Rest day

Time to exercise something other than my fingers on a keyboard.

Time to exercise something other than my fingers on a keyboard.

Whew. Some folks hate Mondays, but I’m telling you, any day I don’t have some undone chore leering over my shoulder is a very good day indeed.

Those of you who have actual jobs (my condolences) with regular days off (you sonsabitches) may not appreciate how sweet it feels for a freelancer to have a 24-hour period during which absolutely nothing of financial consequence needs doing. It’s like finding a Benjamin in your jeans while doing the laundry, pulling a goathead from a tire to find it still holds air, or hearing a lawyer say, “No charge.”

In a word: Fantastic.

Oh, there are a few items that will require a smidgen of my attention:

• I should hear from Voler today about the online store through which our fondest dreams are to be realized (yours, a new Fat Guy jersey; mine, obscene, unheard of and uncountable wealth).

• The Boo remains in recovery from dental work, and the meds are disrupting his regularity (I fear for our brick floors).

• And we’re still a one-car family, so I snoop around now and again to see if there’s anything out there that’s worth the trip to a car lot for one of those conversations (“Mr. O’Grady, what will it take to get you into this fine pre-owned automobile? Just let me talk to my manager. …”).

But mostly I plan to ride the bike. Blue skies, smiling at me … nothing but blue skies do I see.

Editor’s note: Looks like “Bloom County” is coming back. Getting better all the time. …

Editor’s note the second: Himself speaks with The New York Times.

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15 Responses to “Rest day”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Cars mean insurance, upkeep, and all that jazz. I need to divest of one or more vehicles. Sheesh, the WRX barely gets used. I may sell it this year, if I can shed my addiction to fast cars. The nice thing about the WRX is that it is about as much fun to drive as the old Porsche 951 with none of the breakage/maintenance issues.

    The Tacoma, complete with 322k miles on it, was in heavy use over the weekend. We did a slash and burn attack on the pyrocantha, which had badly overgrown much of the yard, taking a massive truckload of cuttings to the town dump. My better half found a dining table for Chez Fanta Se at a consignment store down in the City Indifferent, so we went back down there with the truck yesterday to pick it up, along with an entire recycling bin of cardboard to buffer it in the bed. Today I get to remember how big the gas tank is in that sucker.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Pain in the keister, to be sure. As the fella says, it ain’t the initial cost, it’s the upkeep.

      A local dealer had a nice Honda Element that caught my eye — low miles, reasonable price — but I couldn’t be bothered to go check it out and someone snapped it up.

      I’m starting to think in terms of a Tacoma again, or maybe a 4Runner, but Judas Priest does the MPG ever suck in that 4Runner. I don’t drive all that much, but still, damn.

      Anyone in the audience ever test-drive a Nissan NV200? I like the low-tech style and the cargo-carrying capacity, but I wonder about its utility on long road trips. Like the Ford Transit Connect, it seems woefully underhorsed. Plus you’d have to special-order one to get any bells and whistles — the models for sale locally are minimalist work vehicles.

      • khal spencer Says:

        People I know with an Element would not part with them. I borrowed my friend Kate’s Element last year when the WRX went in for its 60k service (done at 54k) and it got amazingly good mileage, mid to high 20’s, for such a large, AWD beast. Plus, its great for dogs, bikes, and the occasional trip to Cosco. You could rent the back of those vehicles to a small family. Kate has been known to camp in it.

  2. Marc Greene Says:

    Dear PO’G.

    Check out the Honda Fit, now in its 3d form. Mine’s from 08, and gets nearly 40 mpg in sustained 5th gear. “Lulu” has lost her rear headrests; her back seats are down; and the bed is lined with 1/8″ roofing membrane. Good for transporting messy stuff, like bikes or corpses . Alas, the current Civic is numb. I drove a brand-new loaner: it felt like an Impala. The Fit is this century’s Civic.

    Pet dentistry is challenging. My four cats (Lola, Montgomery, Bix, and Humphrey) hardly enjoy dental hygiene. Mr. Boo will resume his annoying self once the drugs wear off.

    Otherwise, Nothing: 64,600 results: https//

    Few do snark so well.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hey, Marc. Our old pal Larry has weighed in with a big shill for the Fit, and I’ll say it looks interesting, especially that Magic Seat deal.

      Is it real noisy/underpowered? My 2005 Forester is OK power-wise, and gets so-so mileage, but it’s big-time noisy in the cabin, and I’ve seen some griping on that point about the Fit.

  3. Steve O Says:

    Can’t believe Bloom County has been off the air for 25 years. Seems I think of one of its panels about once a week. Then again, pretty sure I stopped growing up about 25 years ago.

  4. Sharon Says:

    Days off are wonderful – as all of mine are these days. I just turned 55 so start getting my pension this month. And to celebrate am in Colorado for two weeks to do some riding with friends who have a vacation home in Salida, with a quick trip to Red Rocks to see an Avett Brothers show under the stars with John Prine opening. Very awesome. I might dip into New Mexico on the way home for a one day ride.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      You’ll have to holler at us when you get to New Mexico. I bet Khal, MD and I can put together some class of a ride.

      On the way down here you want to go through Westcliffe to see my old stomping grounds, then head south toward Walsenburg.

      Take Pass Creek Road — turn right just before Gardner, then left — for a lovely dirt-road climb to the summit of La Veta Pass. Then it’s down through Fort Garland, San Luis, Taos and Santa Fe to the Duke City. Be sure to stop in Taos, Española and Santa Fe to put on the old feed bag at Orlando’s, El Paragua and La Choza.

  5. Brian Smith Says:

    I have had both small suv’s and mini vans. I’ll take a mini van every time. Handles like a car, Tardis like cargo capacity, and decent milage to boot. And since nobody wants them, affordable.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Maybe a lightly used Sienna would work. Mileage is OK if your right foot isn’t too heavy. Good used Tacomas go faster than Elements. Sleeping in an Element is a tad cramped. That is why we sold ours and bought the Sienna. I just wish Toyota would have offered the Sienna with the utilitarian interior like the Element had.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I’ve thought about a Sienna, Pat, based on your recommendation and an NYT story about a couple who made a low-rent RV out of a 2008 model. But they’re hard to find around here — at least, with acceptable mileage and price. Samey same with the Honda Odyssey.

      That’s what set me looking at the NV200 and the Transit Connect, though my experiences with Ford and Nissan (as Datsun) were not entirely positive.

      It’s a shame that Honda croaked the Element, and that all the small-van options seem to be squirrel-powered. Nobody really makes the vehicle I want, which would probably be a Subaru pop-top camper van with AWD that gets 30/45 MPG and doesn’t have a shitload of infotainment/navigation distractions built in. Also, as long as I’m dreaming, somebody else should buy it and give it to me as a gift.

      The good news: The Vespa LX50 seems to have just enough pep for Duke City and will do for now.

      • Brian Smith Says:

        I wouldn’t discount the following; Mercury villager/Nissan quest twins and a gen 4 or 5 dodge caravan. I have owned a villager and currently own a 08 dodge grand caravan. Both swallowed anything I threw at it and both pulled my Coleman popup smartly down the road without sending me into MPG convulsions.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Also, forgot that Fender sold Kaman Music, including Ovation, to Drum World Corp. Kaman included drum and cymbal makers. Drum World announced the return of Ovation guitar making to the USA. Good on ’em. Marv would be pleased, I think.

  7. Dale Says:

    Before I retired, we were definitely a two car family. We needed to be in two places at once most of the time. Then one of our vehicles needed repair.

    I thought we might need a new (used) pickup. We had a big repair facing us – the heater core. You know the drill. “Sir, your truck is so old that parts are difficult to locate”.

    The only decent truck that I was able to find was 2 years newer than mine, and $7000 more than the repair will cost. So we opted for the repair. It took three weeks to find a heater core. I think that the shop had to hire a Munchkin to get the dash out and in.

    So now we have a pickup that may outlive me (I hope). It has heat,air conditioning, and defrost. The body is dented from falling pine branches and coated with drips of turpentine. But this is the truck that conveys our tons of oak leaves, pine needles, and fallen branches to the recycling center. It takes our bikes to Assateague Island and collects water in its bed like a rain barrel after a storm.

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