He used to clean gutters fall and spring. Thought he'd do that, if he had ladders and truck. What kind of truck? Dealer that I do business with goes to auctions and mentioned that he frequently saw pickup trucks with plows. Son gets all excited. Nothing but a plow will do.
Peruse auctions. No acceptable truck. How about we buy mechanic's van which already has a ladder rack and use that, quick before gutter season has passed? No, just in the nick of time, an acceptable pickup with plow. $1000 more than budget, dealer will let me make payments. Says "there's no way he can *not* make money with that." Okay, good. Dealer says he has friend who has more plowing in the winter than he can handle. Very good.
We buy truck. By the time the catalytic converter and the hydralics are fixed, and by the time I spend $400 on ladders, $200 on rack, I'm another $1000 in. And another three weeks. Very scary. Go make money.
*I* spend lots of time making business cards. Daugher says cards bad, do this. And she's right. So I do this. Someone else suggests that, and she's right, so I do that. Print lots and lots of cards. Son beats the pavement going door to door asking for gutter jobs. Season is actually past. No gutter money. Plowing? No snow.
Nevertheless, Son is a sweetheart who's a good saleman. He does handyman stuff - remove wallpaper for a woman, caulk windows, fix gate, paint a room. Brings in almost enough money to cover gas and make truck payment. Almost.
Yesterday, snow. Lots. In the southtowns. Travel half hour south and can't see 5 feet for the snow. Lots of stuck people. He buys a chain rope and makes money pulling people out, towing one 2 miles home, etc. Plows a couple driveways. Comes home with small profit is spite of cost of chain and gas.
Eagerly, he watches weather report at 5:00 am. More snow in southtowns. He dresses warm, checks map and heads out. Truck smokes. Son is no mechanic. Somehow I have never told him that IF THE GAUGE IS IN THE RED, PULL OVER AND STOP!!! He's sure he can get it to the gas station that he can see ahead and buy antifreeze. I tell him to walk. He drives. He adds two gallons antifreeze. The heat gauge comes down. He figures he's solved the problem, and doesn't keep checking the guage! When he *does* see it, he opens the hood, determines that the engine isn't that hot, and keeps driving!
I don't know yet whether or not the engine can be salvaged. If it *can*, it will be at least $300. Turns out it also didn't have any oil.
Then there's AAA. I guess they were overworked. I guess 100 people slept in their cars because they couldn't be gotten to quickly enough. But *#&$~*& did they ever fuck us over. All day.
So it's at the garage now. Tomorrow we play the blame game.
This is how my time is going these days. I don't come here often - I don't have time, and nothing pleasant to say.