Rain, rain go away…

I haven’t had a lot of time to keep this up to date recently. Since some projects at the office are winding down, and I have a few weeks before others ramp up, I told myself to try and make regular posts here. So, this may be a little off topic but it is on my mind at the moment.

A little less than two months ago I bought a new car. I am really bad about buyer’s remorse so I took my sweet time selecting a new one. My last one was a Camry I bought years ago. It continue to work really well and was probably the best investment I ever made. It was getting a little long in the tooth, and the sedan configuration didn’t really fit my needs. It is difficult to get a large box into the trunk or through the door of a Camry, even if the box will technically fit inside. The trucks that dominate the roads in Houston are all jacked up and huge now, making me feel a little claustrophobic on the freeway when they box me in. It just felt like time to get a new vehicle.

So I did some research. I really wanted to stick with Toyota after my experience with the Camry. I have friends that have been through three cars since I bought it, all of them in and out of the shop regularly. I wanted something as reliable, just a little bigger and maybe with some modern accessories that I was missing in the old Camry. I had my eye on the Rav4. Not too big, not too small, with decent mileage and what looked like a mini/crossover-suv body. But, the price of a new one just seemed outrageous. Cars have gotten so expensive lately. It is really hard to justify spending $30-$40K on a car when my first fixer-upper house cost about the same in the 90s. I went to the dealership where I bought the Camry, to see if they had any recent used ones for a decent price. None of them jumped out at me as something I wanted. And the price still seemed unreasonable, especially for a used car.

The salesman I spoke with steered me towards the Scion xB. I laughed when he first suggested it. That is a kid’s car, meant to be fixed up with blinky LED lights, huge tail fins, and driven around with a thumping stereo. Definitely not what I was interested in. But, he kept talking me into it. They had been redesigned. They were much more “normal” looking now. As he talking more and more I saw that it fit all of my needs, and brand new it was close to the price I paid for the Camry almost a decade before. So I took it on a test drive.

It felt great. It looked good, in a unique way. It had a spacious cargo door that would allow me to fit a bunch of server or network equipment into the back. It got great gas mileage. My phone worked with it perfectly, even Google Now worked. A couple of minor complaints, but I expected to have those with any car. No auto-on headlights, although that can be installed. The Bluetooth autoplays music every time you start the car, but there are easy ways around it. The main cup holder is too small, designed to fit a can of soda only, but adapters exist. Really, nothing major or anything I couldn’t live with. I was sold.

Loved it, still love it, no buyers remorse at all. But, unfortunately Houston decided that I didn’t need a brand new car after all. Here is a photo from the night I bought it, taken with my old Moto G.

Brand New

Brand New

And here it is after an accident I had as a result of all the rain in Houston. The freeway was a little too slick for me to stop quickly when the car in front of me slammed on their brakes. This one was taken with my new Nexus 6.

beat

Beat Up

Luckily it is just superficial damage. Nothing mechanically wrong, no airbag deployment, just a small kiss that destroyed the plastic front end. It will get fixed soon. Not as soon as I hoped since there are a few thousand flooded and damaged cars in Houston as a result of the recent weather. But, it should look good as new when they get done with it. Good thing I had full insurance.

Speaking of insurance. I’ve dropped the new Nexus 6 a few too many times now. I probably should get some insurance on that as well.

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