Month: May 2015

Life in America-The Kevmobile

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2002 Chevrolet Silverado, Cost $3064.  215,000 miles (346,000km). I’m good with it.

I didn’t have the luxury of current transportation to drive all over and in toward Chicago and Wisconsin to shop all the deals.  I needed something right away.  I ended up with this truck.

Shopping for a vehicle takes some homework and good internet connection.  In my opinion, the 40 dollars fee to pay for a month membership in Carfax or Autocheck.com is well worth it when you are talking about spending thousands of dollars on something.  I researched this car and found that I am the 3rd owner-NOT BAD.  The mileage is correct at 215,000-YIKES.  The car has spent its entire nearly 13 year life in snowy Wisconsin-SCARY.  Has never been in an accident, flood etc-EXCELLENT.  It fit my budget because without a full time job, I had to pay cash and have no car payments.  As added discovery, I found out who the Chevy dealer in Wisconsin that had been servicing the truck for years and he stated its oil had been changed every 4000 miles.  It was well taken care of.

Trucks need a lot of maintenance and they aren’t cheap.  The tires all were replaced and they cost 125 a piece at a discount.  It does have hidden rust and rust repair.  I am very particular about not driving something I am embarrassed to be seen in.  But the rust that was once there and covered by paint was not bad.  When you buy an older car, you should always take a couple of refrigerator magnets with you and apply it to the rocker panels, door bottoms, fenders etc.  It is also helpful if 2 or three family members can do the walk around with you to spot everything you might miss.

It’s not perfect.  Gas mileage is good for a truck but still costly.  I get just under 20.  I never thought I would ever own a car with manual windows but that is what I got here.  I don’t have a back seat, but the double cabs are more prone to rust anyway.  Overall, I bought it for the body.  You really never know when the engine or the transmission will go out, but at least you have something left to put a new one into instead of throwing the whole car away.  I will probably be rebuilding this truck for years.  Now I have a really nice gull wing diamond plate tool box which retails for 269 dollars, I picked up for 97 dollars at Farm and Fleet at a clearance sale.

When my family comes, I will probably have to rent a car or trade it for a week with my parents who have a 6 passenger car.  My dog likes the truck a lot and it get’s plenty of use.

 

First Update from America

I left Japan on December 18th.  There was a little misunderstanding in the immigration office about the need for a re-entry permit.  I went to get my multiple re-entry permit and the man said the new law states you no longer need one as long as you have you have your updated alien registration card.  Like a fool, I took his word for it and did not get one.  As soon as I got into the departure area, I learned that he was totally wrong.  If I don’t get my butt back to Japan before December 18, 2015, I lose my permanent residency.  Live and learn.

I decided to take the route through Los Angeles and spent a day with my sister who lives in Beverly Hills.  I stomped on a lot of those stars on the street.  If you are into seeing interesting automobiles cruising around, this is the place.  It seems like a safe area to live and people enjoy the warm weather even in December.

From LA, I headed to Las Vegas.  This is one of the few airports that flies direct to Chicago Rockford International Airport by Allegient Air.  I really like Virgin America, but Allegient with their stupid pay as you go for everything will nickle and dime you to death.  You even have to pay 20 dollars for putting an overhead carry-on bag.  I didnt buy any peanuts either.  They took enough of my money.

I arrived in Rockford.  The airport is less than 2 miles from O’Leary Acres where my parent’s live.  I could almost walk home.  I arrived safely and began the task of getting a job and getting a reliable car.  I am happy to be back and to reconnect with my roots.  I am a homebody.  No one would doubt I have seen enough of the world.  I am not fond of Rockford at all.  Freeport or Lake Summerset are where I feel I want to settle down.