Adventures In Car Buying, Part One

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It is officially Saturday, February 13, 2016, and my wife and I will be heading out in about 7 1/2 hours to begin our search for a new family vehicle. 

Our current modes of transportation are a 2002 Toyota Corolla 4-door sedan that I drive back and forth to work. Our “family” car is a 2007 Ford Focus 4-door car. Both have been outstanding vehicles, both bought used, and the Ford has been serviced regularly and taken care of. The Toyota has had a rough life. It was originally my wife’s car before we got married. The Toyota has 103k miles. The Ford is coming up on 97k already. 

Our current plan is to trade-in the Toyota for whatever we can get off of it, then me take the Ford as my work vehicle. Our trip out today will be to look at a few choices we’ve come up with after searching the Internet and viewing dozens of YouTube videos. While we haven’t ruled out used vehicles, which we’ve always bought over the years, we’ve decided to lean more toward new 2016 models if possible. I’ve cashed in some stock I’ve been holding on to, and our price limit is $25,000 cash for an out right purchase. We decided right up front that we didn’t want a car payment. 

So, two firsts for us on this adventure. 1) we are looking to buy a brand new vehicle. 2) we are blessed at this particular time to be able to actually buy a car, not lease or finance. 

Today’s journey will be to simply look around at a few dealerships and discuss what kind of deals are available to us. And, of course, I’m crazy enough to blog about it and bring you along! Something a little different for the blog that I’ve never done before! 

But, right now, it’s bed time. Good night! 😊

Four-Oh

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As of Wednesday, February 10, 2016, I hit the big four-oh. 40 Years old. The day came and went with no real fanfare, thankfully. It also came and went without seeming to affect me in any way, other than mentally. I really, really, don’t feel like I should be 40. If I thought about it long enough, I’m sure some sort of depression would set in, but I’m trying not to think of it. Instead, I’ve a new motivation: to continue growing in my faith and walk as a new Christian. To improve myself as a husband and father because we’re never perfect, there’s always room to improve some aspect of ourselves. We’ll never be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop reaching.

Being 40 for all of 2 days now, it’s also hit me that there are some conversations we can have that reveal things we don’t want to know. Maybe, subconsciously, we realized things were wobbly in some areas of our life, or with some relationships with people, but when it just jumps out and hits you in the face, it can cause you to stumble for a moment. In particular, I’ve come to the conclusion today, as a matter of fact, that it’s valuable to know what people really think of you.

It’s good to know what people really think of you. It shouldn’t change the way you work, live or love with/toward those people. You should still maintain your integrity and continue to strive for whatever goals you have. But knowing where you stand with someone can be very valuable, even if it’s something that secretly hurts you inside.

This came to mind today when I was having – what I thought was – a playful chat with someone. Suddenly, they get defensive and make a comment about something I had been involved in 10 years ago. Ten years in the past, this person still remembered it, and judged me on it all these years later. It hurt. It truly hurt. Is that all we are to others? An accumulation of all our faults and failures? Or maybe it’s just this one particular person that has never really ever brought up anything positive I’ve done, come to think of it. Instead, whenever they get argumentative, it’s the negative things I’m remembered for as they recall in detail what ever moment from the past they dig up.

News to me. I thought this other person and I were on pretty good, close standing with one another. And while I may be overreacting, the fact that they easily, in a split second, reached back and hurled that moment at me, spoke volumes to me.

So …

Yeah, welcome to the blog of a 40 year old nerd. Enjoy your stay.

-J

 

Hand of Fate #2: Queen of Dust (Xbox One)

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In the second outing to the world of Hand of Fate, we seek to take down the Queen of Dust. First thing I noticed right off the bat is that the game can be pretty repetitive until you begin to grow your deck. Also, there’s audio from me this time!

Currently Reading: Great Rift, Soulkeepers, Battle Plan for Prayer, Dark Citadel

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This is the first time that I can remember having multiple books in a Currently Reading post. Four books, to be exact, and in no particular order.

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The Great Rift, Book 2 in the Cycle of Arawn Trilogy by Edward W. Robertson. After finishing The White Tree, I decided I was interested enough, and deep enough into the story to continue on. I’m growing into a fan of Robertson.

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This is a new one on me. I did a few searches and read a few reviews after finishing the first The Last Apprentice book, and this came up as a good choice for another new read. The Soulkeepers, Book One by G.P. Ching. I honestly haven’t cracked this one open yet, but it’s on my Kindle and I’ll probably start it this week.

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I enjoy both movies and books from the Kendrick brothers. They’re the guys behind Christian based movies such as Fireproof, Courageous, War Room and a couple of others. Their start in the film industry and their faith are awesome stories, and since I am a huge fan of War Room, I wanted to pick this up and see if I couldn’t strengthen my own prayer strategies.

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Finally, I came across The Dark Citadel by Michael Wallace. It’s the first book in another fantasy trilogy, and I’m hooked. 40% complete, according to Kindle measurements, and it’s really good. Love the world it takes place in and can’t wait to see how this first part ends. If you’re looking for a new fantasy series to start, I recommend this one. Plus, it’s free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

So, yeah, I’m in a reading mood right now and I’m trying to take full advantage of it. I’ve never been one to have multiple books going at one time, but it’s nice to have something to fall back on when I get a little tired of another, and vice-versa.

Hand of Fate #1: Jack of Skulls (Xbox One)

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Thus begins my stream play of the February Games with Gold title, Hand of Fate. It’s something of a cross between a CCG with overhead Diablo-ish combat in some instances. Fun little game that can become repetitive early on until you build up your deck with more cards.

Episode 1 doesn’t not have audio from me because I didn’t have my headset set up right.