Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Let There Be Lights

DBFA is absolutely loving the new Flamingomobile even though it has given us a couple of intense moments of worry - the "Oh shit! We bought a lemon!" and "I wonder how much we can get for it?" kind.

The vehicle has one of those very cool consoles that lets you see how many miles left before you need to fill up, trip time, and average miles per gallon. The MPG reading was the first alarm. We drive, a lot. And with the current price of fuel, I am dangerously close to having to raise prices as it is. When the readings were telling us we were averaging 12 to 13 miles per gallon, I was ready to freak! No way can we afford to drive a van with that kind of mileage. Fortunately, that was a false alarm and mileage is actually better than we were getting with the dear-departed Flamingomobile. Whew!

Then this morning, we load up for a trip to Livermore. And - the headlights don't work! Moments later, they're on and we're off. All is well, the birds get planted for their 2-day stay and we start up to come home, and - the headlights don't work!

This time, they don't wait a heart-stopping moment to come on. They don; come on at all. Fortunately, the passing lights are working, so DBFA gets to drive all the way home holding the lever to keep the lights on. Try it sometime and see if you can do it without activating the turn signals. Next time I'm following someone in the fast lane who has their signal blinking for a left turn for 5 or 10 miles, I might be a little more understanding - unless it's daytime.

Cartoonist Jerry Van Amerongen published a panel several years ago that clearly depicts exactly what I would love to do. A man has smashed the taillight of a car with a small hammer. I can't recall the exact caption, but it was something like: After following it for 25 miles, Gerald fixes the gentleman's turn signal.

You know exactly what he means!

It was just a loose bulb. Gotta love used cars.

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