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Its signed. I'm going to work.
I signed the paperwork on Thursday. My first day with SHPS is next week Tuesday. I'm ... excited. Happy. Wary. Relieved. A whole bunch of things.

I did a breakdown of salary expenditure and stuff. If I do a 10% tithe, I will have just enough coming in to cover both the rent and the mortgage, and eat out kinda like I'm used to, no major lifestyle changes. If I sell the house, that makes things much better. Then I can .. oh, dang. Can't talk about that yet. *grin*

I've been drooling over vehicles lately. Looking at smaller more gas-efficient yet cute vehicles... I chatted with a guy about a Mazda 3 the other day. He likes it.. its peppy. Doesn't get good mileage for vehicles in its class though: 28 or so. I'm like: ... oh, i'll trade mileage for pep, as long as it gets in the high 20's or low 30's. *drool*

A little table of vehicle drool:

26-34 mpg, 14gal tank
~= $12K on E-Bay for 2004 model with 70k miles
Toyota Matrix
~=$12K bluebook private party @ 45k miles
Honda Insight
57-66 mpg, ?? size tank
Only 2 passengers, very loud ride etc. 
Pretty much only a commuter vehicle
KBB: $16k for a 2004. 
Jetta Stationwagon
24-30 mpg
~=$15k KBB for 2004
Subaru ("Scoobydoo") Outback
19-26 mpg!!!! Yuck   That's because its a V6.  
17G tank
~=$15k KBB for 2004
I know there's a smaller zippier outback as well, but couldn't find it initially.

But what it has to be, is under $10k. Somewhat artificial, yes.. point is, i don't want a car loan again. I want to buy it for cash. At $10k, i can {almost} do that, especially after my current client pays me. *poke*. (oh yeah, i have to send an invoice first.)
Well.... yeah, i'll go with an older model for $10k if I can, else maybe I can work my way up to $15k.

I've also been drooling over several games at EBGames:

  • Guitar Hero 2: Ouch, its $79 with the controller. I like it because it allows for a "trial" mode when doing music, it does bass lines seperate from guitar leads, and its got good songs. Also, "easy" mode is much more challenging as compared to guitar hero 1.
  • Final Fantasy XII: Yummy beautiful graphics. I'd almost wait to get a better game system like XBox360 or PS3 first, before getting it, so that I can enjoy it with HD, after I get a HDTV. Heh. Or, I could rent it.
  • Lego Star Wars II: I might have to rent this one. Its fun, but not that much fun?
Ok, that's about it. time to wrap up, and play... dunno. Might do a wee bit more NWN2, or i might go cancel my WoW account, or play some guitar hero. Or maybe go to sleep. Nah. Battle for Middle Earth?

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I test drove pretty much all of those.
In the end, it was th mazda three versus a 2006 Subaru Impreza wagon (2.5i non turbo). I bought the Impreza for $16,200. (It was brand new, 100 miles on it) I got it from a dealer in Evanston Ill. It was worth the drive from Milwaukee.

In the end, it's about 2% slower than the mazda three. But it has more cargo space, and it has AWD, and it seems to eat corners better. And it's still pretty fast. 8.0 seconds for 0-60. And it gets around 30mpg from what I've experienced. And they totally keep their resale value.

I highly recommend it. I am so incredibly satisfied with it. And thats rare for me to totally like a car.

Thanks Jen!
ANd if it was new for 16,200.. i might be able to get one for 12 or 14, perhaps. :)

AND! best of luck on that boston thing. :)

Lemme add another cool game title to your list: Phantasy Star Universe! I picked this one up and it's great!

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