Tomorrow morning, I have an early appointment with my dad, the dentist, to start major reconstruction on my smile. Where my second upper incisors have always stuck out beyond the rest of the line, vaguely fanglike in just enough degree that I could pretend that and feel OK with them, I will soon have 6 crowns forming a clean straight grille, replacing what bad genetics and good dental care have otherwise left me with -- lots of bondo on a twisted frame.
To get me to both of these, and to work after the morning's hours of fun, is my van. Which is doing odd things. Again.
Suddenly, it is downshifting when coasting downhill. Almost like cruise control were in operation. Which it isn't, because it's been off for months, since it stopped working around the same time the horn suddenly wouldn't stop, because the clockspring of control wiring (which connects the moving steering wheel controls to the stationary column) broke (again -- these last about 3-5 years, apparently)...
So... maybe the cruise control is being controlled by short circuits. Or maybe the electronically controlled transmission is dying in a new and different way.
And it needs two new tires -- at least -- due to one going flat and jumping the rim last week, and another starting to wear through to the steel belt.
And it needs something done about the windshield washer pump, which isn't pumping.
And it would need the clockspring fixed, or at least, an alternative horn control installed, before April, when state inspection comes due.
And the spare tire mount on the back door has rusted through at a major structural point, which means it really needs replacement, if it's to keep doing that job.
And it's time for a Major Tuneup (plugs, filters, possibly wires, hoses, belts, flush & fill radiator, oil change, yadda yadda)....
Which will all come to around $1000, *if* nothing new and major is discovered, and it's really just the clockspring and tires and tuneup consumables and maybe washer pump... which I don't have to spare just now.
But still, I must drive, and I must commute, so ... either I find the money for repairs, or I find the money for replacement.
If I replace, I really must go the finance route, and buy something almost new, just for the reliability... but that's a whole new game for me -- I've always bought well used, in private sales, and never paid more than $4200 (which was this one, overpriced at that) -- previously, the most I'd paid was $1200. And all the previous ones took less immediate repair than this beast, too...
So where was I? Right ... Movie Night.
I can go there, driving 15-20 minutes, and about 8 miles, one way, risking the van dying tonight. Or save the death for later, and hope it doesn't happen on the way to Smile Rehab. Nor on the way to work afterward. Nor on the way home after that. And then there's socialization over the weekend, and possibly getting the last bits of furniture I can really use in the current place (a futon frame and a somewhat smaller coffee table), and getting the stuff that's now *in* the van *out* (a This End Up recliner being the most awkward and troublesome)...
I want to see the movie.
Wish me luck.