The time has come to retire the Element. After 105,000 miles and four years of getting me through hell and back, the Element’s final gift to me was the retention of over 50% of its resale value despite being five model years old. With Honda and Nissan running 2.9% and 3.9% financing through this weekend, I decided that the time was right to slip into something a little more fuel efficient. I checked out the Honda Fit, Honda Civic, Nissan Versa, and Scion xD. This post isn’t about the cars themselves, but about the local dealerships that I dealt with.
Over the last few years, land and home prices in East Hanover Township have skyrocketed — especially parcels around the casino. I distinctly remember seeing the small, barren lot that I considered buying back in 2004 for $10k sell at auction for well over $200k last summer. Not only that, but area businesses are either rebuilding or being demolished to make way for something bigger. What was once pretty much the middle of nowhere has now become the potential to completely rebuild the area.
Today is the day when AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and a handful of rural cellular companies officially shut off their analog (“AMPS”) networks. While there are very few analog users out there, I wanted to pass this across simply because a LOT of phones from Verizon Wireless, as well as all of the “old style” (sometimes called “TDMA”) AT&T digital phones, still have the capability of providing analog backup. Starting today, that capability is dead.
During a visit to Hollywood Casino late last night, I was briefly amused and then saddened to overhear this in a conversation from a passing elderly couple:
“You play the penny slots when you want to spend a few hours playing. You don’t play them when you want to make money. When you want to make money, you play the quarter or fifty-cent slots.”
That’s how much gamblers at Hollywood Casino threw down this past Tuesday, the casino’s first day open to the public. After taxes and payouts, they netted $162,000 before operational costs such as wages and utilities. I can’t tell you if that’s good or bad, but compared to some of the other Pennsylvania casinos, it certainly appears to be on the plus side: