After the insane camping escapade, of course, I got back to a problem car. Vicki's car had been towed to University Garage. We suspected the transmission, as I've known of two 1990's ford Taurus' having transmissions that conked out around 70-80,000 miles, plus I've read on the net that it is not uncommon for those transmissions to do that. Ours is a 2003. I was kind of hoping whatever issue that was had been addressed. But I don't know.
At any rate, went to the Garage the next morning and they said the car started up just fine and ran like a champ. They drove it on some service calls. No problems. There was an error code in the computer about an occasional misfire. They looked at the spark plugs, and that one had a crack in the ceramic part. They were probably the original spark plugs, too, and the thing has about 85K miles on it. So I said replace 'em all.
The only other thing he could think of was an intermittent fuel pump problem (unlikely) or ... water in the gas line. Well it had been rather cold. The high that day had been 9, and a piece of ice or water that got in the gas line could easily freeze and cut off fuel to the engine. So I dumped a bottle of Heet (I guess I actually used Prestone's product) and it's been fine ever since. Did the 1,000 mile trip taking mom back. No problem.
Kevin came into town for Christmas. Angela decided she wanted to move on before Thanksgiving, but hadn't moved out yet. So Kevin was flying solo sporting a new car. Well new to him. A Subaru, I think. Nice car. Got a new head unit in that would accept his MP3 player. Anyway he came in Christmas Eve after dinner. Brian, Kristin, and Trenton came over for that (and of course my mother-in-law was there, too) We had the traditional oyster stew and cinnamon pears. Vicki made crepes for Christmas morning.
For my part, it was a Les Stroud Christmas. I got a quick-dry fishing shirt (I like them for camping/hiking) from Brian and Kristin, and from Vicki I got Les Stroud's book "Survive", his self-titled CD (he started out as a musician), a fob watch with a built-in magnifying glass, compass, thermometer, and LED light, and a new Garmin eTrex Vista HCx (I really wasn't expecting that. She's off the hook for my birthday, anniversary, & Valentine's day). My old Vista's screen has been going out for quite some time, and this new generation has higher sensitivity antennas so I can go into the woods without losing my signal in the summertime. This one also has better navigational capabilites, and I think it handles battery life better.
Jim & Carol came in for a couple of days right before New Years. They have friends in Illinois they usually spend New Years with and the last couple of years they've taken a side trip to see us. We always have a good time with them and mom likes seeing them and they her.
New Years Eve Ryan and Kristie came over and we had appetizers and talked and drank a little. Ryan and I did cigars, and we broke it up at 12:05 am. Took mom back to Fort Wayne Jan 1 & 2, to my parents for the Leith Christmas on the 3rd... huff... puff .... huff ... puff...
Got the decorations down this last weekend. And you're about up to date.
We did get to see quite a bit of Trenton over the holidays, which was wonderful. Ken got him a train set. I've always wanted a train set, and it prompted me to go get one (with a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby). So now I have a Bachmann n-scale train set to entertain Trenton with. I had one of those dollar store battery operated ones under the tree and he loved it. Yeah. I did it for him. Uh-huh! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
Oh, to add insult to injury for Kevin, he got laid off last week. He was technically "the new guy", and they go by seniority. So now he's got a full rent payment and a new car and no job. He's pounding the pavement in St. Louis now for an IT or techie installer job.