This weekend while talking with a friend of mine who manages the Supper Club, we got to chatting about the nature of cascading problems. Like Lays, you can never have just one: problems seem to maliciously collaborate with one another so as to guarantee the worst possible impact.
Luckily, my problems in the grand scheme of things are absolutely trivial – as far as I know I still have my health, and RedMonk is getting some good ink lately (more on that later) – but in addition to the aforementioned MySQL outage which has been sucking up my time and with some personal/family issues that have come up in the past few weeks, I got some bad news today on my faithful steed.
In preparation for my cross country drive back to Maine (wasn’t one of you supposed to talk me out of that?) for a summer of working/vacationing out of my favorite state, I dropped my ’96 Ford Taurus SHO off at the dealer this morning for an A/C recondition and overall tuneup. Unfortunately, they discovered at least two grand worth of work that needs to be done (blown front struts, broken rear sway bar, bad head gaskets on the engine, etc), which is getting close to exceeding the value of the car. After initially giving them the go ahead for a portion of the work, I talked to my brother and dad (the finance geeks in the family), and reluctantly came to the conclusion that it’s time to look for a new car. Calling the dealership back to cancel the work was not an easy task.
It’s difficult for me because I’m sentimental by nature and I get very attached to things like cars that serve me well, and this car has done nothing but serve me very well since I got it in ’97. Even were I to have faith in an afterlife, there aren’t many religions that I’m aware of that extend that to automobiles, so I’m more than a bit sad at the forthcoming end to my car’s life.
After a couple of hours research and a couple of conversations with my brother, I seem to be focused at least for the moment on the Volvo S40 T5 AWD. If any of you have positive or negative things to say about that or other Volvos, let me know. I’m looking for a.) a sedan, b.) something reasonably priced (though I’d love to have Christopher’s ride), c.) that’s relatively sporty, and (preferably) d.) has all wheel drive. If you’ve got suggestions, I’m all ears.