Friday Bag o’ Books

Bag-Of_BooksI’ve been catching up on my reading. No, strike that, there’re be no catching up in my lifetime. I add new books to the pile as fast as I finish the ones already there. The library sent an email alert this morning: an American history text I ordered is in. I don’t normally read textbooks, but this one’s been the target of politically-motivated banning attempts in several states, and I plan to review it for a future banned book post.

Over thirty unread books, mostly novels, are stored on our Kindle and Nook e-readers. Another three are on my Amazon wish list. I like that wish list. It’s a way to keep track of books and products you want to buy when you have the money. The downside is that Amazon shares your wish list with vendors, who help you keep track with tailored ads on your Facebook news feed. I put a self-winding Seiko wristwatch on my wish list a few months ago, and I see Facebook ads for that damn watch nearly every day. I wonder if the ads will stop when I buy it?

We keep thinking it would be fun to have another full-sized pickup truck. We’re interested in the new aluminum-bodied Ford F150, which promises to get better mileage than other large pickup trucks (not that I really believe those promises). I went to the website last night to put together the one we want: cab and bed size, engine, towing package, interior and exterior options. It priced out at almost $38,000, and our wants aren’t extravagant. The truck we want is the equivalent of the one we bought in 1994, which cost about $19,000. Not that we would, but were we to buy it with no down, monthly payments would be about $550. For six years.

What do new cars cost? I’m going to guess at least half the cars people buy today cost more than $38,000. People who buy $60,000+ cars must be spending a grand a month on car and insurance payments, pretty much for the entire time they “own” it. How do you justify making that kind of commitment? Do you plug your ears and sing La-La-La real loud to keep from thinking of the ramifications and consequences?

I think we’re going to wait a year or two and buy a used F150. It’s the only sensible way to do it these days. Or maybe we’ll run out of oil before then and buying another car will be the last thing on our minds.

Tomorrow morning is the annual car show at St. Gregory’s Academy. I go every year (click here to see my photos from last year’s show). It’s starting to look as if it may rain this afternoon and evening, though. The cars are displayed on the grass, and if the ground gets soggy they might postpone the show. If that happens my heart won’t be broken … rain or shine, tomorrow afternoon we’re hosting book club and in the evening going to a friend’s house for cooking club. Busy busy busy.

So far no Ebola in our house. I stopped at CVS yesterday morning for my annual flu shot, and Donna’s going today. Which means if we get something that feels like the flu, it’ll most likely be Ebola, what with all these infected nurses gallivanting here and there (insert ironic emoticon). Bless those nurses. They are the best, although this Alabama paramedic is giving them a run for the money.

Funny how everyone in Congress is suddenly demanding our hospitals act and perform as if they’re part of a well-organized national healthcare system, with layers and layers of robust government support behind them. These would be the same congressmen, of course, who have fought against every move in that direction. Well, we’ll get there someday. Maybe the current Ebola scare will push us a little closer. One can hope.

Well, there’s room in my book bag for one more, so it’s time for a library run!

© 2014, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Friday Bag o’ Books

  • Don’t buy new. I picked up a 5 year old SUV with 64K miles on it and paid $50K less than the original purchaser.

    That said:
    The Ford EcoBoost power plant really is intriguing though. I normally wouldn’t even consider a gasoline engine in a pickup but I was afforded the opportunity to sit around a bonfire with a fella who was intimately involved with the development. Common rail injection, twin turbos – small turbine wheels that spool up faster providing more boost earlier and a much flatter power curve, huge improvements in power density over a very wide range.
    In a nutshell, they took what you see on a lot of high-end diesels and fitted it to an engine with spark plugs.

    Then again:
    Never buy the first model year of anything.

    But in a couple years, we’ll know how well they did with it and someone else will have paid the depreciation.

    I’ll reserve commentary on Ebola. 😉

  • Cool to hear that about the new engine, and makes me want one even more. I never understood why we didn’t have more small diesel-engined trucks, as they do overseas. VW is kind of leading the way with that, but they don’t make trucks for the US market. I generally agree with first-year models, but I’ve had two first-year Honda Goldwings, an ’88 and a ’01, both of which were more hand-made than later ones, and both of which have been great. Of course cars and trucks wouldn’t get that kind of attention on the assembly line, so you’re no doubt correct. Anyway, we can wait a year or two!

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