I could complain, but it wouldn't do any good. Sometimes you just feel like it though.

As I already mentioned, Shannon and I got a new car. I really like it. It’s a 2003 Ford Focus ZTS, and it’s blue. Yesterday was our sixth anniversary, so we drove to Coeur d’Alene. I surprised her by taking her to one of her favorite restaurants, The Olive Garden. I’ve heard of others driving all the way to Spokane or Coeur d’Alene for dinner; I got the idea from talking to Rocky the other day. We had a great time. Getting there was half the fun.

It's the drive back that was not so fun. About ninety miles from Missoula, I hit an ice chunk that was sitting in the middle of the road. I was going about 70 mph and it was dark, so I didn’t have time to swerve completely out of the way. I ran over it with the tire. So I ended up changing a flat out in the cold. These things happen.

The real annoyance happened when I took the car to the tire shop to get fixed today. I didn’t even notice as I was changing the flat out in the dark, but that chunk of ice had taken a chunk out of my wheel. So now I’m looking at needing a new wheel, a new tire, an alignment, and hopefully that’s all. Luckily, I already got insurance for it. Luckily, I opted for the $250 deductible. Apparently, the wheel alone is more than that. Unfortunately, the shop can’t start repairs until the claim adjuster returns the estimate, which can take up to 72 hours, and when they do they’ll have to order a wheel because they don’t have one in stock. Arrgh, I don’t have the time to mess with all this. I’m not getting my homework done as it is, and there goes my digital camera.

Sometimes life can feel like camping trip in the snow. You’re cold, miserable, and sometimes feel like complaining, but you know that it just won’t do any good. So you put up the tent, build a bonfire, and eat some hot Mountain House that warms you from the inside out. I’m not quite sure of all the implications of that simile, I’m just remembering my last hike, but really things aren’t too bad. I can’t complain.

Congratulations, Andrew, Nayibe, and Javier! I was overjoyed to read about Josiah's arrival.

Andrew, I still remember poaching golf courses, running the base perimeter, the lodge people, the old red Jimmy, NLB, Frazer, ICTHUS and mingle time, our ode to an Aussie in Russia, and so much more.

God bless you two. I hope to see Josiah George in person soon.
Yesterday, I put a dollar into the Coke machine, and it spit out two Cokes and five Diet Cokes. Funny. They had a repair number on the front, so I called it and let them know that they might want to come and check out the machine.

When I told the lady at the other end what happened, she said, "I'm sorry - if that's the right response." I asked her what I should do with all these extra cokes, and she said, "Well, I guess if there is no one to turn them in to, you can just keep them." Too bad I don't care for Diet Coke, but it's good that people in my office do.

Afterwards, an older gentleman who saw the whole thing said, "that was very honest of you." But really, was this anything special? It's too bad that doing the right thing doesn't seem normal.
By the Sea Shore. Well, she really is a bargain finder. My wife has found, in the last few months, several good deals. First it was all the laminate flooring, then the cheap furniture (which we haven't actually bought yet), and now she found a great deal on a new car. In fact, it was so good that when I went to the bank to get a loan, Monica the loan officer thought it was too good to be true. Not only was it well below retail, but it was even below wholesale. So she ran a free carfax report, which saved me $25, and it came back great. The car had no wrecks or anything, and it was even reported that the car was serviced every month.

This is a great replacement for the old Neon. Do you know anyone who wants a '96 Neon for say $700? It comes with a CD player, but it also could use some mechanical attention.

Of course, all the real thanks goes to God for always providing abundantly for us.