Thursday, July 7, 2011

Divers and Sundry Minutae

So, Gina returned from points far Eastern (Republic of Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, et al) with red wine and dark chocolate, craving Mexican food.  We are delighted to have her back.  Her arrival did occasion a few changes in our lives, all, I think, for the better.

We finally closed down the used book business.  For newer readers of this blog, for the past 8 or 9 years I have run a used book business, primarily online.  For about 5 of those years (the bachelor ones) it was my sole source of income.  Like all of life, it was subject to external mutations.  Economic tides mixed with advances in technology mixed with increasingly greedy seller's fees on the part of the online selling venues mixed with our total inability to have anything to do with maintaining new inventory and repricing due to having real jobs finally came to the crossroads where the business was very nearly only managing to tread water each month.  I had a liquidation garage sale this past weekend.  While the sale did make more money in one day than the business had lately been making in a month, I still have a garage full of used books.  So, there are more blow-out sales to come with even more severely reduced prices in hopes of getting our garage back.  

Laurie had been driving Gina's car while Gina was out of the country, so we also had the issue of transportation to deal with.  We bought the Volvo pictured above two days ago.  We are a little nervous because it was far too cheap, but it seems to run fine and they didn't impound it as a stolen vehicle when we registered it, so we've decided to adopt the narrative that we stumbled upon a great deal.  Now all that remains is to get the Grizzly Reaper to mow my old truck.  I like Volvos because of their reputation as safe cars.  I can't tell you have often, while whizzing around in automobiles, I become hyper-aware of being propelled in tons of metal with other tons of metal also whizzing around.  I am such a fragile 200-some-pound sack of meat in a world where so many others walk freely while mad, high, drunk, insane, unlicensed, despairing, all able to get behind the wheel of automobiles and hurl themselves around the planet.  I like the idea of my wife being in a car known for surviving accidents well.

Other than that, I still hack away at the script I'm writing.  I've moved on to rereading Truman Capote's Music for Chameleons.  Caught with a bad case of the mean reds, I still have set St. Augustine aside on a shelf, looking on dourly.  There is a niggling voice in the back of my head that knows that I have to return to and finish his Confessions.  I will not let Augustine derail my reading project, although the reward system I've promised myself for getting through his work will even further extend that reading project.  More on that soon, but needless to say, my recent Summer Reading post is turning out to be as outrageously inaccurate as New Year's resolutions and astrological forecasts.

Also, we're going to by grandparents this December by way of my step-son Tony.

Also, we are going on vacation soon.  

Also, for those who were worried, the fuchsia is doing well.


  1. I love Volvos and have driven them for years. Is that an 850 you've purchased? Lots of excellent information at, many good aftermarket parts available at and

    Sorry about the book business. I returned from Indiana this week with a box of old books. Just started reading Ernie Pyle's Here is Your War. The volume I've got still has its jacket upon the back of which is a message commanding me to buy War Bonds. The book's filled a number of equally old newspaper clippings about the Indiana son who made good.

  2. It's a 1995 940. The mechanic has given it an alignment, an oil change and inspection, and a clean bill of health - with the exception of a problem with the shift-lock bypass which they are trying to sort out now. I suspect they are going to have to replace the shift-lock microswitch, which I read somewhere is a fairly common fail on these cars. We'll find out tomorrow.

  3. Yup. That is pretty common. We had a 1993 940T for a long time and it was pretty solid. Make sure you spend 40 bucks or so for a new fuel-pump relay and keep it handy. That'll be the likely cause of odd stall-outs that resolve once the car cools down a bit. Solder on the relay's circuit board will probably crack over time.

    Great car, though, with a strong drive-train. No reason you shouldn't get half a million miles out of it if maintained and not crashed. :)