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We'll do this in semi-story format. Last Friday I was out searching for gainful employ. I am severely limited by my class schedule right now, but I managed to get hired at James Wood Autopark as the courtesy van driver. I sped over to the Medical Center and had my drug screen done. I was driving home from that and happened to tap the brakes. They went down to the floor with no stoppage. About this time I noticed a slight pulling to the right and a slight vibration/noise. I took an exit close to home and cruised into a gas station. Thank gods I drive a manual--in an automatic I would have been dead or at least in a high-speed collision.

The whole brake disc was smoking and virtually glowing hot. The wheel itself was hundreds of degrees. The calipers would not let go of the right front wheel. I called AAA and had to wait three hours. Finally a tower showed up and I had to drive the car up his ramp. We drove all the way to Fort Worth. Dropped it at ole Don Perry's again. How much of my money will that guy get before he dies or I'm bankrupt? Finally got to my father's at ~10:30 Friday night after walking home from the garage.

Had not planned to be in Fort Worth that weekend. Went to Don's twice the next morning. The second time they had the car back in the ICU section of the shop. "It's bad, very bad". That's what the master mechanic told me. Well, it wasn't the brakes per se. Instead, the entire axle bolt was sheared off and it's a wonder the car stayed together and was so driveable up until the point where the brakes started melting. It was an accident waiting to happen.

The brake is ruined, of course. New lines, new disc, new calipers, new hydraulic system, etc. is needed. None of the brakes currently work, though only the front right is broken. The bolt itself will be costly and labor-intensive to fix. The wheel is in somewhat bad shape. The tire appears intact. I haven't seen a bottom line figure yet, but rest assured, well over $1000.

What caused this? Yes, I'd like to know the answer to that as well. Don Perry's did all that suspension adjustment to the car, could that have something to do with it? Or is it just the outrageous, insulting pot holes and general road quality (insulting because obviously you have to have some wallowy, spongey SUV suspension to drive down the road without damage to your vehicle--I feel discriminated against because I like a car that handles) doing a number on my tightly sprung sports car?

The car is still in the shop. The ordering of parts is being looked into. They are actually developing a timetable and a plan for attacking the problem. The car will be out of commission for quite a while. Financially, this is like somebody coming up to me while I'm lying on the ground bleeding and barely breathing and kicking me in the jaw with full force while wearing steel toe boots. Not to mention this is the third time I've gotten a job only minutes or hours before my transportation has quit.

For the time being I am in my sister's former car, a '93 Cavalier convertible automatic. It's no joy ride. It reeks of poor engineering from every orifice and is the epitome of a "chick" car. But at least I am able to keep my new job. Of course, any thought of earning money flew out the window when the car broke. I had only mere minutes to enjoy the fact that I got a job before disaster struck. Now everything I make for quite a while (at least until the tax refund/welfare check comes in and I still can't file because they still haven't sent me my Schedule K) will go directly into paying for the car. On top of fixing it (oh let's hope it's under $2000), I'm still paying for the car. Go back several posts and you'll see a line I wrote when I first started paying for the car--something like "I hope I get half of it payed off before its first major breakdown". Didn't happen.

At this point in the story I'm in Fort Worth, so for some reason I decided to go look at new motorcycles. I took my father this time. He basically fell in love with the Kawasaki ZRX1100. The bike is one year old (it's now a 1200) but brand new, so he could get a nice deal on it if he decides to go for it. Personally I think the FZ1 is a much better bike, but he had a Z1 years ago, so the ZRX just grabbed him. It was fun hanging out on Alta Mere and walking around the bikes for a couple hours. There were tons of riders out that day. We even saw a Falco!! What a gorgeous machine.

I think I'm going to cut this post short, as it's already quite huge and I have much more. Tomorrow.

I'll leave with a bikeish pic of the day. Here is a cool female.