My trusty CR-V (the “Excelsior,” because I name my cars after spaceships) recently got dinged in the back. The damage isn’t too terrible but it’s in a lousy spot. Thus, I had to deal with my insurance company (Progressive) and rent a car. Along the way, I noticed a few things:
#5. *Angry Bear Noises*
The lady that hit me seemed to be pretty impatient while I got Progressive on the phone. MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T CAUSE AN ACCIDENT IF YOU’RE IN A HURRY, LADY.
- I didn’t even think about calling the police. This was a low speed accident and not worth their time.
- She eventually gave me her info and drove off in a huff because “I have kids in the car.” I don’t know about y’all but I tend to drive extra-careful whenever I have passengers…just saying.
- Insurance company Ding #1: To be fair, I was getting impatient with Progressive too. Pick up the phone, guys!
- It wasn’t a bad dent, but in just the right spot for water to get into the hatch.
- I’ll get a call back in 24 hours. Cool.
- Ding #2: The claims rep was supposed to call me ‘within 24 hours.’ 2 days later and still no call.
- I posted an angry tweet about that lack of communication and got a response within a few hours. Modern times and all that.
- Lady’s insurance is taking full responsibility (as well they should) Woo-hoo!
- Stuffed a plastic bag into the hole to keep water out. Lucky it hasn’t been raining lately.
- I was initially going to pick a shop to take it, but decided to punt and the insurance guys handle it. I have other things to worry about.
- Ding #3: The last time this happened, I got to pick a rental. This go-round they threw me into a Toyota Corolla.
- I got everything I needed from the CR-V…except for the garage door opener. >.<
- The heck with giving me both car keys on a key ring that I can’t remove them from?
- It’s a little bit of an adjustment going from a small SUV to a car, but I’m (mostly) handling it. Lucky for me I don’t have any long trips coming up.
- When did car air conditioners get so complicated?
15. Me in the rental
This is a newer vehicle, yet the backup camera looks terrible compared to my 2012 CR-V.
- Having an in-car touch screen does not work very well. At the risk of getting technical: The user interface is poop.
- Ding #4: The repair guy was supposed to call me ‘tomorrow’ Didn’t happen.
- Yeah, it’s probably time to start looking for a new insurance company.
- Thing I miss most about my CR-V? Legroom.
- I’ve given up on getting any calls from my insurance company at this point, just going to check their website every so often.
- If you are going to tell somebody you are going to call them and you don’t, that is rude and unprofessional.
- Unless you’re a recruiter, then it’s par for the course. (obligatory job-related item)
- Auto headlights should NEVER turn on the high beams…just sayin’
- Had a funny moment when it rained and I tried to turn on the rear wiper that wasn’t there.
- Also, the ‘beep’ it makes when I turn on the alarm can barely be heard.
- The day before the repair is due to be completed, the app says “2 days left until repaired.” Huh?
- (Finally) Got a call that afternoon saying it will be ready when scheduled, woo-hoo!
- 4pm and the app now says ‘Repairs complete.’ Maybe I’ll get lucky and get my ride back a day early?’
- Ding #5: Of course they call me 15 minutes before they close (and I’m already at home from work) to schedule the pickup the next day, grr.
- Since the lady’s insurance is taking full responsibility, this little adventure isn’t going to cost me any money, just a little time and aggravation.
- I also got a blog post out of the deal, too 😀
35. Looking good!
- Ding #6: Scheduled the appointment for 1230, get there at 1231 and I have to wait 😛
- Holy cats, the Excelsior looks good when it’s cleaned up.
- Feels good to be in my own vehicle again. I had to re-learn some habits, like having cruise control settings on my steering wheel instead of on a stick thingie.
- Time to shop for new car insurance!
#25: Darn skippy
After (too many) years since my last trip to the iconic Texas summer getaway, I decided to take stay for a night to see if anything had changed since then. I’m glad to say that the park is mostly the same, but I did notice a few things…
- It is only a two hour drive from San Antonio to Garner, as opposed to three and a half from my parent’s house. WHAT TOOK ME SO LONG?
- I took Highway 90 on the way over, and will likely take the ‘scenic route’ on the way home.
- Shocked to find hardly any vehicles at the park office, think I picked a perfect time to come!
- Temperature notwithstanding, anyway.
- Slept without the benefit of air conditioning at home the night before to prepare myself. Not too hard.
- Resisting the urge to turn on my CR-V’s air conditioner on the drive over, however, was quite difficult!
- Lost my cell signal somewhere between Sabinal and the park. Didn’t miss it…
- Okay, maybe I missed it a little, but that’s because I’m waiting to hear back about an interview.
- Despite the low number of cars at the park office, I still had to wait a bit.
- I pulled number 70 and the last one helped was 65. People have no patience!
- My original plan was to stay two nights, but I shortened it to one…maybe once it isn’t a billion degrees out.
- It has been so long, I only have vague memories, but a few were jostled loose when I drove by the campsite I (think) I stayed in last time.
Upon reaching my site, I had to take a picture of my CR-V like it’s in one of those SUV commercials.
- Set up my tent only to find the zipper on the door isn’t working quite right. Crap.
- Only packed sandwiches and snacks to eat; I have no desire to prepare or eat any hot food while I’m here.
- Not bringing my stove and any food to heat up made packing harder somehow.
- Chili lime chips are the closest I’ll get to heat today.
- I’m keeping my Pebble Time smartwatch on even though my cell phone is kaputski. It still works as a pedometer, and well, a watch.
- Hiked down to the riverbank, had the obligatory ‘slip on the muddy ground/slick rocks’ moment.
- It is hard to resist taking panoramic pictures. Some beautiful country, here.
- Finding trash around cheeses me off, and I pick up what I can.
- I can appreciate the irony in the gift shop selling bottle openers.
- Yes, I bought one, because why not?
- Picked up a cane sugar Dr. Pepper from the ‘Stinkin’ Sweet’ candy store to make sure it wasn’t defective.
- Also bought a bumper sticker. Thanks to some unintended help from Verizon (see #7) it’s pretty easy to stay unplugged.
- Didn’t do any tubing, but went for a refreshing swim by the dam.
- Is there a rule that says the only people that buy portable speakers have to have the crappiest taste in music?
- The tube/paddleboat rental shack is no more, replaced by a trailer.
- They also have a food truck ‘Garner Grill.’ Dunno if they have tacos.
- Spent most of the afternoon sitting at my campsite, listening to the radio and working on this list.
- I also spent about twenty minutes just looking at birds.
- Didn’t do much, really, but that’s kind of the point.
- My $15 Emerson analog radio picks up The Eagle from San Antonio, yet my CR-V doesn’t. Huh.
- Jackrabbits are freaking HUGE.
- Saw a guy walk into the men’s room shower followed by his dog. Damn furries.
- Garner Grill has the best food truck slogan ever: “Where fat free can take a hike.” No tacos, though.
- They did have burgers, of which I partook. Hooray for convenience!
- Got a story idea while waiting for my food. Hooray for inspiration!
- I was a little surprised at how active the wildlife got once the sun went down.
- Annoying music coming from a car at a nearby camp. If his battery dies, and they ask: No, I don’t have jumper cables.
- Annoying music stops, and I can now hear music coming from somewhere else. *sigh*
- You don’t know how sunburned you are until try to go to sleep.
- It was a fitful night’s sleep. I’m not sure if it was the heat or my bedding that kept me up.
- One night of tent camping is definitely enough in Texas’s August heat.
- The scenic route home was a fun little drive.
- I look forward to coming back when the temperature isn’t so brutal!
I would drive one thousand miles…
Of course, now that its all said and done, one last list.
- I heard more conversations about DnD this weekend then I have in my entire life up to this point.
- Not sure which is worse: watching the Dallas Cowboys nearly blow the game on TV or hearing them nearly blow it on the radio.
- I put 1,000+ miles on the Excelsior during the trip…whew.
- Three days of sleeping on the ground made me really appreciate my bed.
- I was fortunate enough to have only encountered one raccoon.
- No matter how tired I am, no matter how many hours I’ve spent on the road, no matter how badly I want to get home, there’s always time for a stop at Buc-ees.
- Gas at Buc-ees was $2.99 a gallon for regular unleaded, WOW.
- The logjam I hit on I-35 South going home had me wishing I’d taken 281 instead, ugh.
- RED DIRT EVERYWHERE GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF
- Lesson learned: if I come back I’m getting a tent spot away from the bathrooms and the campfire.
- I am so glad I took Monday off from work to recover. After what happened the last time, I almost stayed home!
HERE WE GO!
Finally, after all those months, weeks, and days of waiting, the day is here! As you read this, I am on the road and expect to be there for the lion’s share of the day
My 2005 Dodge Neon, lovingly referred to as the “Reliant,” has been a pretty dependable vehicle since I bought it back in 2006. Recently, the only issue I’ve had with it is that well, its a Neon. As I’ve been taking more trips to Dallas and Houston going to conventions and events, I’m finding that a Neon isn’t a very comfortable place to be for an extended period of time.
Thus, I began looking for a new vehicle in earnest. I didn’t need a “urban assault vehicle” as I like to call them, instead I wanted something just a bit bigger and more comfortable than a compact car. I ended up buying a new 2012 Honda CR-V (pictured at right next to the Reliant and dubbed the “Excelsior”) and noticed just a few things during the process:
- As I mentioned previously, car shopping has changed just a bit since I bought the Reliant in 2006, and I think for the better.
- “Base model” doesn’t mean what it used to. The base model CR-V includes Bluetooth, USB, rear-view camera, and automatic transmission. Wow.
- The hardest part of getting a CR-V was well…getting one, as they are quite popular.
- Used cars are also popular; the Reliant was worth quite a bit more than I had expected.
- Of course, all I was going to get for it on the trade-in was some magic beans.
- Its good to have a man on the inside, hopefully my friend that sold me the CR-V stays at the dealership for at least a few years 😉
- Actual conversation with my friend: “Its not my car yet.” “Of course not, you haven’t paid for it.” “No, I haven’t farted in it yet.”
- I’ve barely had the Excelsior a month and its already been called ‘cute’ a few times. Here we go again.
- Having a camera in the back that turns on while I’m in reverse makes backing into parking spots like a videogame. If I ‘lose’ its going to cost me more than a quarter, though!
- Hooray for modern engineering: despite being larger, the Excelsior gets at least as good gas mileage as the Reliant did and over 30mpg on long trips.