Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No New Truck For Me and Young at Heart

I'm not the type to buy a new vehicle every few years. I'd rather pay them off and drive them for several years until just before they become fixer-uppers. The first new car I owned was a Mazda 626 I bought after graduating the FAA academy in the summer of 1982. Of all the cars I've owned, my 626 has been my favorite by far. The only photo I have of it is one that my mother took when she and my father used my newly purchased car on a trip to Canada. They had nothing reliable to drive at the time so I offered it to them.

I drove it for ten years and put 118,000 miles on it. It was 102,000 miles before it needed any brake work. The only trouble it gave me was an occasional broken seal on the valve cover gasket. A 15 minute fix.

I sold it to a high school kid from St. Paul for $1500. I think I may have gotten the better of that deal.

Tammy and I had planned to go to the Auto Show last weekend but we changed our minds and went to the dog park instead. I knew that if I went car shopping there was a good chance I'd get the bug to buy something new when what I'm driving is getting me around just fine.

My current ride is a 2001 Nissan Frontier truck with a little less than 90,000 miles. It's eight years old and I'd like to replace it but now is not the time for us to be taking on more debt with Rachel's college expenses looming just around the corner. Perhaps if the Obama administration should decide that air traffic controllers actually were wronged and make us whole I would reconsider a new purchase. It wouldn't even be considered 'stimulus money' as it would simply be giving me back something which was wrongly taken from me and so many others. A guy can always hope.

Our dance lessons for the Dads' Dance at Rachel's spring dance recital began last week. We'll meet every Tuesday night for an hour for the next two months and hopefully get our rag-tag group of flat-footed Neanderthals moving in step with each other. Wish us luck. We only had an hour of practice but we were able to learn the first 38 seconds of the dance. It feels more complicated than I like and I know I'm not alone in feeling that way. I think we all left practice with our heads spinning as we contemplated what we'd struggled to learn.

I'm curious to see where they position me this year. In any recital they've typically got the best talent front and center. I danced with the dads for the first time a few years ago the last time they had the Dads' Dance. I thought I was doing a good job but I couldn't have been because I was tucked away in the back corner. We'll be assigned our positions tonight based on how well or poorly we did last week and I'm pretty sure I know where I'll be standing; again. But I'm not disappointed. Really, I'm not. Well, maybe just a little.

I watched a documentary last night called Young at Heart. It's the story of a group of seniors who remain 'young at heart' through the contemporary rock and pop music they share as they tour the US and Europe. There are some sad moments along the way as bodies fail while the spirit within tries to press on. One of the more touching moments of the film was a scene toward the end where Fred Knittle sings a Coldplay song called Fix You while his air compressor pumps out of time to the music. There's a story behind the video which I won't spoil here. You have to watch the movie for that.


Steve Miller smmiller57@yahoo.com said...

Hey Kevin! I remember you in that car when we first were at ZMP before your exile to Huron. Saw your stuff on FAA Folies today. Well Done. Happy to see you are still hanging in there. I'm enjoying reading your blog for the first time this morning.

pdog said...

Remember what I said before I left work yesterday?

Three blogs in one day!?!

I told ya you'd be famous!

Kevin said...

Wow, Steve...it's great to hear from you! How've you been and where are you working?

I saw your comment on the post. You're absolutely right in your assessment.

I heard from John Yaccino last year. He's a dentist in the Air Force a few years away from retirement. I believe he's stationed in Hawaii.

Yeah, Paul's piece about my situation sort of got me some exposure it appears. I'm glad you found me through it.

I've got your email in your signature...cool. Be in touch.

Kevin said...

Hey pdog...yeah, I was surprised that JTB posted about it. I have to go check out Tim's.

Yeah, you were right...at least in our little corner of the world known as FAA.