Monday, February 12, 2007

Still in Love (With my Pontiac G6!)

As Valentine’s Day approaches, I am happy to say I am in love. But let’s talk about cars!

After several months of driving my Pontiac G6, I thought I would post an update on her performance. She drives like a dream, and she talks to me too! She tells me when there may be ice outside, and when I need to go fill her gas tank. This latter turned out to be quite handy since, for inscrutable reasons, GM decided that “needle to the right” means the tank is EMPTY-- the opposite of other cars I have driven. So, I kept glancing at the fuel gauge and seeing the needle over to the right and thinking I had a full tank! Wrong. (Speaking of gasoline, I am getting 21.5 mpg for town driving...better than many cars on the road, but I am SURE we can do better than that!)

Stephanie's Pontiac G6

Now that the winter cold has arrived, I must confess that the salesman was correct! I have learned to LOVE the automatic start feature, and not just for the head-turn factor. (The kids love being able to start the car as they walk up to it, and catch looks of surprise on passers-by.) On these cold mornings, I start her up from the warmth of the house and she is warmed and ready to go when we come running out, late to school as usual!

Another nice touch in the GM Customer Service arena: A few days after I purchased the car, I sent an email to UAW Local 5960 thanking them for making a beautiful car for me. Although I did not receive a response to my email, a few weeks after my purchase I received a phone call from a woman at the Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, MI thanking me for my purchase and asking if I was happy with the car. I thought that was really neat! I have never purchased a new car before, so maybe this is standard practice by all auto manufacturers. Still, I thought it was a good way to remind consumers that real people are involved in the production of the things we buy.

Stephanie, Webmaster

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Stephanie goes Wireless!

One symptom of advancing age is declining ability to adopt new technologies. Egad! So, here I was, seemingly the last person on the planet (except my mom) without a cell phone. I always said I was happy to be unreachable at times. However, teenage children, who seem always to have JUST missed the bus and need a ride (!), have finally pushed me into the wireless age.

I “googled” to find some information on various family plans and wireless providers, and ended up using to do some research. I liked the site because it gives a comprehensive look at the service plans from more than a dozen carriers (including T-Mobile, Verizon, Cingular, and Sprint), and offers a great selection of phones available from each. LetsTalk also had better rebate offers than my local wireless stores, so I ended up getting my phones for free.

As a novice to the wireless world, I was surprised to learn that the service providers work with cell phone manufacturers to offer custom phones that only work with their service. Why am I tempted to use the phrase “in cahoots”??

After comparing coverage areas, plan features, and prices, I checked with Communication Workers of America to see if they had a recommendation for a “worker friendly” service provider, and decided to go with Cingular. I liked the Cingular Family Plans, but the other thing I loved was the Fire Red RAZR phone!!! How shallow, I know, but it a truly beautiful little phone...slender, elegant, understated...not a brassy, bright red like some OTHER phones! (I must have a special affinity for this soft metallic red color, because it is one of the reasons I have the “hots” for my Mag-Lite flashlight...)

I am still learning the features of my RAZR phone, but I have sent my first text message, entered some numbers in my address book, and this morning I used the alarm clock feature to wake up. I think there will be no going back! Technology is so cool.

Stephanie, Webmaster