Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Problem solved

Our vehicle saga took another turn yesterday.

Shawna and I bought two 2-door 2012 Honda Civics about a year ago. We traded in our cars which had about 90k miles on both of them, effectively extending the life of our automobiles about 5 more years. In the process we moved from two fairly expensive cars to two economical ones.

It wasn't too long before we realized... the two-door Civics were not big enough for a lot of things. Obviously we expected that to a certain extent. But we actually had to rent a truck just to move a few things from our apartment to our mini-storage unit.

So, in late December we traded the red Civic I had been driving for a 2013 Honda CR-V. I then switched over to driving the black Civic that Shawna had been previously driving because I have a 122 mile-per-day commute.

I immediately noticed that the black Civic had a problem that the red Civic did not. It manifested itself in the form of a rapid vibration in the steering wheel around 70-75 mph on the freeway. Since I mainly drive the freeway on my commute, this became severely annoying.

After a fair amount of trouble shooting at the Honda dealer, they concluded that the vibration was caused by either the poor pavement or was a characteristic of the tires (which are not covered under warranty).

Of course the only way determine if the problem was caused by the tires, would be to shell out $650 for new ones. And if that didn't correct it, there seemed to be a strong likelihood that they would then blame the road... which would essentially be denying that there was a problem at all.

After already throwing over $500 down the toilet at Les Schwab for this problem, we decided to cut our losses and trade the car in. While not necessarily that great of a move financially, it didn't turn out to be that bad.

We ended up with a new 2013 Honda Fit. Nice little car. Certainly a step below the Civic in some areas. But a lot more practical in others. For one, it's a hatchback, where (unlike the Civic)... the fold-down feature of the rear seats actually is a functional advantage. It's also a four-door. And it feels much roomier than the Civic.

Oddly the Fit is not rated as good as the Civic when it comes to gas mileage. But after buying four brand new Hondas this year, we are now committed to keeping the two we have until they crap out.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Call the Whaaaambulance

I tend to be a bit of a whiner. It just seems like sometimes it's way easier to see the negatives vs the positives. Sort of like how the news tends to report way more negatives stories than it does positive ones. Or how typical conversations are often about what's wrong with our government or the economy or how that Chinese restaurant messed up my order yesterday.

As a Christian, I like to consider what pleases God or what bothers him in our behavior. The journey of the Israelites in the desert with Moses was a picture of the Christian life. Out of a million Jews... only two entered into the promised land. Why? If you read through the story, those people experienced many awesome miracles from God, but they were largely ungrateful. They whined a lot. And that did not turn out well for them. They whined about not having food. Then, after God started providing food for them daily, they whined about the lack of variety in their diet. At one time God caused the earth to open up and swallow several thousand of them in one fell swoop. Because they wouldn't stop whining. This is a big deal to God.

If one believes the Bible, one must conclude that things and circumstances in our life occur for a reason. One of God's primary wishes for us is that we grow. This is way more important to him than our "comfort". When we encounter things that we consider unpleasant, it's often an opportunity for personal growth, specifically engineered by God for our benefit. What kind of people would we be if everything always went our way? Spoiled brats perhaps.

Do we really believe that God is in control? Then what exactly are we doing when we whine about our circumstances or problems in our life? We are essentially questioning the fairness of God. It's like saying that we don't approve of His handling of us or the affairs of our life.

In addition, consider how Christ suffered on His way to the cross. More than we can possibly imagine. After all, He was God. And He submitted Himself to the most humiliating suffering and death that was possible. At the hands of His own creation. He did this for us.

And we complain when we have a stomach ache.