08/19/2005: "out with the old, in with the old"
This has been a week of transactions. Specifically, transactions that I've been looking forward to one way or another. In this case, three significant transactions have now been finished:
1) The VW Cabrio is now legally mine.
2) I received my Pismo and it's in great shape.
3) I sold a knife on eBay and got it shipped off.
It has taken me a shamefully long time to transfer the ownership of the Cabrio into my name. I tend to leave things as it is, but when a roadblock was put in my way, it threw things off even further.
After having the thing sadly sitting in my driveway for a month, I finally managed to get down to the Ministry of Transportation to transfer the ownership. However, as the car is now 20 years old (making it a "classic", and exempt from emissions testing) the tax payable for the sale is no longer based on the sale price, but on the appraised value of the vehicle. So I had to get it appraised.
Last week I finally got around to doing so. I went to the car dealer closest to home - which just happened to be a Volkswagen dealer - and talked to the general manager about my dilemma. Normally it wouldn't be a big deal to get it appraised, but as it was unlicensed and uninsured (and not in my name to boot), driving it anywhere to have someone look at it wasn't an option. Thankfully, the manager took pity on me, filled out the form, and followed me home to actually look at the Cabrio. The result? A "poor" rating, and a $500 appraised value. I had mentioned to him earlier before he saw it that it was going to be a project for me. Upon seeing it, he said, "You sure have some work to do." No kidding.
At least it's now mine. Assuming I can find the time, I'm going to start disassembling the dash to get at the parts that aren't working (or have fallen out), I'll soak the floor mats and the carpet in vinegar to kill off the mold that's been growing thereupon, and will start trying to diagnose all the other ailments. Picking paint colours and upholstery options will be a few years down the road yet.
At least my other acquisition is in excellent working order. Earlier this week a large package finally arrived for me that contained a power adapter, an 802.11G PC card, and a very well-equipped Pismo, otherwise known as a 2000-vintage Apple PowerBook. I've fired it up a couple of times, and even took it out for a spin on the information superhighway (yeah, yeah, I know it's an overused analogy). Everything's working well, and all I need to do now is find/borrow/steal a Firewire cable so I can migrate all my data from my wife's computer onto my own.
From the little time I've had it thus far, I must say it's really nice for each of us to have our own computer. Regardless of what the other is doing, we can each do our own thing, no haggling over who's using it for how long. We still have to share a dialup connection, so we'll see how that goes later.
And to the last point, my knife sale. For some reason as a teenage boy, I liked knifes. I didn't use them for anything like carving or killing small animals, I just liked having them. One day I had saved up enough to buy a fairly serious hunting knife that put me back quite a substantial amount of money. I didn't need it, but I got it nonetheless. One in a while I would take it out and look at it (I think I even brought it to school, concealed, on a couple of occassions), but that was about it.
Fast forward to today. For the past 5 years it's lived in the back of my sock drawer, for no other reason than it stays forgotten back there. I kind of knew it was there, and had intentions of getting rid of it, but never did. That is, until my 4-year-old daughter cleaned out my sock drawer one day (my 1-year-old son likes playing with big piles of socks) and discovered it. Once that happened, it went up on eBay that night.
I started the bidding at $0.99 US, and would have been happy getting $50 for it. I figured anything I got for it would be free money. Well, bidding went up to $25. Then 50. Then 100. Then 150. Holy cats! What the heck do I have here? One week after I post it, the auction ends with a final bid of $203.50 US, plus shipping. Wow. That's a very nice subsidy for my computer purchase! I got payment confirmation last night, and shipped it off today at lunch.
So I'm up a project car and Mac portable, and I've jettisoned a useless and dangerous piece of hardware. Not a bad week, I'd say. Now I just have to find a way to keep my eBay momentum going.