What Car Should I Get?

I, of course, don’t know yet the status of my car. To total, or not to total. I don’t know when the adjuster is going to be able to get out to look at it, but I think if I hear something by Tuesday that’ll be about right (do adjusters work on the weekend)?

So I’ve been thinking about what I want to do if it turns out I do, in fact, need to purchase a new vehicle. Right off the bat, when I say “new”, I mean “new to me.” I’m not buying a brand new car. It’s a waste of money. Drive it off the lot, it drops in value by thousands of dollars.

I. Love. Carmax.

I also love my Celica. LOVE IT. I’d like to get another Toyota, possibly even another Celica (Carmax has an 01 GT with 49k, that’s newer than my current one …). It’s a great, fun, economical car … and it looks effin’ sexy, and its got a hell of a responsive engine. I love it when the engine roars and I’m pressed into the seat as I accelerate up a winding country. I love as I shift, I love driving that effin’ car.

What I want in a vehicle:

* Manual Transmission.
* 30mpg or better.
* Good handling.
* Reliafuckingble.

Um. That’s about it. I mean, y’know, CD player, of course. But if the car I get doesn’t have one, I can always put one in. That’s the bling, and I’m interested in the foundation, dig?

Initially, I wanted to get something super cheap, but if I am faced with buying a new car, I’ll be keeping it for a minimum of five years or until I (grrr) total the thing, so I don’t want to buy an ancient piece of junk. Besides which, I sort of require a super reliable car so as to make $$.

I really shouldn’t be thinking about this now. I don’t even know that I’m going to be needing to buy a new car. I getting ahead of myself, here.

UPDATE:

If I have to buy a new (used) car, I think I’m leaning towards a Toyota Matrix. They come in manual, they get excellent MPG (better than the Celica, even), and they’re dirt cheap (even brand new). I wonder how their performance is …

Oh Dammit

After filling up my tank on Wednesday (the tank would’ve gotten me through Sunday), I came to the horrible realization that my rental vehicle is almost kaput on gasoline. So now I have to fill up again, fuck!

Plus, the fact that my tank was full (at a cost of over $30) will in fact guarantee that my insurance company will total the car. Just you fucking watch.

Government Contact

Last night (or early this morning?) I contacted the Baltimore County government via e-mail to request a traffic light at York Road & Schilling Circle.

Mr. Darrell Wiles,

With the opening of Wegman’s and the Hunt Valley Town Center in Hunt Valley, Md, the area has experienced a remarkeable surge in traffic. Saddly, the area is already congested. Since Wegman’s opening, I’ve noticed police officers being forced to direct traffic at the intersection of York & Shawan on several occasions even though the signal is in perfect working order.

Thursday afternoon, traffic attempting to turn left on Shawan was backed as far south on York as Wight Avenue. Many of these cars entered the middle lane, as well as the turn lane for southbound traffic to turn onto Ashland. As you can imagine, this made it difficult for those trying to turn onto Ashland. Unfortunatly, I was involved in an collision when a southbound vehicle attempted to make a left-hand turn into the Exxon Station across from Schilling Circle. Perhaps due to the congestion of traffic, that driver did not see my car in the northbound right-hand lane until he had already entered my right of way and the only thing either of us could do was brace for an impact. (Thankfully, neither of us were injured, I wish I could say the same for my vehicle).

As the traffic situation in this area continues to worsen, I believe you will notice a marked increase in traffic accidents as a result of careless and increasingly agitated drivers. I would like to request that you consider putting a traffic light at the very dangerous intersection of York Road and Schilling Circle.

Thank you,

[My Name]

I recieved an e-mail response a few moments ago:

Mr. [Me]:
We received your e-mail concerning the congestion at the Hunt Valley Town Center. We were sorry to hear of your accident. Regarding your request for a traffic signal at the intersection of York Road and Schilling Circle, this would have to be handled through the State Highway Administration. Although located within Baltimore County, York Road (Md 45) is actually a state roadway. Therefore, requests for additional traffic signals would have to be processed through the State Highway Administration. We are forwarding a copy of your e-mail to SHA and are asking them to respond directly to your request. You can also reach their office directly by calling 410-321-2780 should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this matter. We appreciate your taking the time to voice your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us in the future if we can be of any assistance.

Judith Mongan
Baltimore County Dept of Public Works
Bureau of Traffic Engineering and
Transportation Planning
111 W. Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
410-887-3554
FAX: 410-887-5784

Neat-o!

Why We Needed the Water.

merrymanmillbridge

The Merryman Mill’s Bridge connects Warren Road and Merryman’s Mill and crosses the northwest of the Loch Raven Reservoir.

Truthfully, I don’t know if this is technically part of the Reservoir (it’s within the watershed) or if its considered a tributary. Whichever. I wish I’d taken a before picture a week ago to show how much this past week’s deluge of water has helped.

UPDATE:

Photo aid!

lochravenbirdpov

Half Off for Sun Day

I worked inside today for obvious reasons. Truthfully, not so much because I had the rental, more so because I didn’t want to spend a wet Friday dealing with the fuckers on Hunt Valley’s roads. It was slow. I spent some time on the pizza makeline, then worked the front counter for the rest of my shift.

We’ve noticed a serious decline in business since Hunt Valley Town Center opened, becoming much more severe since Wegman’s decided to fuck the whole area in the ass. Our delivery business has remained the same — that makes a certain amount of sense.

In any case, I was handing a woman her two slices when the sun said, “Hey, look, I’m baaaack” and basked the fucking parking lot in brilliant golden shiny-ness.

I was so excited I gave the woman her order half off.

Now, if we could just get the temperature down to … sixty? Ish?

The Barts & The Estimate

In a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode titled “Relics”, James Doohan reprised his role as Scotty. In one scene, he and Geordie LaForge got into an arguement over an estimate LaForge gave Captain Picard in regards to how long it would take to fix an engineering problem. LaForge gave Picard the most accurate time frame he could, while Scotty told him the key to being a “miracle worker” was to multiple your time estimate by four. Then, when you got the work done in two weeks when you’d told the Captain eight, he thought you were God’s gift to Starships.

The Barts aren’t quite like that, Gary warned me. Rather, they cut in half their time estimates. So the three weeks they quoted me (a week and a half in the shop, and a week and a half beforehand before they could get it in the shop) will probably turn into a month and a half. I hope not.

In related news, the Barts’ estimate was for $5200. Not surprisingly, the insurance company is sending an appraiser out to take a look at the vehicle.

And I promised some photos:

celica1
celica2

The Insurance Adjuster, Bart & Ed

If there’s one thing I don’t mind being waken up at 8:30 in the morning for, it’s to take an early morning call from my insurance adjuster. All seems good – she’s going to get in touch with his insurance company to see if he accepted responsibility for the incident. She also retroactively approved me for the rental — (I was told I may have been on the hook for yesterday) seems I have $900 worth of coverage for one. The next step depends on the body shop, depending on the actual estimate (on the phone with Bart Sr. a moment ago he told me $3,000), the insurance company might send someone out to make their own estimate of damages.

Plus, my agreement with Ed at Ed’s Garage was that I would call him last night at 5:45 to remind him to swing past and check on my car’s mechanical issues (if any). I forgot to call him until 6:05, and he and his crew were long gone. I’ll try again tonight.