More updates! Audio, car, job, etc!

So..... this is a change. Putting an update out thats less than 6 months from the previous one?

I started my new job as a Senior Security Engineer (sales) at Check Point Software. It's been eye opening. It's more challenging due to my comfort zone being in IT break/fix as opposed to pure sales. I enjoy it quite a bit. The freedom it affords me allows more time with the family and more time on my own. I get to learn at my own pace and make use of my previous skills in conversing with new clients. As part of the onboarding process at Check Point, every employee is sent to the home office which happens to be in Tel Aviv Israel. If you're a wet behind the ears recruit they send you for 9 weeks! As I was hired on in a senior role, I only had to go for 9 days. Last month I flew 20-24 hours over to Israel and did a 12hr/day bootcamp for 6 days and we got to tour Jerusalem on the 7th. Jet lag is real. I could not sleep each night with the 8 hour difference. The food tore me up due to the lack of meat in most meals. I barely got used to it before I went home and had to undo it. It was boggling. I've never traveled outside North America. The people there are quite different as it's all religious based compared to our more liberal USA. I learned more about the culture than the job honestly, so I took it all in. I picked some random pictures of the trip below.

So I flew out Friday, but the Monday prior I had to go serve jury duty for Oklahoma. That was fun. As I am a minority, have no idea or bias on the case that I was chosen for, and was able to make logical sense of data it must have meant I was the perfect juror. I was chosen along with 11 others out of 50 total for a murder trial. This put me dangerously close to my departure date for Israel. Literally every other juror expressed their negativity about being stuck on a jury trial. I knew I had to be there so I figured I could pay attention and learn something, I mean why not? I learned how easy it could have been to be John Cusack in runaway jury. Anyways it was very interesting and my brother joked that I would be made foreman when we deliberated. And for some reason - I was. No one wanted to do it. So I stood up, organized the group and laid out the rules and evidence. I was disappointed in the prosecution, because by the letter of the law given to us they had no case. Was he guilty? Probably. But the law is the law and it was crystal clear they could not probe beyond a shadow of a doubt, and thus we had to render a verdict on such. My employer was gracious enough to not care that I served so I didn't have to take time off. We were only in trial for 8 hours Tuesday, and 2 hours Wednesday. We deliberated from 1130am to 1230pm, with 30 min of that being lunch. All I can say is that I hope that person changes their ways. I promptly went from that trial to turn in my conceal carry application (unrelated, the office was just really close). Since it ended in a good amount of time I got to go on my trip! Obviously no pictures of this experience - lol.

Lets see... next was coming home. I got home and remembered I had an appointment to take my car to the dealer for service. It started smoking out the back again. For reference I had a 2011 BMW F10 550i with 92,600 miles on it. In the past year I have had coolant hoses replaced ($1000 multipe times), coolant oil hoses for the turbos replaced, stem seals replaced ($6000), coolant oil return block for turbos replaced ($3500), new tires ($1200), oil pan replaced ($3000, they had to fit 4 pans due to warping), and others I totally forgot about. Now it turns out the smoking was solved by the stem seals so it coming back was a total surprise. It only smoked when idling for a while, otherwise it just burnt whatever it was and you could smell it. As the same tech looked at the car he couldn't reproduce the issue. I showed him a video and asked if the turbos would cause the issue. He did all the work and knew logically it was the only thing. After taking them out they were full of oil residue. Well...another week without a car. They gave me a 2018 BMW X5 to drive so I took it home. My wife texted me at work saying "hey...buy a new car". That's really out of character for her since I usually initiate purchasing a new car. With the new job, new baby, us yet to receive the hospital bill and my financial "plan" (its all in my head) to pay off her student loans within the next few months - I didn't want to buy a new car for at least 12 months. Would I enjoy one? You bet. But I really wanted to not worry about a car just yet. We just spent $1200 on replacing all the shocks/struts on her Escalade too. Anyways I just happened to stop into Bob Moore Cadillac in Edmond OK and check out some of the cars. Almost all my cars came from there except the 2008 BMW 550i Msport. My CX5, CTS, STS, both Infinitis, this 550i, Escalade, etc have all come from this dealer since my dad worked there for some 12 years. As my dad has since retired from car sales I picked a new guy Thomas to help us. I told them long ago when I got rid of my 2009 CTS 3.6DI for a 2008 BMW 550i that if Cadillac ever came out with a v8-level CTS that was slightly bigger and wasn't the full blown CTS-V (maintenance ...... is killer) that I'd come back. Well in 2014 Cadillac released the CTS Vsport and they also have the CT6 with a twin turbo. I really was just window shopping. I looked over what they had and glanced around. I had looked at the selection online in passing but didn't really take it serious. My wife pointed at two cars that caught her eye for superficial reasons alone. Both were CTS. One was fully blacked out, aftermarket rims, a really nice looking car. The second one wasn't blacked out but had a VERY aggressive tri-coat flake paint job. The flakes were HUGE and had an amazing 3d effect. Thomas came out, said hi and I told him I really liked the tri-coat one, but my car was in service so I couldn't really do anything until I had it back. He said sure - give you a call in a couple days. Well fast forward literally two days. Black Friday to be exact. We went shopping for normal crap and that afternoon Thomas called to see if we wanted to take any of the cars for a test drive. Wife said what the hell, why not - so we dropped both kids off at home with my brother (first time LOL) and went over. I got there and he had the car pulled up.
Main Surround -
Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD

Comments

  • nguyendotnguyendot Posts: 3,572
    Turns out he was a police officer for some 20 years in OKC and told me where to go let the car rip. It was super aggressive and accelerated like a monster. Probably on par with the 550i - which is pushing probably 450rwhp/500lb ft as it sat. It was a little bumpy due to runflats but whatever. I didn't even look at the blacked out one after that. Wife said it was nice. I told him hey, I'll be back with the trade in whenever it was done (still a week off!). They were really low on sales in November so they told me they'd offer on my car sight unseen. I'd say they lowballed me ($10k upside down) but after running KBB they were literally in the middle of the green as far as value of my current car. WOW depreciation. I made a deal, and took the Cadillac home without handing over the keys to my current car, funny. My house still had the BMW X5 loaner in the garage. In fact when I turned in my car yesterday for the detail they owed me he gave me another loaner - so I had a BMW and Cadillac loaner at my house for a day. I had to write a check for what I consider a stupid amount to get out from under the BMW and I count myself fortunate that for once in our lives the wife and I are OK with our finances to do so. BMW called yesterday with my car done 4 days early so I went to get it. I had to strip it before I gave it over so I took it home last night and gave her one last go. They replaced both turbos to the tune of $5900. The engine is practically new at this point. All the rattles, hesitation, issues, etc are now gone. Sad on her last night I couldn't let it rip due to traffic. About midnight last night I went out and took everything out. front/rear 1080p camera, all my work gear, the JB stage 1 tune, etc. I hadn't expected to sell her when she went in. It was barely a distant memory. I was not sad to see her go this morning, but I will miss the gal. Her replacement? 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport in Black Diamond Tricoat. 24k miles, certified to 100k. It's very different and they are not directly comparable, not by a longshot. One's a sports sedan. The other is an executive saloon. We'll see how it goes over time. The wife sat in some very very expensive Escalades while I was doing all the paperwork at the dealer. Ulterior motives..... I might add that she somehow eclipsed my credit score. Pics below

    Audio.......
    I made a decision to slow down on the craigslist gear. Buying/selling was always a passion and made me a decent amount of change over the past decade. Unfortunately it's turning me into a hoarder and the return on my time spent (and risks) is not really worth it anymore. Will I still do it? Sure. But I won't make it a priority anymore. I can work six months of random deals to come out with extra gear and $2000, or I can work a weekend of night time jobs on the side for the same $2000. So I'm going to start selling off the collection (cache) of gear that is in my "cycle" and just cash out. I'll keep maybe 10% of it but the rest is just there to play with and sell anyways. It's going to be very difficult to choose what to keep and what to sell. And it will still take time to sell due to the downturn in interest within this state. I picked up some odd gear too. I have this 7 channel Crestron amp that requires a relay and 20 amps of dedicated power. I had the Carver Amazings for a while but decided to trade them out. I've got speakers out the Wazoo - like the NHT AbsoluteZero package, the Vandersteen 1Cs, the Polk 703s that still haven't been fired up, some B&W CM1S2s that are on the floor next to the 703s..... I'm trying to offload the LSI25s (2pairs) to simplify. I sold both Pioneer Elites (VSX90 and SC01?) and replaced them. I picked up an Arcam for the main theater via craigslist and it seems to be quite ballsy. Not many features but it gets straight to the point. My VSX90 was in the bedroom, I replaced it with a Denon x3300w that was defective right away. Magnolia traded me for a Marantz SR5012 and after updating it works beautifully. $350 open box!. The dialog somehow got way clearer on the bedroom system after this. Time to list EVERYTHING. 707s or 705s might be in the future with the funds I procure if Adorama is still blowing them out.

    Family.....
    So my son was born in October. Riker Thomas Nguyen. Yes he's named after Star Trek because Will Riker was one sexy ****. His middle name was Thomas, and it was his clones (transporter accident) first name. My son has brown hair and blue eyes. I'm Vietnamese.... time for a paternity check (i kid). He's growing up wicked fast. The 9 days I was gone he gained 25% in size/weight! I'm excited to have him in our family. The wife is dying a little inside since we're older and trying to keep up. My daughter (5) loves having a little brother. She's been asking for like 3 years, which is how long it took to finally make him LOL. I'm happy, we're happy. Pics below.

    Welp that's all for now. Thanks for reading, and as always I appreciate the Polkie Forums being more than just audio. Sorry for the picture blasts below!

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    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,030
    $14,000+ in repairs in a year on a 6 year old car with under 100k on the clock? What?
    | Front - Dynaudio Emit M20 | Center - N/A | Rear - Polk Monitor 4 | Sub - N/A |
    | AVR - Yamaha Aventage RX-A1020 | Preamp - Dared MC-7P | Amp - B&K Reference 4420 |
    | Turntable - Yamaha PX-3 | Cartridge - Dynavector DV-20X2H | Digital Source - AURALiC Aries Mini |
    | TV - LG 60" 4K | Gaming - Xbox One - PS3 - New 3DS XL - Nvidia Shield TV |

    This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality
    Embrace this moment, remember, we are eternal
    All this pain is an illusion
  • nbrowsernbrowser Posts: 7,017
    Nightfall wrote: »
    $14,000+ in repairs in a year on a 6 year old car with under 100k on the clock? What?

    Standing proud to the words... Bavarian Money Waster. Sadly when things go wrong, they usually aren't cheap when it's the higher end cars.
    Living room: Samsung UN55KU7000 4K UHD HDR 55 inch TV, Marantz CD6004, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon, Parasound zPhono, Mac Mini, Oppo BDP-93, XBox One S 2Tb, Kenwood DPX792BH car deck for radio purposes, Marantz SR5010 AVR, Parasound HCA-1200II, Front SDA 2 modded with Larrys Rings and RD0-194-1 tweeters, Rear Onkyo SKF-4800 Towers, Center CSiA6, BOOM Tannoy TS2.12 Sub, Audioquest Evergreen interconnects just about everywhere except from AVR to amp, MIT Terminator 4, MIT AVT3 speaker cables with extra terminals covered up Monitor 5 Jr+ in the wings for a center channel.
  • halenhalen Posts: 215
    Congrats man! New job, car,... And family member!!! Hehe.

    Did you struggle eating the local food in Israel?
  • nguyendotnguyendot Posts: 3,572
    nbrowser wrote: »
    Nightfall wrote: »
    $14,000+ in repairs in a year on a 6 year old car with under 100k on the clock? What?

    Standing proud to the words... Bavarian Money Waster. Sadly when things go wrong, they usually aren't cheap when it's the higher end cars.


    I prefer "Break My Wallet"
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • nguyendotnguyendot Posts: 3,572
    halen wrote: »
    Congrats man! New job, car,... And family member!!! Hehe.

    Did you struggle eating the local food in Israel?

    I struggled processing the food. Eating it was not really foreign to me. It was obviously local and authentic, however hummus and the like are on our plate once every two weeks at a minimum. I just hurt eating it every day all day while being jet lagged. My stomach was so mad at me, eating at 8am there was 4pm and 6pm dinner was 2am...ouch!
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • nguyendotnguyendot Posts: 3,572
    Nightfall wrote: »
    $14,000+ in repairs in a year on a 6 year old car with under 100k on the clock? What?

    That's what this car is known for. The extended warranty company is probably kicking themselves for only charging like $4000 for the warranty. I saw what they had to pay the dealer and they lost money hardcore.
    Main Surround -
    Epson 8350 Projector/ Elite Screens 120" / Pioneer Elite SC-35 / Sunfire Signature / Focal Chorus 716s / Focal Chorus CC / Polk MC80 / Polk PSW150 sub

    Bedroom - Sharp Aquos 70" 650 / Pioneer SC-1222k / Polk RT-55 / Polk CS-250

    Den - Rotel RSP-1068 / Threshold CAS-2 / Boston VR-M60 / BDP-05FD
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,812
    Exactly why I'd never own a BMW.

    Congrats though on all the rest. The more I travel, the more I appreciate the good 'ol USA.
    legacy Focus 20/20
    Butler tdb 2250
    Cary Xciter dac
    Joule LA-100
    Pioneer BDP 320
    Sony 4k 55 850c
    FX 500 surround
    Acoustic zen Satori SC's
    Pioneer elite vsx21
    Sonos-Cullen mod.
    Audio Metallurgy GA-0 digital
    PS Audio Quintet
    Analysis Plus crystal ovals
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2's IC
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