My Toyota has been like a good friend to me. And why not? Toyota has an excellent reputation, and my little pick-up was really a pretty decent rig. Then it started having trouble. And the trouble was getting more and more expensive by the day. The end result?
I was told it was time to get a new truck.
My father and I are a lot alike in many ways. One area where I hope to get more like him is in the area of car buying. The man is a champion. Now looking at him, you might not know it, but to him buying a car is as serious a sport as the Super Bowl is to others. Yes, this innocent looking father of two and grandfather of many is really pretty shrewd. Don't let the casual smile and homey atmosphere fool you. When he steps onto a car lot he puts on his game face. I won't get into details (I could tell stories and stories about car salesmen who were left shaking in the loafers), but I will say this: When Dad walks into a car dealership and says "I want this car and the X-Files starts at 8," he intends to be home for the start of his show and he would happily walk out of sale if meant missing the show.
Now, I don't even pretend to possess this car buying proess, but its something I think I am getting better at. The one thing I am good at is doing a little homework and finding the product I am looking for. I had a very set list of preferences for this purchase.
I wanted an extended ca, at the least. I wanted a 4x4, as this comes in very hand here on the north coast. I wanted a navigation system (more on this fiasco later). It came down to the Toyota Tacoma and the Dodge Dakota. So a test drive was in order. Both ride well, both have the features I want. Now it was time to sell it to the wife and get her input. Part of this involved reading reviews.
Reviews can be tricky. I've come to the conclusion that reviews can be very biased, when the actual intent is to provide an unbiased view of a product. Case in point, my cell phone. Its over all rating is reduced because the video playback on it can be somewhat pixelated and hard to hear. This feature, though, is about as important to me and the ingredient list of a twinkie. So it takes some work to pick out whats important and what isn't. So I did my homework, found the things I like and don't like, pitched my sale to the wife, and off we went to Redding to purchase a new vehicle.
Sometimes, a plan just comes together. Sadly, this picture was taken in the best buy parking lot. This is a whole separate story with a not so happy ending that I will tell later. But for now, I have a few chores to do before it gets too late in the day.