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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Mom has been driving the same car for 25 years. She's had her red Plymouth since she was younger than I am now. She's had it since it really was red, and by now she's pretty much milked the last bit of value out it. She's not nearly ready to give up driving, though. Lately she's been limiting herself to one trip per day, because she's been afraid that the Sapporo wouldn't start more than twice a day.

Well, that's no way for an active person to live, is it? It's not as if she couldn't depend on her family to take her where she needs to go. It's that she doesn't want to depend on anyone. She wants to keep her independence. Who wouldn't?

So we've been looking for an affordable used car for her to buy, and this week things fell into place. She's had the car checked out by our favorite mechanic, and as of yesterday she finally has reliable transportation parked in her carport. It's a 1999 Dodge Stratus, but even that makes it twenty years newer than the car it's replacing.

She's nervous about driving something different. She's been reading and rereading the manual. She's studied every knob and dial on the dashboard. It's too bad it's January, because she already knows how to adjust the air conditioner. She hasn't gone anywhere yet, but she's definitely ready. And trust me, she won't be sitting home reading manuals for long.

John and Suzanne did way more than I ever did (or could) to help Mom get a new car. I am helping her get a new computer, thanks to the efforts of my friend Jeannie. Even though I don't take credit for the good things happening to Mom these days, I do take pleasure in them. It means a lot to me that her well-being matters to so many people.

31 January 2004

Mom in her new car.

And Mom also gets a rebate from the state for retiring her old car from service. All it has to do is not pass the smog test, which is pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point. California is almost as happy as the family is to get this vehicle off the road.

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I don't want to say it's going to be a great Super Bowl, because the odds are against it. But it could be. It's a contest between a team that has won more games in a row than any team in thirty years, and a team that has consistently shown it can find a way to pull out close games. Both teams are well coached and neither is likely to overpower the other. Whichever team is ahead at the end of the game will probably win.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Surveillance
"So now I ignore the warnings. Some day maybe I'll have a real problem, but I'll just assume it's a mistaken message like all the others."

Two years ago: Prerecorded
"Rhythm and blues from the streets of New York City, smooth and mellow (unlike, so I'm told, the streets themselves)."

Three years ago: Meet in the Middle
"Monday was a day when I just couldn't see the forest, because all the trees kept falling on top of me."

Four years ago: Don't Blame Me
"I really do like my job, but I hate the business. The construction industry has to be one of the most cutthroat enterprises there is."

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The truth leaks out a little every time
You tell another desperate joke.