Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One cool old Volvo

It's not often you hear the words "cool" and "Volvo" uttered in the same sentence.  But here's the tale of a particularly quirky, old, white, 1983 Volvo sedan that managed to win me over.

The car was given to me by Tiffany's dad for use as a commuter car.  It sat unused out front of his house for years and I was always a bit curious about it because it looked kinda neat.  It was also a Turbo - the first such car I'd ever owned.  Well, driving it home the first time I quickly learned that "turbo" can be misleading, especially for a 26 year old car.  This thing had difficulty getting out of its own way!  I think the turbo bumps the power to what a riding lawnmower might have these days.  Part of the problem may have been the massive smoke screen I was laying down as I drove from Seattle to Everett.  James Bond would have been proud.  I, on the other hand, was freaking out thinking the car was going to catch fire so what'd I do?  Drove faster of course!  My thinking was that the poor folks behind me getting a windshield full of oil and smoke couldn't catch me to complain.  Ya right....remember what I'm driving?  Grandma's Buick could catch me.

After spending some time, cash, more time, and more cash, I had a working car that didn't leak out all the transmission fluid in 10 miles.  From that day on the old white car was the best.  I received more compliments on that old brick of a car than anything else I've ever owned!  One kid in the QFC parking lot stopped me to ask about it because he'd just bought one and wanted it to look more like the one I had.  A guy at the gas station commented to me "sure is cool seeing old iron like that still on the road" and even the UPS delivery guy at my door step told me "ya sure don't see many of those anymore!"  Then I laughed and informed him that he was delivering parts for said car so I could get it running.  Sure, it had it's moments.  Like the fact that in the winter I had to wear my rain coat when I drove it.  Didn't matter if it had been dry for 3 days, if it had rained in the not-so-distant past I wore the rain coat.  Why you ask?  Well, because the sunroof leaked and when I slowed down I got a waterfall of water running down my shoulder and if I was unlucky enough to have to stop fast that waterfall fell farther forward, right between my legs making it look like I peed my pants.  Lovely way to start the work day...

It was also particularly temperamental when trying to start the engine.  If it was stone cold, no problem. Drive it for a bit and then turn it off to, say, run an errand and you had an adventure on your hands.  It might start, it might not.  If it didn't, get out a book 'cuz you might be there a while.  After some time I found a work-around for this "feature" of the car.  I'd just grind on the starter as I told it how much I "loved" it with various levels of colorful adjectives depending on how late I was running.

Know what though?  Through it all that car never left me stranded.  Not once.  Yeah, I might have been late a time or 2 thanks to it protesting it's duty but it always got me to point B.  Even on the night it went to car heaven it came through in a big way.  Tiffany and I were on I-5 heading south to meet some friends for dinner.  As I was cruising along at 70 mph the car suddenly revved way high as if it downshifted a couple gears.  Well, it did downshift a couple gears.  We got off the freeway since that would have blown it up in record time and as we pulled away from a light I counted 2 shifts and that was it.  The transmission had just went out, dropping 4th gear and the overdrive. Even then, the car still drove fine so we continued on back roads to our event.  After our event we headed home in the crippled old car, again on back roads.  I was grumbling about how expensive the repair bill was going to be.

It's noted that most accidents happen within 5 miles of home.  Seems that's true.  Almost home we were driving through downtown Everett and came upon the intersection of Rucker and Hewitt.  I had a long green light and didn't even slow down.  As I entered the intersection I barely noticed headlights approaching from my left.  Thing was, they were coming, and FAST.  Whoa, he's not stopping!!!  I looked up as I stomped on the brakes harder than ever before - yup, I indeed was staring at a green light.  BOOM!!!  The red light runner had broadsided us on my side of the car.  Poor Tiffany was sound asleep and woke up to the sudden panic braking followed by the loud bang of cars crunching.  She screamed.  I would have too if that would have been my wake up call.  Good thing I managed to stomp the brakes because the other car hit the front fender, totally caving it in and bending the front wheel up and in.  There's lots of heavy structure on a car right there so it was a hard hit to do the damage it did.  Had I not managed to mash the brakes that hit would have been right into the driver's door where there is far less structure.

After we said our "you OK?" back and forth and Tiffany was able to breath again, we both noted that when we kill a car, we really kill a car.  The transmission going out totaled it from a repair cost standpoint but nooooo, that's not good enough for us!

R.I.P. white Volvo.  You were a cool old car.

CakeSpy takes the cake!


I think all of you already knew that. And it probably won't shock you at all that my love for cupcakes and my love for blogs have merged. There are so many SWEET blogs out there and one of my favorites is CakeSpy. This awesome blog pairs sweet info about cupcake shops and bakeries with the adorable art work of Jessie Oleson! The star of the show is Cuppie the Cupcake! (Seen above) Isn't Cuppie cute!!! Well, this morning I got an email from Jessie O herself! She emailed to tell me that I was randomly selected as the winner of a cupcake prize pack! I entered the contest as part of a cupcake poll she ran last week. I don't win these things very often so I thought I would share it with the world, or at least the 4 people that read this blog! (See I'm not kidding) You should definitely check CakeSpy out sometime.

And if you are anywhere near the Wallingford area you should check out Trophy Cupcakes. Now through the end of the Month Trophy is hosting a CakeSpy art show and they even have CakeSpy cupcakes!

Trophy Cupcake Photos c/o Alana via CakeSpy