Routine Maintenance

Regular readers will know that I’m a schoolteacher, and as such I enjoy multiple, almost random days off, sprinkled generously throughout the academic year (not to mention the three best reasons to teach:  June, July, and August).  We enjoyed one such break this past weekend—a glorious, four-day weekend dubbed “Winter Break,” in honor (no doubt) of Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, all rolled into one big excuse to stay home.

It was, by all accounts, a meteorologically dreary weekend, with rain that started sometime Friday and lasting through the duration, but it was nevertheless enjoyable.  I took in my first movie in the theaters in months, and managed to get a number of miscellaneous items completed (as I’ve always got some side hustles going, I was able to dedicate some time to them, though I still need to work on editing my collection of Inspector Gerard stories).

Besides seeing friends and loved ones, though, I try to use these days to take care of routine maintenance—on the house, on my cars, whatever the case might be.  Lately I’ve been borderline fanatical about organization, particularly keeping my desk at home tidy, various writing utensils and calendars at the ready when needed.

This weekend, though, I dedicated several hours to reviving my long lost love:  my busted up 2006 Dodge Caravan.

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Feel-Good Friday: Extreme Generosity

Amid the myriad newsletters and e-mail lists that I promptly delete from my inbox everyday, I stumbled upon this wholesome story, one that evaded swift deletion and digital oblivion.  A seventeen-year old Chick-fil-A employee won a car in a company Christmas raffle, and promptly gave it to her nineteen-year old coworker.  The coworker had to bike to work every day, adding several hours to her daily workday (though no doubt keeping her in excellent shape).

It’s a life-changing act of generosity, and the kind of thing that always seems to be attached to Chick-fil-A.  It’s amazing how an overtly Christian establishment with a strong commitment to quality and good treatment breeds more of the same.  I needn’t list the many examples of Chick-fil-A employees doing good things—we’ve all heard dozens of such stories already.

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Birth(day), Death, and Taxes

“Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes,” the old saying goes.  But we are also born, those of us fortunate enough not to fall prey to the abortion industry.  Today marks my thirty-fifth birthday.  I celebrated by paying $162.57 in vehicle property taxes to Darlington County, South Carolina.

Yesterday, I purchased a new vehicle, my first new car in thirteen-and-a-half years, and only the third I’ve ever owned.  It’s a 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV.  The other two were a 1988 Buick Park Avenue Electra, which I bought from my older brother for $800, after my grandparents gave it to him one year, and a 2006 Dodge Caravan, which those same grandparents gave to me as a college graduation gift (after the Buick was totaled when a lady ran a yield sign and smashed into me).

The Buick is long gone, but I kept the Dodge.  I figure it’s worth more to me as stuff-hauler than I would have gotten in trade-in value.  Of course, that means maintaining insurance on both vehicles, and paying taxes on each.

Well, I awoke today to the news that our military assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleiman last night.  When I first read that Soleiman was “assassinated,” I was picturing a fate similar to the death of the “austere religious scholar,” the ISIS guy, al-Baghdadi: covert operatives swooping in under cover of darkness, swiftly and surely relieving the general of his life.

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Cybertruck

Last week, troubled electric automaker Tesla announced Elon Musk’s latest brainchild, the Cybertruck.  The Cybertruck—the name of which I am sure is meant to evoke the dystopian sci-fi genre cyperpunk—features a rolled steel and titanium exoskeleton that looks like a Nintendo 64 polygonal rendering of an automobile.

It’s unorthodox design aside, I honestly can’t make up my mind on whether or not I like this vehicle.  Last week I lamented the new electric Mustang, not because it is electric, but because it’s a hatchback.  The title of that piece was “New Mustang is a Sign of the Times,” and my point was that everything awesome seems to be deteriorating.

Does the Tesla Cybertruck fit that trend?  Is it a horrible monstrosity?  Or is it a daringly original vehicle?

I’m not sure.

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New Mustang is a Sign of the Times

Before diving into today’s post, I’d like to give a YUGE “thank you” to Nebraska Energy Observer for reblogging yesterday’s postHis commentary on my post and Leslie Alexander’s moving personal essay adds greatly to the discussion of modern alienation, and gives me some encouragement in these dark days.

Everything awesome goes to crap.  That’s the thought I had yesterday when reading fridrix’s brief post lamenting the new electronic Ford Mustang, the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Electric cars are fine, although environuts shouldn’t delude themselves that driving these battery-powered vehicles are saving the environment (it’s pedantic to point out, but batteries require a great deal of mining to get the metals necessary to build them, and the electricity to charge them comes from coal-, oil-, and nuclear-power, so it’s not like you’re truly making an end-run around fossil fuels).  But a Ford Mustang shouldn’t be an  electric car; at least, it shouldn’t be one that looks like this iteration.

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