Going Rogue

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We recently bought a new car (well, crossover) a few weeks ago for the wife. Her old car (the blue Dodge Stratus Coupe on the left in this photo, with more photos on Flickr) is paid off in few months and was starting to show its age. I only drive less than 2 miles to work, where she drives 30 each way. We decided that one car payment would be much more enjoyable, plus there were some amazing deals going on currently as well.

So we picked up a 2010 Nissan Rogue SL and traded in my 2006 Nissan Sentra SE. My trade (plus two coupons) made us break even on our trade, and 0% financing for the life of the loan made us nearly break even on car payments of my Sentra! We actually test drove one of these Rogues during the ‘Cash For Clunkers’ program – and were not all that impressed. But after running the numbers and comparing quite a few of our options, plus test driving these again – we were blown away. For being a smaller CUV, it is actually more comfortable and has more room (at least feels like it) than the Nissan Altima we were also looking at. And while I originally thought you got more for your money with the Altima, the deals going on with the Rogues actually made them a better deal.

We finally got to take it back to the dealer today to get the spoiler installed (which they threw in for free), plus get it detailed. Since everything was finally complete, I took a few moments to take a few pictures of the new car, and posted them on Flickr.

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I just can’t leave Sirius

I have been a fan of satellite radio for a while now. Richmond has a lot of nice radio stations, but usually I can never find one that REALLY plays what I want to hear. Years ago, I purchased a Kenwood deck for my Olds Cutlass I had, and then the Sirius unit that attached. I was in love, and only got rid of it when I got a new job that had less than a 5 minute commute.

After I switched jobs and had a commute again (its about 20 minutes now, mainly due to traffic from the Westend to the Fan). Therefore, I picked up a Starmate 4 and signed back up for Sirius. The stereo is great, and its awesome to use the ‘Replay’ functionality of it. I can pause and rewind through music. It’s even smart enough to know where new songs begin. For example, If I just ‘tap’ the reverse button, it takes me to the beginning of each song.

Over time, I have realized that a lot of the stations are repeating themselves. It started with the stations that I usually listen to, mainly AltNation and Sirus Hits 1. After discovering Left of Center, an Indie rock station, I have been listening to it 90% of the time I am in my car. In the last month or so, Left of Center really started to repeat as well, and I figured it was time to leave Sirius, and just hook my iPod back up in my car.

When I called yesterday, I was greeted by a really nice phone rep, who talked to me for a moment, and then put me on hold when I asked to cancel. After a few minutes, another lady came back (which I assumed was a manager), and asked my why I was leaving. Upon telling her about the repetitiveness of the channels and how I really did not like hearing their station advertisements non-stop, I was just going to stop service. She immediately offered me 3 months for free, no questions asked.

I then let her know that while the subscription was nice, it still doesnt fix my issue with them. She then started talking about the merger, and told me to start checking our SiriusMerger.com, a site dedicated to the XM and Sirius merger (which is pretty much just relying on FCC approval). She said that ‘they expect this to happen in the next month, and many of my issues should be addressed with this merger’. I told her that I had been following this since the beginning, and from what I had heard, its always been ‘next month’.

She then asked what I was going to switch to, and I explained that I have a rather large collection (60GB) of music, and would just  use my iPod more.  I was going to sell my Starmate 4 to make a few bucks towards the purchase of a Line-Out cable and probably the Belkin Tune Dock. Without asking, she immediately offered me a Starmate Replay, a more rounded version of my current radio. Her reasoning was for me to sell my Starmate 4 to make an extra few bucks, get the iPod stuff I needed, and still listen to Sirius! The deck is mine, and I do not have to return it, even if I cancel next week!

After talking to debs, Im going to keep the service for a bit longer, at least until the end of my free period. At that time, I will call back, and I will be more than happy to stay with them if 1) They give me more free service, or 2) The merger happens, and stuff REALLY changes.

I may actually sell the Replay before I even open it. The only ‘pro’ I see about using that radio is that supposedly it has a MUCH stronger FM signal. My Starmate 4, even with the FM antenna attached, is terriable! My Starmate also uses the universal dock, and I may use the money from the sale of the Replay towards a home docking station.

Listening To: ‘Pox’ by The Smashing Pumpkins

Got the Stratus back!

Deborah got to pick up the Stratus yesterday from the shop after being in there almost two weeks. The work looks great, except for a few things. I need to buy a new headlight for the drivers side (the passenger side got a new one and the car looks funny). We also may have to take it back because there are about 6 somewhat noticeable spots on the hood where there are tiny pits. It looks like they possibility repainted the entire hood, but did VERY little touch up work, and basically painted into random scratch marks that were already there!

Shes calling the service center tomorrow to see what they can do. I would have rather had them touch up smaller spots on the hood than making it look like this :(.

More pictures over on flickr!

More pictures posted of Debs’ accident

I posted a few more pictures tonight that I took last night and Debs took today after she left work.

After calling around this morning, she finally found a great (as in, we have personal friends that have had work done there, good reviews online, etc) body shop. The car is to be delivered next tuesday with about a 1 week turn around. She took the car there this afternoon to get an appraisal. Its going to be about $1500 worth of work to do, as long as she didn’t damage anything under the car. This includes both a new inner and outer front bumper, a new side ‘skirt’, and repainting the hood.

In the meantime, yet another Sentra graces our driveway. Enterprise gave her a black 2007 Sentra, base model. Surpassingly though, the car DOES have CVT, which is a blast, but weird to drive. Ill post more about that later.

So at least things are looking up on this end.

After some personal stuff today, the sentra, and some other stuff going on, this sure is a week for the books. I just want this week to end…

Darn Tires

So on Deb’s way to work this morning, someone hit a part of a truck tire, flying it up in the air, and then smacking into debs car.

Luckily shes ok, and its not really going to make a dent into our insurance (its considered a road hazard and unavoidable). Oh well. The car does look pretty rough. Ill get to see it tonight im sure, any maybe take some new pictures.

They also are giving her a rental car, but I really REALLY hope this time its not a darn PT Cruiser (when the car was in the shop for an extended period of time under warranty, they gave her some Limited Edition PT Cruiser). While that little P.O.S. did have some pickup at times, it looks ugly, and rides like a small pickup truck.
Days getting better though, the insurance process is going to be cake on this. That, and I just solved a major issue with our real estate parser,  which dropped it from having 1900 errors to 0!
Listening To: ‘Checkered Floor’ by Silversun Pickups