Monthly Archive for August, 2008

Ya Never Know

You can consider yourself a good driver who drives defensively and follows all of the precautions, but the truth is that you never know when you are going to get hit. It might happen when you least expect it or when you have the least control. Earlier this month I was driving to work and I had to make a left turn onto Stonecroft Blvd from Willard Rd. The light was red so I was stopped waiting for the light to turn green. Then out of the corner of my left eye I see a car climb on top of the median as it is attempting to turn. It hits a sign on top of the median then proceeds to hit the left rear panel of my car as it is turning. All of this happened in a few seconds.

my sketch of the crash

There wasn’t enough time to react. The first thing I did was make sure I was ok. I was glad the driver hit me on my rear panel and not my door and also that he hit me while turning and not head on. I wasn’t really sure what to do next. I noticed that the driver got off the median and started driving away really slowly. Instinctively, I pulled a quick u-turn even though the light was still red, the other drivers gave me the right of way. I didn’t want the other driver to sneak out of there. He pulled into the bowling alley on the corner and someone who witnessed the accident also followed him to make sure he didn’t try to escape. I called the police, but they wouldn’t come because nobody was injured. After confronting the driver, everything proceeded without much hassle. It was his dad’s car, he couldn’t explain how he made such a reckless turn, only that he was sorry. I hope this experience teaches him a lesson he’ll never forgot. I copied all of his insurance information and took photos of the damages with my cell phone camera.

I don’t have collision insurance on my car, which meant I had to deal with the other guy’s insurance company directly. If I had collision insurance that would mean my insurance company would deal with the other insurance company on my behalf. I am glad that in this case it was unmistakable whose fault it was. I mean really, a car goes over a median and hits a parked car; no way you can try to spin that. But what if things weren’t so clear-cut? They left nothing to chance when questioning me over the phone. They look for details, making sure you have no inconsistencies, looking for any holes in the story so they don’t have to pay up.

you can see the dent on the rear panel

I was sent to one of their damage assessment places. It was an unpleasant experience. I had to deal with an unpleasant character that I disagreed with the amount of damages he awarded. There was not much I could do, but in retrospect I’m not bitter. If he estimated a higher amount of damage my car might have been declared as a total loss. I wouldn’t have wanted it this way because I would have had to buy back the car from the insurance company for its salvage price after receiving the payout; and from reading the DMV website I think it would receive a salvage title and would not be allowed to be driven unless the necessary repairs were made.

In the end I was handed a check for $1350, and it is going straight towards school loans. I had the suspension looked at and it checked out fine. Dropping $1350 to fix cosmetic on a car worth less than $2000 doesn’t make sense. So my plan is to just keep on using it until I save up for a new car. I should still be able to sell if for a decent amount later. The Nissan 240sx is well sought after drifting car. A typical drifter wouldn’t mind cosmetic damages considering the abuse drifting cars see, dents are like battle scars. Ya never know, I might keep it myself, do the SR20det engine swap, and try out drifting myself!

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Bachelor Party!

Last month I got to go on the bachelor party of my sister’s finance. It was a tremendous time. I have to give credit to the best man for planning a highly synchronized and well thought out itinerary. We took Friday off and left work early on Thursday to give us ample time for the trip of a lifetime. We rented the biggest RV we could get from Cruise America. This would be our party van, enabling us to party non-stop the whole weekend.

Large RV

Michael, the man of the hour, was duped into thinking he was going to New York for a business trip. He was in an especially sour mood because he had made a bunch of plans for that weekend but had to drop them. We were planning to meet him when he landed at the airport but we were running late, for some reason we drove on some other road rather than I-95. We didn’t want him leaving the airport and going to his fake hotel. We pretended that I too was traveling to New York for a business trip and my sister told him he had to wait for me. I kept on texting him that my plane was stuck on the ground. Then I texted him that I lost my luggage. Whenever he called me I never answered the first time and half the time I would respond with an ambiguous text message. We finally arrived about two hours later, thank goodness he was still there. We gave him a hero’s welcome and got the party started again!

It was pretty late at this point so we couldn’t really do anything in the city. We drove to camp at a trailer park in New Jersey. We had a really nice view of the Big Apple. I spent about an hour trying to climb on the top of the RV, everybody else seemed to be able to do it without much trouble. The trick was to get a running start and ricochet of the tire and grab the top with both hands so you could hoist yourself up. I was able to reach the top once after about one hundred attempts. After I was thoroughly exhausted I was able to fall asleep rather easily outside on my sleeping pad. I had multiple dreams that night mostly pertaining to how I had forgotten my blanket.

The next day was all about White Water Tubing! I brought my river shoes so I was all ready to go. We all made sure to take a lot of Nalgene bottles to make we could hydrate our selves properly throughout the ride. Some of the rapids were pretty extreme, I’m glad nobody lost a limb. After tubing we played disc golf. It was my first time playing; I was told that the course wasn’t very good. There were a lot of trees in the way of the flag, and I found out I was not very good at throwing a Frisbee. Later that night we arrived at the Ommegang Brewfest. They had an RV camping section, which was really cool. That night they also played The Big Lebowski on a huge out door screen. We watched most of it then stumbled back the RV to crash for the night

The gang

The next day was the highlight of the trip, the Ommegang Beer festival in Cooperstown. We got free admission because we were volunteers. I got one of the best positions in the admission tent. My job was mainly putting wristbands on other volunteers. Everybody was really friendly, before I knew it my shift was over and it was time to start sampling beers. Everybody put on their most colorful shirt and made pretzel necklaces. We were the highlight of the festival. There were 50 breweries and importers and over 200 Belgian and Belgian-style beers to choose from. What a great way to expand your palate! Great beer, great people, great music, and great beer. I highly recommend going to the Ommegang Brewery.

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