We do our part

We spent the weekend trying to keep the economy going, though we don’t have very much tangible to show for it yet.

Diane’s car is beginning to show some early signs of age (10 years, 120,000 miles), so we thought it would be a good time to start looking at replacing it before running into serious maintenance expenses. I was looking forward to trying out some nice new cars like the redesigned Camry and the Prius (we’ve always owned at least one Toyota and have been very happy with them) and the Volvo S60.

We decided to start at the Toyota dealer — it took a few minutes to find a salesman (somewhat to my surprise). But eventually, we connected, and we asked if we could drive a Prius. He said they didn’t have any to test, but we could rent one — we started to leave, and he suddenly said, “let me check around” and a minute later, came back with a car. He handed us the keys and off we went (without asking for ID or going with us) for a test drive; when we returned a few minutes later, we couldn’t find him to give back the keys. So we had him paged, sat down, and ordered a Prius — delivery should be in 4-1/2 months or so. The whole process took less than an hour, start to finish — it would have been faster if the salesman hadn’t been so hard to locate.

So much for enjoying test drives. *sigh*

My computer is also showing its age (4 years old tomorrow, with a noisy fan in the power supply), so I decided it was time to get a new one. I’d done some configuration and pricing work already, and it looked like I could find what I wanted at a reasonable price at Pixel USA, a store recommended by the Moose. I took a friend with me to give me moral support and a sanity check, and less than 90 minutes later, had ordered a shiny new computer. I decided to let them build it since they have more time than I do, and it should be ready Wednesday or Thursday. My goal for the machine is editing video and making DVDs and Video CDs — I have hours of camcorder tape of Jeffrey, and I’m sure there’s a good 15 minutes of interesting video hiding in it. I also want to convert some of the VHS tapes we’ve dubbed from TV to something more permanent and convenient. But even though I want to make DVDs, I decided against buying a DVD writer quite yet — I’m very confused about the differences between the various formats. I left one IDE port free in the machine, so I should be able to add a DVD writer easily enough.

We also ate out several times, but nowhere particularly interesting.

Diane, I’m glad Philip came through OK!