And now, please meet Simon

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Simon is our 2005 Honda Element EX. We bought him on Friday night from the local Honda dealer. I took the picture (above) earlier today, as we were coming home from Joplin, Missouri.


Fore the full story and more pictures, click the "continue reading" link.

As you now know, I took a new job - a job that doesn't allow me to stumble out of bed and into the office while still wearing stinky boxer shorts, a stained T-shirt and 3-4 days worth of unshaven facial growth... it's probably a good thing, as I would've eventually wound up looking like a homeless person had I kept working from home...

The bad news is that I have a hellacious commute each day, both to and from work. And, since we only had one vehicle (the 2002 Tahoe), that meant I had to take Amy to work at about 6:50 am, so that I could sit in an hour's worth of traffic and still get to work before 8:00 am (thanks Wal-Mart...). Amy's normal work hours are 8:00am - 4:00pm, so she was getting to work at least an hour early, and that's a burden not only to her but to the shelter's payroll as well.

We'd been looking at used cars, but the prices are unreal - we found dozens of 2003 Honda Elements (the first year they came out) for $18.5 - $19.1k... but we couldn't find any for $15k or less. A brand new, 2005 Honda Element, fully loaded is $22.8k, and there's 1.9% financing available, along with a full warranty.


So, we went to the Honda Dealer on Friday night so that Amy could drive one (I've been driving them at press events since 2003, and loved them ever since the first drive). Well, one thing turned into another, and next thing we knew, we were hashing out the details with the salesman. I stood my ground, and eventually got the vehicle for $20.8k, out the door... :-D


I can honestly say that this is the first car that I'd rather drive than detail. I had to force myself to wash, clay, polish, wax and wipe it down this weekend - I just want to drive it everywhere. It rides so great, drives wonderfully, and is just plain fun. It's also functional:


The back seats fold up against the sides of the car to make enough room for all of the dogs to ride rather comfortably. The seats also lay flat to make a bed, and there's a sunroof in the back, so that you can lay on the "bed" and look up at the stars through your sunroof. The "suicide" doors are also awesome:


They allow for complete access to the interior, which is actually more roomy than our full-sized Tahoe. The back seats, when positioned as seats, are extremely comfortable and feature "stadium seating" - they sit slightly higher than the front seats, so you have a full view through the windshield. The interior can be hosed down if it gets too dirty - a feature that we may end up taking advantage of. if the dogs continue to be as dirty as they have been.

Our Element has: XM satellite radio, 6-disc in-dash CD changer, all-wheel-drive, side impact airbags, an automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows and locks, and with any luck will get around 25 mpg. We love it! Best car ever.


Oh, and why the name Simon? Because Simon is a cat at the animal shelter who is orange and resembles an alien... :-D (Sorry to all you (ick, gag) American Idol fans, but we didn't name it after that British judge.)


I happen to know your wife, your sister-in-law, and mother-in-law are "ick, gag" American Idol fans, so watch your step, buster!

Slick ride there Buddy!!! Me and my Buddy Simon (the namesake) would like to go out with you some night and pick up girlies in it! Tell the wife she is staying home with the fat boy Sulley.

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