Posts Tagged ‘car’

Another Seven Weeks?

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

Hard to believe, isn’t it? The good news is I feel like I’m back on the writing train with a bunch of Yelp reviews. The bad news is I still haven’t managed to get back into posting here regularly.  Judging from the list below, it’s because I’ve been busy… but who hasn’t?

  • A week in Virginia
  • Melissa’s graduation
  • Catching up with a bunch of friends and coworkers back east
  • Visiting my mom in New Jersey
  • 24 hours in Portland
  • Sleeping on a concrete floor instead of couchsurfing there
  • Buying a Mini Clubman S in Portland and driving it back
  • Melissa moved home for good
  • Hosting a BBQ to welcome her home
  • Continued visits to CrossFit
  • Hurting my back at CrossFit
  • Stopping CrossFit for awhile
  • Going to a chiropractor for the first time in my life and loving it
  • A couple Yelp Elite events
  • Replacing the steering wheel on the 911 to something sportier and way retro
  • Getting serious about my 50 mile ride against cancer <– PLEASE DONATE

Wow, that’s a lot. Next Saturday, we fly to San Diego for a week with my family. Yay vacation!

Remember Me?

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Well, it happened. For the first time since I started blogging in January 2006, I went a calendar month without a blog post. I’d say 7+ years is a pretty good run. If I’m honest, I didn’t feel much like writing: no blogging, my Yelp activity was way off and I deactivated my Facebook for two weeks (more on that later). The reason? I wanted to focus on getting through some difficult things in life. There’s more to be done, but I feel like I’m over the hump… especially given all the good news I’m about to drop on you. Let me catch you up on what’s been happening.

  • Melissa’s Graduation – I flew to Virginia yesterday because Melissa is graduating this week! She has an exam to do tomorrow, but otherwise she’s done. I knew she could do it; she’ll tell you differently. We won’t be back together until Memorial Day because we both have some family commitments to take care of, but at least we get to spend half of the time left until then together. This last month was the longest and most challenging out of all of them and I am very, very glad it’s over.
  • Promotion – Last week, I got a manger title at work and another analyst, that will report to me, is starting at Amazon tomorrow. That puts my direct reports at two with headcount open for another analyst… as soon as we find the right candidate. It’s not technically a “level” promotion in Amazon speak, but it did come with more money/stock. I’m a Manager II, Programmer/Analyst but my business title has yet to be decided on – it will probably be something like Manager, HR Analytics. My next milestone is to get promoted up a level; my boss and I are “actively working” on getting that done at the mid-year review in five months. I put “actively working” in quotes because you have to convince more than just your manager that you deserve it. Really it’s about demonstrating to a wide(r) audience that you’re already operating on that level. Face time, if you will. Looking at the last 13 years of my career, I can say I wasn’t ready to be a manger until now. I thought I was; I wasn’t.
  • New Phone – I bought a Galaxy S4 a few weeks ago. My GS2 was getting pretty long in the tooth and I was looking forward to an upgrade. Some of the features are gimmicky and I haven’t bothered, but others (like not turning the screen off when you’re looking at it and gestures) are pretty cool. The screen is pretty big and I actually feel bad for people with smaller screens (yes, iPhones Mike). I’m sure it works for them, but I’m a total screen whore. I’ll save you the babbling fanboi ramble – suffice to say I like it. LTE ain’t so bad either… I can’t believe our cell phones now get speeds similar to WiFi.
  • 911 – Audrey is turning out to be a great city car. It’s fun, it’s small and it gets a lot of attention. Who wouldn’t want to drive that? Not me, I find myself driving it 95% of the time. I’m about as ready as I’m going to get for trading in the Subaru for our “one car.”
  • CrossFit – I’ve continued my devotion, after taking March off. I am down 20 pounds since starting this whole thing and very, very close to being down 50 since I decided to get healthier 6.5 years ago. With any luck, I’ll be setting a new goal for myself in the next month.
  • Food Allergies – I saw a naturopathic doctor to work through diagnosing some seemingly worsening food allergies. Prevailing theory is I have a wheat allergy and adrenal imbalance, although I’ve heard that’s somewhat of a standard diagnosis NDs make. We’re going to be doing a bunch of testing to 1) find answers and 2) re-balance my body. I’m keeping an open mind, in true Pacific NW spirit, and am cautiously optimistic. Even if it turns out to be be voodoo, I got an Rx for weekly massages (read: it’s covered by insurance!). I also scored an EpiPen in case I have a reaction to some of the treatments. Don’t freak out Mom, it’s really only because I seem to be fairly allergic to carrots these days (which you knew).
  • Movies – I’ve seen quite a few over the last month. I can’t wait to see Iron Man 3 this week with Melissa.
    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – Surprisingly entertaining; I liked the way they wove in historical context.
    The Great Gatsby – Zero connection with the characters. I was hopeful because I love period films, but it was very disappointing.
    The Place Beyond the Pines – Good, but depressing. I’m glad I took a chance on it.
    Argo – I’m kinda indifferent about it. Well made but I’m glad I didn’t see it in the theater.
    Red Dawn – Even worse than I expected. Do not see!
    Life of Pi – Visually stunning, with an interesting ending, although it probably would have been better viewed in an altered state.
  • Facebook Deactivation – I don’t want to make this a long winded explanation, even though I feel like I have a lot to say. Let’s just say I used it entirely too much and it became a way to ignore building new friendships. What I noticed in the first few days is how many times in a day my thoughts defaulted to “Oh, I should share this on Facebook RIGHT NOW.” Getting over that was pretty relaxing and I ended up not really missing it. Not having Facebook is not without sacrifice, though. Namely, it was harder to stay up with businesses (e.g. my gym), log into certain websites, play the two games I care about and gets news from close friends that I don’t often talk to. The catalyst for me re-activating was the passing of a good friend’s dad and me finding out about it from Melissa (who read on Facebook) over a week after it happened. I am saddened by his loss and the fact that I couldn’t offer support earlier. In light of this, I think I’m going to compromise by using it but only making very close friends and family visible.

911S – First Impression

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

I took delivery at about 9 PM Friday night.

Yesterday turned out to be an awesomely sunny day, so I spent about two hours driving it in/around Seattle. It’s definitely a COMPLETELY different experience than driving any modern car. It’s loud, but not obnoxious, and not having a radio will be something worth getting used to. The high sidewall tires are very noticeable at high speeds, and while it can be somewhat of a rough ride in the city streets, it’s surprisingly comfortable at highway speeds.

The seating position is pretty far forward, for both driver and passenger. I’m probably going to look into getting the rails moved an inch or two back; this appears doable without any real trouble. There is absolutely no need for a passenger side mirror with all the glass, I just have to remember to look all the way around instead of looking for a mirror. I will still probably source one and have it painted so I can put tint on the windows (WA law).

The pedals are indeed floor mount and they take some serious getting used to. The clutch is pretty soft, but it’s in such a position that you’re letting it out with your heel of the floor, so it’s all muscle and no leverage. If you aren’t really paying attention, it will try and catapult your foot off the pedal. I’ve had this happen a few times but surprisingly, the car hasn’t stalled. The engine is actually pretty resilient because I haven’t stalled the car at all. You really have to stand on the brake if you want to stop quickly or if you’re descending one of Seattle’s many steep hills.  It’s much more mechanical than other cars I’ve driven; I like it. The gas pedal doesn’t really feel that much different than anything I’m used to.

The car is much quicker than I thought it would be. I guess that’s what you get when the car is 1000 lbs less than the behemoth Legacy. The wheelbase is also 16″ shorter, so you can easily perform u-turns in the middle of city streets. By comparison, the Legacy sometimes has trouble doing them at intersections. All around, it’s a surprisingly good city car. I welcome that, despite not buying it for that reason.

Then there’s the attention you get. People definitely look and the way they do ranges from trying not to be obvious out the corner of their eye to full on staring with small head nods. There are also honks from guys in old jeeps, a friendly wave to/from a guy getting out of his VW Karmann Ghia and the guy who said “Your Porsche is perfect, man” while were drove through Pike Place Market. Yeeeeaaahhhh, I drove it through the market. It’s actually the first time I’ve done that and something I’d probably reserve for this car. I acknowledge people and despite driving such an obvious car, try to do it as modestly as possible.

Still no luck on a name. One day it’ll just come to me.

Here’s a fairly boring video test I did of mounting the GoPro on the roof. I wanted to see how the sound would come out with the open back on the camera case and what sort of quality would come of shooting HD in such a vulnerable position. If you dare watch, be sure to switch it to 1080p.