Saturday, March 29, 2008

Carolina Rollergirls

I still hadn't driven the new car since getting it home from the dealer on Wednesday. I told you I don't drive much when I'm home…

I did decide to drive it to the Carolina Rollergirls bout tonight out at Dorton Arena. Met some folks out there for the first match of the year. Terry Beal (thanks for the tix!), her sister Debbie, Carina, and Kent & Jane (a couple of friends I hadn't seen in years).

Everyone went their separate ways afterwards. I headed downtown to meet up with some other friends for a birthday fest. Didn't see them in the place (didn't know there was an upstairs), so I split. Went to the other birthday fest for a different friend. Went inside, walked the entire place (twice!), and didn't spot them. Left again – I was told later that they were there, but I'll be damned if I saw them.

No biggie, cuz I wasn't gonna stay long at either place. Had to get home to see the Carolina game. Those guys are gonna get 'em another championship this year, I believe.

Big Saturday fun, huh?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The New Car...

My buddy Greg Howard came and picked me up this morning to drive me out to the dealership. Signed a bunch of shit, took the keys, drove it home and parked it. Didn't drive it again all day. Didn't need to. I ride my bike to the gym, and when I got back home from there and showered, I walked the two blocks to the BP station to buy my lottery tickets (Yeah, I know, bad habit. But that's what I spend my Starbucks money on these days instead of empty calories…)

Maybe I'll go driving around tomorrow…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Car Shopping (ugh!)

Man, I am just so sick and tired of taking test-drives and wracking my brain over what car I want to buy. Seems like that's all I've been doing for the last 4-5 weeks, so today I finally came to a decision and bought a car.

It came down to one vehicle, which I'll tell you about in a minute. I didn't want a standard (large) sized SUV or Crossover. I just don't need that much room. I'm mostly alone when driving, and I sure as hell won't be towing anything. My three candidates were the Lexus RX 350, the Honda CR-V, and the Toyota Highlander.

The Lexus was a great car; I just decided it was silly to spend that much money on a vehicle. The number one goal in my life is to have my mortgage paid off within 10 years of buying my house, and spending the extra dough on the Lexus would be contradictory to that goal. Mind you, it was a damn nice ride, but two things about it kinda bugged me. First, it was kinda "Soccer Mom-ish" and second, you can't upgrade the stock stereo UNLESS you get the DVD/Navigation system. Which ain't cheap, believe me. I've been driving for over 32 years and really don't want or need a Nav system.

The Honda CR-V just didn't feel right. I love Honda quality, and I've been driving a 1990 Civic LX for the last 10 years – I bought it from my sister 10 years ago next month and it's been solid. I don't drive that much due to being on the road, averaging about 6500 miles per year. The Civic now has 179,000 miles on it, and I have no idea how much farther it can go, but hell, it might make it another 25k or better.

Anyway, something about the CR-V just didn't work for me. And there's that Soccer Mom feeling again…

The Toyota Highlander seemed to be my best choice. I've rented them a couple of times and really liked them. They also had a JBL-based stereo upgrade that stomped ass. But again, the Soccer Mom thing. Also, I wasn't happy with the price, or the gas mileage, so I put the whole thing off for a few days while I considered whether or not I really needed a new car.

After taking yet another test-drive today, I decided on the Toyota RAV4, a vehicle which wasn't even on my list. Smaller than the Highlander, but I don't get the Soccer Mom vibe from it. AND, I could get the JBL stereo upgrade. AND, it was about $8,000 cheaper than the Highlander. You know what a cheap bastard I can be.


Signed off on it, and I'll go pick it up in the morning…

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hangin' Out At Home in Raleigh...

Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kicking Team. Robbie Fulks. Unknown Hinson. Tommy Redd. Eddie Money. Zoso. The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. Tres Hombres.

You were wondering what I've been up to while I was at home, right? Well, that's some of the bands I've seen lately…

Terry Anderson and the OAKTeam. Hell, what can I say about Terry that he hasn't already said himself? Amazing, just amazing. Best. Songwriter. Ever. And he's my friend. So is Jack Cornell, the bass player. And Davey B, the guitar player. And Greg Rice, the keyboard player. You get the picture. But just cuz I like 'em all as people, doesn't make them one damn bit less amazing.

Robbie Fulks is a wonderfully funny folk/country/pop singer songwriter. Saw him at the Berkeley Café one night. Damn, he was just funny as hell. And he played two Terry Anderson songs in recognition of our local legend.

Unknown Hinson is a vampire rockabilly dude with hilarious songs. Saw him at the Berkeley, also.

Tommy Redd. One of the funniest guys on the planet. Tommy was the main songwriter in the legendary Nantucket, a band from the late 70's and very early 80's. Saw him up the street at Northside, my local old man bar.

Eddie Money. Radio rock icon from the 70's and 80's. He played at Dorton Arena, out at the fairgrounds, as part of the big annual car expo. Dorton is a horrible room to hear music in, but I couldn't miss Eddie.

Zoso. Led Zeppelin tribute band. Saw them at the Lincoln Theatre. Great place to see shows. Instead of being called Zoso, they should call themselves So-so. Cuz they are. They played everysinglesongatbreakneckspeed, thereby negating Led Zeppelin's secret weapon, the almighty groove. I was so disappointed. Hey guys, next time, slow the fuck down.

The Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. Saw them at the Berkeley, too. Terry was the keyboardist in NRBQ. If you don't know who NRBQ is, just stop reading right here and go getcha some. You have no idea what you've been missing out on for these last 30 years.

Tres Hombres. ZZ Top tribute band. Opened for Zoso at the Berkeley. Smoked 'em, too. My buddy Roger plays bass for them. They were F-U-N, even if you're not a huge ZZ Top fan. I admit it, back in the 80's, I called ZZ Top "Sleazy Slop". Cuz they were.