Monday, March 31, 2014

Been Busy

End of February was hectic, getting ready for my late brother Ken's service and 4 cousins coming to SA. It was bizarre seeing family members at a Televators show.

Went hiking with Barbara and found an antler for the first time:

She's a silversmith and made this rocket for me. It opens up to hold a few ashes and has Ken's birthstone--supercool!

I took them (in varying #s) to the Alamo, El Mercado, La Villita, La Cantera, Jacala's, and Mama Margie's.
All big hits.
Cousin Bruce brought us beer: Ghost River for me, which is a local Memphis brew, and Yuengling for Sylvia. She used to bring it home from business trips east of the Mississippi, so it was great having a case delivered.

We were having troubles with Sylvia's Honda Civic, and dropped a lot of $$$ on it's 2nd transmission rebuild only to find that it was overheating randomly. After 5 tows and another pile of $$$ we were told that it needed a new engine.
She cried a little, manned-up quickly, and decided she was done with it.
We were lucky to meet Byron and Patrick at Gunn Honda, a couple of cool dudes that we could relate to. Byron went to see Phish in Austin one time, and woke up in Kansas. He's seen them 97 times total after that auspicious start. Patrick is Canadian, which is cool in my book. They were THE BEST car salesman/finance pair I've ever dealt with, and in a few hours Sylvia had her very first brand new car, a 2014 Honda CR-V:

We both love it beyond all expectations.

During our car troubles we rented a KIA Soul for a week and enjoyed it, then our friend Holly loaned us her spare Ford F150 pickup, which lost it's alternator in a Wendy's drive-thru with 2 of my cousins along for the drama. Man, the electrics on that truck freaked the hell out, while I was in all the other customer's way. Couldn't get it into neutral for awhile, the alarm was threatening me, lights were coming on all over the dash, the radio kept trying to eject invisible CDs. Luckily we were in walking distance of the cousin's hotel, and she had a rental car. Yet another tow job involved.

Best part of all the car hassles was that when push came to shove, "Old Blue" (my UT orange '98 Dodge Dakota pickup) was suddenly Mr. Dependable in getting Syl to work and back, and in fact hasn't given me more than a few very minor glitches since last October. Nothing like it used to be, dying in the middle of Loop 410 rush hour.
Which is funny because Old Blue went through a period where it only got freaky when Syl was riding with me on weekends, then acted normal the rest of the time. Convincing her to drive it alone didn't even involve threats or bribes, because she had manned-up already. Super Proud.

If you've been following along, you know that my laptop died during our first night in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This was back in January. I spent a lot of time working on it there and here and at times it seemed like it could be saved but at a certain point it got packed up and written off. About two.5 weeks ago I pulled it back out just for a lark, and long story short I've been buying $2-5 DVDs again and spending what used to be "BloggerTime" at the kitchen counter watching movies and listening to my bass playing over some Sony studio headphones. Thanks to my tech, Buz, for added help in getting it back among the living.
Don't think I mentioned here that we also had to buy a "new" PC tower right after getting back from the island, since all my others had died in depeche mode right before we left (Translation=Fast Fashion). The laptop was all I had, and when IT failed....there was a break in wanting to blog or even be civil to people online.

The "new" PC is Dual-Core and double my old RAM running Win7, and I love it so far.