Birthday Present April 22, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Art.
Tags: Birthday, Quilting
Last week I turned 43. Whee. On the plus side the Parental Units gave me a REALLY nice gift.
Here, take a closer look at it:
(Clicken to embiggen)
Mom hand cut each strip and sewed them all together on her sewing machine to make the top. Dad hand quilted the top to the backing with a line of quilting along each seam between the the strips. Yeah, it took a while.
I Went To Zion & All I Got Was This Lousy… April 17, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Vacation, Yorling.
Really cool stuff!As
As I mentioned there are a bunch neat galleries and shops outside of the park. Monday it got kinda cool & overcast so it wasn’t a great day for photos. We went & rode the buses that take visitors through the main valley. To get to the really neat places you have to do the hiking trails. Yeah we didn’t do that. Afterwards we went shopping.
Here’s the haul:
The prices for the ceramics were very reasonable for the quality of craftsmanship and I just loved that picture.
Yesterday the weather got rainy & colder so we just came home. I’ll get some pictures of the park up later.
At Zion National Park April 15, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Vacation, Yorling.
Tags: Parks, Travel, Zion
Hello! Long time no type at y’all, I know. Sorry. Not much has been happening with me. I go to work and come home again, work on my crochet. Lather, rinse, repeat. This week I’m on vacation though. WOOT!
Today I drove up to a hotel just outside of the park and tomorrowm I’ll be taking in the sights and hopefully get some good pictures. Here’s the scene from my porch:
There are some interesting shops around here too!
I Suck at Blogging March 12, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Yarncraft.
But I’m getting pretty good at crochet! These are for me, made of Merino wool. I love them! They’re warm without being hot. Now I’m making a pair for my sister. What have you been up to lately?
Vanity Plates February 13, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
So, a new car deserves vanity plates right? Of course it does. Here in Las Vegas they’re particularly popular for some reason. One of the…odder ones I’ve seen around town is IAMGOD. God drives a white caddy. Just so you know. Anyhoodledoodle, I’ve been trying to come up with something good. Given my current obsession with crochet stuff CROCHET would be nice but of course it’s already taken. CROCH3T is available though so that’s an option. Or I could go a different direction – a trip over to the dork side, if you will. Frank Herbert’s Dune series is one of my all time SciFi favorites. There’s a rich vein of possible plates. Holy crap! MAUDDIB is available! I would have sworn I tried it last week and it wasn’t. Hmm. USUL is also available. Or perhaps I could go with something more me-centric. MTCHMBL is available. I dunno, I read that as MITCH MOBILE but perhaps a most people won’t. How about MSTER M? If anybody has any suggestions you can try them out here NV DMV license plate tester and see if they’re available.
Oh, I tried another crochet-themed one: HAPHUKR (Happy Hooker) but…yeah, I don’t think they would have gone for that one.
AAY – Car Buying: Blahbitty Blah Blah… February 4, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Home.
Sorry, I got bored with this. The upshot is I GOT A NEW CAR!!!
2012 Rav 4 Limited. BEHOLD!
Yeah, it’s a stock photo but this is basically what it looks like except mine has a moonroof too. I had three dealerships bidding for the sale and I got a decent price I think. According to my calculations it was a 3.4% markup over actual dealer costs. I wanted red but silver is nice too. I went with Warrenty Direct for the extended warrenty. Finance manager was shocked at the price I got (they were running a special discount for January, plus an extra $200 off if you paid in full). I am extremely happy with it and I LOVE the V6 engine.
Now I gotta get the old one spiffied up for sale.
One addendum: Car Buying Tips has a lot of great information, but a lot of it is aimed at people with less than bullet-proof credit scores. A lot of the hi-jinks you get warned about there and what I was expecting mostly didn’t happen. I felt like I brought gun to a pillow fight. Also, it’s interesting how different dealerships work with customers depending on how they get introduced to you. One dealership I actually went to the lot without prior contact to see how they were going to approach the deal. I got the high-pressure treatment almost immediately. Later emails and phone messages to the sales-weasel there weren’t answered. It was only after I emailed somebody else there that I got a response. They didn’t get the deal. It’s the second time I didn’t buy a car there. The lesson is: if you’re going to do the internet car buying route (which I highly recommend) don’t bother with the regular sales-weasels – go to the Internet Sales Manager.
AAY – Car Buying 5: Opening Moves January 30, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Home, Yorling.
Tags: Car Shopping
Back in Salesguy1′s cube I drop the CarWoo Salesguy2′s big undercut of his initial offer. He’s not pleased. He goes on for a bit about the double-dirty-dog-underhanded dealing tactics of other dealerships and how he refuses to work at a dealership works that way. Oh yes, he’s quite incensed about the whole thing. It turns out that the Big Bone of Contention is the Delivery Charge: $845.00. This is actually a legitimate hard cost for a new car, and it will be passed on to the buyer no matter who’s doing the deal. The other guy’s offer didn’t include that and Salesguy1′s did. SHENANIGANS!
Unwisely perhaps I let him know which other dealership that quote came from. He quickly identifies the only one they have on the lot and points out that if we add the Delivery Charge and minus the $200 premium paint option the other car has he is actually under the other offer. It’s a fair point, if that’s actually the case. I don’t know. CarWoo offers don’t have a bunch of details about the offers initially. You have to kind of build a true bid there. I table Salesguy2′s offer for the moment and then I ask to look at the actual invoice from Salesguy1.
He doesn’t want me to see the actual invoice. Instead he prints off the “more easy to read” version. What you see when they give you this isn’t really “invoice” costs, it’s MSRP. Still, this is a useful piece of information as I now have a full list off all the options on the car. Well, almost – later Salesguy mentions that there are a few extra things on the car not on the invoice: door edge guards, locking wheel nuts, and window tinting. Duly noted. Armed with more information I thank him for his time and go back home and ask Salesguy2 for his option details. It turns out that Salesguy1 was indeed correct in identifying the other vehicle. It had the standard upgrade option package that all Limited RAV4s get, plus premium paint but nothing else. Hmm.
AAY – Car Buying 4: Driving Mr. Mitchie January 27, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Yorling.
Tags: Car Shopping
Last weekend I drop by for the test drive and meet Salesguy 1. He’s the “Internet Sales Manager”, mid-30′s-ish, very personable as your general salesweasel must be. I want to take control and set the basic rule for our first meeting. I start off with “I’m not buying a car today. I just want to check it out.” “No problem,” is his response. We go out to get the car. He pulls out a very nice looking silver one. I like silver. We start going over all the stuff it has. Having owned a ’01 RAV4 for many years I’m very impressed with what they’ve done with the model over the next 11 years. Sure, it’s mostly small things as the overall basic design hasn’t changed – it’s still a small SUV, but taken all together it’s quite the improvement. And then there’s the fact it’s the top-end Limited model vs. low end base I’ve been driving. There are lots of extra goodies because of that. I try to make mostly neutral-ish sounding noises. At one point he pulls out a pocket knife to fiddle with some recessed tab to show me some neat storage areas the back cargo area has. I recognize the butterfly mark on the blade: Benchmade. He rises a couple notches in my estimation. You gotta give “props” to a guy who carries a Benchmade knife.
I get behind the wheel and Salesguy give me the “key”. It’s just a fob with three buttons: lock, unlock, and “panic”. To start the car you step on the brake pedal and push a button. The car recognizes the fob as the electronic key. Neat. As a guy who’s locked his keys in his car a few times I REALLY like a system where I don’t even have to take them out of my pocket. Off we go - I give it the usual gas and we SURGE forward. Yeah, two more cylinders makes a significant difference. I get it out on the road and get a feel for how handles differently from my car. Everything is buttery smooth and I LOVE the improved acceleration. The ride isn’t as soft as Mom’s Mercedes, but damn, it’s not that far off actually. Salesguy remarks that he doesn’t have all that much to say about the car since I already know so much about the RAV4, which is true. He does get to point out a few of the other things we didn’t look at before we went out though. It’s a fairly short test drive. I WANT this car. Any lingering thoughts about going with a used Mercedes disappear.
Overall, it was very hands-off and not at all pushy with this guy. I really dislike high-pressure sales tactics so he rises a couple more notches. I get the feeling I can work with this him. We head over to his cubicle to discuss things further.
AAY – Car Buying Part 3: Deal Me In January 25, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Yorling.
Tags: Car Shopping
Ah yes, per the instructions over there you start with The Folder. Basically you need to make sure all your credit history stuff is in order. Once a year you can request a free one from the Big Three: Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. You can find them on-line and download .pdf versions and check them carefully for errors. Happily there were none on mine. I put them in The Folder (or rather my Kindle Fire, same thing) in case they try to pull any Funny Stuff. Other tasks were to download some spreadsheets and start planning my strategy and best cost scenarios.
At some point I decided to drop the used Mercedes option, I want new. For the 2013 models Toyota made a bunch of changes to the base design interior-wise, but the outside looks much the same except they pulled the spare wheel off the back and stuck it under the back cargo area. Now the rear door opens upward instead of to the side. I’m very interested.
Car Buying Tips recommends getting all your price quotes online and they suggest a few places to get the ball rolling. One of which is CarWoo so set up an account but there I was limited to just searching for the 2013 model Rav 4. Ok. I set up another account with a different website (forget which one) and start the ball rolling there too for 2013′s. I start getting responses pretty quickly. And I find out that they dropped the V6 engine option for all 2013′s – four bangers only. Also I find out they’re only just now getting to the dealers and there aren’t many to choose from. On top of that only the base models are available at the moment. No, that’s not going to do. I’ve had 4 cylinder cars all my life. I want, nay need a V6. WE MUST HAVE IT PRECOUSSSSS! So, 2012 V6 Limited it is. I notify everyone and one drops out. With CarWoo the dealer can’t contact you directly. All emails are routed from CarWoo itself. One of the other sites gives your contact information to the dealer he calls me fairly quickly. Here we go.
He offers a $1000 off MSRP of one he has in stock and tell me they currently they offer $1500 rebate or 0% financing. Car Buying Tips tells you that very few people qualifies for the 0%. I’m sure that’s true. It’s not true for me though, that I was certain. It’s easy to calculate which is the better option – %2.99 less the $1500 rebate or 0%? Zero percent is absolutely the way to go. We discuss all this and set up an appointment to do a test drive. I look at some of the other offers, one of which came back substantially under his. Woot!