Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Keeping A Promise

I bought the boys a BB gun last night.

Yesterday was Car Day. I spent my lunch hour checking out Hondas and Acuras in the used car lots on Lawrenceville Highway near our house. I literally walked from one lot to another, getting VIN's, mileage and prices. Then I came home and made a spreadsheet (I love Excel), checking the harvested VIN's in Carfax.

It turned out that several of the cars had wrong odometer readings. And by wrong, I mean exactly 100,000 miles. Some coincidence, that. When I called the dealers to let them know, they were of course shocked, shocked to learn of it. Not that it would have much of an impact. The price difference between a 93 Honda Accord with 140k miles and one with 240k miles is just a couple of hundred bucks. But those are my couple of hundred bucks, so I printed out the Carfax reports just in case.

And so, after work I went and did a few test drives (after calling my Dad to find out what I should be looking for in a test drive; thanks Dad!). I drove a 93 Accord with 240,000 miles on it (the odometer read 140,000), and it drove like a 13-year-old Accord with 200k+ miles on it. In a word, nice. Very Honda-y, some roughness in the engine, no wobbles, even when stopping at high speed. Man, I love Hondas.

I also drove 2 Acura Legends. Big cars, both out of our price range originally. But my Carfax findings (1 was missing 100k miles, one had been in a major wreck) dropped the prices into view. One drove superfine but looked like bears had overwintered in the interior for more than a few years. The other was a year newer, with the familiar mid-90's Honda interior appointments, and had no sign of ursine inhabitants. But it drove like crap. Bumpy, grindy, loud. This was obviously the major wreck car, and it showed.

Then I came home, quickly inhaled a quesadilla, and then drove to Discover Mills to meet a kid with another 93 Accord, this time with only 177k miles. Nice kid, nice car. Good ride, no wobbles or bumpies. I'll probably buy this one if a) nothing comes in on the Auctions today, and b) if my mechanic says this car is alright.

But enough about cars. We're here to talk about guns. BB Guns, actually, or, more accurately, Air Rifles.

Both Timothy and Stephen are in Cub Scouts, and at the beginning of this year the three of us went to Adventure Camp, a.k.a. the BB Gun camp. It was an overnight camping trip on Friday and a variety of outdoor activities on Saturday. We actually didn't camp, since that Friday was the day we found out that Timothy is allergic to some heavy-duty antibiotic. I forget the name . . . But we drove down early Saturday morning for the activities,which included shooting BB Guns, Archery, seeing live animals, and an odd environmental game that had hundreds of Scouts and Dads running around an open field.

Timothy loved the animals best, but he also enjoyed the BB Guns. He shot pretty well, especially considering it was only his second time out. Stephen, though, shot a bullseye. But it was on Timothy's target. Regardless, that was the target he was aiming at, so I'm counting the bullseye.

Both loved the shooting, so I figured a BB Gun would be a good Christmas gift. So I stopped into Bass Pro Shops and got one. Just one air rifle, two pairs of shooting glasses, and 1200 BB's. I'll get some targets and set up a range in the backyard, and we'll shoot.

And, just like when I was a kid, if I ever see or hear of them horsing around with it, shooting people or animals or houses, it will become my gun for ever and ever, amen. But they won't be using it unsupervised for many years to come, so I'm not going to worry about it now.

Until then, and until Christmas morning, there is, in my office, in the bookcase behind all the paperback novels, a Daisy Red Ryder Air Rifle. And no, there is no compass in the stock, and no "thing which tells time".


At 11:05 AM, Anonymous the canadian said...

Here is a site for the rest of your Christmas shopping now that you have the other important items (I was glad to see you won the award for the epitome of the after- Thanksgiving day shopping spree. Some buy a tie, some toys at walmart, but you, you got a car. And a Honda. Good boy. I am proud of my Georgia friends. They own Macs and buy Hondas).

I hope this link will work in a comment section...

please note that we might try to drive home next summer by the house this guy bought and turned into a tourist trap!


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