Leasing a New Truck

The lease on my 2007 Dodge Dakota has expired. This is the 2nd vehicle I have leased through Chrysler Financial and I have been happy. My truck has the crew cab, bed liner, keyless entry, air conditioning, and satellite radio, plus power windows and seats. I rarely leave the county, so the 10,500 miles per year mileage allowance is easy. The payment I have made for the past 27 months has been a sweet deal.

Now that I am in the market for another vehicle, there’s just too much to do. I hate the process of getting a new vehicle.  Talking to a car salesman is my least favorite conversation in life.  The vehicle’s style and color is irrelevant to me. The power train, engine size, turning radius is also of no interest to me. I have never raised the hood on my truck and don’t really care about anything but a vehicle’s usefulness in my lifestyle and the ability to go places comfortably.  All I really need to do is list the options I’d like, the rest should be short and sweet and simple.

Car shopping is such a chore for me.  I’ve been watching the ads and trying to read the fine print but have found that the hook is there but everything changes once you enter the dealership.  The price in the paper does not include tax, license, or dealer prep.  but it does include loyalty discount, military discount, employee discount, friends and family, and special dealer incentives.  By the time the final price is determined, it’s not even close to the price in the paper. Less than one percent of the population qualifies for half of the discounts, so they totally take advantage of regular guys. 

What I would like, is to pre-register my credit and vehicle choice walk in, sign the papers, write a reasonable check, and drive away knowing exactly what I got and what my monthly payment will be. Sounds easy, but the salesman always want to continue selling long after I’ve decided to buy, and they want to explain the unexplainable about why I don’t qualify for any discounts offered in the ad.

I wonder if it’s possible to have car lots that operate like department stores. You walk in, find what you like, sit in it, play with the dashboard, drive it to the check-out counter, and take it home. They wouldn’t have to pay a salesman and could get virtually anyone to operate the cash register.  All they’d have to do is offer vehicles at fair prices that do not reflect a salesman’s commission. That would be too affordable and too easy.

I run a bed and breakfast in Michigan.  I do not need a heavy duty truck for daily use.  I just want a truck that gets me around comfortably and can sometimes transport heavy or bulky things.

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 9:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Dodgeball is an Adult Game

Set up for Dodgeball

Dodgeball is no longer a kids game played during gym class in junior high with the jocks annihilating the nerds. It is an adult game played for fun in leagues across America.  I’ve seen the movie with Ben Stiller, a lot of it is true. There are players out for blood, trying to physically hurt the members of the other team. It is not just a game but a contest to decide who will be the last man standing.  The good news is that no matter how hard a ball is thrown, even a direct hit to the face does more stinging that physical damage.

Our local league is played at the middle school in Hillsdale and pits teams of 8 against each other on a basketball court.  It is a best of 7 series. A game typically lasts only a few minutes. A set goes for about 20 minutes. It starts out with members of each team lining up on the base line and charging to center court on a whistle signal to pick up as many of 8 balls as possible to be thrown at the other team. But first, each team must retreat behind the free throw line before attempting to hit an opponent.


Some teams have strategy, but most teams do not. The strategists will target the person deemed as a better player and whip several balls at him in a coördinated barrage, assuming that this player cannot dodge them all.  If that player gets hit by an airborne ball, he’s out. If the ball is caught before it hits the ground, the hurler is out and the catching team gets to add a player.  This play continues until one team is out of players.  Teamwork will win more games than individual play.

Dodgeball is an adult game

Players are allowed to cross half court to enter about three quarters of the way into the total game space. Going out of bounds is the same as being hit, and that player is illiminated.  The game is not just about dodging a thrown ball.  It took me several games to figure out that catching a ball is more advantageous than dodging it. When a team is behind in the number of players on the court, it is better to catch than to throw or dodge.  When a team is ahead in the number of players it is better to pick out an individual and bull rush him until he is tagged.

dodgeball for adults

Dodgeball is more of a workout than previously thought. There are a lot short bursts of speed that are necessary to obtain or avoid projectiles. Lateral movement is also very important, and can disrupt  the opponents’ timing and aim.  At the end of the night, not only will throwing arms be sore, but also thigh muscles will be burning. Dodgeball is an intense  energetic cardiovascular workout–much more than I had expected on my first night. I spend many nights at the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan, waiting for guests to arrive, but on Thursdays, I have other plans.  Dodgeball is not a game just for kids. Adults enjoy it, too.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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