Monday, March 27, 2006

Enough Politics!!

This is my work car.

Nothing special, I admit.

It is a 1996 Nissan Sentra, that used to belong to my sister-in-law (who blogs at Hunker Down.)

(A VERY cool chick.)

The only reason that I have it is because, one dark night, about two and a half years ago, she was on her way home from work with it, and a tree ran out in front of her.

She swerved to try to miss it, but the tree was too fast for her, and she hit it.

Dead center on the Nissan emblem in the grille.

The grille, hood, front bumper, radiator, both air-bags and the A/C condensor were all toast.

It sat for about a month in the parking lot of her apartment complex in Tallahassee, (she bought a way cool Toyota pickup,) and it became obvious that something had to be done with it.

Nobody knew what to do with a wrecked, non-mobile Nissan, so she and my father-in law decided to offer it to me.

I took it. (And was glad to get it.)

I bought a radiator and A/C condensor, took them to Tallahassee, installed it all in the parking lot outside of her apartment, and drove it to Brooksville.

Total cash outlay at this point, $208.00.

I began to drive it to work, busted front end and all, from Brooksville, Fl, to Tampa, Fl, every day. (120 miles per day, five days a week.)

That was in July of 2004.

It got between 34 and 37 MPG, depending on how I drove it, and has yet to give me a minute of mechanical trouble. In the time that I have been driving it to work and back, I have replaced the tires once, ($200.00), the brake pads on the front, ($9.00) and a light bulb in the dash. ($1.98 for two. I still have the other one.)

That's a total cash expendature of $418.98 over the course of almost two years, and I've driven it almost 50,000 miles.

Over the last month, I have replaced both airbags, the headliner, and the sun-visors, $88.00 all together. (Thank God for Ebay.)

Friday of week before last, I decided to order the parts to fix the body. I took off work at 3:30, went to my local salvage yard, and ordered a brand new hood, front bumper cover and grille.

Total price of all parts, $230.15.

The parts came in on Tuesday of last week, and I installed them that same day. (The hard part was lining up the hood latch...)

I took this past friday off work, sanded down the new parts, bought a quart of paint, ($90.00,)broke out the paint gun, and painted everything that was new.

Myself. Outside in the Pole Barn.

So, unless my math is wrong, I have spent $827.13 on it, and have driven it about 50,000 miles. In the morning I will climb into it and drive it back to Tampa. It may break down tommorrow, but if it does, I will fix it.

And drive it some more.

I love my little car.

I love the fact that the Lord gave me the talent to look after it, and to fix the things that go wrong with cars, no matter what they may be.

From mechanical defects, to paint and body work.

I have worked hard on this little car, and I am proud of it.

And my wife is proud of me because of it, and that was worth the work and the money, all by itself.

This is one of the small things in my life that makes me happy, and I just wanted you all to see it.

We will argue politics another day.

What makes you happy?

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