Thursday, April 20, 2017

Commitments. Or lack thereof

For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death us do part. 

This is not about my divorce, that was final 2.5 years ago (already...time flies)(and I'm amazed that some FB friends still don't know, guess they don't pay attention....)
  I confess, I've engaged in clickbait,or sensationalism. You know....provide a sensational or emotional headline to encourage people to click the linky, and once the page finally loads, you find that you have to page down past a metric shit tonne of ads and other BS and click thru 10 pages of that crap to be disappointed in the story that they didn't tell, but promised to tell in the headline.

The story may disappoint you, but I'll tell the story and you won't have to endure 10 pages of ridiculous ads.

Cancer is a horrible thing, isn't it? In this story, I'm not referring to the kind that kills people, pets or relationships; but the kind that everyone that enjoys the kind of commitment that I'm going to talk about has encountered and worked thru or succumbed to. 

Hydrated Iron Oxide. Fe2O3.  

This story begins in April 1999, I was working as maintenance at an apartment complex, my 84 Ranger was wearing out, and not entirely meeting our needs any more. I had a list of pickup requirements: I6 5speed, A/C, etc. I assumed this would provide a combination of reliability, economy and acceptable power. I was wrong. It could all have been worse, but it could have been better, too. If we'd bought the V8 automatic, it'd would have had more power and economy would have been about the same. Reliability? maybe better, maybe worse. 

Zumbrota Ford had it, so we bought it. Offered them less than they were asking, of course, and took out a loan for 8k. So begins my 3rd longest major commitment. I've had many much longer commitments, but only with tools. (1st (longest) major commitment was/is the house, 2nd longest was my marriage.)

Bought the 94F150 and sold the 84 Ranger, which I'd had for about 10 years. So begins the commitment. 

Seems like most people don't keep their vehicles very long. I'd keep this one forever, if I had the shop space and skills to fix it. And the money for the parts. I don't know what people use for rationale to determine when it's time to trade cars. I know some simply can't imagine not having a newish car. That means they have a payment, always. They justify it by saying they never have any repairs. Can't embarrass the kids with an old car...

I can tell this bloggy post is just going to ramble around and not make any sense. 

I think where my original intent was to go is this: People are never satisfied with what they have. I was thinking about this the other day, and started analyzing my life with that in mind.  Perhaps more on this later.

People really don't (or) don't really commit to things. How many people do you know that built their "barbie dream house" 5 years ago and are now building another? Or moved into their dream house and are moving again. Or those people that keep changing jobs. As soon as it needs some repairs or has a little rust it's time for a new one. 

I dunno, maybe that's ok. But maybe it's not. I wonder how much debt those people are carrying. If they just keep adding the old debt to the new debt, if the trade from the old car didn't pay off the loan, just add that to the new loan. New couch? Credit card! I digress, if that's even possible. 

For the record...other than the house loan, I have no debt. 

My 94F150 had 76k miles when we bought. It now has 137k. The transmission leaks, the differential is going bad, it has broken springs, some suspension brackets are perforated by rust. . The fenders are rusted thru, the cab floor is rusted thru, and the clutch has broken springs. The horn doesn't work, the cruise control doesn't work, either. The topper is still excellent, as is the hood and engine. The doors are pretty good, the seat is fine. 

For the past several years, I've put a post on FB announcing every April that I renewed my commitment and paid the license fee/tax. I'm not doing that this year. It's $51, and I'm spending that on a different pickup this year. 

I'm going to sell the tires to a coworker and the rest of it to the tow shop across the street. They have a couple tow trucks that are about the same age but aren't rusty (how can that be??)....I heard the mechanic say something about a wiring harness and I know they'll put the seat in one. It'll be a donor, sacrificing itself to ensure others live on. 

Back to being satisfied....I said I'd keep the pickup if it wasn't so rusty. As an aside....it has a sticker on it that says "Northland edition"...clearly that doesn't mean "rust protection/rust proof". It has met my needs for 15 or so of the 18 years I've had it. I'm happy with my car, my house, my cat, my job (most days), my computer, my phone (almost 4 years old), my shop tools, etc and so on. 

If it's not broken, don't fix it. If the item is meeting your needs, don't replace it. 

Leave a comment....how long do you keep your car, your house, your phone, etc, and why do you change?
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