Tag Archives: cars

Well, it was a weekend

I had company this weekend, so productivity was at a standstill. Mom needed a new car, and Boise is a better area to shop. That’s how it all started. My task was to take her and Dad shopping and help where I could.

Mom doesn’t shop like most people. Her goal was a purple SUV. According to the Internet, GM makes a few in that color. There just aren’t any in Idaho. We cruised the Chevrolet/GM/ whatever dealership, and there was an interesting vehicle. We elected to leave in favor of cruising the Toyota lot. My parents both know how I like Toyotas, and long term followers will remember helping Dad get a Toyota Tundra a couple of years ago. (Note for later: It has nice running boards.)

There were a better selection of Sequoias this time, but they don’t have anything in purple. I really liked a Champaign/gold one they had. The best deal was a loaner car they were selling. It was a red Lexus with 10,000 miles and a pretty good deal going with it.

Nope.

Back to the GM lot to check out the earlier vehicle. It isn’t purple, the color is called Black Current. About six hours later, we drove it back to my place. It’s a Chevrolet Traverse, and is a pretty nice SUV.

I deal with sales people every day. I was in sales for ten years. I also write articles, and make public presentations. In that world, you have to know your audience. Probably good advice for a fiction author too, but I am my first audience.

It was absurd watching two young salesmen trying to sell my mother a car. One at the Toyota dealership, and one at the GM dealership. I made the mistake of telling the Toyota kid I liked the new orange color on the trucks. He pulled a new orange Tundra around to take us driving around the lot.

Here’s the deal. I’m not the customer here. This truck didn’t have running boards, and I had a hard time getting in it. My 86 year old father was with us, and he uses a cane. He managed to crawl inside, but I still don’t know how. He drove around, including the back lot, and told us about all the different SUV models. Then in desperation, he offered to drive the lot a second time so Mom could find a different color she liked.

The Chevrolet salesman was just as bad. He talked about all the USB ports, the OnStar system, the wifi hotspot, and the magnetic phone charger built in. Mom doesn’t own a smartphone, and doesn’t want one. She certainly doesn’t have one that would use magnetic charging. She doesn’t even like Sirius radio. She doesn’t want a computer console at all, but is willing to accept there aren’t any vehicles without one.

She bought the Traverse despite the salesman’s best efforts. They treated her well because her old SUV had TV monitors in the back of the headrests. Mom sewed covers to hide them, because she heard people break in and steal them. I didn’t even know they were there. They’ve never been used… ever.

Know your audience. Don’t make an 86 year old, with a cane, crawl four feet off the ground into a gigantic pickup. Don’t try to sell an elderly woman on all the high tech features in the car. She didn’t want magnetic phone charging and wifi. She wanted purple. I even pulled the salesman aside and told him this about half-way through his pitch. It was that embarrassing. He was a nice kid, he just needs to learn some things.

The upgrades guy was a pain in the ass. He pushed the ten year extended warranty so hard that Mom wound up buying a six year warranty just to shut him up. I know he makes money on these, and doesn’t care that they probably won’t be driving at all in ten years. Finally when he mentioned how many hundred computerized components the car had, and that they were guaranteed to break down, I told him, “That doesn’t speak well for Chevrolet products if you’re guaranteeing they will break down.” I even suggested we might be better suited with a different manufacturer. That toned him down, but not much.

They got on the road early this morning, and called when they got home. I wasn’t very productive, but it was nice to help them out where I could.

Today, I managed to read one short story. Two smelly bulldogs got baths too. That’s about it around here. Hope you guys were more productive.

Next weekend isn’t looking good either. I have Thanksgiving company coming, and have to bake until the wee hours on Wednesday.

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Crossing Bedlam

I’ve already downloaded my copy, and can’t wait to read this one, Craig.

The Rated-R Post-Apocalyptic Action Comedy Adventure is finally here!

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

The United States of America has been crippled. Violently contained by a global military force and left without its leaders, the country has become shattered and chaotic. A decade has passed since the first strike and a new landscape has emerged where survival is more important than anything else. Who will uncover the truth behind the attack and revive this once great nation?

It certainly won’t be Cassidy and Lloyd since they couldn’t care less about that stuff. She is a young woman on a mission to honor her mother’s dying wish, which is to toss her ashes off the Golden Gate Bridge. He is an infamous serial killer she broke out of Rikers Island since hiring a bodyguard wasn’t working out. Not the perfect plan, but having an insane, oddly charming murder-junkie on your side is a plus in the Shattered States.

Bullets and swear words are going to fly as Cassidy and Lloyd travel coast to coast, facing one challenge after another . . . including Nebraska.

Curious about this broken world & these two ‘not even close to being heroes’?

Then grab a copy for $2.99 on Amazon
&
Mark it as ‘To Read’ on Goodreads

Excerpt: A Relaxing Drive on the Parkway (Foul Language Warning)

The jeep hurtles through a large hole in the parkway divider, the threat of incoming traffic nothing more than a faded memory. Only three of their pursuers manage to follow with a fourth smashing into the gap and blocking the path. Not wanting to be an easy target, Cassidy keeps their vehicle swerving from one lane to another. She can hear bullets pinging off the asphalt and the abandoned cars that have been moved to the side of the road. There is another hole in the divider right before an overpass, so she drives through at the last second. Sliding into the tunnel, Cassidy watches the other vehicles pass the gap before making a tire-screeching U-turn to go in the opposite direction. Five motorcycles are heading toward them, but the heavy jeep and its driver’s refusal to get out of the way makes them an easily scattered threat. One of the bikers is unable to swerve to the side and he crashes onto the hood while his ride is sent spinning into an abandoned van.

“Get off my car!” Cassidy shouts as she reaches out the window. Grabbing the man by the ankle, she yanks him off the hood and lets him tumble into the concrete divider. “This is really going to cost me. Do you know what the penalty for your idiocy is? They kill you unless you escape to the mainland. Then you’re exiled until you find something that the Trade Barons want more than revenge. I don’t have time to go on a treasure hunt. Would you take off those sunglasses and stop humming car chase music?”

“I was only trying to complete the scene,” Lloyd argues as he calmly fires a pellet at a sedan driver. Having mixed the three types of ammo, he is happy to see a yellow orb burst on the woman’s mouth. “There’s the scratching. Now the nausea. We have a spinning and flipping car, folks. Oh, and there goes either the guy in the passenger seat or a really big ragdoll. You know, I’m starting to like what all of you have done with the place.”

“Stop killing people!” the blonde shouts, veering away from a large truck. She narrowly avoids slamming into a small car, the jeep moving off the road to complete the turn. “The more bodies we leave, the harder it will be to regain the Trade Barons’ favor. At least Neddy will send us what we need and . . . this is not the fucking time to change clothes!”

Lloyd stops with his head peeking out of his blood-covered shirt, which is high enough to reveal his scarred stomach. Figuring that he has come too far to stop, he yanks off the garment and hurls it out the window. He pouts when it flies over a car instead of covering the driver’s side of the windshield and causing a crash. Blindly reaching back, he takes a random shirt out of his bags and examines the black top in the side view mirror. The red and black mask of an old comic book character stares back at him, the face giving the illusion of grinning beneath the fabric.

“I remember reading this guy’s series before the Internet made him so popular and he turned up everywhere. Ugh, that sounded so pretentious that I’m tempted to stab myself. Hey, can we still see movies because I want to see his?” Lloyd asks while tying the laces of the black sneakers he hastily put on before making a mess at the Coliseum. “I really like t-shirts with pictures on them. They bring attention to what I’m wearing instead of my face. You can start a conversation about them too. Nice way to meet people and find out if they’re worth leaving alive or not. For example, I have a shirt with another hero and if somebody tells me that the bastard can defeat every other character then I know they have to die. I mean, he’s nothing more than a child-endangering bill-”

“Shut the fuck up, Lloyd!”

“Don’t be angry, kid. You’re doing great.”

“I can’t even figure out if we’re going in the right direction.”

“Turn around and start shooting at their tires.”

“I can’t because I need to save bullets.”

“For what?”

“Nebraska!”

Charles E YallowitzAbout the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Want the same level of action with a lot of magic & no cursing?

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Click here for the $4.99 Bundle to start your journey into Windemere!

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Modern automobiles

I'm the master of reblogging this week, but that doesn't mean you can't have a bit of original content too. This one is going to make me look like a curmudgeon, but I don't care.

I picked up my Toyota truck from the body shop today. I think they did a fantastic job, and am very happy with the results.

Part of the project involved using a rental vehicle while my wheels were indisposed. Insurance provided me with a Dodge pickup via Enterprize. I also wind up using a rental a few times per year at my paycheck job. There are times when I have to use a State owned vehicle, and occasionally drive my wife's car.

So what is the deal with automobile designers? Every single car is so completely different you nearly have to take a class to operate the damned thing. I'm not talking about driving, but the features here.

This Dodge had the dashboard lights turned nearly off. I really didn't have hours to read a manual to learn how to turn them back up. As a result, I have no idea how fast I was going on my early morning commutes. I tried to match traffic and not be a hindrance or overly agressive.

It also had a radio that refused to be turned off. It automatically came back on every time I started the car. I didn't want to get familiar enough to find a satellite radio channel. This truck also came with a dial in place of the gearshift. Even the simple act of turning on the headlights takes fifteen minutes of exploration.

I'm not saying the Toyota is any simpler. It's just my truck, and I invested the time to figure out where everything is, and how it works.

I always said moving the dimmer switch from the floor was the first sign of Armageddon. The world was simpler back then, and everything worked just fine.

When I drive my wife's car, I still don't know how to work the heater or air conditioner. I figured out how to open the window.

This isn't a complaint about modern gadgetry. I love having my iPhone speak to the truck and play music, or take calls without using my hands. I have satellite radio and enjoy it.

My gripe is: Why does every manufacturer insist on trying to one-up the competition by making their product completely different? One stem on the steering column, two stems on the steering column. Twist for wiper speed, no twist for headlights. No horn in the center, let's put it on the stem thingie. A dial that looks like it might brighten the dashboard actually points the headlights toward the ground.

It's damned near impossible to jump in a different car and just drive it. I'm all for the gadgets, in fact they ought to put an electronic finger drum set on my steering wheel. I just believe they ought to standardize the basics. Make the wipers, horn, headlights, and heater the same across the board. Dress the dials up any way you like. Just make them all in the same spot and operate the same way.

I feel the same way about the gauges. Why can't they all be in the same spot from car to car? This one isn't as big a deal, but it would be nice. I can usually figure out what speed I'm driving after a mile or two. It's probably no less safe than texting and driving.

Oh, and move the damned dimmer switch back to the floor.

Okay temper tantrum over. We'll return you back to reblogging the stops on my blog tour. It's going really well, and I'm getting lots of comments. It seems like quite a few folks are going to read Will O' the Wisp. They aren't sales yet, but some of them will follow through. I'm also seeing increased blog traffic, so that's a bonus.

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