Category Archives: Driving


Car buying through DriveWise

I hate buying cars. Truly hate the process. My first experience buying a car was of a dealer agreeing to a price, then calling me a week later to say that the bank didn’t agree to the deal after all and that I’d have to pony up $1,000 as a down payment to keep the car. I have never been a dummy, and I got disenchanted with the car as I drove it, so I gave it back after a week of driving it all over Southern California. Ha — that well-known dealership tactic truly backfired.

Anyway, Trinity’s car has been on its last legs for nearly the past year. It had been leaking transmission fluid like a faucet — seriously, we still have transmission fluid residue all over his parking space — and with Elliott’s impending arrival, we liked the Ford Flex for its non-minivan look and its three rows of seats. But they don’t come cheap. I’d been looking for months, so I knew.

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The year began with a blowout

I haven’t blogged in 20 days. Sorry! But, for good reason. I’ll get to that in a minute.

But, yes, literally, the year began with a blowout. We were on the way to church, when the front passenger-side tire (the one right under me; Trinity was driving) of my car blew out on New Year’s Day, Mikey’s 2nd birthday. It was a bit terrifying at the time — I did freeze up a bit, but we were able to get a AAA tow out there to get a donut on, and we continued on to church. Trinity took the car to Wal-Mart, where he got me four new tires (we knew they needed replacing and had been stalling until we had more money…).

Oh, but that wasn’t it. It was Mikey’s birthday of course, so we had plans to take him to Chuck E. Cheese. He was so excited to play, we could barely get him to eat anything. After not having any nap and a full day of hard playing, he looked like this:

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Gas station etiquette

Gas prices lately have made people crazy. But when you find regular gas at $4.03 — I think that makes the mania worse than usual.

Take my most recent fill-up encounter. On the way to Michael’s daycare in Encino is my “ghetto gas station,” an Arco with reliably lower gas prices than the ones in Studio City (where I work) or in the Conejo Valley (where I live). On Friday, this station advertised its regular gas at $4.03 a gallon, when last week it was $4.15. I was muttering “hot damn!” as I pulled in.

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New California driver licenses

I was shocked to find my new driver’s license in the mail less than two weeks after going to renew it in Santa Paula. First off, I’d been hearing the DMV was delayed in delivering documents like licenses and registration. Apparently not! Second, the look of the new license was surprising. There were all sorts of new duplication-prevention designs on it.

Here’s the DMV’s explainer image.

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That’s one way to score a job*

As I made my way to work, I spotted smoke just beyond the freeway that I thought may be a building fire, but later I found out was a small grass fire along Sepulveda. But as I snapped photos of the smoke, I spotted this dude either putting up or taking down a sign on the pedestrian bridge right past Balboa Boulevard in Encino. Obviously, and you can click on the photo to see it bigger, the sign says

The photo, by the way, was taken from my phone, and through the tinted strip at the top of my windshield. It’s already uploaded to my Flickr stream and Facebook, but I edited it again to post it here.

Anyone looking to hire an MBA? Tell him I sent you. Heehee.

*Update after the jump

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