Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Replace the BMW i3 with a Chevy SS?

The i3 is being recalled again.

As you may remember, I had a hard time getting the i3 in March because there was a worldwide recall/stop sale. Apparently, the fuel line got loose and was at risk of catching fire.

Now, the i3 is being recalled again, and no new i3s can be sold in America. This time, it's because the i3 failed the frontal crash test for unbelted front female passengers in the 5th percentile (5' tall, 100-110 pounds in weight). I can't imagine how BMW is going to fix this.


So there's a slight possibility that BMW might buy back my leased i3. I love my i3, but it's small and not very family friendly. I've had my fun with an electric. It's time for a thirsty (14 city/22 highway) V8 sedan.

The Chevy/Holden SS has a 6.2 liter LS3 engine and magnetic ride control. 2017 is the final year for the car, and sales have been terrible. Chevy is cutting the price by 20% from $50,000 new to $40,000 new. There is even a manual one for sale somewhere in Ohio.

This video had me drooling: 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

What to do in Peru

After an evening with Lonely Planet Peru, I have figured out what I am going to do in Peru. On the first two days, I will be in Lima, getting acclimated (time zone-wise, weather-wise, language-wise).

I will visit Lugar de la Memoria. It is a museum dedicated to the violent 1980s and 1990s when the Shining Path terrorized the country.


Then, the Museo Larco (pre-Columbian artifacts).




As for food, I'm going to try beef heart anticuchos at Panchita.


And, if I can get a table, ceviche at Chez Wong.


I will then leave Lima for a 16- to 18-hour bus trip north...


...to the border town of Tumbes, where I will have to cross between the border posts by foot.

Hot Wheels Embosser embosses Hot Wheels logo!


I just noticed this feature.

More Hot Wheels purchases

I was in a different town and went to their Target to see if their inventory was different than our local Target's inventory. It was!

The first car I picked wasn't even a Hot Wheels; it was this Matchbox. I knew about the regular Transporter that Matchbox made, but I didn't know there was a Color Changer version. 


I wasn't too crazy about the livery of this C4 Corvette, but C4 Corvette!


Same with this Camaro. I saw this for sale a year ago and was not impressed with the blue stripes. But I got it anyways yesterday because this is my favorite Camaro.


I am not a fan of fictitious vehicles, but I figured the boy will need a few "work vehicles" like tow trucks, dump trucks, and fire trucks. This reminds me of the race car transporters I once saw at Laguna Seca.




And here is a Ford Fiesta. I'm not a fan of new cars, but I figure the boy can't just play with 70s-80s cars of my childhood.


And finally, I got this Mobile Tune-Up van because it reminded me of the U.S. Mail van I had as a kid.


In fact, I think it's the same casting.


The weird thing about the van is that it's called a "Combat Medic". Did someone at Mattel not proofread the packaging?


Autonomous vehicle research in my county

I live and work in a suburban county an hour away from Silicon Valley. To outsiders in the San Francisco Bay Area, Contra Costa County is just known for its gigantic oil refineries in Richmond and Martinez.


Recently, I found out that a large office park in San Ramon has an autonomous shuttle program running between parking lots. It's the first in the country. I tried to check it out yesterday, but I don't think it runs on weekends. Apparently, there are two buses and they were built by a French company.


But there's more! I knew that my office in Walnut Creek is next to the county transit agency. That's why I get to plug in for free-- the county transit agency installed four free Level 2 chargers in the parking garage we share. 

I did not know until this week that the county transit authority apparently converted the defunct Concord Naval Weapons Station (which was shut down after the Cold War ended*) into an autonomous vehicle testing facility! This is such a great idea.



*In the movie The Rock, the VX warheads were stolen from the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Have you seen an Evoque convertible in real life?

I had no idea they had been out since 2016. I just saw my first one yesterday.




Welcome to the Jungle


The boy was jumping in his jungle and this song popped up in my head.

Heart attacks (red), Waffle Houses (yellow)


Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017