Setting Dates for New Phone, New Car

Lots of fun, exciting things going on. We’ve finished our test driving and have tentative dates set for a car purchase and our switch to Cingular wireless.

Our Verizon Wireless contracts expire this coming Saturday, and the plan is to drop by the Cingular store on Sunday (the 15th) to pick up my new phone, get Melissa’s active on a regular account, and get both of our numbers switched over. The Palm Treo 650 remains the distant frontrunner—Palm OS seems to be the lesser of three evils in the depressingly uninspired smartphone market right now.

Although the MacWorld keynote is on Tuesday (that’s a big annual event where Apple usually introduces nifty new stuff). I’m holding my breath for a perfectly timed entry by my favorite technology company into the smartphone universe ;-). In fact an Apple smartphone on a non-Cingular carrier might be enough to throw the whole switch into disarray.

New phones (and a provider switch) are all well and good, but the real excitement is happening on the car front.

We spent a fair portion of the day yesterday test-driving a Civic EX Sedan and Accord LX Sedan at Fairfax Honda. Interestingly, they both passed the test and are effectively tied. The Civic has a much nicer feature set (being the highest non-hybrid Civic) and the coolest dashboard ever, but the Accord was roomier and noticeably more powerful. The Honda MusicLink iPod adaptor is available for both (same price).

In other words, this will take some effort to decide.

But we have a bit of time. A friend of ours is seriously interested in buying our ’92 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, but she’s out of the area until later in the month. So, if she buys, it would be in about two weeks (around the 21st). If she doesn’t, we’ll sell it to CarMax or something around the same day.

So our tentative plan is to deposit the check from the Olds that day or the next, and then buy the Honda in the week of the 22nd.

The exact date can’t be determined yet. We’re going to be using a negotiation service [God bless USAA] which can take a day or two, and— because we have specific tastes about color and add-ons, etc.—the car itself might need to be brought in from out of the area and/or have things installed at the dealership. But it should [hopefully] be a done deal before the end of the month.

Amid all of this, the regular mundane stuff goes on. I’ve been spending some time organizing my office space (the recording equipment, especially, was in total disarray—a $20 WalMart plastic shelving unit took care of that).

I also forgot to mention that Kitka (the iBook G3 which served me perfectly for four years) had what seems to be a serious hard drive failure within hours of my giving it to Wes. He brought it back last weekend and I can’t get the thing to recognize the hard disk at all, and it occasionally makes clicking noises in the part of the case where the drive sits. When I feel daring enough to disassemble the tightly-built iBook case, I’ll swap in a new drive and see if it works.

There’s an off chance that we’re looking at an ATA bus/logic board failure, but my hunch is that it’s the drive. I feel pretty crappy about giving Wes a gift that hardly lasted him two hours of use, but I think I’ll be able to get him up and running sooner or later.

Anyway, hope all is well!

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.