No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

An odd way to start this post given its title…thanks to those of you who read Disaffected Musings yesterday. Total views were the highest in the last 30 days.


My mother, a Holocaust survivor, often used to say, “We don’t get what we want. We get what we get.” That line was uttered by Hugh Laurie as Gregory House on the great TV show, named for the lead character.

I might modify that thought slightly…we usually don’t get what we want, but get what we get.

Anyway…my wonderful wife had to help her father with an appointment yesterday. Whenever she leaves without me I wave to her as she leaves the garage and then hurry to the window in the living room so we can wave to each other again. We do not live in a small house, so I scamper over to the window having to go up three steps from the family room to the kitchen and then down three steps from the dining room to the living room.

I am always thinking that one day I will fall on the steps. Well, yesterday I fell–hard–when I rammed my right big toe (I was not wearing shoes) into one of the risers on the steps into the kitchen. Remember that I have bunions and bone spurs on both big toes. I literally saw stars as I fell onto the hard porcelain tile, jamming my right hand and right shoulder as I tried to break my fall.

I called my wife with my iPhone and she turned around, re-entered the house and helped me up from the kitchen floor. It was on this set of steps that she once fell, hurting her knees and spilling her entire Venti Strawberry Açaí Refresher onto the floor.

Perhaps this is an overreaction, but I’m thinking that our search for a house all on one level might have to be accelerated. Remember that we had just three days to find a house in Arizona in September of 2020 and the one we bought was just the “best” among extremely limited choices.

The insane level of price appreciation in this housing market doesn’t really help us since all nice houses are lifted by that rising tide. How much are prices rising? A house in our neighborhood with the exact same floor plan as ours and with views not as nice just sold for 65 percent more than we paid in September, 2020. Granted their house had fresh paint and some nicer accoutrements, but the houses are extremely comparable.

All other things being equal, single-story houses sell for more than two-story ones. The price per square foot of the neighborhood house that sold was well below that of the “average” single-story home in this area. Here is a picture of that house:


Exterior featured at 33220 N 60th Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85266


The house we bought is actually not anywhere near where I/we wanted to live. Even forgetting our “almost” offer on a house in Fountain Hills, Arizona (the next city east of us), we are living much more north and much more west than our “ideal” spot. Affordable houses were just not available there when we looked.

We will look to buy a single-level house, but in all honesty I doubt it will be in the very near future. Just too many moving parts right now.


Anyone want to buy a 2015 Cadillac ATS with “low” mileage? We took the ATS to the dealer for its 60,000-mile service yesterday. Never mind that the cost for that service is more than $1,000, we were informed that our left rear axle seal is leaking and that the bracket that holds the fuel filler neck in the fuel pocket is damaged. (The 60,000-mile service has been completed.)

I maintain those two findings are related to the accident when my wonderful wife was rear-ended at high speed. Neither the Cadillac dealer nor the body shop will assert beyond a reasonable doubt that the accident is to blame. The body shop will submit a claim, though, to the insurance company of the at-fault driver.

We are very close to deciding that if the insurance company will not pay, then we will get rid of the car. Even with the work it needs and the recent accident, the rising tide of all car prices means we may be able to sell the ATS for an amount very close to what we paid.

I would very much welcome advice on this situation. We are trying not to be emotional and impulsive, and this feeling is contrary to my base set of beliefs, but I feel as if the ATS is jinxed, somehow.



If the worst-case scenario comes to pass, I don’t think we would replace the ATS anytime soon. Hey, at least we’d save a little on insurance. I’m trying to keep my chin up, but it seems that just makes it a good target.







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4 thoughts on “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

  1. Sorry to hear about your tumble, hope there is no major injury involved.

    I’m a BIG fan of single story houses. It, along with the land, was a major selling point for me in my house. It’s more than big enough for a single person like myself, in fact actually bigger than what I NEED.

    Sucks about the problems with the ATS, but not unusual. Typically there will be damage that shows up weeks, months, even years, after the initial repairs are completed. And at that time it’s quite difficult to get the insurance to cover the repairs. I have had 2 major accidents over the years, one where the vehicle was totaled, the other where it was repaired. In the 7 months I kept the repaired vehicle I had several problems afterwards. I ended up having to handle some of the repairs myself, as the insurance said that too much time had passed for the problem to be related to the accident. The cost of getting an attorney involved would have far outweighed the cost of the repairs, so I ended up taking it on the chin.

    Have I ever mentioned that I despise insurance companies?


    1. Thanks, DDM. Don’t think any major injury occurred and, unlike an automobile, my body has some ability to repair itself.

      “Have I ever mentioned that I despise insurance companies?”

      Amen! So, what would you do? We are, indeed, quite serious about just getting rid of the car if the insurance company of the at-fault driver will not pay for the axle leak and fuel filler bracket. In all honesty, we don’t NEED the ATS; it’s just a nice convenience.


      1. My personal opinion is to get rid of any vehicle that has suffered any type of medium to serious structural damage. Modern unit construction vehicles, and even body on frame vehicles, are designed to transfer the impact force throughout the entire structure, so an impact in one corner is also transferring stresses to other areas. These transfers of energy result in stretching of the metal, which is virtually impossible to ever get back to perfect. A side effect is a reduction in the ability of the repaired structure to transfer the force of another impact in the manner it was designed. A major reason is metal fatigue. Each time metal is “bent” it induces fatigue. So, it’s bent in its initial forming, bent again in the crash impact, and bent AGAIN in bringing it back to as close to factory spec as possible. Each of these bends makes the metal weaker so structural integrity suffers.

        That being said, I know of folks that have driven vehicles that have been repaired for many years with no issues. However, to my knowledge none were involved in another serious impact.

        As with everything else in the world, YMMV.


      2. Many thanks, DDM. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will not pay for the additional damage. Therefore, it is more likely than not that we will sell the ATS, maybe even today.

        The silver linings are a lower insurance premium and some unexpected funds to help pay for the additional tuning for the Z06, although that will still probably not happen until next year.


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