people on the Internet.  I used to find some pleasure (because a lot of people are dolts who will not apply their minds to issues) arguing about stuff like theology, the feminization of what I think of as a variety of small “c” cultural christianity that passes for the church in North America, comfortable and country-club orientation of much of that classification, and so forth.  While I still like exchanging ideas about boats, cars, garden tractors, theology, and culture, I’m a lot less het-up about issues of ultimate and eternal significance.  Probably I’ve already said everything I have to say about most of it, and I recognize I have a lot still to learn.

So at one of these online communities (and I’ve personally met a number of these folks and genuinely like them), when discussions devolve into arguments, I have lately refrained from commenting.  I do want to make clear, however, the following:

  1. I don’t believe God’s will includes my submitting to some kind of transformative experience that ends in my having developed what the character Mark on Ugly Betty might refer to as spiritual “lady parts.”
  2. While I agree with most of what Viola and the pollster (whose influence clearly kept Viola honest vis-a-vis their co-authored book) had to say in Pagan Christianity, I don’t think organic church requires the purchase of any more of Viola’s books or attending his conferences, or developing spiritual “lady parts.”
  3. One of the most annoying heresies is the notion that one can effectively forgive oneself.


I saw these photos juxtaposed on the Drudge Report this afternoon and spontaneously quipped, “Putin’s cool, Obama’s a tool.”

Obama v. Putin

Putin's cool, Obama's a tool

Just trying to keep it classy here, people….

Montgomery Bell State Park and Inn


Last week I spent a few days at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee, as part of an employment-related “training” activity.  Seen above is the view from the smaller of the park’s two lakes (17 and 50 acres, respectively).  While I wasn’t thrilled about having to be away without my family, the stay was not altogether unpleasant.

Certainly the inn, itself, was staffed by friendly, helpful employees.  The lobby and conference-room floor has a strong wireless Internet signal.  My room on the third floor had a signal of adequate strength for web-surfing and watching a movie on Netflix.  The room was clean and had a coffee-machine, an iron and ironing board (which you can bet I didn’t use), and a hair-dryer (which I likewise didn’t use – I got no puff-cut).  The inn’s buffet had a limited but good selection of fresh fruit and salad greens, cooked vegetables, in addition to fried fare.  For breakfast daily, I ate fruit, cottage-cheese, yogurt, and a bowl of oatmeal served pretty much the way I eat it at home – with cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins.

Did I mention the canoes?  Canoe rental (17’ Osage aluminum) is a mere $3.50/hour.  Hot day after the work activity on Thursday, but I took the opportunity to paddle the lake’s perimeter.  Those of my peers who also took to the water did so on pedal boats and some complained afterward of back and knee pain.


Ruby Red ‘04 XC70

Friday night the auto-transporter rolled in to Stepford around 11:30 pm.  I met him at a Gypsy-owned Italian restaurant near that end of town’s first controlled intersection.  Demeanor very pleasant, the transporter worked deliberately and methodically to arrange unload and rearrange his truck before we drove my 850 and the XC70 out to the house.  The tractor trailer rig would doubtless have snagged trees and power-lines during the approach to our modest home in Plantation Estates.  I gave the transporter a ride back to his rig, he mentioned that his daughter, who plays for a traveling softball team, had a game Saturday in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  I hope the girl won and that her dad gets some rest today.

Here are a few photos of the new car.  A couple taken while the car was still on the trailer.  One of what appears to be a Crown Victoria held aloft and hanging slightly off the rear of the trailer’s upper deck.  The driveway photos were taken after I took the car for fuel and a wash.  I’m experimenting with tables again to insert photos.  My attempt with the previous blog post was unsuccessful in that on a computer without a wide-screen, the right-most column of photos and text is not clearly visible, although those cells may be viewed by tabbing to them.









Another Duck River Expedition Above Normandy Lake

Lunch Stop

This is the place I stopped for lunch upstream the first bridge above the Fire Lake boat ramp. At 9:37 am, I was already hungry.

Pionier 450 s Bow

Already out of the boat, it occurred to me this was a convenient place to take some photos of the Pionier on the water. I had just walked the boat up past that branch across the stream in the background.


Front left three-quarter view Pionier 450 S


Pionier 450 S right rear three quarter view


Pionier 450 S seen from astern


Photo of the Pionier's back deck with logo. After I took this picture, I pushed the boat in to deeper water and practiced cowboy re-entry. Worked okay, but deck rigging would be nice for holding the paddle.


Here's what that pool looked like where I took the boat pictures. At far right frame you can see where I walked the boat up through and over that fallen wood.


Paddling up past that first pool. A lot of fish up there visible under the clear green water. They didn't take much notice of me in the kayak. My guess is, the area's not been fished much.


Here I'm standing upstream that discarded tire and looking back. This is as far as I got because the water for the next stretch was only about ankle deep. I didn't see much point in dragging the kayak a quarter mile over slimy rocky bottom. Walking the boat back down to where I could again paddle, I slipped and fell in a couple of times.


Paddling back to the pool pictured earlier.


Here I am paddling back just below that pool where I took all those boat pictures. At left is the gravely bank holding the pool in. Ahead is the fallen tree I had to paddle under on my way upstream. The only passage is at far right.


I'd never before seen that flaky-looking bark on the fallen tree. A little farther right was enough space to paddle under and enough water to paddle over the fallen tree's trunk and branches.


This stretch I referred to in 2008 as Duck River Stairs. I was not able to paddle up this far, and photographed the rock upon which I sat to eat my lunch on that drizzly June day.


It was easy to see at the time, but it doesn't show up well here - I was trying to photograph what looked like a pile of water I was pushing downstream ahead of me.


At this point, too far upstream and too shallow for any bassboaters or jet-skiers, the still water was marked with a lot of white feathers.


I stopped here at an isthmus not far from the boat ramp in mid-afternoon because I badly needed to stretch my back. Here's where I ate what was left of my lunch - trail mix, a few pretzl sticks, and drank some water and way-past-expiration-date Gatorade. This could have been a cool photo, but I spoiled it by leaving my hat on the foredeck.

Back in June of 2008, on a drizzly day, I put in at Fire Lake boat ramp on Normandy Lake and paddled as far upstream the Duck as I could get.  I made it to point where Cat Creek joins the Duck, but beyond that, the river extended uphill in a sort of shallow spillway like a set of broad steps curving away to my right.  I dragged Campsis Radicans, my Pouch E68, up to a flat rock large enough to serve as bench and lunch table.  That post is here.

In this post, I am experimenting with use of a table to organize my photos.  Seems to be working okay.

On Sunday 8/8/10, I skipped worship service and went paddling.  A hot day with a heat index of about a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, I paddled about 14 miles in Ga-Gong or Gongol (my son’s word for “water”) my 1962 Pionier 450-S.  Great boat.  However, its aging hullskin is not as abrasion resistant as it perhaps once was.  The keelstrip I affixed has helped some, but I’m going to have to refrain from taking this boat on any more shallow, rocky expeditions.

That’s it for today.


Also at the isthmus was this day camp. Instead of being inhabited by sireens, it was the work of a couple of fishermen who reminded me slightly of a pair of assassins from an old James Bond film, but were pleasant enough to talk to.

A Car for the Cautious One

2004XC702004 Volvo XC70 – Photo by seller, JRL

Last week I talked about test-driving a 2001 Volvo XC70 and liking pretty much everything about it.  After more searching, I found a 2004 Cross Country advertised for sale, but immediately dismissed because of its price.  My almost obsessive research convinced me that the 2004 would better meet our family-car needs.  We’re not crazy about the color, but hey, it could be worse, right?  It could be “Blackberry” which used to be Volvo code for “Purple.”  I much prefer silver or gold – probably because there is an Old Testament verse wherein God says, “The silver and gold are Mine,” whereas scarlet is the color used to describe sin.

I’m feeling a little sick about spending so much money for a motor vehicle of any sort.

Yesterday afternoon, Seventy-Six and I washed Thursday, the 1997 standard transmission 850 that my mechanic’s garage rebuilt for me from a wreck in the body-shop yard.  What I mean to say is that I washed the car while my two year old son dumped water from his bucket on to the driveway and tried to replenish it, one spongeful of soapy water from my bucket at a time.  He was much more helpful when it was time to clean the wheels because he found the wheel-brushes novel.  The washing down the car with his yellow sponge is already not interesting enough.

After car-washing, Seventy-Six got to play in his inflatable pool and we kicked the orange ball around the yard for a long time.  In the evening the little guy spent his energies testing the limits of parental authority.  I hope he was comforted by the fact that when he sought boundaries he found them.