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February 03, 2006

My Christmas without a Car

It sounds bad, but it worked out nicely.

Heading to work friday morning the week before the christmas break, some fellow decided to turn onto Waverly directly into the left lane that I was traveling in and very closely in front of me. Waverly is one of the few moderate speed roads in the city. The conditions were still slick from the previous day, I managed to get over to the right lane and avoid the car, but after passing by the slow moving vehicle the rear end caught a ridge of snow. The car ended up rotating about 270 degrees and hitting the curb on the left side of the road. The right rear suspension was damaged but I managed to limp the rest of the block to the dealer who happened to be conveniently located. I got a quick estimate at the dealer and it was clear it needed to go through insurance. The car was undriveable at that point, so MPI (insurance) decided to tow it to their facility in Transcona for assessment. It took several days before they picked it up and more than a week in total before they towed it back to the dealer where I originally left it. Actually, they brought it to the body shop next door. You see, when the dealer recently moved to this new location, the body shop became a separate entity and the dealer no longer had accreditation to do insurance repairs. This became a problem. Although the dealer's shop wasn't busy, the body shop was. As a result the body shop wasn't keeping on top of things as the work was done at the dealer's shop and in my opinion it took twice as long to repair as it should have. Anyway, they ended up replacing the entire right rear suspension components with brand new parts. Surprisingly they also had to replace the rear suspension sub frame. How the sub frame got damaged enough to need replacement, but the rim only got scuffed I'm not quite sure. As for the rim, they did a really nice job polishing out the scrapes. So in the end, it took a month to the day to get my car back. I did have to go back and get the alignment re-done because the steering wheel was offset from center.

Now the good. Without a car and not being able to get one from insurance or the repair shop, I didn't want to attempt to get to work, so I took all the remaining days before christmas off. (My estimate was a ~2 hour bus trip each way or really expensive rental) I managed to get a couple major things done. I unpacked and repacked several of the large bins I use for storage and moving. I put most of those into storage, along with all the empty boxes that had piled up in my dining room from moving. I cleaned up my bedroom and reorganized it. I went out and got a new bed. Updated a whole bunch of my web site and got in lots of relaxation.

Not having a car meant the typical christmas events got rearranged. The family came over to my place instead of going to my dads. My mom drove to the family get together, which oddly was a couple weeks early due to christmas vacations this year. And I had to borrow my mom's car to get to a christmas geocaching event.

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