17 April 2012
Run-in with a parking garage pillar
Fortunately only the plastic bumper was damaged. I was distracted and pre-occupied. I wonder why? :-(
There is no damage to any of the metal body panels or lights. I was thinking of respraying the bumper anyway. It had become a bit tatty and pitted from stone chips. This is my excuse I guess to just have it done now. A friend of mine who's got loads of experience restoring cars and with spray painting will do the job for me. He always take such great care when removing body items from a car. He's a true artist and also a perfectionist. He'll only have time to do it over the 28 April 2012 weekend though.
Efficiency is brilliant though
16 April 2012
My mom died today after a 3 year battle with cancer. Thank you for all the love and laughter. I love you.
22/11/1942 - 16/04/2012
14 April 2012
Filled up the Prius. Here's the consumption for my previous tank. The tank wasn't empty when I refilled. This was achieved using cruise control set to 95km/h as much as possible (not always) while driving the N2 and R300. The cooler weather helped as the aircon didn't run as much.
9 April 2012
Gave the car a wash. It was very dirty from the rain.
Winter arrived suddenly in the Cape this past weekend. The two girls, Alice and Ma next to the heater with the two boys, Alex and Bear stretched out.
6 April 2012
I had a look around on priuschat.com and saw all the new information for the Prius c. Very nice, although I'm not crazy about the interior. Starting at $19,000 that would put the Prius c in the same price range as the Honda Insight and quite frankly the Prius c is the superior product. I cannot help but wonder how Honda is going to fight back? The Insight cannot meet the same low fuel consumption specs as the Prius c (53mpg) in its current form.
4 April 2012
Filled up with Caltex and this is the result after two days, 4.5l/100km. Cruise control set to 95km/h all the way.
31 March 2012
Google has been working on the driverless car for a while now. This video from popsci.com shows a blind "driver" taking the Google driverless car for a spin. I would love a car like this. Get in and it just takes you where you want to go. Sometimes you want to drive, and sometimes you don't. It is interesting that the DMV in the USA treat this like Cruise Control.
14 March 2012
Bye Bye Rola Toyota
It takes a car dealership to ruin your day. I dropped my car off at 7:25am. I only got my car at 5:20pm. 10 Hours to service a car?! They also got my booking wrong. I said "tomorrow" when I phoned them on Tuesday. This then would mean the booking is for Wednesday, not Thursday like they had it. I had an important engagement in Durbanville which I was 30 minutes late for because Rola was slow. I'm always scared that they don't put my car back together properly. I get the impression they rush. The staff are very friendly, but it seems somewhat strained.
I went to look at a Hybrid Auris on the floor and got immediately pounced on by a sales lady. Well done! Full marks for being attentive, but then she called the Auris a Prius. Over and over again she got it wrong. I politely tried to correct her, but she didn't get it. She also, somehow, tried to convince me my "Prius" could not be a hybrid. Ugh! Whatever...
Anyway, back to fetching the car. Arrive at 4:45pm. Wait in the waiting area. The staff manning the coffee machine counter leave as soon as the clock chimes. No coffee, and the water dispenser is empty. Quite thirsty by now. Grumpy. Other people are waiting too. Go to the mens' room. No paper towels and the hand dryer don't work. There's a towel, but I aint touching that thing.
I'm gonna try and find a different dealership for the next service.
10 March 2012
Installed new front brake discs and pads.
5 March 2012
I bought new pads and front brake discs for the Prius. They'll be fitted this weekend. Also, I'll schedule my car for a service next week. The parts were cheaper than expected. I was actually quoted more than I paid. I was given a discount. The people at Rola in the Strand are actually very sweet. I'm carrying the rather heavy parts to my car. As I unlock my car and struggle with the boot lid, a staff member who happens to be walking by reaches and opens my cars' boot.
19 February 2012
CISCO and doors
I had a fantastic weekend. I managed to actually work on Goldilocks for a change. I even made an MP3 disc for the Prius. He's not far from his 150 000km service. I'll be buying the new brake discs and pads before then and have them fitted.
I spent my Fridays and some of Saturday for the last three weeks attending a CISCO IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software course, which I aced!
While checking out icanhascheeseburger last night I found this video of some really cool car doors. It's like something from Transformers.
11 February 2012
100km/h, aircon off, using cruise control, Somerset-West --> Cape Town and back on N2
18 January 2012
More on LENR and it's future in our homes
Development of a 10kW version of the Rossi E-cat appears to be well advanced. Talk are of a $400-$500 10kW (HEAT) e-cat reactor using $10 of Nickel fuel a month! Read Here
If you doubt whether cold fusion is real, consider this list of scientific papers on the subject. Read Here
All about LENR. Read Here
proposed e-cat home unit
16 January 2012
I started work today. It was 39C in the city.
5kW LENR unit from Defkalion
Over the last month or so I've been following a new development in LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions). An Italian scientist, Andrea Rossi, has developed a device that generates vast quantities of excess heat using a low energy nuclear reaction (cold fusion). He calls it the energy catalyser or e-cat and has demonstrated a 1MW version successfully. Physicists, debunkers and sceptics have inspected his machine, but have found no evidence of trickery. It appears to be for real.
I will not attempt to explain exactly how it works. For that you may visit a multitude of websites dedicated to LENR and the E-Cat. Using Nickel powder, hydrogen and a secret catalyst he has produced a device that produces vast quantities of heat in a compact reactor (tabletop) that emits no CO2 and produces no dangerous waste.
Imagine a car that you only need to refill with maybe a kilo of nickel powder every 6 months or so. You'll fill up with some water too to produce the hydrogen needed for the reaction. This can be reality within the next 20 years. The E-Cat or similar LENR reactors produce superheated steam, so don't be surprised to see the return of the steam engine. The implications for the world and climate change are phenomenal. Coal, oil, gas, solar, wind all become obsolete as reactors using LENR are ultra cheap and clean.
Defkalion Energy has released a spec sheet of their LENR unit designed for commercial or domestic use. Andrea Rossi plans to have e-cats available at major hardware stores in the USA by the end of the year. You can soon own your very own "fusion" reactor.
Not using Nuclear Fission but LENR instead. Your next car might be nuclear.
9 January 2012
New Year Clean!
I had my car professionally cleaned, polished and waxed today. It looks brand new!
9 December 2011
BMW and Toyota are joining forces. Some interesting things should come from this technology sharing and joint research collaboration.
Yaris Hybrid in 2012. Where will the Prius c fit in then? Very nice looking little car. Funky, edgy, sporty. A car this size should only use about 3-4l/100km.
More Hybrids in 2012. This phrase is interesting: "Toyota SA recently extended its battery warranty to eight years or 190 000km."
14 November 2011
I was travelling to work on the N2 this morning when I encountered stop and go traffic opposite the old power station. I noticed this half brick lying right in the middle of the lane. Everybody was just driving so that it passed between their wheels. I thought that when traffic returned to normal, it could cause some serious damage. So I stopped quickly and picked it up. You don't want that thing coming at you.
26 October 2011
On my way to work I'm going down Roeland Street when this cute grey 2005 Prius wants to turn. So I let it in. Much later on my way to Durbanville I end up next to the same Prius at the robot. The driver motions for me to roll my window down. "Nice car", he says. "You too", I reply. He says his mileage is 53 000km and that he's selling it. On asking why he replies that it's a bit much (big) and that it broke down coming from Namibia. Of course I'm curious so I ask what broke. "The electrics", he replies. This of course narrows it down. It looked like the poor car had a bit of a rough time as part of the one side mirror was missing. I hope it gets a good home.
1 October 2011
I went to the Somerset Mall to swap a defective cordless phone. On my way out I passed, like, a few dozen police officers. They all parked not far from my car. Apparently they were there for security training. I also went to Durbanville and on my way back drove behind a new Prius for a while. I'm beginning to see them more often now. My car's consumption is steady at 5.0 l/100km.
Saturday would have been a BAD day to be a criminal in the mall.
23 September 2011
You won't believe how often one sees obviously non-roadworthy, smoking heaps on the N2. <sigh>
17 September 2011
The motoring magazines report that Toyota will be releasing the Auris hybrid next month. Also, BMW will apparently be building the BMW 3 series hybrid here in South Africa. I mentioned here before that I don't care for the Auris at all. It's boooooring on the outside. The interior is OK.
2 September 2011
Had my car serviced today. No hassles. They also tightened up the suspension components. Spotted quite a few Prii of all kinds this week too. The refinancing with Wesbank was also sorted out this week.
28 August 2011
Service Time Again
It's time for my cars' 135000km service. I will phone Helderberg Toyota tomorrow to book. I'm also coming to the end of my cars' 54 month hire purchase contract (has it been that long?) so I must organise to refinance the residual.
20 August 2011
I love hatchbacks
27 July 2011
A stone hit my cars' window on the N2 going to work this morning. I was horrified to find a star crack on my window! Above is a picture of the crack next to a 10c coin. I had it fixed very quickly at PG Glass. Now there's just a little dot left over. Cost R199.
13 July 2011
I visited Snob's Coffee at the Somerset Mall today to sample their solar roasted coffee. I had a cup of their Mocha Java and I have to say it was absolutely delicious. There is, what I estimate to be, about 3kW worth of solar panels on the roof of the shop. Electricity from these panels drive the roasting machines. Inside is a very trendy looking atmosphere with friendly staff. The roasting machines are right there and everything smells wonderful. I'll definitely go back. On my way home I saw two 2010 Prii...nice.
1 July 2011
Everything keeps going right
My Prius continues to be a reliable everyday drive. The odometer is on 130828km now. This means I've driven my Prius 100000km since I got it. In that time I've replaced the tires. The inverter coolant pump was also replaced in a Toyota recall, but other than that it's only been serviced. No repairs were needed. There is a suspension noise when I go over speed bumps that I need to investigate and the front discs need replacing. There are also the usual cabin rattles that increased since I got the car. Fuel consumption is steady at about 5.1l/100km driving any old way.
Periodically I complete a survey on the website truedelta.com to track and compare my cars' reliability. I'm happy to say the Prius is very reliable according to this website.
4 May 2011
4 Years as a happy Prius owner!
95554 km since 4 May 2007
23888 km/year average
NEXT SERVICE DUE AT