Expert Opinions

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Looking for a new car can be tough. Whether you consider yourself a car person or not, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the huge number of options you have in the car market. From new to used, Fords to foreign cars, sports cars to sedans, where should you even start looking? Thankfully, the expert sales team at dealerships like Ford Moreno Valley are happy to help you find exactly what you need.

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Talking to a salesperson can be a great resource when it comes time to look for a vehicle. Salespeople work with cars every day and they can help you narrow down the wide field to find something that works well for you. Let them talk to you about each vehicle’s specifications and what sets each one apart. They can give you information on things like gas mileage, safety ratings, and more. They can also talk to you about what vehicles work well for people who have bought something to fit similar needs to yours. They might have advice on cars that have worked well for people with large families or longs commutes.
Another tip when you first start your car hunt is that you can begin by visiting a dealership’s website, like http://www.racewayford.com/ and see all the different vehicles that they currently have for sale on the lot. If you do know what you are looking for, this can help you save time and a trip to the car lot to see if they have the one you’re looking for. Sometimes talking to a staff member after you’ve visited the website can be helpful too. They can give you firsthand knowledge about the car you’re interested in purchasing, show you the car in person, and even let you take it on a test drive.

Bantam’s Jeep – 1940

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The Jeep originated from the American Bantam Car Company in Butler, Pennsylvania. There is an interesting story surrounding the creation of this new designed car. The four-wheel-drive Bantam Jeep unexpectedly changed the car industry in 1940. It was actually created for the purpose of being an innovative vehicle useful for the military to help win World War II. Surprisingly, it was not really a big manufacturer that came up with this; the Jeep is made from a little bankrupt company in a small factory and it was all made possible by the townspeople coming forth to help get this important job done for that military. This sturdy vehicle that was removed from the deserts, into jungles, and onto beaches was known as the only true American sports vehicle ever made. It could go anywhere and do anything whatsoever, and today it continues to achieve this all over the world.

Audi A4 3.2 Quattro

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Another luxury model that performs very well in cold and bad weather. It is not too expensive, and you really get what you pay for: easy handling and good performance even in winter weather conditions. While its cabin size is more compact compared to other larger sedans produced by Audi, it nonetheless has enough space for a comfy ride.

Life in the Fast Lane

If you do any type of commuting to work or live in a high traffic area where driving on highways is the norm then you already know what it can be like at certain times during the day. Even when you think you are driving fast to keep up with the flow of traffic there are people that are getting anxious behind you and want to go faster. Some of these folks seem like they would just as soon drive you right off the road if they had the chance. If you are a regular driver under these conditions then you know there are certain times where it is best for you to just stay out of the left lane on the highway.

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The main purpose of the far left lane on any highway is to serve as the passing lane. Cars that use the left are supposed to be there to pass others only, though the definition of the left lane has changed quite a bit over time as the volume of traffic has increased in places all over the country. Today the left lane very often seems to be more of a place where people go just to drive fast, often faster than what the legal limit allows. This is why some drivers tend to be so aggressive when they are in the left lane. Even if the speed limit is posted at 65 most drivers in the left lane tend to go faster than that and expect you to perform the same way. Simply doing 65 will not be good enough and can lead to some problems.

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Your best bet is that if you know you are going to be driving safely and at the speed limit like you are supposed to then you should try to stay out of the left lane altogether. Of course there may be situations that make it necessary for you to venture over to the left lane now and again because you need to pass a car or truck that is going significantly slower than the posted speed limit. You do want to be careful when you do this, making sure the lane is clear and then is plenty of room for you to go, just in case someone comes speeding up out of nowhere. Once you have passed the car you wanted to pass and you can safely move you can slide back over to the right and be on your way.

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You might be better off just using the left lane as it was originally intended so you can stay out of the way of those that might be driving too aggressively for your own tastes. You are then able to avoid situations that can lead to things like road rage or potential accidents. If you do have to go into the left lane you want to be sure that the car you are driving has the engine power and pick up to get you moving quickly and safely in and out of the lane. If you are unable to do that, that it might be time for you to start thinking about getting a new vehicle. You can look at what is available at the RAM Santa Ana dealership found at http://www.ocramtruckcenter.com/ so that you can locate a new or used truck or car that will give you the extra surge you need to use the left lane more often.

Foton launches the Big Show

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MANILA, Philippines-Aside from joining international auto shows much like the recently concluded biennial Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) or the annual Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), organizing single-brand auto events seem to be a very effective way to introduce new models available in the market.

Market leaders like Isuzu and Toyota regularly hold massive single-brand truck and auto shows to showcase their latest offerings and promos.

Foton, the country’s biggest Chinese-made automotive brand, is also building a mark by holding its fourth single-brand show. Dubbed as the Foton Big Show, the event started off as a “Palitan Fest” back in 2010.

“Palitan,” or exchange in Filipino, promotes generous price valuations for trade-in units to acquire brand-new Foton vehicles. Now on its fourth year, the event has since evolved into what is now known as the Foton Big Show, an annual and exclusive showcase of Foton’s full vehicle lineup, starting from passenger vehicles (PV), light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks and high machineries.

The Foton dancing wheel loader

The Foton dancing wheel loader

United Asia Automotive Group Inc. (UAAGI), the exclusive distributor of Foton vehicles from the Philippines, will once again showcase the Foton Big Show on Oct. 17 to 19 with the World Trade Center.

Like in previous shows, Foton’s Big Show will feature test drives, specialdiscounts and freebies, easy-to-avail financing schemes from partner banks, as well as PMS (preventive maintenance service) bundles to go with the machine purchase.

According to Anna Parado, Foton Philippines VP for marketing, “Foton has been widely accepted in major banks, leasing institutions and insurance companies; these will be represented at the event to offer the comfort of submitting applications on site.”

“Foton’s Big Show 2014 is the perfect venue for those intending to find the right truck, van or utility vehicle for your Filipino businessmen,” says UAAGI president Rommel Sytin. He adds, “We will again showcase the latest technologies and innovations from Foton, including our major engine partner Cummins, as it powers more of the Foton vehicles, that will be launched through the opening of your event.”

Empowering business

“Foton’s Big Show 2014 is the perfect venue for those intending to find the right truck, van or utility vehicle to the Filipino businessmen.”

“Foton’s Big Show 2014 is the ideal venue for all those intending to get the right truck, van or utility vehicle for the Filipino businessmen.”

With its theme of “Empower Your Business,” the event supplies a “one-stop shop” venue to allow buyers the convenience of shopping for the best financing and leasing deals with the ten institutions that have partnered with Foton and UAAGI.

The new models being launched this year will include six new commercial vehicles, including three vehicles powered by Cummins engines.

Cummins is considered a world leader for diesel engine technology. Aside from Foton’s engine partnership agreement with Cummins, its vehicles are developed in cooperation with global brands and key technical partners like Lotus, Bosch, Motorola and Daimler, making it the world’s largest manufacturer of economic vehicles.

The ETX GTL tractor truck

The ETX GTL tractor truck

“The Filipinos are incredibly ingenious people, with Foton’s vehicle lineup being very functional and versatile simultaneously, we can cater to whatever our clients’ need,” adds Sytin.

Extensive lineup

Through the years, Foton has built up one of the most extensive lineups of commercial vehicles in the market today. Their passenger vehicles add the Cummins-powered Thunder pickup truck and View Traveller van. Its Tornado Series supplies a very versatile platform for light-duty trucks; and for heavy-duty trucks, the ETX Series has become a popular choice for hauling and contraction.

Foton will also showcase once again the “Dancing Wheel Loader Show” with stunt truck operators flown into the country from Foton China. In each performance, highly-skilled heavy equipment operators is likely to make these machines do dance routines that include two-wheel stunts and spectacular dance maneuvers.

How to survive the Easter traffic

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Johannesburg – As you become ready to go out to your holiday destination this Easter, here is some help with what to pack and how to prepare.

BASIC CAR CHECKS

Firstly, make sure your vehicle’s in tip-top condition: tyres should have the desired tread depth and correct pressures (keep in mind the spare wheel too), and view that the windscreen shock, wipers and brakes absorbers are typical in good condition. Ensure the jack, wheel spanner and warning triangle are present, and take jumper cables too just in case.

EMERGENCY KIT

Take a basic first-aid kit as well as a small “boy scout” kit with basics like a torch (with fresh batteries), duct tape, cable ties, a fire extinguisher and a multi-tool similar to a Leatherman – handy items no matter where you locate yourself.

LEAVE EARLY

Give yourself enough time on the way to reach your destination without rushing, and let for rest stops. Leave early; the quieter, less-stressful roads can make the early wake-up time worth every penny.

CHILD ENTERTAINMENT

Select a portable DVD player to ensure they are entertained on the long journey without you having to field “are we there yet if you have small children? ” questions from the back seat.

The First LINE OF DEFENCE

Buckle up at all times. Seatbelts are still the first line of defence in most crashes. Every scientific study undertaken has shown that seatbelts are the most effective means of reducing death and serious injury in a crash. If everybody wore their seatbelts, sA could probably reduce its annual road deaths from a third. Once they stay in the car instead of being thrown out, in a crash, folks have a five-times greater probability of survival.

Babies and young kids require a child seat, as being an adult safety belt could cause the lap belt to ride up over the stomach and the shoulder belt to slice across the neck, potentially causing the child serious abdominal or neck injuries.

ON THE ROAD

Drive courteously. Always check your mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes, ensure there’s a sufficient gap in the traffic, and use your indicators. Use the fast lane for overtaking only; don’t make an attempt to play “policeman” and sit in the right-hand lane blocking faster traffic, as this only causes road rage.

And drive at appropriate speeds. Making sure you’re not travelling too slowly when merging onto a lively road, though this not merely means adhering to the speed limit. And please, whatever you do, don’t make u-turns on a freeway.

Going Camping? – Don’t Forget the Marshmallows!

As travel costs skyrocket and people try to be more conscious about what they spend on their travel and vacation, more and more people are turning to shorter vacations, trips that are closer to home and more affordable types of vacations as ways to have fun. This has caused more people to turn to the notion of camping as a way to spend their vacation time. Camping can be a great experience, a lot of fun for everyone and a way to experience the outdoors and nature like you may not get to do normally. When you are planning your camping trip, there are some essential items that you are going to want to be sure you have to make your trip the best it can be.

MTVIEW CHEVY-1-1You Need More Than a Tent – While a tent is a critical piece for camping and you do want to make sure you have one that is the appropriate size for you and anyone with you, there are also some essentials that go along with having the right tent. Having a ground cloth or tarp to put under your tent does make a difference. This is particularly true when it comes to keeping the moisture out of the bottom of the tent. You may also want to bring a shade tarp with you so you have some protection from the sun or rain. You do not want to forget to poles, rope and stakes for your tarp or tent and having extra stakes around is never a bad idea. An axe or a hammer to help drive stakes in is important too.

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The Right Bedding – For some people having sleeping bags is all they need to be comfortable in their tent. This may be the ideal way to go for you if you are hiking in to your camping area and have to carry all of your supplies with you. If you are car camping, you might want to consider having an air mattress, cots or sleeping pads for some added comfort. If you are bringing an air mattress, don’t forget a pump so you have a way to inflate it and it never hurts to have a couple of repair kits in case your mattress should spring a leak. Remember to bring pillows and a blanket as well so you can be comfortable.
Cooking Essentials – Your meals will depend a lot on what you like to eat and how you plan to cook. If you are hiking you may have limited room and will be cooking over a fire or a small camp stove. Car camping gives you more flexibility to bring a larger camp stove and more supplies. In any case be sure you have adequate cooking gear, the right utensils for cooking and eating and a cooler for perishable items.

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Going camping is a lot of fun and does require a lot of planning on your part. You can find basic essentials lists all over the Internet to give you ideas of things you should consider bringing along. You also want to consider the type of car you have, how much you can fit in it and whether it can get you back and forth. Now might be a good time to visit a Chevrolet Rancho Cucamonga dealership and look at the right vehicle for you and your family for your trip. You can find great new and used options on cars and trucks at http://www.mountainviewChevy.com so you can be sure to pack all you need for the best camping trip possible.

C-Class puts rivals in the shadows

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Although many have tried, brands can’t just show up here with their leather-lined takes on what a fancy sedan should be and expect to be treated with respect. No. Experience is key. And Mercedes-Benz has tons of it.

And, the new C-Class is a full-on, no-holds-barred display of experience. Merc knows that quality is imperative when taking on its German counterparts (and many others), and this car raises the bar in that department. Take the interior for example… the way the wood veneer curves and is finished with immaculate precision. The way the window switches click up and down reassuringly. The silentness of the electric seat motors. The perfectly knurled rim of the Comand system’s dial controller. It’s all worthy of multi-million rand super-luxury cars, and in some cases, it’s even better.

BEST-IN-CLASS RIDE

The quality isn’t reserved for the interior either, as the C-Class is probably the best riding car in its bracket. Note I said riding, not handling. It’s rear-wheel-driven just like Beemer’s 3 Series, but the Merc definitely leans more toward comfort than being able to slice and dice ribbons of bendy road. It’s an excellent balance. Nothing like the squishy-sprung Mercs of yesteryear which old men with sensitive posteriors enjoyed. But also nowhere near as hard riding as some of the modern sports saloons with ridiculously low-profile rubber and pseudo racing shocks.

Our test car was also fitted with an optional air-suspension system – a R13 000 must-have option if you ask me, which comes with a three-way firmness adjustment switch as part of the deal. It’s not hovercraft floaty like some giant air-sprung saloons including the C’s stately S-Class relation, but instead uses the system to intermix bump absorption and dynamism in equal parts. It’s happy to take corners with a bit of spunk, but it also can dismiss highway expansion joints, catseye lane markers and coarse road surfaces like they’re not there.
IOL mot nov13 Merc C Class c So the question is: do you really need that mega-expensive S-Class?

PICK OF THE BUNCH?

A few months back we road tested a 2-litre petrol version of the new C-Class which we were massively impressed with, but the subject of this review, a C220 BlueTec (2.2-litre turbodiesel), is the pick of the current five model bunch in my opinion. There’s a decent 125kW at work here but it’s the 400Nm torque figure that gives the C220 such a fine, effortless feel. Power comes on in a hefty, low-revving wave which is ridden with ease across all gears.

This engine variant comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, but for another 18 grand you can match it to Merc’s brilliant 7G-Tronic seven-speed auto – another must-have option. This turbodiesel and this transmission work together in perfect harmony, speaking the same language all the way, with intuitive and natural feeling shift points at any speed. I remember the C200 turbopetrol hunting around for efficient rev-range sweet spots a bit more. The C220’s sweet spots are just broader, resulting in a calmer and more relaxed drivetrain. Merc quotes average fuel consumption as low as 4-litres per 100km, but our test car saw a much more realistic but still very decent 7l/100km.

Mercedes, like other luxury brands, has a reputation for expensive options lists that can add up to astronomical pricing and it’s quite prevalent in the new C-Class. Radar-based Distronic cruise control (R13 500), self parking (R8 500), Heads-up display (15 000), Burmester sound (R9 000), panoramic roof (R16 900) and integrated air-freshener systems (R4 500) and plenty others are all nice-to-haves, but I’d recommend leaving them out to save cash for other necessities if on a budget.

Personally I’d spec my C-Class with navigation (R23 500), Intelligent LED headlights (R20 000), a media interface for cellphone plug-ins (R3 250), and an extended maintenance plan (model and length dependent) although even these could be avoided to keep costs down. Our specific test car came in at over R650 000 from a base price of R459 000, but in all fairness it did make me second guess the existence of the much more expensive S-Class from time to time… such are the levels of larney-ness available here.

VERDICT
IOL mot nov13 Merc C Class b Cabin is a masterclass in design.

The new Mercedes C-Class (in C200 trim) was recently nominated by the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists as a finalist in its annual Car of the Year contest, and I think it’s a worthy contender that’ll give the 10 other nominees a good run for their money.

This car turns the mercilessly competitive premium sedan segment on its head with quality, tech and comfort levels never before seen in this class.

True, it can be expensive especially with irresponsible options box ticks, but remember, they’re optional…

Follow me on Twitter: @PoorBoyLtd

FACTS

Mercedes-Benz C220 BlueTec AT

Engine: 2.1-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 125kW @ 3000-4200rpm

Torque: 400Nm @ 1400-2800rpm

0-100km/h (claimed): 7.8 seconds

Top speed (claimed): 233km/h

Consumption (claimed): 4.5 litres per 100km

Price: R477 000

Warranty: Twp-year/unlimited km

Service/Maintenance plan: Six-year/100 000km

ALTERNATIVES

Audi A4 2.0 TDI S (130kW/380Nm) – R416 500

BMW 320d AT (135kW/380Nm) – R476 000

Infiniti Q50 2.2d (125kW/400Nm) – R410 000

The new Honda Accord is worlds apart

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Honda Accord 3.5 V6 Exclusive

I know a few people that have previous generation Honda Accords, but not one of these guys would even vaguely consider the new one.

Let’s get the heart in the issue. Previously Honda built two Accord models: a lesser and sportier one for Europe which was aimed at the kind of person who would otherwise aspire into a BMW 3-Series or Audi A4, and after that there was another Accord for your Americans and also other global markets, and which needs no explanation other than the fact that it competes with the Toyota Camry.

The Australians, who can’t seem to decide whether they’re Benjamin or Billy Bob at the very best of times, got both versions while South Africans only received the European one. All was happy in Accord Land until Honda decided that this was will no longer worthwhile to create a separate Accord for Europe. Honda SA then concluded that an American Accord was superior to no Accord. I can’t say I agree, but let’s take a look at what it has to offer.

BIGGER, SMOOTHER

IOL mot jan15 Honda Accord b There are three engines on offer and the range-topper, featured here, is powered by a 207kW 3.5-litre V6.

At face value it’s clearly bigger and more conservatively styled than its predecessor. The previous Euro Accord was no oil painting, but its squared-off lines give it presence on the road. The new one takes the opposite approach. At worst you might call it prone and bland to parking lot misplacing. At best you could state that it’s elegant, well proportioned and generally easy on the eye – there’s not a single line unnatural here. Not really a single thing to get enthusiastic about either.

Moving inside and cranking her up, a glaring Americanism jumps out at you. The infotainment system won’t work until you’ve used the touch-screen to click on “I Agree”. That protects Honda from being sued, when the system completely reprogramme your mind to not concentrate on the road ahead, resulting in a crash. Such customers are actually far better off pursuing that lawsuit against McDonalds for… you know… that traumatic incident on the scale the other day.

Once you’ve signed your life away, the rest of the experience is as comfortably numb as David Gilmour could ever imagine. The eight-way electrically-adjustable seats are cosy and covered in durable-looking leather and the cabin surface materials give off premium vibes. Additionally, the interior construction could seriously put granite quarries away from business.

The car’s boost in size translates into roomy accommodation, the Accord providing a good amount of stretching space for those within the back, although taller-than-average adults might find the back roofline a little restrictive. For the record, this Accord has gained 16cm in overall length, 1cm in width and 2.5cm in height, on the previous European model. It should still meet most needs, even though boot capacity of 453 litres is strangely less than what a Ballade can swallow.

EFFORTLESS V6 POWER

Load it up all you could like though, as the 3.5-litre V6 model which i sampled just casually handles everything you throw at it. There are no such difficulties with the V6 version, which pushes 207kW and 339Nm, although my Star Motoring colleague tested the two-litre version this past year and was disappointed by its sluggishness. It does whatever you ask of it smoothly and briskly, though it’s normally aspirated so you do lose a reasonable amount of steam at altitude and with 1630kg to pull, it never feels electrifyingly fast.

IOL mot jan15 Honda Accord c The cabin is not exactly stylish however it is functional, solidly built and well finished.

I took it on the 700km highway trip and it just ticked over quietly, hardly over the 2000rpm mark, at the national limit and yes it barely ever noticed a hill. I have a much more-than-sneaking suspicion that the 7. l/100 recording about the trip had been a technical glitch, even though if only I could throw a fuel consumption figure at you. Forgive me if I’m wrong, Honda.

The quiet cabin and supple ride quality made for a largely fatigue-free journey and I really wasn’t disappointed by the lack of meaty steering feedback through the bends because by that stage I wasn’t expecting any type of sporting delight from this car. You turn the controls and it goes where you would like it to without much in the form of effort.

VERDICT

Should you own one of the latter cars then you should recommend this to your dad instead, at this point it’s clear that this new global Accord is worlds apart from the Euro-focused version that came before it on our market and. If he secretly begrudges Toyota to have given up on the Camry than the might just be an ideal fit, while all sporty edges seem to have been eroded, the new Accord really does impress as a luxury car with bags of space, so.

Only thing is, he can have a Lexus ES at this particular price level, not to mention the many German mid-sized sedans which are within not too difficult stretching distance of the V6 model’s R576 300 selling price. The 2.4-litre Accord may appear like a better deal at R471 300 if that’s over budget. Just don’t overlook the even cheaper Mazda6 and Hyundai Sonata.

FACTS

Honda Accord 3.5 V6 Exclusive

Engine: 3.5-litre, V6 petrol

Gearbox: Six-speed automatic

Power: 207kW @ 6200rpm

Torque: 339Nm @ 4900rpm

-100km/h (claimed): 7.2 seconds

Top speed (claimed): 200km/h

Consumption (claimed): 9.2 litres per 100km

Price: R576 300

Warranty: Three-year/100 000km

Service plan: Five-year/100 000km

ALTERNATIVES

BMW 520i (135kW/270Nm) – R601 449

Chrysler 300C 3.6 (210kW/340Nm) – R589 990

Lexus ES 300h EX (151kW/213Nm e) – R557 300

Reducing Your Needs After a Divorce

When the family breaks up there’s not much to do but be really sad, like profoundly sad. here you have spent your entire life on a quest for a perfect family, finding that special someone with whom you can grow old, whilst raising a legacy of your kin to carry on your good name and your family pride. Then this meddling thing called life gets in the way and you finally realize the only solution to go forward is to end it all, shatter the glass, the dream, your whole world. When this happens, there are a lot of things that will need to change. Most of them will be bad. So here are some of the things you will need to take into consideration as you downsize your life after the break up of your family.

Get a Smaller Car

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So you started to actually come around to the idea of having a minivan. You actually kind of liked having a bigger car, while it was still comfortable to drive. Sorry, but now that minivan has to go. You can’t be a single guy driving around the hood in a minivan. So trade that mini van in to a place like KIA Santa Clarita and get yourself a smaller and more practical car. Kia’s are great for that kind of thing because they are zippy and peppy, they do not cost a lot of money at all. They’re kind of cool in a way, and they have a good warranty. You can start shopping for a Kia you could stomach at http://www.kiaofvalencia.com/. By minivan, hello Kia sedan.

Lose the Pay TV

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In this day and age it’s crazy to still pay for cable, and now that you’ll be alone more of the time, you can watch anything you want to hear on the internet (you obviously can’t get rid of that). Make sure you can still hook your TV up to the internet, and then lose the $100/month or more that you’ve been wasting on cable. It’s going to be a nice step into the future for you and you will be happy that you made the switch and it won’t really be that big of a deal. You’ll be a happier you, no longer married to the TV (or your wife).

Get Out of the House

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You also need to change your social habits as you start this new chapter. You don’t want to just spend all of your time at home wasting time watching sports or playing online cribbage. This is one of the things that led to your divorce in the first place. So instead of just sitting around being all self deprecating, you better get out and meet people, engage in activities that you can see yourself thriving in. Join politics or something like that. You’ll be happy to be out of the house and to be moving on.