Friday, August 06, 2010

Car Buying 101

I wish I had some advice for would-be car buyers, but I really don't.

New Car
Thaddeus' vintage 1983 diesel Mercedes 240D took us on what will probably be our last trip in that car. But fortunately she went out in style...she schlepped us up to Buttsville, New Jersey to Hot Dog Johnny's.

At some point while we downed five hot dogs each (with everything, of course) and icy birch beer, there was a catastrophic failure in the old cars heating and air conditioning. We made it home fine, albeit a bit warmer than the trip there, but despite Thaddeus' best efforts, it doesn't look like the car will ever have any temperature control again. And at this point, we decided there was no use putting more money into the car.

So we bought a new one.

This is a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportswagen TDI (the TDI stands for Turbocharged Direct Injection...but more importantly, it means the car runs on diesel fuel). While the new diesel technology has a low tolerance for bio-diesel fuel, it is still extremely fuel efficient, and runs like a dream.

As for negotiating its purchase, I have to admit, we never really know if when we get a good deal. The federal government gives a tax credit for these cars because of their fuel-efficiency, but the amount of the credit goes down based on the number of cars sold. Originally, it was $1,300, but now it's down to $650. When it was at its highest amount, most folks were paying over sticker price for the cars. We ended up getting ours for $500 under sticker, which we thought was decent. I would imagine that if we had really pushed, we probably could have gotten $1,000 off sticker, but it would have taken a lot longer than the 3 hours it took to buy this car.

Have to say, while I'll continue to drive my Honda Accord, I love how this car rides and I'm glad we got it.

Current Knitting
I'm still splitting my time between two knitting projects.

I've made some significant headway on the mohair "mawl."

It looks like when all is said and done, the garment will be about 5 or 6 feet long and about 12 inches wide. If I have yarn left over, I will supplement the width some, so that I'll have both a wrap, and a lap blanket. I'm also thinking that blocking it will give me a bit more width.

I've made a bit less progress on the cashmere lace knitting.

Just about to hit the part of the stitch pattern with four rows of nupps, but I should make some headway this weekend anyway.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Tom asks, "Love the way the mohair turned out. Now, which bear friend are you making the "mawl" for???"

Actually, I'm pretty certain it will be for me. I thought the garment name of "mawl" for a man-shawl worked both from a concatenation-of-words perspective, but also from a masculine/bear word perspective. Didn't mean to tease my bear friends!

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