Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Get Out of My Head, Me!

From Wikihow:

How to Stop Thinking Too Much

They left out my favorite: filling up on milk and cookies and taking a nap.

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Burned

Through a combination of research and personal mistakes, I have - over the years - compiled a checklist of things to ask about and/or look for when shopping for a used car.

The first section, "Background", is a list of things you can ask about over the phone when you see an ad that catches your eye. This will let you know if there are problems so major that you shouldn't even bother looking at the thing. The other things are specific items to look for during the pre-test-drive physical/visual inspection. In recent years, I've found that checking the oil-level dipstick and air filter is especially important, since quite often I can't even locate them without help.

Anyway, after you get the background info, you'll be able to go to www.kbb.com and find out what a fair price for the vehicle is. You'll need that later.

BACKGROUND:

MAKE, MODEL, YEAR
FWD/RWD
AUTO/STICK
MILES
TIRES
PROBLEMS
ACCIDENTS
MPG
TIMING BELT
WHY SELLING
RECENT REPAIRS/REPLACEMENTS
OUTSTANDING LEINS
WATER PUMP/FUEL PUMP
ALTERNATOR/VOLTAGE REGULATOR
FRONT END ALIGNMENT
WHOSE NAME IS IT UNDER
HOW LONG WITH THAT OWNER

UNDER THE HOOD:

FLUID LEVELS: COOLANT, TRANNY, BRAKE, OIL
UNDERSIDE: RUST, OIL, T-FLUID
AIR CLEANER, OIL FILTER
BATTERY CABLES, FLUID, VOLTAGE
HOSES, BELTS, SPARK PLUGS
FRONT SUSPENSION MOUNTS
EXTERIOR:
EXHAUST SYSTEM
JACKING POINTS
STRUTS/SPRINGS/SHOCKS
CV JOINT BOOTS
FRONT/REAR WIPERS/WINDSHIELD
DOOR/WINDOW GASKETS
SPARE TIRE
JACK/LUG WRENCH
ALL LOCKS

INTERIOR:

TURN SIGNALS/4-WAYS/HEADLIGHTS
BRIGHT SWITCH
FRONT/REAR WIPERS/WASHERS
SEAT ADJUSTMENT
HORN
SEAT ANCHORS
FLOORBOARDS
WINDOW CRANKS/LATCHES
HATCH/TRUNK RELEASE
GLOVE COMPARTMENT
FUSE BOX
REARVIEW MIRRORS/ADJUSTMENT
SUNROOF (LEAKS?)/WATER DAMAGE
CD/CASSETTE PLAYER

TEST DRIVE:

PARKING BRAKE
HEATER
A/C
DEFROSTER (SPRAY W/ WINDEX IN SUMMER)

FINAL:

CARDBOARD UNDER CAR AFTER TEST DRIVE TO CHECK FOR LEAKS
REQUIRED TOOLS: LARGE PIECE OF CLEAN CARDBOARD, RAG, CASSETTE/CD, FLASHLIGHT

How to use this checklist to your advantage as a buyer:

First, the fact that you just spent 30-60 minutes checking every detail of the car before you even start it up intimidates the seller into thinking you REALLY know cars.

Second, if you actually do each and every one of these items, you will not be surprised by "little problems" after you buy it. You will know the car as well as the owner, and possibly better.

Third, if you find little problems that really don't matter to you, you can still use them as a negotiating tool, as long as you keep your mouth shut about them really not mattering to you.

Here's the quick & dirty guide to negotiating for the price you want.

1) Ask the seller how much he wants for the car. Even if the price tag is still sitting right in the window - ask. He will then mention a price.

2) Ask him how he arrived at that price. Let him answer.

3) Pause. Say nothing for 15-30 seconds. He may or may not shoot himself in the foot during this period by mentioning an even lower price.

4) Mention the little problems you found and tell the seller that he either needs to get them repaired before you'll consider buying the car, or he needs to knock the repair costs off the asking price. Ask him what's the lowest price he would take for the car.

5) He will mention a price, which may or may not be lower than the last price he mentioned.

6) Pause. Say nothing for 15-30 seconds. Shuffle your feet. Look anguished. Tell him that you can give him (an amount less than price mentioned) [I like to add the words "in cash, right now" to that price - which is why I buy cheap cars and bring cash to the transaction, including enough small bills that I can make change for whatever price we settle at].

7) If he says yes, buy the car. If he says no, thank him for his time, give him your phone number and ask him to call you if he changes his mind.

8) If he said no, call him in 24 hours and ask him if he's re-considered your offer. He'll probably either agree to your price, split the difference, or at least come down SOME amount. If the number he mentions sounds reasonable, buy the car. If it doesn't, say goodbye & look elsewhere.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I'm Confident You'll Like These

9 Things You Can Do to Feel More Confident

My version of #1:

Take a deep breath - feel your spine straighten.

Exhale, but don't let your spine collapse.

You'll feel ready to take on the world.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Gritless Cinderella

Disney's Cinderella And Avoiding The Trap Of Cinematic "Grittiness"

In Cinderella, screenwriter Chris Weitz gives princess-to-be Cinderella (aka Ella) a defining ethos, one that was imparted to her by her dying mother (spoilers?), played by Hayley Atwell: One must always be courageous and kind. And that's shown as being difficult for Cinderella, at times. She has to struggle to keep her resentment towards her evil stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters (Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera) at bay. At one point, she runs away from her ill treatment at home. But always, eventually, Cinderella chooses that that is not who she is. She forgives her stepmother. She returns to her home, not because she's a weakling who has no thought in her head other than to be ordered around, but because the house is all that's left of her parents, and it's incredibly important to her. She's courageous enough to weather the storm and not be driven away.

She's not broody. She's not angsty. Her entire character motivation is "I want to be a good person," and if you think that's inherently less interesting or less difficult to achieve than "My parents were killed when I was a child, and I have to dress up like a bat to avenge them, graaarrrrrrgh," then there's the door.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Temptation

via Cheezburger



So, if you want to avoid temptation, either increase the distance, or dispose of the means.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Peep Report

Last year, around Easter, I put some Peeps in a ziploc bag in the freezer.

I thawed one out and ate it today. It was as soft and chewy and tasty as a fresh one.

Conclusion:

Frozen Peeps are good for at least one year as long as you use use airtight packaging, so stock up big at the after-Easter sale.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

10 Uplifting Questions

Via MindBodyGreen:

1. Will I allow myself to play the victim or will I choose to be responsible for this situation?

2. Will I continue to react to circumstances or will I choose to create the life I want to live?

3. Can I take the time to respond from a place of clarity and strength, rather than immediately react to this experience?

4. Will I blame others for the situation or will I take responsibility for it and create an action plan to move forward from a place of personal power and strength?

5. Am I allowing someone else to take away my personal power? (Hint: if you're playing the victim, the answer to this will always be yes.)

6. How can I be of service to this person, situation or circumstance and myself so that we feel buoyed, rather than weighed down?

7. How can I create something meaningful for me and/or others out of this experience?

8. Am I placing expectations on myself or others? Are those expectations serving me in any way?

9. What if, through this challenge I choose to learn, create, grow and expand rather than blame, resent or accuse?

10. What is my gut telling me? (And am I listening?)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Never Again Will Television Contain a Character This Super-Nova Self-Confident

Via Cheezburger



In his defense, you can't call him cocky, because he could always back up his smack-talk.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Growing Up

Part of a longer pondering by Sarah Hoyt:
_______________

And you grow a bit more and realize your dad gave up his dream of becoming an artist for a career that he didn’t like because he had a family to support. And you realize how well your mom does what she does considering what she battles every day.

And you start seeing all the times they didn’t tell you they were too tight on money, but gave you the price of a movie, because they wanted you to be happy. And all the times they went without something near-essential so you could have something nice.

And then, somewhere along the line, you realize that all the grace and favors received come with an obligation. That it’s up to you to do something nice for THEM, to bring unexpected joy to their lives, because they work so hard and they love you. And the same with your friends. Instead of worrying that you are having such a hard time, you notice your friend broke with her boyfriend and is trying to be brave, but depressed, and you blow all the money you made that month on tutoring to take her out to a movie about dance and dinner and to be silly and walk in the rain like you did when you were little.

Congratulations. You’ve found the key to adulthood and arguably to happiness — when you stop obsessing over your own wrongs and difficulties and start trying to make others’ lives easier.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Something Fun

Action starts at 2:55 if you can't stand the anticipation.


[YouTube direct link] (Viewer #17,446)