Friday, March 29, 2019

Weekend Reading: The Really Tired of Thinking about Cars Edition

We're almost at the end of a kid-free week. Both of our kids were out of town for spring break. I thought this would mean that I'd have a lot of time to write blog posts and the like, but what I actually spent a lot of time on was car shopping.

As I mentioned earlier, we're looking to replace our almost 12 year old Prius with a new plug-in hybrid.  We've done a lot of test driving, review reading/watching, and debating about the relative merits of the various options. We're not done yet, but we're getting close. I'll try to write something about the process once we're done. I don't know whether our selection process will be useful for anyone else, but the process has made me think about incentives for getting more fuel efficient cars, what matters to different people in cars, and how change happens.

(We did a lot of fun things, too - mostly eating at restaurants our kids might not like. I may write some of that up for Adjusted Latitudes.)

I did write one other post this week: I finally wrote up our February weekend in LA.

In other links:

This Greg Sargent post about how Trump decided to embrace a lawsuit against the ACA is really depressing, but worth reading to remind yourself of why we have to keep working for change.

I always enjoy Josh Marshall's dives into history, especially when he links it back up with our present situation. Today, he took a look at the profound changes that happened between about 1440 and 1520, including the introduction of the printing press.

This article about a family's recovery after a brutal attack on the father is really gripping.

This Ask a Teacher about a high-performing girl who keeps getting paired with less motivated boys hit a bit close to home - we're seeing something similar happen with Pumpkin. So far, I don't think there is anything we need to intervene in, but I do wonder if it might be better for the boys who can't get their act together to get their work done on time without the prodding of the much more organized girls they get paired with on projects if just once or twice the teachers put them in a group without a girl like that. Pair up the goof off boys and let them suffer the consequences of not learning how to organize their own damn work in middle school, instead of letting them have to learn that later, when the stakes are higher.

But then I think about the number of men I know who still somehow have much more organized women making sure their work gets done and I think maybe the boys will never suffer any consequences. SIGH.

Abigail Disney's discussion of what it is like to inherit sa huge amount of money is probably the only time I've ever read a piece like this and felt it was worth my time. The closing quote is perfect:

"So that’s what you need to know about money, right? If that is your primary measure of success or value in life, then good luck with that, because it will never feel good."

I love the story about the Garfield phones. If you haven't seen it yet, read it!

Recommended listening this week: Chris Hayes' interview with Jonathan Metzl, author of the new book Dying of Whiteness. I linked to Sean Illing's (written) interview with him last week, but this interview covers slightly different ground.



  1. I just wrote a post on new-car shopping-- my door handle on my 14 year old Accent broke this week and that may be the last straw for me. I don't know what I want! There's too many options! (Post will post the Monday after next... I'm not planning on actually buying until this summer when I'm not drowning in school stuff).

    If you want to buy a Bolt or a Volt, be sure to get it this weekend before the tax credit gets cut in half. ;)

    1. Because we want this car to be able to handle the drive to Phoenix, we've decided to get a plug in hybrid and not an all electric. So no Bolt at this time - maybe when we replace the second car. The range would theoretically get us to Yuma but we're a bit nervous about what the mountains would do to the range and also not super excited about hanging out in Yuma near the charging station...

      The Volt was on my initial long list, but my husband ruled it out based on the fact that this is its last year and that bothers him.

      The current frontrunner is that we just get a Prius Prime. But we still have a couple more cars to test drive.

    2. DH likes his Clarity and it still has the full tax credit! (The prime is objectively a better car though-- DH just didn't like driving it.) The main problem with the Clarity is that the stereo controls are non-intuitive.

      I'm not buying a Bolt this weekend because I don't really need that much car to get me to work and back. I'm not buying the Volt because occasionally I may have to drive to the city (say, DH's car breaks down at the airport) and I wouldn't be able to get back without recharging. I'm probably going to end up with a Fit or another Accent if I don't get a regular prius, but who knows. The one mid-size family car that can do everything and one smaller car that gets me to work and back (and occasionally drive to the airport in the city) has been working for us so far.

  2. I would be very interested in your process and research! I'm still learning as much as I can about the options, with hopes that I don't need the information for another few years.

    I thought the Prius Prime was no longer being made though? Did I get that wrong?

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