Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Narrowly averted BIG DEBT

I have some nice stuff - especially since I like to see big numbers in my bank account and not on my credit card bill but lately, I had a bug about buying stuff. Maybe I felt the need to reward myself for something so far undiscovered or I was just bored. Two things came up for consideration and the weirdest thing is that I like what I have even though I was on the front edge when I purchased (sort of like picking Beta instead of a VHS player)

The first up on the block for upgrading was Luigi (my Omnia 2). When I last upgraded, there were apps for Audible, ereader, Slingbox, etc that were only available for WM so it made sense to get a WM phone. And I really like Luigi. Huge screen, fast, lots of memory, camera flash; what could happen to change my mind? Well MS announced that nothing on WM7 would work on WM 6.5 and below.

Luigi's new clothes - much cheaper than new phone
 Most developers instantly stopped producing updated software. Yes old apps still work for WM and I can use web pages but stand alone apps are popular for a reason. I really noticed when I started using Google Reader. I never got into RSS feeds but I really like how Google Reader lets me flip through blogs of interest. Using the webpage really sucks on Luigi. I thought maybe I should get a new Samsung Galaxy S. Hmmm. Crisis averted! I was looking through OpenMarket and found speeed reader Now I have an icon on my main page for both Twitter (MoTweets) and Google Reader. Combined with my other stuff I can't even start to need a new smart phone.

That was the cheap crisis.
Passat is more practical than our other drive

I thought I might like a different car. I have a '06 Passat with 4motion. It's pretty awesome. When I first saw the VW Passat on the street, I loved it. When I decided to trade in my GTI I took the opportunity to check out a mildly used one. It's green with beige leather. It has lights that turn when you go round corners; a lane change mode on the turn signal (1 touch, 3 flashes), sat nav and those 30 cool things they added to the Passat. I checked the specs and yesss they upgraded the engine to actually have performance. I drove into the city with one car and came home with another.

But I had seen the BMW Gran Turismo in New Scientist and really liked the styling (other than the pedestrian friendly front end). I've seen another sweet BMW, the X6. Then Honda came out with the Crosstour. Not really hot on the front end but we have a dealership in town advertising 0.9% financing and I'm liking Norden a lot less than I did when I had my GTI. So I test drove the Honda. Nice drive but not nicer than my car. I feel like I'm giving up a lot of luxe features for a newer vehicle. Then I checked the balance of my car loan. Another crisis averted! I washed and cleaned my Passat and it's like new. In a couple years I may trade it for an Acura ZDX if I could ever get used to *that* front end. If VW has something similar I could also head look at it too at a different dealership.

I'm glad my cheap side came through again. Truly none of the cars I could afford evoke as much emotion as my Passat did. While I would like the X6, I had to get my Passat flat-bedded to the city because of a steering column lock failure (yay warranty; yay failing in the garage). The truck driver said he hauls lots of BMWs in. Beemers - still finicky after all these years.