I hardly ever do a proper introduction when I join a forum, so here it goes. I'm currently driving a 2011 Patriot 4x4, but I'm looking at getting into a 2013 Grand Cherokee. I've been reading countless threads in the WK2 forum for a couple of weeks so I figured I better join up.
The situation currently is that I'm on a lease (12,000 miles per year/3 year) that is supposed to end in July 2014, but as it stands now, my mileage will run out in November. If a dealer can make that lease go away and give me a good deal on a 2013 JGC as the 2014's come out, then I'm sold. I'm not really too keen on making payments on two vehicles when I can only use one at a time. And I'm not too keen on the front ends of the 2014's either (I don't think the grille "flows" very well) so hopefully I can snag a good deal. I'm meeting with a dealer on Monday to go over my options in regards to the lease, but hopefully I won't walk out of there the same day with keys to a JGC because I need to wait for my bonus from work and also my tax refund (if I'm getting one, I'm meeting the tax man on Monday too). I might have also drilled some holes in the roof
of my Patriot for my ham antennas, which I hope the dealer and Ally will "miss" on their checklist.
Otherwise, I live in the Des Moines, Iowa, area and work in management of a claims contact center for a Fortune 100 insurance company. I love what I do. You hear the craziest stories about what happens to people's cars/homes, and insurance is actually a pretty interesting industry. I never thought that could happen. I'm also on the company's national catastrophe response team, so I help out where ever I'm needed in the event of a huge disaster (like Sandy).
Previous to working in insurance, I was a contract photojournalist, where I worked for agencies such as the Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and a lot of other companies. I traveled on assignment throughout the midwest covering primarily politics (2008 presidential campaign), natural disasters (including aerial photography), and sports.
Since a lot of 4-wheelers are hams, I'll mention I'm also a ham (K0KDS), since 2008. I just recently announced this would be last term as president of the local ham club
, the oldest and largest in Iowa. I'm also past president and current secretary/treasurer of the local Skywarn organization
for the 51-county NWS Des Moines warning area. I was recently appointed as the ARRL Iowa public information coordinator as well. I'm really trying to reduce the number of organizations I'm on the board of, just because it's starting to turn into a "job" instead of the hobby that it should be.
The Patriot was my first Jeep, and I love it. It has done everything that I have asked it to do. It's not a Wrangler, and if I wanted to do some rock crawling then I wouldn't have chosen the Patriot. For what it is, the Patriot has gotten me through some back trails and snow storms without any drama. The only reason I'm looking to trade up is because I want something bigger with more robust options. I've become somewhat loyal to Chrysler because of the Patriot and also the Stratus I drove all through high school. I haven't had a single problem with either vehicle.
Anyway, that turned out to be a lot longer than I anticipated and now I'm just rattling things off. Looking forward to getting involved here!