Sigh. My poor little car has re-commenced its slow painful death.
Yesterday Shawn and I went down to San Antonio, and as we reached I35 and 51st street (in Austin), the check engine light came back on, so Shawn exited the highway and we pulled into a gas station and turned off the car...though as Shawn says, for the last bit there we were literally coasting as the car had completely stalled out. We filled the car with gas (as we needed gas anyway) and turned it back on. It started fine (well, it did the same thing as last time where it revved the engine at a high RPM for a bit before settling back down). We pulled out on the frontage road and began to figure out where we were supposed to go to get back on to I35 southbound. We got to a stop light and the car just died. There didn't seem to be any warning, but Shawn knew it was dying right before it actually did. I quickly threw the car into park (see...this is what happens when you drive stick all the time, you forget things like 'cars must be in park BEFORE starting the car, and the car will not turn off unless you're in park'), and he restarted it before the light turned green. We didn't have any other problems on the way to San Antonio, nor on the way back. But still, it's obnoxious when your car just up and dies on you and it seems to be a completely random thing because it was fine for a month and then it goes and dies on us 2 times within 10 minutes, but then afterward it's fine again...yeah, something is probably really wrong....and the bigger problem is that neither of us wants to spend a ton of money to fix up the car because it's pretty much on its last legs anyhow with the transmission and engine. So I think Shawn wanted to check the spark plugs and fuel filter/put in some fuel injector cleaner to see if that helps any. [Update: Shawn has decided after searching the net that there is probably nothing wrong with the spark plugs...and the fuel system was completely cleaned out exactly a year ago, so he's decided that it just means we gotta get a new car]
You may ask why it was that we were so gung-ho to get down to San Antonio. And the answer would be that we had to get down there because Shawn's parents were in town for an interview (okay, Bob was really the one down in SA for the interview, Elsie was just along for the ride). Because of the car problems, and the fact that San Antonio is like 90 miles away, we got there at about 1 pm. We then went with the 'rents to go look at model homes (as there's a very good chance that they will be moving down here). The funniest part was listening to Elsie talk to the sales people (as we went to 'new' subdivisions)--at one of them she said that she and Bob were currently living in a Victorian house built in the 80's. Shawn and I are pretty sure that the saleslady thought they were talking about the 1880's, and this explains why she was questioning why they were only wanting to look at the model houses in the $150K range. We also went to Del Webb's Hill Country Retreat ('The Llano' is pictured to the left) which is a community for "people 55 or better." The salesman was very nice, but it's obvious he is a salesman. The houses were very nice...as in, I wouldn't mind living in one. Of course, they come with a price attached--as in the mid-range houses are about $225K and of course there's the $100 a month in home owner's fees to maintain the entrance to the community, and use of the amenity center. And the amenity center isn't even open yet, nor are there plans to put in a golf course. Plus, you don't get a lot of options with the houses, basically, what you see is what you get, so if you get the mid-range house, you get Corian Countertops, but you can't upgrade to granite. Also, Elsie is very concerned (and I'm sure Bob is too) about having mature trees in their yard (either front or back)...of course, I would figure that if you wanted mature trees, you wouldn't be looking at a new subdivision...even if Texas developers are gung-ho about leaving live oak trees in the ground if they can. Also, it seems that they are looking for something in a cul-de-sac with a green belt behind (very similar to their current house)...But it's quickly becoming "Beggars can't be Choosers" I would think.
I went to a party on Friday night at the Ambitious Mrs. father-in-law's house. That was fun, I got to meet the newest member of their family, plus I got to hang out with the Venezuelan and Ma-Belle, and Miss Sarah and Yam...ah, babies are so much fun when they aren't your own. :) (the picture above is of Miss Sarah and the Ambitious Mrs. taking pictures of their respective children and the child of one of Sarah's co-workers.)