On Sunday, we came home from driving Pippa back to college in Ohio. We don’t have a minivan or SUV, but our PT Cruiser is just big enough to transport all four of us, plus Pippa’s stuff.
However, the forecast for the weekend included some snow, and with the Cruiser pushing 150k miles, I’ve been resisting getting replacements for its teensy-tread tires. PT Cruisers are like dogs – they don’t live forever.
So that left my Scion xD, which meant one of us would have to stay home to make room for boxes in the backseat.
“We could take my car,” Grey casually offered. You might have read about his new used car that he bought off of Craigslist. It’s a typical 4-door, but it has a cavernous trunk.
We quickly accepted his offer and I said we’d reimburse him for it. We had a successful trip with Grey driving the whole way, although the car got plastered with road salt:
When we came back, I Venmoed Grey $339 for the use of the car. When he heard the ca-ching Venmo alert on his phone, he rushed downstairs.
“Were you off by a digit on that payment?” he joked. “I was expecting $20 and a pat on the back.”
I explained how the IRS sets vehicle use reimbursement at 58 cents a mile, to cover gas, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, etc., and that we were only reimbursing him 50 cents a mile, because, well, his 2009 Mazda 3 isn’t exactly an Escalade.
He didn’t hear the insult though, because he was suddenly rich. Until the next GEICO insurance bill comes anyway.
What Happens When Marketing Makes You Chortle in Derision
I’m a student of marketing. One pillar of marketing is that your marketing needs to align with your product/service, or you’ve got a credibility problem. And then a sales problem.
And it’s not just for the private sector. I think of the Baltimore public schools “Great Kids – Great Schools” marketing slogan that’s way more aspirational than factual. The city has more failing schools than any other jurisdiction in Maryland.
I think it was President Trump’s ultimate undoing also. His “marketing” didn’t come close to matching what was actually happening. It did have one effect though: He drove the greatest turnout in the history of U.S. elections. A turnout of concerned citizens that mostly rejected him and turned to the only other viable choice in the marketplace.
An iPhone Dunking And a Timely Christmas
Grey and I love mountain biking. We went with a friend to Patapsco Valley State Park, which has 263 miles of challenging trails.
During a break, Grey desperately patted all his pockets. “My phone…it’s gone!”
“Did you leave it in the car?”
“It must have fallen out when I fell in the stream,” he said. “I’ll be right back.” He tore off and was back in 10 minutes with a drenched phone. He had found it totally submerged.
On the way home, he drove while I frantically googled phone water rescue tactics. By the time we got home, it was so hot that I couldn’t handle it anymore. Reminded me of the Tom Cruise flick Knight and Day, where the perpetual energy source battery overheated and exploded, (spoiler alert!) killing everyone on board a chopper.
We survived the trip home (whew!), but putting the phone in a container of rice seemed more like a formality than a potential solution. Sure enough, it was deader than a rock.
Being close to Christmas, I wondered if we could replace his destroyed iPhone 6 with a new…iPhone 6. There was no way we were getting him a new iPhone 12 for $799.
A friend put me onto Backmarket. On Dec. 17, I ordered the used 6 for $126 including shipping and tax, and we had it on Dec. 21 via FedEx. Pretty good, considering some other gifts arrived when Christmas was just a distant memory.
What Do You Hear in the Shower?
Did you hear about the California woman who had the word ‘Ferrari’ come to her in the shower multiple times? It led her to buying a 458 Spider ($200K+), traveling to Italy to see it being built, and naming it Coco.
Personally, I strain to hear God’s voice in the shower. He’ll never ask me to buy an expensive sports car. 🙂
How do I hear what God is saying to me? I pray.
People are often motivated to pray to get something – a job, a spouse, healing. And that’s OK, but I don’t think it changes God’s mind. It’s presumptuous to think that it would.
Rather, prayer should be used not to change God’s will but to discover it, then conform our will to his. Jesus set the example when he prayed for God’s will to be done, not his own.
We can be confident that prayer does change things — our own hearts.