The greedy and shortsighted who are buying up badly constructed “shitboxes” is giving rise to an equally greedy group — plumbing repair/construction/general contractors. What goes around comes around. Greedy real estate investors meet your new best friend — dishonest and unskilled repair man/person. Find one if you can, and be very, very nice to them, especially if you live far away from your hot new investment.
From Jersey Girl.
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FollowBefriend1 threads3,248 comments
I think Europe is more shielded than Japan. Isn't EU or Euro set up for a freer flow of goods and labor to create a big and sustainable internal demand from within?
Japan is in a worse situation than Germany, but its internal consumer market seems to be recovering. I will have a chance to take go to Japan soon so that I can observe from within. The most f*cked country here is China, and deservingly so. You just can't place the burden of growth of a 1.3B-people country entirely on someone else. I am all for closing the door to China, I would rather pay slightly more for goods to be manufactured in Mexico, after all, it is right at our backyard, and their wellbeing is more critical to us than China.
Just don't buy one of those BMW "sport activity vehicles." I think those things have less trunk space than a sedan. Or maybe not much more.
FollowBefriend1 threads973 comments
I love the looks of the Audi A4s of various years… do they run trouble free? Or are they exotic and in need of attention often?
I'm pretty impressed with my Audi sofar; it looks great and the road feel is fantastic. I have an '02 A4, and sofar it's been trouble free (w/ a tuned engine too). I think the worst part will be the scheduled maintenance for bigger items such as the timing belt.
FollowBefriend25 threads1,690 comments SQT15's website
I think BMW's are the best. My dad was in a head on crash in one, and it saved his life. I honestly can't afford one right now, and we got a really good deal on the SUV we have. I'll keep it as long as it has a warranty, and by then I hope to be able to buy something like a BMW. I'm also hoping that I can get something smaller when I have to haul less stuff, but with kids who knows when that will be possible.
Mini-vans are a horror thoough. I loved the cargo space, but I never felt safe because the handling was so bad. SUV's do have a high center of gravity but they handle better. My father-in-law was in an accident in his Ford Explorer when a Saturn pulled out in front of him. He barely felt the impact and his car suffered minor damage. The whole front of the Saturn was demolished. So there is something to be said for size. I do feel more secure in my car versus my husband's little Hyundai, though his has side air bags and would probably do fine in an accident.
I appreciate not getting thrashed for admitting to an SUV, so thanks! I do get the negative press the SUV gets, and I have seen tons of people around me buy the Escalades and Hummer's just for status reasons, which is pretty obnoxious. I drive a Ford, so not a lot of status there, and I've been lucky not to have too many problems with it. I also have the one with the smaller engine so gas prices are not as much of a problem. It costs me around $45-50 to fill and I can usually go 1 1/2 to 2 weeks on that. My mini-van wasn't much more economical, and a lot less convenient since it only had 3 doors -- another thing I hated. Anyway, I know I've rambled on but you know what they say... confession is good for the soul. ;)
Just don’t buy one of those BMW “sport activity vehicles.” I think those things have less trunk space than a sedan. Or maybe not much more.
Our friends had an X5 and they don't have a lot of cargo space if you carry passengers, kind of like the Toyota Rav 4. Maybe room for a few grocery bags and that's it.
"BTW, I think 528 is under 4000 pounds. "
Oops, LOL, you're right, I looked it up and it's only around 34-3500 lbs. Don't know what I was thinking...probably recalled comparing it to our previous small car, which was way lighter.
"I love the looks of the Audi A4s of various years…"
I think Audis have been out-performing BMW in Car and Driver in recent years...Can't remember which models. I try to keep my husband away from Car and Driver because it always makes him want a new car. ;-)
"Maybe room for a few grocery bags and that’s it. "
Yep. Like a car with a higher center of gravity and big tires. To create more cargo space in our sedan, we just bought a Thule rack and a cargo carrier. Works great for trips, and we're able to fit enough luggage and a stroller and a bunch of other junk in the car for long trips.
To create more cargo space in our sedan, we just bought a Thule rack and a cargo carrier.
Do the Thule's carry much stuff? They look kind of small. It's a good idea though. I mostly wanted to be able to take my kids friend's with us too, since I'm the neurotic mom who likes to be able to watch my kids as much as possible.
"Do the Thule’s carry much stuff? They look kind of small. It’s a good idea though."
We bought one that's the width and length of the roof of the car, and it can hold one large suitcase plus a bunch of stuff crammed in around it. We could probably fit all our luggage up there if we packed in duffle bags. In fact, that was our biggest space saver--buying duffle bags to replace some of our traditional luggage so that would could cram stuff in better. :-)
"I mostly wanted to be able to take my kids friend’s with us too, since I’m the neurotic mom who likes to be able to watch my kids as much as possible."
I know the people-space issue will be our big hang-up in a few years. Right now my kids aren't old enough to need to go anywhere with friends, and we live in a town so small I can walk most everywhere and don't have to drive. So, I guess I'll be able to haul two extra friends, but no more. :-/ Who knows if my 16-yr plan will really work out. It's just what I tell myself so I don't have to think of giving up my car.
Who knows if my 16-yr plan will really work out. It’s just what I tell myself so I don’t have to think of giving up my car.
I wouldn't want to give it up either. BMW's are great cars. I used to work for my dad and I got to drive lots of different cars, and there really is something to be said about German engineering. Once I drove a Porsche it was all over. I have never driven an American sports car that even comes close. But unfortunately I won't be able to drive a sports car until the kids are much older. Sigh........
"But unfortunately I won’t be able to drive a sports car until the kids are much older. Sigh…….. "
LOL. Don't the kids fold up easily?
A few years ago I witnessed my husband trying to cram a baby seat into the back of a Porsche. ("Look honey, it fits!...Sort of!")
A few years ago I witnessed my husband trying to cram a baby seat into the back of a Porsche. (”Look honey, it fits!…Sort of!”)
Who needs practical when you can have a Porsche?
FollowBefriend (4)117 threads17,655 comments
I have never driven an American sports car that even comes close. But unfortunately I won’t be able to drive a sports car until the kids are much older. Sigh……..
I will be laughed at if I drive a sports car on the freeway at exactly 65 mph...
I will be laughed at if I drive a sports car on the freeway at exactly 65 mph…
Nah, most people who can afford something like a Porsche are smart enough not to wreck them. My dad actually let me borrow a Porsche once when my car broke down, it drove like a dream even at the speed limit. I don't feel the need to drive like a speed demon, I just enjoy a car that handles nicely.
FollowBefriend1 threads290 comments Escaped from DC's website
Randy H wrote "As a former owner of a 1976 Ford Granada, and thereafter a 1984 Ford Tempo, I have hereby sworn to never, willingly own or otherwise encourage the ownership of another Ford."
I owned a ford escort and a ford taurus. I later took the same oath.
Gotta scooter for around town errands.
Scooter? Is it safe?
Neighbor’s got a RR (used, very reasonable price), a Lamborghini SUV, two Range Rovers, and 2 classic American cars.
I think RR's are really cool because they weigh as much as a large SUV but they are as fast as sport sedens.
Range Rovers? I thought they are in the shop more often than on the road. Perhaps this is why they need two? ;)
I love his RR. We take it when we “double date”. Incredible machine.
I like the look of Silver Spur. What model is his?
In Marin, there is a one-hour “window of opportunity” at about 10:40AM each day when you might actually be able to DRIVE the car as it is meant to be driven. The rest of the time, you just hope it looks cool in jams…
LOL...yeah--so much for getting that extra 40hp and using it! I'm mostly puttering in the traffic on SFD, but there's days when I drive out to Pt. Reyes and open it up. ;)
I think RR’s are really cool because they weigh as much as a large SUV but they are as fast as sport sedens.
Perhaps the new BMW-owned versions, but the oldies were serious dogs if I remember correctly, 0-60s in the 11sec range?
FollowBefriend (4)44 threads4,602 comments Los Altos, CA
I have a scooter too, a Aprillia Scarabeo. It is only as safe as I can be defensive, but it is hella cool to ride and will run for about a month on $5 of gas. I bought it when I lived on the Peninsula and used it to commute up and down El Camino Real. I don't drive it on the freeways, even tho it's freeway legal. Big wide roads with lots of room to swerve out of the way of clueless seniors, distracted moms (and dads) in SUVs, and teenagers are reasonably safe. Driving on side-streets scares the hell out of me. You have to assume that every single person in the world is trying to kill you; other than that, it's safe and fun.
(I still drive it alot, just harder to find safe routes in Marin)
but not quite as much as I enjoyed the Yammy TMax in Nice.
You didn't find driving in Nice terrifying? I go to Mougins every year, just NE of Nice. You couldn't pay me to scoot there; too many drunk frenchman on the roads.
"LOL…yeah–so much for getting that extra 40hp and using it!"
I believe in the Bay Area, extra horsepower and superior handling can be justified as necessary for maneuvering out of the way of bad drivers. :-)
Maybe those who buy SUVs and trucks (not the tiny Ford Ranger types BTW) for status symbols really have small dicks…..
I think it's safe to say I don't have this problem.
You have to assume that every single person in the world is trying to kill you.
That is my driving philosophy. Good to be safe.
SW of Nice though, not NE, no? West of Canne, by Grasse?
But of course. West, a bit South, off N85. I was confusing Antibes with Nice in my confused mind, anyway (even though it's still West of Antibes). Closer to Cannes than Grasse, although we always drive up to Grasse and hang out.
After you get used to it, it’s a great way to get around the city. For day trips and inland travel, we’ll take the Puegot rental car.
Driving in France? I gues it should be easier than driving in China or India.
"Driving in France? I gues it should be easier than driving in China or India. "
Or even Italy. Rome and Florence are the only places I've ever gotten hopelessly lost and frustrated while driving and wasn't sure we'd survive. The names of the roads change like every four blocks.
I think the French are basically good drivers. They just like to honk their horns a lot.
"The names of the roads change like every four blocks."
In the city centers, I meant.
"Maybe those who buy SUVs and trucks (not the tiny Ford Ranger types BTW) for status symbols really have small dicks…..
I think it’s safe to say I don’t have this problem."
LOL, Sacto, that puts my mind at ease.
But then maybe you have “small dick envy”? …amd what does it say about those who drive Mini Coopers?
Huh? How about semi-truck drivers? Or monster truck stuntmen?
But then maybe you have “small dick envy”? …amd what does it say about those who drive Mini Coopers?
Now we'll just call it Mini Cooper envy.
My new dream car is a Loomis Fargo armored truck conversion. :)
"Now, if you wanna talk about excitement on a scooter, let’s talk about Rome. I have gone out of my way just to scooter there for a couple of days. "
How about Naples? I saw a scooter pulling a donkey there, people hauling their small children and babies around on scooters...Who knew a scooter could be the family vehicle? :-) Very interesting city.
"Who is more superficial, the person who drives a BMW or Honda they can hardly afford, or the person with the Hummer who could afford a new one every year?"
Is this one of those unanswerable questions, like the chicken or the egg?
"After Athens was Turkey and the Greek Islands. "
Hey, we did a Med cruise too! Same stops, but in a different order. That's how we ended up in Naples without a car (thank God). I loved that whole region.
"I snapped the camera around a fraction of a second before they turned a corner."
LOL, cool picture. I should have gotten a shot of the scooter/donkey combo. Priceless.
What comes first the “stuff” or the storage? Accumulating “stuff” seems directly proportional to the storage or space you have for it.
Good point. Stuff also accumulates in direct proportion to how much the grandparents buy for the grandkids.
I was never offended by any rants against SUV's. I get the anti-SUV rant because in many cases it makes sense. I've noticed a lot of Hummers and Escalades in my neck of the woods, and I know they're all for show. We worked up to an SUV in stages. Gradually working up in size as we had more children and incrementally gathered more stuff.
Personally, I've come to like the convenience and since virtually every other car around here is an SUV, I don't need to apologize or explain. I do feel the need to explain to people here on the blog because there seems to be an overall sentiment that abhors excess and the SUV does symbolize overkill pretty well.
"Stuff also accumulates in direct proportion to how much the grandparents buy for the grandkids."
Truer words have not been spoken. I think if they had to come to my house and pick the crap up off the floor twenty times a day, they wouldn't buy so much of it. ;-)
"What comes first the “stuff” or the storage?"
Another chicken or the egg question.
Truer words have not been spoken. I think if they had to come to my house and pick the crap up off the floor twenty times a day, they wouldn’t buy so much of it.
I've had to create the "you buy it, you store it" rule for the grandparents. It was getting out of control. I love that they're so generous, but what do you do with a bazillion stuffed animals? I've had to start sneaking them out to give them to goodwill. (my daughter will keep everthing if I let her) I suppose it's a good problem to have though....
“What comes first the “stuff” or the storage?”
I vote that stuff comes first. But then, if you have the space you tend to fill it...... Ok, chicken or the egg.
"I’ve had to start sneaking them out to give them to goodwill. (my daughter will keep everthing if I let her)"
LOL. Ditto. My son is still wondering what happened to a tiny plastic Mickey Mouse toy he had when he was two. Umm, gosh honey, I don't know! Hate to lie to him, but it was just one of hundreds of toys I've had to haul away on the down-low.
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