Monday, January 30, 2006

Where the Rubber Hits the Road

I don't apologize for driving an SUV for a number of reasons, primarily 1) it's not a particularly big one [2001 XTerra], 2) I have a reason for it [huge tandem kayak and gear for two takes up a LOT of space] and most of all 3) I don't drive it very much [still less than 50K miles after 4.5 years]. If I didn't telecommute, I don't think I would have bought it. That being said, it's been relatively inexpensive to operate, until now - the dreaded first tire purchase. I knew they'd be expensive, but I wasn't quite prepared for just HOW expensive. I walked into Chapel Hill Tire Saturday morning (just checking, mind you) and was hit with an estimate of $650 right off the bat. Of course they could get me something cheaper, maybe some Dunlops for $550, but clearly I'd be a cheap-ass wienie if I didn't opt for the 70,000 mile Goodyear Forteras.

So I called Dad since I knew he'd just bought some tires for his Chevy Blazer that he was really happy with and I was pretty sure he hadn't dropped that kind of jack on them and sure enough he hadn't. But he couldn't remember what kind of tires they were or how big or how much he'd paid. Uh, that didn't help a lot, Daddio! But then he told me that he researched whatever the hell kind of tire he bought on The Tire Rack and in fact that did help a hell of a lot! I learned a lot (for one thing, the tire the guys at Chapel Hill Tire tried to sell me was in fact the best-reviewed tire in the category I'm looking for, so good on them) and I also found what seems to me to be a good compromise of price and positive reviews - the Firestone Destination LEs that the local Firestone dealer was able to tell me he could hook me up with for less than $500. Still damned expensive but much more in line with what I was expecting.

So thanks, Dad! And the rest of you bookmark that website - you're going to need it someday.


At 12:39 PM, Blogger jw said...

#1. Quit making excuses. It's an SUV. It's people like you who are responsible for the destruction of the planet.

#2. It is big enough to house a small family and uses enough fuel to light a small third world country.

#3. If you HAVE to have one, Jeez, at least get one that isn't an ugly color. I mean, does it say, "Hey, pay attention to ME!" or what?

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

1) No, but it's big enough to be responsible for the destruction of your PUNY LITTLE VEHICLE if it gets in my way. I don't call it "The Crusher" for nothing. (Actually I don't call it "The Crusher" at all, but I could!)

2) It is in fact big enough to house a small family of hobbits, perhaps. However, it only uses enough fuel to light a small third world country if I drive it, which as you undoubtedly read above, I do not, much. Ever seen a 19-foot tandem kayak balanced on top of a Prius? Both silly and dangerous. Oh, and on the rare occasions that I do drive it, I can crush your PUNY LITTLE VEHICLE when it inevitably gets in my way.

3) The color ("Get The Fuck Out Of My Way Yellow" in my case) is so that you can't say you didn't see me coming when you pull your PUNY LITTLE VEHICLE out in front of me and get crushed! Crushed I say! Because we read your blog - we know how you drive...

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Cindy Lee said...

I just got finished listening to the president and I needed a good laugh thanks to both of you guys. Tony enjoy your SUV while you can and look at this way when solar panels get super efficient thanks to the presidents ground breaking realization that the US needs alternative energy sources and his proposal to fund research and tax cuts, (I know I question that one too) you will have a vehicle big enough to put those solar panels on and then you will have an energy efficient vehicle.

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

Oh you poor thing - you actually listened to the SOTU? You're much braver than I am. I'll wander through the transcripts tomorrow but for tonight I pretended that it wasn't happening.

I like the solar panel idea! As for the preznit's initiatives, I can only think that somehow Exxon has managed to find way to make money off of alternative energy. Of course, didn't he mention coal as an alternative energy source last year?


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