America, for all its supposed wealth and prosperity, has many abandoned places. From natural disasters, to foreclosures, to budget cuts, to rebuilding; I've seen quite a few in my short life-time. All across this vast country people are homeless, when there are many buildings and places that could be "repurposed" to house them. This blog is all about the places I've lived and explored, over the past 50 years. It also involves other things of interest to me, which will become apparent as I continue along. Most places and events I can only remember and have no photographs of them. Currently, I'm active in exploring the current state I live in, Tennessee, when time permits me to do so. Follow along in my foot-steps as I clambour over and sometimes into the abandoned debris of our society...from junkyards to cellars to my own mind.
If anyone is out there and actually reading this, you're probably thinking that I've abandoned this here blog. Nah. It's just that some things in "real life" have a nasty habit of getting first priority. Like shopping for a new car. So I "abandoned" a few other projects and did a lot of research.
I bought the ol' 2005 Kia Rio Cinco back in 2006. It was a dealer demonstrator model with over 22,000 miles on it. Yeah, I bet they had a load of fun driving it. It had a few quirks but then, most cars do. For the first 3 years the Kia ran along good with regular maintenance. It also got me fairly decent mileage (my best being 41.8 MPG!) I paid it off a year early. Good thing I did because after that, the car started to literally fall apart; much in the way any Chevy I've ever owned has fallen apart. The clutch went, then the brakes, bearings, etc. I'm still not sure how we survived the trip out to New Mexico and back to Massachusetts (that was in April of 2009; I managed to put 4,800+ miles on the car in only nine days...) The timing belt and water pump were next...then the transmission shifter disintegrated a few months later. Then the coil pack blew out. More costly repairs. I'm sure my mechanic has a nice nest egg set aside. About the only thing I never replaced was the exhaust system and engine itself. It was referred to as "The Kia From Hell", for the last two years that I owned it.
The very last pic I took of the Kia
Early in 2012, I decided enough was enough. For what I spent in repairs that year, I could have put a good downpayment on a new car. So, I saved up and slowly rebuilt my poor credit rating. By this time, the Kia had almost 146,000 miles on it. It'd been hit three times (four, if I count the time I backed into the corner of a house...) The second clutch was starting to go and the rear wiper I never did repair (the switch burned out in 2008.) No A/C either. No power windows or locks or NAV. A bare bones car. I'm actually surprised I got anything in trade for it!
2014 Nissan Versa note
In late May of 2013, I started surfing round the 'net. I wanted something simple. I'm not one to have a bunch of tech crap shoved into the dashboard. But at the same time I wanted a few upgrades. Like A/C. I wanted a car that would return good mileage. I also wanted something affordable. With all the tech data available on-line, it's become increasingly easier to know all about a particular vehicle...unless it's brand...spankin'...new.
Meet the...I mean my 2014 Nissan Versa Note. I finally got one July 24th, 2013. Did my homework but still getting used to a few things. Like power mirrors, traction controlle, ABS, and, oh yeah, a CVT transmission. As I am (or was) a stick-shift driver, I can say that driving a car with a CVT takes a bit of getting used too. Hell, driving any kind of an automatic takes getting used to, at least for me. And this is no dealer demonstrator car. Only seven miles on the ODOM (now almost 600, heh...)
Only time will tell how good this little car (with the big interior), will perform over the next few years. I've yet to take it on a long highway cruise but, I'm averaging over 41MPG combined, at the moment. That makes things a bit easier to take at the petrol pump. And I figure if I take good care of it, I can make it last at least as long as I did the Kia, right?