Tuesday, 24 May 2011

3rd Place for the Norse God of Thunder

Thor clobbered the box office raking in top spot for two weeks. After this Canadian long weekend, where you should've spent outside because it was so damn nice, it landed in 3rd with 15.5 million dollars in revenue. 

As far as big budget Marvel Comic movies go, it is not a shocker that it isn't bringing in the dough like Iron Man 2 did last year after it's 2nd week (211.2 Million). I'll be honest and tell you I didn't know the story about the Norse Gods but I wasn't impressed much and was hoping (I saw it in 3D) that there were more cool battles scenes (yes, I'm all for the fight scenes and battle gear flying out of the screen). Oh, and yes, Stan Lee made his cameo appearance! I was excited when I found out that the dad was going to be played by Anthony Hopkins and mom, Rene Russo (who still looks awesome I might add) but still not impressed with Chris Hemsworth who played Thor. Natalie Portman played her usual character but she is supposed to be "smarter" in this movie - she's a researcher! One thing I did like though is that S.H.I.E.L.D showed up in the movie, with their fleet of black Acura MDX's I might add....Ah, movie tie-in's, got to love them. 

All in all, good message, somewhat happy ending that leaves it open for a sequel, Natalie Portman kept hitting Thor with her VW and it had Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd. All worth the price of admission. I'm just not sure the price of the 3D admission. 

I will be anticipating the next Marvel Release though - Captain America - unites Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye - who they introduced in Thor), Mark Ruffalo (the Hulk) and Chris Evans (Captain America)...oh, and Thor :(

Monday, 16 May 2011

Pay your Bills or I'll buzz you every 5 minutes

Imagine cruising down the freeway, wind blowing in your hair, in your "new-to-you" convertible which you practically stole off the dealer lot. 

Now imagine a repetitious annoying noise going off every 5 minutes. Is it the seat belt warning? No, it's a reminder to pay your monthly payment. 

Now, Rocky Mountain Tracking of Fort Collins, Colo., offers a device that, in addition to tracking, vehicles can be remotely activated to buzz loudly every five minutes when a payment is missed.

Whatever happened to just cutting the gasoline to the engine so the car shuts off? This "brainy" company has invented a product which will probably cause more PR problems than solving the dilemma of getting people to pay their car loans. Do they really think that an annoying sound would be a good motivator to pay their bills? (good, because neither did I).

Some "brainy" ideas to beat this system:

  • Installing a BOSE stereo system to over-power the sound of the buzzer

  • Rip it out
  • Ask your lawyer if it violates any of your rights & threaten legal action
  • I can't think of anything else at the moment

Simple Solution:

  • Pay on time !!!

(Source: Autoweek)

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Should You Buy Extended Warranty?

You've decided: you're buying THAT car. You get into the finance office and the pretty Finance Manager offers you the platinum package warranty - you:
A) Decline and not think about it again 
B) Say you'll think about it and decline 
C) Buy 
D) Take whatever she's offering because she's pretty.
At this point you're not sure right?
Extended warranty is an insurance policy on your vehicle, to safeguard you from unforeseen repairs.True warranties, are included in the price of the vehicle; extended automotive warranties are really service contracts, since they cost extra and are sold separately. They are normally purchased "point of sale" but can be added on after the car has already hit the pavement. With the ever-increasing cost of repairs and if you like to be in control of your budget, extended warranty is for you. Has anyone ever given you tips on how and what kind of warranty to purchase?

Well here are some tips:
Reliability of the car your purchasing - Skim reviews ie. those extended test drive reviews, stop at a few on-line forums and see what people are complaining about. Also, if you have heard horror stories about your car, protect yourself - buy the warranty.
How long are you keeping your car for? - If you don't plan on keeping your car more then the 3 years, 60,000 km mark or when your warranty comes up, the answer should be: don't buy. Buying used? Though the dealer will have definitely inspected the vehicle before delivery it is always a good idea. Buying a 1 model year old vehicle - though the vehicle may still have plenty of factory warranty left, you should consider again how long you plan to keep it - will it be a family heirloom passed from generation to generation? might be a good idea.

Is your car a hybrid? I don't want to know how much it costs to repair a hybrid engine but I'm sure it's more than a gasoline engine, so if you plan to keep this car - buy the warranty.

Is the warranty transferable? Most warranties are transferable to a new owner not to mention it is a nice selling point. 

Is there a deductible? How much and on every repair?

Where can you use the warranty? Is there a list of dealers or shops? Are they close? Does it have Canada and US coverage?

Who backs the warranty you are buying? The underwriter is important and knowing that the warranty is fully backed should the company go belly up is good to know also.

What is covered? What's more important is what's NOT covered and how much do they cost.

Do you have to pay for repairs up front? Some warranties require you to pay upfront and send in the receipts to get reimbursed. It is much easier if you don't need to do this.

So, back to the multiple choice question - If you decline, I hope you are prepared for any and all repairs. If you chose the warranty, good - long live your vehicle - but one last suggestion: Ask for a discount on the warranty!