The blue Dodge Caliber that I bought years ago has lasted through a lot. It may have suffered a flat tire at one GooCon and a window that wouldn't close at another, but the only major and long-lasting problem with it was a leaky roof. Unfortunately, I live in Florida, where half of the year sees brief but frequent thunderstorms. Kelly and I had way too many mornings where we had to get out the wet-vac before we could drive to work, lest the puddle behind the driver's seat spill over into the front of the cabin and soak our feet. If I lived in Arizona, it would have been a perfect car. But it started to have more and more maintenance issues lately, so even though I badly don't want to make payments on two vehicles at once, it was time to replace it.

Last summer, we bought Kelly a van. Prioritizing long-lasting reliability over other factors, we opted for a Toyota Sienna, but no used models were available in the area, so we went with our second choice, a Honda Odyssey. (The dealership offered us a brand new one for only a few hundred dollars more than the used one we had our eye on, so we figured, why not.) Kelly is a longtime van afficianado, if there is such a thing. Driving to Amtgard events with tons of people and/or stuff crammed in the back is a big part of her life, so she needed the space. Me, I never figured to love vans, but I have grown to love the Odyssey. On the days when I get to take it to work, it's such a relief to be able to load people up in the back to go to lunch as a group, or to be able to stop spontaneously at Home Depot for something large that I don't have to worry about fitting back there. My only gripe about the Odyssey is the front legroom; I'm over six feet tall and my ankles hurt from bending back my feet when we drive long distances in it.

So, I did something I never expected myself to do: I bought a van of my own. I went with our first choice, a Toyota Sienna, brand new this time. It's a similar shade of gray to Kelly's; we didn't pick the colors because we don't really care, but it's a happy coincidence since we've been decorating our new house in various shades of gray. The Sienna is slightly better and slightly worse than the Odyssey in various ways, but the important detail is the legroom; I'm so comfortable driving it around. I've only had the backup camera for a few weeks and it already was awkward trying to back up without one in a rental car this past weekend. The new car smell and feel won't last for long, but I'm enjoying them while they do.

Two Replies to Scott's Car is Dead; Long Live Scott's Van

Lori Lancaster | February 21, 2018
[hidden by author request]

Scott Hardie | March 10, 2018
I've only had the van for six weeks and I've already gotten obnoxious marketing messages from the Toyota dealership offering to buy back my van, citing "high demand for pre-owned vehicles" and how I should "come in today to discuss trading in your vehicle for something new." Seriously? They don't have some kind of threshold like, let's give them at least two full months of ownership before we start pestering them like this? Junk mail never ceases to find new ways to be irritating.

Logical Operator

The creator of Funeratic, Scott Hardie, blogs about running this site, losing weight, and other passions including his wife Kelly, his friends, movies, gaming, and Florida. Read more »

Trekkers Will Understand

The Netflix summary of Deep Space Nine (Season Two): "Commander Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) heads the crew of Deep Space Nine -- including Odo (Rene Auberjonois), Worf (Michael Dom), Dax (Terry Farrell) and others -- as it travels through space, trying to keep both the ship and the areas it travels safe, secure and free. One of the first (and greatest) challenges the intrepid voyagers face is the violence of the Dominion, a group composed partially of the shape-shifting Changelings." Gee, I wonder why fans call this the most misunderstood of all Star Trek series. Go »

Even When I Was a Child, I Was Hated by Skeletons

We watched The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra again last night. If you haven't seen it, and you have a place in your heart for a pretty good spoof of campy D-grade sci-fi movies from the 1950s, rent it. A few people have been turned off by its slow pace, but I have yet to watch it with someone who hasn't at least found a few things to chuckle at. Go »

Garfunkel and Oates

Kelly and I had a good time last night taking out two old friends for their birthdays to see Garfunkel and Oates in Tampa. I'm only familiar with the duo's songs, so it was refreshing that only maybe a third of the show consisted of music. The rest was stand up comedy, storytelling, audience interaction, and a weird extended commercial for their sponsor Monster Energy Drink, tall boys of which were being handed out for free, because that's just what my heart needs at ten o'clock at night. Go »

Blood Lines

A few weeks ago, I dropped a glass bottle of salad dressing on the kitchen floor, making the house smell like vinaigrette for a day. Today, I stepped on the last errant bit of glass hiding in a crack of tile by the corner. Better my foot than the cat's paw, I guess; I don't lick between my toes. Go »

New Dog Upstairs

Third in a series? I don't think I need to spell this one out. Needless to say, the dog seems to live in a cage directly over my kitchen, and its only hobby is barking nonstop, 24 hours a day. Go »

PS3: First Impressions

On Tuesday, which happened to be Denise's birthday (we celebrated the night before), an acquaintance sold me a brand new Playstation 3 and I hit Best Buy to choose carefully from among the whopping half-dozen titles available. When I unpacked the system with a friend, I found it to be much bigger and heavier than I expected, but it's sleek and doesn't have any buttons; you just wave your finger over it to turn it on. The far left edge of the screen is cut off on my TV set, since the system doesn't include any display-centering option, but I hope to figure out a solution. Go »