*sigh* Ever have one of those weeks where scheduling and happenstance seem to conspire to drain your checking account? This is a week like that for me and Mrs. Geek, in spades. Following on the heels of a month full of unexpected expenses (accumulated doctor's bills and cell phone charges, expenses for new eyewear, etc...), this week feels all the more like a real killer.
The biggest expense came due on Monday. As I have no doubt written here somewhere (oh, I do need to start indexing my entries), Mrs. Geek has gone back to school to take some additional grad classes to keep her professional certifications as a teacher in fighting trim. The bill for six credit hours worth of classes for the summer: $2500. Due date: May 2, 2005. Thankfully, these will be the last credits Mrs. Geek needs to earn for a long time.
Lagging not far behind that line item in the expense column of our personal ledger is maintenance on my car. My serviceable 2001 Mazda Protege has traveled just over 50k miles in the last 3.5+ years. That is about the right distance for it to need a little automotive love. I knew from the last time I had it in the shop that the love it needed was new brakes and tires. What I did not count on was that my car's transmission pan gasket and front strut bearings are both leaking. Fortunately, those last two items are covered under the 7 year/70k mile extended warranty I got when I bought the car... which helps, but the bill will still likely rise over the $1000 mark.
My car has also been in the shop since Tuesday with no strong sense of when it will get back to me because of the tires. I figured that I would let the dealership do the 52.5K regularly scheduled maintenance, during which the transmission pan and strut problems were discovered, and replace the brakes. I thought I could do better by going to the local Price Club to get tires, however. Leave it to Mazda to put special tires on the Protege edition I own, however. Not only are the these tires not especially cheap, but they are also a tire size that said Price Club does not keep in stock. Figuring that I could still save a couple bucks, I decided to have the Price Club special order some replacement tires from Michelin.
The delay of ordering tires in itself would be fine except that the mechanics at the dealership are going to have to re-align the front end of my car when they fix the struts. To do that properly, they would rather do it with my new tires on the car. So... they want me to get the tires from the Price Club and bring them over, so they can mount them for free. The Price Club, being a place that sells crates of 10000 drinking straws and cases of Dinty Moore Beef Stew as well as tires, seems to be taking its sweet time as far as the tires go. I was told that the tires would likely be 3-5 business days last Saturday.
Hopefully, the tires will come in tomorrow. I can then talk the Price Club into letting someone else install them. Then I can get my car, and pay whatever MONSTER repair bill that I know will be shoved in my face, and life can finally go on.
on 2005-05-05 at 1:24 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond