Do you know what I did last summer?

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I bought a new car!

Well, almost new. A 2019 Ford Fusion, with 2,600 miles. A “lease return”, whatever that means.

I’m really loving this car. It has a bunch of bells and whistles that I’m still figuring out how to use, but I’m getting there.

Took it on a road trip earlier this month, put 4,100 miles on the car, and couldn’t be happier. It averaged 35 mpg, with sections of the trip hitting 40 mpg. It’s very comfortable to drive, and I’m ready to go on another trip. I just have to decide where. Fires and smoke have limited the choices here in California, but I’ll figure something out. Maybe Oregon and Washington before the rainy season starts. Oh, wait… is there a rainy “season” there? Or do they just call that “a year”?

If you see me on the road, give me a wave. If you’re a HAM radio operator, call me on 146.520 MHz. I might even be listening on CB, on channel 17 or 19 or whatever the highway (trucker) channel is in that area.

Happy motoring!

2:30 am, in the drive-thru


drive_thru“Hey! Guy in front of me!”

Yeah, that’s probably not something I want to respond to at 2:30 in the morning in the drive-thru lane.  I’m figuring the guy yelling it is somewhere on the high side of a blow into a breathalyzer, and it’s better I just pretend I don’t hear him.

“Hey! You! In front of me!  Don’t act like you can’t hear me!”

Oh, joy, this is not looking like a good time to be stuck between the car in front of me, and the one behind me with the guy who’s probably feeling no pain.

I’m really not sure what to expect, as I was in my pickup, not my car.  My car has a couple of LGBT related stickers on it, but the truck does not, so I knew i most likely wasn’t about to be gay-bashed, but I really was wondering…  maybe it was the Obama magnet on the bed-mounted tool box?  Maybe it was someone who recognized me from a blog posting?  Why is this guy yelling at me in the drive thru?

I really didn’t expect what happened next.



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My 2005 Ford Taurus, bought in 2007 with 8,750 miles on the odometer.  A trip to Ohio and back, and a couple of runs to the Bay area, occasional jaunts to Fresno, and back and forth to work totaled up to 45,200 miles the other day.

Yuma, Arizona. Almost a spur-of-the-moment road trip

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So a buddy from Ohio is in Arizona for a week visiting relatives, and he makes the mistake of saying “you should come to Arizona!”  I gave him several chances to withdraw the invitation, he refused, so here I am, in Yuma!

Dinner tonight was a good old fashioned hamburger, fries, and a Coke, at a 50’s style diner.  Right down to the chrome barstools, and 50’s music on the jukebox.

Tonight at the Wingate Hotel, tomorrow wasting time with Roman, tomorrow night in the hotel, then home in time for Christmas Eve.  (It doesn’t start till sundown, technically, and I’ll roll in sometime after dark, but close enough!)

(update: I actually rolled in about an hour before dark, so I made it home before Christmas Eve started.  At least Christmas Eve Pacific Time!)

456 miles.  8 hours, 20 minutes on the road.  31 MPG.  In a 2005 Taurus!  Not too shabby.

The weirdest thing so far?  Fine dust blowing across the road like fog.  Big windstorms starting in Palm Springs,  well, windstorms all over, but raising dust like crazy starting at PS.  Dust snaking across the road in front of me,  going almost as fast as I was!  I’ll have to get a new air filter for the car when I get home, it’s going to be full of fine dust.

Second weirdest thing?  Wal-Mart parking lot in Blythe.  (Taco Bell.  I didn’t go into Wallyworld) They need to ban plastic bags there, too.  The fence along the street was a 3 ft chain link…  it was solid plastic bags pinned solid to the mesh of the fencing.  Wind was picking them all up and plastering them to the fences up and down the roads.  Looked really bad.  Plastic bags have got to go.

Also saw a tumble weed on the Grapevine commit suicide by jumping in front of a speeding mini-van.  Pretty much exploded.  Saw another one racing the cars, rolling along the center divider shoulder, and doing a pretty good job of keeping up!

Snow on the ground going over the pass, but fortunately the roads were clear by the time I got there.  CHP had been escorting cars earlier, and they had completely closed it at one point last night.  Lucky me, didn’t have to detour, or wait.

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