Celebrating Chinese New Year has become a thing for me the past few years, which is interesting, because I am not Chinese. It’s gotten easy to do so because my coworker is from Taiwan and we’re very good friends. It makes sense to go out to a real (not American) Chinese restaurant and get some delicious foods and tea to celebrate. He’s a good friend of mine, and I enjoy culture, so why not partake in some of the fun?
Besides, any reason to go to Shangri-La in Belmont is good by me. A big bowl of spicy beef noodle soup really picks me up, especially when I’m not feeling one hundred percent. Huzzahs all around!
Today I took a new 2011 Mazda 3 s Sport hatchback from Wellesley Mazda in Wellesley. It’s a cool car.
It was a bit of a sad day for me, as I sent my first car that I bought with my own money, a red 1997 Pontiac Firebird, out to pasture.
In its place is a gunmetal blue 2011 Mazda 3 s Sport Hatchback. It’s a nice car, and it’s a good driver’s car. But a little part of me just died today by sending my old car away. It was getting old – the airbag light came on and off, the door was sagging badly, the driver’s side door lock wouldn’t power lock anymore. The power steering whined on cold days. The old suspension was very brutal on bad roads.
But I gave it one last go from a red light, and the motor and the transmission still had it in them. The positraction was worn, but still got the grip to the proper wheels. One last smile came to my face after feeling the torque slam the rear wheels. Death by a thousand papercuts was a great way to describe how this car went out. It served both of its owners well, and I hope that if it does find its way to someone else as a project car, they’ll treat it with the same respect I did.
Will I be happy with my new car? Absolutely. But this car will always have a place in my heart, with the memories of trips, trials, and tribulations in that automobile.
By March, I will own a new car. By hook… well, maybe not by crook. But you get the idea.
My 1997 Firebird will be going off to the great F-Body gig in the sky. I’ll miss it. It’s been a good car that served me well.
But it is time for a new chariot to come my way. It is time… for a Mazda 3.
So, according to this payroll tax holiday thing, I’m expected to net around $75 more a month on my monthly paycheck by contributing less to my future retirement in social security (or to my parents’ payouts in a few years).
This means I lose the “Making Work Pay” tax credit, which was $400 off my normal income tax bill. This year, thanks to that credit, I got $288 back from the IRS. Had I not gotten that credit, I’d owe them $122. So in order to cover the shortfall for next year, I need to withhold about an extra $20 per month in Federal taxes (just to ensure I’ll have a very small refund next year). So I’m trying to figure out which is better.
Netting about $50 extra a month results in about $600 a year in added pay. That’s more than what I’d get back from a refund, definitely, but $50 a month isn’t much these days. It’s food, or gas. It helps, but it’s merely a token gesture. It won’t buy me a new car or dig me out of the same wall of debt that middle class people have, like student loans or a credit card. Alas.
So we’ve managed to get not one, but two levels of Castlevania DLC in the span of eight days or so. I haven’t even mastered Legion and the things in his level yet, and now we have Beelzebub and his fucking flies. I’m convinced whoever made this level was a sadist, what with the trap filled “shortcut” around the side of the castle.
Plus, we now have winged boots, but with stats! That’s right, the Sonic boots, after spending all that time trying to get the regular winged boots, there’s new ones to get. You sly scoundrels, Konami!
Plus, the DLC train doesn’t stop, because in the next two weeks we’re getting new levels. Alas, I think there might be a break from Castlevania because one of the hotly anticipated sequels of the year will be out around that time. If you guessed Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, then you guessed correctly. Can’t wait for mustache Rad to rock the place.
Requiring people to buy three 12-packs to get the $3/per twelve pack price is preponderously stupid. Thanks for reminding me why I don’t usually shop at your stores except when absolutely necessary. Also, quit your other pricing shenanigans. Why, exactly, is nearly everything in your store more expensive than at Hannaford’s? They don’t even need fucking cards for it, either.
In short, Shaw’s (and by association your parent company that owns Albertson’s and tons of other supermarket chains) can die in a fire.
I’ve been churning through a lot of Top Gear on Netflix lately, catching up on a bunch of episodes I’d missed. One reason I love Top Gear is that cars have an almost universal appeal, and you can get on with someone even if they’re separated by a common language. Englishman host the show, of course, and this reminded me of things English people say that are slightly different than our way of saying things.
For instance, something Gearoid would always do is pronounce YouTube as if it rhymed with chew. YouChewb. Or how Jeremy Clarkson uses all of those things so common in British car descriptions. Petrol. The bonnet. The boot. They call a GPS a SatNav. Oh, you crazy Englishman. That’s why I love you.