Wednesday, June 13, 2007


In a funny bit of coincidence, just as I posted about our car trouble, we got a call from the mechanic letting us know the problem has been diagnosed. Turns out it's the distributor (just as we suspected), and it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, we had had the original, 11 year old distributor replaced in April 2006, and it's an aftermarket one. It's less than half the cost of the manufacturer recommended one, but it looks like it doesn't last that long. The thing came with a 1 year warranty, and lasted just long enough to be out of the warranty period. Silly thing. Our mechanic did call his supplier who offered a 10% discount on the replacement part. Sigh.

We talked it over, and decided to give this funky distributor another chance. It's a lot cheaper than the "official" part, and really, we're not sure the car will last us another year. I mean, it's been good to us so far, but it's starting to show some electric glitches, and that's never a good sign.

So I'm guessing we'll be on the market for a new vehicle soon. We'll probably be looking at something used (2-5 years old?), something fun yet reliable, and hopefully easy on gas. That's a lot of requirements, I know. We've been talking about this for the last few years ("What would we ever replace the Probe with?"), and haven't found any convincing answers yet. Some of our requirements are a little contradictory (fun to drive and easy on gas? good commuting car, yet not too small? exotic yet affordable?), and I think we're both looking for slightly different things. Of course this would be mostly DH's car, as he does the bulk of the commuting in this family, so it definitely has to fit his criteria more than mine. I'll be posting more as the decision making process unfolds :)

I think the hardest part is that we don't want to have to say goodbye to the old car. It's served us so well, and it's still so much fun to drive. We'd love to keep it going forever, but we're not necessarily interested in having to leave it in the shop every week. Hopefully, it's not time to say goodbye yet, but we definitely have to start preparing for that eventuality.

Next post, no car talk, I promise :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Car trouble

So I've been meaning to write this car trouble story for over a week now... Sigh. The reason I haven't written it yet is probably two parts busy, one part procrastination. Make that four parts busy and one part procrastination... Two Fridays ago, DH was driving to work in the old car (as he usually does). For some reason I decided to take it easy that morning and leave a little later, so I was still at home, slowly getting ready when he got on the road. A few minutes after he left, the phone rings. It's DH: "The car died, and I am stranded in the middle of the intersection". In those moments, I am glad we finally broke down and got a cellphone, even though we barely ever use it :)

Anyway, DH called the tow-truck, but he asked me to come pick him up, so that he can get himself to work in the other car. I rushed into the shower, and a few minutes later I was out the door. I got to the intersection, with no car and no hubby in sight... I drove around in circles for a few minutes, hoping to find him in the immediate vicinity, but to no avail. So I kept going, and a few kms later, there he was, pulled over with the car acually running. Turns out the car eventually decided to start again, and DH left me a message at my work number (though I never checked it). But all's well that ends well, we swapped cars (at that point I was only maybe 3 kms from my work, so I could have walked the rest of the way), and he managed to get to work on time.

I had a few errands to run that day, but I wasn't all that concerned, since the car was running fine. I got all my errands done, and then after work went to a friend's place, for our almost-monthly "stitch and bitch" get together. A great time was had by all, and time flew past way too fast as usual. So here I am, heading home at around midnight, when all of a sudden, the car dies again. If I had any thoughts that DH had done something wrong in the morning and somehow stalled the car, I knew now that there's definitely something going on with the car itself. I was going 90km/h when all of a sudden the tach went to 0, and I had no more power steering (ouch!), and was slowly coasting to a stop. Definitely, this wasn't related to anything that I might have done.

Anyway, I come to a stop on a small residential street, right in the middle of a bus stop (I really didn't have much ch0ice in where the car decided to stop). That's when I remember that DH did not leave the cellphone with me... Luckily, there was a gas station right across the street, open 24h. So I get out in the rain, after attempting in vain to start the car again, and go to the gas station, where I meekly asked the attendant if I could borrow the phone. He was nice enough and gave me the phone, which I used to wake up DH, to get him to come down and rescue me from the cold and rain. You see, only DH has CAA membership, so he has to be there with the car to call the tow truck (if we want it done for free that is).

Anyway, to make a long story short, the tow truck showed up around 1am, at which point the car graciously agreed to start again, and since we were only a few minutes from home, we managed to get it all the way down the driveway on its own (with the tow truck following right behind). DH even thought he could get the car in the garage, so he stopped in front of the door, got out of the car to open the garage door, when bam! the car died again. At least at this point it was in the driveway, and we could just leave it there...

So it looks like the car just dies for a few hours at a time. We managed to get it down to our mechanic down the street, but he hasn't had a chance to take a look at it yet. Since the car is now 12 years old, we're trying to get used to the idea that we may have to say goodbye to it for good... Though we are still hoping it will not come to that. Mostly because it's such a fun car! We've been trying to think what we would replace it with if we had to, and can't come up with anything as fun (and within our budget). I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it :)

So that's my sob story of being stuck with a dead car in the rain...

Hope you're all safe from car trouble (and any other kind of trouble for that matter).

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Weekend cuteness

Ok, so there's been countless cuteness moments this weekend. I think I'm going into cuteness overload :)

First it was our friend's twin girls on Friday. They will soon be 2 years old, and they're so cute. They can say all sorts of words, and they look so cute in their ponytails!!

Then yesterday I was cutting the grass, and all of a sudden I hear lots of commotion. Turns out the mother horse is teaching the new foal how to gallop. She's chasing her all over the place, and making her practice turns and stuff. So cute!

Then there was the turtle I saw on the side of the street when heading to work, and after that, little goslings on the work campus cooling off in little puddles of water... I should bring the camera with me more often!

And last night at our friend's birthday party, we got to play with his 5 week old son. Such a cutie! I even got to feed him, which was so much fun! Except every time I tried to burp him, he would just fall asleep. I guess he was getting very comfortable :)

Then this morning we noticed that in the robin's nest that's in the window of one of our guest bedrooms, two baby birds have hatched (and there's still two blue eggs left). They are so cute, whenever anyone approaches they open up their little beaks asking for food. We're trying to leave them undisturbed, so the parents don't abandon them. But they are so cute!

So how's that for a weekend's worth of cuteness?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy anniversary to us

Yes, today is our anniversary. 6 years of marriage. Who would have thought it would go by so fast! We've now officially been married longer than we'd been together before that. It's a pretty cool thing, marriage, I tell you. Sure, there's ups and downs (and some years it seems like there's more ups, and others it's more downs...), but overall, it's a great journey. But it's not for the faint of heart ;)

We actually have no plans for celebrating this occasion. All day DH is at a conference downtown, and tonight we're going to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday party. Tomorrow it's conference all day again, and hopefully some rest in the evening... And last night I had a night out with some friends (a monthly type of event that I had missed for the last 3 months, so I really didn't want to miss this one), and DH had a few friends over to watch a movie on the big screen. So not much official celebrating this weekend.

But I did buy a gift for DH (this is the first year I've done so). In previous years we've often agreed on a no gift policy, but DH would always pick something up "at the last minute", and then my Mom would have a gift for us too, and I always end up feeling guilty. So this year I decided to buy a book that DH has been meaning to get for the last few weeks. Hope he likes it :)

I have more stories to tell you, but I have to go now (I got paged with a work issue), so it's bye for now!

Ta ta!