fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)

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casting about: 2009-02-23


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casting about: 2009-02-20

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another “memorable” trip

Had another one of those memorable trips that I’m seemingly know for. But, again, for not the desired reasons. Sean and I left Friday for the cabin, braving rain and winds. After a quick stop at Bass Pro Shops, it was up into the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The first warning sign was a dusting of snow on the hills around Sonora. Sonora, elevation 1,785 feet.

Second warning sign: three to four inches of snow on the ground at the Soulsbyville turnoff.

Sure enough, we were greeted by a pile of snow at the entrance to the cabin driveway (courtesy the snow plow), and the driveway itself was coated with a foot of snow. While it’s great to see the coming year’s water accumulating so fast, that fluffy white stuff sure gains weight the more you shovel it.

Finally, with a path carved to the garage, we parked the car and start to unpack.

Then I turned on the water to the cabin. More correctly, I tried to turn on the water to the cabin. And…nothing. Not a drop. So, somewhere between the water main and the cabin, the pipe was frozen. Seems that is something that happens when the temperatures hover in the mid 20s. Gave the wave off to my sister and her family, who were to join us the next day. And, as much as I would have liked to ensconce myself in the warm cabin, with hot cocoa, a roaring fire, movies to watch and books to read, all the while watching flakes of snow float to the ground, it wasn’t going to happen without water.

We decided to spend the night and head home the next day.

The third warning sign that our decision was probably a good one: another six inches of snow fell during the night to greet us Saturday morning.

A whirlwind trip, to be certain.

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new car model to report for police duty

Carbon Motors E7Even before the first utterance of recession, many have wondered what might become of the American auto industry — no matter if it’s true lack of quality or simply the perception.

I’d like to say that I’ve done my fair share to urge Detroit to build better cars by voting with my money. Money that I’ve spent on — albeit American-built — Honda and Toyota automobiles. But in the absence of a GM-, Ford- or Chrysler-built model suitable for law enforcement, could another auto manufacturer rise to fill the void?

With a joint agreement to with Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc. to work on the design and development of exterior body panels, Carbon Motors’ purpose-built law enforcement vehicle edges closer to fruition. Sure, Carbon Motors — established and run by ex-Ford employees — has high hopes to fulfill a “…critical mission to design, develop, manufacture, distribute, service, and recycle at end-of-life, the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle.” But with the future of Ford’s Crown Victoria in question, the very existence of Chrysler seemingly doubtful, and GM offering only the front-wheel drive Chevrolet Impala (and SUVs too costly to fuel), might there be room for Carbon Motors’ E7?

The E7 certainly will be competitive and even looks “green,” with plans for a 300-hp forced-induction 3.0 diesel capable of running on biodiesel. Mated to a six-speed transmission, fuel economy may reach as much as 30 mpg. The Crown Vic offers 250 hp and about 24 mpg (highway) at the top end. Carbon Motors also expects the E7 to have 75-mph rear-impact crash capability, something claimed of the Crown Vic, but with some controversy surrounding the claim.

If nothing else, it looks cool with a hint of intimidation.