Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 2002 > First of March 2002 Edition

First of March 2002 Edition

Happy DSL

The wiring of my folks' computer to my DSL is complete. Now my parents' can enjoy Internet download speeds comparable to what I get at work, or what a student gets at a college. Mind you, the only way they notice is when they visit Yahoo groups with their rampant advertising graphics.

Yahoo Gropes

Speaking of Yahoo groups, I found good news for my sister the freelance editor. I spent two evenings this past week copying the text of all messages in the archive of her Publishing Industry Freelance group, 100 messages at a time. It turns out those 16400-odd messages take up only nineteen megabytes. Not much of a consolation, though: The group is still nearing Yahoo's maximum capacity of 25 meg!

Still, the ever-present threat of Yahoo wiping such an important resource as the Freelance archive has made my sister search for another list service for the group…especially since it is reported that Yahoo is already hitting the archives of younger groups.

Good-Bye Car Loan

At work the bonus came in. It will form the core of my final payment for my car loan, as in "I don't care if I have another year to pay off my loan. I want it off my back now."

Title (ownership document) to my car in hand means I don't have any more a chunk of my checking account loped off for payments every month. Title in hand means I can get cheaper car insurance, since the bank can no longer insist I get full insurance for my car.

My Car

That Ford Aspire of mine is an unimpressive car. It's a rebuild to begin with: the original front and the back of another, done by the same guy who fixed the dent on it last year. I bought it in 1998 after its original owner refused to reclaim it.

The Aspire is classed as a 'compact car'. In my case, that means I must keep the driver's seat as far back as it will go for me to fit inside. When I drive it, it felt at first like I was flying just over the road.

I had to replace the transmission almost at once when it failed at lower speeds. The speedometer sometimes wobbles. The dome light is burnt out. Part of the seal on the windshield is loose. The back tires shimmy at speeds over 70 mph (and, every so often, less).

Other than these minor annoyances, the Aspire has served me very well. It still runs fine, even if it's now five years old with over eighty thousand miles on it. I have taken as good care of it as I can. I change the oil on it every three months or so. I have the tires rotated every year. I wash it every so often, esp. after heavy snows to remove the salt and dirt.

And I have no worries about someone stealing my car. Thieves don't hit cheap boxes like mine; they generally prefer thunder wagons, pricey foreign cars, or SUVs.

Copyright © 2003 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 November 2003.