And other hyphenated phrases.

I was already beat to the socks by Monday night, mainly because we had spent most of the evening purchasing a car to replace the 1989 Olds Cutlass Ciera I’ve been driving for the past year. I bought it from a friend of my dad’s for $500.00 last February after we terminated the lease of an ’02 Corolla. It was his late wife’s and had been sitting in his driveway for a year before we took it off his hands. It ran well, had just over 80,000 miles on it, and we thought we’d gradually fix things a little at a time and maybe get about two years driving out of it.

Okay, so thinking about doing something is light years away from actually doing it, and all the miles we put on it started catching up to the parts we were going to replace. The air conditioning needed to be converted over to the new R-134a standard, but the system leaked and needed to be fixed before we could load up with the new stuff. The cooling system was okay, but the radiator was corroded. Then the brakes started making squealy noises whenever we drove at low speeds. And I always smelled gas fumes from around back of the car whenever I parked it. Not. Good. At. All.

So we got one of these (different color, though – ours is a charcoal gray with a black interior). It’s nice and comfy, handles well, and has a great stereo system (one of the first things I consider when getting a car). I will say this about the Olds, though: my days of riding with my body scrunched in a compact car are long gone. The Cutlass was roomy, and I never felt like the trucks that slam past us on the Interstate were getting ready to elbow us off the road. So it spoiled me for mid-sized roominess.

Oh, yeah: it has a sunroof. I’ve never had one of those before.

I’ve also been working on an updated version of a movie I created for a new product at my real job. I built it in Flash and kinda stretched the abilities of it and the laptop I use for work. The movie was shown to clients at some marketing meetings late last month. It worked so well that now I’m creating an expanded version to show all our clients at the company user conference later in April. My work laptop (a Dell Inspiron) has less than half a gig of memory, and adding stuff with Flash seemed like I was trying to squeeze 10 pounds of cookie dough through a drinking straw.

So I moved the production onto my home laptop. It has sped up the work quite a bit. Now I know that if I change a line of text, I won’t have to wait two minutes for the memory to clear out before I can change another. Put another way: I’m now squeezing 10 pounds of cookie dough through a paper towel tube.

Have you visited Laura Roberts Photography yet? By all means, please do. And tell her Gottafang sent you.

I’m listening to this on the ‘Pod right now. It was a record from my childhood. Good thing about having a much older brother: he always brought home the cool records that other kids my age had no idea about. A lot of the pre-teens in the early 1970s were diggin’ the light, friendly vibes of this. . .well, awful tripe. At my Cub Scouts meetings, we had to pony up a quarter for our weekly dues into a small clay dish and name something for the topic of the week (name your favorite Hot Wheels car, who you think will win the Super Bowl or World Series, why Cambodia should or should not be bombed, who should be Playmate of the Year – another advantage to having a much older brother).

One week we were to tell what our favorite Partridge Family song is. At my turn, I said I didn’t have one.

I got puzzled stares from the nine other boys in the pack.

The den mother asked me to go ahead and just tell what my favorite song is. I said, “‘Heard it Through the Grapevine.’ The one by Credence Clearwater Revival.”

The puzzled stares turned into “huhs?” and “whos?” I dropped my quarter in the dish and said nothing else.

And I did like that version of the song (from this LP). It’s a lot darker than the previous two (including Marvin Gaye’s original), helped along by reverb guitar doubling with bass when they play the theme. And that darkness separates the versions. In Gaye’s, he’s confronting his girl with the news over the phone – you hear the distance he’s trying to keep from her. In the one Gladys Knight sings, she’s striding up to the dude’s front door and she’s jabbing a finger in his face. With CCR’s, he’s snuck up to her doorway, holding the hunting knife behind his back. . .

Again, it’s one that my brother brought home. He also had this on 8-track, with this version of the cover pasted on the front. And those guys wondered why I didn’t have a favorite Partridge Family song.

I’ve rambled on here too long. Back to the movie (now enjoying some Roxy Music on the iPod). Have a fine weekend.

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