December 2003

Friday, December 12, 2003

Requiem for Getting Rid of Things Redux

imageRemember back in October I mentioned how upset I was about getting rid of the dishwasher?

Here’s a little update. First, the new dishwasher kicks the old dishwasher’s ass! It’s so quiet that twice on Thanksgiving people opened it while it was running because they didn’t know it was running. And it actually cleans the dishes! What a concept. I’m having trouble getting used to the part where you don’t actually wash the dishes before you put them into the dishwasher. You’re just supposed to scrape them and put them in all crusty with food and sauce and stuff. It’s supposed to be more efficient (saves water and energy over hand washing). And it works.

Yes, getting rid of things that no longer suit your needs is good.

Anyway, from my previous post you can glean that I’m selling my car. Well, I sold my car. To a nice fellow named Howard who is a grad student from UCLA. I showed the car only a three times and was stood up for appointments twice as many times. Howard is very excited about the car, the only person who saw it that was. And because he seemed so excited before he even came to see the car, I did something special for him. Knowing my affinity for spreadsheets, you won’t be surprised to hear that I made a log of all the major maintenance on the car. All I did was take what I had on the work orders from the dealer and synopsize them, but I guess it gave him the impression that if I was meticulous enough to make a spreadsheet, I probably took good care of the car. Which I did.

See, that’s what upset me about the process of selling the car. Everyone was quoting Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds to me. First they weren’t running the numbers right so they’d tell me that the car was only worth $2,200 or something, when they were inputting that it was only in fair condition and didn’t have AT, AC, ABS and all that rot. And what’s wrong with charging what it’s worth, anyway? That’s what the book tells you, what the car is worth. If I had a pound of gold to sell and you went and looked up that gold is selling today at $409.50 per ounce, you don’t go in asking for 10% off - because you know that’s the value of it. Period. (Okay, maybe that’s not a good example, because gold is a commodity and appreciates for the most part, where a car is useful and depreciates for the most part.) The value of my car was at least what the blue book said, if not more. There were intangibles that I thought added value: The car was in great shape; No accidents; It had been kept under cover during the day for the past four years and carported for the past six at night; Absolutely nothing wrong with it mechanically. Yes, it will need new tires in about 5,000 miles. But to me that’s another year, so why would I replace the tires now? That’s normal wear. Someone tells me they’ll need to be replaced in two or three months, I ask them where they hell they’re driving! Across the country a back?

Anyway, Howard saw the virtues of my little car and appreciated how much I appreciated her. She really does run great, quiet and I had always gotten better mileage than the EPA suggestions on the sticker (chalk that up to clean livin’ baby). Let’s face it, a car only three months shy of 10 years with only 65,000 miles, well equipped and from the original owner is quite a find these days.

My point though here, and obviously I have more than a few of them, is that there is nothing wrong with the car. I just feel like getting a new one. Or so I like to rationalize. The Impreza was a compromise car from the start. It’s small and doesn’t have a lot of features like cruise control or a nice stereo or the space to schlep stuff. It was good to get me to work and back and to run errands and to take the dog to the vet. I want a car that pollutes less (and let’s face it, the Prius pollutes soooooooo much less). I ran a few numbers at the Enviromental Defense Fund’s Tailpipe Tally - now they don’t have the ‘04 Prius up there so I ran the old one against my little Subaru. At 6,000 miles a year (okay, that’s really more than I drive, but it’s a nice figure):

CAR…...............Fuel/Cost…....CO2 ......CO1 ....Nitrogen oxides….Hydro-carbons
2003 TOYOTA PRIUS….124 gal/$191….2396 lb…38.4 lb….0.4 lb…........0.4 lb
(48.6 mpg, SULEV)

1994 SUBARU IMPREZA..231 gal/$356….4477 lb..165.3 lb…15.2 lb….......10.7 lb
(26.0 mpg, Tier 1)

You see that? My car puts out 10.7 pounds of hydro-carbons a year and the Prius puts out 0.4? My car puts out more than 25 times as much?

So that helps me to rationalize my impact on the planet and all that rot. Because that is really what I’m trying to do. Hone my life, decide where things are important. And if I can afford a better, more efficient car after reducing my driving, yeah, it’s my responsibility to do that. And I kept my last car in great shape and it will perform better for the environment than some other clunker that it’s getting off the road. It’s my responsiblity to be an early adopter of techonolgy and lifestyle choices I think can make a difference. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:44 am     Comments (0)

Friday, December 05, 2003

Wanna Buy My Car?

imageI know, it’s a little off-topic. But I finally got the call that my car is coming in! I’m getting a 2004 Toyota Prius.

So, if you want a good deal on a sweet little, low-miles car ... I’ve got just the thing for you. My 1994 Subaru Impreza with only 65,000 miles on it!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:59 pm     Comments (1)

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I Couldn’t Resist

imageSo I prepped my “manuscript” for posting on the NaNoEdMo Yahoo!Group for reading. I wanted to at least fix a few of the glaring errors (I called one of my characters by the wrong name for several chapters) and then I decided to break up the chapters properly. I kind of abandoned the chapters when I wrote the fairy tale part. I just started writing the fairy tale from beginning to end, instead of sprinkling it in every other chapter or so. So I went through and chopped it up and inserted it where I thought it might belong. Who knows if it does. The book is about 1/3 fairy tale, 2/3 saint’s history.

So, I re-pdf’d it. I’ve uploaded it now. I also corrected some security measures I’d placed on it. It wasn’t letting anyone print it. The security is just supposed to keep someone from copying and pasting the text. I have this bizarre fear that some student somewhere is going to turn it in as a writing assignment. That’s the only thing I can figure it’s good for. No one is certainly going to steal it and put their name on it and send it to a publisher.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:07 pm     Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

You Write Like a Girl!

imageYes, it’s true, I write like a woman. But I blog like a man! I threw some entries from this blog through the Gender Genie (which is brilliant, I tell ya!) and it said that my entries were male. It’s supposed to be 80% accurate.

For giggles I also ran some of my novel through it. I definitely write fiction like a woman. I even ran the “fairy tale” sections through separately.

Now I feel like running other things through it. Bicycle assembly instructions. Software help text. Letters. Emails. Essays from the web.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:58 pm     Comments (0)




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.