We pick up the action mid-morning on Friday. Good Friday as a matter of fact. Since I had the day off I decided to use this gift of time to get a few things done. Up first on the list was having the new (to me) van inspected.
The driver’s side ball joints are toast? [R] ?! Poo!
Off we went from there to Pepboys to find out their version of what it will cost to fix. They came up with an estimate that was only $51 and some change short of what I’d paid for the van. It would seen that they want to replace just about everything forward of the B-pillar, all with brand new parts. Or better yet I should return the van.
Well, that ain’t happening! Paying that much to have it fixed, that is.
Well, we had other things that need doing so we drove home to switch vehicles.
“Attention K-mart shoppers! We have a Blue Light Special …”
Did someone mention cops? Even as Mum was drawing a breath to comment on the thought that we’d probably get pulled over as we were pulling into our own neighborhood, we rounded the corner onto our street and I came to a full stop. I counted four cruisers and more cops than that completely blocking the street! It would seem that there may have been some sort of ‘issue’ amongst some of our neighbors. I have no idea what sort of issue. It’s just that there seem to be more ‘issues’ lately than there were when we first moved in. We keep to ourselves for the most part. So it only affects us from an entertainment point of view.
Now you may wonder why we might get pulled over in our new (to us) flea van. You see, the van has brandy spanking new Marxistchusets plates, both front and back. What it lacks is any sort of inspection sticker whatsoever. It came to me through the used car dealership across the main drag from our little neighborhood by way of craigslist from ‘down south’ in Connecticut. (Well, that is south of here…) According to the registration I can drive it legally for 10 days. By the end of that time I need to have it inspected. Or else. We are still within that window of opportunity. But the cops would be perfectly justified in pulling us over – just to make sure.
I put it in reverse.
We backed out into the intersection from which we had just turned and I continued down to the next street. We came at our driveway from the other side. I pulled in ‘head in’ so the absence of a sticker would be that much less noticeable and because that’s how I park this van all the time anyway.
So after taking care of a couple of necessary things here at the house (made more necessary by our surprise welcoming committee) we hopped in Galileo and headed off to our next errand.
It was time to have Galileo’s tires swapped from his winter cleats to his summer running shoes. Since both sets of tires came from Sears that’s where we headed next. While we were there I talked with them about “the other guy’s” estimate on the van. Naturally they could only guesstimate what the van might need since I was there in my Beetle. At first I was in shock when they quoted well over $800- just for the ball joints! Pep Boys had quoted that part of the job at about $535-. When I reiterated that it was only the driver’s side that need to be replaced the price suddenly came in at almost $100- less than Pepboys. In the end we made a reservation for 0800 Saturday morning to get the van in the shop to replace the ball joints and have it looked at while there.
To sleep, perchance to dream – not me, this night. Not even on my new lamp oil free mattress…
With hardly a wink of sleep it seems I was up again and off to Sears in the van. If we can get this done in time we may, I stress may, be able to get to the inspection station by noon to get the sticker. We actually made it to Sears with ten minutes to spare. But there were already three people in line ahead of us to be checked in. What’s more, the guy immediately ahead of us hadn’t picked the tires he wanted so he and the check-in guy went in to the showroom for what seemed like forever. We were finally checked in at 8:16AM.
After cooling our heels for most of the morning we finally got the van back at about ten minutes past eleven. We were in Nashua. The inspection station is in Lunenburg. I called on my cell phone to let him know we were on our way. On Saturday the shop closes at noon.
Why is it that when you absolutely positively need to get somewhere by a specific time you invariably wind up in back of someone out for a Sunday drive? Even if it’s Saturday?
We arrived at the inspection station at precisely 12:05 PM.
No expletives were in need of deletion at this particular time. At least not any major ones. I’d used them all up after getting the quote at Pepboys the day before anyway.
So we went off to Bickford’s to grab some lunch. They’ve redone the décor since the last time we’d been there. I particularly like one of the fake antique signs hanging on the wall of the main dining room: “We buy junk & sell antiques” The new to the menu hotdog banquet was particularly good IMHO. Mum had the same and had rave reviews as well.
Then we filled the van for the first time. $67 in Federal Reserve Notes later (via the on the pump card reader) the van had a full tank. I don’t think I’ve spent that much at the pump since the last time I rented one of Roger Penske’s trucks!
Later Saturday afternoon/evening I went over to storage to get the folding table and a bunch of junk. I mean Junque. I mean stuff to sell. As I said later to a friend in chat on Facebook, I may have been better off to have skipped buying the van and just called 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Looking at this stuff from the perspective of having to set it out on a table at the flea market in hopes of enticing a complete stranger to part with their hard earned cash to actually buy it from me – holy crap! What a pile of junk! And I’ve been shelling out my own hard earned cash to store it all these years!
Well, I found a partial van-load that seemed acceptable, loaded it up and we were ready to set up at the flea bright and way too early on Sunday. We expected it to be a very slow day. It was Easter Sunday after all. Also the other two fields won’t open until next Sunday. I actually did manage to sell a couple of things! Even if space had cost the usual $25- we would have more than paid for our table. Lunch ate most of the profit, quite literally, though.
Just a side note about selling stuff at the flea market. I find it just a wee tad, um, unsettling I guess best describes it, to see stuff I sold earlier in the day on someone else’s table later in the day. That’s often the way it works and I don’t have a problem with that. It just feels a bit odd. I suppose I’ll get used to it eventually. I know it happens all the time. It’s just the first time I’ve experienced it from the seller’s side of the table.
So, even though we didn’t accomplish everything we set out to do this weekend, we got quite a lot done in the end. And we have officially launched the next phase of our cashflow adjustment plan. We even managed to get rid of some stuff including converting some of it back into cash! So as exhausting as it’s been, I’d call this weekend a success.
And like I said at the beginning of this post: I’m actually looking forward to work – so I can rest!