A few friends have been e-mailing me to ask where and how I've been and why I haven't been writing my column. Quick answer: I've been buried in work and the state of our nation has reached a point that I get sick every time I read the news.
As such, my column is on hold until I can actually sit down and write without getting an ulcer. Maybe I'll just write about something besides politics and societal woes.
As to what I've been doing: I've been taking a pretty good stab at learning to program in Visual Basic. I will in fact have a small line of freeware out in the near future. It'll be available for download on my old site (www.alanburkhart.com). I'll announce it here when it all comes together. A way-cool text editor, image batch-processor and a couple of slick utilities are in the works.
Blew the motor in my Eagle Talon. Been wanting a bigger car anyway so I parked the Eagle and went out in search of a deal. Found one, too. My nephew is service manager at one of the larger Chrysler dealers in the DFW area. The mother of one of his mechanics is no longer able to drive and her car had been in storage two years. He said he'd sell it for $400.00. I was understandably skeptical in regards to the condition of the car, given the price. My nephew and his dad checked out the car (I was nowhere near Ft Worth) and informed me that it was an absolute cream puff.
Long story made short, I bought the car - a 1983 Chrysler New Yorker with just about every option one can imagine and only 71,000 miles. I gave my nephew an additional $500 and he applied massive amounts of TLC to the car (new belts, hoses, wheel cylinders, all fluids replaced, a/c reworked, new tires, etc). There is definitely an advantage to having a family member in charge of a repair shop. Lord only knows what all that stuff would have cost me otherwise.
One of my trucking buddies pulls a step-deck trailer and he volunteered his services to get the car from Texas to Mississippi. I didn't want a 500-mile shakedown cruise for a 24 year-old car and gladly accepted his offer. Below are some pics of the car from last Saturday when it arrived where I work.
Moral of the Story...
Never underestimate the value of friends and family. Due to various circumstances my money has been uncomfortably tight for about a year. No way I could have come up with a car this nice (and in such good condition) without going deeper in debt than I already am - which ain't an option at this point.
Always think of your best friends as part of your family. And always be proud of your friends who actually are your family.
See ya'll on the road - Alan