Buying a New Car: the Alltrack

As mentioned earlier, I test drove a white Alltrack SE with the driver assistance package on a Thursday. I told Chris I would return the following week, ready to buy a black Alltrack SE, and again specified the driver assistance package. The buyback money came through on Saturday, and was available to me on Monday, so I took off work a bit early on Monday afternoon, called Chris to let him know I was coming, and went to the bank for a cashier’s check.

My wife and I arrived at Metro VW about 2:30pm on Monday. My wife is a master of haggling and she enjoys it, so we were all ready to make a deal on a black Alltrack SE with the driver assistance package. We waited about 30 minutes for Chris to bring the car around, had a quick look at it, and commenced to haggling. Continue reading “Buying a New Car: the Alltrack”

Buying a New Car: Saying Goodbye to Hank

My first car was a 1968 Chevrolet Suburban. It had issues (an undiagnosed cracked manifold among them) and after many months of frustration, sat in the driveway for a few years before being sold for scrap metal. After that, I drove a Civic (flipped 1 ½ times, totalled), an Accord (transmission failed), a 1971 Beetle (t-boned by a mid-1980s Blazer, totalled), a Prelude (rear-ended, totalled), and the Forester that I traded in when I bought Hank.

Hank was the first car I bought all by myself, and the only one that I said goodbye to over many months. It was hard.

Continue reading “Buying a New Car: Saying Goodbye to Hank”

Buying a New Car: Intro

Shopping for and buying a new car is huge pain. I’ve bought three cars in my adult life: Hank the Golf, over which I hemmed and hawed for about 9 months before suddenly pulling the trigger one Saturday morning; my darling, adorable wife’s Volvo, which was also a total spur-of-the-moment Saturday thing; and this new one, which was a considerably different, deliberate, long and drawn out affair.

I really wish it had been more similar to previous car-buying events, and I hope to never experience something like this again.

What made it so bad? Well…[READ MORE] Continue reading “Buying a New Car: Intro”


Today, I’m thankful for community. I’m grateful to be a small, insignificant part of some larger group, grateful for the support and brother/sisterhood, the understanding and friendship, even the quarrels that come from participating in things with other humans.* Continue reading “Community”

#Neopantastic! (Battle of the 35mm Nikkors)

This is my first time shooting Fuji’s excellent Neopan Acros 100. Given the cost of it, especially relative to, say FP4+, I might never have tried it if not for the #Neopantastic! event on Twitter…  In order to give it a proper test, I decided to pit the fully automatic $2 Nikon One Touch 100, with it’s sharp-as-anything 35mm f/3.5, against the much newer FM3a, perhaps finest small 35mm camera Nikon ever made, with the well-enough regarded Nikkor 35mm f/2 D attached to the front.

Just for fun, I also used two different developers: D76 1 + 1 for the One Touch; Rodinal 1 + 50 for the FM3a.

Who won, do you think? Any bets? Continue reading “#Neopantastic! (Battle of the 35mm Nikkors)”