punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Why I am up at 4am: I have been paged.

On call again. We have some subsystems in our mail system they keep getting huge spikes of traffic, and we're not sure why. I had to put some monitoring in place. Luckily it's not some critical issue, it's more like the oil light coming on in your car. But now I can't go back to sleep, because I have to see if it happens again.

Bye by, SC2...So speaking of cars, in January of 2002, we got a blue Saturn SC2. We needed a second car because the wagon was getting on in years, and takayla had a hellish commute from here to Baltimore. But then the Saturn Wagon sort of died ("I'm not dead, yet!" I hear it say outside), and we have been depending on the SC2 as our primary car for the last 4 years. But while it was a great car, it didn't fit what our family needed. As CR grew taller, he couldn't fit in the back seat, and we felt bad ferrying some of our friends around all cramped up back there. It's really a great 2-seater, but a terrible family car. So a few years ago, we though about trading in for a VUE. I hesitated because I wanted them to "be proven" over time, and the proof had show itself when our friends Matt and Moria got one, and they love it.

So that was one of the main purchases earmarked for our equity loan, an amount that is being held hostage by our bank, as told in an earlier entry. There's been a very complex story behind this trade, and so far, the car that's sitting in my driveway currently is not our car. It's a 2002 VUE that is a loaner from the dealer. Here's a summary of what happened:

- We wanted the VUE, we priced, we looked around, test drove, and so on
- We wanted to get one at the end of January, they said, "O-TAY!"
- We got a Carmax value on our trade, and it was fair
- We wanted Saturn to match or break it, they did
- The dealer thought we were someone else, ordered the wrong car
- Ooh, but one like we wanted was on the lot, wait... no it wasn't.
- Then takayla suddenly wanted pinstriping
- The one was wanted on their lot was sold, special order takes 4-6 weeks
- "Wait, there's one at another dealership that is almost exact... no, they sold it," they said, after we had agreed to pay for already installed chrome roof racks (blecch).
- We explain we don't have the money yet. But we'll get a bonus for being a loyal Saturn customer plus money bonus for GMAC financing. So I am taking out a loan I am paying off in 11 business days. Do you realize I have never paid any loan to term? I always have paid them off early (except for my current home loans). No wonder our credit score is so good now.
- "Our computer system is down, will be back up in 20 minutes, please don't go..."
- "Ooh... we found one in Woodbridge that's not exactly what you want, but close enough."
- We agreed. Pinstriping was brown, though. No paying for chrome roof racks, however.
- "Hi, my name is Steffanie. I am exactly the kind of girl that stodgycat would drool over. Please buy our extended Warrantee coverage with free maintenace package!"
- Haggled price down from $1995 to $1310, knowing full well I was paying for fluff, but Saturn has always had my back, so now I have "extra" insurance, but free oil changes, tire rotations, and bumper-to-bumper repairs with $0 deductible.
- "Ooh... we can't get it until tomorrow. Here's a loaner car."
- Vrrrom vrrroom... man, this is high up. We like the 2006 models better.
- Bye bye, faithful SC2... [sniff]

So that's why a 2002 silver Saturn VUE is in my driveway with dealer tags. Later today, we hope, our 2006 black VUE will be in. Sun and sound package, heated seats, XM, OnStar, and some super stereo system. And with all the trades, bonuses, and so on, it's about $4000 less than I budgeted for, so I'm happy with that as well.

Then takayla wants a plasma HD TV for our bedroom. Ugh.
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