Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Decision Seems Even More Fitting Now

It was a busy week at camp, with little time for blogging, but I did manage to make it out to the mailbox every day. Among this week's mail was an article clipped by my parents from their hometown Houston Chronicle about how that most Texan of vehicles--the pickup truck--is, because of high gas prices, slowly being supplanted by things like, well, the Honda Fit:
Since his teen years in Sugar Land, James Robinson has driven a truck or an oversized SUV.

"A lot of it was just the whole Texas mystique," said Robinson, 36. "If you lived in Texas, you had to have one. My parents used to say, 'He'll drive a truck the rest of his life.' "

That was before gasoline started its climb toward $4 a gallon.

He now drives a Mini Cooper and said goodbye to his Chevy Avalanche.

Anyone who spends time on the freeways around Houston is bound to have noticed that Robinson is not alone. The very small car — the Honda Fit, the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris — is making itself known.

And the eye-catching Smart Car, which arrived in the U.S. only in January, is drawing crowds in Houston.
The article also notes that reservations for the Smart Car have already been filled for not only this year, but next year as well.

But the thing that caught my immediate attention was the picture that accompanied the article (and is found at the top of the linked version above): An area family has pretty much put their Suburban in cold storage (using it only for family trips) and has acquired three Fits to use in its stead. The Fit in the picture is the exact same model and color as Kevmobile 2.0, and it's interesting to see both a surfboard sticking out the open hatch (evidently, one of the kids can get the 8'6" board to fit in the Fit) and an acoustic bass sitting next to it.

The article also notes that Fits are flying off the lots down there; I haven't checked with my local dealer, but I'm glad I made the purchase when I did. After a little more than six months, I still loves me the Fit. Getting 34 MPG in a week of mostly short trips with the AC blasting is a big factor, but the roominess (especially for a car its size), the carrying capacity, and the peace of mind of having a new car that's not prone to breakdowns are all in the mix as well.

A very happy camper: I've said many times at the end of Jazz Camp that "this year's camp has run more smoothly than any previous year," but it really is true. I was especially happy with my big band this year; it was a slightly older and more experienced band (even though there is an order to the bands, we don't reveal that, but suffice it to say that I had a "higher" band this time), and they rose to the occasion time after time. They paid attention, they followed directions, and they did their work in a timely fashion; I was especially pleased with how they learned a pretty challenging tune that we played with the vocalists by the second day they had it. As I told the audience last night, it's easy to get a negative impression of young people from the traditional media...but if the folks on stage are the leaders of tomorrow, the future's in good shape.

I'll try to get caught up on other topics in the next few days.

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