Archive for January, 2020

Fleet Registration

24 January 2020 at 7:36 pm
by Berck

I love Andrew, but he’s full of shit. It’s one of his many endearing qualities. I don’t believe anything anyone says, but when Andrew says something, I especially don’t believe it.

In some ways, this isn’t fair. He probably spouts truth at a rate that far exceeds the general population, but I also don’t talk to the general population. Many of them voted for Trump. I can’t imagine that Andrew is organized enough to vote, but if he were, he wouldn’t vote for Trump.

Last year, I bought a Formula Vee, and Andrew, who is one of the people that is privileged enough to be able to see my position on Google Maps whenever he likes, asked why I was in Denver. When I told him it was to buy yet another car, he told me about fleet registration.

I went so far as to look it up in the Colorado Code of Regulations (also known as Creedence Clearwater Revival) and found that there is, in fact, a provision that allows the owners of fleets to register them all at once. There are two sorts of fleets, according to CCR. One requires that you get fleet plates, and the other allows for bathrooms on the right.

I dutifully filled out form DR 2194 and then found a mailing address that seemed vaguely appropriate and sent it off. The form is the least promising of government forms that I’ve ever seen. It does not appear to require much information at all, and there was no information in CCR 204-10 RULE 5 about what would happen after I filled it out. I expected nothing to happen, but dutifully checked the mail whenever Jonah deigned to bring it inside… just in case.

Today, this appeared in the mail!

My form 2194 mailed back to me in a hand-addessed envelope, but with the “Department Use Only” block in the lower right-hand corner filled out.

I have no idea what’s next, but it’s Car Girl’s move.

Damsel in Distress

13 January 2020 at 10:01 pm
by Jonah

Even when I can handle it myself, I’d say my favorite perk, by far, of being female is having males come to my rescue when I have automotive problems.  

Also, sometimes it’s unwarranted. Berck needed to take the Focus today, so that left me with trying to get the Miata up the hill.  My first attempt left my wheels spinning, so I needed to back up off the icy tracks and onto the snow on the edge to get some traction.  Unfortunately, right at that moment, our neighbor Al drove up behind me in his white van.  That left me less room to back down our one-lane alley.  Then I suddenly saw Al in my rear-view mirror trying to push my car.  I opened my door and stuck my head out to tell him I needed to back up, but before I could, he told me that I might have better luck if I backed up off the icy tracks and onto the snow on the edge to get some traction.  I sighed and said I thought that sounded like a good idea.  He also told me to use the emergency brake and hold the button in to keep the wheels from spinning as much, which actually worked pretty well.

During my lunch break today, I thought I’d be nice and go wash Berck’s car.  I drove over to the nearest car wash and then waited for an eternity for the four morons in the car wash bays to try to figure out the payment machines. Finally, it was my turn.  I did a thorough job and used the brush all over the car, even the wheels.  Then I headed back out onto the road hoping I’d have enough time to run by the grocery store.

The car wash is on a little road that empties out into an on-ramp onto South Circle.  It’s a tight curve, and you have to try to accelerate quickly into oncoming traffic.  I take this curve a lot, and as long as I’m not driving the Land Cruiser, I’ve never had any problems. But today was not one of those days.  I don’t know if it was because my tires were wet and soapy or the snow tires just don’t have as much grip.  I made the curve and then just kept rotating, sliding off the road to the right and spinning around backwards.  There’s no curb there, and the ground is flat.  I headed forward, and the car seemed fine.  I waited until there wasn’t any oncoming traffic and pulled out into the right lane.  But the car was not fine.  Unfortunately, that stretch of road is an overpass, and there is no shoulder.  So I limped along until I came to the first turn, which is an entrance into a trailer park.

I got out and investigated.  My newly cleaned car was now filthy from spinning around in the dirt. But more importantly, the left rear tire had come unattached to the wheel.  I texted Berck and then opened the trunk to get out the jack and lug nut wrench.  That’s when a gentleman in a pick-up pulled up as he was exiting the trailer park and asked if I could use some help.  Of course I could, and he took over, undoing the lug nuts with his own drill and socket he had in his truck. He had my spare donut on hardly any time at all.  Berck still hadn’t responded, so I drove back to my office.

When he finally saw my message, Berck told me to take the disassociated wheel and tire to Rex Tire, where they determined the wheel was fine (whew) but the tire was toast. I went back to work and waited for Berck to come, since driving 30 miles home on the donut was not advisable. Berck had just given a set of Miata wheels and snow tires to his buddy at work, so he borrowed one of them back and met me in the parking lot at work.  I got to watch another man jack up my car and replace the tire, this time while I at least could be helpful by holding a flashlight.  Berck complained that I’d let some stranger over-torque my lug nuts.  Then he took me out to dinner.

Maybe I’ll wash the car again tomorrow.