Category Archives: community

Feeling the Pinch?

Everyone is posting pictures of their recent gas purchase totals. Here in lovely California gas prices are $4.25 on average for low grade unleaded.  I saw a truck deulie come up at $130.00, & have seen a few others at $100.00 and $120.00 etc.

Mr Jones, was hitting empty yesterday so I stopped for a quick fill up.

Maybe everybody should drive an old VW? 😉

 

Read it and weep. $22.98

 

earlier yesterday, cruisin down the I-80 somewhere around Rodeo.

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Thanksgiving IN a Volkswagen

Ok, I’m sorry, How much fun would this be?

A crisp autumn day, a festive picnic table, some turkey casserole, mashers, my grandma’s pumpkin/pecan pie, and a jug of warm cider, all out the back of a VW T2 bus? All we need are pilgrim hats!!!

Happily making plans for future Thanksgivings….

GOBBLE GOBBLE!

cost to own comparison

In a previous post, I mentioned the difference in the cost to own vs a new car, but didnt really delve too far into that thought. Last night I was paying the dreaded bills, as I do bi-weekly, and remembered to do that.

the difference, makes me want to dump my Honda Fit NOW, and start saving for a Type 2!!

Its important to keep in mind that neither car has required any ‘fixing’ in the past 8 months. Only normal oil changes, tire rotations etc. In an effort to offset that and make it a realistic cost with the odd ‘part replacement’, I calculated maintenance costs based on 6 maintenances a year for each car. (They currently get 4 each). I also used an ‘average cost’ for each cars maintenance entry, as servicing both can fluctuate depending on if you are replacing spark plugs or just oil filters. 😀

Neither car is under warranty.

The Actuals:

I think its interesting that the government instituted the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program, in an effort to stimulate the economy. Basically all they did was get people to spend more, and get some of the coolest vehicles of the road. Instead of needing to have the coolest newest car, how about just the coolest…a little work never hurt anybody. (though Im beginning to question this phrase the longer I l ive.) I know what it means to stimulate the economy….but it seems to me that the solvency of the country is MORE linked to how much we have in the bank vs how much we spend. Haven’t we already learned that spending and living outside of our means is BAAAADD news?

I think I’ve single-handedly figured out how to save the economy, reduce waste AND increase recycling…everybody drive an old VW!

Happy Driving! 🙂

Elements of Simple Living. VW Style.

For about a decade now I’ve been embracing (sometimes more-so sometimes less-so) the Simple Living ideology.

Yesterday’s post ‘needs vs. wants’, got me thinking on the VW Lifestyle.

I’ve heard the term “Volkswagen Lifestyle”, quite a lot, but yet, there is no definition for it. It MUST be somehow tied in with Simple Living. (Why? I say so…and for the purposes of this blog, at least until you disagree in the comments, Im the only voice here.) 😀

So along with Jelly Beans (dont ask) I was pondering yesterday how the Volkswagen Lifestyle embraces Simple Living.

Here is what I got:

Less is More: One of the principle ideas behind Simple Living. Ever been in a Vintage VW? Trust me, it goes along with it. No bells n whistles just a solid car…and if you have to roll up the windows yourself and lock the doors yourself, consider it calories burned. 😉

Fix it Dont Replace it: Anyone who loves Vintage VW’s agrees with this one. Why buy new when the old is just fine? And in many ways, dare I say…better.

Its not old it’s Vintage: Old is a state of mind. Vintage is cool. Sometimes what is old can be MADE cool. Like a Cali Style Vdub. If you want to be green, consider it renewing an old resource. Better than recycling!

Who needs AC?: My bug has AC. Is called 2-70 AC. 2 windows at 70 mph. And come on, what is better than the wind on your face? On the green front, think of it as reducing your carbon footprint. No freon = one less ozone threatening, emission. We humans survived all climates without air conditioning for thousands of years. You wont die without it. Unless you are dumb enough to sit in the car with all the windows rolled up on a 100′ + day.

Enjoy the Ride – OR- Relax We’ll Get There: Something I’ve always been a bit of a ‘mean mom’ about is NO DVD players in the car. Ipods n gameboys are barely tolerated, books and travel games are encouraged, and um, heaven forbid…enjoying the scenery! Its amazing how much we miss, when we dont actually look at the world around us. Free entertainment and an appreciation for all those ‘random’ little things. Like cool garage doors and oh, nature and wildlife! And by the way, you dont HAVE to play frogger on the highway, going 90mph. You get there just the same going 70. Who knows? You might actually enjoy the drive a bit more at that pace.

Does it actually DO anything?: My car does not have leather seats, it does not have a passenger vanity mirror, it does not have chrome instrument panel surrounds, nor does it have a dozen cupholders (like papa’s Nissan Cube – or so the kids tell me.) Part of Simple Living is making sure that everything you have has a function. You dont need to waste money and resources on ‘extras’. Mr Jones, does have a fancy little wire pull that releases the door to the gas tank. Ohhh but wait, that wire pull DOES something….nevermind.

A Little Dirt Doesnt Hurt: I actually read a study years ago, when my daughter was small that said that when parents kept their children festidiously clean and ‘germ free’, the children were more susceptible to infection and disease. This is because their immune systems don’t have a chance to build up antibodies against common germs, most of which our bodies will normally fight off. I think I read this to reassure myself, that it was OK, when I was too exhausted as a single mom to make sure my daughter had a bath each and every night. Every other, was just fine. Same goes for cars. Besides you ARE saving water. AND, in the case of some of the stories I’ve heard, it might be the grime holding some of those old bugs together!

No Sheep- Only Moondoggies…OK, fine!…sheep too!: Why drive a car that looks just like EVERYONE elses! VWs are icon’s. And there is something wonderful about NOT being just one of the crowd. After all we are all individuals. Enjoy it! And while I am certainly NOT a sheep, and dont want one in the back seat of my car (my pretty pooch Penny is plenty 😉 ) If it floats your boat…do it!

New ISNT better: More reliable maybe. Sometimes. Not always. But I did go off on another tangent with this thought process yesterday. COST. Have you ever figured out how much it costs do drive and maintain your car every year? I did…keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post, and you’ll see my point.

Know your Neighbor: In our fast paced urban/suburban existence, how many of your neighbors do you know by name? I only know 1. “Scary Steve”. And I’d rather not. But hey, if you’re tinkering in your car, you may just meet a few. Like the little girl across the street who has a yellow bug pedal car who waves in camaraderie every time I take off in Jonesy. Or that neighbor next door who’s an engineer and can just MAKE you that part your missing. (wtg Jon!) It might be a wrench instead of a cup of sugar, but really- why NOT get to know your neighbors again?

    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

An American Icon?

This is a much debated subject. I think most VW owners love VW, and think of VWs as a classic american car. An icon of an era.

There is also the contingent that cant stand them, call them’ tin cans’, ‘not worth driving’ and  ‘should be junked’.

And while it is true its a German car with very historical European roots, (Porsche designed it and Hitler provided the initial financing for the production of 600 vehicles-thank goodness his involvement ended there…) I side with those who have a great affection for VWs.

My earliest memories in include my grandpa who was a tax preparer, driving his yellow bug to his rather affluent clients homes on 17 mile drive in Monterey. My dad driving our 76 bay bus, to the top of Mt Shasta. I remember my mom making a little snowman on the top of the tire mounted on the front of the bus. It lasted almost all the way home! 🙂

I remember my dad having a little white clunker beetle to get him to classes when I was in grade school and he was in med school.

And I remember making him park that same orange bay bus 2 blocks from the front of the high school when he dropped me off in the morning. Because our 12 year old car was an embarressment.

My first car, though I never drove it was a VW fox wagon. A family friend gave it to me as a 16th birthday present. My dad didnt think it was safe for me to drive. So I washed it and sat in it, until I traded it in on my other first car. a much “safer” <cough!>nissan<cough!>

My first new car, I went right back to VW. And bought a shiny green passat wagon. (which I later gave to my x in the divorce) I still miss my passat.

So while for some its just a crap german car – for me VW’s are part of pretty much every story of my life.

and to me, that makes it nostalgic americana.

Happy 4th of July! I hope you spend your independance day with those you love most. Enjoying each other….and if your lucky enough to have one…your Volkswagen.

A red white n blue bug parade….

World Peace via Classic VW’s

Something about a VW just makes you instant neighbors.

I pull into a gas station, I get 2 or three waves. Occasionally someone will strike up conversation & admire my car.

On the freeway I always get lots of looks, nods, peace signs, & smiles.

People give me more room when I’m in my beetle, less tailgating, more polite lane changes, less cut-offs. (Which is a good thing, since I don’t have a horn, & my brakes dont exactly stop on a dime.)

It’s beyond the hippy stereotype. It’s  community. A VW is iconic, & nostalgic for people as well. A reminder of a time when life was a little less, electronic. A little more, hands on.

You have to take your time with a VW. Even if its modified & ‘suped up…it took patience to get it there.

Go to a VW show. Some of the nicest people ever. Everyone helps each other out, lots of ideas! All walks of life.

And the great thing is…its not a johnson competition. (You know the one where everyone is trying to measure bigger & better.)

Sure people drool. But there is also acknowledgement for the work that went into those vehicles. And most of the time the owner is humble as pie, sitting right next to their car, to tell you how to do it to yours.

VW people, are notorious do-it-yourselfer’s, cheap parts, cheap cars, lots of love.

It’s just a common love.

You have to love something that requires the work a VW does. If you treat it right, it’ll treat you right. Maybe instead of a slow food movement, its slow lifestyle movement.

And slow can mean pretty damn awesome too.

I wonder if world peace could come from a VW in every drive-way?  😀

 

 

 

 

I’m game.