Last year I bought myself a nice comfy toilet seat for my birthday. This year I bought myself an adaptor for earphones—I had earphones with the mini-stereo plug but needed the older-style larger plug. We went to Best Buy and bought one for $2.99. The highlight of my day.

Well, I did get to eat at the mall food court. Chick-Fil-Et (sp, I’m sure) strips and a large Diet Coke.

After that, we sat around the house waiting. And waiting. And waiting. There were a couple of Lebarons advertised in the paper and we called about them, only no one was home. Spouse Thingy left messages on answering machines, but the calls were never returned. So I spent my birthday sitting here at my desk, playing computer Mahjong, one game after another, with sporadic internet surfing, until midnight.

The problem with car shopping seems to be that we have a far smaller budget than the market seems to demand. There aren’t many listed for sale to begin with, but the ones that are even worth looking at are so far over what we can afford it’s not funny. Cripes, people are selling ’89 Miatas with 120,000+ miles for $7000. A ’97 Sebring is going for $10,000. The two Lebarons we’ve test driven have been around $5,000 but had problems that would have been another couple of thousand to fix. I really don’t want to trade one problem car for another.

But it sucks, it really does. And it’s a little mind boggling. When I drooled over convertibles on the Lemon Lot at Travis AFB, they were 5-6 years old and the prices hovered around $5,000-$6,000. Same cars here are way more. Go figure.

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