Friday, June 28, 2013

Car Color Personality Profile Theory

I often note odd little associations between seemingly unrelated things.  Sometimes those associations are entirely coincidental.  Other times, ongoing observation reinforce those associations, then developing into the basics of a personal theory.

One of my oddest personal theories relates to the color of a person's primary vehicle and how that may correlate to some degree to personality profiles.  I've shared this little theory of mine informally over  beer with friends a few times and more often than not, they comment days later that they think there's something to my theory.  It's pretty ridiculous, I'll grant you that, but here it is.

First, this only applies to people that actually chose the color of the car they drive.  If, for example, price is the primary factor in a car purchase, say, on an extremely limited budget (where car color doesn't play a factor), this theory really isn't applicable. Or if the color you want isn't on the lot or isn't offered for that model, then the theory isn't applicable. This thang is specific to people that intentionally picked their car color, not picked by their spouse or parent, but them. So here are the car colors and the personality attributes that I've learned to associate with their drivers:  There is absolutely zero science in this, just associations I've made over the years with the people I know and the color cars that they drive.

BLACK CAR DRIVERS (AGGRESSIVE) - These are your proverbial Type A personalities.  Aggressive, driven, status-conscious, impatient, competitive, and most prone to "road rage."  If there are two lanes at a traffic-lighted intersection, each lane with a single car stopped at the red light, if one of those cars is black, it will likely make better time off the line (response) and go faster (speed) than the car in the other lane.  If you cut this car off, pull in front of them going slower than they are, or otherwise impede their progress, they are most likely to respond aggressively either by passing you or flipping you off, or both.  These drivers are often control-freaks.  Lots of executives drive black vehicles.

WHITE CAR DRIVERS (ARROGANT) - There are two personality camps here.  Up north (colder weather) the personality is slightly different than that of the southern driver.  The northern white car driver personality is arrogant, selfish and they generally think they are better than others, looking down their nose at others and tend to put themselves first. The southern white car driver personality will have all of their northern counterparts but in some cases will actually be more aggressive like a black car driver (when asked, those people often admit they like black cars better but don't find they're practical with the southern heat/sun).  In both cases, these drivers are the most likely to pull out in front of a driver going faster than themselves, to cut people off, to butt in line, stop in the middle of the road some some unknown reason and otherwise innately put themselves (and their vehicle) first regardless of driver etiquette (black car drivers will do the same but typically only after being inconvenienced by another driver or to intentionally be a dick).  Even when at fault, white car drivers are more likely to blame the other driver.

CHAMPAGNE CAR DRIVERS (URBANE ARROGANT) - These are white car drivers that think of themselves as a bit more refined and sophisticated.  Often also have black car driver attributes.

SILVER CAR DRIVERS (SMOOTH) - These are your silver-tongued personalities, socially-adept, easy to like when first met, skillful at persuasion and politically effective. They are seldom in your face, confrontational, or overtly direct. Difficult to know how they feel as they hold their emotions close. Hard to truly get to know these people as they are more likely to ask questions of others than to offer information about themselves. Driving style is mixed.

BLUE CAR DRIVERS (CONFORMIST) - These people just want to fit in with the crowd, to be part of the general group, accepted, and will not want to rock the boat or draw much attention to themselves. Driving style is mixed.

RED CAR DRIVERS (LOOK AT ME CONFORMIST) - These are blue car drivers that want to draw positive attention to themselves.  They say "look at me!" while still wanting to be accepted by the pack. Driving style is mixed.

YELLOW CAR DRIVERS (LOOK AT ME) - These are first and foremost people screaming for attention.  They are often idealists. Some times zealots. Are often unpredictable drivers.

GREEN CAR DRIVERS (LONER) - This group I know the least about but that is likely because they like it that way. Driving style is conservative.

ORANGE CAR DRIVERS (?) - Don't know any orange car drivers.

BROWN CAR DRIVERS (?) - Similar to champagne car drivers but don't know many brown car drivers.

PURPLE CAR DRIVERS (PROMISCUOUS) - These are your more promiscuous personalities. Driving style is mixed.

PINK CAR DRIVERS (MARY KAY/BARBIE/HELLO KITTY LOVER?) - I really don't associate with these folk; however, they likely have problems.

This is really silly and I'm almost embarrassed to put this in print, but I'm bored and wanted to write a blog entry.  So there you go.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Vivint Home Automation and Security - My Experience

We've been talking about getting a security system installed at our house ever since we had a few really shady characters at a garage sale that looked to be casing homes.  I'd gone so far as to call ADT and request a quote, but we'd been playing phone tag due to my hectic schedule.  And I figured my dogs, including a GSD, would probably set us low on the list of target homes for those unsavory dudes so it didn't seem pressing.

When I answered the door after work one night not too long ago, there was a Vivint sales rep trying to sell me on home automation.  Anyone that knows me well, knows I seriously get into this stuff, with programmable Pronto remotes, RF modulators, IR repeaters, Red Eye remotes, and a regular shopper at  So he was pretty much instantly talking my language.  In fact, I showed him the wifi ready thermostats I'd already purchased and was planning to install.

In addition to the home automation spiel (locks, thermostats, and lights) they also offered a security service like ADT which included the installation of door sensors, fire/motion/glass breakage detectors, and IP cameras. They also told me that they're working on a garage door opener, a sprinkler system controller, an iPad controller to replace the dated looking go! controller, external cameras and more light components.

The install was free.  The components were free.  Just a monthly service fee ($70) a little pricier than ADT and a 5 year contract.  Okay, the 5 year contract was a huge issue, but they said they'd install our stuff in our new home if we moved, the rate was locked for the duration of the contract, and it wasn't like we'd stop needing a security system.

I asked about the technology, z-wave, and the sales guy wasn't really able to give me much in terms of specifics regarding the technology.  But I did a quick search on my phone via and found z-wave components.  I asked if I could augment the system with 3rd party products and the sales guy said that I could as long as it was compatible. They also told me I could get on an email list to get new products installed as soon as they were offered by Vivint.

We signed up, and within 20 minutes I have 5 guys whizzing around my home installing a routers, a door lock, thermostats, a camera, and various detectors.  They were done with the entire install in an hour.  They trained us on the app we'd downloaded on our phones for free, had us talk to there corporate office to complete our payment/contract details and to verify they'd not used fraudulent sales tactics (they recorded the call) and left.  We went to bed that night with a fully functional security system.

They weren't able to wire into my existing home wiring because it isn't connected to a security control motherboard.  They said if I got it wired to a motherboard, they could come back to integrate it with the Vivint sytem, but that wiring the motherboard was a huge task.  I need to research this still.

The next morning I noticed my name was spelled wrong on their website when I logged into my account (, so I called the service contact number and was immediately talking to someone that solved my problem promptly and professionally. Nice!

I went to work feeling good but I still researched the company, since I knew I had my 3 day right of rescission in the contract I'd signed.  Most of the complaints I found were based on aggressive sales tactics, but the sales guy had me at the words "home automation."  So we moved the camera, and played with the system and pretty much loved it.  It's reliable and easy to use.  We told our friends and family about it.  People were very interested.  I looked up the sale guy's name on the internet and found him pretty quickly on Facebook.  I sent him a Facebook note asking him if he had contact info I could give other people so that he could get the sale.  He'd done a really good sales job so I felt confident sending him to my friends and work associates and thought he'd like the commissions.  He never responded.  (Red flag number one).

So now for the reason for why am I writing this post.  I finally had some time to start looking at for additional z-wave components, like in-wall light switches using z-wave so I can control the ceiling fan and light, and a swimming pool pump z-wave controller, and miniblind controllers, and garage door openers. Vivint doesn't offer these products yet based on their website. I found what I thought I wanted and then went to Vivint's site to see if those components were compatible with Vivint's go! controller.  But, oddly enough, I couldn't find any information on 3rd party z-wave component compatibility.  I looked in my owner's manual to see if it talked about how to install them, and there isn't even a section in the manual for installing components.  (Red flag number two).

So after much research online, I've come to the realization that the sales guy and the techs installing the system in my home had indeed lied to me and my husband when they told us that we could install 3rd party components and integrate them into our Vivint system.  After some online digging in DIY home automation forums, I found that I would have had to change a security code on the controller within the first 40 hours after the system was installed or I'd be forever locked out of that controller.  I figured this out about a week after the system was installed.  So now it appears I must pay Vivint to add any new components, and those components apparently must be purchased from Vivint and if Vivint doesn't offer the products I want yet, I am pretty much out of luck until they do start offering it.  Do I feel like I was duped?  Yes, I do.  Am I wanting to cancel my contract? No.  I still like the security system and the remote access of my video camera, thermostats and locks.  It's still a good value to me even without the home automation stuff I really want to do.  But it's still a bummer.

At this point, I'm honestly considering just spending the $208 (on sale) to buy another non-vivint go! controller (the same exact controller that doesn't have the installation lockout controlled by Vivint) so that I can get update patches and can add my own components at will. Sure I'll still have the base security components on the Vivint system with the service.  But the majority of my home automation will be controlled by the other controller which I have full rights to modify.  Kinda stupid, but Vivint really isn't giving me much choice.  I love the security system, and the company has been very professional (except for misrepresenting the 3rd party components limitations and omitting info on their customer lockout "feature") but if I want the cool z-wave stuff they aren't yet supporting, it's probably my only choice.

If you've found a work around to this situation yourself, please post me a comment. I'd love to learn what other options are available for home automation with my Vivint system (if they exist).