January 31, 2007 – Inside Work

Well, the cold has settled in.  Time for inside work.  The Iowa Network for Community Agriculture conference is coming up on Saturday.  I’m presenting part of a workshop and on the planning committee, so lots of details to focus on this week.

January 30, 2007 – Do I Still Have Sucker Imprinted on my Head?

Here’s a picture of what I think I usually look like:

Here’s a picture of what I think I must look like to a car salesman at Kia of Des Moines:

Now the story…

Last week I caught the tail end of a radio ad about new 2006 close-out minivans at the Des Moines Kia dealer. I have been starting to look around for a replacement for the ’98 Grand Caravan with 143,000 miles. I did a quick bit of research and found the Sedona was a decent car – a Consumer Reports best buy, the safest minivan on the market, 10 yr 100,000 drivetrain warranty and 5 year 60,000 bumper to bumper warranty.

I stopped in to the dealer to find out what the fine print was on the new $16k minivans. After transport, this and that the final price was $18k+ Since I was only planning on spending up to 13k, I wasn’t interested in paying 18k, so I left. I tell the salesman if he can find a way to get me into the van for a total of 16k he’s got a deal. A few days later he calls me back and after a conversation says he can get close. I repeat – I’ll come in there with a check for 16k and drive out with a new van, you’ve got a deal.

Of course, he has to get back with his sales manager. Right. Anyways, the end of the promotion looms, and two days before the end of the month he calls back again to get details on the trade-in. We agree to a deal over the phone, pending my van is as I represented it. I scurry with my banker to get the money lined up in less than 24 hours.
We arrange for me to come out and take a test drive after work. After that and some conversations about financing (I told him I’d go with him if I could get the 2.9% deal they had.) At any rate, we’ve been playing the sit and wait in the cube for about an hour and he finally comes in with the deal. He says he can get me into the van for 18K+. I look at him and say “What kind of a game are you playing? I’ve been working with you for two days on this, got financing arranged and it’s as though nothing happened as we are back to the original price. Quit wasting my time I don’t play these games.” He says he’ll go back to the sales manager and see what he can do (which he’s already said he did the previous day). At that point, I got up and walked out.

I thought these kinds of tactics were a thing of the past. It did not run into them in my previous good buying experiences at Rochester Ford/Toyota and Southview Chevrolet in Inver Grove Heights, MN.
one year ago…

January 29, 2007 – The Core of Winter?

It seems like today may be the middle of winter. It’s been cold for a few weeks now, and the coldest days of the year are supposed to be here this weekend, followed by more below normal temperatures. The corn stove has been running like a top (knock on maize) lately which adds a delightful look of warmth to have a constant fire in the house at all times. The last few days we’ve had many brief snow squalls followed by sunshine.

one year ago…

January 28, 2007 – A Boy and his Fish

Martin is very proud of his fish. If you look closely, you’ll find a gold and grey goldfish in the bowl. There is much “discussion” of fish ownership between Martin and the girls, who want to hone in on the fish ownership. Martin said “I started the conversation about getting the fish.” The conversation started more like “Dad, can I get an animal in a cage in my room?” Hamsters, rats, ferrets, and guinea pigs were all squashed and he finally seemed a bit shocked, when we agreed to fish. He was one happy boy to get them. It was worth at least two days of perfect co-operation!

one year ago…

January 22, 2007 – Skiing at Last

The recent snow lets the kids get out their winter toys and number 1 on the list are the cross-country skis. There’s lots of country to cross out here.

The girls even found a pair of their old skis for Martin to use.  Emma got new skis for Christmas 2005 and this is the first time she’s been able to use them.

January 21, 2007 – Snow At Last

We finally have a blanket of white after a winter of brown. The last week we’ve had two snowfalls. Just enough to warrant trying out the tractor with the blade for clearing snow.

It sure beats shoveling! I’ve still got some learning to do with the equipment, but right now it is a novel activity. This snow was folled by still and warm – not the usual howling wind, so it is once again nice to be outside.

one year ago…

January 20, 2006 – 90th Birthday Bash!

Today we celebrated our 90th birthday!  I recently turned 45 and Linda turned 45 a while back, so we added them together, threw in a seven piece live band, cooked a turkey and invited guests to bring a dish to share.

To our surprise, everyone on the guest list was able to come. The band is the Blue Moon Players from Ames, and for you public radio listeners, Curt Snook is playing the fiddle.  We won the band at a church auction and they drove out for the gig.  Linda and I got to dance the first song at our wedding dance, the Iowa Waltz and a good time was had by all!

one year ago…

January 19, 2007 – Blog Finally Recreated & Moved

After a week of messing around, the blog has been moved to a brand, new location.  As feared, there was no action from Google on kicking off the spammer, so I’m on the High Hopes Gardens web server, using a new blog tool, WordPress.

There are still a bunch of links within posts that don’t yet work.  They’ll get cleaned up as I go on.