June 14, 2021

When you don't know what you want till you learn that it's an option


*I recently posted that I walk a mile in like 13 minutes. Wrong. My phone shared with me that I'm really more around the 14:30 or even 15 and above minute range- although I was pushing a stroller then. Probably makes more sense to those of you who were paying attention and thought I occasionally morphed into a cartoon with super fast walking abilities. My Nike Run Club app has been messing up though and telling me that I've completed one mile when I am just over 3/4 of a mile. Maybe it's my phone screwing up as it ages, or not great internet? Anyway, wanted to clear that up.

*I attended Tank's best buddy's grad party last night. Um, the one who took Tank on the 'family' ski trip that only included a grandpa. Remember when I said I wondered if this was a beer-buying grandpa? Bingo. My suspicions were confirmed at the party by a sister in law or whoever. I really don't care but I was sharing the story with his buddy's family who all thought it was hilarious. Of course. The icky timeframe between high school ending and college starting could not wrap up soon enough as these behaviors are becoming more and more the norm - - - even though we aren't quite at college yet. You get me?

The post:  The Great White has served us well for over 11 years. Our 12 seater Chevy Express van needs some work. Brakes. Tires. Probably other parts that are tougher for me to name, because CLUELESS. Suffice it to say, we're on borrowed time with this van.

Oh, and I'm not the only clueless one - it's a family trait. Exhibit A:  In early May, the car started smelling like something was burning. Well, that can't be good. I thought it was related to a tire. Maybe I turned the wheel too harshly while trying to park. There is no good angle to try to park that monster.

Coach took the car in. He lives in fear of it breaking down, or in this case exploding.

Um, Don our car guy called to say that they'd found a plastic bag stuck on the exhaust pipe. Yep. The bag was wrapped around the exhaust or stuck up in there somewhere. We only had to pay $60 to have it removed. Cheapest (and possibly dumbest) car repair ever. 

We don't feel like pouring more money into this car. We aren't the let's-buy-a-new-car type. We'll take something slightly used - being budgeteers and all. 

Lad works at a dealership for one of the brothers that I once babysat, and yes they love to be reminded of childhood nicknames like Baby Face while at their places of business. Lad told them to keep an eye out for a used Chevy Express, or something similar. Honestly I asked them to have it on their radar a year ago before Lad worked there. When they found us the Great White 11 plus years ago, it was a no-brainer. This has taken some time. 

The Great White is a Chevy, but Coach and I aren't opposed to going the Ford Transit route. I almost snapped a photo of one while I was driving to dancing just now, but HELLO, driving. Plus this particular one had no windows. We are hoping for windows. 

Finally, Lad came home last week and said they found a van at an auction (these aren't usually traded in).

Lad:  It's silver.

Me:  Oh, OK. I'm ready for a color change.

Lad:  There's one problem. It has a siren on top of it.

Me: Huh? Does it work?

Lad:  We could probably remove it because it won't fit in the garage with it on there. We could make the space into a sun roof. 

Me:  EF THAT - DON'T GO MESSING WITH MY SIREN. I WANT THE DAMN SIREN. We can make the garage door bigger, right? Look at the magic we worked on the laundry room door when the dryer wouldn't exit politely.

Coach:  Hey Curly, if Mommy has a siren you might never be late for Irish dancing again.

The next day I asked Lad how many miles were on my 'new' van. 

Lad:  Oh, yeah. It sold.

Me: Huh? 

Sad because I don't know about you, but I occasionally come across idiot drivers. I had envisioned myself flipping on the siren if someone ticked me off. Let me translate that:  ALWAYS. I would've driven with the siren on AT.ALL.TIMES. 

No joke - I was legit bummed about this. There are people who get excited about fancy cars like that Tesla brand, but when you shop for a big-ass ugly van and you see the fear in people's faces when you try to park near them, additional fun features are HUGE. 

The search continues. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

I'm still stuck on a plastic bag in your exhaust pipe! I wonder how that happened? Maybe in a parking lot or something? Good luck on your van search, I guess you need a big vehicle for all the kids/ babysitting kids! Oh, and 15 minutes per mile is still really fast. Sometimes when I walk with Barkley it's as much as 30 minutes per mile, as he has to stand and sniff another dog ever peed on. (when I walk normally it's much faster than that, obviously)

Beth Cotell said...

Imagine all the wonderfully hilarious blog posts if you were able to get the van with the siren. Big sigh.....

Kari said...

I think I need a siren too. I'd get places a lot faster.

So why was there a plastic bag around the exhaust pipe?? Talk about burying the lead! That is scary!

Ever since you mentioned your walking, I've stepped up my exercise game and have been working out 6 days a week. I still look the same so....

Busy Bee Suz said...

My first thought was: Plastic bags are horrible. See, they hurt the environment/water/critters AND your VAN!

I have no doubt that you'd use the siren. NO DOUBT. Why not? Can you imagine how fast you could get in and out of Costco?

Best of luck with the big van. I was thinking though, since you have kids who are in college/driving, do you need such a big van still? Well, I guess you drive the little ones around who you watch during the day. But, can you imagine the day when you won't need a big ass van?

Martha said...

Well now I want a siren too! You could always just install a cheap PA system and make siren noises lol.

Pat Birnie said...

Oh my god. The plastic bag on the exhaust pipe- too funny. I think with your busy life a siren would be the perfect accessory to your vehicle!

Ernie said...

Nicole - I have no idea about the plastic bag. It might have been wrapped around it. Remember, my garage is not exactly orderly . . . could've come from our recycling bin? I was just relieved that the car wasn't going to require some repair that would mean I was without a car for days. Never fun.

If we just go the minivan route, then I'd have to take car seats in and out every time I drove my kids somewhere. Plus I couldn't fit all the kids I sit for and getting out and having adventures is one of my fav parts of babysitting. I think it sets me apart from other in home daycares. Cuz who else drives a big ass, rusty van to fit all those kids? *My next post is about one such adventure.

I'm starting to think about getting a Fitbit. I don't really NEED to know how far I walk, but it helps as a motivator. I didn't hit the button hard enough recently when I went for a very long run on a very hot late morning (did this while Curly was at a b-ball training, so wasn't my normal path and I wanted to know how far I went). I was super bummed when I realized that my app didn't record my run. I can only imagine how long a walk would take with a sniffy dog. ;)

Ernie said...

Beth - You said it sister. Exactly what I was thinking. I'm asking for a siren for Christmas.

Ernie said...

Kari - No idea if it blew up under the car and got stuck to the exhaust pipe, like melted a bit and then just stayed like that. Maybe some punk ass kid did it as a prank in a parking lot? Who knows?

I would've avoided a ton of speeding tickets if I'd had a siren. Dang. How fun would that be?

You go girllll! Do you feel good though? I feel great after a workout. Over time I think you'll notice a difference. I'm dreading the winter months already. I hate running on a tread mill, or walking on one for that matter. I can use the track at the health club, but BORING.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, plastic bags are bad news, and they smell AWFUL when burned under your car. Don't recommend.

I can imagine so many scenarios with the siren. One occurred in my next post. My kids' friends would be like: DUDE, I SAW YOUR MOM DRIVING AND SHE FLASHED HER SIREN AT ME WHEN I DIDN'T MOVE WHEN THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN. That's right, bitches - move your ass.

I do imagine the day without a van and it feels a long way off. Maybe when I'm done babysitting. If Reg and Curly could promise me they'll get b-ball scholarships, I'd quit sitting sooner than later. I sat with a woman at Tank's orientation today who wants to buy a new car, but she is shopping for a car that has a place to put her purse. She was like "there's that thing between the two front seats and if someone's sitting in the passenger seat I can't put my purse there." Kid you not - I pulled up a photo of the Great White and told her - "so much space between the two front seats, you can fit a full size cooler there when you take a big trip. A purse, no problem." You know she's now jealous of my ride. Let me have this moment. It doesn't happen often.

Ernie said...

Martha - I haven't thought to shop for something comparable on Amazon, but now you've got me thinking. Where there's a will, there's a way. Or should I say, where there's a frustrated driver, there ought to be a siren.

Ernie said...

Pat - You might not know this, but I am the worst at accessorizing, but maybe I should start with something big like a siren for my Great White (or whatever color I end up with). Does everyone know that my Great White was once an airport shuttle and it still has a sticker in the window that says 'THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING?' I've never heard of someone having a plastic bag on or near their exhaust pipe and now that I'm writing this, I'm really wondering if it was a teenage prank of one of the kids' friends.

Bibliomama said...

"Cheapest and possibly dumbest car repair ever" hilarious - sort of like when our car got broken into but the GPS and ipod were so ancient they wouldn't take them - am I glad it cost us nothing or insulted?
Yeah, it's better to not have a van that screams "Imma kidnap and murder you if you get too close". With or without a siren.

Ally Bean said...

The idea that a plastic bag could get sucked into your tailpipe unnerves me. Worse if it was intentionally put there. Glad you have figured it out, but still...

Ernie said...

Ali - So funny about a thief breaking into your car but being too snobby to take your outdated stuff. I always say if someone breaks into our home, they'll look around at the ransacked status and assume someone beat them to it. Um, no joke - several years ago, a kid reported a weirdo approaching him/her and trying to get him/her into their large white van. The kid ran and reported it. The report was shared with all area families with school age children. A few of our wiseass friends emailed us to say HEY TELL COACH TO STOP DRIVING AROUND TROLLING FOR YOUNGSTERS. Our van was a perfect match for the van.

Ernie said...

Ally - the smell was awful. I wasn't until I wrote the post that I thought maybe someone did it intentionally, because if it was just an 'oops' why doesn't that happen more often? Since no one can find us a gently used 12 seater van, we were relieved it wasn't anything more serious.