April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Posted by Scott at 06:23 AM

Sunday - The whole New Hampshire Bilik household wishes you and yours a blessed Easter Sunday! Because of the 'Christmas & Easter Catholics' that will come out of the woodwork, today Michelle and I will be doing split shifts with Mass attendance today. We'll do donuts and egg hunting between the Masses. Later in the afternoon the Nix's will come to celebrate the day with us. We wish we could attend the Easter brunch back in River Grove.

Movies - Did anyone else endure the ABC/Hallmark epic retelling of The Ten Commandments? I TiVo'd it and watched it Tuesday and Wednesday. As much fun as people used to poke at Charlton Heston as Moses, relative unknown actor Dougray Scott, of Scottish and Welsh background is even more difficult to find believable as the part of Moses. They might as well have used Patrick Stewart (okay, with a wig...). Still, it did spend a lot of time showing the conflicts Moses faced … with Egypt, with his people, and doubts within himself.

Michelle and I also watched Proof since Alyssa had recommended it to Suzy. It was okay. It's hard to me to be fair because I dozed for a few moments in the middle and had to have Michelle fill me. That and I think Gwyneth Paltrow is overrated. Nevertheless, it still was intriguing to discern who was the crazy one or ones in the movie.

Car - Yesterday I traded in our 1998 Accord and bought a 2006 Jetta TDI in "Spice Red". Don't you just love marketing terms for colors?

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For those not familiar with the long standing TDI line, VW's TDI engine is a turbocharged and intercooled diesel engine with direct injection. While diesels came and went in during the Carter years, back in Europe VW has continuously developed and refined the technology since then. This car is quiet and accelerates smoothly with plenty of low rpm torque. It belied my impressions of what a small 4 cylinder enginer could do without high rev'ing. It has more airbags than I know what to do with — hopefully I'll never need them. This particular model also has the cold climate package. Best of all, it goes over 600 miles on a tank of gas (14 gallons). Move over hybrids…

I ordered this model in a five speed manual. I test drove a six speed automatic but didn't like it quite as much. Michelle and I always drove stick shifts until our most recent models, mainly due to lack of availability (ie. they don't offer minivans with manual transmissions…).

Some people get really excited about buying a new car. I always churn about it. To me it's more of a 'necessary evil'. I came home relieved that I had my new commuter car, but not looking forward to doing car payments again. We'd had a couple of years free of payments. We were concerned that if I didn't replace my car soon, it'd get so far along that we'd have to replace both the Accord and Odyssey at the same time. Double car payments is something we've always avoided.


A few weeks ago I'd mentioned that we'd purchased the 50th anniversary edition of the classic Charlton Heston version of The Ten Commandments. I re-watched about half of it tonight as things began to wind down after dessert. It's interesting to compare the story differences. Both versions of the story had to fill in sections where the Old Testament is silent in regards to Moses' life. I find the dialog of the old version far deeper than the newer one. You can tell in the 1956 version that this is the movie Cecil B. DeMille really wanted to build. It was one of the last films he produced.

Today was a sunny, mild, and breezy day albeit a bit chilly. The kids had fun playing outside. Since I went to a mid-morning Easter Mass, I was standing in the back the whole time, despite arriving ten minutes early. The church was mobbed with people, standing room only. If only our parish was blessed with that level of attendance more often!

Shortly after I got home, Michelle was sympathetic and let me nap at the same time as Timothy. I zonked right out. Even now as I type this, Michelle is out cold sleeping. It's been a long day.

Posted by: Scott at April 16, 2006 09:08 PM

Nice car! I was just discussing with my husband the other day that I'd like to get something with better gas mileage than the Suburban that I drive. I filled up this evening and it was $80.84 for 30 gallons of gas. SO unacceptable!! I don't know what else I can drive that will hold all six kids and get better mileage, but I think I need to look!

Posted by: Lisa at April 16, 2006 11:18 PM

Woo-hoo, congrats on the new car! Now you get some farfegnuten! It sounds as if the new diesels are much better than the ones they had 20 years ago. Our old diesel rabbit used to freeze up in the winter unless you plugged the engine-block heater in over night. Hopefully the cold-climate package they have does an even better job now. The TDI should be nice and peppy too.

Do you know where the diesels are made? When my parents got their first VWs in the late 70s, they were really soldily built, and were still being made in Germany. Over the years the cars started to be made of assembled in Mexico and the quality declined. My parents bought a golf 3-4 years ago and had so many problems with it they dumped VWs all together. I hope your luck will be much better.

Posted by: will at April 24, 2006 11:55 AM

Hey Will,

When one looks at the window sticker, it is a hodge-podge of assembly and content sources. I recalled your stories about issues your folks had with their VWs. This was the first time I've ever taken a dealer up on an offer to extend the warrantee. I brought it out to 100K miles bumper to bumper. Even so, putting 25K miles a year on it, that'll only take it 4 years. Still, judging by the folks at the TDI fan club:


they feel that the TDI line has longevity as well as efficiency. We'll see... The TDI line certainly does far better on resale than their gas equivalents from VW. I hope that there's something to the perception of them being more durable...

Posted by: Scott at April 24, 2006 01:16 PM