Tag Archives: Transportation

Weekend Coffee Share – New Car Smell Edition


If we were having coffee, I’d lament the fact that we were having coffee in my new car. I’m totally going to spill.

For many, I suppose a new car would be a cause for joy. I’m sure we’ll get there, too. But for most, I’m sure that they spent time looking, thinking, saving money, planning, and mentally preparing.

We did all that in under 24 hours this week.

We took my car into the shop for its 90,000 mile service this week. Apparently a good thing, because they found oh so much wrong with it. With the different service amounts added up, and the question to me to proceed… I said let me call you back.

The first consult was over to Kelley Blue Book, where I found that their higher end estimates on what I could get for my car were really close to the number I was just given over the phone. Certainly within $100.

So Holly and I talked. We talked to family. We called a friend who works at the dealership for advice (it’s a small town).

Because putting the value of the car into it for service just felt like a bad idea. But putting off service, when driving around the Geek Baby, seemed like a worse idea. Going without a car when one of us is taking care of the Geek Baby and one of us is at work just didn’t seem like a good long term plan. If we lived somewhere with really good public transportation then considering going without a car wouldn’t be such a burden.

We knew we couldn’t afford a down payment (yay unpaid parental leave… grumble grumble John Oliver grumble) but family was supportive there. We had made a plan, a budget, for this year, so that we could take leave. And unexpected costs keep showing up – and this one takes the cake (hopefully…)

We weren’t sure if we could make loan payments then either – we’re still paying on a car loan for Holly’s car, which we saved and planned to buy for maybe a year or more. The same sort of planning we wanted to do to buy me a newer car, say in a couple years… We also each have sizable student loans, to go with our shiny Masters degrees. Oh, and did I mention the Geek Baby?

So lately we had been thinking of options. Toying with the alternatives for when we’re both back at work. For child care for the Geek Baby. Could we each figure out a week day off, to get more time with her? Reduce our work weeks? Work weekends? One of us stay home completely? Could we?…

All of a sudden we needed to solidify our plans. We were running our finances. Making budgets. Making decisions. All in one night. We decided a number that, with both of us working full time, we could probably afford.

So the next day, with me at work, Holly went in and picked a car and told them the payments we could afford. The math went backwards from there to figure out a down payment to get the payment amount. Oh, and the trade-in on my old car? $1. Yep. It needs a lot of work…

And so, in under 24 hours, I got a new car – sight unseen.

These sorts of decisions are suddenly very different with a baby at home. There are risks I might have been willing to take without her. And even more so, all the costs this year – combined with all the lost income – made this just the worst time for this to happen. It also made us solidify our future plans.

Sorry. The weird thing is that it’s odd to be so thrown off about getting something nice, something new. But neither of us have had a new car before. I didn’t even have a car until I was 23 years old. This is all very new to us, and it’s also kind of this final feeling – I’m an adult. With all the loans and costs and budgeting that goes with it.

Perhaps I’m just lamenting first world problems… I certainly know that I am very lucky to have a really supportive family. But I think much more for us what it meant was a paradigm shift, or paradigm solidification. What we’d had before was a future full of possibilities and options, and we had thoughts as to what that was going to look like. And all of a sudden, it feels like most of the options are off the table.

But anyway, that’s our week. How’re you?

What the heck is this post? It’s a weekend coffee share post! This is a weekly meetup hosted by Diana, over at Part Time Monster. We’re trying this out over here at Comparative Geeks – tell us what you think!


Using Electronics on a Plane – A Review

So, Holly and I just got back from traveling, which often ends up as something on our mind afterwards. And this time, there was an important difference. We’ve traveled with our iPads filled with Board Game apps before, these sorts of things, and modern technology does great things for travel.

And it’s here that we ran into something very new in our travels – we could use our electronics during takeoff and landing! Which was kind of nice for our first few flights, which did not stop me from bringing a physical book and reading it… but which, today, during eight hours up and down on a plane, was amazing.

So we had a few thoughts and observations from getting to experience this, and I thought I would share them with you. Because while it seems like it is a small change, it has larger implications and we’ll have to see where this goes!

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Science Fiction Today – Transportation, Take 3

With our Science Fiction Today posts, we like to explore the ideas from Science Fiction and how they might come about in the world today, or in our near future. Because really, it’s more fun to think about today’s problems in terms of what they can become, rather than what they are now.

One of the topics we’ve talked about most with Science Fiction Today, meanwhile, is transportation. Maybe it’s because modern transportation is a drag – and maybe it’s because with the Internet, the world is getting smaller and we want to be able to travel like it is!

We’ve talked about transportation first in the face of the sequester, when they were worried about travel delays, and then when Holly was considering it after flying and having to wait. There are some advantages to flying – you can get stuff done, like reading, work, handheld games. Electronics have made this form of travel very versatile. Well, except for the take-off and landing…

I saw something this week that made me think about transportation a little bit differently, and I thought I would share it, continuing our ongoing consideration of science-fictional forms of transport – Today! Continue reading

Updated Method of Transportation

So, I went on a short trip this weekend and had to fly, due to where I am and where I was going. I do not entirely mind flying, it does not scare me, but, in general the whole experience is not the most pleasant. In all the advancements that we have created in technology, the basics of transportation have not changed in a while. We have made things more fuel efficient, bigger, etc, but most of the basics of the transportation is the same.

A car is a car, you get in, you turn a key to start, you press pedals to go and you sit there and turn a wheel to go straight or turn. We can make seats more comfortable, advanced the safety ratings, but the use of the items is still basically the same. Every time I fly all I can think about is the fact that they keep showing all these advanced methods of transportation in movies and books yet I still have to get to an airport two hours before my flight and sit around waiting to board. Then it is sitting around on the flight and then by the end you just feel gross, dirty, and tired. Isn’t there a better way? Continue reading

Science Fiction Today – Federal Budget Cuts and Transportation

So, there are topics that are perhaps a little harder to talk about in nerd and geek circles. We thrive on our shared fandoms, thrive on sharing our favorite shows, movies, and games with each other… Loan each other books, DVDs… Get into multiplayer games – or especially MMOs – to play them together…

However, on Comparative Geeks, we feel strongly about a couple of areas that are outside of these realms, and we will occasionally talk about them as well. So today, I wanted to start us talking a bit about political issues.

Now, in terms of politics, we aim to avoid taking a confrontational approach. Rather than join in the partisan politics of the day – which we feel like is much of the reason that politics is avoided in polite discussion – we would rather look at politics in a science fictional way.

After all, we’re all embroiled today in partisan battles of this should or should not be law; or, we should fund this, not that. Tax this but not that. War here, but not there. If you take a little further view of things, however, and think just a little in terms of science fiction, a lot of today’s problems disappear – or grow much worse.

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