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 »

And If You're Not Careful, You Might Learn Something

Ten things I learned from watching the entire run of The Cosby Show over the last few months on Netflix streaming: - Cliff wasn't the only one who wore wild sweaters. - Seinfeld was celebrated as the "show about nothing," but this show had even less plot. Entire episodes just riffed for twenty minutes on Vanessa fretting over a test or Theo having a crush on a girl, nothing more. Go »

Not-So-Confidential to My Gaming Group

I started writing this out in an email reply to John Gunter, but I guess it should be shared. I miss gaming with you guys, but I'm on the fence about continuing. I like each of you guys a great deal, but when we're together I just don't feel the click of a connection like I used to. Go »

Hungry Hungry Kitty

When you want your dinner, you want your dinner: (link) I do the same thing at China Buffet when they try to take the chicken lo mein off the line. Go »

Is That a George Lucas Character?

Matthew Preston: "If making up words for directions is wrong, I don't want to be fludoo." Go »

Milwaukee's Best

Today I learned a valuable lesson: Don't quote that line from Wayne's World about "mill-you-wock-AY" to a native of that city. It's like asking them to bring you a cheese wheel when they visit: You deserve a kick in the balls for it. I learned this while planning my visit to the city this weekend for beer, brats, Packers, and oh yeah, Matthew Preston. Go »

Going Green

This thing might turn out to be as short-lived as my other two attempts at a personal blog, but damn it if I haven't craved having such an outlet for the better part of a year now. It seems like a week doesn't go by that I don't have some little adventure to turn into an anecdote or a frustration to rant about. My idle thoughts are as pointless as anybody else's, I realize, but that's what the Internet is for (besides porn). Go »

Happy anniversary!

Erik Bates joined Funeratic 16 years ago today.