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Waiting for John Case to pick me up…

This is my 9th and, hopefully, last day without a car. John’s picking me up to get to the 7 AM warmup for our Friday morning show on WSHC.

According to the Honda dealer, my new Fit should be ready to pick up after 3 this afternoon and I’ll be driving again and much poorer.

We’ve already named the car The Hearse, since it is black… or, as Elly says, we’ve never had a black car. The other choices were white or teal (which Elly refused to get.)

Now we have two Fits… Elly’s is a grey 2008 version. I think it’s a pretty good car… we haven’t had any complaints. Even though it’s small, there’s a lot of room in it.

Anyway, I’ll add more later when I get the new wheels and drive ’em around.

After the radio show and we’re having coffee at Mellow Moods…

John Case and I are enjoying our post-show coffee over on German Street as we watch Phil work like a demon to service his customers (including getting our two bagels toasted). Right now none of his help are around and he is working like a mad man… impressive!

Today I’m finishing up my search for a sale of my dead car for parts. So far the best offer is at Brown’s for $200.00… I’m still hoping that one more guy who is looking for an Echo motor might come through and buy the car to retrofit. I gave him two days and this is the third, so I’ll call him. Whatever I get from the parts goes into paying for Linda Bartash’s Subaru.

Tonite starts the second and final weekend of Thurber Carnival… John says their brushup rehearsal was pretty good last night. I skipped it… the director said she didn’t need lights for the rehearsal. Just as well, since I was exhausted last night. Maybe we’ll have some audience, too. Full Circle does a really bad job of promoting shows and a 10 or 12 person audience in a 90 seat house is not unusual. We hit 30 on  the Sunday matinee last week and that was the best house so far.

OK…have a great Friday. The rain has stopped here and the sun is out…first time in a couple of days…and I want to enjoy it.

After a rainy night, a sunny day…

There was a heavy rain last night, which is great, since it has been so dry around here throughout the Summer and into the Fall. Our rainfall is a couple of inches below last year and it is not likely to catch up, so any big rain is welcome. And it keeps me from having to water the garden today, saving our water bill a tiny bit.

However, as I got out of bed this morning (at the urging of my dogs who were waiting to walk) and looked out the window, I saw the sunshine lighting up the puddles on our wet back deck and looked up to a blue sky with white, fluffy clouds. And while Yahoo’s weather report on my monitor says we will have partial rainfall this morning, it looks to me like it’s gone.The weather report goes on to say that rain is likely to return on Thursday, so I guess I’ll be ready when it comes. Maybe by the weekend we’ll have nice weather (hope it stays cool, too… the last couple of days have been great.)

Today I’m getting back to my car hunt, in case something happens with Linda’s Subaru and that doesn’t go through. I also want to find out about transferring license plates from my dead car and I also want to see if I can sell the Toyota Echo off for parts. Even a few bucks to go into the next vehicle would be appreciated. Anybody out there interested? It has a new radiator and everything but the engine is in good shape. drop me an email at if this is something you might want.

It looks like I may buy Linda Bartash’s Subaru Outback…

Linda is getting a new car (through her company, I think… it’s a Ford Fusion that she had to order in Illinois) and when she gets it she would sell me her Subaru Outback (1998 and very well maintained) at a good price. I checked to see if this was a car that could get beyond the 250,000 miles that are on it and, from all I’ve read so far, in well-maintained condition this could get twice that amount of mileage and still be running. With my rate of driving (about 12,000 miles a year) I’d probably be long dead before that amount of miles was hit. The only problem here is that Linda doesn’t know when her new car will get here… it may take a couple more weeks, which would leave me in my carless condition for longer than I wanted. However, I’ll deal with it as well as I can.

The first week of Thurber Carnival is over and I don’t have a call until Friday night, so that’s one more thing I can put out of my mind. Now I have to arrange getting to two Doctor appointments this week and two or three next week. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

Totally carless… shopping the local area for a used vehicle…

My wife is away for two days and I’m home without transportation (John will pick me up for tonite’s show at Full Circle Theater). Meanwhile, I’m perusing the internet and making phone calls concerning used vehicles. Late Tuesday afternoon I’m probably going to have my wife drive me down to a shop near Winchester, VA, where a guy has an ’88 pickup truck (with only 100,000 miles on it and, he says, in good shape and well maintained) for $1000.00. He doesn’t care who we have look at it to evaluate it’s reliability (I suggested Brown’s and he said it was fine with him)… I wanted to call my wife and tell her I set this up, but when I did, her cell phone started ringing upstairs…which means she didn’t take it with her. I’ll have to wait until she gets back later tonite, or calls me from wherever she is today.

I also have to figure out how I’m going to pay for this. If I were going to a dealer, I’d put it on a credit card (instant loan) or try to get a bank loan. From an individual I have to come up with cash. It’s possible… if the total cost is less than my monthly Social Security income, I should be all right. I’m also looking into selling my dead car for parts… and that could go into the used car‘s cost.

Needless to say, this has not caused much of a release for the depression I’ve been in for the last few days. Even with my medication I am incredibly down… for hours at a time I have found it hard to physically move off my recliner. At least the computer and internet continue to be active things while everything else is frozen.

Life keeps shrinking… and adding to the blog is becoming more like work than fun… work that doesn’t earn any income, nor does it seem to lead to anything else. I’m also finding it hard to work on my other sites, Panhandle Vegan and UTF Type Foundry.  And the theatre is now no more than running lights. There’s nothing in the near…or far…future to direct, which I would still be interested in doing. At least I still have John Case and the Friday morning radio show.

My Car is Officially Dead.

I finally got the message back from Brown’s that I have a cracked engine block and they don’t recommend repairing it. So I have a dead car and no means of transport other than my wife when she’s not working or at meetings or friends who are going to theater performances where I’m running lights, etc. Bummer.

So I’ve started to shop around for a replacement and, given my status as retired (read “unemployed”) and on Social Security, the age and price-level of the cars I’ve been looking at on Craig’s List are both very low. I’ve got two possibilities with 50 miles of where I am in the $1000.00 range (which I can probably afford, but it makes my wife edgy… old cars with higher mileage almost demands problem scrutiny and I’ve proven beyond a reasonable doubt that I know very little about car engines, etc.) One is a small sedan and one is a pickup truck. Both claim to be in good shape, have been well maintained and have had no major accidents. They are both in the 130,000 mileage range and are both 10 or less (not MUCH less) years old.

Anyway, I’m over running lights on Thurber Carnival which opens tonite, and they’re still putting up scenery parts. 2 more weeks of rehearsal would have benefitted this show immensely. However, this opening show will have many new technical things being tried out (slide projections, sound effects and, yes, some lighting changes) for the first time, something that shouldn’t happen at this point.

Depressed and trying hard to maintain my focus… the show must go on.

Depressing morning…

(Post has been UPDATED BELOW)

I’m waiting to hear from Brown’s Automotive on what’s wrong with my car. They told me on the phone that it might be a head gasket problem, which John Case informs me might just mean a dead car. It will be pretty expensive to get it running again and, as usual, I don’t know where the money will come from. The car used just about all of my Social Security money last month. My wife says we can’t afford that again… and besides, these little ischemic attacks I have that I’m getting tested for may come to mean that they won’t let me drive anyway. My existence is getting much smaller.

I have to arrange rides and pickups to get through my lighting commitment to Thurber Carnival. That’s not too difficult. Several of the cast members drive near my home when they come in to rehearsal or the show and I can get picked up or dropped off after. I just wish it were over with and I had one less thing on my mind.

It may be getting to be time to end this blog. It’s something I’m thinking seriously about right now. It takes a lot of energy and focus to keep it up… I’ve been doing it for six years, starting when I was actually gainfully employed and feeling pretty good about everything, and operating now in a place where I wasn’t able to get reemployed and had to retire earlier than I wanted to and my health is starting to take a dive. The blog is just one more thing… It doesn’t bring in enough money from font sales to do more than buy a couple of bottles of seltzer every other month and it doesn’t have any effect on changing the depressing politics and middle-class decline in this country. As one of that middle class that has suffered the decline, I don’t see a way out of it (unless a big move to hire carless 64-year-olds pops up somewhere around Shepherdstown, WV, where I am now trapped.)

I’ll make a decision on the blog in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I’m going to start looking through my stuff to see what I can put up on eBay.


UPDATE: 11:48 AM

If I was depressed before, it is a deep pit now.

My Car will now not be done until noon tomorrow…

…and I remain trapped at home. John Case is going to pick me up at 6:30 AM to get to the radio show setup at Mellow Moods (you can listen from 7:30 to 9:00 AM on WSHC 89.7) and I assume he’ll drop me off at Brown’s Auto Repair after the show.

It seems the new water pump (another part I didn’t know about) wasn’t delivered until late today and the guy working on my car won’t have everything back together until the late morning. This will only add hourly charges and watch the whole thing go beyond the $1200.00 they estimated yesterday.

That blows my evening out of the water, too. I was going to go to the Thurber Carnival rehearsal at Full Circle tonite to work on the lighting plot… looks like the next rehearsal I’ll be able to get to is Monday.  John is going to express my regrets to the Director, as he has to be at rehearsal at 7 PM. They haven’t run both acts in sequence and I have plenty of time to get the lighting down.

And life goes on…