ODDBALLS FROM IMPERIAL – Marilyn Armstrong

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge 10/11/18


If ever I run short of oddball photos, remind me to visit my car dealer. The guy who owns it is a collector. He collects a lot of stuff for charity, but he also collects things all kind of car-related stuff. He sells almost everything that could be considered an American car, and a few things that aren’t. He has to have the most entertaining interior of any car dealer anywhere.

The Blues Brother, hanging out

He also collects a lot of movie star life-size period images. Elvis and the Blues Brothers. The Sinatra band. Cars that were made to order and have nearly disappeared.

Plymouth Prowler from below
Plymouth Prowler, up in the air!

The last time I was there for any length of time, we were buying a car, so I was a bit distracted, but this time — back in hopes of getting that all-important second key for the car, I was ready to do a little shooting.

An engine in use as an end table in the lounge
Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

NO FREE PARKING – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Parking

There is no free parking in Boston. There is no free parking in New York either. I don’t know about the rest of the big cities, but I’m betting it’s pretty much the same. Assuming you can push your way through the traffic and actually get to the city … what do you do next?

Alley behind the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston

Weaving through Boston traffic on any given day can be a traumatic experience. Cars and trucks pop out of side streets, apparently without so much as a glance for possible other traffic. If you can find a parking place (good luck with that), it will either cost you a fortune … or pretty much the same amount for a parking ticket.

I have stood there, calculating which is going to cost more — the ticket or a legal spot. The legal spot is usually not only more expensive, but it’s much less convenient than parking wherever you happen to be.

My first car experience in Boston traffic was waiting at a light and getting hit by a car leaving a parking space. I got hit by a parked car standing still. At a light. Welcome to Massachusetts.

How about the people leaving illegally parked cars and stand there with their doors open, waiting for you to knock it off the frame?

I do not know if all cities are as bad as Boston, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they are. Of course, now people lurch wildly through streets talking on the phone. Blind and deaf to traffic, at the very least can’t we ban cell phones in cars? AND while walking on the street?

Walkers who have parked are the terror of the roads.

Considering how often we stand at an intersection waiting for the driver in front of us to get off the phone and drive, it’s hard to tell who is parked and who isn’t.

Out here, in the country, the roads aren’t as packed with traffic as they are in town. You can generally find a place to park — at least in the village. Out in the country, it’s perfectly legal — but the odds are very good that someone — texting or talking — is going to come around a curb and whack your car.

Remember TV shows where the cop or private detective could park anywhere? There was always a spot for him, even in the middle of Manhattan or Los Angeles. I want to see more realistic shows where the guy misses his appointment because the IS no parking. And he doesn’t have $120 for two hours of downtown parking.

WE HAVE A TRUCK TOO – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP Friday: TRUCK

I was commenting yesterday and how much I like our new car. Our new orange Renegade. One of the things I said was that it was a bit “truckier” than our previous Jeep and I liked it.

It sits firmer on the road.

Has a nice tight, solid feel to it.

The Renegade

And these are other trucks … not like ours!

Truck in Whitinsville
Big truck, low bridge
One truck, long road ahead

ORANGE IS NOT A NEW BLACK – JUST ORANGE – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP# Tuesday prompt: ORANGE


We recently bought a new-er car. It is a Jeep Renegade and it is very orange. Bright orange. It’s the same color Garry’s 1969 Dodge Challenger ragtop was. He loved that car and kept it for 20 years when it stopped being even minimally reliable.

So, in a way, this is a return to the days of yore. Back to The Orange Car.

BUT MOSTLY, NOT PINK: DAY ELEVEN – Marilyn Armstrong

BUT MOSTLY, NOT PINK: DAY ELEVEN


I took pictures today. I made sure there was at least some pink in them, not counting our Renegade which is definitely, positively, and totally orange.

But this picture tickled me because not only is the car in the pink, but there’s pink if you look for it. Or, pinkish, anyway.

Also, kind of impressionistic, in a graphic and photographic way.

ROCK CHIPS, WINDSHIELDS, AND LICENSE PLATES – Marilyn Armstrong

Rock damage to windshields is so common that sooner or later, it will happen to you. If you drive, that is. Usually, the worst part — for me — is a sharp bang on the windshield. It sounds like a bullet.

Very startling.

I try to not drive behind big trucks with wide wheels. They kick up a lot of rocks and other stuff and can make a mess not only of your windshield but also your car’s finish.

Sometimes you see the damage immediately, but often, it takes a day or two to show up. After it arrives, it will creep along the window, starting as a little ping with a few rays, then inching its way up the glass until suddenly one morning, you realize you don’t have a choice. You need a new window.

The old PT Cruiser with Garry at Fenway

I don’t know about every state, but both here and in New York, the glass people come to you. They will replace your windshield in your own driveway.

The last time we needed a replacement, the people next door drove the same car as we did. Ours was silvery gray and theirs was maroon. After replacing the glass, the guy called my son and said he was done.

Owen asked him what did the car look like and he said it was a 2007 Red PT Cruiser.

“Dude,” Owen said, “I’m sure they’ll be pleased, but that’s the neighbor’s car.”

Our neighbors are not very neighborly and never said anything, though surely they recognized they had a new windshield. We got a new one too.

Moral of the story? Check the license plate number before you start the work.

Word Prompt: Rock Chips

BUYING A NEWER CAR – Marilyn Armstrong

Photography: Garry Armstrong


This is a yarn. A nice story about being able to move from an older to a newer car. It has kept us really busy for the past couple of days, too. Meanwhile, on Friday, Garry’s going to get his new gear.

Life is definitely getting in the way of art!

Side by side, old and newer.

Someone quotable (a friend’s father maybe?) said that the best second-hand car to buy would be two or three years old with about 20,000 miles on it. And by golly, that is exactly what we got.

Parlay in the lot.

To be fair, the car we were trading in wasn’t a piece of junk. Visually, it was in exactly the same shape it was when we bought it three years ago — from the same dealer. We’d only added another 12,000 miles during our three years of ownership making it a six-year-old car with fewer than 60,000 miles on it. Someone’s going to get a bargain.

During the long waits while the car was getting spiffier for us, we spend a lot of diner time.

Parts were beginning to wear out. They weren’t wearing out from hard use. Winter is rough on cars in New England. You can count a cars year as 1-1/2 for each calendar. One winter … and the rest. The Jeep was six-years-old and we still owed money on it. If I was going to owe money, I thought something a bit newer might not be a bad idea.

We needed two things from anything we buy. It has to be reliable and it needs 4-wheel drive. I was beginning to feel we needed a newer car, but it had to be priced at the same cost we were already paying. There’s no “spare money” lying around.

The new one, also a Jeep, is a Renegade in a color Jeep calls “Orange Crush.” The Renegade is a bit smaller than the Patriot, higher on its wheels. It’s also a bit “truckier” and it is from 2015. It has a mere 28,000 miles on it.

It will be big enough for we two, but not good for luggage if there are more than two people in the car.

So, with the shuffling of papers, we got a newer car. This little honey was right on target for us — price and type and even the color. It has almost white upholstery so we’ll need seat covers.

Also, there’s no CD player though there is a connection for a USB machine. I’ll have to see if it works. It even has one of the fancy rear-view cameras to help keep us from banging into things.

We have the newer car. And we got it done before winter, too.

FOWC with Fandango – Being (without Nothingness)

RDP #82 – YARN