Archive | 2013

Introducing The New Karen Federmobile: 2001 Audi A6

2001 Audi A6After talking for what seems like forever about getting Karen a different vehicle, the time has finally come: The new Karen Federmobile is a 2001 Audi A6.

Now, some of you may be thinking to yourselves, “Gee that Audi looks familiar.” You would be right. This was my grandmother’s (Nonnie’s) car. To some, it is the Queen Betty on land (the deck boat at the cabin is known as The Queen Betty on the water).

Simply put, this car is special for many reasons. My grandmother loved this car. I’ll never forget the day her, my uncle, my father, and I were in the Audi dealership in Fargo placing the order. At one point there was a conversation that went something like this:

Nonnie: Joel dear, don’t you think the color combination is gorgeous?

Me: Nonnie, the interior color is too light, and it’s going to be a nightmare to keep clean. Also, that exterior color is going to be awful to maintain. Do you realize it’s going to be difficult to find someone who loves this color combination someday when we have to sell this car when you pass away?! Don’t do this to us.

Nonnie: Nonsense, this is just gorgeous. I love it. You’ll see, it’ll be terrific.

I will never ever forget this interaction, or the rest of the memorable quotes during the buying process.

2001 Audi A6

The exterior of this A6 is finished in Ming Blue Pearl Effect while the interior features Vanilla and Royal Blue. It’s definitely unique, and frankly, I do think it’s a sharp looking car in the right light.

Under the hood is a 4.2-liter V8 connected to a five-speed automatic transmission. The car is surefooted through all forms of weather thanks to Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.

The car currently sits with about 86,000 miles on the odometer. Most of those are highway miles put on early in the car’s life, as my grandmother drove from Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis, Minnesota to see us, her grandchildren.

Since the car’s been in the family since day one, I happen to have all the service records, manuals, and even the window sticker. Though I will say the most treasured piece that comes with the car is the original brochure from the Audi dealership. It has my grandmother’s notes scribbled throughout the book as she went through the ordering process.

Ironically, both the first owner and second owner of this car have the name Mrs. Feder, though I wouldn’t advise calling Karen, Mrs. Feder.

I know just how much my grandmother loved this car, and I know how happy it would make her to see Karen driving it.

We will remember my grandmother long after we end up selling this A6, but for now, it’s yet another way we are able to keep a small part of her in our daily lives.

Happy New Year: Reflecting On 2012

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Once again I find myself sitting in a plane flying at 30,000 feet reflecting on the past year. It’s crazy to me that it’s already 2013, I mean, what happened to 2012? Let’s take a moment and look back at the year in the life of “J Fed.”

As many of you know, Karen and I moved to Portland, Oregon back in October of 2011. That means 2012 was our first full year living on the West Coast. The best way to describe it would be to say it’s been a year of exploring and learning. We’ve made new friends, tried new restaurants, visited new places, and most of all, made new memories together. We’ve also been called Hotel Feder, as we’ve been fortunate enough to have many friends and family come to visit us in our new home.

The Cottage

I somehow managed to finagle my way to the cabin back in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota quite a few times. My time on Lake Melissa was well spent with a healthy amount of waterskiing, fishing, and relaxing on the boat. Karen and I managed to spend a week there together which was very nice, and yes, Otto came as well. My sister, Karen, and I also surprised my parents at the cabin for their 30th anniversary with an unannounced visit, along with a small gathering of their lake friends. The look on their faces when the three of us walked into that cabin was priceless.

The Car Connection's Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster

Karen and I took our first ever (and if you ask her, last) cross-country road trip this past summer. The vehicle of choice was The Car Connection’s Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster. That’s right, we drove from Portland, Oregon to Minneapolis, Minnesota in an Orange Hyundai Veloster. We also made a stop at Yellowstone National Park, along with Iowa to visit her family, and of course the cabin in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. All in we drove about 3,000 miles during the trip. I thought it was fun, Karen said we made memories, and Otto was just along for the ride.

Joel and Karen in Israel

Karen and I managed to get away this year in the form of a 10 day trip to Israel. We went on Birthright together, and it was truly a trip of a lifetime. We did it all, from riding camels and swimming in the Dead Sea, to hiking Mount Masada and visiting the Western Wall. Memories were made, friendships were formed, and life experiences were had.

This past August marked my second year working at High Gear Media. While my title hasn’t changed from Social Media Manager, I’ve taken on a whole new host of responsibilities. From managing our videos and being our front man with OEMs and marketing agencies, to helping test iOS apps and brainstorming new concepts, there’s never a dull moment. I’m looking forward to even more responsibility and new assignments in 2013.

JD Power Automotive Marketing Round Table 2012

I know you’re patiently waiting for an update on the furriest member of our household, the one and only Otto. We’ve lost count of which Mr. Fox we are on at this point, but it doesn’t seem to matter as Otto always appears to enjoy destroying him. Otto’s continued his travels, and at this point would likely have quite a few doggy air miles, if such a thing existed. Karen reminded me that this year Otto made his first trip to a pumpkin patch. He was a bit intimidated at first, but after a few minutes he decided it was safe to run around all the round things on the ground.

Otto in Pumpkin Patch Karen, Nonnie, and Joel

We had planned to spend Thanksgiving with friends down in California, but unfortunately we ended up making a trip home as my grandmother passed away at the age of 92 years old. She was the matriarch of our family, and the void she’s left can not be filled. She was an amazing woman who taught me so many things. She will never be forgotten.

The silver lining in her passing was that we were able to spend Thanksgiving with our family back in Minneapolis. Everyone really did pull together, and we tried to make the best of it. It was nice to be with family.

I know about this time last year I promised that this blog would receive more attention. If you spend even a few moments on this site, you’ll see that promise was broken. I swear it wasn’t really a lie, but merely something I just couldn’t deliver on in the end. Between work and my personal life, the blog has received less attention. It comes down to a mere lack of time, rather than a lack of motivation. As we go into the new year I won’t be promising that this blog will return to its former glory multiple posts every week, but I can say I’d like to see myself post here more frequently. We’ll see what happens.

While not as many changes in my life as 2011 (moving across the country, getting married, getting a different car, selling a car, etc), I would overall put 2012 in the win pile. It was a great year with some terrific memories.

So once again I find myself wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year.