Thursday, December 30, 2010

Craig's List Fun

This afternoon The Boss and I made the final leap into the Internet age. We sold a car through Craig's List.

The VW went quickly. I posted the add at 2pm and by 2:15 I was answering calls. I set up to meet the first of the potential buyers and he test drove the car in a parking lot nearby. Within 15 minutes he was finished looking over the car and the haggling was done.

I probably could have held out for a couple of hundred more bucks with a another buyer, but getting this done in one shot was worth something too.

Of course, I wanted cash. No checks accepted when I sell you a car in the Sporting Goods store parking lot. But as soon as the buyer handed me the cash, I was instantly worried about taking counterfeit bills. The Boss Lady and kids were at the parking lot with another car, so we signed the paperwork and headed straight to the bank to deposit the cash. I think the cashier thought I was nuts when I asked her to check the bills.

So now we are back to being a 2 car family. But of course Marge, the 68 Chevy gets a pass on that count :) We celebrated by washing the Mini Cooper and the Saturn Vue. Then I went and shampooed the seats and carpets in the Saturn. After all, if The Boss Lady is going to let me drive her new car to work, she will be expecting mine to be clean and ready to go.

Driving Miss Boss Lady

A few days ago The Boss called me to let me know that she had forgotten to "remind" me that her momma was coming to town AND that The Mother of the Bride would be here in about an hour.

Since we were in the middle of a couple of weeks off from school, and there was a gigantic pile of clean laundry waiting for a grandma's special folding skillz, I decided that this visit sounded like a great plan. (and a chance to make the pile of laundry grow a little bit more).

Skipping over the real highlights of the visit, it seems The Boss Lady had a plan. She announced that we (without Grandma or kids) were going to pack a suitcase, jump into the new car and then see where the road took us.

I started dreaming of some spontaneous road trip scenarios and we decided on a few ground rules. We would not drive on any interstate highways during the entire trip. And we kept to that rule, too.

We used the Garmin GPS to help us find some good back roads to cruise. And we did a little dirt road driving, too.

We stayed overnight in one of the finest 2 star motels in Huntsville, Texas and spent the rest of the time avoiding big cities and heavily traveled, multi-lane roads. We ate beef jerky for lunch and we ran through most of the good stuff on two iPods. This was a successful spontaneous trip!

Thanks to The Mother of the Bride for the folded laundry (and for watching the kids).

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Motoring Adventure 1

The wife and I are hitting the road to try out the new car. We are swinging by to visit some old friends for lunch and then we have no destination in mind. My only goal for this trip - not a SINGLE mile will be driven on Interstate Highways 35 or 45 (Or 10, 20 or 30).

Taking the iPod, the netbook, the GPS a couple of cell phones and a change of clothes or two. The kids are staying with grandma at our house. Somebody has to babysit the chickens, you know...

Friday, December 24, 2010

A season to remember, that is for sure!

This Christmas Season started out with a bang AND a scrape AND a crunch. The Boss Lady was side-swiped by a high school kid about a month ago. Her 2001 Beetle has seen better days and we had already been entertaining the idea of replacing it in short order (But the plan involved waiting a few more months at least).

When we started weighing our options with Itty Bitty, it started to make a little more sense to either let the insurance total the car or to sell it as soon as we could get the body damage fixed.


Somewhere along there I went insane and agreed to take a new job. I'll be leaving my High School teaching gig and moving over to a Junior High School (6-8 grades) at the start of next semester. The job is going to be crazy busy, but the paycheck should be nice.

The Boss Lady started finalizing her plans about the time I took the new job. But she really hit her car buying frenzy after going out to eat with a friend who has just bought a brand new Toyota SUV. After that lunch, a new car WOULD be bought. And soon, I guessed.

We went out a few days ago and we test drove a few cars. The Toyota Matrix and the Corolla were in contention for a while. But there were lots of cars ruled out. Nothing too small, nothing too big. Safety and good gas mileage were absolute requirements. the more airbags the better and the higher the mpg count, the betterer!

After we test drove a brand new MINI Cooper Clubman, we were thinking a lot about that car. (Probably me more than the wife.) I kept snooping around and found a 2009 MINI Cooper S Clubman sitting at a Chevy dealership a few miles from our house. The car had 12,ooo miles on it and it looks like it was previously owned by a germ-a-phobe. This thing is clean inside.







It is true. I haven't even started the new job and the car is already in the driveway. But it is also true that I won't be seeing much of this car once skool starts. I'll be too busy and The Boss will manage to keep her foot out of the turbo charger enough that she should get decent gas mileage in her new ride.

Me? Yeah, good gas mileage thing is not gonna happen. I am a dude! This car wants to be driven and he wants to get there in a hurry. So it looks like I'll be sticking with the Saturn Vue. Good thing my car will get me reliably to work. It looks like I'll be needing the paychecks very soon.

A side story about the new car - He already has a name, Randall.

The salesman treated us great. Never been happier to deal with a salesman. Really!

The guy's name is Randall. When The Boss and I got back home, I was joking that Randall had tempted me to really NEED that car. Then I tried out my best John Goodman impersonation, I quoted Scully from Monster's Inc. and said "Randall's your monster."

A day later and the name has stuck. Even the kids are running around saying "Randall's your monster!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ready for Christmas Break

Turns out there is one thing all teachers, regardless of grade level or the subject they teach, look forward to. Winter Break! Two more half days and The AtHomeFamily can start ours.

Hoping to post some nice substance during the next two weeks. (But don't hold me to that, OK?)

I spent a good portion of this week prepping for a job interview. No word yet, but soon I may be getting the call-up to the big leagues. Hopefully soon I'll be moving into my first full-time teaching gig. If this job works out then I'll be switching from High School to Junior High.
And if not this job, then I'll keep chasing the next ones.

But for now that 2 weeks without an alarm clock is sounding goooooooooood!