Posts Tagged With: cars

A HOME FOR PIPI

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Apparently people are crazy about little dogs. My neighbor, Suzy came to see and she decided I should have my picture taken with Pipi, the Pappion. (I’ve learned how to spell the breed name.) They are named after the Spanish word for butterfly that is Papillion. Pipi it turns out is not a pure bred Pappion, but part Chihuahua, and cute as can be. Darlene Mathews came to pick him up and reported back that he has a new home with a cute Chihuahua female and he immediately felt right at home. He was pretty traumatized by the sudden move and strangeness at my place. Happy ending.

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While I was in Stockton, I parked next to this car. Do I see eyelashes I asked myself?

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I did. Cute as can be. I wonder if people from other countries like to gussy up their cars to give them personality? And, where do you buy car eyelashes. Too fun.

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FLOTSAM AND JETSAM

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I had an appointment to see a specialist in Lodi, CA. and in the parking lot was this eye catcher.

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It may represent youth, or the future, or…whatever. Look at it amid a sea of white, grey, and  two black cars. To me it says LOOK AT ME! I couldn’t resist taking a picture.

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I ran from errand to errand yesterday without much time to do anything more useful. I have a rosary plant I got from an aunt in the 1960’s that manages to struggle on. Nearly killed it several times. While cleaning up around my sink, I noticed it had bloomed. After all these years it decided to bloom? Of course the blooms are so tiny, the cropped picture shows the plant bigger than life-size. You can see three more blooms starting on the stem. It brought an unbelieving smile to my face.

Then cleaning up little bits and pieces of useless information on my desk, I ran into stuff I’d tucked away, and here was a pillow menu.

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Have you ever?  Are we elitists, or what?

Other useless flotsam and jetsam hanging around my desk are interesting names I see on the road and I’m always curious about how they got their name:

Sour Lake, Grandfather Rd.,Hungry Horn, Flathead River, Lone Elk Trail. I guess Lone Elk Trail is self-explanatory, but why just One Elk?

When we are on the road, I always want to stop and find out about curious names. It must be an old Indian legend,  but the motor home doesn’t stop for such small stuff.

In the car, I can stop sometimes on a whim. So yesterday, I took this picture of a mailbox:

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The Cheshire Cat. Cute. I have dozens of pictures of cute mailboxes. I’m ever planning to do something clever with my own. Ah!  Some day.

 

 

 

 

 

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THE LEGO GENERATION

My grandkids absolutely love legos to this day, even though they rarely play with them anymore. So did my kids. Check this out:

http://gas2.org/2014/01/03/video-life-sized-lego-car-air-powered-green-dream/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-gas2+%28Gas+2.0%29

This video comes from one of my favorite subscriptions, everything about cars. Gas2.0

They love green and electric cars as I do. Always great info here.

I’m working on my trip to Turkey, taking care of loose ends. Got into travel sites this morning. A lot of bargains out there in January and February. Cabo, Cancun, Puerto Valarta. Next year, I’m going to take advantage of one of them. Jim and I are hoping to go to Cuba next year. Reading travel sites really gets the juices stirring.

 

 

 

 

 

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MY PRIUS IS A CHAMP.

I guess a day is never really lost if  you learn a lot, and I did. On my way to pre-register at the hospital, my 2001 Prius’s check engine light went on.  I managed to round-up alternative transportation to the hospital. When I returned, I had it towed to the Toyota Dealership in Modesto.

The next day, at Toyota, the head mechanic turned me loose after resetting the engine light computer. “We can’t find a thing wrong with this engine and we checked everything.” I took off and 30 minutes down the road, the check engine light went on again. I returned to Toyota. They were really terrific and fast-tracked me through since I came from so far away. This time he concluded that my main battery pack is beginning to fail and will need replacement sometime soon. The battery was guaranteed for eight years and 100,000 miles. I’ve far exceeded that. But, since it is still running…hmmm! Should I wait until it just quits?

Jim, in the meantime, did research on-line about battery life and the great engines Toyota is famous for. He sent me reams of information and we came to the conclusion that $2200 to replace the pack with a battery recycle credit, gives me another run at 150,000 miles. Much cheaper than a new car. Plus, the new battery technology is better than the old. Yes, I learned a lot about a car I love. Especially since I get 44.5 per gallon in winter, 47.5 in the summer, and 52.7 when I’m out of the mountains. That mileage has never diminished in the 11 years I’ve owned my Prius.

It was after 2:00 and I stopped for lunch and a brew in Oakdale.

And near home, I caught this beautiful rainbow. I guess that is a good omen! I think my Prius is a champ and will get a new battery pack.

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FRACKING VS. GREEN TECHNOLOGY

Fracking pumps as many as 900 unregulated chemicals into the ground to open rock beds to get at the oil and gas. The Halliburton Loophole exempts oil companies from major environmental laws, like the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Safe Drinking Water acts. Drillers do not have to reveal what is in the six million gallons of watery chemicals they pump into these wells that have been known to contaminate drinking water. Of course the companies owning these leases want to get at it, but the truth is, fracking isn’t needed. We do have alternatives.

This is my 1994 Chevrolet Electric Car, totally battery operated, still running in 2005 on its original battery pack. It’s range was only 48  miles. Near the end of its life, it could only make it  to the grocery and the dump and back, about 14 miles. That was old battery technology.  My 2001 Prius is still running on its original battery pack and gives no signs of stopping anytime soon.

The mass-produced Nisson Leaf and the Chevy Volt are all doing well.   2011 was a big year for electrics and growing. Well known dependable companies have come out with electric vehicles that work beyond expectations. They are so good, they’ve become luxury cars for the rich. Hundreds of new electric vehicles are out there, and  here are some of the  top green cars, as listed  by Gas.2.0.

Hydrogen Ferrari. This is a student designed concept car and isn’t on the road-yet!  But Id’ like to crawl into one of those. It would make me look 20 years younger.

Rimac Automobilli EV One is a working model with  1,088 horsepower, and a driving range of almost 400 miles. Snazzy, beautiful. The future is here if we have guts enough to say no to big oil.

Brabus 4WD Hybrid Mercedes is a diesel-electric hybrid that provides performance as well as efficiency. This vehicle uses Proton’s in-wheel hub motors for propulsion and improved get-up-and-go.

e-Wolf Alpha 2 EV, with a driving range of 185 miles, a 0-60 mph time of under 4-seconds, and a price tag of over $400,000. Top speed? 230 mph, supposedly. Slated for limited production, none of us are likely to afford one of these, but dreams to come true, and if it weren’t for dreamers, we’d be back in the dark ages.

The only natural gas car that made the list. Maximus LNG 2000 has a highly modified all-aluminum V8 engine that can produce 1,500 horsepower. A 2,000 horsepower version named the Prodigy is also in the works. I’m not big on natural gas but I didn’t make the list and don’t consider it a really green car like electrics.

Porsche Spyder EV plug-in is prohibitively expensive, but Gas.2.0 admires  Porsche for working tremendously hard to integrate hybrid drive trains into their performance vehicles. Porsche is at the forefront of luxury performance hybrids and will probably continue to play with hybrids in the years to come. Good news for all of us.

Veritas Plug-In Hybrid, again, isn’t all electric but these carmakers are concentrating on performance. A barely street legal racer, the Veritas RSIII uses a 600 horsepower 5.0 liter BMW V10 to power the rear wheels, and an electric motor providing another 140 horsepower for the front wheels. An on board flywheel energy recovery system can charge the batteries while driving, or be plugged into a standard outlet, providing up to 30 miles of all-electric driving.

Jaguar CX75 EV was debuted as a twin-turbine concept car late last year and has been greenlighted for production…sans the turbines. It will keep the plug-in hybrid system, allowing the wheel-mounted electric motors to deliver up to 30 miles of all-electric range, as well as a 0-60 mph time somewhere in the 3-second range. What’s the cost for this beauty?  Put your wallet back. About 1.4 mill.  Hey, somebody will buy it!  The future is looking very snazzy.

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AIR CONDITIONED CARS

There was a time when air conditioned cars were an expensive add on from the dealer. We thoroughly enjoyed our 1972 Pontiac Convertible and didn’t get an air conditioned car until 1976.  In fact, in Southern California, you could buy a car from the dealer without a heater, which we did, once.  Who needed it?

A Bay Area friend of ours bought a brand new 1961, (I believe it was a Chrysler) with an  air conditioning unit, to take a trip from California to Boston. The device was a square container of ice mounted on the hump over the drive shaft with a fan attached to the cigarette lighter. The fan blew air over the ice to cool the air. It worked until the ice melted.  Every couple of hours, our friends had to stop and buy a new block of ice.  It was a  hoot and convinced us air conditioning would never be a standard part of a car. Now, I can’t imagine being without it. Which, in a round about way, is where I’m going this morning, to have my air conditioning repaired. A hose is plugged and condensed water wets the carpet on the passenger side when the air conditioning is running.

And carpet in cars?  Don’t get me started.

Yesterday, I experimented  with pictures around my yard to see what I could come up with and I can’t say that the following close-up has much appeal…

…when the leaf itself is so pretty.

However, I liked this close-up shot of a gold pan.

Maybe because a gold pan wasn’t meant to be as pretty as a leaf.

The cables on Jim’s bike made an interesting shot. Kind of reminds me of when we were kids. Pageant magazine had a  monthly photo that required you to guess what the original object was from the close up. The answer was in the following issue, always a month away. No one in the family ever guessed an object correctly, but we loved trying.

The weather will soon turn wet and cold. We’ve enjoyed these sunny fall days.

 

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