Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Broken Things

It's turning out to be quite the year for us. First the 25-year old waterbed, then the 20-year old microwave, and now the 15-year old television die - irreparably dead - all of them. And Aries is really good at fixing things (obviously, when you look at the age of most of our stuff). Looking on the bright side, the more big-ticket items that die and get replaced now, before we're retired, the less expense (I hope!) once our income level drops. So, we went TV shopping - checking prices at Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and then getting a friend with a CostCo card to take Aries over there. He came home with a Samsung flat screen that fits in our entertainment armoire. He's happy - the picture is so sharp and the colors so fine. I'm happy - I can still close the doors on that evil eye when I'm home.

We've had some pretty high winds lately. They're called Washoe zephyrs. The Washoe tribe are the native Americans indigenous to this area, and the winds are always out of the west. Being in the high desert, this time of year especially, we can get temperature swings of 50ยบ between our below-freezing nights and sunny Spring days. Add to that the cold mountain air on the snow-covered slopes above us, rushing to the valley floors after sundown as the temperature drops, and we can get some pretty good winds in the afternoons and evenings. Then, there's the fact that our home is at the foot of a canyon, funneling those winds down, but above the calmer valley floor. It all adds up to some pretty good winds coming through here on occasion. A couple of days ago, one of our gateposts broke - the combination of high winds and dry rot in the wood just snapped it. So replacing that fence post was on the list of things to do too. Level and plumb, the gate now swings and closes perfectly again.

And then, when we were out doing errands in our "town car" yesterday, we had some problems too. Granted, it's over 35 years old, so things will break on occasion (and it can be awfully difficult to find parts anymore!). It's a 1972 Honda 600, inherited from Aries' dad. The engine is a 600cc motorcycle engine in a teeny little 2-door sedan, and it gets over 40 miles per gallon, in town. Besides, it's cute, and I love the looks and comments we get when we're out in it. It looks like it should have a wind-up key on the back, or maybe eight clowns jumping out when we stop. Just seeing it makes people smile. And then when Aries gets out - he's 6'5" - people do a double-take.

Anyway, coming back from town, it kept dying. We'd pull over to the side, wait a bit, and then get it started enough to get a few more blocks. We did manage to nurse it home, with occasional bouts of pushing too - at least it's not very heavy. Aries got a new fuel filter for it, but it looks like the fuel pump might be going out too, or maybe rust in the gas lines or tank. Hope we can fix it or find the parts needed. Gasoline is only going to get more and more expensive, I'm afraid.

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