Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ohhhh... who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

I'll tell ya, I just don't know where the blogging time has gone.

OK, I do. We've been "spring cleaning" the house, planting the garden, and The Mrs. has been feeling a bit under the weather in general punctuated by the occasional burst of serious, heartfelt, "I'm going to die!!!!"

I'm telling ya folks, if you're not prepared for every medical malady to turn into a major performance, then don't marry someone with a performance degree. The Mrs. isn't going to die. The Mrs. was never even close to dying. Well, at least not any closer than that time she got really "happy" at the conservatory and decided to show her friends how athletic she was by demonstrating how she could jump down a whole flight of stairs without getting hurt and then called me up in the middle of the night (400 miles away) to ask me if she should go to the hospital.

But we're not supposed to talk about that.

As part of the spring cleaning, The Childrens have been boxing and bagging up toys that they don't need any more. Some for donation, some for sellin' at the consignment shoppe (at least until the new lead rules for certifying toys go into effect, which puts consignment stores out of business). Then, they'll be rewarded with new toys of a smaller volume, but likely higher dollar cost.

Probably they'll each get a Nintendo DSi. They need them for the road trip anyways, so we might as well kill two birds with one stone.

I'm thinking of cleaning up the garage so I can make room for a new truck. I have the most devious of plans. See, it goes like this:

My HOA won't let me park a boat outside, on account of the fact that I live in a nice neighborhood, so owning a boat becomes way too much hassle, cuz then I gotta rent some place to park it, go get it the night before, charge the batteries, check everything over, go fishing, come back, clean it all off, then take it back to storage. Hence, the saga of the fishing boat ended with me empty-handed.

Now, the prospect of the Gub'ment and/or the UAW and/or Fiat running Dodge has made me worry about the possibility of not being able to get quality replacement parts for the old truckster. I'm almost at 60k miles, which is about as far as once can expect a Dodge to go without requiring a steady diet of replacement parts. Yes, I know, if I'd gotten the Heavy Duty, that wouldn't be true. But I got a compact (I lived in California, and the compact didn't fit in my garage at all and just barely fit in the driveway). The Dakota, like its brother the Durango, is known more for its styling and class-leading available V8 power than it is for its longevity. You can axe 'Billy about how well his Durango held up once it got to a certain age.

So, if'n I'm replacing the Dakota in a year or so, first you gotta look at all the possible replacements. The Dakota, despite being competely redesigned a couple years ago, remains largely identical to the one I have now (plus, see above about Gub'ment/UAW/Fiat), so that's out. The Chevy/GMC twins, while they've managed to wedge a nice V8 in there, are otherwise non-competitive models, and while Fiat doesn't look to be involved, Gub'ment/UAW ownership is on the horizon. The Frontier (made in USA) and Tacoma (made in Mexico) both have laughably small beds - even smaller than I have now. There are only two serious complaints I have about my truck: pathetic gas mileage (12 city/15 hwy) and the small bed. The Ford Explorer Sport Track I don't even understand the point of.

So, I'm left going full-size. And when you go full-size, you're only real option in the half-ton market is the F-150.

Now, I've checked the dimensions of the F-150, and it will not fit through my garage door without the mirrors folded. It's not clear to me if they have power folding mirrors, i.e., mirrors that you push a button, and they automatically fold. If they do, then we might be able to get it through the door (I'm not getting in and out to fold/unfold mirrors every time I use the garage). Once inside, though, I'm pretty sure I'd have to take out the shelves on the left wall in order to open the driver's door, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to open the right rear passenger door because I have no way to remove the post that holds up the second floor that is right there. I figure if I get the SuperCrew with the 6.5' bed, there's no practical way I'll be able to park it in the garage.

Which means helllloooo fishing boat.

1 comment:

Billy said...

If you decide to keep your Dodge, first plan on replacing the stainless steel brake lines at $1300 (that is of course if you happened to be parked when they fail like I was, otherwise the wife just may have to replace husband). Then, expect the check engine light to flicker accompanied by wild, full-scale gyrations of the oil pressure gauge. This means that the cooling jacket has warped and your chocolate got in my peanut butter. That will require a total engine replacement, which I didn't price and traded that 'made by the UAW piece of American ingenuity' in for a Nissan.

I'll be very hard pressed to by an American designed, supply-chained, procured, and manufactured, again.