Monday, July 14, 2014

The Importance of Thompson Transportation.

As regulars here will recall, a couple of years back, my computer died and there was simply no way we could afford another. Every bit of work that I do required that computer and we felt lost. On the advice of a Ted Talk by Amanda Palmer, we turned to crowd-funding and asked for YOUR help. Within just two weeks, we were up and running again thanks to a few dollars here and there from readers like you.

Now, as you may have heard, some guy on Kickstarter is making tens of thousands of dollars (which he now says he will give to charity) for potato salad! With the constant threat that our long-ailing, oft-broken down car (seen above) simply won't run any more one of these days, we decided it couldn't hurt to start a fund for that inevitable day. It's not an emergency...yet. But we don't want to end up in one. As it is, we rarely drive it anywhere but the grocery, the bank, the post office, occasional meetings for Rene's work, doctor visits and Davis' school-related events. We've compensated and accepted our limits. We get by. But in a way it's also crippled us socially, leaving us little choice but to never go anywhere that's restaurants, movies, visiting friends, shopping, events, attractions, and certainly never on vacation (whatever that is).

So below is our initial pitch. The link is just below. We've already received one donation and we hope you'll consider helping out when you can and passing the word around. It may not be as much fun as supporting potato salad, or as necessary as many other worthy causes, but my wife, my son and I would greatly appreciate your consideration.

Thanks. You guys are the best.

Created by Steven Thompson on July 13, 2014

In 2002, our originally new Toyota Corolla died a natural death after a good 11 year run. Financial circumstances having changed, we replaced it with a used, 1996 Ford Contour with over 100,000 miles already on it. That car has lasted longer than the Toyota but needed ten times the maintainence. It has broken down numerous times (inevitably on the Interstate) and taken us further and further into debt with needed repairs. And it still isn't right! The brakes squeal and I have to overcompensate when I drive. It doesn't do hills well at all nor does it handle bad weather well.  The window handles are broken off and the insulation keeps coming loose. Additional problems including a broken oil dipstick, intermittent electrical issues and faulty struts. Ocassionally the engine just randomly shuts down while driving for no apparent reason. The engine light remains constantly on and even when I've been able to afford getting it looked at and they find some little something, it comes right back on when I drive away. Due to ongoing issues, I have been scared to drive it on especially hot days or rainy days. The engine shudders badly when I drive it too far or too fast so I stay within a certain area of town as much as possible. And the Interstate? I haven't been brave enough to drive the Interstate with this car in several years!

That said, though, 

she still runs! But my wife and I are worried about what we will do when that inevitable day comes that she doesn't. Since the economic collapse, both my wife and I have had to recreate ourselves working from home. One reason for that, along with various health issues, is that we don't have reliable transportation. Disabled herself in a horse-riding accident in 2000, she now works as an advocate for the disabled. I work as a freelance writer/editor. We make enough to get by as far as monthly expenses but barely. There is no savings. There are credit issues and we simply can't afford to end up with a cheap used car that brings with it a whole new set of issues and potential hazards.

By the same token, we aren't looking to get a brand new car out of this, just solid, reliable used transportation. Our son, who developed epilepsy two years back, is headed off to college in 2015 with an ACT score of 33 and while his grades are such that he's being courted by universities throughout the country such as Yale, MIT and the University of Chicago, because of the issues with the current car, his choices will be limited to local colleges.

This will be an ongoing campaign. We aren't looking to get a car next week or even next month but the day is getting closer when our lives will be paralyzed without any transportation and we figure if that guy on Kickstarter can frivolusly get thousands for potato salad, we can at least ask that you consider helping us with a much more practical need.

Thank you.

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