Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hiking the Metacomet Trail and Looking at New and Used Cars

We went for a short hike on part of the Metacomet Trail today. Here are some prickly pear (Opuntia) that I scattered along the trail more than 10 years ago. They are well and happily blooming.
Then we went to look at new and used automobiles as most dealerships are closed and you can browse in peace without sharks circling about.  I despise the Prius that I bought from Leon after my Mazda got totaled.  

There is nothing about the Prius, except for the gas milage (and even that is mediocre) that I like about the car.  I'm talking aesthetics and creature comforts here because that is what matters to me most when I'm driving.  The dashboard is a monstrosity and the instruments are way way down into the front of the dash.  The information screen is the most ridiculous piece of useless gimmick I've ever encountered.  You cannot look over and see how the heating/cooling is set or change your radio station without pressing 2, 3, or 4 different buttons to get to the correct display.  Talk about distracting.  The compartment under your right armrest is impossible to open and access without being double-jointed and the stupid "toll-booth" window is totally out of control.  There is an annoying glare on the windshield at night from the reflection of the instrument panel.  The upholstery always looks dirty.  The brakes don't perform like regular brakes and when you think you're engaging them, you're not until you press just a bit more, then you practically stop on a dime.  The cruise control is often a mystery, especially when you want to kick it off by using the break.  The "key" is cumbersome and the car unlocks and goes just by having the key in your pocket, which confuses me no end, because I can't seem to develop a consistent pattern of use...and sometimes forget that I don't have the key in my pocket and wonder why the door isn't opening! 

So I'm looking at cars.  A used 2003 Mazda for $9,000 with a 30 day warrantee or a new Subaru Impreza for $19-20,000 with a full warrantee.  The Mazda is no bargain but I would actually get cash back for the Prius.  As I have no income to speak of, this would work.  However, the Subaru is a better value and might last me for ten to fifteen years.  But I can't seem to justify the expense.  I would have to cash in a good chunk of my 403(b), which is not enough to get me through my retirement years, provided I live that long.  But I suppose it won't matter much.  Destitution will come sooner or later.

I haven't had very much to blog about lately.  The news is depressing, whether about the oil spill, politics, anti-gay rhetoric or the Catholic Church.  Benedict Bentley has more to say and some cute pictures as well.  


  1. I say, Get A Truck. Preferably a Chevy. Grin.

    Prickly pears grow in New England? Amazing.

  2. Russ, We've got a truck - Leon's '97 F250, which he keeps in beautiful condition.

    Cactus: They're not Texas-size prickly pears by any means, but they're native to some areas of the Northeast coast like Martha's Vineyard and New Jersey. I've had them in my garden for years - love the yellow flowers.

  3. F250 works. Even if it is one of them ol' Fords . . . grin.

    Very interesting about the pp's, I had no idea they got that far north at all. We really don't see too many here in North Texas even. Yes the flowers are pretty.



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