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March 27, 2013     Sentinel Tribune
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SENTINEL TRIBUNE "00/rlEWPOINT Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Page 4 GUEST COLUMN Make it Fun! by Pam Young If I Were a Car...I Wouldn't Trust Mel Attention mechanics: DO NOT read or listen to this essay. At best it'll disgust you, but at worst, it could make you sick! I'm a self-confessed car abuser and I'm not proud of it, it's just the way it is. I've abused every car I've ever owned including my current one. My organizing skills have kept my cars clean on the outside and on the interior, but when it comes to taking care of what's under the hood, they are nonexistent. I know, I know, I'm irresponsible. I wait until some- thing happens and then I head for repair. And I know the "ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure," deal, but I've never minded that proverb when it comes to automo- biles. Once I thought seriously about marrying a master mechanic, but I just couldn't get past the permanent grease stains under his nails. So I married someone as mechanically challenged as I am. Have you ever noticed it costs more for a plumber, electrician or mechanic, if an inept person has taken a shot at a fix? In the 25 years Terry and I have been married the rap sheet on mechanical abuse runs long. We probably could be retired by now if we'd have been more mechanically adept. The highlights of my abuse began with a brand new Chrysler called a Sundance. Now the Sundance was a worthless car in the first place. (Driving it out of the dealership, I went to roll the window down and the handle came offin my hand. Just an omen, because anything that could go wrong with that car, did.) I still could have taken better care of her. Two years into ownership, I was stopped at a red traffic light with a car on my left in the left-turn lane. Black smoke began encircling our cars as we waited for the light to change. I looked over at the car beside me and noted it was a real junker and I thought, 'Get off the road, you polluting piece of junk.' :Tlieifig light turned green and he took a 'left and left me engulfed in the smoke. It was my car that was smoking! My light turned green and as I drove through the intersection, I heard a sound like a Costco-sized can of Chili blew up under the hood. I'd blown my first rod! Okay, in the two years I owned the car I had never changed its oil. I think I traded what was left of the Sundance on a new Mazda. With the Mazda, I took lessons they offered free to new owners on how to take good care of your purchase. I didn't mind. Our next car was a Cadillac. We were coming up in the world and I vowed to be better. We still have her today, but we are still guilty of neg- ligence! The Caddy has a big com- puter that I swear makes the car seem like a person. She lets us know when she's hungry, thirsty, needs an oil change, more coolant etc. Trouble is, it turns out she's a real hypochondriac. A good example; one morning her engine light came on informing me that something was wrong with her engine and I needed to get her in immediately! $119 later, it turned out the only thing wrong with her was that the engine light was faulty! The fix cost me another $45 ! The Cadillac was born in 1998 and I figure she's 105 in car years (same as dogs). We call her The Old Lady. She moans when I start her up in the morning if the temperature in the garage is below 45 degrees. I rammed into another car about two years ago and put a big hole in her rear bumper and when I went to get it fixed, I was informed it would cost more than the whole car is worth, so I just put a bumper sticker over the hole. I think we'll keep The Old Lady until she croaks, probably on the side of the road somewhere, but until that day, we keep oil and water in the trunk because she's constantly complaining that she's low on them. I figure I don't have to take her in for oil changes anymore, because she's constantly burning oil and we're adding fresh oil on almost a daily basis. I think when she does bite the dust; we'll just rent a car or take the bus. Oh, and if you are a car, and you see me gazing at you with that look of intended acquisition, please, for your own good take off the other the way. For more from Pare Young go to www.makeitfunanditwillgetdone. corn Get the most from your auto insurance Motor vehicle collisions and other auto-related mishaps result in billions of dollars in property damage, medical and legal bills and lost income every year. Car owners need to protect their vehi- cle and themselves with auto insurance, but how do you know if you are properly covered? It's not enough to simply have car insur- ance. Car owners should be aware of what their insurance covers and what it doesn't. The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) provides the following advice to consumers: Understand the insurance cov- erage you are buying. Compare the different types of insurance and choose the coverage that best suits the vehicle you own and your financial situation. Most jurisdic- tions require you to carry liability insurance in case you are at fault in an accident. But if your car is relatively new or if you still owe money on it, you will want to con- sider collision insurance, as well. Know and monitor the condi- tion of your vehicle. When consid- ering a new car purchase, think about maintenance costs. Cars that are expensive to service and repair are often targets for theft. If you are buying a used car, ask to see the title, check all the gauges, and consider getting a vehicle history report, which will tell you if the vehicle has ever been in an acci- dent or flood. Report any damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. If you are in an accident, or if your vehicle suffers damage from severe weather, contact your insurance agent or claims center right away. They may be able to save you money and may also arrange to have your car towed if it's not drivable. Get to know your mechanic. Have them explain the repair pro- cess to you and get estimates in writing for large service jobs. The BBB rates tens of thou- sands of insurers, car dealers and auto repair facilities. Be sure to check out bbb.org before buying, insuring or repairing your automo- bile. Buy, Sell, or Rent in the Classified ads Sentinel Tribune Ph. 274-6136 1-800-410-1859 AI Ba00. . . "Stories from the BaH Cave" I couldn't wait to be in a hurry I can't wait for spring. A friend said that to me. I told him that he could wait. There are two kinds of people. No, not those who were born in March and those who wish they had been. That's true, but it's not what I'm talking about here. There are those who think there are two kinds of people and those who don't think that. There used to be two other kinds of people. There were short people and tall people--kids and grownups. Kids had to wait, grownups didn't. Grownups didn't wait. They went. Back in the day when many girls were named Mary and I fantasized about becoming E.B. White, I couldn't wait. I couldn't wait for Christmas to get there. I couldn't wait for school to let out. I couldn't wait to grow up. I couldn't wait to get a driver's license. I waited. I occupied my time by following older kids around and whining, "Hey, wait up, you guys." My parents couldn't wait for school to start. I waited for things. I waited to learn how to play the stomach Steinway. I'm still waiting to learn how to play an accordion. I wished time would hurry. I was cautioned not to wish my life away. Wait until you're older. Wait until you're bigger. Wait until next year. Wait until your father gets home. Wait until you have your own place. Wait until pigs fly. Wait until hell freezes over. As we move from one target audience to another, we learn that grownups do wait. They wait to graduate, get a job, retire, etc. In Lewis Carroll's, "Through the Looking-Glass, The Red Queen said, "Now, here you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that." Grownups have to do a lot of that. I stopped to visit a friend who resides in a nursing home. I asked him how he was doing. He said that the people there were nice and the food was good, but he had to wait for everything. He didn't like that. Pat Bartlett of Dodge Center told me the story about the day he and wet. At least, the new odor covered the cigarette smell. Jim should have waited to have that heater. My Cadillac story is of a day during my college years when I was hitchhiking. I wasn't having much luck. A Cadillac pulled up beside me, stopped, and I heard the electric door locks click. I thought the driver had unlocked the doors. He had not. He'd locked them. He waved at me and drove away. I could wait forever to see him again. Another day, I found myself in the hardware store. I'm about all I can find in a hardware store any- more, so I was questioning a help- ful hardware man. "Could I put the wallpaper on myself," I asked. another borrowed their, employer's "You could, but I think it would new Cadillac tO drive to a job. The . look better on [he, walls. '' : boss Was a strict nonsmoker. The I looked at samples of paint col- fellow driving the Cadillac, Jim, was a dedicated smoker. Jim decid- ed that he would smoke in the car, but he'd crack open the driver's window and blow the smoke out of it. That would limit the cigarette smell in the car. That didn't work as well as he'd hoped. So he opened the window all the way in the hopes that would air out the car. As the Cadillac pulled closely alongside a cattle hauler on the left, one of the cows backed up to the slatted wall of the trailer and relieved herself. Pat said it appeared that the cow had not done so for days. The open window became a bad thing. The Cadillac wasn't equipped with automatic umbrellas. Time makes everything wet. The cigarette was doused, Jim was soaked, and the upholstery was ors and discovered that white comes in 1217 shades, most with cute names. I decided to wait and let my wife pick out the color. I wouldn't want to certify my fool- ishness by picking linen white instead of Dover white. I shudder at the thought of such a faux pas. Time passes quickly. I think the scientific term is "really, really fast." We're all playing in the same sandbox. Time waits for no one, but you won't have to wait long for an invitation to join AARP. A1 Batt 2013 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 http://albatt.net/ I III I I ' II II I I IIIIIIIqIHHIIIIIIIIIIIIII Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $42.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out of the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. I 1I1 .................. 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