Monthly Archives: May 2007

Getting Fit

I have purchased a new Honda Fit!

The new fit!

Shiny. It’s the Sport version. It’s silver — sorry, Storm Silver Metallic — and has a manual transmission. Vroom!

After grumbling about car salespeople, I need to mention the two good ones I ended up dealing with. Bubba Stockton (!) at Jerry Damson Honda of Florence, AL gave me a straight-forward quote over email. And Tom Bendetta of Jerry Damson Honda of Huntsville, AL worked with us for nearly a week. He gave us the information we needed, worked hard to get us the cars we wanted to test-drive, and was helpful without being pushy. When I went to him with Bubba’s below-invoice quote, he matched it, and removed the fees I wanted removed. If you’re looking for a Honda in the Huntsville area, I’d recommend working with Tom.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting an Alabama specialty plate to support a cause such as saving the Saturn V that’s been decaying in the hot summers for years. If I do that, I can personalize the tag. So, Internet, tell me: what should I put on the tag? Things I will not be putting on there include LOLCAT and DRBOOM.


Amy was the first to bring this to my attention, so she gets the public blame. I, of course, cannot resist sharing it with you.



Befunge and brainf*ck, A CHALLENGER APPEARS!

The Playset

I haven’t been posting much because I’ve been a bit busy trying to get a handle on having two kids. I know that some stuff won’t get done so that I have both hands free for them. But I’m still not sure how to manage day to day yet. I do know that sleeping and showering are very high on my list of to dos though and as soon as I figure out how to cram those two things into my super full day, I’ll be all set!

We have spent a lot of time outside yesterday and today on Eli’s new playset. I know lots of you have been anxious to see the construction of the monstrosity so here are the photos of the playset construction. There’s a couple of things left to do but I think Stephen and Andrew are going to take care of those this weekend.

(I’ve moved our photos over to flickr but I’ve not had a lot of time to devote to figuring out how it works. My apologies for the photos being out of order.)

You Can Bring Car Salespeople to the Internet But You Can’t Make Them Use It Wisely

I’m in the market for a new car to replace my truck. Now that we have two kids, a truck with a short cab and a manual transmission that’s too finicky for Misty to use is a luxury. That’s doubly true when you consider that I’m mostly using it for a commuter car, and its gas mileage is not so good.

We’ve done our test driving and have settled on a Honda Fit Sport. Its Consumer Reports score is excellent. It’s small but roomy enough to put everyone it, and has configurable seats for hauling stuff. It gets great gas mileage. With a manual transmission, it’s surprisingly fun to drive. Would you believe even Car and Driver liked it? Crazy!

Now we’ve moved on to the next step: dealing with car salespeople. The local one we’ve been dealing with has been great, but I’m not going to him without quotes from others. So I did what other members of my family did and emailed a bunch of dealerships to see what they’d be willing to sell one for. It’s unfortunate, then, that many of the dealerships haven’t figured out that people use the Internet to avoid their traditional strong-arm tactics.

Sold all but one fit today. Price of Gas. Will be pre selling them very soon. I would hurry if I were you. Make an offer  I will  try my best  untill their are pre ordered. It will be MSRP then.

Sorry, Economy Honda Superstore of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Your interesting spelling and whimsical spacing aside, other dealers are able to get them without saying URGENT! BUY TODAY!

We have the vehicle you are looking for in inventory. While the internet is a valuable tool for research we’ve found more mutual benefit to all parties involved not to quote prices over the phone or online. That  starts a process that ends up de-valuing the vehicle and also the residual value in the end. The ’07 allocations will be ending shortly. I do have what you are looking for now, I may not this afternoon. If you are serious about buying the car of your choice, I would suggest visiting the dealer of your choice to make your purchase.

Gee, Serra Honda of Hueytown, AL, you mean you telling me a price in email or over the phone might lower the cost I have to pay? I bet you’ve found mutual benefit to having people come in and negotiate with you directly. I think the dealer of my choice won’t lie to me about how giving me a quote will make my car worth less later.

Then there was Brannon Honda of Birmingham, AL. When the car salesman there followed up my email with a phone call, he mentioned that they normally put security systems on every car they sold. I told him I didn’t want one, and he agreed to quote me a price without one. In his second phone call, he said, “Oh, I forgot that security systems are standard on the Fit Sports.” This is a new definition of “standard,” one that means, “after-market addition the dealer puts on”. I’ll note that no other dealer has Fit Sports with security systems on them. Perhaps I shall deal with someone who doesn’t make such easily-uncovered lies.

More later, when I have vanquished the evils of etching fees and the like.

Initial Playset Woes

It’s been a busy couple of days here, so posting has slacked off. Part of our business has come from our decision to build a playset for Eli and Liza, complete with swings and slides and cancer-causing lumber. We bought lumber. We cleaned lumber. We let it dry. We started coating it with sealer. At this point we have been building this playset for approximately 300 years, and we haven’t even begun assembling the thing.

Home Depot was nice enough to cut our wood for us, since having us do it would have added 120 years to the schedule. I had a lot of time to stand around and watch the guy use his radial arm saw, which gave me the opportunity to look at the error on their instructions over and over again.

Here, take a closer look at step 3.

If only I had had a red magic marker.