AAY – Car Buying Part 2: The Financial Buggaloo January 19, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Yorling.
Tags: Car Salesweasels, Cars
After much punching and crunching of numbers I’ve got my general total cost ballpark range. Happily this range extends to brand new 2012 or 2013 model RAV 4. And not the base unit mind you, but the upper end Limited edition. Sweet. This also extends to late model used luxury brand cars. Like…oh I don’t know…a Mercedes-Benz perhaps? “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? All my friends drive Porches and I must make amends.” MB makes a very RAV4-ish small to midsize SUVs such as the GLK-350 which is exactly what my Mom’s car is. They’re very nice. Or even the M-Class which is even nicer. Some searching shows that yep, there are some around with 40-50 K miles in my price range. Welllll now. Isn’t that interesting?
First things first – financing. Money is cheap right now so this is actually a good time to finance a car anyway. I dropped by my bank and set in motion the pre-approval process. I have a good job, pay my bills on time so I have a great credit rating. I easily qualify for the lowest rate of 2.99 % on $25,000 loan. Time to find me a car.
I will admit, I do not have a lot of experience buying cars. In my life I’ve owned: Chevy Citation II, Ford Probe, Buick Regal (less than a month with this one – stolen), Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and my current RAV 4. I rode a motorcycle for a few months somewhere in there. I’ve owned more bicycles than cars (most of which got stolen). Two of these cars were private purchases, so not a lot of dealer haggling. This is also the first time I’ve even considered going with brand new. Yeah, yeah I know – IT DROPS $10,000 THE INSTANT YOU DRIVE OFF THE LOT!!!! ELEVENTY” or whatever it is. I eat the big depreciation crap sandwich going new, but…I get to be the one to put the important first few thousand miles on it and reap the low maintenance costs later on. I get to be the one who puts the weird smells into the car by knocking over the bong and getting stinky bong water into the upholstery. And so on.
But now we have the glorious INTERNET. The great All Thing that is the repository of all human knowledge. Well, a hefty chunk of it anyway. Surely there must be a site out there to help a fellow figure out what the scoop is on this car buying process isn’t there? Why yes – yes there is. Check it out: carbuyingtips.com. There’s a LOT of information there and the dude keeps it updated too. I start reading, and then I start putting together The Folder.
Adventures in Advanced Yorling – Car Buying Edition January 11, 2013Posted by Mitchell in Never Give Up, Never Surrender!, Science & Technology, Yorling.
Tags: Cars, Finances
So. Over the holiday weekend I brought my car in for long overdue servicing. The front brakes were shot, wheels all sorts of out of alignment and other whatnots. Total cost was in the neighborhood of 900 bucks. Then not too long after I notice steam or smoke coming out from under the hood. Service guy poked around and said, oh yeah – radiator is shot. And of course it some sort of special “dual-core” radiator that’s extra expen$ive. Basically it was going to be around another 800 bucks. Mmmf. This car is a 2001 Toyota RAV 4 with something north of 120,000 miles. It’s time to consider trading it in. I looked at another RAV 4 on the lot as I drove off and noted the MSRP. It’s a starting place to run some numbers and see what I can reasonably afford.
And so it begins. I really like the RAV 4 car design and I’m seriously considering another. This time I think I will buy brand-new instead of used.
2012 – A Yarn Odyssey: Coda December 31, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Art, Crochet, Home.
I finished the first shawl in time for Christmas for the guy at work and he was well pleased. I haven’t talked to him since we did the hand-off Christmas Eve so I’m eager to hear if his wife was pleased as well.
I’ve started on Mom’s shawl now, which is the exact same one I just made. I’ve also continued with making one out of the gray qiviut yarn as well since I already had it started. I alternate back and forth and have seven squares each. The qiviut is easier to work with and the squares are faster to make. Incidentally, I figured out one of the enduring puzzles of this stuff which is why it isn’t softer than it is. Anywhere you read anything about this yarn touts the softness as being softer than cashmere. Well, it’s not. At least the brand I’m working with isn’t. I was suspecting that maybe these people were selling inferior quality and keeping the good stuff for themselves. Happily that is not the case, all it needs is a good soak and gentle hand-washing in some warm water and Woolite and the yarn “blooms”. By which it means the fibers loosen up some and get a bit thicker and considerably softer. It’s a bit like washing the starch out of a new shirt. The squares also lose all of the curl out of them and lie perfectly flat.
I mention all this because I showed Mom the difference between the before and after washing. And now, even though I’ve already told her I’ve switched to the cashmere yarn for her shawl Dad tells me she thinks I’m still making it out of the other stuff. Dealing with older parents is a bit like dealing with people who smoke pot: you can often have the same conversation several times but it’s new to them every time. I told him not to correct this misunderstanding so it will be a nice surprise for her.
Now that I’m completely used to working with high quality lace-weight yarn, the regular yarns feel ridiculously thick, rough and downright uncouth. Yesterday I went through and culled a bunch of the lesser yarns out of my yarn pile. It was a significant reduction. If I wasn’t a yarn-snob before, I sure as hell am now.
After I’m done with these two shawls I’m going to be done with granny squares for quite a while. It’s time to move onto other things. I’ve been buying books – lots of books with lots of nifty patterns. The next thing I’m going to try are socks. I didn’t have much luck at knitting socks, but I’m a better crocheter now than I was a knitter previously so I’m very hopeful that I can whip out some really cool socks.
Have a Happy New Year!
More Christmas Music December 23, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Music.
Tags: Caroling, Christmas!
It’s Christmas Eve-Eve! Time to get our e-caroling on!
This has long been a favorite of mine. It gets me right here every time:
And of course we can’t forget this classic:
Adventures In Advanced Yorling December 20, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Art, Yorling.
Tags: Christmas!, Enchantment, Lik, Trees
Last Friday The Parental Units and I went down to Caesar’s Palace to try their uber-fancy new Bacchanal Buffet for lunch. Folks, I’ve been to a LOT of buffets in this town and this one blows them all away. If you ever hit Vegas this is definitely one of the things to do while you’re here.
After that Mom wanted to go shopping for a particular purse she wanted so we waddled off to the Forum Shops. During our perambulations we came across one of the Peter Lik galleries there. If you don’t know who he is you can check out a sample of his stuff here. So yeah he’s a nature photograph guy. Very nice stuff. Anyway, one of things they sell there are called “Elements” which are small-ish non-limited edition pictures and they had a new 4-pack out for Christmas this year: “Zen Elements“. They had these four on display in one of the viewing rooms and I was just really taken with them and decided to get the set. I don’t normally make $500 impulse-buys but there you go.
More Crass Christmas Commercialism December 17, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Art, Yorling.
Fellows, are you still scratching your head trying to find something for your lady? Might I suggest Baccarat crystal butterflies?
Found here: Baccarat Butterflies. It might be getting a bit late to order one in time for Christmas though. Maybe rush delivery is available. Of course you can always nip down to your local Baccarat store.
Christmas Music December 15, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Music.
Lindsey Stirling has been busy. Enjoy!
This is a great one from The Piano Guys. Carol of the Bells has always been one of my favorites.
More Christmas Present Suggestions December 6, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Art, Destined for the Gulags, Yorling.
Tags: Bedazzler, Eyelashes, Poo, Shopping
I just found out about these today: Eyelashes for your car. No, seriously.
Now I know what you’re thinking: do they come in other colors? Well of course they do. Next you’ll wonder if you can get sparkly eyeliners too. Don’t be silly, of course you can. Order them here: Carlashes.com Don’t be fooled by the cheap knock-off versions available on Amazon.
Next up, are you ever disappointed with your poo? Or know somebody else who is? They say you can’t polish a turd, but you can make it shine! Or at least glitter. BEHOLD! Tywin Lannister’s Poo-Bedazzler Pills!
Ehh, gold pills may be fake.
Don’t say I never did anything for you.
Christmas Traditions December 5, 2012Posted by Mitchell in Home.
There are many traditions associated with this season. One of mine is to listen to David Sedaris explain some of the more…”colorful” Dutch Christmas traditions. Enjoy!