Car shopping

So Emmy and I decided we really need a new car.. Do not really want to spend the money, but it is time. We always buy new, and our last car was bought in 99. It has run great, but this time we would like to get something a little nicer. If we are going to drive it for almost 9 years, it would be nice to have what we want, not what we settled for. So I have been researching. We are interested in the compact wagon type of car. The ones I have been looking at are the Scion XD, the Honda Fit Sport, the Chevrolet Aveo 5, and the Kia Rio 5.

I will list the features that we wanted:

  • A/C
  • Manual Transmission
  • Remote locks
  • Decent Stereo (Does not have to be anything great, but decent)
  • Good Gas Mileage!!!!!!!!
  • Decent room (If we ever have to leave because of a hurricane, we need to be able to take our cats, us, our dog and a few personal items and go. We would like to be able to put an appliance in the back to haul if we need to. In our old Hyundai Excel, we once hauled a dish washer we picked up home with us in the back. That is the benchmark. 🙂
  • Good reliability!!!!
  • Cruise Control
  • A lighter color paint job

Different people and places all have different things to say about each car. Some think the Honda is the best value, others think the Toyota. The Aveo 5 is the cheapest up front, but we test drove the Automatic version and it was a complete dog for get up and go. I hit the gas and it just bogged out. It did eventually respond, but I like something a little more here and now. I read a review talking about the problem, and they said it is even worse in the Manual Transmission, which is just sad. So it has slid down the list. The other thing that kinda discouraged us is that by the time you equip it similar to the other cars we are looking at, it gets a lot closer in cost.

We go to drive a Honda Fit Sport on Monday, it looks like a nice car, and the “Magic Folding Seats” are just cool. I really like the fold flat ability. Sadly, the only thing they have in is an Automatic, so again, even though we want a Manual, we will be test driving an Automatic. 🙁 It does give us a chance to see the inside, and get a feel for it and see how it handles. We will be trying out the Scion soon also. At first I was discouraged by how much they charge for all the extras on the Scion, but the base model is not bad. Sadly, like the Fit, they are marking it up a LOT. I refuse to get ripped off this time. I have good credit at this point, so I will not let them screw me on financing and price. Before they basically told me I had no credit, so if I really wanted the car, I was gonna get screwed.. Like a dumb 20 something year old, I believed them. That is why Hyundai is not getting my business again this time, well, that and the fact they do not have a model I really like.

The Kia I am unsure of.. I have seen both good and bad reviews. I drove one Kia in the past, and it was a rental car with 1200 miles, and it was not starting well, which to me does not speak well of the reliability of a Kia.. The Kia also gets the worst gas mileage out of the group we are looking at. We will probably end up test driving one by the end of the month too, just to make sure we do not regret whatever car we do end up buying. The other problem with Kia is, they own Hyundai, and like I said before, they kinda ticked me off with the last car we bought.

Right now, in my mind, the front runners are the Scion XD and the Honda Fit Sport. If I can get them down to the price I am willing to buy at. I figure with tax and everything, I am not willing to spend more then $16500 out the door. Less would be better, but that is my max. So far, for the Fit, the quotes I am getting are up around $17300 out the door.. They are trying to tell me their Invoice price is what the MSRP is! I may have been born at the beginning of the year, but it was not THIS year! Duh. I found one page that mentions $14400 as the base price on the Honda Fit, a full $1000 less then what they are telling me, and that would easily get me below my $16500 mark for out the door pricing. The Scion XD is much the same, although, I have not even started trying to get quotes on those yet. I can only take so much idiocy at once. The Matrix also looks like a possibility, but have not looked enough at those yet to decide if it is even in the running.

I will post as I get more info on the stupidity of car buying! Make sure to vote for which car you would recommend in the poll in the tool bar on the left.

Cleaning House..

So I went for the walk this morning, and saw only 3 chickens.. All out front of the park. The cool part is, the goats are back on Coastal Plains. I then come home to see Bleys had fixed pancakes for breakfast. 🙂 Was nice! I then took a shower and ran Bleys down to get his permit, only to discover Florida requires you to take their 4 hour drug and alcohol course before you can get your permit. The nice part is he can do it online, the bad part is, we have to run back after he takes the course to get his permit. 🙁

I spent the rest of the day cleaning our bathroom and in general cleaning up the house. Bleys swept and mopped yesterday in the kitchen and entry, we will have to go over it again tomorrow to make sure it is clean when Emmy gets home. 🙂 I always like coming home to a nice clean house, so I try to give the Love of my life the same. 🙂 I think I am gonna try to head to bed a bit early tonight, my head is throbbing. I saw a cool thing today I am considering trying to talk Emmy into..I dunno. We will see what she thinks.

I love you Emmy, and I miss you sooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOooooooooooooooo much. I can not wait to pick you up tomorrow at 8pm.

The walk..

So I just got back from the walk.  Seen a Coral snake, and some of the chickens.  Then of course lots of squirrels and birds of different sorts.  It also appears they got a bunch of track down for the stupid train. It actually crosses the path now at the crossing closest to cold corner. 🙁  What a way to destroy a nice nature park. Try to turn it into some sort of freaky amusement park. Well, just thought I would post about the coral snake for Emmy.  Love ya!

Dinner and MMA

So we ended up doing Outback for dinner. My Mom discovered a gift card she has had for a year or more, so decided we would use it up. Dinner was pretty good. I got a ribs and chicken thing. Ate only the chicken and fries, saved the ribs for todays lunch. Come home and read the MMA Weekly Live Results. Was a surprising night in MMA. I figured I would post the results here for Emmy, at least for the fights she would be interested in.. I will hide them on the next page. 🙂

I did want to comment how nice all of you looked in that picture you posted Emmy! Very nice! Very nice looking family!

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Wild morning…

Ok, not so much wild, as lots of “wild” animals in the park.  Saw 4 rabbits, 5 cranes.. The second couple would not actually come over to where I feed them, but was over by the tower.  I also saw all 5 chickens, plenty of squirrels and cardinals.  Great morning!  I love seeing all the wild life.  And it sure beats the wild dogs Emmy is carrying a stick to fend off.

So I realized yesterday I did not say how I installed Debian.  I used their net install disk and downloaded the majority of my setup from the net.  I picked a server that is fairly close to me and got great speed.  Did not take very long at all.  I just wish they gave the option(maybe they do, but it was not obvious) to pick and choose my packages more.  I basically had like 5 options to choose from, and it installed the “standard” packages for what you wanted to do.  Kinda cool, but kinda a bummer too.  Some of us like to shave off what we do not need or want on an install.  Like I said though, who knows, they may have the option somewhere that I missed, although, if they do, it was not obvious.

So the net stuff turned out to be no problem with Gnome.  I figured it out, and you can book mark stuff and everything.  Pretty cool.  My major obstacle has really been trying to figure out which applications I should use to do what, as it is different in KDE.  Not a big problem, just minor annoyances for the most part.  For example, I have to use Firestarter instead of Guarddog for my Firewall program.  Has a different interface, and I am still not sure what I think of it, but it has the monitoring of the firewall built right in also, which is pretty cool.

I have been learning more and more about the Gnome equivalent of Konq.  It is called Nautilus. It seems rock solid.  I been having fun setting background and panels up with nifty neato tiles.  I used my grey brick and white brick tiles, and I think it looks pretty solid. 😛  Runs solid too!  I am becoming more and more impressed.  I will continue to play with this and when Emmy gets back, if I am still impressed, I maybe trying to talk her into switching over to Debian also.  One of the cool things about that is, it would allow her to use CNR again eventually. Not that I think she needs it at this point, but I think she might like options. 🙂

So I had Pidgin IM on last night as I compiled it and am running it on here.  If I was willing to run Debian Lenny instead(the testing branch of Debian) I could have just installed it with apt-get, but since I wanted to test the stable etch out first, only Gaim was available.  Since I have had several family members start using Myspace IM, I figured I would installed pidgin, which gives me access to that, as well as my normal ICQ and Aim lists.  Much easier to keep everything in one place.  Anyways, my Mom happened to message me last night and ask what we were all to.  I told her that me and Bleys were just watching some TV, and I had no idea about Emmy as she was in Tucson.  Hehe, kinda surprised her.  Anyways, after she got over the surprise, she suggested we go out to dinner tonight.  She wants to go out for Mexican, which I have been very under whelmed with in Florida.  I sure envy Emmy and her trip to Carolinas in Phoenix.  Hope it was good Emmy!  No clue what we will be having as I kinda told my Mom I had mostly been disappointed with the Mexican here.  We will see though.

As I had planned on fixing Japanese at home tonight, I pretty much figure the food has to be better to lure me out, ya know?   Ah well, we will see what happens.  Love you Emmy!  Tell everyone out there I said hi, and sorry I could not come.  And give your brother and Jeannie congrats from me.


So this morning I did the morning walk with just Sadie.. Bleys went yesterday.  I have seen all 4 chickens out front both days.. And the 1 poor lonely chicken in the park.  Yesterday the family of 3 Cranes were there, today the couple were there.  I have seen multiple bunnies both days.  It is nice starting the day seeing a bit of wildlife and such.  I really enjoy it.

Last night I stayed plenty warm.  I used one of the quilts my Grandma gave us.  Read until about 1am and then crashed. I been getting up about 7am to 7:30am, just like usual.  I keep waking up on Emmy’s side of the bed for some reason.. It is kinda funny.  We always joke about her being a speed bump to keep me from falling off her side of the bed, and it is not far off. 🙂  I will have to run to the store today.. Need half and half and such.  Although, Emmy will be happy to know, both Bleys and I had her breakfast stuff this morning on toast.  Was not my norm, but was not bad.

I spent most of today installing Debian Linux and getting it setup to my liking(although I did take time out to brush Stripe when he asked.).  Gnome is the hardest part for me, but I think I got it mostly figured out and setup so I can stand it.  We will see how it goes.. The hardest part for me I guess is the lack of Konq.. I am spoiled by being able to fish or ftp to websites to work on them and transfer files.  Need to spend more time figuring out Gnome and we will see…

Well, time to run to the store.
Love you Emmy! Miss you lots!


So I discovered that with Emmy not here, I am actually going to need a blanket on my bed. We usually just have the sheet on the bed, except in the Winter. However, last night, if one of the pets were not with me, it was down right chilly. Kept telling Emmy she was a hot blond. 🙂

We ended up having reubens last night for dinner. They were good, but I missed having a knowledgeable person working with me on the dinner. Who knew that dinner was a team sport huh? 🙂 It really is around here though. I am completely spoiled.  She will be back soon enough I guess, but it reinforces what I already knew. Emmy is my life partner. The first real partner I ever had in life.

Tonight Bleys and I had steak and baked potatoes with mushrooms done on the grill. Good dinner. 🙂 Tomorrow we will finish the salad that was left over. Will be a nice dinner to break up the meat, meat, and more meat dinners I tend to plan. 🙂 Ran out of Half & Half for coffee, so have to run to the store in the next few days. I am thinking we will go get Bleys’ permit on Monday. The weather here has been crappy since Emmy left. It really is reflecting my feelings of being without Emmy.

Emmy finally got enough time to post a blog! It was nice to here from her! Sounds like they got her on a schedule already. Has to be weird for her. Not like we are on a real schedule very often. Well, I am gonna go watch some TV. Love you Emmy.. See ya everyone else |*

Emmy gone for a week

So I dropped Emmy off at the airport this morning. She had to go out to Tucson for her brothers wedding. Congrats Greg! I am sure she will have a lot of fun with her family, but I will miss her. 🙁 We decided that we would communicate somewhat via our blogs.

Originally, I had planned on going with her, but with Bleys here, we could not exactly leave him here at our house in the boonies with no transportation, and he does not have his license yet so we could not have even just left the car for him, in fact we would have to pay for parking at the airport. Plus, Sadie is spoiled and is used to a walk every day, so we would have had to put her up at doggy jail if I had gone, cause leaving her here with Bleys unable to take her on her walk would never work at all. She would have drove him crazy. So the price of going would have skyrocket if I had gone. I am a bit bummed, cause I really enjoy seeing her family and getting to know them a bit better every time.

Ah well. That is just how things work out sometimes I guess. Bleys and I came back from the airport and went right to the gas station and Publix our closest Supermarket to do our shopping for the week. We got some steaks, apples, stuff for Reubens, turkey for sandwiches, skirt steak and zucchini and mushrooms for Japanese. Hopefully that will hold us over for a while. 🙂

Will be weird without Emmy here. I usually only cook half a meal, and Emmy just makes the other half happen. So I know how to do half of any meal we usually make. Just steaks with nothing else would not be very good.. Or Marsala spiced steaks with no marsala sauce would be kinda wrong, specially with no veggies. Although, I usually do put on the pirogies we have with the marsala, so I guess we would have most of a meal.. Just the pirogies would be burnt, cause I usually put them on and she flips them well I finish up the steaks on the grill. Will see how it works out.. I know I will miss her lots.

Gas was 2.78 per gallon on our road, but 2.66 at the gas station near Publix we always goto. So I of course filled up there. Amazing what a difference 3-5 miles can make on the price of gas. Not a surprise the way they set up the pricing scheme, just amazing to me sometimes. I will be curious how much gas is going for in Tucson. It has been a dreary overcast day here. All day. How fitting for the day Emmy leaves.. I expect Tuesday to be a wonderful sunny day if the weather continues to reflect my moods. 🙂

This next part is just for Emmy. 🙂

Well, I hope you have a good time, and enjoy the blog entry Emmy! Love ya lots! |*

What happened to the gas mileage on new cars?!?

Ok, so Emmy and I are getting to where we will be needing a new car eventually.  We know it, but we been putting it off.  Well, that does not stop me from researching the cars to get.  I had been looking at the Scion cars. I kinda liked the XA. XB was a bit boxy, but has some room to it, so was kinda looking at that even.  Well, the XA has been dropped, and they have redone it as the XD.  Well, when I first started looking at it, I was seeing the new MPG stuff. And the new ratings make the Scions look like crap for MPG.  Of course, now that I have a better idea of what they did to change the ratings, I feel better.. Well, sort of.  Heh.

I first read this article. Which lead me to the first one I linked to about the change of ratings.  Seems that since the 80’s, we have been being lied to.  While, not exactly, they were just doing the tests in ideal conditions, rather then in real world conditions.  Now I am searching through the 2008 ratings and other things to find a car that is really good on gas mileage, and a nice usable shape.  I like something with a hatch back, but I really like 4 doors.  So I been looking at all sorts of things to compare cars.  There are a lot of great resources out there for research.  It does help a lot when you do some research in advance!  I highly recommend Consumer Reports and the sites for a lot of looking around!  They are helping me a lot!  Good luck!