Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Reely Reely Big Present

On the first night of Chanukah my son said to me:
Happy Chanukah and Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas.

He also told me that a package was coming that covered all three.

He refused to give me any hints even though I asked some 'innocent' sounding questions.  I joked that I might get it in February as he isn't very good about actually getting the package to the PO.  But he said that DIL Liz' sister, Irene, was in charge of mailing so I knew it would get here soon.

Matt then texted wanting to know if he needed to have me sign a signature card with the package.  Hmmmnnnn what would need a signature?

Last Thursday, on my birthday, a package from Matty & Liz from San Ramon (must be Irene's sense of humor as DS and DIL live in Livermore and I've never heard DS called Matty) arrived!!!!  I was too excited.  You see I had been doing a lot of guessing and had myself worked up to a new iPod or maybe an iPhone, what with that signature question.  But the package was rather light.  Hmmmnnnn

I opened it up and to my surprise there was a gift bag of Celestial Seasonings Herbal Teas including chapstick and mints.
Matt must have been misleading me with the signature question.

Then Jim said to look into the bottom of the tin as everything seemed to be on top.  That wasn't as easy as it looks as it's all hot glued together. Nope, nada on the bottom but that squiggly paper filling.   So now I'd have enough for a whole summer's worth of iced tea pitchers.


On Friday a largish package arrived.  And this one had weight to it.
I called my sister (put her on speaker phone) and got Jim, and together we opened the box.


This is an iPad 4 Retina.  I am blown away (still).

I've been playing with it exclusive to almost anything else for days now.
Compelling, additive, fun and incredible.  I've downloaded apps for drawing and writing and games and reading. This is the first thing I did with an app called Paper.
and sent it to Matt & Liz.

I also downloaded iBooks and eRead as I figure that if I am carrying this 1.6#  iPad around I don't want to also haul books.  My sister is gifting me with a cover/case and there are about a zillion to choose from but only a few reelly reelly reely nice ones that are book-like.
I have narrowed it down to between a Contega or a Portenzo.

Now to get back to that Holiday Knitting.  Well --- in between taps on the pretty iPad.

Friday, December 7, 2012

How I saved $640

The week before Thanksgiving I hit a deer coming home from Knit Knite.  It was about 9:20 so very dark but dry.  All of a sudden there was a large deer blocking my lane.  I braked, heard a loud crunch and saw the deer roll and run up the bank on my right side.  I stopped and fortunately there was no one behind me or coming the other way.  My car seemed OK and anyway it was a dead zone for cell service so I drove home in a hyper awake state and shaking.

When I got here I called my insurance company who were very calm and helpful.  They made out a report and told me someone would be calling in a day or two.  As it was just after Hurricane Sandy I wasn't expecting a call too soon.   They also said to call the police.  I did and a nice State Trooper arrived about a half hour later from the barracks on the other side of the county.  He made out an official accident report and was glad I was OK.

In the morning I could see that my front grille was completely gone and there were deer hair in the cracked bumper but I couldn't see much else.  The inspector showed me other parts that needed replacing.  Jim made me a temporary grille from some plastic lattice as I as afraid the radiator would get hit with something while I was driving.  Very cute.  I almost laced it with artificial vines.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because while my Pilot was in being fixed (front grille, front bumper, right fender, radiator)  I was given a basic Civic as a loaner.  I loved zipping around town in it.  It made me realize how big and wide my pilot is and remember how it fills out most parking spots so that I have dings from other car doors.  My last Pilot was a bit smaller and I didn't have these problems but this one is more awkward for me.  When I thought about it I really only need the Pilot for 6-8 times a year when we do vendings and such.

Then the next week it told me I needed a B1 service.  That means tire rotation, fluids, oil, etc.  It also needed alignment and alas is very close to needing new tires.  The estimate was $770 for 4 and I need 4 as it is AWD.  2 tires are at 3mm and 2 at 2mm.  Not good enough to get me through the winter and to my lease ending late April.

I called around town and got estimates at $712, $690, $670 and finally some UniRoyals that were merely $640.  It's Holiday season.  Do I really want to spend my budget plus on tires?? Noooooo but then again I also don't want to wind up in a ditch in January.   What to do????

I remembered that last time I turned in my car a month or two before the lease was up they rolled the unpaid months into the new lease.  I also called Honda to find out about changing my current lease into a purchase.  They said that was very possible but I needed to talk to someone at a dealership to get the details.
Oh and while the Pilot was being serviced earlier this week I walked into the showroom just to look at 2013 Pilots and compare a CRV with them.  When I first started driving Hondas I wanted to shop local but the guy in the showroom at that time was so snotty I wound up going to Rochester and getting a great deal.  I have leased 3 cars from Holtz Honda up there.

The other day the guys I met were so friendly and Jeff, who showed me the 2013's, said that they would make me a great deal. He was sure of it.  So I made an appointment for this afternoon to talk to the sales manager. Between Jeff and Jerome I knew they wanted a sale and were going to offer me whatever it took.

Well the CRV is 50 cu ft smaller than the Pilot BUT with a roof box it would then be only 30 cu ft smaller.  Plus I can zip around town and have a bit of fun AND get 10 more mpg than the Pilot. I took a test drive in a blue CRV that matched all my criteria even though I thought I wanted a teal or white one.  By the time I was done test driving I liked the blue CRV best as it has purple undertones.  :^)  And I like those hub caps too.

Jerome says they are buying my Pilot outright from Honda and paying for the new tires (at retail) and the all remaining lease payments.  In the past those have been rolled into the new lease.  Hmmmmnnnn and what else?   

Then Jerome told me he would also be paying for the installation of the roof rails and trailer hitch plus my new payments will be $30 less than my current ones.  Considering inflation I think I am getting a very good deal.  It seems that used Pilots are in short supply and used cars are very much in need since Sandy.  Add the CRV to the December total for these guys and they are happy and I am happy too.
So the one I test drove now has a SOLD sign on it.

I'll be picking her up on Dec 31.