Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Orion, week 1

It's now been one full week.  The Blue Beast is gone, traded in to Power Nissan Tempe for $500 and replaced by The Orion, a fully-loaded navy blue 2007 Nissan Sentra S.

I'll admit that I really miss The Beast, having been a fairly reliable vehicle overall this year, and especially compared to the problems he had last year.  I miss the little niceties like the door locks that automatically engaged when you shifted into drive, the headlights that came on when it got dark enough, and especially the growl and power of the V6 engine.  Unfortunately, the 122,000 miles he had covered since being built were starting to show:  a creak here, a squeak there, a wobble and pull when driving a straight line, and the obvious exterior wear from the elements and ten years of use by myself and the owners before me.

The Orion's next-generation CVT engine, though not the V6 that I've grown accustomed to, certainly holds its own, especially when it comes to gas mileage (32-36 MPG compared to 20 MPG).  My visits to the overpriced gas stations are now half as frequent.  The 6-CD Rockford-Fosgate sound system roars, and now I finally have something to combat the overpowering amounts of mariachi and gangsta rap music constantly being played by my neighbors' cars.  The only thing I'm having a hard time getting used to is the Intelligent Key system.  I'm accustomed to fishing in my pocket for keys as I'm walking towards the car, but as long as the "key" is on me somewhere, the car will recognize it and I can open the door and start the engine without ever pulling it out of my pocket.

There were definitely trade-offs in this deal, but the biggest one made the whole deal worth it:  peace of mind.  I no longer have to worry what to do when--not if--the car breaks down or wake up at 2AM because the horn randomly went off again.  I have a reliable new vehicle with a 100,000 mile warranty.  Yeah, my insurance went up a little bit and my car payments are a little high, but my credit is being rebuilt and the only thing now that will make my FICO score better is patience and continued timely payments on my bills.

I've been pretty aggressive this past year trying to clean up both my credit and the leftover debris in my life and apartment from the marriage.  The courts have been extremely slow, but the divorce should hopefully be finalized in the next few months.  My living space is finally cleared of leftover boxes and belongings from my soon-to-be-ex-wife and everything from the phone to the TV has been slowly replaced with the latest and greatest--or at least the greatest I can afford.  Thanks to finally landing a real software development job at the bank 15 months ago, I can afford good food and nice clothes for me and Kaylee and still buy new movies, books, and other entertainment after all the bills are paid.  Life is finally looking up thanks to all of my hard work.  Yeah, I'm bragging a little, but I think I've earned that right.

The only major thing on my to-do list now is finding a house.  Renting or buying, it doesn't matter at this point, as long as I'm out of this neighborhood with its leaky roofs and inconsiderate inhabitants.


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