This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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@abulsme Updates from 2011-12-12 (UTC)

  • Reading – The Right and Wrong Way to Die When You Fall Into Lava (Erik Klemetti, Wired) http://t.co/TB1QTjWx #
  • Reading – Mapping Out The Primary Calendar: Why Mitt Romney Is In Trouble (Eric Kleefeld, TPM) http://t.co/CjriEvmE #
  • Reading – Newt Gingrich Is Not Ronald Reagan (Oliver Willis) http://t.co/kVFVHddv #
  • Reading – Canon EOS 1000D washes ashore in BC… reveals it was lost at sea for over a year (Joe Pollicino, Engadget) http://t.co/9hDWcuY1 #
  • Reading – Live-Blogging The ABC News Debate (Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast) http://t.co/kvpmG5Zj #

So I Ordered a Car


So, a few hours ago I bit the bullet and ordered the car that will replace my 1996 Saturn SL2 that died in September.

Those of you who listened to the November 13th Curmudgeon’s Corner know this, but my criteria were basically:

  • 4 door hatchback. Didn’t want a two door anything, nor a four door sedan (let alone SUVs, trucks, vans, etc.) I had my heart set on a hatchback from almost the beginning.
  • Smallish since I don’t like big vehicles. But still big enough so that it COULD hold the whole family of four without them all complaining about being cramped.
  • Stock stereo must have an AUX jack (or better) integration with my phone, since that is all I use for audio
  • Blue, since I have driven a green car since 1995
  • Must generally at least feel like a small step up from my old Saturn
  • I wanted a 2012 model new car. Not used, or even a 2011 model. Intention is to buy new, then keep it until it can’t move any more, which preferably will be on the order of 15+ years.
  • Under $20k if possible, definitely under $25k. (Raw price, not necessarily counting taxes and all that stuff.)
  • All Wheel Drive preferred, but not an absolute requirement. (Once upon a time, I used to go on driving adventures which were really a bit much for the Saturn, and AWD would have been helpful, but to be honest I haven’t done that stuff in almost a decade.)

Those of you who listened to the show know that Ivan’s top five he thought I should look at were the Honda Fit, Ford Focus and Fiesta, VW Golf and the Hyundai Alantra and that I should avoid Subaru, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Mazda.

Well… I obviously didn’t quite take his advice (although I did consider it).

I ended up looking at the VW Golf, Honda Fit, Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Subaru Impreza. I was not impressed by any of them except the Impreza. The Honda Fit was probably second in my ranking of those that I looked at. But I liked the Impreza a lot more. Now, admittedly, I’d been eyeing the Impreza for probably the last year. (Before that I’d been thinking Subaru Outback, and before that I’d been thinking Mini Cooper, and before that who knows… that takes me back 5 or 6 years in my “what if my Saturn dies now” thought process.)

Anyway, after checking out all of them, and reading tons of stuff online about a bunch of them, I liked the 2012 Impreza a lot. It met all of my criteria. And I liked the looks of it. And a quick test drive on Sunday didn’t dissuade me.

I could have gotten a 2012 Impreza under my 20k goal, but of course I didn’t. I had to pick the model with all the bells and whistles and stuff, which ended up putting the MSRP just barely under my 25k limit. Brandy says this means I may have to give up my thoughts of an iPad 3 for Father’s Day, and give up various other things to not screw us budget wise. Sigh. Oh well. We’ll see how that works out.

They don’t have lots of these in stock yet, so I did a factory order. 6-8 weeks for delivery. So end of January or beginning of February. Unless by chance one with the exact same specs, colors and options as I ordered becomes available sooner.

Next up, a used car for Amy which is big enough to hold her double bass but is still relatively cheap and probably still has five or six years left in it before it dies. (I never thought I’d be the kind of parent who would get their kid a car within months of them turning 16, but oh my goodness it will make our daily logistics so much easier if all three of us can get to the places we need to get to independently without having to constantly coordinate schedules and commutes…) Amy will probably have her car within the next week or so, long before I get mine. But I get to drive it until she actually goes in to the DMV and passes her driving test to get her actual driver’s license instead of a permit.

Now I wait for my new car.