August 31, 2010

New Reading Material

I got a kindle!  It came today.  

When Amazon dropped the price and went to a wi-fi version I decided to finally buy one. 

So far it's looking good.  It charged quickly.  I've downloaded some free books (PG Wodehouse anyone...) and a few others I had to pay for.  A review shall be forthcoming once I get a chance to use it for a while. 

It's very exciting. 

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August 27, 2010

How Do People Think of This Stuff?

OMG WWII on Facebook!

It's perfect even down to the timestamps.

And let me add... I know how someone thinks this up - they just watch my daughter's cat...




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August 17, 2010

Oshkosh - the Air Show

I've never been, would love to go some day.



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August 14, 2010

Hello and Welcome the Next Installment of - Adventures in Car Shopping

Today's dealers... Toyota and Nissan.  No test driving today, just looking.

Let's start with Toyota.

No.

Now let's move on to... What?  Not enough info for you? 

Okay, here we go.  First the dealership was very busy, which is nice for them I guess.  However, our sales guy kept disappearing into the building.  Oddest thing I ever saw.  He even left us out on the lot with one of the vehicles and the key.  He says, "I'll be right back"  then dashes inside doesn't return for at least 5 minutes.  Asks if we need anything.  After we say no, he says, "Okay take your time, I'll be right back" and dashes back inside.  I guess we look trustworthy or something.  It was strange.

Anyhow, we had plenty of time to tour the lot.  Looked at the small, medium, and large vehicles.  Most everything was way more than we wanted to spend.  Highlander would've been the best "fit" for size but was very expensive - plus we don't care too much for the way the front end looks. 

Using price we decided we only wanted to look at the Rav4.  I don't like it.  I'm not wild about the way it looks just sitting there.  The back seat was built for midgets (once again we run into the problem of my husband sitting in the back seat and the headrest does not even touch the back of his head when fully extended).  Leg room - not quite enough.  All in all it was just not right. None of it fit us. 

When we finally decided the sales guy wasn't coming back outside any time soon, we wandered into the showroom - he was nowhere to be found.  We gave to key to one of the other guys sitting at a desk and left. 

Toyota is out.

Nissan - friendly dealership.  Not pushy.  I liked it and I don't say that much about a car dealership.  Great sales guy.  Unfortunately it's the end of model year. 

First we sat in the Frontier with the 4 door cab.  My husband didn't even begin to fit in the back seat so that was out.  Too bad because he would have loved to get a truck.  Oh well.

They had an Xtera which we sat in.  There was head room - it was once again the seat back that was built only for little people.  The front seats were good. 

There were no Pathfinders... all sold out.  He's going to call us when they get new ones in.  Then we can sit in one of those.  I don't hold too much hope for the second seat, but we'll see. 

So there we are.  Not much new, but some models eliminated from the list.  That's always a good thing.  

Two dealers - no test drive.  I have no idea why I'm so beat.  Oh well, time to head out to the balloon fest.


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August 08, 2010

An Update on the Great Vehicle Hunt

But first.  If you're interested, I've started posting on my other blog again. So you can check out an excellent place to grab a bite to eat in San Antonio. 

***

I know you've all been waiting with bated breath for the next installment of "replacing the minivan... aka: test driving everything and driving the car sales guys nuts". 

Last weekend was taken up by a trip to Boston to hang out, thus no test driving.  We have decided that 2 dealerships are the most we can tolerate in any one day.  So yesterday's fun and games commenced with the Subaru dealer and then moved to the Honda dealer. 

I think we struck a mortal blow to the heart of the Subaru sales guy when we told him we weren't going to buy that day... or the next.  However, he made a recover and we looked at both the Outback and the Forrester.

They are both good looking vehicles.  There was slightly less headroom in the rear seat for my husband on the Forrester because the model he sat in had the HUGE sunroof... that takes away at least 2 inches of headroom.  I understand the sunroof is optional so we will have to check that out if/when we go back.   Anyhow, both vehicles had decent seating both front and back.  Nice instrument layouts.  Easily folded second seats and plastic tray type things in the very back behind the second seat for messy items to sit in. 

The Forrester is more SUV like - so taller in height and slightly shorter in length.  The Outback is more Station wagon like - shorter in height but a bit longer. Both have full time 4WD.  Neither would take a sheet of plywood (not that we haul plywood, but it's one of those little things we use to figure out the cargo space available).

We drove the Outback.  It drove nicely. Had much better acceleration than expected.  And sadly - like far too many vehicles - mushy steering.  Although mushy steering annoys us greatly, it's easier to compensate for that than for the throttle lag we experienced in the Chevy Equinox.  

Unfortunately we didn't drive the Forrester. Now I'm wishing we had.  If we went with a Subaru, the Forrester might be the better choice.  Of course we may go back and drive one after we've gone through a few more test drives of other vehicles.  We'll see.

Both vehicles remain on the list for further consideration. 

Next we headed to the Honda place.  Where we made the sales guy's head spin by asking to look at the Pilot and the Element.

The Pilot is HUGE.  It claims to carry 7 passengers... but I'm thinking you'd have to be kinda small to sit in the very rear seats.  All the rear seats fold flat (can't remove them from the vehicle) and once folded it can take a sheet of plywood.  However, height is lost because the seats must remain in place.  Plus did I mention it's HUGE?  I think it's bigger than I'd want to drive around here. 

The Element...what a fun vehicle.  It's very quirky and it certainly has the "easy to clean" thing down pat.  The rear seats fold every which way and (if I got this right) remove completely. It won't carry a sheet of plywood, but will carry just about everything else.  Of course the problem with this vehicle is... the seats.  *sigh* 

First we have the driver seat.  My husband can sit there fairly easily.  However the steering wheel is very low for him.  At the highest placement, it looks like it's crowding his legs.  Even with the seat all the way back and down his legs seem to end up on either side of the steering wheel.  Plenty of head room - it's the leg room that's funky.  He claims it didn't bother him.  I thought it looked odd.  However we now come to:

The rear seats... head room sucks pond water with a capital "S".  It's just the opposite problem of the front seat, there is plenty of leg room, but he has to slump in the seat to get his head in.  You know that sofa slump one does when one doesn't want to sit up straight... yeah that.  All slumped with the head hitting the ceiling we arrive at the next problem:

There is NO way at all for the head rest to come anywhere approaching his head. The back of the seat only comes halfway up his back!  In an accident - anyone tall is certainly going to end up with an extreme case of whiplash if not a broken back.  While the chances of him sitting in the back seat are pretty small, if the kids come visiting and we all go out in this vehicle - my son is going to have the same problem.   Or if he sits in the front seat - I'm not even sure the headrest will be tall enough for me! 

So, sadly, the Element is off the list.  That's what we get for being too tall.   The Pilot remains on the list - with reservations on my part.  We didn't test drive, but it seems to be way too much vehicle and configured all wrong for us. 

***

I'm still leaning toward the Jeep.  My husband isn't so much.  He thinks I'll get tired of the quirks pretty quick.  (he may be right about that)  But so far it's the only one I've immediately liked for no good reason whatsoever. 

Figures.

Stay tuned.  Not sure what's up next, but I'm sure it will be interesting if not fun. 

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