Saturday, December 10, 2016

A "Normal" Saturday

For the first time since late August, my Saturday was what most people would call "normal". Meaning, I am not sitting in front of the tv for 14 straight hours watching college football because the season is over except for their Bowl games that star on the 17th.

So with all that free time, we did quite a bit today and am just getting ready to tune into come college basketball. The hounds had two walks finished by 1:30pm today and two hours later Sadie was bugging me to go again. She and Stella must have been hit with a bout of 'cabin fever'.


It was the same weather as yesterday, one of those that is 24° but feels like 19° and very little wind. Yet I found out something interesting dealing with heating my house. Last night I decided I did not want to wake to a cold house. I turned on the heat in all the room and went to sleep.


As soon as I walked through the kitchen to let the hounds outside for their first walk of the day, I could feel the house was way too hot for me. It was 69° in the computer room, 65° in the living room, 65° in the bedroom and hotter than any of them in the kitchen.

That is not what is the interesting part ... what's interesting my house has stayed warm all day ranging between 60° - 64° with all of the heat turned off since 8am. We might be on to a new system of heating the house and still saving money.


I mentioned the other day I had the urge to trade the FJ but I didn't say what I had the urge to trade it for. Here is a clue. As much as I love my Z4 and the FJ, I am wanting to get down to just one car with a sports car feel and has options to go off road and can make it up my driveway in the snow and ice.


I tried to throw those urges to trade away, tried ignoring them but I cannot stop looking at cars.com, truecar or cargurus to see what I can find and where I can find it. So since I had a lot of free time on my hands this morning and the hounds had already had one walk in by 10am ... I found a 2012 Mini Cooper S Countryman All-Wheel drive, with a 6-speed manual on a local car lot only 12 miles away.


It looked good online but I have found in the past 10-12 years of buying cars online, they rarely look as good as their pictures. So all I really wanted to do was get a test drive and see if it felt different from the prior Mini Cooper S I have had which were smaller and lighter than the Countryman and at times felt like driving a go kart. I found out the 400 additional pounds of the Countryman made it drive much better and still had the sports car feel even with higher ground clearance.


I've been doing research on this model on Google Images to see it in action off-road and in deep snow. I've been to the Mini Cooper forums to see what kind if any owners are having with repairs or what their complaints are. I read different owner reviews and see what they say 4 years later.

So far everything I have read and checked out has passed the test, except the car I test drove this morning. With a reputable local car dealer I was very disappointed with the car not being detailed inside and in the engine compartment. At least I guess I got to see the car under normal wear and tear.

To interrupt ... it tried to snow but it will not show up until later this week.


Besides the scratches on the hood, some damage inside on the console and tires that needed replaced, the car ran great. I even took it down a country road and then made a right turn the first time I saw a path into a field. So I got some sports car driving on the highway along with some off road through a hay field.


Bottom line, I liked the way it drove in both situations but I didn't like the condition of the car. They also gave me a trade in value for my FJ in the range I wanted.

Then as I drove home, I had doubts that I wanted to trade at all. I like the FJ I have, it's great and clean. I know that all the maintenance required was done by the Toyota dealer before they put it on the lot to sell. It's in great shape.


But I couldn't resist when I got home. I want to cars.com and did a search for a 6-speed manual, plus All4 wheel drive ... surprised to find out last night that all Countryman are not All4 wheel drive, that is an option to be chosen. I also extended my search area to a 500 mile radius from where I was.


I have found one in great shape, a very good CarFax record, a great price but a 4 hour drive from me. I've called and sent them pictures of my FJ so they have some idea what I would be trading and they can give me a trade in value before I decide to move on with a deal or not. Nothing is firm right now.


I might still wake up in the morning and decide I am a lunatic and will not trade my FJ, nor sell my Z4 in the spring. That's just the way I am. I've wondered what the hell is wrong with me when it comes to trading cars so often ... it's not the thrill of a new or different car ... it's the thrill of searching, finding and making the deal that must be my problem. Almost like an addiction.



This is the only one that I am considering. Still I like the FJ also. I can't say for sure that I have the urge in the future with no hounds to tow any size of trailer. I rarely look at RVs anymore. I have no longer thought about converting a cargo trailer either. Whenever I picture myself traveling in the future, it is tent camping with no hounds.


Since this car lot closed today at 4pm, I'll be talking to them on Monday to see if a deal can be made on this 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman.


In the meantime Stella got two really good runs today in the different walks. She is still ever happy when I call her and she doesn't get her way of staying outside all day by herself.



Stella did well today as far as going home when we did. They still had some last minute things to check out before ending their walk.



She is coming but at her pace.  LOL



The mystery about the ice sculpture I talked about yesterday showed it's source today ... it's condensation dripping off the upper ledge.


What was interesting is the next one, where you cannot see any part of the cobweb touching that ice drip, it's like hanging in mid air.


A little after lunch Stella was ready for her 2nd walk of the day ... we were off.




Yes, the bloodhounds would fit in the back of the Mini Cooper Countryman with room to spare. I found that out when I had my smaller Mini Cooper last spring, when Stella unexpectedly jumped in the back of it while I was unloading groceries.


There would be no plans for trips to Utah or Colorado WITH the hounds like we did in 2015. But I would take the Countryman out west in the future with no hounds.



They love this area for deer. Lots of worn paths, huge round areas of mashed down weeds ... still Stella was very cooperative today and came with Sadie and I when we left the area.



Still she will only go at her pace ... LOL





Sadie doesn't care ... she is heading home ... it's freezing cold.



Am I crazy about cars???  LOL

Nice and cold here in 'the tropics' of southern Indiana.

8 comments:

  1. You are definitely crazy about cars! LOL

    I have loved Mini Coopers since they first came out, but have always preferred the Countryman. Looks like a “mini” station wagon. I have never driven one and may just go take a test drive this week, if it warms up enough for me to get out! :)

    I also love your latest FJ and especially its rich color. At least right now you can take all of the dogs for a ride, which they all love. But you could also do that with the Mini Cooper and I don’t think it would make much difference to all three hounds. I can just picture Heidi in the passenger seat and Sadie and Stella in the back, snuggled up together.

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    1. I think you may be confusing the Countryman with the Clubman ... which looks like a small station wagon. So far the hounds have not been in the FJ, it's nice and clean .. except Heidi rode with me to the recycling center a few weeks ago. Surprising that the inside floor area of the Mini Countryman and the FJ is not much difference in area size.

      If Sadie and Stella can fit on my couch with me, they can fit in the Countryman LOL

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  2. OK, but will the Coop be able to fit the hounds and their food on supply runs??

    Reading this reminded me of many years ago when I was looking at a Honda Del-Sol and envisioning trips in the mountains with a tiny trailer behind it for my tent and gear. (Back then I had long hair to flow in the wind when the top was stowed.)

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    1. Since Stella decided on her last trip to the feed store, to tear the bag of new food open and eat some while I was driving home ... she has been suspended from supply runs. The coop does have a tow kit and can tow a teardrop trailer.

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  3. Great Hound pics today. No opinion on cars, do wish I had your FJ though.

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    1. Sadie feels a little fat when I am trying to find her ribs but her photos show she is pretty lean and looks about the right weight. Stella looks a little thin but she would eat the 40# bag in one meal if I gave it to her and would still be thin. Heidi eats everything but doesn't gain a pound.

      It's about midnight and I still can't make up my mind. Looking at pictures of the Z4 tonight I don't think I can bring myself to sell that and it doesn't cost that much for insurance for two cars anyway. Every time I drive the FJ, I doubt that I will get rid of it.

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  4. "I might still wake up in the morning and decide I am a lunatic and will not trade my FJ, nor sell my Z4 in the spring. That's just the way I am. I've wondered what the hell is wrong with me when it comes to trading cars so often ... it's not the thrill of a new or different car ... it's the thrill of searching, finding and making the deal that must be my problem. Almost like an addiction."

    DON"T DO IT! Spend your money on an intervention and some rehab. Please seek help, if not for you do it for the hounds!

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    1. Ed I spent all of my rehab money getting off of crap tables in the casino ... LOL ... it's a vicious circle.

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