Acura, Interrupted

Posted by: on Jan 30, 2004 | No Comments

I got my car back today, costing me $1930.73. I have full coverage, but I did not choose to claim this incident. Here’s why… and it’s a real scam within the insurance industry.

Considering that no one claimed fault (see previous entries 1, 2), my insurance basically considers it my fault. I can somewhat understand this, as I could of caused the damage myself and tried to claim it. Never the less, it leaves a real problem: someone can do real damage to your car in a parking lot and stick you with the bill. This is exactly what happened to me. I imagine if my insurance company spent as much time with me as my friends do, they’d understand at what lengths I go to prevent such damage to my car, but that isn’t the case… so essentially, it’s “my fault.” My deductible being a relatively low $500, I called to ask at what point they’d raise my insurance. That ceiling was $1000. So repairs over $1500 would stick me with a blemish on my “insurance record” along with higher premiums in the future. And it’s not like I could of switched companies, they all talk to each other. In other words, I would of paid for it — many times over — should I have claimed it. What bullshit.

Why did I not claim it? Aside from the insurance premium increase, considering it’s a $40k car this $2k worth of damage isn’t really “worth” the claim. The insurance company, of course, plans things this way making “every day” damage you could suffer from in any Safeway parking lot being a real liability. Caveat emptor. Given a massive collision, I’d of reeled in the insurance… but this really sucks. I wasn’t even present for the damage, I can do no finger pointing, so I’m stuck with the bill. Given the identity of the culprit, however, my homicidal tendencies would be hard to suppress. At the very least, I’d extract $2k… through whatever means necessary.

But anyway, the good news is, the car looks perfect and I think I picked a good spot to have it repaired: Bay Area Body Spa. I know, it sounds very “Bay Area,” but they did do a good job, and the place was chock full of European luxury cars, which gave me solace… somehow.

I love my car. Acura invented the Japanese luxury market, and while they’ve fallen from the forefront, now dominated by Lexus, they still do things right: good, solid, feature-packed cars engineered by Honda. It’s not quite as plush as say, a BMW, on the inside, but it’s still comfortable and feature-rich (the Japanese don’t shy away from gadgets), but it’s also never in the shop, which can’t be said for the German luxury cars.

Considering the car is now “marred” by this experience, I will no doubt have a new one soon, but I may hold out for a new M5. Yeah, I know, just after bashing the Germans, but… it is an M5. But it’s also twice the cost of a new TL, if not more. Bang for your buck will likely win out, but we’ll see. I suppose I should get a new job first.

Bottom line, I suppose: consider your future cost when making claims.

Fundamentalist Regimes

Posted by: on Jan 20, 2004 | One Comment

Catching the last bit of the State of the Union, and I’m loving the irony: fundamentalist regimes: bad, but turning the U.S. into one: good! Faith-based initiatives, the attack on same-sex marriage, vilifying “activist judges,” eroding civil rights via The PATRIOT Act, increasing abstinence programs in schools (doing so in Bush’s Texas caused the teen pregnancy rate to rise for the first time in decades). Lots of black and white rhetoric. Good vs. Evil. Whether a Muslim Cleric or George W. Bush, it’s all pushing fundamentalism.

God Bless America. Ahem.

Update: Okay, now I’m watching the Democratic response. What you’d expect, but how much work has Nancy Pelosi had done? She said she was in college 43 years ago. That makes her at least 61. Let’s see: brow lift, eyes, face lift, chin suck? Think there might be some collagen (or Perlaine) in that upper lip too.

Arnold Gets Compassionate

Posted by: on Jan 9, 2004 | No Comments

Budget highlights:

  • $454M cut from disabled in-home services (yeah, those people are BEST suited to get off their asses and get a job!)
  • $6.6M cut from AIDS treatment programs
  • $6.1M cut from breast cancer detection programs
  • $4.2M cut from indigent health care
  • $623M cut from fees to medical doctors (10% reduction, most doctors don’t even accept medical as it is!)

Also targeted: California’s Healthy Families program and higher education. Schools are closing, and the bay area city of Richmond is nearly bankrupt meaning a complete closing of all public services including fire and police.

Arnold luvs you. But shuddup, because you voted for him!


Posted by: on Jan 7, 2004 | No Comments

That’s how much damage the shitbag who hit my car in a Palo Alto public parking lot did to my car… and of course, left no information. Of course, it’s over the amount that my insurance would pay out without raising my premiums. So I have a catch-22. I seriously can’t describe the damage I’d do to the person who did this to me if i could find them…

This is really the worst time that this could of happened, after having been laid off and all last month… December was just not a good month.

Woe is me. 🙂

Agreeing with the RNC

Posted by: on Jan 5, 2004 | No Comments

Not that CNN is unbiased or even “fair and balanced,” but yesterday I noticed them scrolling something across the marque during the Democratic presidential debate. “RNC: ‘Bickering between democratic candidates is vile'” (Interesting that the “liberal media” scrolled a message from the RNC in a space they only otherwise used for summarizing comments from candidates.)
The sad part is, I couldn’t agree more. It’s disgusting, and completely counter-productive. I realize it’s primary season, but the circus surrounding the Democratic candidates this year is creating more attention than ever… caution and appropriate behavior is paramount. The attention on attacking fellow possible Democratic nominees is, well, vile indeed. In this respect, I have to hand it to John Edwards for behaving like a gentleman and not attacking front-running Dean. I also have to hand it to Dean for asking the other candidates to join him in supporting the Democratic nominee no matter whom it may be during the debate. That was good politicking.
Meanwhile, Lieberman grossly attacked Dean getting down into nuts n’ bolts that really probably don’t matter at the end of the day. Jesus, no one is Jesus. (Not that Lieberman believes in Jesus, but anyway.) This needs to stop, less the whole bunch be summarily dismissed by the voting public at large… Dems included.
Naturally, the candidates I liked most from the debate last night were Kucinich and Mosley Braun. They’re the leftist of the bunch, and I did notice left-wing advocate Ralph Nader on “Crossfire” today basically endorsing Kucinich as a “Democrat,” although he may still run as an independent. Whatever Ralph, let your ego lie and stay out. Please. Meanwhile, Kucinich and Mosley Braun don’t stand a chance, so hopefully whomever the front-runner is will adopt some of their platform. (Not likely, though Kucinich made a shot at Dean for that last night trying to get him to adopt some of his platform. Good move, Dennis.)
I just don’t know what 2004 holds for us in the election. It’s going to be intense and crazy, that’s for sure. Yes, the goal indeed is getting Bush out of office. In fact, I think that’s paramount to saving the country at this point. Bush has been 10x more effective than even his father or two-timer Reagan into turning this country into a fiefdom for the rich, and leaving the rest of us as a disenfranchised servant class. In this respect, he’s been one of the most successful presidents ever… and 99% of the country suffers as a result.
If you Southerners and Midwesterners could just see past the God and flag-waving thing, you’d see what you’re getting yourselves into… but that won’t happen.
Um, God, save me? Please?

Thanks for the Cakestand, Mikey…

Posted by: on Jan 3, 2004 | One Comment

…it’s perfect! Convertible type, which you can invert into a fruit or punch bowl considering they’re such space hogs. Thank you!

Let them eat cake.


Posted by: on Jan 2, 2004 | No Comments

Bad. Stupid. Idiotic. Silly. Insulting (to Philip K. Dick). Badly filmed. Bad makeup. Moronic. Ridiculous. Lame.

Ugh, adjectives make me tired… you get the idea.