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dead monte carlo

Although my sister arrived safely from Massachusetts, her car didn't fare out so well.

Just before she left, she had a transmission service done; a basic flush and fill. Not a big deal.

The moron who performed the work conveniently forgot to place a seal back on the automatic transmission, and all the tranny fluid leaked out. No fluid = no lubrication = busted transmission.

The car was brought to a proper (as in ASE certified) transmission shop yesterday just outside of Inverness. The bill for repairs is over $3000. Yeah. Ouch.

Being that the problem originated due to a mechanic's screw-up, I told my sister to let the insurance companies (as in hers and the auto-idiot's place) duke it out. Hopefully she'll fare out okay. Either the car will be fixed or she'll be compensated enough to get another car.

In the event she needs a new ride, she's in the right place for it. Florida sells tons of cars. I recommend to anyone that if you're in the market for a car, shop here. If a car sells for $25,000 up north, it's $19,000 here - or less. No joke.

I told my sister that it's just a car. It wasn't like she owned a Corvette or a DeLorean. Just a plain jane Monte Carlo. Cars can be replaced. Better that she's in good shape (although a bit shaken up from the whole ordeal) and the car is busted, rather than her busted and the car in good shape.

Not a very happy Christmas for my sister, but as they say, all things happen for a reason. Maybe this is an indicator that she's supposed to stay in Florida.

-- update --

Auto-idiot very quickly agreed to incur all costs for fixing the car, even if his insurance doesn't completely cover the damage. Should be fixed after the holiday.

Cool beans.

***Guitar deals & steals? Where? Right here. Price drops, B-stock and tons more.

menga, the gathering

Sibling approacheth

My sister arrived via the Auto Train yesterday and is now in Inverness. She arrived safe and sound. I'll be staying at Pop's over the course of the holiday. I plan on being back on the 26th.


-------------------------
Slimmer

I've been steadily using my treadmill since I got it here in Tampa. It's been performing well and I'm already starting to notice a difference. I have more energy (awesome), the pounds are coming off (awesomer) and my stomach is flattening up (awesomest). I'm using it twice a day; once in the morn' and once in the eve. Works for me.


-------------------------
More house stuff

Once January '07 rolls around I'm going to start The Big Search for a house. It's going to be fun but at the same time tedious. More on that in a moment.

As it stands right now, I'm looking at relocating somewhere in Pinellas County (pronounced "pih-neh-lahs", not "pyne-ell-ahs"). For those unfamiliar with that part of Florida, the towns you'll recognize are in that county are St. Petersburg, Clearwater and so on. On inspection of a map, you'll see that it's not all that far away from Tampa. Just a hop over the causeway and you're there.

Side note: Driving over the causeway really kicks ass. Pristine views and an awesome cruise. I highly recommend it to anyone.

Concerning the house itself, I was set on building rather than buying, but I've changed my mind. It's not that I can't find parcels of land to build on because those are easy to get (and cheap), but it's easier overall to buy an existing house. Yeah, you still have to deal with the bank and the loan people and [this], [that] and [the other thing], but at least you can cross off builders, building permit(s), well drillers and a whole host of other things. Makes for a much smoother experience.

However (and this is the tedious part)...

I still have to find the house I want. Then I have to deal with real estate agents. Then I have to hire a real estate attorney once I find the house I want to buy. Then there's what I call the "b.s. phase" that involves nothing but getting about ten different people to all be "on the same page" so-to-speak before proceeding. It has absolutely nothing to do with the house, but rather an extremely long line of red tape that includes the real estate agent, the bank, the title holder/company, the real estate attorney, and other people that are magically (so it seems) involved with this whole purchase process.

It just sucks. No one has ever been able to devise a simple method of buying a home. Even if you bought a house with cash, there is still this long line of red tape b.s. to deal with. Completely unavoidable and outright annoying. It's the only part I'm not looking forward to.

On the up-side, I will be taking a friend along to look at houses, so at least I'll have some company. The extra set of eyes will really help out, because she'll probably see things that I wouldn't pick up on first glance.

I will need to compose a checklist, print it out and bring it along when I look at a house so I can run down the things I need to check as I'm looking over any prospective property. It'll probably have at least twenty-five items on it.

I'm tired already just thinking about it. 🙂

how guilty are you?

I read this little news tidbit. Here's how I score. (Note: You should read that article first before reading this one so you can follow along. It's not that long.)

Ego-surfing

Yes.

Blog streaking

I suppose I'd have to say yes. I have admitted to surfing the web whilst taking a dump; something everyone loves to know, right? Have wireless laptop will travel - to the can.

Crackberry

Nope. I don't own a Blackberry or any other mobile web device.

Google-stalking

Nope. But, there are those who have Google-stalked me. But I am easy to find on the internet anyway.

Cyberchondria

Nope. Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true.

Photolurking

Yes. And here's a handy tip: If someone has a Yahoo! account, there are times when you will get lucky when typing in http://photos.yahoo.com/[yahoo id]. People will post photos on a Yahoo! account and totally forget about it. You can also sometimes grab a profile photo from http://profiles.yahoo.com/[yahoo id].

(I can hear the fervent clicky-clacking of all people who read this with Yahoo! accounts very quickly going to their photos and/or profiles to check for "lost" photos...)

Wikipediholism

Nope. I know some people who are as addicted to the Wikipedia as they are to YouTube (or MySpace for that matter).

Very safe to say I'm not one of them.

Cheesepodding

Nope. You won't find any Air Supply in my MP3 collection.

And is it just me or does "Air Supply" remind you of "fart"?

Maybe it's just me.

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