Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl Ads Forth Coming

Seems car companies are going to be a huge part of our viewing pleasure this upcoming super bowl. To let you in on a secret I barley know the names of the quarter backs and honestly can’t tell you which team what’s his name plays for. So this article is brought to you from a guy that watches the super bowl for the advertisement, comradely among friends and the Buffalo wings.
For the last month on many automotive sites I have gotten the feeling that the Super Bowl isn’t’ quite the advertising giant it used to be. It started about a month ago when VW started showing little “teasers” of what we could expect from their advertising miracle workers in the way of Super Bowl ads. Then GM jumped in, then Suzuki, then Hyundai, then Acura and so on. I only vaguely remember one car advert from last year and that was in the second half when Audi showed us a nanny state government ticketing everything except the TDi powered Audi A3, or something along those lines.
The truly curious thing to me is that all auto giants have started the same trend in showing teasers or even an entire upcoming model or concept car a month or even a year before some of the world’s largest auto shows, where traditionally that is where you found out what your next dream car was going to be. Now it seems, perhaps with the internet or the amount of cameras we all have on our persons at any given time car companies can’t seem to catch a break on keeping things a secret so they simply let us know what they are up to, then when the grand unveiling happens the rest of the people that are not glued to their computers soaking up the stuff, then they find out and say “oooooo aaahhhhh”.
For people like me though that watch the Super Bowl for other reasons than watching a bunch of guys tackle each other, then stand around and talk, then clap their hands and try at getting the ball past the imaginary line so they can continue on their quest for a goal. The car commercials are where it’s at, that is the value of entertainment I take from the game, and now even the car companies are trying to take that from me. I’ll be honest with you I have fought myself on clicking each and every one of the links I have run across trying desperately to tell the little boy in me not to spoil his meal with the sweet temptation of having my dessert first! Oh how I love the whit of the car companies trying to steel my heart with their shining metal objects of lust.
I have prevailed and I have won my battle and I WILL be surprised this upcoming Super Bowl whatever number it is.
So while eating your wings, drinking your beers and arm chair quarterbacking enjoy the cleverness of the car advertising, because from what I have read there are going to be some fantastic ads this year.
And go Giants, I think.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Car debt happens..

Doesn’t’ have to really, but it does. We buy what we can monthly afford but not what we can actually afford generally. Buying a car or a house is generally more than what you have in your back pocket so I understand that debt to a point. But all of us out there in our gargantuan payment mobiles.. why, oh why do we do it?

Regardless debt and its meaning has been dancing a dance in my head as of late. My wife and I are oh so close to paying off our little Audi. The Explorer we paid cash for, the Courier, duh paid for. But debt in and of itself is so, so hard to take (probably why we only have a car and house payment).. Its literally like going up to the counter with a $4 product and when the cashier says, “that’ll be four bucks” you say “ How bout I give ya $6.50, is that ok?” Its nonsense.

My ramblings bring me to our next car purchase. Since we have a baby on the way we are planning a car purchase two years from now.. that will put the Audi close to my main car mile limit of 150k miles, meaning time again for another timing belt, tires, brakes etc.. So it will become the second car and we will replace it with a newer fresher used family hauler. Most likely, another A4 (Wife is an Audi girl, I want a Merc darn it!). But when it comes time for purchase we are going cold hard cash. Non of the me calling the bank and saying give me money and them saying, we love you. Nope we are cash only from now on. Which may mean we don’t’ get a new A4 but we can get a gently used A4 for the amount of cash we are projected to have saved up in one of the accounts by then.. and if it isn’t A4 amount of money, then its Mazda or Ford money.. we are basically getting what we can afford when the time comes. Odd concept I know.

You don’t’ have to sacrifice to have what you want. And honestly sacrificing a check for a car is better than the monthly sacrifice of hundreds of bucks for…. A car. I admire the people that have it all, but look as normal as the rest of us. Some of the wealthiest people I know drive regular ole cars to their 13000 sq ft homes. I am getting the picture, now that I am on the brink of full blown father hood, that it is actually about making sure my little daughter can go to the right schools, travel and live life comfortably and not wish she could go on a mission trip, a camp out, or to a certain school just because daddy had to have the newest, fastest prettiest car.. Good thing for her is I have had them, I have jumped out of planes and done it all in high gear.. Now its her turn to steal my heart.

Come soon little Anabella, daddy is waiting to spoil you.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gas Crisis of 2011 SOLVED!!!

Solving the world’s problems is a pastime of mine. I love sitting about and thinking to myself, or with others aloud, about how to solve the problems that creep into our lives. Somebody may say, “Jmy, what do you think about x,y,z?” My response, “Fire them all;” easy enough. It’s how it goes, you have questions, and ALL of us little humans have answers. I suspect all of us giving our answers has gotten us to the predicament we find ourselves in today. Too much government, odd lunatic groups, and the occasional war spurred on by some religion that feels another religion is not up to par…a level of par set forth by someone with a more grandiose idea of religion than the other poor lost soul.

Which brings me to America.

Here we are, much like last year,the year before and the year before that, worried how we are going to afford to eat, because we are worried our vehicle will cost more to feed than our families. It has happened all over the planet; we just happened to be behind on this particular front. My wife and I travel a great deal, and I automatically change my way of calculating fuel prices as soon as we get in the car to go on our travels. If I sit around and think.. a liter is X amount into a gallon into a dollar…I will go crazy. I love the metric system: if we need to travel 100 kilometers and I drive 80 kilometers per hour I will get there in 1.2 hours. Fabulous math. When it comes to fueling the cars though, I don’t want to do the math. In Europe it’s the arm-and-a-leg system…if you drive 100 km you better have a car that can go 60 km on a liter or you’re going to be paying an arm-and-a- leg for fuel. Not even a question when we go to Europe of how much money we take for fuel, it’s a question of finding the car that gets the best fuel economy.

Which brings me back to America. You’ll soon see many Americans trading in their large gas guzzling SUV’s for some tiny car that makes them feel less human, so they can continue driving to work, to the store, and to church. Then in a year, gas will go back down to closer to three dollars to the gallon, car lots will be loaded with unsold SUV’s with fantastic savings, and people will want to go buy a new “MUD SLINGER 2000!!! MEGA blah, blah.” Then they’ll get to the lot and the sales person will say, “You owe too much on your dinky Miser 1000,” and the person’s face will be sad, and they’ll be envious of the person that is still driving the SUV of their dreams, despite gas prices. It’s a horrible little circle drive.

I have solved your problem though, if you happen to be driving the Mud Slinger 2000 MEGA blah:

simple solution… fill up more often!! Same price at the pump, just more often!

Happy motoring America. It’s going to be one expensive, bumpy ride!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cars aren't scary...: Fuel Consumption may vary.. Batteries not included...

Cars aren't scary...: Fuel Consumption may vary.. Batteries not included...: "I remember the days when I saved money by not buying Nike shoes to work in, or Dr.Martins more than once a year. Those were younger days, th..."

Fuel Consumption may vary.. Batteries not included.

I remember the days when I saved money by not buying Nike shoes to work in, or Dr.Martins more than once a year. Those were younger days, that was before I pondered kids and mortgages and such. Back then fuel was a buck something a gallon and if I felt like going on a 4 hour drive to take pictures of whatever I ran into, I didn’t ponder the cost of fuel as much as I pondered the amount of extra cash to take incase I ended up needing a room for the night.

Fuel Prices a Rising..
Its pretty obvious to most people that fuel prices are always going to be what we American’s consider high. But in March or so it looks like, according to the experts, its going from high to “dear lord lets panic I can’t go anywhere” type of prices. These types of ups and downs in our comfortable little western world keep us all scared to do things and all scared to spend our money….. because we may just need to go to Meemaws….. When I was a youngster my parents would drive two hours to spend the weekend at my grandparents so we could eat. We were poor, and it was cheaper to drive to eat than to buy and eat. Now its getting cheaper to eat than to go and eat. I can’t go to my grandparents without spending over 100 bucks these days, and I live just as far now as I did then from them. Take into account fuel, eating, and fuel home it’s a good chunk of change.. So we all feel the effects and without going into economics you know this too. “If I drive to work and back and no where else this week, I can go to the movies with friends this weekend.” You may say.
And now the automotive world ,whom for a large part has pretty much left us the consumers, abandoned on the side of the road; as far as fuel economy goes. We are left with these huge gas guzzling vehicles to hope we can afford to feed when prices do hit the $4.00 to five dollar a gallon mark. I myself have a good spread, a 30mpg car, a 15mpg SUV, and a 30 mpg pick up. And two of them are paid for, so I won’t feel the hit as much.. But what about the families that have a Suburban Mud Slinger extreme power power power, what about that family whom fell for the “you deserve this, you’ve earned it” 11 mpg vehicle advertisement? They are stuck of course, because nobody will want it, their payment is more than the thing is worth and to top it off, not many people can afford to go see grandmother in it… so nobody is going to buy it off the lot once its there.
And to top it off, with gas prices mysteriously going up, the Government, yes the ones you or I voted for, told the auto world, “hey we mandate you raise the across the board fuel economy of your fleet by blah blah percentages by 20XX” So the automotive world in kind responded with ELECTRIC cars.. and to top the top of the top off, told us that they are making NEW technology for GREEN living. Something people often forget is the very first land speed record, the very first one, was set by an electric car, drum roll please……………………………………… in 1889. Don’t give me this new tech crap auto world dream weavers. Do watch the soon coming of adverts that will tell you how you’re saving the world by buying one of their electric/hybrid/plug in/hybrid cars. You wont’.. the world can’t be saved by your car, sorry. Do I feel efficient living is a good way to go, of course. Because even in my SUV I do everything I can for efficiency sake (drives my wife a bit nuts I think) if for anything for longevity sake. Oh yeah this is to you automakers, if we all wanted your electric cars, the government shouldn’t’ have to give me a tax credit to buy it. If we wanted it we would be standing at your door step asking for it, constantly.
Truth is this is America, we still like to go see meemaw, we still like to take road trips because we want to… and the new sales pitch to sell these electric/plug in cars is “most Americans drive less than 40 miles a day”.
So that is what they are soon going to tell you your life is like. We all know that an electric car would most likely get us to work, but we would have to stop and plug in on the way home if we decided to go see meemaw too.. so they want you to continue buying the SUV so you can “go places”.. its more of a second car option, they’ll say. And the Chevrolet Volt, well it’ll go 40 miles on a charge and go 300miles on a tank of gasoline. It gets 35mpg people… 40 miles on battery and 35mpg on gasoline, this car will not save the world.. its all over the test results anywhere you look.
My small point of this rambling is.. These car people are giving us this “new” battery operated stuff to cover their utter lack of caring about the environment or we the people for a VERY long time. Now that they are being held accountable they have to bring their average fuel economy numbers up greatly, and a car that uses NO GASOLINE will do so. And they will continue selling massive everything else, because they make loads of change off of them. Don’t let them tell you how you live your life, keep enjoying the roads and continue to go see meemaw.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Better mileage better vehicle cheaper price?

Seems Hyundai or somebody out there in the known world has lit a fire under the proverbial American auto manufacturing booty. I just put a call in to a fellow budding auto enthusiast and it was reported to me that consumer reports on all levels rated an American made American engineered vehicle above.. Yes above that of two of it's German rivals. I own a German car and cannot believe this. Maybe it's because I also own American cars and drive one everyday.. But the ever moving snooty side of me cannot fathom a German vehicle falling prey to an American vehicle even a little. But boil it down and there it is like a good shooter next to a bad shooter.. Red. Circles for the good and black for the bad. Insane in my mind.. Or maybe I should get out of the tunnel vision my extremely well crafted German vehicle has put me in? Maybe I should drive all of these vehicles on my up coming time off?!? Hmmmm maybe Hyundai with their good vehicle fair price we trust our work massive warranty ways have lit the fire under the very people that needed it and left the German guys all confused? Or do us German loving people not notice until it's too late?
WHat do you think?! Should I?
On a side note I didn't get to test drive anything due to time constraints.. still there is a "stay tuned folks" clause to all of this.
Love what you drive, drive what you love.

Friday, September 17, 2010

X number of miles per one gallon of fuel???

I had a thought a few years back about what it actually means to go X number of miles per one gallon of fuel. Sure we all want to go a great distance on one (US) gallon of fuel due to a number of factors.
Lets see, environment, cost, that smaller "carbon footprint" stuff we keep reading about. While some of us are on the fence, over the fence, or standing at the fence with a gun, when it comes to what impact the environment is taking via fossil fuel consumption, this argument (blog) is simply a distance traveled argument. Nothing more. No opinions on if we are killing ourselves via automobile travel will be spewed into your eyeballs here (its a hoax)... promise.
Now, the topic at hand. I like to travel this far >............< on one gallon of fuel is quite an idea in and of itself. Somebody somewhere had to say it first: "Well gooollleee, we went us 12 of them miles on that one there gallon of gas MeeMaw." That's my version of the conversation anyway. But now days we get all bent out of shape when our vehicle fails to travel 25,30,35 miles per one gallon of fuel (MPG). The idea is ingrained in us, due to environmental sillies, and the numbers glaring at us on the window sticker of our future new car, (put there by the government...shhh) that we should be able to travel some sort of distance using only one gallon of fuel. Results may vary. But you have a good ballpark figure there on the window to go by at least.
It has been my experience all but one time, meaning only with one vehicle out of many, that I can easily achieve a better number than what the government group says - and usually the numbers are well within the "results may vary" numbers. How they come up with the BIG number glaring at you from the page I dunno.. side note.. Ever wonder why that number is bigger and more "important" than the, actual price number?? Odd.
So a few years a go I was thinking - if I get a gallon jug, fill it full of water, take the lid off and take off walking while trying to be as efficient as possible pouring out the water onto the road I bet I would make it what a quarter, maybe half a mile? Seriously. I don't think I would make it anywhere close to 25 miles!! And that's just me by myself with my own little pouring routine trying to be as efficient as possible walking. WALKING down the road. And we gripe that a fully loaded, climate controlled, soft seated, safety cage traveling at lord knows what speed with 4 of our friends only gets us 25 miles with the same measured gallon of fuel?? Environmental nerds aside that's friggn COOL!!