be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website:

be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Monday, September 20, 2010

Car Update

I just went on and saw my old car. The saleman I spoke with told me they mark up all cars $1800. Well, they are asking $19,998 for my vehicle when they gave me $12,000 for it (and I paid about $25,000 new almost four years ago). Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I just wanted to see what they'd eventually ask for it. Oh, and they did take that sideswipe out in the right rear panel. They have many pictures up on their website; just go to the Boynton Beach FL location and search for 2006 Acura RSX type S. Viewing them all made me miss the car even more than I did.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My New Bicycle Part 2--With Baskets

These two Wald specials arrived by UPS together on Monday after starting out from wildly disparate places at two very different times; the big back one came from Miami and the front one journeyed from upstate New York. I believe these are the biggest that they make. Did I overdo it? The bike is heavier obviously with the baskets, but you decide.
And because nothing's easy, they remain a work in progress. I installed the rear one first because I thought it would prove the most difficult; of course, Murphy's Law intervened when the front basket's directions clearly state DO NOT mount on a bike with a suspension fork and DO NOT mount with a quick release axle. Naturally, nothing was said about any of this either on Wald's website nor where I actually placed the order. I have been trying to track down an axle wide enough with bolts on both ends for almost two days; as of right now, the bike shop up in Juno Beach (J-Town Bikes--a free plug) has graciously loaned me a rear axle quick release and is trying to order what I really need. The rear axle will work for now but it's too long, so it either needs a few washers on both sides or to be replaced; we shall see what the bike shop does or doesn't do. They are supposed to call.
But I did some small shopping and everything fit into the rear baskets; the bike handled well with the additional weight, so all in all a good beginning.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My New Bicycle

Of course there is a story behind this--you don't think that I simply walked into one store and immediately found exactly what I was looking for, did you? Not in this universe.Our saga begins last Saturday, when I hit Northlake Boulevard to see what the local discounters had on display. I had already done some research online and the prices had been all over the place; plus, nothing had really jumped out at me, so I hit Sports Authority first. Practically all they had were mountain bikes and the cheapest thing was $247. Then I tried Target; they had more of a selection but the bike I liked best there was $229. Knowing full well that if I didn't at least check Walmart, I would regret it later for sure. One version of this was on the floor and it was $159 but it had a tear in the seat. Thus the plot thickened.
They didn't have any more in stock and the woman I spoke with told me Walmart wouldn't sell a bike that was damaged because they can return it to the manufacturer for full credit. So I went home and ordered another one off their website for site to store pickup, because they wanted almost $25 to ship it to my address.
This was Labor Day; four days later, I tracked it by FedEx to see it was delivered to my local Walmart. I tried to call the store to confirm it was really there; twice no one answered the phone. Twice.
But I checked my e-mail, and had sent me confirmation that the bike had indeed arrived, much sooner than advertised. So I decided to take a chance and traveled, most of the way by bus, to the store.
There complications continued as the young lady at Site-to-Store Pickup came out twice to apologize for not being able to find my bicycle. Twice I related to her who had signed for it and at what time. Again she disappeared into the vast entrails of the cavernous stockroom. Meanwhile, countless other Walmart associates coming by kept asking me if I'm being waited on. I even began telling my sorry tale of woe and treachery to another young guy who worked there who was suitably incredulous that this was taking so long.
Finally the original young lady appeared with my bicycle and profuse apologies for the wait but, as I assured her, all's well that ends well. There were bike assembly people there in the store and they kindly put it together for me for free when they didn't have to.
What's the moral of the story? Well, having worked in retail for many years, I can tell you that even the largest boxes can hide, sometimes right in front of your face. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes.
Of course I did get caught in the rain on the way home but haven't since. Now I'm waiting on some baskets for the front and for the side in the back that I also ordered online; according to the latest tracking information on, both are scheduled for delivery tomorrow, as in Monday. Yesterday I rode it to the beach; in my erstwhile car it took me 15-20 minutes to arrive six miles away to Ocean Reef Park. The bike took me an hour and a half. Each way. But it was beautiful at the beach yesterday and I haven't wrecked yet; so all in all good news.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Requiem For My Car

The car is sold; long live the car. These are the photos I ran in the free online ad, which produced at least thirty some hits but not one phone call or e-mail. Carmax in its infinite wisdom offered me $12,000 after Kelley blue-booked it between $13k-$15k; I took the money and ran. However it wasn't cash--it was a bank draft, which can be deposited only in my checking account, which I did the same day, Wednesday.  It is supposed to clear sometime today. Then I can start paying some bills and maybe do some shopping for myself.
Do I miss it? Not as much as I thought I would. I was just so relieved they didn't lowball me any more than they did. If they had offered me $8k or even $9k, I would have had a real quandary. The guy at Carmax was so disappointed when I answered "By bicycle." to his question of how I'd be getting around from now on. I think I ruined his morning. Oh well.