About a month ago my 2004 Explorer (aka: the Dirty Rez Runner) broke down in the middle of the parking lot at work. No joke. I backed it out of the stall and then - nuthin. Translation for the dummy light read "Electronic Throttle Contol. When this light comes on the car is in 'limp home' mode. Go to your mechanic as soon as possible." Yeah, no Sh** Sherlock. I wasn't able to even limp home, let alone get to a mechanic. And furthermore, my mechanic was off fighting fires in California at the time!
In any event, I had the car towed to my local Ford Dealer for repair. They were out of true loaners by the time I got there, so they hooked me up with a 2007 Ford Edge off the lot.
Not bad! The Edge is what you call a "crossover SUV." Basically, its an SUV that's built on a car chassis (instead of the standard SUV truck chassis), so it rides, drives, and sits on the road more like a car, but still has the cargo space and all terrain capacity of an SUV.
I knew all of that off the top of my OWN head, no help from Herr Leiderhosen.
I'd actually been kinda eyeing the Edge from afar, so I was stoked to be given one for while to test out. The first test: Will the dog kennels fit?
Sweet! I had to put part of the 60/40 bench seats in the back to make room for the larger kennel on the left, but I was otherwise impressed with amount of space back there.
Of course, they set me up with the Cadillac version. Leather interior, heated seats, navigation system.
I am SO getting heated seats in my next car. It also had rear backup sensors, which are pretty handy for parallel parking, getting out of my driveway, etc.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the Edge. My only real complaint is that, because the way the windshield sits, all the air from the defroster got re-routed to my eyeballs, thus drying out my contacts.
Yup, the car had my name on it:
SEL = my initials. Seriously, how can you not give a fair amount of consideration to a car that sports the same initials as you do?
In the end, however, the Dirty Rez Runner's break-down only cost $250 to repair, so even with 95,000 miles I was able to get him out there to drive another day. I know he doesn't look like much, but I've been able to pretty much beat the crap out of him for 3 years and he doesn't act a day older for it.
There was an ad in the paper this week that the Enumclaw Work, Sports and Outdoors (WSO) would be having a "spotlight sale" Friday night. I made a mental note of it because WSO is where Chris gets all of his Carharrt gear that he wears in the shop. Its good, but it aint cheap, so if there's a sale on it I'm there.
The place looked like one of those bridal bazaars where they sell bridal gowns for 75% off and the women tear each other apart going after gowns. Except these were dudes. And they were going after hunting gear, John Deere t-shirts, etc.
It was an eye-opening experience for me. Part of me was like, "Oh, THIS is a big deal out here?" The other part of me said, "Oh, how far I have fallen..."
Enumclaw is, allegedly, an Indian word for "place of evil spirits." * I question this claim because wherever I read it couldn't trace it back to a particular tribe or dialect -- highly suspicious. In any event, it is the place of evil spirits because of all the wind we get here.
Unlike the Indian name claim, I can vouch for the wind. Our neighbors say they have clocked winds up to 90 MPH. Last winter we had this massive windstorm in December that knocked out our power for 2 days. Bad time to find out that your generator doesn't work. This time, however, we're prepared:
Our diesel generator/welder. When you start it, it blows big black clouds of diesel fury out the side. Reminds me of the 1983 Peugeot "Turbo" diesel sedan I drove in high school. That car sucked at everything except blowing massive diesel farts all over the guy behind you.
I also find it amusing that its a combination welder. I have visions of a snowstorm in December, the power goes out, and Chris saying something like, "Hey, are you ok having no power for like, 3 hours? Because I want to use the welder out in the shop." Hopefully welding and generating power are not mutually exclusive.
The gang of elk were in the backyard again today. Its hunting season, so they're hiding out in our backyard because, as Chris says, "If they don't sell it at Safeway, we're not eating it." Funny, they sell salmon at Safeway but I can't get him to eat it...
Also, I think they know that we still have half a cow in the freezer, so we're good on meat for a while.
According to lore, these particular elk are not really native to this area. They live in the mountains, not down on the prairie. Apparently Weyerhaeuser brought them here in the 1930's to eat help thin the vegetation around trees, making it easier for loggers to access timber. They were raised in pens until they were old enough to be on their own, at which point they were released. All did not go according to plan, however, as Weyerhaeuser soon realized that the elk were doing more harm than good because they ate tree saplings and damaged trees. Weyerhaeuser abandoned the elk program, but they've sustained themselves ever since.
In addition to all the t-shirts from other fire departments he traded while he was in California, Chris also brought home a massive cold. Lucky for him, he installed a TV in the bedroom before he left for CA, so he can lie in bed and watch TV while he rides this thing out.
Goose also has a cold she either picked up at day care or at the groomer. I'm leaning toward the groomer because the folks who run the day care are pretty OCD about cleanliness and vaccinations. She's fine, she just sneezes a lot. And no, humans can't catch canine colds.