Wrecking Their Credit

My sister’s husband was in a car wreck back in March and hasn’t worked since. He hurt his back and has been back and forth to all kinds of different doctors. It’s bad enough that his car was totaled and he can’t afford a new one, but he’s in pain every time he does the least little bit of lifting or carrying or pulling on things. We figure the car insurance will help take care of most of these kinds of things. What worries my sister and me is that he’s not earning any income all this time and the household bills are piling up.

Sis had to come out of retirement and go back to work just to bring in some money and pay the basics, like food and the utilities. But the rest of the bills are getting harder and harder to put off. I’ve helped her out a little here and there, but they are going to need a lot more help than what I can give.

She finally started looking into debt consolidation and counseling, and I’m sure the possibility of filing for bankruptcy is in the back of her mind, too. There’s a wide difference in the types of debt relief services and I want her to make informed decisions about this important financial matters. It’s bad enough that we are in a tough economy, but with her husband hurt and her two sons in college, she has a lot of worries.

Rude Surprise

Saturday always means errands and today was full of them. I headed out the door around10:00 this morning to take a dog to the vet. But when we got out in the street to get into my car, I noticed a lot of yellowey stuff on the side of my car. Evidently, sometime during the night some punks came by and threw raw eggs at my car. The eggs had broken on the windows of the driver’s side and the whites and yolks had run down the glass and onto the doors and side panels of my car.

that was really annoying and if I catch the punks there will be drama. As it was, nothing was broken – except their eggs – and no real damage done. I took my dog to the vet and once we were finished there I drove through an automatic car wash and got the egg off of my car. At least this was the old beater car and not my nice truck. And like I said, there was no damage. But it is disturbing that this neighborhood is experiencing even these minor acts of vandalism. We have enjoyed a nice, quiet, respectful neighborhood until recently when a few houses down the other end of the street have been rented out to tenants with kids. If it wasn’t those kids I suspect it was some of their friends. If it happens again I’m calling the police and setting up a trap for the punks. As long as they keep getting away with it they have no reason to stop.

Get Your Car Loan Before Car Shopping

Eventually the only cure for a bucket of bolts is to retire the old Nelly and get a new car. The problem with getting a new car is figuring out how to pay for it. After all these years, I have figured out some of the better ways to do that.

When I have a good idea what type of vehicle I want to get and what the ballpark purchase price might be, I shop around for the car loan before I ever step foot on the dealer’s lot. It strengthens your negotiating position to have your financing arranged before haggling with the dealership. I used to go to my bank and the big finance companies to shop for a new car loan, but they have gotten harder and harder to deal with over the years.

Put it in a Box

The first time I confronted the very idea of Shipping Containers was when I went to Bermuda and the taxi driver was telling me about how everything has to be shipped to the island in containers, therefore all supplies had to be ordered in advance and scheduled for shipping to maximize the efficiency of the cost and logistics involved in container shipping.

I had never thought of that, but of course it makes perfect sense. Such a different way of life for us spoiled Americans who can just run out to the mall or pick up the phone and have anything we want within minutes, hours, or at the most, a day of our first desire.

Once my curiosity was raised, I learned quite a bit about shipping containers and I’ve noticed them in my other travels when I’m in a port city. There are several different types, included refrigerated, insulated, open tops, and more. And then there are specialty containers, like the ones made specially for use in the Antarctic where the University of Wales is building an observatory. These specially insulated containers were custom made in Australia and then it still took over two months to get them delivered to the Antarctic site. Interesting project!

Cobalt Commercial

Funny commercial on the History Channel tonight was for the new Chevy Cobalt. The scene starts with a car parked at the gas pump. The pump hose disengages itself, reaches down and deflates the rear tire of the car. Then the words, “Gas Pumps Hate Us” show on the screen. The car’s owner comes out of the convenience store with chips and drink and goe sto get into his car when he notices the flat tire. Then the words “Chevy Cobalt . . 36 MPG” come on the screen.

Makes you stop and think, could I downsize to a Cobalt for the sake of the better MPGs?