After 22 years and 11 months of being driven around by parents, friends, and my awesome girlfriend, and 2 years of waiting 30 minutes for the bus to show up at 1 am after a 13 hour day on campus, I finally have my very own car! It's a 2006 Acura TSX in silver that I picked up yesterday in Jacksonville. I've spent the last 2 and a half months looking for a car since I'm graduating in December, and figured a car might be kinda useful. I settled on the TSX about 3 weeks ago, and went out looking for price quotes on Thursday. Managed to get it $2,500 below the sticker price, which was right in line with what I read online that people were paying. As I've mentioned before in other areas, I can't imagine doing this without the internet. It took a total of about an hour of negotiation with three different dealers to get the best price, and I did it all from home. Then it's just a matter of showing up to the dealership with a check from the bank. I very very very highly recommend getting quotes online and reading forum posts on what people are paying because otherwise you're just getting suckered. Some quoted me $1,500 more than I ended up paying, and if you just went to the local dealership you'd have no idea how much money you're wasting.
Anyways, everything comes standard except that I got the optional navigation system which is so much fun and already incredibly useful. But it's got leather, dual climate control, XM, aux input for an Ipod, 6 cd changer, moonroof, Xenon headlights, power everything, bluetooth (I can dial and answer calls without taking the phone out of my pocket, just by talking to the car), a ton of airbags, 205HP, looks incredible, and so so much more! I absolutely love it so far and look forward to many many years with it. And finally the freedom to go to the grocery store whenever I want!
Some pictures here, with more to come later.
I'm not a huge fan of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, but who couldn't love Steve Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner. I mean really, what did they expect to happen?
So now to spend a day in Tampa, then heading to Jax to pick up Candice, then New Orleans Friday night, and then finally in Austin Saturday night. Then start my internship on Monday. Always busy, always something to do.
I'm a Texan again. Got into Austin last Saturday, and started work at Freescale as a summer intern on Monday. Already went to check out 6th street and some other areas of downtown, and it's as cool as I'd heard. My roommates are also cool, and I think it'll be yet another fun summer. Work is still ramping up and mainly consists of me reading pages upon pages of technical documents to try and get a grasp of the chip, but it seems like a pretty cool project. I'm on the verification team, and get to help do some performance verification on the design. So both programming and hardware, exactly what I wanted! Me and Candice left Florida on Friday, stayed in New Orleans that night, and then got into Austin late Saturday. The French Quarter of New Orleans were we stayed was pretty much like it was when I lasted visited before the hurricanes, but we could see some major devastation from the interstate, and quite a few businesses were still closed in the FQ.
Lots more pictures on on the car page, including some pictures after I washed it yesterday. I used this product called Stoners Invisible Glass, and holy crap is that stuff amazing. My windows look like mirrors now, and it's like my windshield isn't even there. And I still love this car, and not just because of the freedom I finally have!
I really need to get a fake ID to get some senior citizen discounts.
Well my first full weekend was quite fun, and included my very first crawfish cookout. It consisted of over 65 pounds of crawfish, along with sausage, hot dogs, onions, mushrooms, corn, potatoes, and lots of seasoning. It was quite tasty, though it's a bit of work to get what little meat is in each individual crawfish. It's also kind of weird to see your food moving around minutes before you put it in the boiler and then eat it. I've still got so much to explore in Austin, I've barely scratched the surface, and I'm still excited to see all that's around here.
I've also become a quasi "car guy", which I never thought would happen. I've added some blue LED's to the door, and then hacked the TSX navigation start up screen from the default Acura one to a UF gator logo. It was quite a process but I eventually got it to work. Everyone's currently trying to get rid of the annoying nag screen that says not to mess with the nav while driving, as it can be quite distracting, but once you've read it once, you really don't need to read it again. No luck so far on it though.
I also bought a new cell phone off Ebay so I could use the Handsfree Link on my car. I ended up getting a Motorola V330 as it was the cheapest blue tooth flip phone I could find without having to get another service contract. It's by far the best phone I've had, with a camera, movie taking ability, and of course the bluetooth. So now all I have to do when I'm in my car is press a button on the steering wheel and say "Call Mom" and it'll call my mom and we'll talk through the car speakers and microphone already built into the car. All with the phone in my pocket. It's quite cool. The HFL was all set up through voice commands too, to enter the phone book entries and navigate the menus. I love this car more every day!
Best idea: EVER. I need this so bad, as I always have shaky long exposure photos when there isn't anywhere to place the camera on, and a tripod is way too bulky.
Holy crap have I neglected this site. I just realized I had posts from September still up on the front page. But I guess that's what happens since I've been updating oh... maybe once a month, twice a month at best. Grad school and a girlfriend really change how you spend your time. Of course now that I'm in Austin with no school and the ever lovely Candice is 1500 miles away, it provides quite a bit more time on the computer. Granted I now spend quite a bit of that time looking up car stuff (see below) but hey, I updated the archives, updated the bio page, and what, what is that, updated the mp3 page? Whoaaaaa. Now with over 4,500 songs taking up 16 gigs.
I never realized this before I owned a car, but there are literally hundreds of products to clean your car. And if you're crazy about it, you can spend hundreds of dollars on stuff to clean your car. It's insane! The best thing I've bought so far though would have to be the Stoners Invisible Glass. It's some amazing stuff.
I also got my very first scratch, a nice 1" long one on the driver side door, due to me hitting it with the nozzle of the coin operaterated car wash. It's somewhat deep so waxing or scratch remover hasn't work, so it's going to be staying on there. At least since my car is silver it's not very noticeable unless you look for it.
X-Men III: The 3rd best of the X-men movies. It's the exact kind of movie where you wouldn't see if it was just a stand alone movie, but because you saw the first two, you feel obligated to see the last one. It wasn't horrible, but wasn't great either. I did see it in a Digital Light Projection theatre though, which is like watching a movie in high definition. It plays off a hard drive, so you have absolutely no flicker, no burning, no scratching, it looks incredibly pristine. If there is one near you, it is worth it to drive out to see a movie in it.