Sunday, April 23, 2017

Impressive truck driving video compilation

G550 4x4 Squared

For some reason, the local used luxury car dealer has a 4x4 Squared with less than 100 miles on it. I had never heard of it before running across this ad on Craigslist.

And here is a very honest take on the car, by the ICON guy:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ethiopian intersection without traffic signals

Beautiful and terrifying.

A walk with Cooper

This is the wettest season on record. Usually, by late April, this would all be yellow.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Engine disassembly and assembly video

Chinese government destroying Uyghur spirit

Insightful car guys tweet thread


Go here! (The thread is 60+ comments long. I don't know why most are not showing up.)

Fastest lap at Le Mans

H/t to Alan.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A gift from BMW

A question for you fathers out there...

I got this in the mail.

It's a cool USB stick with some marketing BS about how eco-friendly the i3 is.

The package also came with a free one-day car control course at either BMW's track in Thermal (between Palm Desert and the Salton Sea in Southern California) or next to the Spartanburg, South Carolina, factory, where they build the X3, X4, X5, and X6.

The easy choice would be to fly down to Southern California for a day. But if I go to South Carolina, I can get a factory tour and visit the BMW Zentrum museum.

The question for you fathers: At what point do you feel comfortable asking your wife who just gave birth for permission to fly across the country for a few days for cars?

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fueling up my i3

I have to go to Nevada City in a couple of weeks for work. It's in the Sierra foothills (around 2,500 feet in elevation) and 150 miles away. Normally, the i3's battery runs out of juice after 125 miles. But since I'll be going uphill, I suspect my electric range will drop to 80 to 90 miles. Then, the gas Range Extender generator kicks in (I have yet to use it).

This has led to some thinking. The easiest solution is to take the TSX wagon. But we have family visiting so I'd rather let my wife and guests drive/ride in the TSX. The Civic is fine, but I'm relegating it to transporting the dog and transporting sweaty-me from the gym.

The next solution is to call the BMW dealership and borrow a gas-powered BMW for free under its Flexible Mobility program. Under the program, electric BMW owners can get around 10 days of free rentals when they have to travel long distances. The caveats? You are limited to 100 miles per day (dumb) and the vast majority of dealers do not participate in the program (dumber).

But you know what's even dumber? The dealer where I got my i3 participates in the program. But recently, I found out that while I was filling out paperwork to lease the i3, the dealer slipped in, unbeknownst to me, an application for a BMW credit card. When I received the card in the mail, I was pissed. Needless to say, I don't want to go back there.

So I have to drive to Nevada City in the i3. I am plotting out a route that would take me to DC Fast Chargers. These chargers are indeed fast. I found one that's only 1.3 miles from my office. It's free and will charge 80% of my battery in less than 30 minutes. I can catch up on email and voicemails in that time.

Young me as a farmer

Now here is a good story.

I was raised by 19th century Mandarins. Specifically, I was raised by my maternal grandparents, who were born in 1900 and 1911. My grandfather came from a well-to-do background. Manual labor was foreign to him. He spent his childhood reciting ancient poems and practicing calligraphy. My grandmother was never taught how to read or write. And her feet were partially bound.

Hilarity ensued when they raise a grandchild in the late 1970s. Progressive and forward-thinking they were not. I was discouraged from playing outside or even to sweat. And even though we lived in Taiwan, speaking Taiwanese was strictly forbidden.

So one day, some family friends thought-- Wouldn't it be funny if they took me to a farm for a week?

On the first day, I encountered mud. I didn't know what it was, except it looked like wet dirt. I took a step and was ankle deep in it. The result can be seen in this photo, which I recently uncovered.

On that trip, I was also introduced to thousand year old eggs. I found them revolting then, but now I love them.

Buying Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars

Whenever I am at a drug store, I go to the toy section to look at what die cast cars are available. So far, I have been disappointed. I guess Matchbox and Hot Wheels are owned by the same people now. I don't like most of the models and when I see a model I like, I don't like the color scheme.

Where locally can I find a better/larger selection? And is there anywhere in the Bay Area that sells Tomicas?

But then again. Should I be pushing my taste/preferences on the boy? Or should he, when he is old enough, pick the cars he likes?

These multi-packs seem very popular.

I like the SP2 a lot, but I don't like the racing livery.

Again, cool car, but I don't like the colors. Also, what a drab package.

Now if I saw this 6x6 at CVS, I'd get it!

Andre the Giant flying out of 1980s Japan


Saturday, April 15, 2017

BMW E1, BMW's first electric car

Matteo the car designer was at the BMW museum today and this tweet caught my attention.

I learned that the E1:

  • debuted at the 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show
  • developed by BMW's Technik division
  • 93 mile range
  • 43 hp
  • aluminum chassis, plastic body panels
  • first prototype caught fire and burned to ground

Friday, April 14, 2017

Follow this car designer on Twitter

Watching this Mazda ad on TV last night reminded me to remind you to follow Matteo on Twitter.

Matteo is an Italian car designer who currently teaches in Barcelona. I don't know how I found him. Perhaps via Sanchez? I really dig Matteo's brief observations and posts about current and past car designs. 

Largest non-nuclear bomb dropped in Afghanistan

Remember when the History Channel showed informative documentaries instead of pieces on vampires and Dan Brown novels?

And here it is in action.

Citroen XM/SM mash-up

Is this Photoshopped? Or real?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Standby, folks

Having a week-old baby takes a lot out of you! Who knew?!

I've got several post ideas. I just need free time. I have an interview with a Range Rover/Land Rover nut. I have interviews regarding Lima and Cartagena with Ramon. I am going to write about why I am pissed off at my local BMW dealer (they applied for a credit card I never authorized). I am planning an out-of-range trip to the mountains in my i3. Etc., etc., etc.

Maybe I'll have time this weekend. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Weapons by Canadian province

Now that Texas will have an official "state gun", these are the Canadian weapons of choice.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Friday, April 07, 2017

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Brake light activation on the i3

The i3 regenerates aggressively. As soon as I let my foot off the gas pedal, it slows forcefully. If I time it right, I can get around town without ever using the brake pedal. But paranoid-me thought: Can people behind me tell if I'm slowing down quickly? The answer is yes. The brake lights sometimes go on even when I don't have my foot on the brake pedal.

Top cars used in movies

Bugatti Chiron

A friend shared this Nat Geo documentary about the Chiron and I'm now totally fascinated.

And here's SaabKyle04's video. Lots of trivia. Funny that the TPMS light is on.