I don't make new year's resolutions. If something is a Good Thing to do, then I'll start doing it as soon as I identify it. Why wait?
Getting rid of more junk:
I am still taking baby steps, doing things that normal people would never need to do, since they'd never have dug themselves this deep a hole, but on 12/31, while waiting around for it to be time to leave for our parties, I recycled all the newsletters I'd saved from YCUA (our water company) (although I didn't throw away the cool "I'm toxic" stickers we got a bunch of years ago) and I also tossed or recycled all the mail we'd gotten from 10-XXX phone companies (pay no more than 9.98 cents per minute!) in the last 10 years.
Some time soon I'll need to face things like my dorm-room telephone bills. Yeah, that was most of 30 years ago, but, but, but... I just know
that as soon as I throw something away I'll discover a need for it. (And scanning is currently a fear-inducing (long story) and labor intensive project, so I'm not sure that is the right solution.)
The other week I started, intermittently, not having hot air inside the car. Took me a while (and a nudge from a friend) to do a physical check, because the gauge always read just fine. When I checked, I was indeed low on coolant, so I topped it up. Suddenly my gauge started reading between 25 and 80 percent of where I expected it to. Checked again, and discovered that I was leaking from the join between the top/big hose and the engine. Checked the hoses that had come off the last time I had them replaced (yes, I was an hour away from home... yes, I had them in my trunk) and noticed that the big hose was mostly-broken in roughly that location -- although the rubber on the outside appeared fine. But this told me that I didn't want to pull the current hose off figuring I had a quick back-up. (I'm very good at breaking things.) I pulled out a screwdriver (yes, even when this car was brand new I still carried my tool box with) and tried to tighten the hose clamp. No motion. I loosened it a little bit and it spurted fluid, so I tightened it again, confident that it wasn't just "stuck but loose".
One of the days I went in to work over the break, I drove my car by the shop that I like to deal with -- but they were closed until the 2nd. So I drove by the dealership, getting an appointment for last Friday. I am not what you would call pleased with the results. Yes, it cost less than they quoted me, yes, it cost more that I want to admit to, but no, they didn't do
much of anything. Their solution was to tighten the hose clamp which they claimed was so loose it flopped. Uh-huh. They say they did a pressure check and everything looked fine. But currently the car takes 2 to 3 times longer than it used to to warm up to "normal" operating temperature on the gauge. Sometimes it never gets there. But sometimes it does. So I guess it's better than it was...
I figure I'll plan to drive my car normally, watching it carefully. Take the spouse's much newer car when I go to Canada. And later this year when I get a bit closer to 240,000 (I'm within 100 miles of 239,000) I'll get the 60,000 mile work done, and that should include changing the hoses. And if anything goes obviously wrong, I'll bring it back and say "you said you checked it out -- now make it right".