Archive for the '680 Manufacturing for Specific Purposes' Category

07
Sep
08

What’s Dumb About the Smart Car

I’ve wanted a Smart car ever since I saw one in Europe, eight years ago (where it’s a Mercedes-Benz), so when Smart debuted in the US with their $99 reservation program, I signed up right away.  After a year of anticipation I learned that with Smart, the road to Passion fortwo doesn’t always end in ecstasy.

It’s easy to love the Smart.  It’s beautifully designed, looks like fun, parks anywhere, preempts backseat drivers, comes beautifully equipped for $15K.  We wanted it because of the  real 37 mpg.  We all love that.  Here’s what you won’t like about it and the path to getting into it.

Continue reading ‘What’s Dumb About the Smart Car’

03
Jul
08

What the Hands-Free Law is Really About

I remember my first car phone. It was in my 1993 Honda Civic, and it was sweet, and oh so convenient; the squishy green buttons were a beacon in the dark that made it clear that with a phone in my car, I’d ‘arrived’. How did I ever live without one before? After an evening out, and a couple of beers, suddenly my old drinking buddies in Singapore weren’t so far away. When I’d been out to The Bottom Line, a gay bar in Ft. Myers, FL, and I’d struck out all night, I’ll be damned if I couldn’t reach phone sex chat lines on my cell. That was fun. I was ruined. In a matter of a few months I racked up a $3,000 phone bill which went into collection, and had it taken out of my car.

Yesterday, July 1st, California’s Hands-Free Phone law went into effect, which means that you can be stopped and ticketed for holding a phone to your ear while you drive. Cars with Bluetooth, Bluetooth headsets, and corded earpieces are all okay. Continue reading ‘What the Hands-Free Law is Really About’

01
Jul
08

Go Hands-Free. It’s the Law.

Billy has your safety in mind, especially today, so I personally watched this SFW video about the Jawbone hands-free device several times, just to make sure it would be helpful to you.

All I can say is that I was really happy I didn’t have a phone in my hand.
Who knew legal compliance could feel so good?

This video was banned in the U.S. Had it been two chicks, it would have been running during the Superbowl. I’ll never understand that.

12
Jun
08

I’m Breaking Up with My Car

I love cars. I’ve had about 20 of them, so this isn’t an easy break up, but premium gas in Los Angeles has hit $5.00 a gallon, plus places at around $4.75, and regular unleaded shows at $4.60.

From what I’ve read, this is the beginning of the end of the oil age, and the US will finally pay the same price for gas that they do in Europe, which would put it around $9.00 a gallon. Nonetheless, Angelenos are still driving with a vengeance. A woman alone in her Escalade blew my doors off on the freeway just this morning, and I was going 70. Some punk flying solo in a Z4 crossed illegally into the car pool lane to pass the static traffic I was in so that he could cut to the front. It feels like the last hurrah. To see more than one person in a car in Los Angeles is really not the norm, not even in the car pool (HOV) lane. Continue reading ‘I’m Breaking Up with My Car’

04
Jun
08

WTF: Rock-afire Animatronic Puppets Sing Britney

Take a normal, 32-year old guy named Chris Thrash, living in Alabama, listening only to 80’s, rock, and rap (and clearly some Britney), and only reading the Bible, and give him a Rock-afire. Hundreds of programming hours later, the result is somewhere between Chuck E. Cheese and the first time I tripped on LSD, back in college. Seriously, you have to see this to believe it. But is it art? Continue reading ‘WTF: Rock-afire Animatronic Puppets Sing Britney’

03
Jun
08

High Gas Prices and Higher MPG in Los Angeles

I drive a 2006 Honda Element: hands-down one of the worst choices I’ve ever made – oh, and it’s 4WD for the many times Sam and I head into the mountains to go snowboarding. I think it’s been once.

The 2006 Element showed 22/26 on the sticker. Hey, it was 2006, it felt very “designy” and I was rehabbing a house. They offered me a new Honda Insight, which I passed up because it was too small to carry a dog and a passenger, or anything from Home Depot, other than paint. It was $15K. (Idiot.)

So I jumped prematurely out of a shorter lease on a silver 2005 Honda S2000 and into a three and a half year lease on the Element. I plead temporary insanity. The dealership had the S2000 sold before I even handed them over the keys. BTW, even with the abysmal 22/25 mileage, that car was more fun than a pack of A&F models on Ecstasy. Well, almost. Continue reading ‘High Gas Prices and Higher MPG in Los Angeles’

03
Jun
08

Simple Tips for Buying Cars

I’ve been driving for about 25 years, and I’ve owned almost as many cars, so here’s some basic stuff I’ve learned about the car acquisition process. Continue reading ‘Simple Tips for Buying Cars’




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