Remember the spilled yogurt tragedy of 2012?
Now another dairy related traffic incident has taken place- this time in Norway.
I think BuzzFeed said it best:
Read about the incident here.
Or parking rage that is.
Ever witness another driver who has completely disrespected the concept of parking spaces? Now there’s a way to let this person know how you really feel!
In the caveman days (i.e. up until now) drivers with words to say about your parking would have to resort to scribbling a profane message on the back of a crumpled receipt to leave on your windshield. Or if you’re me you don’t get a note but rather you get your windshield wiper ripped off in rage… because I maybe one time parked too close to another car but was seriously just running into Macy’s for 2 minutes and it was the only open space I could find and I thought I’d be back before the other driver returned. (I learned my lesson.)
Anyways, now there’s a program that lets you text people who suck at parking by using their license plate #. It’s call CurbTxt, and it’s only in San Francisco right now, but other cities might see the potential and soon it could remedy the problem of bad parking jobs everywhere!
The problem is that it’s opt-in only (kind of has to be…) so if people don’t know about it and sign up, you won’t be able to tell them what a shitty attempt at parallel parking that was.
Ignore what I said yesterday about wanting to be a commuter in Russia.
Thinking about moving to Russia after hearing that people are commuting via a trampoline path. So rad.
As excited as I am about my new MINI cobe, it’s not easy to say goodbye to the original Cobe Car, the car I grew up with, my Mazda Protege. Time to get emotional.
That car got me to 1st period on time (almost) every day in high school. That car earned me my first (and so far, my only…) speeding ticket. Led me to concert venues to see bands I’m too embarrassed to mention now. Gave me a space for heart-to-hearts, petty arguments, and existential conversations that were entirely beyond my level of maturity. Set the scene for first kisses, goodbye kisses, awkward dates, and miserable breakups. That car took me on unforgettable road trips that fostered inside jokes and amplified uncontrollable laughter. It was my rehearsal stage for big presentations and speeches, my hideaway during emotional breakdowns, and my dining room in-transit for meals on the go.
It transformed into an imaginary karaoke bar for bad singalongs, and stood by as my schizophrenic musical tastes evolved through Top 40, Emo, Alt Rock, Pop Country, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Motown, Folk Rock, and back to Indie Rock again. That car fought to keep the tradition of mixed tapes alive, with a glove compartment full of homemade, sharpie-decorated CDs that eventually lost their place to the iPod connector I shoved in the cigarette lighter.
That car traveled to college with me, reminded me of home when I was homesick, and stood it’s ground during football season to host tailgates in between SUVs and pick-up trucks. It kept me safe in my first car accident. Endured undeserved foul language when my keys were “accidentally” locked inside in the middle of nowhere on a camping trip, kept me warm when I got stuck in a ditch during a blizzard, and forgave me each and every time I hit a curb and got a flat tire.
It held crammed boxes and oddly shaped breakables intact when I moved my life to Raleigh. Inspired me to start I Love Commuting. And put up with all of my whining and complaining when in reality I had nothing to whine about. Even despite my maintenance neglect, she always got me where I needed to go. We got lost together and we found our way together. And for that, the Cobe Car can never truly be replaced.
MINI Cobe certainly has big shoes to fill.
When I brought MINI Cobe home, my parents resumed ownership of the Mazda, in hopes that they could get a few hundred bucks for it from CarMax. But first I had to clean it out.
When it comes to my car, I generally try to avoid using the backseat as a closet. I kept it fairly neat and free of debris. So imagine my surprise when after all is said and done, I walk away with this collection of treasures:
-Two keepsake graduation tassels: (1) LCB Skyhawk Blue, (1) JMU Purple & Gold
-One plastic hair clip
-One toothpick, in plastic wrap
-One bobby pin
-Three clear glass vase filler beads
-One orange paper clip
-Two strips of velcro remnants from an EZPass
-One metallic green origami crane, made by yours truly from a Stride gum wrapper
-One mechanical pencil, no lead
-One plastic keychain with Richmond cab numbers
-One purple JMU ballpoint pen
-One-hundred and twenty-seven pennies
-Two plastic water bottles
-One bungee cord
-One Sheetz coupon for a free MTO item (!!!!!!)
-One brown pea coat
-One Abercrombie & Fitch Shopping Bag (shirtless male model edition)
-One, never opened, Auto Emergency Kit
-One navy blue travel umbrella
-Three maps: (1) Washington D.C. circa 1998, (1) Downtown Richmond, (1) Southeastern States
When I first set out to find a new car, I did not imagine that I would be writing a down payment check 8 days later. I fully planned to take my time, consider all of my options, go for multiple test drives, read reviews, do the math to anticipate financing scenarios, and everything else that goes into making a completely rational decision.
That clearly didn’t happen the way I thought it would.
On the eighth day of my car shopping mission, I visited Crown MINI of Richmond. I had no real intention of buying a MINI because I thought it would be too expensive, but I figured why not take a test drive just for fun?
When I walked through the lot scanning the inventory, I tried my best to look only moderately interested, playing hard to get if you will. What happened next was essentially love at first sight, followed by an irrational impulse to leave together immediately. I spotted a 2012 Hot Chocolate Cooper Hardtop, no racing stripes, black roof, minimal as far as design goes, but it was the manifestation of everything I wanted in a car. Different, but not obnoxious. Premium, but not extravagant. Small, but not impractical. And to my pleasant surprise, affordable, but certainly not cheap.
I handed over my info for a credit check, and less than 12 hours later MINI cobe and I were driving back to Raleigh.
On the Eighth day of car shopping, the car gods gave to me:
Eight (ish) seconds to accelerate
Seven inch center speed-o
Six air bags for safety
FIVE. HOURS. OF. Paperwoooooork
Three cup holders
Two doors with a hatchback
and one MINI with great fuel economyyyyyyy!
After spending hours online researching cars, I’ve narrowed down my “short” list to the following vehicles:
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
Now, it’s time to get serious.
In the last 3 days, I’ve visited over 8 car dealerships, test driving each of the above cars. With the exception of the Kia and the Subaru, because those dealerships didn’t have the cars on the lot…. pretty dumb move on their end. How do you expect to sell cars if you don’t have them for people to test drive! Idiots.
Not gonna lie, kind of tempted to get a Kia Soul just so I can buy a pet hamster to ride shotgun with me at all times.
Let me just say that I kind of hate car manufacturer websites.
I’ve been to every website of almost every make of car I think I might consider. And I can’t remember which ones I like and which ones I don’t, so I have to go back to the website to figure out what were the pros and cons of each.
Almost all of them seem to have some type of comparison tool, but of course they are different on every site and they suck on every site. It’s like they try to cram every little detail, even the ones that make no sense and are probably on every car that exists and all I want to know is whether or not there’s an audio input for my mp3 player.
I wish there were car personal shoppers that would do all the work for you that you don’t have to pay (like travel agents).
Day two: Creating my consideration set.
To help me narrow down my list, there are few things I have determined to be mandatory and not at all mandatory for my perfect car.
Things I’m looking for:
-Hatchback (had to start somewhere, and I like the way they look.)
-Automatic transmission (I’d love to drive a manual for the cool-factor of knowing how to drive a manual, but unfortunately car salesmen really don’t want to take the time to show you how it’s done.)
-Power windows and locks (this should be a given these days.)
-Cruise Control (I am shocked at how many cars don’t include cruise control as a standard feature. I loveeee using cruise control and I’d rather not pay $1,000 extra to have it)
-Volume controls on the steering wheel (this won’t make or break my decision, but it’s nice when a car has them. I consider this to be a “safety feature.”)
-Good gas mileage (“good” is negotiable)
-Center console or armrest (I just like it)
And I want all of this at or around the $20-$25K price point (No Audi’s, BMWs, or Mercedes for me)
Things I don’t care about:
-Sunroof/moonroof (Doesn’t really make a difference to me one way or the other. This seems to me like a place where I can save some cash by opting out of one.)
-Navigation system (I have a GPS system - that is a piece of crap - but I’ve heard that the in-dash systems aren’t that reliable anyway. Again, another added cost that I’d like to avoid.)
-Rims (Don’t even get me started.)
-Heated seats (I bet these are nice in the winter, but I’ve never had them before and I’m pretty sure I could live without them.)
-Floor mats (why does every car dealer try to throw in fancy floor mats for hundreds of extra dollars? My car is going to get dirty, especially on the floor. I can deal with that.)
-Satellite radio (I am conditioned to listen to my iPod so I don’t mess around with satellite radio.)
-4-wheel or all-wheel drive (if it’s snowing outside, I’m not leaving my house, therefore, I do not need all-wheel drive or all-terrain tires or cold weather tread, etc.)
-Automatic rain sensing windshield wipers (I CAN SEE WITH MY OWN EYEBALLS IF IT’S RAINING OUTSIDE. YOU’RE OFFENDING ME.)
Next step: Finding cars that fit these criteria.