Thursday, May 25, 2006

Senate "Amnesty" Bill

The following article by Senator Jim DeMint is worth reading.

“Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the Senate Amnesty Bill”

I wish our Senator McCain was opposing instead of promoting this travesty.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Remodeling a Bathroom

The old ceramic tile was loose and leaking so here we go. The tile and green board have been removed along with some nasty pieces of drywall. New wallboard has been put in place. The old tub is still in good shape so a new vinyl shower enclosure will go above the tub. I still have a little patching and painting to go but should be ready to install the vinyl and new fixtures over the holiday weekend. I am not sure which is worse, going somewhere on the holiday and join the throngs of people or to stay home and do chores all weekend. I like doing this just about as well as replacing fences - not. I hope my darling daughters enjoy having an upstairs shower again.

25 MPG

I love it! First fill up and decent mileage. I was driving about 50/50 hwy/city and with a heavy foot occasionally. It is necessary to play with a new one for a while. I received the tow hitch that was ordered but am still waiting on the wiring harness. It will be fun to see what mileage it gets pulling the boat. I can feel a run to Parker Canyon Lake coming. I hope the Toyota mud flaps arrive before the weekend so that I can get them on. Pictures of the RAV4 will then be posted for viewing pleasure. I expect that I will post some on the RAV4 forum site and maybe one here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

New Car

The trip was a success. Hats off to Power Toyota in Tempe. There were no surprises and all paperwork was in order. This is the best experience I have ever had at an auto dealer. We have already nicknamed the RAV4 the "Go-Kart" due to its relative size and performance. It is quick and fun. We will see how the mileage turns out.

Friday, May 12, 2006

New Car Coming

It appears that we will bring one of these foreign cars home tomorrow. Amazingly enough, I can drive this. I am 6'7" tall and have difficulty with many vehicles. I could not find a US made version that would come close on mileage. I have owned a couple of foreign jobs on the past. One was an Audi S90 that was fun, comfortable, and was broken more in 5 years than all other cars combined. The other was a Buick/Opal that was not so comfortable but OK. I am disappointed in that I could not find a US equivalent. 269HP, 240 ft/lb, and 22/29 MPG. What is wrong with the big three to let themselves get completely outdone in this market?

Now for the fun part. Don't you love car shopping? There are two Toyota dealers in Tucson. Both seem to feel that the MSRP is the lowest price available to you and do not budge from it. The first place I went to test it out had one that was close to what I wanted. The salesman did not how the middle seat belt worked for the rear seat. Nor did the next salesman who 's help was requested. My wife asked if anyone thought it might be a good idea to look at the owner's manual. While salesman #1 is off looking for another more intelligent knowledge source, we look over the vehicle for the manual which was not to be found. This was finally solved after about 10 minutes. Now the salesman can proceed to educated on how to work an automatic transmission. D is for drive! I am serious. I did not know whether to laugh or get really insulted. This was a real zoo. The Primeval portion of my blog name is partially true. Most of my classmates are grandparents. This guy listened to absolutely nothing that was said to him. He was either deaf or the perfect salesman. Next he started with quoting payments instead of bottom line. Wrong tactic. He wanted to know what he could do to sell me this car. I was vaguely interested but did not want all the options on it so money talks. They did not budge and we left.

The following day I spoke with the competition (Dealer #2) who did not have what I was looking for either but had another shipment coming in, could do a five state search, and could order one if I wanted. This all sounded hopeful but was not. Two weeks went by and calls went unreturned. Yesterday, I called twice and upon leaving the second message told the operator that I would not be calling again. Hours went by. They must be sitting pretty to ignore people who are trying to buy something from them.

I know that some of the dealers in the Phoenix area have large inventories. I called one of the big boys. Two minutes on the phone and he is faxing me the sheet on the vehicle. I call back and give him a deposit. The price of a fully loaded Sport version was less than that of a Basic in Tucson. They mark up $500 from their invoice (not MSRP) and go from there. Their price was right in line with Edmunds. Hopefully all holds firm tomorrow.

A man I do not know from dealer #2 calls back towards the end of the day. Says the original guy is hungover, jk indisposed, and he is responding in his place. I told him that I had given up on them and went on to a Phoenix dealer. Now they want to earn my business. I told him it was simple, here is a description of the vehicle and the price, all you have to do is beat the price. He seemed to be choking on the price but said he would get back to me. I have yet to hear anything and am not holding my breath!

Our So-Called Representatives

I am amazed that our government is considering another amnesty (call it what you will) program when the last one was a dismal failure and independent polls show a very clear majority oppose this. I am independent. If pressed for a classification, I would say that I am a constitutionalist and feel that both parties should be ashamed. The radar is up and tracking is in progress to see who votes for what. I will respond accordingly at the voting booth.

Being independent does means that I have no qualms about picking on rabid republicans or democrats. For example: When with a group of republicans, I say that Rush is nothing more than a radio entertainer and a shill for the party. When with a group of democrats, I announce that I always vote however the NRA tells me to and that the ACLU are a bunch of commies. The ensuing lectures to correct my way of thinking can be lengthy and spirited.

Regardless of your stance, contact your reps and always VOTE. Remember that the letter to the Gov that was being composed in the movie Blazing Saddles, by the good folk of Rockridge, is probably not beneficial.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Boat Got Wet #2

My goal is to see how many time this boat can be used through the first year. Last weekend we went to Big Lake. This was a camping/fishing trip open to all ages. It is referred to as the family fun run. The wiser family members (my wife) usually do not go to the high elevation lakes (over 9,000' ) at this time of year. She has in the past and seems to be a fast learner. The weather prediction was for the possibility of a little rain on Friday and clearing that night.

We stayed at an established campground this time where our norm is to go primitive. I did not have to dig a slit trench and set up my folding toilet seat. Don't laugh, it's a place to sit. I am getting to old and beat up to be perching over some rock and hoping I don't fall down.

My daughter and I had the tent and camp set up well before it starting SNOWING. Most of the it was melting as it hit as the ground had been dry with sun the last few days. This continued on until about 1 AM by which time we had about 2" accumulated. I was awaken several times to talk to my daughter who was concerned about little things like being cold, will the tent collapse, are there bears, will the lightening hit the tent, can we leave the heater running in the tent, and trudging over to the toilet. She was a real trooper. During our midnight trip to the toilet her only comment was that, "I wish I were home right about now". There are adults who would have already bailed out by now.

I arose about 5 AM. We had 2" or better of snow and the sky was clear. The weather prediction was partially correct! My daughter got up about 6 AM. It seemed colder than it actually was. Being the hardy outdoors family that we are, I started the Bronco and told her to get in. She warmed up in the truck while I brushed snow off the vehicle and boat cover. We decided that going on the water would be rather cold right now and that we would wait till later in the day. We sat in the nice warm truck and had hot oatmeal, coffee/hot chocolate.

The other in camp arose as it suited them. A friend with his two kids had brought their pop-up camper and seemed fairly comfortable. Another fellow and his dog had come up with a travel trailer. We were the only hardy souls in a tent although I must admit that it isn't that bad with the heater. That is just my opinion as my daughter was sure that it should be at least 40 or 50 degrees warmer in the tent.

The day continued to warm with clear sky's so we put the boat in before noon and went off for the rest of the day on the water. Fishing was poor, weather was good, company was good, and it was a great day! Time to plan the next trip.