Sunday, September 21, 2008


With daily commuting now a fact of life, it was time to bring a new vehicle into the stable. The Jeep Grand Cherokee had been relieved of duty earlier this year and found a new home. Horrible gas mileage and very little space made it easy to say goodbye. I should have bought a pick-up instead in February 2006.

I'm happy to introduce to you my latest addition, the Mazda Mazda6. (that's no typo, I'm not kidding). My new companion will be my primary ride to work and back, with the BMW filling in back up duties and for a change of pace. I really like the 635csi, but 17 mpg on premium is not going to cut it. Also, I don't want to run on the miles on a classic car. It was also like an insurance policy as well, certainly the BMW would break to the tune of $1500.00 or so if I had depended solely on it.

This is the Mazda6 sSport. (again, no typo!) A V-6 with a manual transmission, not an ordinary vehicle build, in fact it's no longer offered. I had to travel to Houston to find one and major thank you's to my friend Mike for taking me there and leading the way home. The car I found was in Alvin, TX pretty close to Galveston. I had actually found the car about 10 days ago, but all of Houston was a little busy last weekend. Alvin, TX is 64 feet above sea level, so no flooding and just a lot of wind damage. The dealership had just opened on Friday and I came in Saturday and picked her up.

So far it's a great car. It's still under factory warranty for another 14 months and 20,000 miles. I won't be able to work on it. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that. But the BMW and Mustang need plenty of attention. This car has always had great reviews as a sporty sedan. I had a similar set up in my 1993 Ford Contour SE with the V6 and manual transmission, but that combo has not been offered by Ford in a long time on a mid-sized sedan. I was looking at the Ford Fusion, but there was no manual offered on anything but a four and I'd have better luck trying to find Osama Bin Laden then a manual Fusion. I flirted with getting a 2009, but the dealer said a manual was an "order only" build. Me wait? HA! See ya.

Houston is recovering. On the way to the dealer we saw much wind damage. Office building windows were boarded up, power poles were leaning, fences were down, roofs were tarped and some structures had failed. There were many "four way stops" due to lack of signals. Everyone cooperated though. On the way home I had the "pleasure" of driving through a backed up sewer that was about 12 inches deep on the road. It did not smell nice.

There was one constant sign of damage throughout Houston that was unmistakable. McDonald's has several signs that were 400-500ft in the air. They are not very wind resistant as all over the city they were destroyed. I snapped a shot of one. Every where I went they were destroyed, even when nothing else around seemed damaged.

Tomorrow I break in the Mazda for commuting duty. Now I'll be Zoom-Zooming through traffic with much better mileage.