Honda Removes Alpaca from Fit

I always thought this was a good marketing choice.  I would love to haul an alpaca around in a Honda Fit.

From the 2008 Honda Fit site:

Alpaca in Honda Fit

However, the 2009 Honda Fit site no longer shows the alpaca in the fit.  What happened here?  Animal rights activists?  Too much attention?  Post if you know the answer.

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Top 10 New Car Buying Tips

I’m in no way an expert on this subject, but I recently spent some time at various dealerships talking the talk and attempting to negotiate. My favorite site by far for car research is Edmunds.com and one of my favorite articles about the business is Confessions of a Car Salesmen in which a reporter went behind the scenes to give the inside scoop.

10. Do your research. Try to know what car you want or narrow it down to a car make/model before negotiating on price. The best and easiest time to walk away is right after a test drive before they get you back inside.

9. On the other hand, try not to let them know that you really want a specific car. If they sense this, they will probably not be able to go any lower on the price.

8. Don’t offer a trade. If you must trade, tell them this after the price of the car has been negotiated.

7. Don’t give them the keys to your trade in at first. One dealership decided to hold onto my keys to make it harder to leave.

6. Run invoice and true market value reports from Edmunds.com and other sites. This should be used as a baseline for negotiating. This should also be done for your trade in if applicable.

5. If the model/options you want are rare, do not negotiate on a car that a dealership could potentially find for a deposit (one that is not in their possession on the lot). There’s a chance that they are just trying to get you to agree on a price, go look at other dealerships and eventually come back to them. At this point they will finally admit they couldn’t find the specific car you wanted or the price is no longer valid. It’s a tactic just to get you back in the door.

4. Stay calm. They like to make you sit and wait. It gets your nerves up and causes irrational/quick decisions.

3. The “e-price” on Autotrader.com or dealer specific sites is almost always the price without freight or destination charges. Try to negotiate on the true price of the car. A couple dealers were really reluctant to tell me this and tried to add it on after the first round of negotiating. I do not understand how this is legal as the charges are almost always included in the MSRP on the sticker. It is like they are saying the (insert_some_important_part_here) is not included in the MSRP, we have to add that in at the end.

2. Never be afraid to walk away. It is easier to think logically later on.

1. Negotiate on the total price of the car, not how much payments will be! It’s harder to comprehend the total price than an easy per month payment. It is good to have calculated a few numbers and know how much the car is going to cost with interest, tax, title, etc. That is why I created this Multiple Car Cost Calculation Spreadsheet.

On another note, I do have to give CarMax some credit as they have developed a unique “low pressure” model for car shopping. No price negotiating allowed and very little pressure to actually buy a car. Every salesmen was nice and allowed me to test drive car after car. They even let me drive a Shelby Mustang GT 500 Convertible for an experience of a lifetime! The dealership is still not a 100% “no pressure” model as they follow you around the car lot as you’re looking.  They will also attempt to sell you more expensive cars or a new car if they have a dealers license for those at the specific location. Not being able to negotiate might leave you feeling like a better deal could be had elsewhere. The rules above do not really apply to this dealership.

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I would prefer to ride the train…

In response to the article on newsweek.com, which can be found at http://www.newsweek.com/id/147648

I would prefer to ride a train to travel short distances if it was faster than driving and financially beneficial. I agree with the article and am glad that train ridership is on the rise, but for me to make the switch from driving a car it needs to be more reasonably priced. Let’s take an example using a popular travel destination for my area.

A train trip from Baltimore, Maryland to Atlantic City, New Jersey would cost me $305 for 2 people round trip. The times specified are fine and I would only have to change trains one time each way. The travel times for this trip are about 3 hours each way for either riding a train or driving a car. The problem is it will not cost me anywhere near $305 to drive. It’s about 300 miles round trip, and at the government mileage rate of 58.5 cents a mile (which I feel is high for a car that gets good MPG) would come out to $175.50. This rate accounts for mileage, fuel, depreciation on the car, etc. If I’d want to look at my immediate out of pocket expenses then it would be even less to drive! Think 306miles/30MPG = 10.2 gallons * $4/gallon = $40.80! The only way it might make sense to take a train if I was traveling alone. The price just about needs to be cut in half to $150 for two round trip ($75/person) from Baltimore to Atlantic City to really attract my attention and change my method of travel for this weekend getaway.

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Hello World!

Welcome to dmurry.com! I have finally registered my own domain name. This is something I have wanted to do ever since I started getting into designing web pages for other people. The problem was I could never justify the cost, nor think of a good name to use. After many years of debate and the cost of hosting/domain names coming down considerably, I decided just to register one that would be a blog focused on my hobbies, news, and career. Enjoy!

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Incorrect Registration Notice

REGISTRATION NOTICE FOR AUTUMN 2038 as of 04/09/2007

REGISTRATION APPOINTMENT DATE AND TIME –
AFTER

WAITLIST APPOINTMENT DATE
July 4 , 20

Summer/Autumn Quarter 2007 registration starts on April 23. Above you will find your window assignment for Summer/Autumn 2007. Please save and safeguard this e-mail and PLAN AHEAD!

So, I thought this was funny. The Ohio State University is trying to give me a registration window for Autumn 2038. I sure hope I graduate by then! Although, they apparently could not even assign me a date for it as that was left blank. At least I know I’ll be able to schedule my waitlisted classes by July 4, 20!

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Chicken or Turkey Stew

I have been making this recipe for a few years now, ever since I got a crock pot. The ingredient list is based on a 4 quart slow cooker so this recipe will serve 6-8 people.

Preparation Time: 30-45 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients

  • 1lb+ turkey or chicken breasts
  • 2Tbps olive oil
  • flour for dredging
  • 4-5 potatoes – cubed
  • 1-2 onions – cubed
  • 3-4 carrots – sliced
  • 2-3 celery stalks – sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz a piece) chicken broth
  • pinch dried basil
  • pinch dried parsley
  • bay leaf
  • dash fresh ground black pepper
  • dash ground red pepper if you like things spicy…

Cut up all of the vegetable as suggested in the ingredients list and put them into the slow cooker. The idea is to almost fill it up, but leave enough room for the meat. Add the chicken broth and turn it on high.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the olive oil. Cube the chicken or turkey and dredge in the flour. Cook in the large skillet until lightly browned on all sides. Add to the slow cooker and stir. Next, add water to the slow cooker until it is 1-2 inches below the top. As the vegetables cook down the water will rise to cover the rest of them and hopefully not boil over. Add the rest of the spices (salt is not needed since the chicken broth has plenty) and cover. Stir every hour or so and enjoy when potatoes are cooked through!

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“Ohio State is once again the biggest university in the nation.” and advice.

“With an increase of students choosing to stay at OSU, it’s numbers have increased to 51,818.”

That makes me 1/51,818 which is 0.0000193 or .00193% a part of The Ohio State University. For some reason, this feels good to me. It’s a good percentage to showcase my previous hardwork over the years here. Only a few more quarters to go.

On another note, if thinking about one day attending OSU do not be discouraged that it is too big of a school. It becomes a much smaller environment once a major is decided and the same classes are taken with the same people and professors in the department. The same goes for the people a freshman would live with in the dorms. Some of them will become your friends for the rest of your college career, if not life. To me, the larger atmosphere means larger possibblities and greater chances to succeed. It also means the same people will not always be at the same gathering place. The number of students returning for their second year of school has also increased to 91%. This number is high when compared to other schools.

“Garland said transfer students are harder to control. Any student with at least 45 credit hours and a 2.0 grade point average can transfer to OSU.” – That’s amazing. It would have been so much cheaper to have gone to a community school and then easily transferred here. I would have missed out on my freshman and sophmore college years though. I wouldn’t trade those for anything.

GO BUCKS!
The rest of the article can be read from The Lantern.

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