Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So...my mother in law decided it was time to give up the old 1990 Toyota 4Runner V6 4-Wheel drive on account of this new "Cash for clunkers" program. What I didn't really know at first is what was in store. It turns out what she had in mind was to cash it in and get a new 2009 Honda Fit. Thing is, she recently had bought herself a Honda Civic Hybrid, so the question was...who would drive this new Honda Fit? Turns out she had me in mind. I'd be the main signer, with the idea that my credit was probably in better shape. She'd pay the car payments (!) and we'd add it to our insurance, so, in effect, it would be my car, but she'd be making the payments.

My first thought was..."Is this too good to be true?! What have I done to deserve such generosity?" Then the next thought was..."Okay, what's the catch?" Best I can figure is I let her use it whenever she needs it for hauling extra stuff etc. There is no catch. And now it's sitting in our driveway, ready for tomorrow's commute. One of Oakland's casual carpool is a block and a half away from our house. And now I have a car that rider #3 can feel comfortable in the back seat with, so the idea here is I will start participating in the casual carpool with it...two extra riders so I can cross the bay bridge for free in the carpool lane every morning, saving about $100 a month (max) in bridge fees, and of course that's two less cars on the HWY potentially. Better on the conscience. I mean, I could have done this with the 2 door Civic, but I have a feeling it would be harder to get people to want to jump in my car in a timely fashion (I usually see a few cars lined up in the morning). Now with this brand spanking new roomier car, no problem.

The program began late last week, $1 billion in Federal money. Once it's gone, it's gone. Better get to it.

Turns out the best day was today, for a variety of reasons. The only thing was, I had an event with my coworkers tonight, my first night out in a while...bowling, which I was looking forward to. So, since Margo's off this summer (teacher), she, K, Livie and cousin Kelsey headed over there about 1pm. The idea was, they'd get it all started and I'd take a late lunch ('bout 3:30 or so) to go over and sign all the stuff I needed to sign, then hop back over the bridge in time for the event, and maybe even drive a couple of carless coworkers to the alley at the Metreon.

It was not to be. One hour dragged into three and then eventually four, seemed like five. There was a trip to the DMV at 4:55pm to try and get the proof of ownership printout Margo had gotten earlier in the day (which apparently, according to the dealership's lawyers in interacting with their governmental contacts, did not conform to the standard that was needed). "Um, the DMV closes at 5, right?" We were close, but the clock was ticking. But then I remembered a shortcut. Wally Sound's studio, where I'd done a number of trumpet sessions and also where Beulah did some b-sides for "Coast," was right across the street. Right. Throw away the directions from the dealership...turn here. A shortcut, if you will.

Just. In. The. Nick. Of time. Well, the door was just being locked, but Margo has a way of getting what she wants, and...sign...STAMP. By the department Manager. Done. Back to the dealership--Where we waited. And waited, tick tick tick. 7:15 we finally signed off on the financials and the keys were in our hands at about 8 O'Clock.

Here is a picture of Margo with Livie.

From Olivia 2009


After this shot was taken, Margo got the first drive to the ice cream shop and then to our house. Then she and Kelsey drove off with my old Civic (well, OUR old Civic, Kiera and I, the first step in our commitment back in '97 - Kiera now has a Toyota Matrix we got a couple of years ago) with the signed off title so Margo's stepson Isaac has a slightly peppier car to call his own for Junior and Senior year of High school. That old 4Runner that he was using didn't exactly have a lot of pop. And this old Civic, though on it's original clutch at 240,000, still does.

Needless to say I am looking forward to tomorrow's commute!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

This is big. A whole lot of people made a lot of money off of regular folks' misery, especially last summer. And then some of those, of course, gambled, then lost big.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Cheney can bloviate all he wants but this story tells us the real truth about why we went into Iraq.