Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Monday, November 10, 2008

A few weeks ago I posted a rant about some dirty filthy stinking hippy who sheared off the drivers side mirror on my car, less than a month after I bought it.

Of course, it probably wasn’t a hippy, they don’t normally drive cars… the odd VW Microbus but those are few and far between.

I spent a week calling around to wreckers to see if anyone had a replacement. No, no, no, no and haha no, really! The mirror is a power/electric mirror so I had to replace it with another. There’s a little speaker in the corner on the inside, so I couldn’t even replace it with a manual one to save a few bucks.

I called a couple Honda dealers and they all quoted me $340 plus $65 for installation. Funny how the price of one is juuuuust a few dollars higher than the standard deductible for comprehensive insurance. When I got that info, I posted another rant about collusion between auto manufacturers and insurance agents.

In the end, I ordered a 3rd party replacement from for $34.99 USD. It cost me about $30 in gas to drive out to Sumas, Washington and pick it up from Package Express, the mail-drop that I use for US shipping. I installed the mirror yesterday and it fits and works perfectly. The only difference is it’s black/unpainted. My passenger side mirror is green, the same color as the car so I’ll have to get it painted one of these days. Even if it costs me $100 to get it painted, it’s STILL half the price of buying one from the Honda dealer.

As soon as I pulled away from the curb this morning without having to twist alllll the way around in my seat to see if there was anything coming, I realized just how much I missed having that mirror for the last two weeks.

Monday, November 10, 2008 4:37:44 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Vehicle#
Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yes, collusion, not collision although in this case it's pretty close.

Last weekend I posted a rant about some hippie bastard who sideswiped my new (to me) car and sheared off the driver's side mirror. I suppose because I've been driving for close to twenty years, and five of those as a truck driver it's second nature and I don't even think about it, I never realized just how much I use and rely on my mirrors. I have a huge blind spot now, as I can't really even turn around that far in the driver's seat to see what my mirror normally does. Add in gray skies, rain and condensation on the windows and it's a recipe for disaster. Fortunately that hasn't happened yet, but has driven me (ha ha) to extremes to get it replaced.

I started off at UAP/Napa Auto Parts online site. No dice. I tried Googling but any parts online place, while having a plethora of engine and body parts, don't carry mirrors. A few days ago at work I was "cleaning up" the user profile of a former-employee before archiving his or her documents and in his or her temporary internet files was a cookie text file for I checked them out and to my surprise they had the mirror I needed, and it was only $36. $36 USD, and it was black, so I'd have to get it painted to match but it was better than nothing. I ran into a problem shortly in that they didn't ship to Canada. I clicked the "chat with sales help" and she confirmed that they don't ship to Canada, but referred me to who was an affiliate of theirs who did. does indeed ship to Canada but don't have any mirrors. I called their customer service 800 number and the sales rep confirmed that they did not have the part I was looking for and in fact only carried mirrors for Volkswagens, but they didn't advertise that. Shit.

I filled out a parts request form at Carter Honda's site and also one at Ralph's Used Auto Parts, a network of auto wreckers/used parts places around the Vancouver area. I didn't hear anything back for nearly two days from either, so I called Ralph's on Scott Road. Nothing. I called their affiliate on Mitchell Island, nothing. He kinda laughed a little so I asked him if this was a hard part to find and he said "Very." Great. defines collusion as "a secret agreement, esp. for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy" Now I wouldn't go so far as to accuse fraud, but check this out: I got an email back from the parts man at Carter Honda. A new mirror from Honda was $314 and they quoted me labor of $65 (one hour basically) to install it. $314? Sounds fishy... I checked my insurance policy and sure enough, the baseline deductible for comprehensive insurance is $300.

I had avoided ordering from PartsTrain and having it shipped to my mailbox in Sumas as it costs me about $30 in gas to get out there and back as well as about three to four hours round-trip depending on if there's a lineup at the border. In the end, $36 + $30 in gas and then getting it painted still comes out to less than half the price of the factory replacement part so I ordered it Friday afternoon from PartsTrain and I'll have to make arrangements to get out to Sumas next week sometime and then install it myself.

Meanwhile I have to keep driving around with no mirror for another week.

Saturday, November 1, 2008 1:40:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Vehicle#
Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've got a bunch of posts in the pipeline and maybe one day I'll get around to finishing them and posting them.

Last night some fucktard sideswiped my car and sheared off the driver's side mirror. This morning Laurie and I went to get a coffee at Giancarlo's on Commercial Drive and I saw something sitting on the sidewalk that didn't look like the normal kind of litter the fucking hippies and homeless around here leave around. It looked like the 'guts' of a mirror... Laurie saw me looking at it and went to investigate, and said "yup, it's a mirror". I looked at my car and thought "well at least it's not mine."

As she was further down the sidewalk, she could see the other side of my car and said "yeah actually it is" so I went to look and sure enough, some fucktard clipped it. The housing was sitting on the street next to my car and somehow the mirror ended up where it was, IN FRONT of the car. Since there was nothing to do about it, I picked up the pieces and put them in the trunk and we went for breakfast.

When I came back, armed with only a Leatherman, I removed the remaining pieces of the mirror and brought it all inside to see if there was a way i could use some moxy and epoxy (or Gorilla Glue) and put it back together. Nope... There are some plastic pieces missing to fit the jigsaw puzzle back together and some of the plastic looks "stretched" rather than a clean break that might have been able to fit back together.

Upon further inspection, there's a scuff or three on the front window pillar but they're really superficial and will probably just buff out. It looks like it was a mirror-to-mirror collision, but the person was going fast enough that it sheared off the screws inside the housing. there doesnt seem to be any scuffing or scratching on the housing itself, which is weird.

I checked my insurance papers, as I found out this is something that falls under "comprehensive" but the deductible is $500, so that pretty much torpedoes that idea. I have no idea what a replacement mirror will cost. I emailed a Honda dealership loally that had a "parts request form" online and I googled around for some OEM replacement parts. They were all in the 60-100 dollar range, but they were all black. The trim level on my car has color-matched bumpers and mirrors so I may get hosed.

The good news (if there is any) is that since I bought this car, I've seen LOTS of other Civics with the same color and head/tail light design as mine so there should be a fair bit of parts at the wreckers.

What pisses me off the most about the whole thing, aside from the hit and run, and aside from being out-of-pocket when I really haven't even received a paycheck yet (I landed a job, btw, but that's another post) and aside from the fact that I USE my mirrors and rely on them for you know, safety is that now there's a fucking HOLE in the drivers side door/window that's going to let COLD AIR in and probably blow right onto my hands while I'm driving!

Sunday, October 26, 2008 3:20:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Rants | Vehicle#
Friday, September 26, 2008
I've held off on writing anything about the whole ordeal until the settlement was done, just in case. I'm still not going to write too much about it until the money is deposited in my bank account, but some of the details are familiar enough to warrant a little write-up here.
Friday, September 26, 2008 12:51:26 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [2] | Rants | Vehicle#
Monday, September 22, 2008
Ten days ago, I wrote about some of the things that I had got done, and some of the things yet to do. In ten days, I've managed to scratch one of those things off the list: I picked up a car.
Monday, September 22, 2008 2:36:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Vehicle#
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