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Old 12-23-2020, 01:59 PM   #31
wdc330i
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Originally Posted by IndyMike View Post
This is one of the little things I enjoy about owning Teutonic vehicles. Whenever I drive up to the gas pumps at THE COSTCO I normally have a free lane to pull right up to the tank in, because invariably there is a queue for the driver side fill up vehicles.

Speaking of THE COSTCO, while on the way there recently I happened to be side by side with a CX-5 exactly the same color as yours at a traffic light. It definitely has a light purplish hue like the Orient blue found on the E46. I rather fancied it and would be a color I could settle with for a good long while. During the 8 years we had the E46 325iT I really became quite fond of Orient blue.
The color is definitely growing on me. It has a grown-up look to it.

And fortunately, you can stretch those COSTCO hoses to the opposite side (as I just did an hour ago).
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:33 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by wdc330i View Post
It will take some getting used to that the gas cap is on the driver's side of the car...



That is all. Still enjoying my budget Macan



And it's the car my son always wants to ride in, for some reason.


How’s the ride quality compared with your past Bmws?


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Old 12-24-2020, 02:22 PM   #33
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How’s the ride quality compared with your past Bmws?


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Ride quality is quite good—very decent road feel without transmitting harsh road imperfections. And, what I like best, it’s not at all floaty or vague. Steering offers good feedback about road conditions and is reasonably precise (although the steering wheel itself is not that comfortable—something kind of hard and pokey about it).

Apparently they also worked quite hard to improve sound insulating, because of past complaints.

I still think it’s a tremendous value in a small SUV.

I do read in some places that the AWD system is not the most sophisticated. But where I live, that’s not an issue. It’ll be good enough for all the rain we get (more rain that Seattle) and the occasional mild snow event or mountain jaunt.

My two real objections are that the steering wheel doesn’t feel great (I’m spoiled by the M wheel in the 2) and the seats are not so comfortable (I really like the sport seats in the 2). If I had not had better versions of both those items, I probably would not even notice them as shortcomings in the Mazda.
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Old 12-28-2020, 12:48 PM   #34
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First mod: Ordered the OEM cargo cover thingy.

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Old 12-28-2020, 09:55 PM   #35
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Was your xmas tree also in this thread? can't find it. But I just lost half the lights in the middle section of our tree.

Not sure what happened, but every bulb I have pulled is black. must have been some spike or defect in the foot pedal that is used to turn on and off the tree.

Tree is covered in decorations and another string of colored, pulsing lights, so the issue won't be fixed til the tree is dis-assembled for the season next week
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Old 12-29-2020, 09:24 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by kognito View Post
Was your xmas tree also in this thread? can't find it. But I just lost half the lights in the middle section of our tree.

Not sure what happened, but every bulb I have pulled is black. must have been some spike or defect in the foot pedal that is used to turn on and off the tree.

Tree is covered in decorations and another string of colored, pulsing lights, so the issue won't be fixed til the tree is dis-assembled for the season next week
I do have a bum run of lights on the fake tree. But will probably pack it up and curse it next year.
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Old 01-01-2021, 10:51 PM   #37
Terry Kennedy
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I do have a bum run of lights on the fake tree. But will probably pack it up and curse it next year.
We bit the bullet this year and got rid of all of the old micro bulb lights we'd both collected over the years - the old ones are unsafe from wear & tear and the new ones are so cheaply made (thin wire / insulation) that they're a hazard right out of the box.

We bought a bunch of the 300 light / 100 foot LED ones from Amazon (from some random Chinese manufacturer). Unfortunately, they either don't understand "twinkle" or it is devious plot to trigger seizures in epileptics, but neither of us like any of the flashing modes. But it does have variable brightness levels which is nice - we can have it very bright during the day and then turn it down as it gets dark. It has an infrared remote control for this and the effects.

What would be really nice would be if each of the bulbs could go on and off randomly - it is the cycling of each half of the lights that makes the effects look like Las Vegas. But that would require individual blinky bulbs and therefore no central control, or would require something too complicated / expensive like I2C signalling from a master controller. You can buy rolls of inexpensive "LED tape" that do that, but that's because the tiny control chips are mounted next to a group of LEDs on the flex tape.
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:55 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
We bit the bullet this year and got rid of all of the old micro bulb lights we'd both collected over the years - the old ones are unsafe from wear & tear and the new ones are so cheaply made (thin wire / insulation) that they're a hazard right out of the box.

We bought a bunch of the 300 light / 100 foot LED ones from Amazon (from some random Chinese manufacturer). Unfortunately, they either don't understand "twinkle" or it is devious plot to trigger seizures in epileptics, but neither of us like any of the flashing modes. But it does have variable brightness levels which is nice - we can have it very bright during the day and then turn it down as it gets dark. It has an infrared remote control for this and the effects.

What would be really nice would be if each of the bulbs could go on and off randomly - it is the cycling of each half of the lights that makes the effects look like Las Vegas. But that would require individual blinky bulbs and therefore no central control, or would require something too complicated / expensive like I2C signalling from a master controller. You can buy rolls of inexpensive "LED tape" that do that, but that's because the tiny control chips are mounted next to a group of LEDs on the flex tape.
I am increasingly dubious of Amazon’s “inventory,” and all the no-name products on offer. Even the AmazonBasics are worthy of scrutiny.

Increasingly, I prefer to stick with the transparency of real companies and real vendors I can deal with, if needed.

I’ve even been dodging Zappos lately, in favor of the shoemakers’ own purchasing portals.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:13 AM   #39
Terry Kennedy
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I am increasingly dubious of Amazon’s “inventory,” and all the no-name products on offer. Even the AmazonBasics are worthy of scrutiny.
Amazon fixed the problem of co-mingling marketplace and Amazon inventory some years ago (they used to be stocked interchangably, so fakes were getting into the sold by/shipped by Amazon inventory).

I haven't had any problems with them other than the occasional (maybe once a year) mis-pack when they shipped X of something when I ordered quantity Y. I did have a "not as described" wall wart adapter last month from an Amazon marketplace (shipped by Amazon) seller, but they refunded me within 48 hours and told me to keep/discard the device. I think they're desperate to keep up their seller rating.

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Increasingly, I prefer to stick with the transparency of real companies and real vendors I can deal with, if needed.
Amazon is still by go-to place for most stuff. Used things I get occasionally from eBay (as both an eBay and PayPal concierge-level customer, they automatically default to me being right if there's ever a problem, and there hasn't been in 4+ years).

As far as the specific case of Christmas tree lights, I can order them from Amazon and have free returns if anything is wrong, buy them at Michael's/Christmas Shoppe/wherever for twice the price and deal with the hassle of returning them, or order from Aliexpress and hope they get here before Easter and have no real recourse if there turns out to be a problem. I know which way I'm going.

I just checked and I've generated $121.23 for my Amazon Smile charity in 2020, so that means I spent $12K there (granted, a good bit of that was for work, but even so).
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Old 01-03-2021, 09:59 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Terry Kennedy View Post
Amazon fixed the problem of co-mingling marketplace and Amazon inventory some years ago (they used to be stocked interchangably, so fakes were getting into the sold by/shipped by Amazon inventory).

I haven't had any problems with them other than the occasional (maybe once a year) mis-pack when they shipped X of something when I ordered quantity Y. I did have a "not as described" wall wart adapter last month from an Amazon marketplace (shipped by Amazon) seller, but they refunded me within 48 hours and told me to keep/discard the device. I think they're desperate to keep up their seller rating.


Amazon is still by go-to place for most stuff. Used things I get occasionally from eBay (as both an eBay and PayPal concierge-level customer, they automatically default to me being right if there's ever a problem, and there hasn't been in 4+ years).

As far as the specific case of Christmas tree lights, I can order them from Amazon and have free returns if anything is wrong, buy them at Michael's/Christmas Shoppe/wherever for twice the price and deal with the hassle of returning them, or order from Aliexpress and hope they get here before Easter and have no real recourse if there turns out to be a problem. I know which way I'm going.

I just checked and I've generated $121.23 for my Amazon Smile charity in 2020, so that means I spent $12K there (granted, a good bit of that was for work, but even so).
Oh, I spend a ton of money with them as well. But for anything fancy or subject to fakery, I try to go brick and mortar.

Relatedly, Best Buy has done a really top-notch job ramping up their e-commerce functionality. Competitive prices (and price match guarantees) plus speedy delivery or same-day curbside pickup. And bonus “member” points/incentives.
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