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May 7, 1999
a year ago

Defender '90

A meeting filled day at work. Lots and lots of communication and figuring things out, where things were, what it was that we were expected to do and even what it was that we could do. I've a strong enough marketing desire, i.e. figuring out what it is that we really need to do, that this is all a process that fascinates me. This is going to be pretty interesting, on the whole, but an entire six hours of it in a row was a bit much, even for me. I was impressed by just how much Steve, the new manager type, knew and went through.

After work we went on an adventure. John had directions to get to the guy that was selling a particular Defender 90. The Stoat isn't quite a Defender, though it is a 90, i.e. has the 90 inch wheel-base. It was made before they were called Defenders. I don't know if I'd have called it the Stoat if I had also known that it was a Defender, it seems such a cool name.

The drive was south and then west, and then it was way, way west. We stopped in Golden Colorado, the home of Coors beer, and bought pop and ice cream because I was getting really, truly cranky from all the heat and sunlight. The ice cream really helped, and John's learned, as I have, that if I get to eat, I get a lot less cranky. I was also mildly dehydrated, and I'm still not sure if the sweet pop helped or hurt, more likely the latter. I really kinda feel like a slug that's been put out in the sunlight.

We did the freeway parts and then hit the mountain roads up into the mountains west of Golden. We went up and up and up and soon there was still snow by the roadside in the shadows of the mountain or the trees. A stream hurled down past us alongside the road, with ripples and riffles and even some white water along the lower parts. The roads wound and turned and eventually turned to dirt, and we kept going up. Then into a very steep driveway up to this house and we were there.

Further than John had originally thought, but we'd made it.

The wife was in and she got the white Defender out and gave us the keys to try it out. So we had fun driving it. There is so much about it that's the same as the older Land Rovers, and so much that's different. I'm very aware, now, of the newer safty mechanisms, like side impact beams, crumple zones, and all that from a couple of Discovery programs about just what it took to get safety into car manufacturing. I know that nearly none of our older Rovers has any of that available whatsoever. This new one had all the cool stuff and none of the extraneous stuff. An air conditioner in a Land Rover is just looking for trouble and this one didn't have one, so that was really keen.

There were a lot of things about its handling, its makeup and the way it drove that we liked a lot. We drove back, but the guy actually selling it wasn't home, yet. On the test drive we found a little restaurant and asked if it was any good, and the wife said that it was wonderful, so we went there to eat. It was good, and I was in the mood for Meat, so had a slab of prime rib. It was wonderful and John's strip steak was good, too. We had to skip dessert to get back in time, and John promised me dessert sometime later.

We made the offer, and found out that they didn't really have the title on the car yet, as their credit union still had a loan on it. Turned out that the seller hadn't thought through everything yet, or how to deliver the car or even how to get it all done. He hadn't any idea how much it would take to clear the title or what had to be done to do that. So it was all very weird. He was going to check if the credit union was even open the next day and get back to us as to a plan as to how to do the transaction.

The drive home was while we were both tired, but we talked the whole way down about the truck and what we really wanted to do about it. We stopped just north of our exit to get diesal for the Passat and took a good look at the truck stops and stations there. It's mostly an oasis for truckers with lots of fast foot, motels, and fuel. Didn't get home until midnight. Fezzik was waiting patiently, and we made much of him, fed him and then went to sleep. I dropped off quickly in the quiet of the house.

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