Bubbles is a 4-door, 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid. She came to me used with only 1300 miles on her and still under warranty. (Yes, that’s just 1300. I’m not missing a zero there.) She has ABS, FWD, automatic transmission (my racing days are over ;), CD disk changer, an “immobilizer” that makes her hard to steal, an anti-theft radio, and front and side airbags. How did I get such a deal? I was damn lucky. A very nice woman bought her last September, but can’t keep her because she now has unexpected expenses and needs the moola. She was about in tears as I drove away with her baby and says that she loved this car so much that she’ll get another one as soon as she can afford it.

I’ll miss the heft of Scooter, my old P Body Plymouth. She was one solid broad that made plowing through snow child’s play. And I’ll miss her sexy V6 engine that let me blow by *everybody* as I climbed mountain passes. But I’m OK with maturing into the kind of woman that values reliability, economy, and comfort. May Bubbles and I enjoy as many years together as Scooter and I did.

What I’m most proud of today is that I was decisive. I didn’t waste time what-iffing myself into paralysis. I did the research ahead of time. I didn’t waste time driving around to look at every possible Honda Civic in the Denver metro area to make sure I was getting the bestest deal available. I picked something that was a good investment and just went with it. Even though the car was a lot of money, it was a REALLY good deal. So, anytime my mind tried to say, “Whoa, maybe we shouldn’t rush into this,” I just told it to cram it and enjoy the ride.

Somebody pour me a martini.


24 thoughts on “Bubbles

    • Thanks! We seem to get along quite nicely. She’ll get to meet Doo Dog today too since I have to take him in to get his teeth cleaned. But you can bet I’ll be covering the seats with towels. 😉

    • Thanks! She’s not fancy with exotic features, but she’s sophisticated in the green way. She even has this fuel saving feature that I discovered today where she turns her engine off automatically when idling at stop lights unless she has to heat or air condition the occupants.

      • The first time ‘s car turned the engine off at a light when we were visiting with her, I was completely blown away. I love hybrids! 🙂

  1. Sweet!! And well done!

    I can’t wait to get Bubbles and Ruby together. They could play their little hybrid asses off!

    (and if I could figure out the picture thing on LJ, I’d put up pics of Ruby, too… I’m not dumb, but this one’s stumping me.)

    • It’s the hybrid posse! We’re bad. We’re bad. 🙂

      As for posting pictures on LJ, what’s the trouble?
      Do you need a place to upload pictures or is the trouble that you already have the pics uploaded (to flickr or photobucket or livejournal scrapbook or some such place) and you don’t know how to reference them in your journal entries so that they appear integrated with the text?

  2. *clink* (sound of me joining the herd…lol)

    Anyway, congrats! Bubbles looks like a great car. I’m the world’s worst at what-iffing into paralysis; glad you didn’t do it…it sucks.

    • *clinky clinky*. thanks!

      Yeah, I really had to force myself to not focus on color and silly add-on’s that would be soooo cool but are not things I have now nor do I miss. Hey, just having speakers that don’t crackle would be an improvement. So, it’s OK that I didn’t get a moon roof or heated seats. Especially for the price.

  3. Sooooooo cute! I want one!!!!

    Congratulations on the new car… and even more on the decisiveness that allowed you to embrace the opportunity of the moment. Carpe diem!

  4. I hate to be mercenary, but what is to become of Scooter? My income is $603 a month (disability) and my daughter works at King Soopers and doesn’t make much more than that. Her rent is $100/week, so saving up is a problem. She dropped out of high school to have money for food and rent and wants to go back – to voc tech and study auto mechanics. But without transportation, she can’t get from school to work on time. She could probably do the work herself (or with the help of her car geek friends) to get Scooter running.

    Right now she’s trying to fix up an old motorcycle. I’m not wild about that being her only transportation. I’m sure I’d still have to come up with insurance for her, but there’s Christmas on December 25 and her birthday on July 25, so it could be done – probably by passing the hat around the whole family.

    If you were looking forward to the tax write-off of a donation, you could figure out what that means to you in $$ and I could try to match that.

    • Hey, that’d be a swell thing to do. I was planning on giving Scooter to charity. But Hermes piped up and said he wanted her so he could tinker. So, lemme talk to him and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • So, here’s a scenario where everybody would get some of what they wanted. Lemme know if this works for you: Hermes will fix up Scooter and give her to her . So, he gets to tinker. She gets a free car. And I get to feel good about giving her to a good cause.

        I can’t say quite when he’d have her ready. My mechanic called around yesterday and it is not possible to get a new engine fan motor for that car. However, he found me a used one. So, Hermes’ll need to go pick it up and then find the time to put it in. Scooter needs a new driver’s side door too. It’s already starting to rust where the semi scraped the paint off in January. Hermes might like to go to a junkyard and take care of that too. Weekends, obviously, are the best time for such an undertaking. And this weekend, unfortunately, is out. But I can keep you posted.

        How does that sound?

      • That sounds amazing! I am floored!
        Being the child of an anesthesiologist and a CPA, I grew up giving graciously. Needing stuff (or admitting it, anyway) started when I had a disabled child. Circumstances then put me in a position of dealing with people who were resentful, suspicious, and begrudging when it came to giving. Does it always feel this bubbly and tickley (once the shame and guilt wears off – which I’d say about 90% of it has) when someone is this gracious and magnanimous? Or does that fade out after a while? (Some day I will write a phrase with only one adjective. Or maybe not.)

        Tanith’s father is a natural mechanic; a sultan of scrounge. She loves climbing around junkyards.

        Her birthday is July 25. Since I have the attention span/memory of a cocker spaniel (can we say “closed head injury”?), that seems like a reeaallly long time, but I guess in the world of tinkering, perhaps it isn’t.

        I’m completely torn between thinking she and Hermes might really hit it off, and thinking this would be the most incredible 18th birthday surprise ever. She’s used to not having much, and her gratitude for anything – like when I take her to the thrift shop or bring her leftovers – is truly touching. ‘Makes me think I didn’t get it all wrong. So many kids whine when the new iPod isn’t the color they wanted, y’know?

        Shall I budget some money for parts each month?

        Or y’know what? We could tell Tanith you know somebody who is good with cars and would like her help tinkering with one, and he wouldn’t have to tell her it’s gonna be hers…

        Just playin’ with ideas. And rambling. I do that when I’m excited. You two are fantastic.

        I’m so glad that you have all that happiness and freedom and power flowing through you. You’ve been knocking my socks off since the day I discovered you.

      • That’s great. I’m so pleased that you like the idea. Don’t worry about money for parts. Unless it looks like it’s getting into hundreds of dollars, I’ll just pay for it. Your gratitude is thanks enough.

        Hermes reminded me that the next big thing that Scooter could need is valve replacement. That’s a big, expensive job and would require a mechanic. You could probably blow it off for a while (since the car will still run without). The only reason it would get forced is if Scooter doesn’t pass an emissions test. So, once the fan is fixed, perhaps the best thing to do is to take her to get her emissions tested and see how far off she is. She has always passed with flying colors. So, there’s hope it’s a non-issue. I’d hate for this gift to really be a host of problems in disguise.

        I’ll let you know about the tinkering schedule and plan once Hermes figures out what kind of time he has and how he’d like to work. That’s really cool that Tanith wants to study auto mechanics. Has she been tinkering under the hood yet?

      • She was very proud a few weeks ago when she got her knuckles scraped up while working under a friend’s car. She was fixing something (I forget what) and didn’t notice how low the fan was. She says it was a model she hadn’t worked on before, and she was being lazy about having it turned on so she could analyze the problem, then off so she could work on it. She told the story like, “Yeah, I shouldn’t have been so lazy about it,” but you could tell she was really bragging. Said it was no big deal – just a few scratches (holding up her hand as if showing off an engagement ring).

        I was raised very sheltered. Mom would never tell me anything about the bills, and she took care of everything. When I was out on my own, I felt lost at sea. Had no clue.

        For the right reasons (empower my daughter) and the wrong reasons (agoraphobia; needing to deal with her disabled older brother), I taught Tanith early to look up a business and call to check for hours, price and availablity. She could arrange for a plumber, or call to make her own doctor’s appointment. At five, she answered the phone like a professional receptionist. When calling, she always said, “Hello, this is Tanith. May I please speak to —?” I wish 10% of adults had phone manners that nice.

        Both our names were on the checking account, and she had her own debit card from the age of 8 or so. Sometimes she had to do the grocery shopping, when her brother couldn’t tolerate the stimulation of the store. I also taught her to drive when she was seven, just in case her brother should become hysterical and aggressive on the freeway and I should have to restrain him while she flipped on the hazards and took us down the break-down lane into the nearest safe area. (She would drive the five blocks of residential streets from school to home. When she was twelve, I let her drive home from the grocery, which included a two-block stretch on a busy road before turning right onto quiet streets.)

        When she was with me, her chores included checking tire pressure and fluid levels once a week. During the year and a half she lived with her father, I expect she did a lot more than that, but I don’t know exactly what. Her father was in east Kansas, so she had her learner’s permit at 14. She drove most of the 700 miles from my home to his after a visit. I think they worked on a couple of old Jeeps. But it’s in her blood. I expect she’ll lick it off the grass (know it without studying) the way he did.

      • Scooter update

        Hi, there. I just wanted to give you the update on Scooter. Tinkering and multiple trips back and forth to the junkyard has revealed that the problem is not the engine fan. It doesn’t seem to be the sensor either. That leaves an electrical short somewhere in the system, which is beyond Hermes’ ability to diagnose and fix.

        So, if you are still interested in having her, I’ll drive Scooter in the wee hours, while it’s still cool out, to my mechanic to get an an estimate from him. Hermes’ buddy seems to think that an electrical problem would lead to a $200-$400 fix. Which is beyond my budget.

        So, let me know if you still want her and decide how much money you’d be willing to pay in repairs for a dented 1992 Duster with (I think) about 140,000 miles on it.

      • Re: Scooter update

        Excellent. As you know, we are semi-carless right now. Tanith re-wired the motorcycle (which Bob and I have decided to take over and prioritize, to alleviate the transportation drought) but I suspect re-wiring a Duster would be beyond her. I can ask. Besides, the library appears to have every Chilton’s ever printed.

        Let me take a couple hours to do some research on Dusters and our budget, and give you a “yes if it’s less than $XXX.”

        Tanith’s gift is in mechanics. Actually jumping through the hoops to get the bike registered and licensed, and herself licensed, is outside her area. She’s angry that Bob and I took over, but I think when things are actually running, she’ll appreciate it. ‘Probably won’t say so. But I have faith that she will appreciate it on some level.

        You’re very kind to be doing this.

      • Re: Scooter update

        Sounds like a plan. I hope it all works out for you. Scooter has been good to me. And if she can still be of service to someone, I’d love them to have her. I’m out of town this weekend, returning Sunday night.

        Let’s talk next week.

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