November 1st, 2005


Looking ahead to the next vehicle

I've had the RX300 for nearly five years - the loan will be paid off in December - and, while I still love it as much as the day I drove it off the lot, I've started thinking about what will come next. I doubt I'll be able to afford a new RX330, as much as I'd like one. Even so, my next vehicle will be a Toyota, so today's story on CNN about Toyota unveiling two new vehicles at an auto show caught my eye.

For lots of reasons, my next vehicle will be another SUV. I need both the ability to carry people and stuff, and I still want 4WD in the snow, with all of the traction control and other handling benefits that brings. That means, practically speaking, that I'll likely get a RAV4.

The story talked about the new generation of the RAV4 due out early next year. It's significantly larger - 14 inches longer, overall - and the interior doesn't suck, either. The biggest surprise is the very significantly upgraded engine. My 1996 RAV4 had a 2-liter, 120-horsepower 4-banger. The 2006 will have - are you sitting down? - a 3.5-liter, 268-horsepower V6!! They couldn't have gotten that into my RAV4 without a hydraulic ram! Just for comparison, my RX300's 3-liter V6 is rated at 210 HP, and it's plenty sprightly enough already. That's going to be one seriously nice vehicle.

There's one other contender for my affections, though. The story's main thrust was the new FJ Cruiser midsize SUV, also due out early next year. It's looking pretty nice, too, and the price isn't as fearsome as I'd guessed: they're calling the starting price in the low $20K range. The FJ looks like a more serious off-roader, harking back as it does to the original 1960 FJ40 Land Cruiser, but it has plenty of on-road stuff too.

I'll probably start looking at new cars in early to mid 2007. The RX300 isn't falling apart (though it is showing a couple of rust spots where rocks have taken off paint; I need to do something about that pronto), and it's only got 94K miles on it - which, at the rate I travel, will mean about two more years before it starts throwing expensive repairs at me. That's when I'll get serious about buying.
  • Current Music
    Diesel - Sausalito Summer Night

Another new icon

kurreltheraven is, for a very limited time, taking commissions for still or animated icons. I'd wanted an icon for firearms-related posts for some time, and KT wasn't comfortable drawing one, so I jumped on the opportunity.

I like this one. You'll see more of it.

Update: I decided I wanted a better grip on the pistol. Fortunately, it was within my abilities to edit in Photoshop, so I did. No fault of Kurrel's, as I didn't tell him that little detail (and I did tell him about the finger outside of the trigger guard).
  • Current Music
    The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise

Hate will not win

Via sideband:

I am the mother who told her lesbian daughter to invite her girlfriend over for dinner.

I am the father who punished his son for calling you a fag.

I am the preacher who told my congregation that love, not hate, is the definition of a true follower of God.

I am the girl who did not learn the meaning of "homosexual" until high school but never thought to question why two men might be kissing.

I am the woman who argues (quite loudly and vehemently) with the bigots who insist that you do not have the right to marry or raise children.

We are the high school class who agrees, unanimously, along with our teacher, that love should be all that matters.

If you agree, repost this. Do it. You don't have to be afraid. You can handle it. You're stronger than you think.

I am making a difference. Hate will not win.

Yes, I'm a conservative. (Just listen to the song I've got attached to this entry!) That doesn't mean that I subscribe to the hatred of the religious right.
  • Current Music
    Ted Nugent - Kiss My Ass