Saturday, February 25, 2006


I picked up the new High Mobility Kid-Friendly All Terrain Truck today. Given the Penchant for acronyms, that comes out to the HiMoK(ay): FAT (Pronounced: "I'm Okay: Fat.") Believe it or not, I just thought that up on the fly. Must be time to take the pills again.

I bought the honda ridgeline, with lotsa nerd goodies, which Bores the crap outta the Mrs. when I explain them. (That tells me that they are true geek toys. If it bores her, then it's geeky.) Unfortunately, it doesn't have the dividing window for the back seat--like in a limo. We've wanted one of thos since Creighton was two...

I bought the truck at CONKLIN CARS in Salina KS. They were up front from the beginning with me on everything I asked for, gave me a fair price that included some profit for them, (Hey, I don't mind the dealer making a profit, just not one so great that he can give his kid a porche to go to college.) These guys treated me with respect, and treated me like a Customer; not some rube who walked in to give them my money. I know it's weird to rave about a car buying experience, but I was treated very well. I don't have all the cripple accessories installed (yet) but they will work wit me to get them put on, and, every time I bring the truck in for anything (scheduled maintenance, adding accessories, et cetera,) they give me a free loaner and wash/wax and tank of gas.) Now that's a hellofa good dealership. They finance guy spent 20 minutes talking to me about the war and how much respect he had for us, and thanked me (and Carren) repeatedly for my service.

The other dealership (I won't mention it's name. It's the one closest to Fort Riley) They tried to take me for a ride (and not in the car) from the minute I walked in the door. I'd thoroughly read through before starting this process, and it was like this place was the case study on the "bad dealership." High pressure, higher prices, "I don't know how they could offer you that price, it's too low, your trade isn't worth X (I actually got X + $2000 for my trade at Conklin.) I finally had enough when the GM decided to question my integrity. I walked out of the dealership, and on my way out called Conklin, and put down my deposit. The next day the VP called me and asked me to consider them for my service needs. Sure. I'd love to come in and see how badly you'll try to damage the vehicle, claim it was my fault and not covered by the warranty. I bet that'd be fun! No, I'd rather drive an hour away for great service from a great dealership, than drive 20 minutes for disservice from a bad one.

Believe it or not, this whole carbuying experience has been really positive. I've made decisions based on information and not emotion, been able to put internet research skills to good use, SAVED, LITERALLY, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS by using the advice and tools from and got one Heck of a deal.

Now, I would be very remiss if I did not mention the wonderful folks at the Coalition to Support America's Heroes. John and Amy worked a miracle for Us, and I really appreciate their help. The coalition has some cool store stuff, and even a donate toner for troops program that allows businesses and individuals (I'm not saying you should steal empties from work) to donate the emty cartridge and the recepts somehow becomes a donation of $ for wounded soldiers. You can buy new cartridges from them too, and that also results in a donation. For something you were going to buy (or your business was going to buy) anyway. I wonder if you could write off the cost of the toner (if purchased through this program) as a donation...

Well, enough for now. The best news is that I haven't watched the news in weeks!

But I did receive some sad/bad news. But more on that later.


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