March 29th, 2013

Cat nose

This plan may not work...

I want to buy a new car. I know the one I want. I have the money for it. I want to interact with sales people as little as possible. I very much don't want to have to try to haggle.

I had a plan.

I sent the same email to all the Toyota dealerships in this area, telling them I was sending it to them all, telling them exactly what I wanted, telling them I'd buy from the person who replied back with the best price.

They all sent me the same exact price listed on their website. One guy added "I am wondering if my quote was the low number you received. If not, please let me know what adjustments in my pricing need to be made to make the deal work for you.".

Sigh. That wasn't the point of this. I asked for your lowest price.

I looked into car brokers (who will do the haggling for you), but they seem expensive.

I suppose I can reply back to the dealer I want to go with (who is also the one with the lowest price and is closest to me) and say "some other dealer gave me [some price lower than his offer], if you can match that, you have a deal".

Someone else on my friends list did this (the emailing them all idea) and said it worked, so I wonder why it didn't for me.

Any other ideas on how to go about getting a new car without needing to beat a salesman at haggling? :/
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Book with cat 3

If you would name your kid Sapien, you might like this book.

Book #12 of 2013: Dragon and Thief: The First Dragonback Adventure by Timothy Zahn.

This may have been the most unbelievable, unrealistic book I've read so far this year.

In it a boy thief gets bonded to a member of an alien dragon species. A dragon named Draycos. Which sounds like Dracos. A dragon named Draycos/Dracos. I just... how in the world did... what was the reasoning behind naming one member of a whole dragon race, a planet full of dragons, that? How does that work? Did the other dragons tease him over his name? Imagine a human parent introducing their kids. "This is Homo and this is Sapien."

I wish that had been the biggest issue in this book. So the biggest corporation in the entire universe wants to frame this boy thief (who has his own spaceship, the whole thing is set in space). So they give him a package to deliver. When he gets to where he's supposed to hand it over, the box is empty. He figures out it was full of dry ice. So the kid calls the corporation security people out on this, telling them he knows it was dry ice. "Oh no!" say the employees of the biggest corporation in the entire universe to the teenager who has a criminal record as a thief and a con artist. "You've figured us out! Now we can't use that to frame you! *kills two random people walking down the street* Haha! We'll pin murder on you instead!"

Seriously, WTF. Like the courts would take the word of a kid wanted by the law, who has lied and stolen in the past, over the word of these seemingly-fine upstanding business people? And the business people think it's a reasonable next step to kill people?

The whole book was full of things like that. These bad guys were so over the top bad, plus they were painfully stupid. How cliche is it that they told the good guys outright how they were going to kill them before starting to do it? "We're going to throw you out of an airlock! There's an unguarded one at (exact location)!" And on top of that, they walked the two people they were going to kill through a whole space cruise ship full of people and security and the two good guys kept quiet because otherwise the bad guys might kill someone.

It's a darned good thing this book was such a fast read or I would have stopped. It had some good ideas: the dragon species could switch between being two-dimensional and three-, plus needed a symbiont to live. (The boy thief just happened to be a match...) The dragon could ride in 2D on the boy (I was picturing like a tattoo). It was an interesting idea. The book had a small good twist early on as well, but it was no where near enough to save the book.

Add on top of all that (do I even need to say more?) that the main character was the most god-awful annoying teenage boy I've ever read about. He was always growling or whining, he was rude/mean/ungrateful/teasing the dragon. He was just so very unpleasant to read about. (An accurate teenage boy? Maybe. Someone I enjoyed reading about? NO.) So we had two main characters, the awful teenage boy and the dragon named Draycos... This is the first book of a series of six, but I have zero interest in reading the others.

Whatever book I read next, I hope it's a good one. Seems like it's been a while since I had one I really enjoyed.