Great Automotive Snakes Advance

Something I haven’t mentioned here is the fact that my beloved Mercedes 190E died this summer. The day after I got back from London unofficially, a few days before July 1st officially. It was going to take a lot of work to get it back on the road and in good shape. I had been wanting to get some bodywork done to it, and was driving it out to a shop to get an estimate when it really died.

Nuts, no car. I don’t drive nearly as much as I used to, but having no car in these parts isn’t all that great. A few days later, Mike and I agreed to do a trade; his Mercedes 380SE that he had been working on for some cash and my 190E. Despite the 380SE being a land yatch and addicted to gasohol, I went for it thinking it may just be a stop-gap car.

Its stop gap was even shorter than I thought it would be. The car really was too big for me, so much so I couldn’t even maneuver it properly. Oh yeah, and she likes the gas something awful with that V8 3.8L engine kicking back the litres like they’re sixty-seven cents each again. Time to look for something else.

At first I entertained the idea of a new car. Thoughts of moving to England in the future steared me away from that idea. Used it is. There’s not a whole lot of half interesting used cars here. All the ’95 Cavaliers and ’92 Oldsmobiles you could want though.

Last Wednesday when driving home from doing laundry, I thought I would take a look at some of the car lots I usually don’t look at – Hillside, Fair Isle (where I had stumbled upon the 190E), Walter Piccots and finally Reliable Motors. I have bought something from Reliable before too, my first car. A 1990 Nissan Stanza. Guess what, they have another.

It didn’t seem in too bad of a shape for a car that by all means should have rusted away sometime three to four years ago. My dad and I took it out the next day to have an inspection estimate done. The damage was decent, but wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The usual suspects: brakes, tires, exhust, gas tank (which I had to replace when I bought my first Stanza as well). I thought the car just might be worth the cheap asking price. I’m only looking for it to last about a year.

I left work early today and picked up the car. It drove ok-ish on Thursday, and even better today with air in the tires and a quarter tank of fresh petrol. It’s currently at a garage awaiting its second inspection estimate. It’s white (meh) with dark blue interior (huazh). It’s got a tape deck that none of the buttons work on, not even the Dolby button. Next up, to sell the 380SE.

Now more entertaining things. I started playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance this evening, a surprise present from Pat that he gave to Kyle to deliever while he’s here visiting. The learning curve from regular style RPGs wasn’t as much as I thought it would be, and Clan Bournemouth is moving along nicely.

Last night Kyle, Adam and I went and saw the Oscar nominated film for best film of all time: Snakes on a Plane. It’s everything we could of ever hoped it to be. Every “oh no they won’t”, oh yes they did. *Lights turn out* “snakes!”. Brilliant.

Yesterday I also stopped into Indigo to see if they got any more work by Henry James in. Two more titles than what they had last time, but still no Turn of the Screw. I did however pick up Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations for $4.99. I’ve been wanting to read some Dickens as well, and I spend that much on chicken figers a day.

Oh yes, I also acquired the new Kasabian album, Empire. It sounds quite different from their debut album. It’s not an instant “this is the bomb”, more of a grower. I’m enjoying it for the moment.

Author: andrea

A Londoner from eastern Canada. City of London Guide, fixer of Macs, collector of old video games, appreciative of synths.

7 thoughts on “Great Automotive Snakes Advance”

  1. I agree with the new Kasabian. The first song is easy to like, but the rest is really different. It’ll take a few listens for sure.

    I’m also in the kinda need a new car boat these days. My v-dub isn’t doing so great so I’m putting a last ditch repair attempt into it, but I’ve also got my eye on a used 1990 beamer (in fantastic shape) for just under $2500. It has a car phone!

    Have you played Final Fantasy Tactics for Playstation yet? Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a decent game, but the original is a million times better. (And a million times harder…)

  2. Empire has really grown on me. I’ve listened to it pretty steady this week. I’m also compeletely hooked on FFTA, so if the PS2 one is even better I think I need to check it out. Congrats on the Beamer! Is it a 3 Series? I’d love to get an early/mid 90’s 3 Series. Carphones! Both of my Benzs had a car phone at one time, you can see the holes where the holder was attached. I’m pretty excited to get my Nissan on the road though. The estimate from the garage it’s at now was $500 less than the first estimate I got, so I gave them the nod to do the work. It should be ready next week.

  3. Wow, kudos on the Stanza. I’m just getting the Tempo once again road-worthy, but at least now, with my second Full-time job at Subway, I’ll be able to afford the gas, although won’t have the time to burn it.. LOL

  4. Wow, lots of updatedness. The Tony Stanza will hopefully be a reliable addition to the family – you may have to end up telling it who’s the boss. My grandmother of all people wants to gee Snakes on a Plane so maybe I’ll finally get to see it after all. This some ELABORATE shit. I have to call shenanigans on Final Fantasy Tactics for PS1 being so much better than FFTA. It’s not that cut and dry, I’m afraid. I’m not going to lie and say ‘they’re too very different games’ because they’re not. Aside from Tactics Ogre there’s not a heck of a lot of RPG-ish tactical games out there in the first place, and since both are Square(-Enix) games spawned from the same idea they certainly share a lot in common. FFTA just learned a lot from the mistakes of its predecessor, and had to sacrifice a few things for the GBA format. Final Fantasy Tactics has a heckuva lot going for it – an intriguing political plot, some great characters and job classes and an exciting and extremely challenging game style- but its design is needlessly complex in many ways, it is horrendously translated and there are classes which are so frustrating to play that their inclusion boggles the mind. FFTA stripped away a lot of the extraneous stats and unneccessary hindrances to game enjoyment and still managed to keep the challenging, highly tactical gameplay which made the original such a success. Also: multiplayer – yay! A lot of interesting references from both FF: Tactics games – and the setting of Ivalice – have made it into the new Final Fantasy XII, which comes for PS2 out this Hallowe’en.

  5. Hey Andrea have you noticed the linebreaks don’t come out in your comments?

    Looks like the beamer sold a few days ago so I’m stuck with my volkswagen for a little longer.

    I know this isn’t really a forum, but I wanna respond on FFT vs. FFTA. I may be biased having played the original first, but I really appreciated the story (though at some times badly localized) and the amazing music, two things that didn’t carry over to the GBA sequel. I did like the new classes and weapon skills in FFTA but I seriously disliked the law system.

  6. I definitely agree with you on the music, though apparently the FFTA soundtrack’s second disk (orchestral arrangements performed by a real symphony) is really good. I wasn’t so much into the FFT storyline, but I’m not easy to please when it comes to FF storylines. I kind of dug the troubled kids in FF-land aspect of FFTA – reminded me of the good old days of 80’s Fantasy movies, but I’ll admit to being biased for sure – when I first played FFT it had just been released and my friend at the time had imported it because he couldn’t find it Canada. It wasn’t a pleasant gaming experience simply because I didn’t really have a clue what I was supposed to be doing and both of were more used to the traditional FF system. When I picked it up for the GBA I gave it a couple tries before being hooked, which consequently lead me back to the PS1 version, which was a wicked challenge and a very fun game, but didn’t feel as ‘care-free entertainment’ as FF:TA. I guess we can agree that Ms. Vail needs to play them both, funny because I uploaded the ROM image for FF:T to her last night 😀 It’s a lot easier to find than a cheap used copy of FF:T these days 😉

  7. I’m liking the discussion action going on. Posting material pays off :). Yes, thanks to Pat for the FFT image (not to mention a bonus Secret of Mana image) I’ll be able to check it out. I started a game last night, and the music is indeed fantastic. The story line is certainly different, dare I say more FF/RPG based story. I did find though it wasn’t as “care-free entertainment” as FFTA, but then again using your keyboard for a controller because yours won’t sync up properly can take the fun out of any console game. I’ll have to burn it and give it a proper go on the PS1 and file a full report.

    No line breaks eh, that kidna sucks. I’ll see what I can do about the formatting. There are a few weird things like that that I’m not crazy about with this theme.

    The Stanza should be on the road by mid/late week. Duffy’s Garage gave me a pretty decent quote for the work and parts so they got the win. It’s gonna be good. “A brand new life around the bend”.

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