If you’re new to this type of post: it’s plenty of different nibbles on the plate that usually add up to a full meal (or in this case full length post.)
‘Your Mazda 6 was full of leaves’
After narrowly avoiding a Hyundai shaped mechanical bullet with a very timely pre-purchase mechanical inspection, I probably should have ordered another one on the Mazda 6 I bought recently. However the logbook service records and general cleanliness of it inside and out suggested to me at the time that it would do just fine and so I bought it without out.
So when I booked it in for a general check over just before a big family trip (which ended up being a sniff under 1k all up) I was hesitantly waiting for the phone call along the lines of ‘So…you’ll never guess what we found while giving this a service..’ But thankfully no. All looked good with a suggestion of looking to have my front brakes done in the next service.
Oh and the cabin filter was full of leaves.
‘Leaves came pouring out of it when we pulled it out’ is probably not a common sentence in the life of a mechanic but mine enjoyed sharing that with me, suggesting along with the dust and dirt in there it had been some time since it last got change. ‘Your air conditioning should work a bit better now’ he also added. Considering it was icy cold before it went into the shop, it’s easily reaching sub arctic temps now.
Check your air and cabin filters kids, they could be dripping in leaves.
The case of the missing script
No not a film script (although something like Movie 43 could certainly use one), a medical script. My asthma seems to have gotten worse as I’ve gotten older and is now at that ‘let’s make things interesting’ level when I’ve gone some time without some preventer acting as the Imperial Guard somewhere in my lungs.
Was I in a job that didn’t require talking constantly things wouldn’t be so bad but the last thing anyone needs to hear when they wake up during the week and turn on the radio is me doing a terrific impression of a battered wheezing locomotive trying to work itself up a very steep hill. And so panic station level got to past mild pretty quickly when I ran out of the preventive stuff and scrambled for the repeat script that suddenly went missing.
I checked work, no dice. I turned the car upside down (well okay, not literally but you get my meaning) but apart from some stray bolts, nothing there. And even searching my cluttered desk proved fruitless, while I found a few scripts in amongst all the rest of the junk they were either for something else or worse, now out of date.
So it was back to the doctor for another round of scripts ready to go and this time my lovely wife asked if they could keep things on file, just so I don’t lose it again. Fast forward to today however and guess what magically turns up when they open up my file at the chemist? Both scripts hanging out like Commisar Kane and his sidekick Jurgen (can you tell I’ve been reading a lot of Warhammer 40k stuff recently?)
Weirdly, I never asked them to keep the original script on file. Either I dropped it there or they forgot to give it back to me and just filed it away for next time. Gah. I really wouldn’t have thought to look there honestly.
But hey, at least I’m not about to run out of asthma preventer refills anytime soon!
And finally: A question of comfort
A friend moving house soon came to me recently for some advice. Could I put myself in her shoes and help her decide where to move next? The options were:
A) A tiny rental, close to work, a little cheaper than average
B) A larger house, a little further away than the other but still close to work and set a typical rental price of 2023 (still too expensive really thanks to current cost of living but hey)
Firstly, can I admit to how much I enjoy the feeling of someone asking me for advice (that isn’t something to do with turbo powered anything)? I get a buzz out of it I do, it actually makes me feel like a real adult on occasion! Secondly, because this wasn’t a telemarketer or someone interrupting anything enjoyable (like my kids have really learnt to do of late..) my answer wasn’t as simply as: Erm, flip a coin.
Secondly, I actually responded to both those options
If she chose A) then I’d look at how much you’d actually save and set that up that the savings come out on the same day your rent does and disappears to either grow somewhere (invest) or work on reducing debt. She’s just bought a new Hilux and any savings should be aimed directly at that purchase to help things long term.
If she chose B)? I’d still look to occasionally walk to work and do the things to save while she was at it. But at least she had more space to relax in and room to grow if needed.
Now personally if this scenario involved me where I’m at now? I would take option B, no question. I’d pay that little extra for comfort because it’s something I’ve come to really appreciate as old man Almigo slowly filters through in various decisions. Because I’ve lived like a monk when times were tough and guess what? It wasn’t fun at all. While it taught me how to live frugally when I had to, I always yearned to be doing something else going through it and after a while (namely a few decades actually) I slowly grew to enjoy creature comforts, even the small ones. Things such as:
-Carpet that feels good under your feet when you take your shoes off after a long day
-A comfy couch you sink into that can easily put you to sleep if you lie length ways on it
-A mattress where the springs don’t attempt to stab you in the back on a nightly basis.
-A car seat that doesn’t punch you in the spleen with every turn
-Furniture that doesn’t threaten to fall out from under the person sitting on it
-Tables not created with crates
-Shelves not on cinder blocks
-Air conditioning, hot water and heating that works when I want it to.
-And finally space to put my junk. All of my junk.
Saving is great, don’t get me wrong – I’m trying to do (and occasionally succeeding) this daily. But if it doesn’t break the bank to still be able to do with a modern level of comfort, take the comfort option. I’m not in my twenties anymore and even with all the (moderate) effort I put in my weightlifting out the back, I’m not about to look like a Spartan, therefore I’m certainly not about to live like one either.