Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

My very best wishes to each of you this Christmas.

May we receive no lumps of coal, only the diamonds within. May our identity be found in the True Identity. And may our brand new wall calendar fill with possibilities.

Cheers to a bright and hope-filled New Year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Countdown to 300,000, FINALE!

300,000 miles is now official and complete. Taken at 12:14pm CST. Nashville, TN.

In my neighborhood on the way to an auto parts store - appropriately enough - to buy a replacement bulb for the passenger-side headlight.

Is 400,000 in the cards?

The Countdown to 300,000, Pt. V


I can cut the tension in the air with a knife.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Countdown to 300,000, Pt. IV


Another dumb photographic travel-log moment. Taken late Sunday night, westbound on I-40 between Oak Ridge and Nashville, TN. I am tremendously weary by the end of this trip owing to the fact that I've gotten very little sleep over the previous 48 hours. Thanks to the keep-awake power of mandible motion, symbolically represented by a styrofoam coffee cup full of chewed, used sunflower shells, I arrive at my Christmas light-lit house, eyes red and burning, mouth dry from salt intake. Alas, there weren't quite enough miles on this final leg to flip the Big Six-Digit Switch. That will have to wait until my next cliffhanger episode.

I sense the event will occur sometime in the next couple of days, especially since I have to sub early the next morning, and that's easily another 40-45 miles.

The Countdown to 300,000, Pt. III


Despite foul weather in southern West Virginia southbound on I-77. I agree, there is no logical or safe reason on earth I should ever have taken this picture, especially considering the driving conditions, but extra-ordinary milestones demand prompt attention. Notice: "Maintenance Required"fading green to yellow.

The Countdown to 300,000, Pt. II


In a gas station parking lot somewhere in east Tennessee on my way to Beckley, WV. 1000 miles to go. Good chance I'll spin all six dials on this trip. If not, 2009 certainly looks to be the year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Countdown to 300,000

298,929. That's what my odometer reads. For the next few weeks I will entertain you by cataloging the final countdown to what some consider a fairly major milestone in in the automotive industry: 300,000 miles on an original engine.

I bought a baby blue 1996 Honda minivan in the spring of 2000. Mind you, this was six years BEFORE I became a father, if that tells you how interesting I am. It had a mere 45,000 miles at the time I signed the papers (and paid too much, I might add). I distinctly remember turning 100,000 miles somewhere underneath an interstate overpass in south Mississippi. The car sat idle at exactly 200,000 miles in a friend's driveway in Houston, TX, the very same trip that my wife and I bought that little red 1965 VW Karmann Ghia coupe. That particular milestone was six years ago.

There's a healthy chance Oddy and I will clock another 1,000 miles, turning 300K "together" somewhere on yet another trip to who-knows-where in the coming days. If I'm not on slippery, wintry terrain, and it's safe for me to pull over, I plan on taking a photo for posterity sake, and to send to the manufacturer. I wonder if Honda will care. They should. I don't know how many vehicles today reach that level of distance endurance, but surely it can't be a high percentage, though they aspire to it.

"What's your secret, Eric?" Since you didn't ask, I will now bore you with a few details: very regular oil & filter changes (there's something manly about getting your hands that filthy), two timing belt replacements (read, expensive), one major oil leak repair (doubly expensive), and enough washes, waxes and interior cleanings to make a professional maid service proud. The car, for what it's worth, still looks like a million bucks, minus a few bucks, of course. I'm slightly compulsive about aesthetics, just ask my wife. By no means am I a handyman or a mechanic, but at the very least I can change the oil in my car and mower, landscape a lawn, wipe soiled baby bottoms, vacuum, and take out the trash. All in a single leap.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Sale

This holiday season, take advantage of some special deals at

Chrome (2009) or Scarce (2006) -- $6.99 per copy (regular price $13.00)
Chrome + Revenge of the Birds combo -- $13.99 (regular price $17.00)
Holiday Pack: Chrome + Scarce + Revenge of the Birds + The Only Thing -- $24.99 (regular price $38.00)

Don't forget about the nifty Volkswagen "Beep Beep" t-shirts (sizes S, M, L or XL) or the EP Box Set (6 full-length CDs)

Prices good through 12/31/09. Available in limited quantities.