Changes for the better

April 23, 2007

Quite a few changes in the past week for Diane and me. On the professional side, some co-workers and I got new office furniture on Wednesday. They may be comprised of modular components, but we still have our individual offices to ameliorate any resemblance to a cube farm. We also got to pick our own colors, so I ended up selecting what would go in the office for my officemate and me. (I did the picking, and he seemed fine with my selections.) Our office turned out quite well, and quite a few co-workers commented on the office’s “masculine” look. I was thinking more in terms of what would go well together (black framing, dark brown desktops, bright tan panels, and caramel mobile filing cabinets), rather than a color theme based on gender. Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist quipping that we were going to install a humidor next. After all, nothing says masculine like the smell of stale stogies.

Regarding transportation, Diane and I made the final payments on our car leases. This meant either continuing to pay on the cars we got in 2003, or starting leases on brand-new cars. Both of us opted for the latter for different reasons.

Diane traded in her 2003 Honda Accord for a new Civic, costing just a little more per month than buying the former. I drove a 2000 Civic a while ago, but the newest models are radically different. Mine could barely accelerate on demand, which is important in the Metroplex, but Diane’s new one can deal with the hot highway with no problem.

In my case, I traded in my 2003 Toyota Camry, which the car dealer said had “tanked.” It had gone a bit over the allotted mileage (much of it due to commuting), and there was a dent left by some uninsured joker just a few months after I got it. I also had a few other problems with it, which makes no sense in retrospect, considering Toyota’s reputation. So, I had my eye on a Civic like Diane’s. Fortunately, I was able to get a deal on a Civic Hybrid, so I ended up getting that. I actually wanted to get a hybrid last time around (a Prius), but that didn’t work out. I had lost all hope of maybe getting one, but my Civic Hybrid now sits next to Diane’s Civic in our garage (which is a lot roomier now).

If you’re in the market for a new car, seriously consider test driving a Civic Hybrid. Beyond the obvious benefits of hybrids, its interior has a sporty mien (despite the car having four doors), and it can handle crazy highway driving with ease. Althought the mechanics differ, the differences between hybrid and regular car driving experiences are relatively insignificant overall; you can very slightly hear the battery buzzing (or humming) in quiet conditions, and the car hesitates for just under a second as you leave a stop sign or light. If those don’t sound like serious problems, the new Civic Hybrid offers a wonderful driving experience. (Trunk space is the only thing lost, unfortunately, due to the batteries installed behind the backseat.)

The Civic Hybrid’s attributes should make “haters” think twice before indulging in tirades about hybrid drivers being “self-righteous” and holding things up on the road. Personally, I think they’re just making excuses to keep hauling around in their own gas guzzlers… probably a bit of reverse self-righteousness in that case. (“Well, at least I’m not some tree hugger who thinks they’re saving the world.”)

Speaking of changes, Diane started a blog a week ago called Gain This. She recounts how she gained weight rapidly many years ago, as well as how she has lost it. Over the past three years, she has lost over 100 pounds and kept it off. Also, if you think the Atkins diet was just some fad or an excuse to eat bacon all the time, following it properly was actually crucial to Diane getting to the point she’s at now. If you’ve tried losing weight, but you’ve had difficulty doing so, Diane’s story might give you some hope.


2 Responses to “Changes for the better”

  1. Jason Says:

    I now have photos of my office furniture on Flickr, including a side view and an angled view.

  2. dmrn0328 Says:

    I would have considered a hybrid too, but they don’t make hybrid coupes, unfortunately. If you want a sporty car experience (and great gas mileage despite the non-hybridness), the Civic coupe is a great choice! –Diane

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