Although not announced as of 8/15/2012 Deb has acquired a new job. The name of the company is Sonoma Risk. She doesn’t want a Jinx it so Shhhhhhh. She is starting week 3 now.
The reason for that announcement is the another’¦(voice of Don Pardo) A NEW CAR.
It’s a 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid’¦But why’¦have I become a tree hugger’¦a hippie’¦taking a stand against the evil oil companies?…No F’™in way. The Journey mileage was fine when only dealing with highway miles to Irvine but is just killing us now that Deb has to drive into and out of the belly of the beast (Westside) each day. Not only that ,her final nerve is pretty much gone by the time she travels 22 miles in 2 hours on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. So for the sanctity of the family a solution had to be drawn up.
Number 1 priority: Able to drive in the carpool lane as a single driver.
Number 2 priority: cut the travel costs.
California has changed the requirements for Solo HOV usage in 2012. The biggest hit was all the hybrids no longer qualify’¦except two: Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in. All CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) cars were eligible’¦but refueling stations are far between or part of truck/bus fleet setups (Deb filling up at a Western Waste facility just wasn’t going to work). $2.50 is nice, but just won’t solve the many issues against it. 100% Electrics (Leaf..etc) are eligible but not an option for a multitude reason including electricity costs, Charger installation costs and locations at the HaasHaus, but most of all: chances of her getting stranded. The Chevy Volt was considered, then was stricken from the list after talking to a few fellow car guys (including my trusted leasing agent) about their tinder box qualities. Not to mention their current tax payer (me) owned corporate status.
So that left one’¦and here she is:
I call her “The Shard” as in shard of glass….Deb doesnt like that name…but will let you all know if she comes up with a new one. My assessment is as expected,really…I don’t fit. Center dash hits me right under my kneecap. Headroom is fine in drivers seat only. Re-gen braking sounds like an ambulance at the next intersection. The Nav system costs $9 bucks a month to run correctly. Voice Destination by address didn’t work in 60 tries (Save your favorites if you want to live).
We choose to lease for a lot of reasons (above ones are just the tip of the iceberg for my side). But the primary one is the HOV sticker expires in 2015 and if we owned it we would be stuck with a car that fails ‘Priority One’ in three years. But…Deb loves…and that’s all that counts. I take over the 2009 Journey and my trusty 180K mileage Dodge Caravan Sport goes up on selling block.
-Strange side note…upon looking up Kelly blue book on the van it lost large chunks of value for both High Mileage AND being Blue…weird