Since early May I have been driving a 1996 Mazda Miata! I did not buy a new car. We are officially a one-car household. We have one old car, a 2001 Toyota Prius, and ten bicycles as described here by my wife Miser Mom. It looks like one below.
But for Annual Training this year I am driving a Miata loaned to me by Kristine Chin and Rick Chu. I loaned them my tandem in 2009 when I went to Iraq, so they loaned me their two-seat vehicle this year. Having the Miata allowed me to have a car at Annual training, which will allow me to go home once or twice during the two weeks.
It has been fun to drive a car so small I sort of fall back into it. My sons were delighted. They just like the idea that their family has a really cool car, even if it's temporary. The kids at their (Lancaster) school brag about their family's vehicle--and especially when the family vehicle is a big, red crew cab Dodge Ram or Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
But the Miata is a two-seat convertible so it has real cache. Unlike when I was a kid, the five-speed stick shift is irrelevant. Few modern kids are serious motorheads. A car is just designer jeans with wheels.
It is convenient to have a car, and fun to have such an interesting car. Thanks Rick and Kristine!!!