Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Wednesday, 5 June 2002

# 8:40 PM

Mozilla 1.0 is finally out!

# 8:35 PM

Hacked up Blosxom to go faster. Here are gory details.

# 6:50 PM

further car follies

I went and test-drove the new Honda Civic hybrid (warning: pointless use of Flash). This is a nice little car. It is pretty much indistinguisable from the conventional-engine Civic except for being about $4,000 more expensive and getting an additional ten-fifteen miles per gallon. Unlike the Toyota product, the dashboard and controls are all normal.

Honda has a surprising-to-me corporate policy of not allowing anyone to rent their cars. They don't sell to rental companies, and the dealerships don't do rental arrangements. The sales guy said this was to improve the resale value; rental places (he said) buy lots of cars, keep them for a year or two, and sell them again, glutting the used market. Now, since I am of the "buy one car and keep it for ten years plus" school of thought, I don't care about the resale value. But it makes it impossible to test drive the car over a long distance, which is somewhat frustrating. I didn't even get to try it on a freeway.

Also, the dealership has a markup on all their cars' sticker prices: "market value." This, the salesman explained, is an adjustment to reflect how much the car is worth, over and above the MSRP — which is already marked up quite a bit from dealer invoice. I imagine it should be possible to talk them down, but gosh, that's awful blatant.

I was pleased that the sales guy took me at my word that I wasn't going to buy anything today, and let me go in peace.

On the way home on my bike, I saw a car go by with the logo of the Bay Area City Car Share organization. This, frankly, would be the ideal car arrangement for me. I drive about three thousand miles a year, I know when I'm going to need a car well in advance, and I don't wanna deal with the hassle of parking, insurance, maintenance, etc. So why am I not signing up? Because you have to be twenty-five years old. Feh.

heat

It is once again intolerably hot (i.e. 81°F). Fortunately, I remembered to make ice cubes this morning, so I can now have iced tea and cool down some. This is going to interfere with doing laundry, though.