My brother was ten when he got the mini-bike for Christmas in 1972. It's a Honda QA-50, a little four-stroke 50cc mini bike with three or four forward speeds.
Here's a photo of a QA-50 someone restored; this is more or less what my brother's mini bike looked like when new:
Yes, that same color. This was 1972.
Fast-forward 38 years. The QA-50--in need of restoration--takes up crucial floor space in the garage here. Every time my brother has come to visit (nearly every time) I've asked him if he wanted to take the thing with him, and hasn't had the room for it.
I drove all the way up to his house in a largely empty Jeep. Wednesday afternoon I could have easily stuffed the damn QA-50 into the back of the Jeep; it would have taken me perhaps ten minutes to dig it out and another ten to pack it into the truck. Once there, we could have carted it into his garage and stacked it next to his other toys. (Motorcycle, snowmobile, etc.)
Well, we'll see what Christmas brings.
* * *
The sister who threw me out into a Maine winter has done approximately the same thing to her own daughter. Big surprise.
Reportedly the daughter was talking to my sister like her late husband did, and my sister didn't like that, and gave her daughter an ultimatum: apologize, or get out. My niece got out.
I'm told that my idiot sister is saying that my niece is not allowed back until she apologizes.
...I have to wonder what my niece said to her.
In any event, it follows the continuing self-destructive pattern my sister has been exhibiting, since 2004 at least, of driving everyone away from her. I guess it just goes to show that no one is allowed to get in the way of her pity party; not even her own children. She's going to wallow in self-pity and drink herself into the grave, and to hell with anyone who even says "boo" about it.
(Yes, I know you can't stop an alcoholic who is determined to drink himself into the grave. Addicts don't listen to anyone.)
No idea if she's actually started drinking again, but I'd wager she has--if not before this development, then certainly afterwards, all the while bitterly complaining to herself that it's not her fault everyone has abandoned her....
This also puts the estrangement of her marriage in a different light. The only version we have of that comes from her; and of course it's entirely self-serving: he did this, he did that. What is not present in any of this is what she did; and I'd wager that she is considerably less than blameless in all this.
But don't listen to me, because I'm the one who got tossed out into a Maine winter in February.
* * *
So last night I started dubbing Hayate no Gotoku to DVD.
This is going to be a long one. Okay, the first series is 52 freakin' episodes. The second is 25. So that's going to take sixteen fricking DVDs.
But it's worth it, because it's damn funny, and it's got a shitton of anime inside jokes in it. (Like the scene where Hayate is wearing an apron with "piyo piyo" and a chick on it.)
And because...Hinagiku. Of course.
* * *
So the other day--the 24th--I just had to start a new toon, because I discovered that the character classes were finally reshuffled such that I could have a human hunter!
Càlandra was born.
...also it lets me try out the new quests and stuff.
Most of the quests in Elwynn Forest are unchanged, or changed only a little. But once you get to Westfall, hoo boy are things different! For one thing, the Defias Brotherhood is no more. For another, about a zillion refugees have spread out into the lands surrounding Stormwind. There are guards and signs keeping "transients" out of Redridge and Sentinel Hill.
The Deadmines have been revamped, too; for one thing, all the lowbie dungeons have maps now, just like the ones in Northrend. Also the entire Defias thing is done with, so you only run into a few Defias twits. (And no more of that goddamned, "You there! Check out that noise! We're under attack! Avast, ye swabs!" nonsense when you finally get to the boat dock. Man, I hated that.)
There are only ten days left until Cataclysm is released; and if I had half a brain in my head I'd buy an advance copy so I could access the new content as soon as it goes live--but I'm not that smart, and besides, I'm going to run Calandra for a while, anyway.
I think I like leveling more than endgame content.
* * *
On Thursday, when we left here to go to my brother's place, I'd driven about 37 miles on that tank of fuel. Including the drive up to my brother's place, and a couple miles back, it came to 151 miles; at that point I put in 8.5 gallons of gas, for a combined fuel economy of about 18.5 MPG.
The Jeep gets about 23 on the highway--or did, anyway--and I haven't taken it to the gas station for a fill-up yet to determine what my nearly-all-highway trip home got me, MPG-wise. But I'd wager it wasn't any 23 MPG.
Well...okay: assume 16 MPG for the 37 miles. That's 2.3 gallons. So I drove 114 miles on 6.3 gallons of gas; that's 18 MPG on the highway.
...which is 5 MPG below normal. Argh. (On the other hand, I found myself driving about 68-70 MPH for much of that trip, which is faster than normal. My rule of thumb for speeding is not to go faster than "10 over" for the highway and "5 over" for surface roads.)
The Jeep displays no other symptoms other than decreased fuel economy; and it's not decreased by a huge amount. WTF.
This only bothers me because the fuel economy was so consistent; it always got 18 MPG for city driving and 23 for highway. I don't know WTF's going on.
(Yes, I adjusted the TV cable. No, it didn't make a difference; it wasn't that far off and the Jeep's transmission was shifting correctly even before I adjusted it.)
I'm kind of tempted to put the old TPS in and see if my fuel economy returns to where it was. If that happened, I'd want to get a warranty replacement for the new TPS.
Well, none of that's happening today. Heh. In fact, I'm-a gonna go play WoW now.