Nonsense News already gorged on the Spritzer & Blagoyavich scandals, then went on to Sanford, Michael and now Palin. With eager fingers on keyboards, they let 'er rip - with glee! If only all of them - politicians and news media alike - could just say, "NO!" to their demons... poor souls.
In the meantime, I received a safety recall for my 11-year-old Oldsmobile from General Motors. I've become so cynical that I naturally assumed it was GM's newest marketing technique to get rid of inventory. With 110,000 miles on the odometer, I expected a pitch to trade it in for a new Buick (they don't make my beloved Olds Intrigue anymore). Checking recall information with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - a useful government resource - it was legit after all! Frayed spark plug wires & leaking oil gaskets was a match made in hell... a potential disaster waiting to happen just as I was preparing to drive across 9 states the end of May. GM's local dealership took care of it right away - no charge - on a car they no longer even make.
I took it back to my old trusted mechanic who opened his own business, Road Runner Auto Sales & Service, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa last September. I had him replace the leaking gaskets, plenum and intake valve, and the water pump, steering wheel pump, hoses and brake pads, too - all at a very reasonable cost. He vouched for the Intrigue's 3.8L V6 engine, saying it was now good to go another 100,000 miles. My fuel efficiency effort consists of driving only when absolutely necessary, which averages about 5-6000 miles/year. Hummm.... my Intrigue (really love that car!) should last just long enough for the industry to finally get its act together to produce new batteries and electric cars at a reasonable price. Check out GM's Re-Invention Plan - they're answering questions in a live chat on July 13 at 1:30pm.
I might have made a totally different decision had I been able to wait until July 23rd - when the final rule is issued for the new Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) that President Obama signed into law on June 24th. CARS is part of the stimulus package designed to help people trade in less fuel efficient cars for new, more fuel efficient cars. Click here for more details: Frequently Asked Questions - or call the CARS Hotline: 866-CAR-7891.
Meanwhile, driving along on Interstates 20, 24, 55, 57, 70, 75, 80 & 85 - over 3 weeks - I couldn't help but notice the tremendous numbers of cars and 18-wheel trucks - coming and going - on the highways. Family vacations despite a surge in gas prices from $2 to $2.50 and loaded shipping containers? It sure looked like our economic engine was in "good to go" mode, too.
It is past time to focus on the "half-full" - instead of "half-empty" - cup because 91% of American citizens are gainfully employed. Do what Warren Buffet does - turn off Nonsense News, get out of the house, take a little drive & look around! We may be spending less... meaning buying less unnecessary "stuff" to stuff in our homes... but as a nation, we are saving more. In the long run, that's a good thing.