Category Archives: User Reports

How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car or Truck Without Ever Talking to a Salesman, Part III

Ford Fusion
Ford Fusion

Part Three

The Right & Wrong Way to Find the Right & Wrong People

When it came time to chase down the dealer at which I would get the best price for the truck I was going to buy I soon learned how not to go about contacting dealers. Most if not all dealerships have some sort of Contact Us page on their web sites where you fill out an email form, field by field, entering your name, email address, sometimes phone number and finally your message. Do not do this! If you do you will find yourself bombarded by absolutely idiotic, automated replies that completely ignore what you’ve written, mindless salespeople trying to sell you whatever they have on the lot, or somebody that will say anything they think you want to hear in order to get you to come to their dealership. If you give them your phone number you will get phone calls from dealers who will press you and press you again and again to come down to their dealership because they know people they can get through their doors represent their best chance at making a sale with the largest profits. If you fill out those forms you will also find yourself subscribed to promotional mailing lists where dealers send you advertisement after advertisement about things in which you have absolutely no interest–you are going to get SPAMMED. [READ MORE…]

How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car or Truck Without Ever Talking to a Salesman, Part II

Part Two

In Part One I wrote about retail (MSRP) and wholesale (invoice) pricing of automobiles. I pointed to hidden profit areas such as holdback that allow dealers to sell vehicles “below cost” and still make money. I also said that knowing the MSRP and invoice pricing really doesn’t matter because in the end the only thing that does matter is getting the lowest price for which a dealer is willing to sell the vehicle. Even so, if you are like me then it will be a matter of some comfort to know invoice prices for the base vehicle, options and packages. [READ MORE…]

How to Get the Best Deal on a New Car or Truck Without Ever Talking to a Salesman

2017 Ford F350 Super Duty, Dual Rear Wheel
2017 Ford F350 Super Duty, Dual Rear Wheel

Part One

If you’re like me, when it comes time to purchase a new vehicle you become filled with dread at the thought of being worked-over by a team of sophisticated, sleaze-ball sales reps in the offices of a car dealership. If you don’t experience that sense of panic, you should, because those guys can sell ice to an Eskimo while making him feel like they just saved his life.

In my recent quest for a new vehicle I have learned that, thanks to the Internet, if you handle things wisely you can get great price without leaving the comfort of your home, indeed without ever talking to a sales rep. Here is how I did it… (READ MORE)

Nothing to Sneeze At

Parts of a so called non-refillable pepper mill
A so called, non-reusable pepper mill. Using some heat as described in the accompanying article I was able to easily disassemble the parts and refill. There are three parts to this one: the vessel or body (glass), the grinder core (black), and the grinder housing (white).

While pepper may make you sneeze, choosing whole peppercorns over pre-ground, paired with a good quality pepper mill is really nothing to sneeze at. Freshly ground pepper is preferable to pre-ground pepper bought in a tin because peppercorns contain volatile compounds that begin evaporating the moment peppercorns are ground and exposed to air. There are green peppercorns, black peppercorns, white peppercorns and more. How do you know which to choose? There are different pepper mills. Which are the best? Can you refill those “non-reusable” pepper mills from the spice isle in the markets? All this and more in today’s episode of Old Man in the Kitchen. […READ MORE]

The Eye of the Eagle

Immature black-crowned heron preening.
Immature black-crowned night heron preening.

One of my greatest joys while living full-time on the road in my RV was visiting America’s most beautiful natural places–Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks, Zion and Canyonlands, Yosemite and Yellowstone, to name just a few. I can’t tell you how many times while doing so I wished I could have had a closer look at things in the distance–animals and scenic vistas, even the heavens. Some of the places I visited were recognized as International Dark Sky sites–places renowned for stargazing–and here too a close-up view would have come in real handy and enhanced the experience. If I could only see like an eagle! Read more…


The kind of bullseye you never want to hit--or have hit you--a chip in your windshield. This one was really small, just 1/4" across. If not attended to promptly, over time little chips and cracks can spread, eventually necessitating windshield replacement.

Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝olzī/
The center of a target in sports such as archery, shooting, and darts.

Well, that’s one of a number of definitions. In any kind of target practice the bullseye comes first. Next you aim and take your shot. Usually it’s regarded as a good thing to hit the bullseye. There’s another kind of bullseye where the order is reversed: the shot is taken first and the bullseye appears second. Not always such a good thing. Case in point: driving down the road a pebble got tossed at my windshield by a car in front of me. It made a small chip in my window surrounded by little cracks. Turns out this kind of damage is called, you guessed it, a bullseye. Here, you don’t hit the target. It hits you! Like I said, not such a good kind of bullseye. I’m not totally sure if the damage to my windshield would best be considered a bullseye or star damage. It may be a hybrid. I think it’s just a technical distinction with each being treated the same way. If you’re headed to Alaska, another area famous for windshields getting cracked, or just curious about a way to potentially save hundreds dollars… READ MORE…

Sorry Burt, it’s over between us!

A.K.A Home Made Lip Balm

My lip balm vs. Burt's Beeswax. I think mine's mo bettuh.
My lip balm vs. Burt’s Beeswax. I think mine’s mo bettuh.

This is my blog, created to regale you with tales of my RVing adventures. So, what does lip balm have to do with RVing? you ask. Everything… nothing. Depends on your point of view. For me, RVing means going to beautiful places in nature. Sometimes it’s cold and windy up in the mountains and my lips tend to get dry and chapped. Sometimes it’s hot and dry in the desert and, well, my lips tend to get dry and chapped. Either way, I’m a balm-aholic. I never leave home without it. READ MORE…