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I ended Driving update for December 2013: My car by postponing making good on a promise.
Also, I made a promise at the end of the last report.
Yes, I bought this car in October 2003. I have a story about that, but I'll save it for the next report, along with why I named my car Yuki. Stay tuned.
I'm going to take a rain check on this promise. These look like the kind of stories I would write to post while I'm traveling, which I might do over the next two weeks.
Instead, I explained the name of my wife's car.
It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not up to it. Besides, this report is about my wife's car, which I call Ruby (my wife doesn't give her cars names). I gave her that name because of the car's color and because my wife and I are fans of "Once Upon a Time," which had a character named Ruby, who is really Red Riding Hood, for the first two seasons.
Well, my car turned over 220,000 miles today, so it's time to tell her story.

My previous car, a Nissan I called Molly, died in October 2003 after she turned over 210,000 miles during a drive back from an anime convention in South Bend, Indiana, although I didn't realize it at the time. I heard the engine knocking, which it did when the oil was low. I put in two quarts of oil (!) and continued driving home. Within a week, I had to put in more oil, and the engine began to sound just horrible. I took it in for service, and found out that all the seals had blown and the engine was getting ready to throw a rod. That was the end of my driving Molly. I had to get a new car.

About this time, one of the local Kia dealerships was advertising its deal. "Got a job? Got $100? Get a new Kia!" I qualified, so I rented a car and drove over to the nearest Kia dealer and got Yuki. It wasn't even the right dealership, but that didn't matter. I picked out a car from the previous model year that had a rebate to entice people to get it off the lot. I was able to roll that rebate into the down payment and was able to drive Yuki home without paying a cent. Ah, the long-gone days of easy credit!

As for Molly, the dealership accepted her as a trade-in worth $50 and had her towed away. At least I was able to get scrap value and free towing. Best of all, Yuki's interior looked exactly like Molly's. From the inside, it was as if I had just gotten a newer version of the same car with an automatic transmission. As I wrote back in 2011 and again in 2012, it was a concession to comfort and age.
When I needed to buy a car, I got a Kia instead. It got 32 miles to the gallon, but it was an automatic. I was willing to sacrifice a few miles to the gallon so that my left foot and right hand could rest. Yeah, I'm a sucker for convenience, too.
At least it wasn't the Aztek my son wanted me to buy. That would have been an environmental and economic disaster.

As for the name, my younger daughter suggested Yuki after Yuki Saiko, a character in the manga and anime "Silent Mobius." The character's image is the one I used at the head of this entry. It's the same one my younger daughter downloaded as a wallpaper on the computer I owned at the time. Why Yuki? In addition to "Silent Mobius" being a mutual favorite of ours, my daughter picked her out as the kind of woman she'd want for me; she was sweet, pretty and owned a coffee shop.* Yes, I love my coffee. Besides, the artist who drew the manga was named Kia Asamiya. My daughter wanted to name a creation of one Kia after the creation of another Kia. It stuck and that's how a Korean car got a Japanese name.

...
Now to celebrate my finally following through on something I've been teasing since March 11, 2010, when I was still posting these updates on my LiveJournal, I present the opening to Silent Mobius. Yuki Saiko appears at 0:45.



*Yuki wasn't my favorite character from the anime. That was Lebia Maverick. Even so, people who know the series would understand why a real person like her would have been a bad match.

**That was the day the renewal of my car registration was due. It was also my ex-wife's 65th birthday. That's as much as I'd like to think about her, thank you very much.

Adapted from Driving update for April 2014: Yuki, a longer entry at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
In my previous entry, I wrote that I was going to reblog some of my more fannish or personal entries over at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Here's a fannish portion of an entry that is otherwise not about a fannish topic--Second driving update for December 2013: Other car:
Yes, I bought this car in October 2003. I have a story about that, but I'll save it for the next report, along with why I named my car Yuki. Stay tuned.
I’m going to take a rain check on this promise. These look like the kind of stories I would write to post while I’m traveling, which I might do over the next two weeks.
It's late and I'm tired, so I'm not up to it. Besides, this report is about my wife's car, which I call Ruby (my wife doesn't give her cars names). I gave her that name because of the car's color and because my wife and I are fans of "Once Upon a Time," which had a character named Ruby, who is really Red Riding Hood, for the first two seasons. Here's a picture of her as Red Riding Hood.


neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
I completely missed reposting any of my posts from Crazy Eddie's Motie News for March on the Nablopomo theme of Whether. Bad dog, no biscuits. I'll get around to organizing and posting linkspams from last month eventually. In the meantime, I'll resume my regular weekly summaries of the Nablopomo posts for April. This month, the theme is poetry. Here's what I wrote on April Fools Day.


From Nablopomo on BlogHer:
So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?
POEM

In honour of National Poetry Month in April, we've made the theme POEM -- which can go in a multitude of directions. First and foremost, you can try your hand at writing some poetry. We'll be presenting a few fixed forms as well as prompts for free forms. Make a personal goal to write a haiku-a-day, write an entire post in rhymed couplets, or argue the merits of Pinterest... in sestina form.

We'll be writing about our reactions to poems -- which poems have come up at important moments in your life? Which poems do you return to again and again? Which poems have changed your mood, given you comfort, or made you want to be a poet yourself?

We'll spend the month looking at reflections of poetry in nature and social situations. And we'll be featuring YOUR poetry weekly. So get your poem on.
When I first read the theme and description, I considered not participating, as I'm not big on poetry. I especially had a hard time squaring the theme with a blog about sustainability, science, and politics, although "poetry in nature" might work. Then I realized that there were some forms of poetry that I liked, limericks and song verses. Most limericks wouldn't be fit for a family blog, but I can always find a good song for my posts. So, I'm participating again this month.
The songs that I've featured so far are:
There will be more next week, as I already have another post up.

Happy reading and happy listening!
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)



From Nablopomo on BlogHer.

So what is the NaBloPoMo theme of the month?
BEGINNINGS

January 1st is a blank slate, and you can make the year anything you want it to be? Leave your job and embark on a new career. Open that blank document and start that novel you always wanted to write. Join that online dating site, signup for a new class, or close your eyes and point to a place on a globe to plan your next vacation.

Beginnings can be scary, but as the adage by Lao-tzu goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." You can take a single step, right? And after that, it's just putting foot before foot, taking your new journey slowly and letting it unfold at its own pace. Along the way, blog about your experience, not only so readers can follow along, but so that you have a record of how far you've come any time you feel yourself falter.
...
So what are you beginning this year? If you can name at least five things, it means you have at least five blog posts inside of you. And if you can do five posts, you can certainly expand that and do an extra 25 or so.
I have no problem popping off a post a day, as blogging about sustainability and politics in Detroit means never running out of material, so I've signed up again. I'm one of only two politics bloggers there, and the other one has already missed the goal of posting every day. Is this it? skipped the 3rd, 4th, and 6th. Yay, me.

On that note, here are the posts with the beginnings tag from this week.

Nablopomo for January 2012: Beginnings
This one has two versions of Chicago's "Beginnings" one from Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, and the other from the 27th Lancers Drum and Bugle Corps.

Occupy the Rose Parade, plus an astronaut on gardening in space
I love the Rose Parade, space exploration, and Occupy. I couldn't resist all three in one place.

2012: The Mayan Apocalypse? Yeah, right
Prepare for a year of DOOM!

Last night was the beginning of the primary/caucus season for 2012
And a year of politics, too.

WXYZ begins its North American International Auto Show coverage
This is a Detroit blog, after all.

Governor Snyder sued twice this week
Good going, Nerd.

New beginnings for two Metro Detroit transit projects
21st Century mass transit is "not dead yet!"

And that's it for this week.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
More on an event I can walk to.


GM Woodward Dream Cruise
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
I'll be able to walk to see this.



Chevy is preparing to celebrate their centennial at the Dream Cruise.
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June2011NaBloPoMoSmallBadge


As I wrote a week ago on Crazy Eddie's Motie News:
I'm all in favor of living closer together. I've had enough of car-culture suburban life and more than my fill of living out in the country. I'm also in favor of making cities more energy and resource efficient. I've already seen the light of how urban living can be a good thing, so I am one of those people who already lives close to a downtown and walks to the store. Six years ago, I drove 48,000 miles a year. Now I drive less than 10,000. I'm much happier driving much less.
This morning, which was technically yesterday, Yuki the Kia* passed another milestone, when her odometer flashed 209,000 miles, which means it's time for another driving update to see if I'm doing my part in driving less.

The last time I posted a mileage check was 1000 miles and three months and 10 days ago on March 10, 2011. At that time, it took me 3.25 months to drive 1000 miles, which mean I drove an average of 308 miles/month during that time. This time, it took me 3.33 months to drive that same distance, which means I drove exactly 300 miles a month. I'm still doing my part to keep the number of miles driven by Americans down, as shown on the following graph from Calculated Risk, which came out yesterday. Perfect timing!



So, what made me drive 8 miles less a month, even though I had nearly three weeks of not driving to work during late December and early January? Probably good weather. I've been walking to Friday meetings at the nearest worksite, which is a mile and a half away, as well as walking to the grocery store, which is half that distance. Since I there are three to four more months of good weather left, and only one meeting remaining this academic year that I'll have to make a special drive for, with none until mid September, I might just decrease my miles driven even more. After that I expect my miles driven to increase slightly again and remain elevated until next spring. Then I plan on buying a bike. I haven't had one of those since I got divorced in 1999 and moved out of Ann Arbor. I'm looking forward to having one.

*I still have to explain the geeky pun in her name. I'll save that for another fan post.

Above crossposted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

June2011NaBloPoMoSmallBadge


I'm a fan of environmentally sound manufacturing.

The Oakland Press: GM drives to lessen Orion plant’s environmental impact
By JOSEPH SZCZESNY
Of The Oakland Press

Gas piped from an Oakland County landfill is helping General Motors hold down costs as it begins building small cars at the GM assembly plant in Orion Township, saving the company more than $1.1 million annually.

Energy savings have helped General Motors reduce the cost of building small cars in the United States at the company’s assembly plant in Orion Township.

Eric Stevens, GM vice president of global manufacturing engineering, said when production of the fuel-efficient 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano at Orion begin this fall, 40 percent of the energy to power the General Motors Orion Assembly Plant where the cars are built will come from a burning landfill adjacent to the plant on Brown Road.
I like everything about this article--local jobs for people building fuel-efficient cars, renewable energy, energy conservation, recycling, and using environmentally friendly paint. All of these are good for the environment, society, and the economy. Consider me a fan!

Originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News as Motie News Brief: GM's Orion plant to go green.

On the other hand, I'm not much of a fan of high gas prices. Gas prices back above $4.00/gallon in metro Detroit
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Oakland Airport Builds E.V. Chargers and Awaits the E.V.’s

Wheelies: The Pipeline Edition

With Financing in Flux, Saab’s First E.V. Program Awaits Its Fate

Chrysler Exports ‘Imported From Detroit’ to New York

After viewing Chrysler’s two-minute Super Bowl XLV advertisement, during which the rapper Eminem emerged not from the all-new Chrysler 300, but from a 200 sedan, some Monday-morning quarterbacks felt that the brand missed an opportunity to showcase a superior product, one deserving of the spot’s emotional impact.

Well, it is now time for the 300’s “Imported From Detroit” turn. Following a spot in which Ndamukong Suh, the Detriot Lions defensive tackle, drives a 300 home to Portland, Or., to visit his mother, Chrysler’s new flagship, which was reviewed recently in the Automobiles section, faces the most feckless, image-conscious gridiron of them all: Manhattan.

From the Cloud, Google Pulls Down an Energy Saver

Amp Delivers Its First Electric Mercedes-Benz ML Conversion

As Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, learned during filming of “Revenge of the Electric Car,” developing an E.V. from the ground up is a prohibitively expensive exercise. Amp Electric Vehicles, an Ohio company that removes the guts of internal-combustion passenger cars and replaces them with electric powertrains, says it has a more viable way to get E.V.’s on the road, even if those roads are almost an ocean away.

On Wednesday morning at its showroom and production complex in Cincinnati, Amp executives handed over the keys of an electric Mercedes-Benz ML 350 to the company’s newest and biggest client, Gisli Gislason, the chairman and chief executive of Northern Lights Energy, a utility in Iceland. The luxury S.U.V. is the first vehicle to be produced in a five-year contract between the two companies, during which Amp expects to ship 1,000 E.V.’s to the island nation.

Robert Stempel, a Voice for Alternative-Energy Sources, Dies at 77

Robert C. Stempel, the former General Motors chairman and chief executive who died on Saturday at 77, spent a turbulent two years atop the country’s largest automaker, during which he cut jobs and closed plants to minimize company losses. However, for every automaker that deepens its experimentation in alternative-energy sources, Mr. Stempel’s legacy as an auto-industry seer is bolstered.

Mr. Stempel was an early advocate of alternative energy within G.M. and championed the EV1 electric-vehicle program. The G.M. board, however, lost confidence in his leadership before the EV1 was ready for production, and Mr. Stempel, who was also experiencing health problems, resigned in October 1992.

But while sourcing batteries for the proposed EV1, Mr. Stempel befriended Stanford Ovshinsky, the noted scientist credited with the invention of nickel-metal hydride batteries, thin-film solar panels and a long list of other technologies.

I plan on using all of these for either Crazy Eddie's Motie News or Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday on Daily Kos later today. Right now, I'm just taking advantage of the rich text formatter so that I don't have to actually open the blog posts and create the HTML by hand. I have better articles and posts on which to use my 20 article per month allotment.

neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)
Consider this to be a follow-up to oil prices dropping 10 percent. All stories from WOOD-TV's YouTube channel.

First, the stories before the drop in oil prices last week.


Gasoline averaged around $4.29 per gallon in West Michigan on Tuesday night, but there are several ways to avoid paying the wholesale price.
See if you notice any theme tying the rest of these videos to high gas prices. )

Now, the videos after the price dropped.



Patrick DeHaan of gasbuddy.com told 24 Hour News 8 it appears prices have peaked for the foreseeable future.
And how has the price drop affected people's outlook about the economy? )

Above originally posted to Crazy Eddie's Motie News as Grand Rapids Sustainability Video spam courtesty of WOOD-TV.
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Detroit)

Detroit Where the Weak are Killed and EatenApril2011Badgenablo0910_120x90 

Earth Day Event at Detroit Institute for the Arts--a MacGuffin for examining Ford's sustainabilty report

One more Earth Day event to promote blog about.

Detroit Earth Day 2011: Practical Sustainability
Thursday, April 21, 2011 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Eastern Time)
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202

My neighbor is both an environmentalist and a member of the DIA. I wonder if she's going. I'll ask her tomorrow.

Join with Grand River Printing & Imaging at the Detroit Institute of Arts on April 21st from 8:00am to noon to learn practical ways to reduce, reuse and recycle ... and reap rewards.

This year our speaker is Andy Acho, environmental initiative expert and former Worldwide Director of Environmental Strategy and Outreach at Ford Motor Company. At 9:30am in the DIA Lecture Hall, Andy will be sharing some of his experiences and best-practices at the corporate level that demonstrate how being environmentally sustainable is also about good business.
Suddenly, this topic looks a lot more interesting. Time to do to Ford what I did to Walmart--examine their sustainbility pages.

2009/10 Sustainability Report

Ford Motor Company has published its 11th annual non-financial report, entitled Blueprint for Sustainability - The Future at Work.

Our vision is for our sustainability reporting to demonstrate our values, as well as to reflect and drive outstanding economic, environmental and social performance.
In two paragraphs, Ford already looks better than Walmart. If nothing else, they talk about values and society in addition to touting how their actions are good for both the environment and the bottom line. Of course, that's just the exterior.  For an examination of how things look under the hood, read the rest at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

neonvincent: For posts about food and cooking (All your bouillabaisse are belong to us)

Late Night Motie News Linkspam

Tonight, news about food, energy, and politics, along with two stories I tell my students, one about the future of the human population and the other about shopping for a car. I'm sure you can guess which one is more entertaining.

Also, in case I don't get around to posting another entry today, the word for this entry is news.

march11
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)

march11

Today, my car Yuki the Kia* turned over 208,000 miles. In the previous driving post here, I noted that it had turned over 207,000 miles on December 3, 2010. Since that was 3.25 months ago, that means I drove an average of 308 miles a month. That's half what I drove during the time between 206,000 miles and 207,000 miles. I'm still contributing to the overall decrease in miles driven since the peak in January 2007.



For more, see this post on Calculated Risk.

*There is a very geeky joke behind this name, which one of my daughters is responsible for. That's a story for another post.

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