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Entered on: February 26, 2008 12:00 AM by Jackzilla
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Jackzilla's new ride: The Soccermomobile!

PHOTO 285 - 30 Comments
From: Jackzilla Entered on: February 26, 2008 11:09 AM

Actually, Zilla's wife's new ride: 2005 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited AWD with all the fixin's!

This is a big deal as it's the first "foreign" car purchase on my side of the family (made in some country called "Indiana").

Ang's Jeep died a few days ago (a $3,000 engine replacement was needed), so with Consumer Reports in hand, we had to go car shopping.  We initially were looking at the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 but Angie wanted more room.  This sucker seats 7 quite confortably, leather (heated) seats, CD Changer, DVD, power everything, moon roof, ... For a minivan it's pretty sweet!  Not sweet: We have car payments again.  Oh well.

Meanwhile, I'm still rolling in my '93 Saturn.  It refuses to die.

From: NickNick Entered on: February 26, 2008 11:51 AM

Saturn's rock!  I haven't even found a way to kill ours and I've killed at least 3 cars by myself.

Sweet new ride, Zilla.  Now you just need 3 of 4 more kids to fill it.

So I take it were taking the new Zillamobile to Chicago this year?

From: Jackzilla Entered on: February 26, 2008 1:26 PM

Hell no!  I ain't allowing you ruffians to debase and defile my new ride!  Remember when JohnnyBells showed Andy his crank on his phone and Andy almost went off the road?  He showed more control than I -- Our asses would have gone over a cliff if I had been driving!  (ref. "Toonces The Driving Cat").

From: Creeko Entered on: February 26, 2008 2:45 PM

I like that you took a pic of it on the lot and couldn't even wait to take it home.

It's nice the way they buttered up the tyres (professionl lingo for spraying Armorall on them, and yes I spell tyres with a y, it makes me feel slightly more couth!)

From: Jackzilla Entered on: February 26, 2008 3:26 PM

Actually, the pic's from their website, asshole!

From: BigFatty Entered on: February 26, 2008 5:55 PM

JA Factoid:  Creeko once worked at a car dealership washing cars.  One day he took an RX-7 for gas, but somehow only ended up getting pulled over -  for going over 100 MPH (it was well over twice the speed limit).

He also quit a similar job.  His sole reason.....  he had just bought a Super Nintendo.

The more you know......

From: Ross Entered on: February 26, 2008 7:04 PM

A minivan?  Oh hell naw!

Heather and I promised to each other that we'd not go the minivan route during our tenure as husband and wife.  So when she called me at work a couple months ago and told me that her Jetta wasn't cutting it for the babymobile, we knew we had our work cut out for us.  But instead, we did end up going the SUV route and got a Honda Pilot.  The Pilot is good so far, I still prefer the way cars drive but I do love my Hondas. 

The next step: install the iPod hookup to the stereo system.  I just have to wait until it gets warm out.

Know anyone who wants to buy a fully loaded 2003 VW Jetta?

From: Bunky Entered on: February 26, 2008 8:03 PM
So Rad, now that Zilla has a dvd player in the new ride, he can watch a certain show on road trips...
From: Jackzilla Entered on: February 26, 2008 9:07 PM
Ross said:

A minivan? Oh hell naw!

Heather and I promised to each other that we'd not go the minivan route during our tenure as husband and wife.

I know, I know...

We looked at both the Pilot and Toyota's Highlander, and Ang's main criticism was that they felt too similar to what she just had (the Jeep).  It was the salesman that suggested the Sienna: "Just try it."  After taking it for a drive we reluctantly had to admit we liked it.  It's a smooth ride fo shizzle!

From: The Bone Entered on: February 26, 2008 9:58 PM

That's sweet. I have a 4Runner because it's way cooler but honestly, sometimes I wish I had purchased a van. The Sienna is sweet. Honda Odessey is real nice also. Vans are so utilitarian. They are more "Sport Utility" than traditional SUVs in my opinion. It's far easier to carry multiple surfboards, bikes, or a variety of adventure gear around. Sure you can't off road it to an exotic local but who the fuck actually uses their 4WD capacity anyways?

The next time I'm rich, I'm going to by a Honda Odessey and an S2000 and be done with it.

From: Bunky Entered on: February 27, 2008 5:53 AM

My husband has a Tundra, and we use the 4WD quite a bit. It is handy in the snow and in the mountains. We also use it when we back the boat in the lake by our house because the lauch ramp gets covered in algae in the summer...

Zilla, I can relate to you on the van dilema. I have a Volvo V70 wagon. I did this in an attempt to avoid the van after I had my son... My last work car was a minivan and my kids loved it...When I returned it and went back to the Volvo briefly, my kids complained because of the lack of room.

The fold down seats are pretty sweet. During the summer, it was very handy because I could throw some extra wakeboards in it with no problem, plus the trips to Costco.

Well, I recently ordered my new work car and went with the van again. They currently have me in a Dodge Avenger right now and it feels incredibly small.

Once you get over the shock of driving the minivan, it's pretty sweet...

From: jeurge Entered on: February 27, 2008 9:35 PM

Or you could just have 3 more kids and it won't be a choice but a necessity. And believe me that as the youngsters get older you will find the DVD player a must have for road trips. That and the threat of a can of whup ass and every trip can be fun, even with four kids.

From: The Bone Entered on: February 27, 2008 9:43 PM

4WD is handy if you live in the rugged outback of Bakersfield but I'm refering to the f'rs that live in downtown Chicago.

From: Bunky Entered on: February 27, 2008 10:19 PM

The rugged outback... HA HA HA HA! There are plenty of off-road trails you could use it for in Hawaii... Yeah, not much need for 4WD in Chicago.

I can say we have never used 4WD in the rugged outback of Bakersfield. We have used it in Springville above Porterville. I believe you are familiar with Porterville... They have some good mountain biking trails up there.

Anyhow, I rarely drive the truck. I'm not really a truck girl.... I do like the FJ cruisers. I thought about getting one to play around with on the weekends. But seeing I only put 1,000 miles on my Volvo last year because I always use my work car, it would be a little excessive and a waste of money.

Nick is going to harrump you for saying f'rs....

From: NickNick Entered on: February 28, 2008 7:43 AM

Nope.  My harrumphing meter has run out for this month.  Now it will just be peaceful agreement for the next couple of days. 

Bone.  I have always thought it funny when I see someone here in Grand Rapids with a Hummer or some other ridiculous, gas guzzling 4- wheel drive monster.

From: Ross Entered on: March 1, 2008 8:14 AM

Excuse me, but you negroes don't know what the fuck you're talking about...  Chicago gets some hella fucked up snow deposits where 4WD comes in quite handy, thankyouverymuch.  So to say we don't need it as much as someone who might want to offroad in CA is ass backwards.

That said, I didn't buy it based on that.  In fact, AFAIK you're not even supposed to manually turn on the 4WD mode, so it's clearly not designed for that kind of thing anyway. 

For Heather and I, it was simply a matter of getting a bigger car and not wanting a minivan.  Nothing anyone says here is going to make me want to drive a damn minivan, sorry.  I don't begrudge anyone who does, but it's just not for me.  And don't get me wrong - I'm no SUV apologist - I don't really care for them much either, in principle.  Just seems like in our case, it's the lesser of all evils (though I personally would be okay with a sweet station wagon, but Heather vetoed so here we are).

I don't plan on having 4 kids, so I think I'm safe on that account.  I agree about the DVD players, and I could have gotten one that has a DVD player (instead of navigation system - they dont do both for some reason) but I figure it's better to just get those individualized ones so little chits don't fight over what to watch on car trips.

From: BigFatty Entered on: March 1, 2008 9:10 AM

What are we 16??  Minivans aren't cool enough to be seen in?  Sorry to break the news, but once you past 30 and squirted out a kid, cool will never apply to you again.  No need to even bother anymore.  Shorts, black socks, and sandals??  Go right ahead, cool no longer applies. 

I have driven many versions of both.  I have found and still would expect that minivans drive better than a SUV.  But, I also know that the newer models of SUVs have been working at being more car-like in handling.  So, I reserve this judgement until I drive a few newer SUV models.  My dad just bought the Full Size Honda Pick-up and he says it is one of the best driving autos he has ever driven.  Hes been in the car business for 30 years.

I still think the minivan is the more practical of the two - more room, number one, and more importantly, it was designed for just this purpose - to haul kids and crap around.

To 'Hell Naw' a minivan is someone who is still holding on to the dream that the cool criteria still applies to them. Wink

From: Ross Entered on: March 1, 2008 9:29 AM

So I guess I should just forget about aesthetics altogether - stop getting haircuts, wear plaid pants, and live in a dilapidated shack - who cares, right?  Cool no longer applies.

Say what you will, maybe I'm living a delusion, but I like it that way!  No minivan for me!

From: Heather Entered on: March 1, 2008 11:06 AM
BigFatty said:

Sorry to break the news, but once you past 30 and squirted out a kid, cool will never apply to you again. No need to even bother anymore. Shorts, black socks, and sandals?? Go right ahead, cool no longer applies.

Alright, Fatz, now I have to chime in.  Do you really believe that being over 30 and having a child has to affect your image or how "cool" you are?  Just because I am over 30 and have a child, does NOT mean that I will give up caring about what I look like!  Afterall, my goal is to sustain MILF status for many years to come.  Wink  And if I ever see you in shorts, black socks and sandals, be ready for some harsh criticism (especially if the socks are black and the sandals are brown)!  I don't want my Fatty to let himself go!  Think of the people who have to look at you.  Smile

Yes, Ross and I have made a pact never to own a minivan.  I agree with Ross, I don't begrudge other people owning one, I just don't want one myself.  If there comes a day that we buy one, then by all means, call us out on it.  I have several friends and family who LOVE their minivan and don't plan on driving anything else in the future.  That's fine, just not for us.

From: Jackzilla Entered on: March 1, 2008 12:00 PM

Fatty - The Johnsons are absolutely right.

If you stuck Jessica Alba in a mini-van, not even JohnnyBells would buttsex her anymore.  Conversely, the ladies can't keep their hands off Bert in the Pilot!


In all seriousness, we basically felt the same way about mini-vans.  I know Angie has told me she never wanted to get one.  But then reality set in and we tried this one out.  Perfect for us!

From: BigFatty Entered on: March 1, 2008 1:21 PM

Fatty never said you should let yourself go.  That was Ross putting words into Fatty's mouth again.  I am saying you should stop trying to be cool, because it no longer applies.  Cool only matters during the school years, elementary through college.  It is this demographic that applies the 'cool standard'.  Once you pass thirty AND have a kid, they no longer even bother to apply the standard to you.

Ross is right: 'Say what you will, maybe I'm living a delusion, but I like it that way!'

Going the delusional route does keep you happier.  No one likes to be un-cool.  But harboring these ideas can only lead to a harsh, mid-life crisis.  Ross, you might be the guy with the comb-over or toupee, buying that Porsche in 15-20 years.  If you start going to tanning salons and buying gold chains, the damage is irreversible.  Embrace you un-coolness now.  Heather keep working at keeping your MILF status!  That is another subject altogether - one that I entirely support!

So, what is the Johnson's reasoning for not buying a minivan?  I am thinking it is completely capricious and arbitrary! Wink

From: Ross Entered on: March 1, 2008 2:21 PM

You're the one calling SUVs "cool", okay?  All I said is I didn't want a minivan.  Can't my reasons be as simple as "I don't like how they look?"

You're reading way too much into this.  And you're the one going off the deep end, talking about firing up some shorts and black socks, which incidentally sounds like letting yourself go... did I put those words into your mouth?

From: Jackzilla Entered on: March 1, 2008 2:59 PM

I'm declaring Fatty the winner of the minivan debate!  Anytime you can get Bert to say something like ("Say what you will, maybe I'm living a delusion, but I like it that way!") you know you have him grasping at straws!

I'm also proclaiming the HDMI debate win to Bunky.  All the evidence I've seen points to HDMI indeed providing a sharper picture.

Sorry, Bert.  It's just not your day.

Now excuse me while I go cruise for chicks in my sweet minivan...  Cool

From: Bunky Entered on: March 1, 2008 4:12 PM

Sweet.  Not that I ever thought I was wrong about the HDMI issue...

Fatty, should we celebrate our wins with a burger and beer?

From: Ross Entered on: March 1, 2008 5:33 PM

Finally, the authority weighs in and settles things!   He's clearly the best judge, since he has no stake in a minivan debate.  Wait, no: I proclaim Jack to be a biased jackass who has no authority to proclaim anything except which brand of peanut butter is best for buttsexing Prince.

Far from grasping at straws, my response has very clearly shown that I am letting this boil down to a matter of personal taste.  It is Fatty who has jumped to conclusions and made this into a matter of "cool", which I never have.  There is a difference between wanting to be "cool" and not wanting to drive around in a car that you find to be displeasing, whatever the reason may be.

As far as HDMI goes, I don't know what "evidence" you've seen, but if it has to do with anything that actually constitutes evidence, then you will have realized that we already settled this in our prior debate: the answer is "it depends." (this one one instance where Fatty got things right).   All I can say (as I've said before) is that I'll take the Pepsi challenge with anyone who cares to and see what looks best, to decide things in a manner less akin to this brand of douchebaggery.  The bottom line is that you cannot make such sweeping generalizations as "HDMI looks better than component" or vice versa.  Well, I guess you can, but only if you don't mind sounding like an ignoramus.

Oh, what the hell am I doing? I'm sure not one word of that registered with any of you guys... you all apparently just exult in trying to knock me down a peg.  Whatever floats your boat.  So go head and throw on your plaid shorts, black socks and sandals, and drive your minivans around while watching your HDMI devices and feel smug in the knowledge that you are watching the best possible picture without care for any other factors.  More power to you!

From: Bunky Entered on: March 1, 2008 9:48 PM
Zilla, which peanut butter should I buy?
From: jeurge Entered on: March 1, 2008 11:08 PM

Don't worry Ross, Fatty doesn't need to put on black socks and drive around in a minivan. He has already donned a burlap sack disguised as a shirt and driven around in the most feminine looking Miata seen in the greater Grand Rapids area. I don't think cool has been a question for quite a while.

And any brand of peanut butter so long as it is crunchy for added pleasure would be my opinion.

From: BigFatty Entered on: March 2, 2008 2:52 AM

Yes, I have almost given up on cool.  But, my delusion is, if I become completely uncool, then maybe that in itself will make me cool again.  It is a quasi-antiestablishment rebellion where I even go against the cool establishment.

Some more uncool highlights:

  • Shaving a perfectly good head of hair to go bald
  • Sporting the Amish beard - we all know how cool the Amish are!
  • Dressing up in a Dorky Cap't A costume, in public, for more than one occasion
  • Wearing a piece from Ross Johnston's 'Button Askew' collection in my normal wardrobe

In Ross' defense.  He has driven at least one minivan, so he knows what he is missing.  But I will say you are picking looks over utility (IMO).  Many people do this.  Trying to keep one foot in with the cool kids.   I think in your case you not trying to be cool, but making sure you are not uncool.  But that is my whole argument.  You don't need to waste your energy anymore.  The cool people don't even care about us anymore.  Next time I visit we can go out in Fatty's new-found On-the-town gear.  I like to wear a loud Hawaiian Shirt with the shorts, black socks/ sandals combo. 

I had a professor who wore the same outfit everyday.  Khaki pants, blue oxford shit.  For some excitement, he had a sweater-vest to mix things up.  I still marvel at his explanation.  He doesn't have to think about what he wears each day.  He doesn't need a lot of space for is wardrobe.  His yearly clothes shopping take 5-10 minutes - 5 shirts and 5 pants.  Part of me would like to do this too!

Fatty is not full of himself.  Fatty is full of burgers.

From: Ross Entered on: March 2, 2008 9:58 AM
BigFatty said:

In Ross' defense. He has driven at least one minivan, so he knows what he is missing. But I will say you are picking looks over utility (IMO). Many people do this. Trying to keep one foot in with the cool kids. I think in your case you not trying to be cool, but making sure you are not uncool. But that is my whole argument. You don't need to waste your energy anymore. The cool people don't even care about us anymore. Next time I visit we can go out in Fatty's new-found On-the-town gear. I like to wear a loud Hawaiian Shirt with the shorts, black socks/ sandals combo.

I think this is where you and I differ, my friend.  First of all, it's not a simple matter of picking looks over utitlity.  The SUV has enough utility (i.e. space) for us.  In fact, it has more room than we need, and I reckon that with 2 kids (our planned limit), it will be about right.  I don't need the extra space a minivan affords.  It wasn't as though I was going "Gee, I sure wish I had a whole bunch of extra seats, but this SUV doesn't have them... I guess that's a sacrifice I'm going to have to make."  By that rationale, why shouldn't I just get a full-size van (even better utility) or hell, I could probably get a short school bus on the cheap at auction one of these days.  Dammit, I've been so short-sighted!

Furthermore, you keep hammering away on this idea (without any support from me, I might add) that I bought this thing because of what other people think, and I keep telling you that it's just my own aesthetic preference.  But let's play devil's advocate here: let's drop the word "cool" that you keep using, first of all.  Now, I think it would be foolish to claim that no one (Fatty included) completely discounts their peers' opinions on matters such as clothing, housing, and automobiles. 

So let's just be adults and admit that others' opinions do, at least a little bit, affect us.  But in our case is it these "cool" (presumably single) people that Fatty keeps referring to?   Certainly not.  If I was still trying to impress them, I'd still have my Acura, or something even nicer.  My peers (both friends - including you guys - and coworkers) are for the most part married and have children.  And guess what?  They drive both minivans and SUVs!  Would I say that among this group - once again, emphatically not "cool people who don't care about me" - SUVs are primarily regarded as a step up from minivans?  I would have to say a qualified yes, but really it depends on how big your family is.  Once it reaches a certain size, everyone realizes that you pretty much need one (ala the Roches).  But Heather and I are not in that camp.  But I must emphasize that this was not in any way my primary consideration. 

To be fair, though, I know a lot more people at work who are in similar situations family-wise, who have similar SUVs, so I did have more data on them than on minivans.  If minivans were the norm, I probably would be more disposed to picking one up.  Even so, it's unlikely that that alone would be enough for Heather and I to break our pact of non-minivan ownership.

And to bolster my case that I didn't buy the Pilot to impress anyone, I bought a 2004 model. 

So to sum up: I think it is entirely uncontroversial to say that most people's preference on matters of style are largely formed by their peer groups.  There's nothing wrong with that - that's how we know what's in fashion, be it what shoes or jeans to wear, or what kitchen fixtures you have in your house.  I take Fatty's point about choosing style over substance, but that argument does not apply to me at all - if it did, I would still be driving around in a much smaller and faster automobile more to my liking.  Furthermore, even if I did buy an SUV to impress people, who - even in Fatty's mind - would these people be?  We both agree that "cool" people (singles?) do not care about what I drive - and even if they did, would they be impressed by a 2004 Honda Pilot?  Do you honestly believe that's what I'm doing, here?  Fatty, your argument is so muddled, I'm glad I have me some 4WD to drag my ass out of it.

From: John Entered on: June 30, 2008 5:02 PM

I  know this thread has been over for a while but it's my first time reading it and I have to say, wow! There were some serious diatribes posted.

As noted by Bert, the size of my family warrants the minvan and I find them useful when hualing things. I don't mind driving them but I'm used to it. To each their own, but I think that's what Bert said from the get go.Smile


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