Sunday, May 17, 2009

Welcome Back

to the land of monthly car payments. Kimberly and I drove to Indy yesterday to inspect and pick up our new (certified used) Honda Pilot. After driving several mid-sized SUVs last weekend, we decided that the Pilot was the way to go. Then, I discovered that Honda has a Certified Pre-Owned program. Our first Saturn was certified (our current Saturn is certifiably something-else) and we were always pleased with it. I spent the week seeking out the best deal over the Intraweb-thingy and was able to negotiate the Pilot for less than I expected. By negotiating entirely through e-mail, I was able to avoid awkward and silly moments of "Let me go talk to my manager."

New Pilot in driveway

Here are the technical details. It's a 2006 Honda Pilot EX-L (white with a gold pimp stripe) with about 40k (40,000 for non-engineers) miles. It has 4-wheel drive with leather interior and a sunroof. For the kids (and parental sanity), it has the DVD player as well. It's in beautiful condition. Because it gets about 2-4 miles more per gallon than the Jeep (when it was newer), we certainly deserve a tax credit! It has enough space that we could take this on trips if we chose. Did I mention that it fits in the garage?

The kids all immediately jumped into the third row and buckled themselves in.

While I haven't dealt with many of them, I can certainly recommend Ed Martin Honda in Indianapolis. They gave us a great deal (at least it seems as much), and they were quite polite and courteous when we actually met them in person.

Friday, May 8, 2009

And So It Begins

Not to complain, but tonight is the perfect example of why our lives always seem to be inconvenient (thus the title of this blog). I test drove my first candidate car after work today - a lightly used Jeep Commander. I was quite impressed. It's a much nicer outfitted vehicle than I'm used to. It's got some shortcomings, but a nice price has a way of covering those up.

Over dinner, Kimberly asked if it would fit in the garage. So, I went out and measured the garage opening. Judging from the on-line specs of the Jeep, we would have an inch or two to spare on the height. Further investigation will be required (on-site measuring, or test-drive to Homer).

On tap for tomorrow - a cadre of Japanese SUVs. These are all short enough, but will push the width of the garage opening. I'll take my tape measure. Maybe someone would be willing to throw in a new garage if I pay sticker price?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fare Thee Well...

Well, the insurance company declared the Jeep a total loss. Apparently, they're discounting all of the fun road trips (mostly to and from VT) that we've taken over the years. The Jeep was a fine companion.

Now, the search is on for a slightly (but not too much) larger SUV capable of driving through unplowed rural roads, and carrying four crazy little boys!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Way the Vermonter Crumples

Well, as many of you may have heard, I wrecked our beloved Jeep last week. While driving down a very open stretch of rural road in broad daylight (but still with my lights on), someone decided to back out of a driveway right in front of me. Fortunately, I'm paranoid and had already slowed considerably...just not enough to avoid impact.

Judging from (a) how far I didn't push him, (b) how little of my front-end crumpled, and (c) my airbag didn't go off and I didn't head-butt the steering wheel, I'm guessing I wasn't going very fast. No one was injured and I fortunately didn't have any kids in the car.

Unfortunately, the Jeep took a good beating (which it handled quite gracefully). It seemed drivable, except for the dripping coolant (that was just replaced 6 weeks ago). So, I got as close to home as Sidney before I red-lined the thermostat. There she sits...

Hopefully, I'll find out the prognosis tomorrow. If it wasn't 11 years old with 170k miles, I'd say the prognosis was good. However...

Fancy Cellphone Picture of Crashed Jeep