I Can’t Drive 55

by James Classen

I may have mentioned before that Buckyballs and their like will be effectively banned in the US shortly. I had 341 of these shiny little guys, and now I have 339. And, while I can state with certainty that they disappeared on December 28, where they got to is beyond me, yet I’m unlikely to be able to replace them.

Due to the “down” status of my PHP-based website, I’ve retreated to WordPress.com. Since I no longer have my wiki, I’m recreating what I can recall via my impeccable memory. Well, it’s rather less than impeccable. I could only remember nine of the (at least) 13 cars in my “ultimate garage” (catalogued at the back of that link). Now that I have a better idea of how to configure my server, it’s a matter of motivation to do the deed, make the changes.

More reasonably, however, as my Saturn Vue may not last the two more years I was hoping to squeeze out of it, I’m making a list of things to find in my next vehicle. I’ll try to string this one along as long as reasonably possible, but there’s only so much I can do. So, in no particular order:

  • Requirements
    • legroom
    • quiet ride at highway speeds
    • decent stereo with auxiliary input (or Bluetooth connectivity to play audio from my phone)
    • dash display of fuel economy and tire pressure
    • enjoyable drive
    • A make (and possibly model) with a long history of reliability—probably something of the German or Japanese variety
  • Desires
    • dual trip odometer
    • built-in hands-free phone (the Bluetooth connectivity, here)
    • GPS
    • 2.5″ trailer hitch receiver
    • HUD/digital speedometer readout

I’ll create a CD and/or playlist with the songs I’ll want so I can crank the volume to verify quality for appropriate songs, and likewise turn it down to verify appropriate (lack of) road noise for others. The tire pressure deal should be pretty simple. 2005 model year and newer cars are required to have sensors in the wheels already, it’s just a matter of display. Whether it’s an automatic or manual I don’t much care; I almost prefer the manual at this point, so long as it’s also fun to drive. I’m thinking something like the Subaru Legacy Outback at the moment, but I need to do some browsing. Perhaps I’ll rent the next time or two I make trips to KC or Manhattan.

June 20-23 is the PL Classen Family Rebellion. Er, Reunion. September 7-8 is the 2013 MS 150. I have decisions to make before each of those events, and the sooner I make those decisions, the better. I definitely will be going to the reunion, but details are still sketchy. Should at least book the hotel room, though.

Another thing I’ve been saving for: I need my well hooked up this spring. $2000, part of my “one step at a time” plan to renovate my lawn, for an expected total cost of around $18000. I’ll have the cash by that time (for the well, anyway), squirreled away safely and faithfully each paycheck, despite the extra FSA contribution I’m making and the extra FICA taxes yanked mercilessly from my paycheck. I shouldn’t grumble too much about the latter because I know the reasons behind the changes. Whether I like them or not is an entirely different matter.

Next on the wallet is, of course, my computer. I have no idea why I hadn’t noticed it before about three days ago, but I’m short roughly 256 GB of hard drive space, along with those 8 GB of RAM that I’ve been missing since the summer. This does not make for a very happy James. $200 for a straight-up replacement, $290 for the fix I want, unless the HDD is bad, in which case, tack on another $200 for that. It’s entirely my fault for not shipping the stuff back within 90 days, of course.

So with all that going on, how am I supposed to get a dog? The idea is becoming more and more appealing to me as time wears on. At this point, for various reasons, I’ll probably have to wait until the end of summer for it to be realistic.

I’ve decided not to do the 千羽鶴 thing. I’ve got 二羽鶴, and will probably leave it there for now. I do intend to make one of these soon, for giving away. I’m not ready to give away a oligodendrocyte necklace yet—I’m not sure how well it’d go over, at least until I get to know her better, but if she’d go for that sort of thing, then I’d say I’ve probably found the one. If not, I’ll need a lot more paper.