I’ve been to hell. I spell it…I spell it DMV.

bq. I’ve been to hell. I spell it…I spell it DMV.
Anyone that’s been there knows precisely what I mean.
Stood there and I’ve waited, and choked back the urge to scream.
And if I had my druthers, I’d screw a chimpanzee.

Well, OK, really, it wasn’t that bad. I got my license renewed in about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Really, the only bad bit was the realization that the next time I get my license renewed I’ll be *40*.

Back to one car for a while

So, we’d just gotten done seeing the new Harry Potter film–there’s something off on the pacing of the screenplay, but I think Alfonso Cuaron’s storytelling abilities are amazing–and were going to the grocery store, when we were in a 4-car accident.

This is not a fun way to spend your afternoon, I don’t recommend it at all. No one was seriously hurt though I have to admit that unless I feel astoundingly better in the next 36 hours, I’m going to the doctor on Monday for that most common of post-accident complaints, neck pain.

Oh, but this is a great use-case for having a camera on your phone.

Why I may be a CarMax customer for life…

So, drove the car home last night, then drove it around a bit this afternoon, and finally realized that the reason my respiratory tract seemed to sieze up when I had the top up was because the car was suffused with old cigarette smoke.

You see, my nose is not the greatest for detecting subtle odors, or even certain types of unsubtle oders, but it’s whiz-bang at detecting substances that irritate it. If I sit in the car for a while, eventually I can actually make out the stale cigarette odor.

Luckily, this does not appear to be a problem.

You see, CarMax has a 5-day, no-questions-asked policy on returns. So I called them, and we drove out there, and I allowed as how the car was great except for this–and it is–so although I really didn’t want this one, perhaps we could look at pulling another similar car from somewhere else?

Turns out there’s one in Norcross, GA, same year, though, in fact, the slightly spiffier model (power windows, door-locks, tan leather, which is both a nicer color combination than green and black–in fact, I think tan interiors with dark green or burgundy are the only colors convertibles should come in–but, as Chet pointed out in AIM, it’s not nearly as hot in the summar) that is now wending its way here.

Unless there’s some gross defect, I suspect I’ll be taking that one, and although we will no doubt have to sign forty-leven *more* pieces of paper–makes me wish we’d just written a check off our home equity line of credit–this is about a zillion times easier than I expected.

I don’t know; on the one hand, going to CarMax seemed like something of an admission of defeat–I wasn’t having any success tracking down a car I wanted the hard way, and the one traditional dealership we went to wanting to seriously look at a car last weekend left us with a horrible loathing–and a betrayal of my usual desire to “buy local”. But at the same time, they seem deeply committed to customer satisfaction.

Obviously, it’s not over yet, but no doubt you’ll all hear how it goes, assuming we’re not wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow or the next day.

So I got a ’99 Miata…

As Chet set me up for in IM, “Miata” may as well be Japanese for “MGB but Reliable with Air Conditioning”.

It’s the low-end model, which, as far as I can tell, means a cheaper stereo–though it doesn’t sound bad, the head unit doesn’t play CD-Rs, which means it’s not long for this world–and you have to roll your windows up and down yourself. Oh, and no alarm, and no keyless entry.

I do not regard these things as significant problems. I wouldn’t have minded it being the high-end model, but hell, I’m still vaguely amazed at the idea of it having AC.

I haven’t exactly driven it all over; just home from CarMax and to the coffee shop and back this morning–a whopping 16 miles or so.

(I can already see that I’m going to need to get a new coffee travel mug because the cupholders are *inside* the center console, and frankly, they don’t hold cups worth a damn. So something with a wide base that will sit stably on the passenger’s seat is in order.)

Anyway, on the way to the coffee shop this morning, I realized an something–the first car I ever had that was “mine” (quotes because I had no real financial responsibility for it, so it was only mine because my father’s a great guy) was the MGB. This is the second (and probably deserves quotes just as much because Anne’s name is on the title just like mine).

Yeah, there was an 11 year gap, but that may just be indicative of a willingness to forego second best.