It’s a great feeling when you put your car into “park” and get out of it for the night. Another day’s work is over, come home, relax, chill out, eat dinner, etc etc. It’s not a great feeling when you get out of the car and you hear it hissing. Loudly. Of course, not terribly hard to figure out the issue at hand, a flat tire. My first “issue” with the new car. Minor, of course, but still an issue. Cars are funny, you know, it’s really one of the only large-scale investments people make that is guaranteed to lose value right from start and never gain value going forward. Still, more and more people buy ’em…..

So check this out, last night I participated in a consumer research group in downtown Boston for the automobile industry. It ended up being a consumer opinion panel discussion about the newly redesigned Honda Accord, which I actually don’t like. It was pretty interesting – I’ve never participated in one of those before, and they essentially pay you an amount of money – in cash – to just sit for an hour or two and answer their questions and give your opinions. They have the whole room miked, they videotape you, and the room has a two-way mirror where someone, I assume from Honda in this case, sits and observes. There were nine people in all in the group and they paid us each $75 bucks to do it. It took an hour and a half, which translates to like $50 bucks an hour. Nice!