So What’s New With You…


Well, in the Angloam-C household a lot is new. Firstly we’ve got all our TVs hooked up to FiOS and I love it. We have a multi-room DVR and clear sharp pictures on all our screens. It seems to be faster on the internet than our old cable modem was so we’re happy about that. I’ll do my best to make the blog updates come quicker, I promise.

What else…uh, lessee…we did buy a new car. Yes, we traded in our beloved ’07 Toyota Avalon Limited with all the bells and whistles, for an ’09 Honda Pilot Touring with all the bells and whistles (except a for-us-useless rear DVD player). It’s silver in colour, because, well, every car I’ve ever bought new has been silver and it sure is shiny. I like driving it, although it was hard to get used to the height at first. The seat seems a little narrower than the Avalon’s and the ride is a bit less floaty, but the cargo compartment is huge, especially since I don’t think we’ll ever use the third-row seats.

We had looked at the Pilot and the CR-V from Honda; the RAV-4, the Venza, and the Highlander from Toyota; the Forester and the Tribeca from Subaru; the SantaFe and the Veracruz from Hyundai; and the Murano from Nissan.

  • CR-V: The car is comfortable but a bit small for me.
  • RAV-4: I hated it. I felt like I had to hang on to the steering wheel to stay in my seat. Perhaps I hadn’t adjusted the seat properly. I also didn’t like the rear tailgate swinging out; it seemed it would be a problem in a tight parking lot.
  • Venza: I really liked it but it wasn’t different enough, somehow, from the Avalon, to warrant buying it. It’s basically an Avalon station wagon. It may be our next car, though.
  • Highlander: I liked it, but the Toyota dealers wouldn’t come down enough in price.
  • Forester: It is fun to drive. It really is. But there wasn’t enough leg room for C and the engine is a bit loud and growly. But it corners on rails.
  • Tribeca: I couldn’t get the seat low enough to where I didn’t feel the steering wheel wasn’t around my bellybutton. I did like that we didn’t have to pay extra for a third row of seats. I should note that I have a great deal of fondness for Subaru’s cars.
  • SantaFe: I was suprised by how nicely this car rode; very smooth and comfortable and the price is certainly good. For a smaller SUV it’s very roomy. But it was ‘rare’ according ot the dealer to find one with navigation.
  • Veracruz: Not bad, not very different from the SantaFe, and again, nobody seemed to have one with navigation.
  • Murano: Oh, how I wanted to like this sexy car with the continuously variable transmission and the gorgeous styling. However, when I got in it, I bumped my head because the rake of the window glass was so severe. Not good. I can’t drive a car without getting into it and if I can’t get into it without bumping my head, I don’t want it.

So we wound up with the very nice Pilot. When we first tested it I was very reluctant as the previous generation had a very high sill in the door – I had to lift my leg almost as high as if I were doing the can-can just to get out. This one is much different and it’s quite easy to hop in and hop out. There are so many buttons and things to customize and make work just as C and I like. Best thing is I can plug my iPod ito the USB connector in the storage compartment and control it through the audio controls built in. I can even control it with voice commands! For some stupid reason Toyota neglected to put even an auxillary jack into the Avalon we had, so I never ever could listen to my music or (nerdish me) recorded issues of The Economist. And we can haul a lot more stuff for the yard; this year we’d like to blitz the yards and make gardens for our relaxation and leisure and this will certainly make dragging plants and things around much easier.

I will post a picture as soon as I can. I hope it will be serviceable in the coming snow. Here are some ‘stock’ photos.


Nearly all the dealers we visited were okay, with two exceptions. One was so far below okay that I wound up wanting to punch him in the face, and one was so far beyond okay that buying from him was much easier than I ever thought it would be. If you want to know about the bad one, I can e-mail you why I found him deceptive, snarky, a smart-ass and a time-waster.

I won’t be so shy about Joe ‘Ski’ at MileOne Heritage Honda in Westminster, MD. He was honest, forthright and got us a good deal we were comfortable with. A decent price on our trade-in too. Because he’s not on commission, he doesn’t have to BS and his was the best price we were quoted. Well, sort of; another dealer actually closer to us (Westminster’s over an hour away) quoted us the same, but we’d already decided to go with Joe because of his way of dealing with us and his reputation. He said he didn’t even know that people on the internet had commented so favourably on him.

Just a Quickie for the Eyes

Here is Mr. Matus Valent, caught behind some blinds. I think the photographer did an excellent job capturing the play of light on his body, don’t you?





(Wouldn’t you like to be a shaft of light, playing on his body, right about now?)

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