Tripper IV! Mom and baby are doing well. He’s already eating at the whole bit. I kinda wanted another girl at first but then the last week or so I’ve been thinking, “it be cool to have one of each” fished my wish!
Mrs. Tripper and I are expecting another baby! Just got the ok to tell the world. Due 7/8 and we'll be waiting til birth (like last time) to find out if it's a boy or girl, but we're all super excited! I think I'd slightly prefer another girl because I know what I'm doing there. However I'm "the third" and a boy will most definitely be Tripper IV so that's probably cool too!
We had to say goodbye to a dear friend last night. A companion, friend, and protector. A handsome, sensitive, all around good boy. He was loved by all of us but had a particularly sweet relationship with my daughter, they were best buddies. He was also the first real responsibility my wife and I took on when we first moved in together. Below is what happened followed by some of my favorite pictures of him and a couple of my favorite stories about him.
I know we have discussed pet insurance on here a few times and while I was not against getting it, I considered it kind of a bad deal. I felt as if I did the math and it was either spend 10-12k over the life of my pet, or risk spending it all at once if something happened. I was ok with that risk and it seemed to work out just as I calculated at first...
I'll be as quick as I can here as this was a long, complicated, process over the past 7-8 months. Our 9 year old boxer "Miles" had very few health problems throughout his life. He always had a sensitive stomach but sometime around the holidays last year he started throwing up with some kind of regularity.
We had him looked at at our regular vet which included an x-ray. That x-ray found an opacity on his lung and they recommended we see a specialist. Test, ultrasounds, and CT scans later the recommended we have the mass removed and biopsied. The surgery was successful, the mass was cancerous but it was a low grade tumor and had not metastasized to any other areas. Miles was expected to make a full recovery and the doctor even said that he'd likely not have any further complications with cancer for the rest of his days.
We were in 11k at this point. Right where I thought we'd be if something like this happened canceling out the money we saved not having insurance. Miles was recovering well but 9 days after his surgery his breathing was off. It worried me enough to take him back to the emergency vet and it turns out that air was leaking into his chest cavity...
Now this part is a little fucked up. The facility where he was being treated was like, "uh yeah we close on Saturdays (it was a Friday morning) and this seems serious so we're going to have him transferred to another facility. The whole thing felt odd and I was upset about it but I was more concerned with Miles so they made arrangements at another facility and I picked up miles and drove him there. (We never heard from this facility again, not a "how is he doing" nothing. The wouldn't even answer calls for his records after we spent 2 months working with them and spent all that money.)
The name of the new facility rang a bell for me and it turns out that someone my wife "kind of" knows co-founded this vet hospital. "Text her" I said over the phone while I was en route. "you don't have to ask for a favor, just let her know what the deal is and that I'm headed over." We'll never know for certain how much that helped, but this facility called in 3 doctors to come in on a weekend and save Miles' life. They read the radiology live and it turns out that Miles had developed a super rare condition (probably because of the first surgery but no one would say that explicitly, even the pathologist afterward). There was kind of a bubble/cyst on the repaired portion of his lung. They then had to go back in and repair his lungs and he was given a 50/50 survival chance.
The surgery took 5 hours and an exhausted surgeon called me at almost 10pm to let me know that Miles had survived and that only time would tell if his lungs would seal up properly. They did and we had a few good months with our boy. This procedure and the week stay at the vet afterward was 15k and suddenly I have a whole new outlook on pet insurance.
A few more weeks went by and Miles was throwing up often again and there seemed to be little spots of blood in it. Then one night I woke up to the sound of him throwing up, got up and readied the puke clean up kit and switched on the light. Usually it was just a small spot, maybe two. this was a 25 foot trail and it was all blood. I just rolled the whole rug up and my wife and I drug it out to the curb at 3 am...wonder what my neighbors thought...
The next day it was back at the doc for a blood transfusion and an endoscopy on his stomach. Stomach cancer. The growth was wrapped around the sphincter between his esophagus and stomach so it was inoperable. I actually think this was the hardest day for me. Doc said we'd get a couple of weeks at best out of him. I stopped counting the dollars after the last surgery but there were more tests, special foods and medication. We went well over 30 grand trying to save this poor dog. And these vet hospitals surprisingly don't offer financing. So please, if you're on the fence about pet insurance, get it. It's not terribly expensive and you can shop around. It's great that there are now all of these tests and procedures available for our pets but they are astronomically expensive without insurance. It would have covered just about everything had we had a policy for him.
Obviously all bets are off at this point so we stopped with the super expensive food that he hated and I started making him scrambled eggs and sausage in the morning. He was always a very food motivated dog so we let him eat whatever he wanted. The frozen meatballs from Wegmans were his absolute favorite. We had to mince everything up super fine to make sure he could get it down, but I didn't mind.
We had another really good run (maybe 5-6 weeks). He was around and happy for the birth of our new son, and he made it to our cabin vacation which we really wanted for him and for us... After that he really started taking a turn for the worst, he got really skinny, only got up to eat or to move from sofa to sofa, and his left eye got really weird and foggy. I'm pretty sure he went blind in that eye. The night before last he fell while we were on our evening walk and couldn't get back up. I carried him home knowing what this probably meant. In hindsight we were probably selfish for the last week or two keeping him around, but we just love the guy so damn much.
He went peacefully after some chocolates with my wife and I at his side and we miss him dearly. Is the first time either my wife or I had to go through it. I didn't go with my childhood dog when it was her time as I was away at college and I have always felt guilty about that. It was tough but we both had a lot of time to process this over the past 8 months and he really was barely himself at the end. We plan to spread his ashes at his favorite places, Assateague Island, our family cabin, and in my wife's garden.
Ok now for some more uplifting stories about Miles:
Miles rarely went to the bathroom in the house but when he did he went on what I like to call a "piss parade". I never met a dog who could pee so much he could hit everything too. Floor, walls, furniture you name it! He usually only did this when we waited way too long to take him out or after we had a bunch of people over. However one time when he was just a little puppy, my friend and I stumbled back to my apartment from the bar on a snowy night and the first thing I had to do was take Miles to pee. So we got him out to the courtyard and he was so little that we didn't have him on a leash yet. Miles began his first piss parade! going all around the court yard:
My Pal: "Yo dude, your dog takes real long pees"
Me: *laughing "yeah just a little guy too, like where's all that pee coming from?"
Us: *laughing harder and harder as he continues peeing
There is video that my neighbor sent of the two of us laying in the snow cackling while a little tiny Miles licked our faces. Speaking with vague coherence about how long he had peed for.
A few days later Miles pooped on the side of a hill near our apartment and it was still very snowy out. I was still dressed from work, peacoat and all. Miles went galivanting up the hill. I ran up to catch him slipped as I grabbed him and slid down the hill on my back Miles riding on my stomach right through his pile of poop! I was mad at the time but Miles and particularly my wife though it was super funny. Looking back on it, it was.
One day, shortly after we bought our house I arrived home to chaos in the backyard. I heard my wife yelling and walked out back to see miles chasing something through the yard, catching it, shaking it, and throwing it high up into the air from his mouth over and over again. I ran down and miles now had this animal on it's back. It was a pretty good size groundhog, claws up in defense mode scratching at miles who was leaned way back and was whapping this groundhog on its belly with his paw to avoid its claws.
"Miles stop" I said half laughing at the situation. "STOP!" I shouted and gave me such a, "But dad! I gotta kill this thing!" look. However he listened and we all got to breath for a minute and then laugh about how crazy it was.
I could tell stories all day about him. He did the goofy clomp clomp clomp walk when we tried the snow boots for dogs on him etc... He was a fantastic dog and we're lucky to have had him as part of the family.
He always loved a pillow/head rest. My daughter insisted that we get him his very own pillow for his birthday a few years ago.
And by a million bucks I mean, gasoline...
I took the "long" way to work through Valley Forge park. For whatever reason I really like driving an old car through areas where you can forget what year it is. This route takes you though a bunch of super nice properties, through VF park, and over an old wooden covered bridge. The next stretch follows a creek down a windy road that T's off back to reality.
It's the first time in a long time that I've commuted in this car and one of my colleagues said with a smile, "are you driving that to save on gas?"
I'm lucky to get into the teens for MPG if I'm driving it the way I like to.
Yesterday I took delivery of a 2022 Honda Civic Si in Aegean Blue! I've now lived with it for about 12 hours and 70 miles which I feel is a enough time for some initial thoughts.
When I first decided to start looking for this car I figured it would be a pretty easy process. Find a dealer with one, and go get it. If you have read a few of my recent posts you know that it was not so simple. Honda's inventory issues seem to be significantly worse than those of other manufactures. On top of that, when you do find one the markups are CRAZY. My local Honda dealer had a red Si. I called the dealer and made an appointment with a sales rep for what I thought would be a test drive and maybe a purchase. They wouldn't even let me drive it without agreeing to buy! When I pushed back a little they said they would let me drive it, but only if I talked numbers first.
MSRP on a 2022 Honda Civic Si is $28,595. They wanted $38,999 before tax, title etc! I laughed and said, "look I'll buy this car today pending a test drive for sticker but that price is crazy. He went back to his manager and came back after 15 minutes or so to say, "sorry for wasting your time but were not willing to sell it anywhere near that price."
So I left, pretty annoyed. You know when you think you want a car, then you see it and you really think you want it. I was there. So I figured I would call some other dealers and we'd laugh together about my experience and they'd sell me a car at sticker.
Well I called some other dealers and got answers like, "oh yeah we won't allow test drives on an "Si" either.", "Yeah, we have a couple Si's and our markup is $6k.", "Yeah we don't have any and the next 3 that are coming in are spoken for. The last one we sold we asked for $12k over sticker, we sold it for $8k over."
Finally I found a dealer who's normal markup is $2,500 but were willing to talk turkey if I came in, in person. They wouldn't bend on they one they had but would go for sticker plus their "mandatory" upgrade package ($795) on one that was in their pipline... So I took that deal as the one next to arrive was blue and that is the color I wanted most. That was about 3 weeks ago and the car arrived last night.
Much to my surprise, the rest was easy! I had an appointment for 6:30pm. I arrived at 5:45. My sales rep said they wouldn't be ready until my appointment and offered to throw a plate on the car so I could take it for a spin. So my father and I drove it around for 30 minutes or so...
I have to admit I prepared myself for a small level of disappointment. My daily is an E46 M3 and the light of my automotive life is a 1975 BMW 1502 speced/modded just the way I like it. So part of me was thinking, "look, you might not like this as much as you do the Bimmers." However, the other part of me thought, "those Bimmers are wildly different and so will be this Honda so keep an open mind!"
Not only was I not at all disappointed with the Civic, but I liked it more than I even thought possible, right off the bat! Both of us commented on how firm but comfy the seats are, and nice the shifter is with it's super short smooth throws.
We were in south Jersey so lots of divided straight highways, I said something to the effect of, "I hope we can find a couple of turns somewhere around here. It's not the end of the world if we don't but I'd like to feel out the chassis a little before I decided if this is really for me." I gave up and got on 295 to turn around and head back to the dealer...
Jackpot! The single lane entrance to 295 went right, left, and right again with enough drama to push it a little bit. Even with the crappy all season tires it had plenty of grip and felt great. I liked it so much we went around again just for that section, haha.
Until this morning I though I'd be alright on the included tires for a while. Then I went through my favorite round about with a little gusto on my way to work this morning. The tires said "too much bro" so I will probably go for a set of wheels and Pilot Sport 4s' in the near future.
Things I thought I'd like, and did like:
Things I thought I wouldn't like, but ended up liking:
The rev-match feature - It took me a minute or two to break the habit of stabbing the gas on downshifts but it does a great job on it's own if you just press and release the clutch wile shifting down.
The gas milage - I intend to follow the recommended engine brake in period so I didn't get all up on it but I was not at all conservative with my driving habits on the TD or on the ride home and over 62 miles I averaged 33.8 MPG LOL. I honestly DGAF about gas milage but it is nice to get that sort of efficiency while still enjoying the drive.
The power - In the reviews of the 11th gen Civic Si, there is a common theme of dunking on the car for only having 200 horsepower. I honestly think it's plenty adequate. I can't even use the upper 1/3 of the rev range and have not even hit the floor with the pedal, and I still think it has plenty of power. I mean, yes I do plan to do the hondata tune and supporting mods to get more power but only because it's available, cheap, and easy.
Things I thought I wouldn't like and indeed do not like:
Neither here nor there:
Extras! I'm not big on bells and whistles but this car has a few that are nice and I will probably get some use out of.
Wireless CarPlay - I have yet to connect this way but when I plugged in my phone it asked if I wanted to enable wireless CarPlay, so I did. Looking forward to seeing how that works
Bose Audio - I'm sure it's on the lower tier and my opinion of factory "upgraded" sound systems is already low. However, I've got no stereo in the 1502 and the one in the M3 is sporting at least two blown speakers. So it's still a nice to have for me although I probably wont use it a ton.
Short take, I love it! I was looking forward to taking it out at lunchtime which I did on some twisty roads and it really feels like it just suits me and is really entertaining to drive. I'm sure I will have some more detail as the "new car novelty" fades but right now I am 100% happy with my first Honda.
I'm going to have it ceramic coated along with the M3, then I'll take some pics of all three cars with a decent camera.
Oh and we started the paperwork at 6:45 and I was out the door at 7:30...so not bad!
My automotive chi was damaged yesterday while driving an absolute piece of poop.
Today the damage has been repaired and my mind is clear. I finally checked off a corner that I have been after for a while. I've gone through this particular low speed "s" (hard left, softer right) in the wrong car hundreds of times. I went through the turn first at about 75% just chirping the tail a little bit. I pulled into the parking lot of the golf course that is nearby, snapped the pic below and headed back toward that turn in the opposite direction...the correct direction as were now going soft left to harden right. As an added bonus you can see about a half mile past the exit of the corner...if it's clear, its really clear.
Lotta golfers out today! The course runs right along the road and there's a tee box just to the right before the beginning of the soft left. There were some golfers there just chatting. I thought "eh they might not appreciate what I'm about to do" and started to back off when I noticed one guy hitting me with the double thumbs up...I wave and think, "nevermind!". Man, do I wish someone had a picture of us exiting that turn, it might have been my best work ever!
Finally, yes I have bought another car! I'm sure you'll be not at all surprised to hear that it is an E chassis BMW. After yesterdays bummer of a car shopping trip, I sent my dad to look at Tellurides and Jeep Grand Cherokees. He bought a 2020 Grand Cherokee Limited and the BMW dealer (hah) where he found it offered him $2,500 for trade on his X5. I offered $2,501...Bob.
So I'm now the proud owner of an 2004 Grey X5 3.0 that looks very similar to the one below. 95k on the clock. I take delivery on Monday and I am very excited!
Happy Christmas Everyone!
I got a call this morning from the Honda rep. My car is has been delivered! Now I just have to figure out how to get there... It's about 75-90 minute drive from my house there will probably be traffic when I go at the end of the day. So I'd really like to not put my wife through that with a 4 year old and a 1 month old. My father and I usually do car things together but he's got golf this evening which he said he'd bail on but I feel bad asking him too.
I'm prepared to take an uber for a cool $100 or so, but both my wife and father are like, "don't do that!".
So I'm sitting here trying to decide what to do. Either way, new car day!
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit how much fun I'm having with this Honda. I got Yellow Springs road all to myself this morning (a twisty road leading into Valley Forge park). I was going through corners about as fast as I was comfortable. Upon exit I'm like, "wow that was fucking easy I could definitely do that a LOT faster"
I came around the last hard left to a G30 540 in my way. He must have seen the briskness with which I came around that turn as he immediately upped his pace and the two of us had a run through the rest of the park.
Even with all of this fun driving (and that is pretty much all it has been) I'm going to get nearly 400 miles out of my 12.4 gallon tank and am currently averaging 32.5 mpg, which is WILD to me. I'm really excited to get beyond the 600 mile break in period. I still plan to take it easy for another 600 miles after that but I'll use the full rev range here and there after the first 600. I'm just under 300 miles so far.
I drove the M3 on Wednesday and a couple of my coworkers who aren't car people but know that the Civic was an uncharacteristic purchase were giving me a hard time like, "Wooow, back to the M3 already!"
Me: "Just spreading the love around, you chuckleheads"
I got my plate yesterday as well as the interior trunk handle that I ordered. Apparently Canadian Civics get this but US cars do not. So I spent $12 and had to cut a slit in the liner but now I can close the trunk without touching the paint. The plate is on there naked for now, but I'm going to get some kid of frame as it arrived bent so I don't want to risk it hitting the paint.
@davesaddiction Yep. I opted for the paint/glass but omitted the wheels as it's an extra $300 and I'm planning to change them out in the spring. I'm super excited to see it. Should get it back over the weekend. M3 was supposed to go in right after but I still have to pull off some more of the old PPF so that is slightly delayed
After 4.5 years and 50k miles
Damn I feel like it was just yesterday that I saw the new car post on Kinjoppo. I like the Ridgeline. That would be another great option for her...cept one of the cars has to fit an XL dog and we'll probably get another dog. I miss having a boxer:/
Civic is in for correction and ceramic today!
@davesaddiction Lol, I was thinking. "Man I'm on the juice right now." The dealer experience was good. I have been thinking about a Pilot/CRV for her since getting the Civic and seeing that Honda is matching up the styling with the rest of the fleet. I know she won't want a new car though, unless it's a yellow FD RX7.
@HammerheadFistpunch Yeah there's a 2-mile-long hill on the trip up to our cabin that is an 18% grade (I only know that because there is a sign at the top of the hill for truckers). Going up that hill in the forester with two adults, one kiddo, our gear in a clamshell, and two dogs (one L and one XL) was difficult. Ya basically have to wind it out in second to have enough power