Wednesday, October 26, 2005

New Car Smell (almost) 

I have been putting serious consideration into getting some new wheels. In the past month I have sunk just about $1000 into my car. The car has treated me well, it is a 95 which I purchased in 1996. It looks like putting money into it is going to be a trend, a trend I am none to pleased to be seeing. So I started looking.

Some of the cars under consideration are, Mazda 6, Mazda 3, VW Jetta, Kia Spectra and Hyundi Elantra among others. Now the last time I bought a car I didn't really do any research, it was something I saw in the paper and it was in my meager budget at the time. It was one of the only cars I test drove and I pretty much said yes right away. I lucked out since it really was a good car as far as reliability.

This time I decided to do a little more in the way of homework. Get something I liked the look of as well as something that was rated well on Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds. I was flip flopping from getting a brand new car or a used 1-2 years old car. I also did a few test drives, more than the last time at least.

SATURDAY:First stop Quirk Mazda (is there any other place in Quincy beside fucking Quirk?). I pull in and a young Asian man approached me to give me the old sales pitch. I told him I was interested in looking at the Mazda 6. I let him know right off the bat that I was not looking to buy today. I just wanted to do a little homework and take something out for a test drive. you know, get a feel for what was out there. The Mazda 6 was very very nice. Sporty and slick looking. Took it for a spin around the way and liked it very much. I liked the way it looked, felt and handled. One problem. It really was out of my price range. Plus it had way too many bells and whistles, way more than I wanted or needed. It had rims that had special locks to prevent theft for chrissakes I don't need that shit I don't care about that shit. I am 34 not 18 or 21 or even 25. Yeah I want something that looks good but all that other shit forget it. I took the kids car and told him I would keep looking and might be back.

Later that day I went to Tom Obrien Hyundi (not Quirk!) in Quincy. I meet with an older white gentleman named Jim (cool name, easy to remember). We took out a used Elantra. I like the looks of these cars, there is one red one down the end of my street. Taking it out though I was not really impressed. It was more in my price range but it was nothing special. I also talked to the GM of the place he asked me if I was planning on buying soon I said probably not that soon. He told me "OK I will not call you, I usually do a follow up call with in a week or two. I'll wait to here from you"* I said good that is fine. I took the salesman's card with his hours and went on to my next stop.

Quirk (AGAIN!) Kia in Braintree. I wanted to check out the Kia Spectra. I walk in the door and was greeted by a black man, probably late twenties. I told him I wanted to look at the Spectra and he showed me the gold one they had in the show room. I was immediately turned off by the car. Didn't really like the looks of it in person. I told him as much but since I was there I might as well take one out for a test drive. While he was making a copy of my license my eye was caught by the sport edition of the Spectra, it looked much nicer. Better lines, spoiler and it was blue a much better color than the gold. We went out to the lot and there were no sport editions out but the regular EX version they had plenty of, in various colors. I took a maroon one out and it was really the gold color I didn't like. The maroon was sharp looking. Took that out and liked it, it had a nice ride. I told him the same thing I told the others. I wasn't looking to buy today, just doing some checking, homework. They never like to here that. They want their commission! I liked this car a lot. I also after coming back in noticed that it also comes in the 5 door version which I also liked. I liked the look of it better than the 4 door. I took this guys card as well and asked him to but his hours on the back. If I was going back to any dealership I was going to deal with the same sales person, it is only fair. Well the Kia sales person works everyday except Wednesday. The thing is when he wrote it down he first wrote "ecept" he then looked at it with a puzzled expression on his face, knowing it was wrong but not sure why. Then he throws an s in there for good measure so it now says Every day "escept" Wednesday. He seemed satisfied with this and gave me his card. He also had trouble with spelling Mirage and I had to help him (twice) to spell it out. I know I am not the best speller in the world but... damn! I looked at the card a few minutes ago and just got the giggles.

I came home and was feeling really good about the KIA. I liked the way it looked I liked the ride. Price was in my range for the most part. I was leaning towards the 5 door. I just wanted to do more research.

* I come home that afternoon and the GM at the Tom Obrien dealership, the one that wasn't going to call in a week or two, I just missed his call. Well he didn't actually lie now did he?

SUNDAY:I did some more looking online and didn't like what I was reading about the KIA. It just wasn't getting good marks on Edmunds or Kelly Blue Book. They were not necessarily giving it a bad review just not saying great things about it. So I had doubts. More online looking lead me to the Mazda 3. This also had a 5 door that looked good. I didn't want to go back to Quirk so soon. It might give them the wrong impression, that I was too eager. So I ended up at Mazda in Norwood. This time I had my mother in tow, extra ears and eyes. I took out the Mazda 3 (2006) 5 door out and it was really really nice. Other than the Mazda 6 this was the best car I had been in for a test drive. Unfortunately it was also out of my price range. Although I did try. It just wasn't going to happen. Ah but they did have a 2004 Mazda 3 5 door on the lot. A color that I wanted. It has a moon roof and a six CD changer. A price that I can afford.

I pick it up Thursday.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yo, Wendal where's my battery at!?! 

Lately I have been having cel phone issues. More exact I have been having issues with my cel phone holding a charge. I charged it last Saturday afternoon, took it off the charger around 4:30. It was completely dead by Sunday night and I didn't even use it (maybe one phone call). This is a brand new phone that I picked up in August (end of the month). So I headed to the Verizon store in the South Shore Plaza. I waited in the customer service line for 10-15 minutes before I spoke to Wendal. I explain to Wendal my situation and he proceeds to tell me that cel phone batteries are only good for about 500 charges (which I had heard before). I tell him "It is a brand new phone, I bought it in August." He starts in with "Well if you charge the phone 3 or 4 times a day..." I break in here and say "Yeah, but I am not doing that". Wendal with a little attitude "You didn't let me finish". He goes on in the same vain about the 500 times and charging it for 8 hours and the phone has to be off to charge it correctly and to let the battery drain all the way blah blah blah.

OK lets do a little math here. Lets just say for the sake of argument I was charging it 3-4 times a day. Hell just say 4 times a day. Also we'll do it for all of August and Sept. 61 days x 4 = 244. That isn't even 1/2 the battery life. Fuck it, add in Oct and we are at 75 days x 4 = 300. Nope still not 500 Wendal.

Now he also says "Yes the battery is still under warranty but we don't have any right now. What you will need to do is, Verizon wants people to pay for the battery now ($41.99) and then on Thursday when or shipment comes in you will be reimbursed". I ask "So the batteries will be in on Thursday, definitely? "Yeah. You could just come in then and take care of it instead of paying now." I walk out and plan on coming back Thursday. Wendal told me he would be there he gets on at 2.

When I get home I look through my instruction book to see if it says anything about charging with the phone off or charging it for 8 hours. Nope it doesn't say that at all. Are you surprised? It says you can use the phone while it is charging (phone would need to be on for that right?) but that if you do that the phone isn't charging while in use. It also says it charges faster while off but nothing about the 8 hours.

On Thursday I head back to SSP and Verizon. On my way I am thinking in my head "Yo! Wen-del! Where's my battery at!?! and how funny it would be if I actually burst into Verizon and hollered it at the top of my voice. (funny up until he kicked my ass.) Turns out when I get there Wendal was on break and I talked to Jamal. He told me more of the same but with less attitude. He gave me my battery and off I went.

Charge your phone only while it is off
Let it drain all the way
Charge it for 8-12 hours.
Don't over charge it.

Can you hear me now?
Peace out

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tale of a Horse 

Last night I went into Boston to see some old friends from my (old) work. We all went to a place on State Street called McFadden's. They have plenty of TVs around the bar for me to catch all the Redsox/Yankees excitement. GO SOX!!!! Interestingly enough there was just as much excitement outside of the bar as there was inside. The outside stuff had nothing to do with the battle between Redsox and Yankees. It was a battle, a battle of man versus beast.

When you walk into McFadden's the bar runs straight back on your left. Across from that bar is a row of tables with benches. If you were to take an immediate right when you came in you would find a set of stairs leading down. Above the first landing is a huge picture window facing onto State Street.

At one point while watching the ballgame, people started looking out the giant picture window. Something was going on out front. I wandered over to see what all the excitement was about. There was a horse down on the ground. It was right on the corner of State and the street that runs behind the Custom House. It was from one of those horse drawn buggy rides that are normally in the area. I could see the driver but not the buggy so the horse must have been on the ground for a few minutes. The driver tried to keep the horse calm but the horse was having none of that. Every few minutes the horse tried to get up and each time the horse couldn't get one of it's legs under him/her. The horse just ended up rolling over onto it's back kicking wildly and coming to rest on it's others side. People started to gather outside the bar watching the spectacle. The driver did his best to keep the horse calm.

Eventually the police came along to see what they could do to help. The only thing they could do at this point was to keep traffic moving on State Street. They seemed to be waiting for someone else to arrive. Then a horse trailer appears and backs down the Custom House Street. These are obviously the owners of the horse or the buggy company (both?). They have another horse inside the trailer, which they lead out and bring off to the side. The owners along with the police try to coax the hurt horse up and into the trailer. No dice at all. It tries to get up and ends up crashing back down to the ground. More rolling, kicking and flailing. This goes on and on each time with the same results. They tried putting a board leading up into the trailer like a ramp to see if that might help. That didn't work either. The horse kept falling back down stayed on the ground. At some point some had placed a blanket on the horse to keep him warm.

All the rolling and kicking the horse was doing I am very surprised that no one was kicked in the head. That certainly would have caused some serious damage with a good chance of death. The owners looked like they were basically trying to drag the horse up the ramp. Any time the horse would get up part way, that was only really up to a kneel position, they pulled on the reigns. Crash back to the pavement. The horse rolled so much it went from one side of the street to the other, ending up next to a parked car.

By now more and more people were showing up to help. The fire dept arrived (with a ladder truck), several ambulances (in case someone was kicked in the dome), more police and even some guys from the big dig (with a back hoe). All these people with all the lights and noise of State Street were making the situation worse for the horse. I am sure it was scared to death anyway. All the extra stuff was just frightening the horse more. Inevitably a couple of camera crews showed up to film the situation. The police tried to get some of the people to move out of the way.

The owners trailer pulled away with the horse still on the ground. Another trailer backed down into its place. Now this new group, from my vantage point inside the bar, looked like animal EMTs. They had red jackets on with a cross on the back. They also moved quickly like they at least knew what they were doing. They took stock of the situation checked on the horse with a stethoscope. They brought out a huge board with handles all the way around the edges. My guess it was like a backboard. They were going to try and get the horse to roll onto that then have everyone lift it into the trailer. One of the Redcoats seemed to be talking to everyone letting them know what to do and when to do it.

This was the first sign of an organization in this entire ordeal. Mind you this had been going on for three + hours. Three fucking hours this horse was on the ground hurt and scared out of its mind and nobody seemed to know what to do. I was switching my attention from the Sox to the horse. I was just fascinated by the whole thing. I felt so bad for the animal. At least the red coats were trying to do something in an organized effort to help the horse.

The Sox game (Woo Hoo they won!!) was long over when I left McFadden's. The horse was still on the ground and people were trying to help it. I'll check the news this morning to see the end result. I hope the horse was OK in the end but it was a pretty bad situation.

Peace out.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?