Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cheaters sometimes prosper. And on a totally different tangent, Jeannie gets a NEW CAR!

Well...New England won the big game. Or to put it more accurately, Seattle GAVE it to them with that INSANE pass play at the 1/2 yard line with 20 seconds left (and one of the best running backs in the game on their team). I can't freaking believe it.I'm mortified, dismayed, disgusted, baffled, and even a bit miffed if you will.

Yep. The cheaters won. And even though everybody is downplaying deflategate, it IS a big deal. I used to play a lot of football in my younger days, and back in VA in the fall when it's cold out, that football is ROCK HARD trying to catch it (and it hurts too). Just a pound or so less air makes a HUGE difference in cold weather. And as for the game against the Ravens, 11 out of 12 of them low? SOMEBODY on that organization did that on purpose. And I don't for a moment believe that Brady didn't' know about it. And of COURSE he denied it when asked directly. Like he would have said "of course I told him (or whoever) to let some air out". It's like Lance denying his doping. Of COURSE they deny it. They HAVE to. Had Brady said yes, then I think they would have forfeited that game (which I believe the NFL should have done anyway after discovering the lower pressures at half-time).

It can be argued seven ways to Sunday that it didn't matter, that they (NE) won the game by a large margin, etc etc. Doesn't matter. They CHEATED and got caught. And now they're Superbowl Champions. Again. And eventually some lackey will be saddled with the crime, it will be worded to sound like an accident or misunderstanding, and the NFL will hope it dies there (much like the UCI had their head in the sand on doping, hoping it would just go away).

Dang you Seattle...don't know who called that stupid play on the goal line, whether it was Carrol or the Offensive Coordinator...but I can't for the life of me fathom why you don't go with Lynch...they had time for at least 2 tries, likely 3 (I think they still had 2 time outs, or was it just 1?)...and it's not like he can't get 1 to 3 yards 19 out of 20 times. Only needed 1/2 for crying out loud...that game was in the bag, and the Cheaters would have lost. The universe is now tilted on it's axis and needs some magic to right its-self. I'm just so disgusted. Which is sad, as all in all it was a pretty good game, and it came down to the final 30 seconds to decide...which is about all you can ask for in a football game.

OK...I've ranted on that. It's just a game and it's history. On to part II of this post: Jeannies NEW CAR!

Here's the background. Last August or so she finally decided to turn her beloved 91 Dodge Stealth over to the state (into a dismantling shop to be precise) for $1000 due to it's inability to pass CA smog testing without getting a new engine. I thought she should just go for the rebuilt engine (it would have cost about $5 grand total for the removal, stripping of necessary parts to transfer over, and the new engine being put in with the shifting of parts). She then has her car for the next 8 years while we are here in CA until I retire. Then we will likely move to Richmond VA (to be closer to her twin brother) and she will then NEED a car. Here she walks to work most days, and only occasionally needs a car (and we have a friends old Nissan Senta sitting in our garage or out on the street as it's an extra car for but she doesn't want to sell it...and she doesn't mind us driving it). Jeannie had saved all the money to buy her new or used car (she had been looking at Audi A4's among other cars, but you can't get them with the diesel here in the states yet).

And so...over the last 2 months or so she has stepped up her online search for cars. She had stopped looking at Audi's, and was looking at VW Jetta sedans (the TDI diesel) used....2 years old or so. She had enough money to buy new, and that even with the Passat (which I steered her towards). I figure at this point in our life, and the fact that we keep cars a LONG time, that whatever she buys will be in our lives for a good portion of what's make it a GOOD one.

About 2 weeks ago she found of all things a Passat TDI SEL Premium (that's the FULLY loaded version) right here in Santa Maria. It was a 2014 model, but had only been off the lot for 4 months, and had just a hair over 4000 miles on it. We went down and checked it out...immaculate! And it even had extras...the bad weather custom VW floormats (a $250 value), the special made trunk mat, the 18" super alloy wheels...I mean this baby was fantastic! I don't think I've been in a nicer car. It drove like a dream! A true luxury car, w/ a 6 speed automatic.  The engine is only .1 liter bigger than my little 03 Jetta wagon, but they've made a LOT of progress in those 11 years. This thing drives like a sports car! Yet it's SO quiet'd NEVER suspect it's a diesel (until you get 800 miles on a tank  at the rated 42mpg highway).

So after our test drive we chatted w/ the salesman and he did what he could, but they wouldn't come down to what Jeannie was willing to pay. So we walked away. Sometime on the next day I emailed her, as I had been thinking about it. Basicly they were selling it at about 6 to $7000 off of new. And as to why it was sitting used (for 4 months) in a Dodge dealership, here's the story: the man who bought it (had money) needed a nice car that gets good mileage to haul his aging mother back and forth to Arizona. So he bought the car, and less than 4 months later she dies. He no longer needs the car so trades it in on a nice new hugemongous Dodge diesel truck. So there this amazing and almost totally new car sits, selling for much less than it had 4 months earlier. I emailed Jeanine to call him and just make the deal, that she can take any extra over what she was willing to pay out of my mt bike fund (I'm saving to buy a niner mt bike, hopefully this year sometime). I thought it was a great deal on an AMAZING car, and we weren't likely to find another deal like it (very few cars that we find used to buy are anywhere near us).

Well...last Friday she emails me a link to another Passat...same loaded model, and it's down south somewhere (likely 3 to 4 hour drive each way). I asked her about the one here, and she told me it was sold. So about the one she l inked me was selling for about the same price, only it's got over 12,000 miles on it. I tel her why bother...she didn't think the one HERE was a good deal, why pay the same amount for a car hours away with more miles? Then on Sat morning as I'm driving south to go Mt biking I was thinking about it. I was TOTALLY sure we (she) was going to have that car...the one we drove. I could SEE it...(I've had those little 'visions' off and on in my life, where I seem to know things that later come true...happened more than a few times). So when she told me it was sold I was upset and dismayed at my 'gift' it totally missed the mark. (way back when we were driving PG down to Ventura with her HULK leg I had "seen" her in my mind running around just fine w/ 3 legs...and after the surgery where they saved the leg I once agian figured I blew it...and then 4 months later we had to take the leg as the cancer came back...and here she is over a year later, totally fine, alpha in the pack, living large and in charge).

So....I was fuming some that she let THAT car go, and was thinking of telling her to stop sending me links as she doesn't even listen to what I say anyway, and she will do whatever she why ask me in the first place? As I open the garage door after my bike ride, lo and behold there sits a black Passat TDI SEL in the garage! I couldn't for the life of me figure it out....did she go down to the local VW place and drive one home for me to test drive? (I did that to her a few years back w/ a beautiful used Jetta TDI, fully loaded...just beautiful...and she wasn't in the least interested so I drove it back). Then I see her peeking out the door at me, all smiles. I still don't get it...why is this car in our garage and where did it come from?

And she spills the story....yes, on Friday when she told me the car we drove was sold, it HER! She called them back on Friday (she has Friday's off) and talked them down another few hundred and made the deal. She then went down on Saturday to pay them, and drove it home for me to be surprised with. And surprised I was! And overjoyed! You see, I'll most likely drive it more than she least this next 8 years. I'd say it's the nicest car I've ever drove....just wonderful! And now here it is, in OUR garage...Woo-HOOO! We are living LARGE I tell you! A bulldog puppy, and now this amazing car! 

Here's Jeannies new car sitting in OUR garage! And thankfully it FITS! (I was a bit worried about that).

Life is good...that I can attest to. I still peek in the garage every now and then just to peer at this beast...(she says it's a girl...go figure...I'm surrounded by girls, always have been.....outvoted at EVERY turn by a longshot). But that's ok...she got me GOOD on this one! And my talent is still working well....I KNEW we would get that car...I had seen it.

OK...Sunday night...about time to clean up the "cottonfield" and then get ready for bed. (the cottonfield is where the babies are riping stuffing out of their playbox full of stuffed animals...little conttonball tufts of white poly stuff EVREYWHERE in the house).

And I'll leave you with one final shot of Sophie before I leave.

This was the Superbowl Budweiser ad where the puppy was lost and finding it's way home, trapped by wolves, and the Clydesdales come to the rescue. ANYTIME there is a dog on TV she simply goes CRAZY! She's up there barking at the puppy on the TV! (if you've ever seen the movie Riddick, and the strange giant hyena/dog thing he that befriends, Sophie goes ABSOLUTELY NUTS when that's on!)

She's doing real well...mostly just the Angel Sophie...and only sometimes "the Kracken". I bought a spray bottle of "bitter apple" which we will spray on Sydney...Sophie has chewed the tip of her tail pretty good (not much hair left there) and loves to chew on her neck and ears too when we aren't I've sprayed the stuff on Syd's tail/neck and ears...and we'll see if we can break her of that. Until then we can't leave her out during the work-day when we're gone...she torments poor Syd who can't defend herself, and she doesn't deserve that. So if this works we can leave her out now...she's pretty good about using the doggie doors to do her thing outside (every now and then she does her biz in the garage, but I won't go too nuts over'sj ust something we'll work long as it' s NOT in the house!)..., and she hasn't been destroying stuff other than her we are lucky there. So if she will just leave Syd alone then we are home free with the newest member of the pack.

And that's it for another week. Have a great one and stay warm!



  1. Oh...and HAPPY GROUND HOGS DAY! Was it a big surprise to anybody that Phil saw his shadow? I think not.

  2. Congrats to Jeannie (and you, Matt) on the new car. It sounds really lovely, and like a good long term investment. I had been thinking of my car as my "new" car -- I tend to keep them 8-10 years -- but just realized that my "new" car is now 5 going on 6 years old. It is a lowly Nissan Versa; I am sure that there are better cars out there (in its category, can't compare it to a Passat!) but it does the job for me. One of my criteria was to get a hatchback that would hold my bicycle without taking off a wheel -- and it does that, plus 30mpg highway and was quite inexpensive for a 1 year old car. Just read that it ranks poorly safety-wise, but when I was t-boned in my 2008 Versa, the car was totaled -- I had to climb out the passenger side because my side was thoroughly smashed, all the windows were shattered side & front -- but I was not injured except for a slight corneal abrasion from the glass (& a little stunned transiently from the airbags, I think).

    I just got back from 5 days in San Diego -- based myself in Mira Mesa, actually. HAD TO get out of this cold, snowy, grey weather. Thanks to Priceline I was able to get a reasonable last minute flight and hotel. I spent each day outside as much as possible -- because I stayed on eastern time, I was up and out at sunrise every day, walking to Lake Miramar and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Got my climbing legs back a little (some steep hills around there, which we do not have in Columbus!) and just soaked up as much sun as I could! It is out of the fog zone there, and the only drawback is the noise of the jets from Miramar MCAS was sometimes REALLY REALLY loud. Drove over to Cardiff to see my old neighborhood, and found that my house had been torn down (no surprise) and all the fruit trees gone to be replaced with a huge house. Same for my neighbor's house and quite a lot of the neighborhood. It is still a lovely area, but it doesn't have quite the same "little beach town" ambience. I wouldn't mourn the loss of the greenhouses that surrounded my property on 2 sides (the source of all the times my house was burglarized -- 8 times in 2 years) -- they've been replaced with a large park and some more houses. I was sorry to see that the canyon that my lot overlooked has been filled with houses as well. Progress, I guess! But I would never choose a big house over my own avocados. One major criteria of wherever I land in retirement -- assuming that I do move -- have to have room for a garden and some fruit trees!

    The trouble with that break was, now it is even harder to bundle up and go out in the cold! Our dog (really my dtr's dog) begs and begs for walks -- he can never get enough -- but it is too cold for more than a mile or two. Unless I put on a baselayer covered by another layer then a top layer, 2 pairs of socks, wool gloves covered by mittens, a neck gaiter, ear warmer topped with a knit hat -- remind me again WHY DID I MOVE FROM SAN DIEGO!!!!

    SusieB, hope that you are staying warm!

    Sounds like you have settled on VA as your retirement location, Matt.


    1. Hey Rae...glad you were able to get out of the cold, even if only for a little while. Jeannie lived in Cinti for a while, pretty much hated it and I can see why. I am just SO tropical these days...I"m cold HERE usually (which is pretty sad). However the last few days here have been off the charts AWESOME! We hit 80 I think yesterday AND today...with light winds (which is also abby-normal). However soon enough (sometime in mid to late March usually) our WINDS will hit for at least a month, sometimes 2 (I'm talking around 20mph every day). I hear what you're saying though about going back to the cold...after this few days of awesome weather, when it gets chilly again I'll have an even HARDER time getting out on the bike...seems I'm getting more and more "fair weather cyclist" every my criteria for what's acceptable riding weather is narrowed more and more.

      We really like Jeannies new's the nicest car I've personally ever driven..still can't believe it's ours (hers). We figured we've skimped and saved, and she had the cash for this as she's known for years now that her old 91 Dodge wasn't going to slip by CA smog much longer...every time it did was another 2 years to save. She's great that way...and has mostly got me onboard with that style of living. I got my 03 Jetta wagon (diesel) specifically for the mileage AND that I can fit a bike (2 or 3 even if I take off the seatposts and remove the front wheels) inside, as I refuse to carry my bikes on a roof rack.

      Oh...and to say I've settled on VA as a retirement location isn't really true...JEANNIE has...(and only part I refuse to stay there for entire winters). She wants to be near her brother, and when I retire in about 8 years WE will move to Richmond and she will still work 5 more years...while I will skip around in the winter, trying out places for a month or so at a time seeing where we can go in the winter when she does retire (still looking / thinking about's pretty high on the list to try out). Warmer is better, but it's got to be driveable in a reasonable amount of time (we'll always have fur-babies, so doing Hawaii and Virginia is pretty much out of the question...same for anywhere on the west coast sadly). I'd be quite fine w/ San Diego (except for the cost of living I mean).

      Oh well..I've got time to figure this out.

      Stay warm!

  3. Last week I got the weekly email from the Tour of CA organization promoting one of the stops -- Lodi. Couldn't remember if I had ever been through there, thought I would take a look at things there. Near Sacramento, sounds good. Regularly very hot in summer -- not so good. Looked at houses and found reasonable prices and an adorable house for sale in a "nearby area": Stockton. So looked up Stockton: named worst city to live in in the USA more than once! Buh-bye cute little house...


  4. Think I've been thru Lodi once...I vaguely recall being rather underwhelmed. Have been thru Stockton...and yep, it's NOT on my visit list. I'm still thinking maybe Costa Rica, or Belize, or somewhere tropical that gets me away from the insanity. I like tropical...