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Everything posted by trinacriabob

  1. It's the Fourth of July. I'm in another major city, in its suburbs. I'm stopped at a light. Next to me is a late model 4 door Chevy Sonic. The light bulb goes on when I see its plain Jane wheel covers. I put my window down and motion over to the driver. "Hey, your car has crank windows, right?" "Yeah, it does!" (sort of surprised and amused) Both of us drive off, chuckling, when the light turns green. All in good fun.
  2. jet skiing * * looks like a blast; would like to try it someday
  3. Yes, not exactly how I thought it would drive and ride, meaning more like the bigger Focus. The price points aren't even that different.
  4. Based on a quick glance at the phone, I thought it was the iconic Cathedral of Learning. Evidently, it isn't. Even if Molson wasn't in the photo, that's unmistakably the Pont Jacques-Cartier and Ile Ste.-Helene, two great things about Montreal. The fireworks look like they're going off from La Ronde. Thank you, merci, efharisto, and belated Happy Canada Day to you, frogger, and other C&G members from Canada.
  5. Happy Fourth of July, C&G folks ... wherever you may be ... And, last but not least, C&G's headquarters: Have a great holiday weekend!
  6. I would have never thought that until it went FWD. Thank you. So, even when RWD, it was an X body. I vaguely remember all the FWDs GMs on this chassis had 2.5L Iron Dukes and the rudimentary 2.8 V6s, if I'm not mistaken. Neither engine was in it for the long haul, with each plagued by expensive issues after time. What a difference a year could make. If you got the '77 model with a 231 c.i., you got an "odd firing" one. If you got next year's model, you got an "even firing" one. I have no idea what the longevity of carbureted 231 c.i. engines of that decade was. I had one in the '80s and it surpassed 170,000 miles, only coughing up a timing chain along the way. With it being a non-interference engine, the valvetrain suffered no damage.
  7. Very cool. I'm guessing this is a Pontiac Phoenix ... '77 to '79 ... most likely with the base engine. Its predecessor, the Ventura, which used that platform (with leaf spring rear suspension ... don't know the letter code) had nicer frontal styling in '75 and '76. I thought its engine lineup was almost better, too. I think PMD was a little misdirected on what to do with the styling of these last few Phoenix years. Of the foursome sharing this platform, the Ventura got my nod, followed by the Omega, provided both of them had nice trim levels. Yesterday, I was traveling down the freeway and a dark brown metallic LaCrosse SUPER passed me up. It had the canted front grille, so it was either a 2008 or a 2009. The dudes in it had their windows down and were rocking out to some music. At any rate, I hadn't seen a Super in about a year. It would be interesting to know how many Supers (5.3L V8) were produced in their V8 years compared to CXs and CXLs.
  8. The impact on housing prices has been negligible. I'm one of those people who loves looking at the R.E. sites. Anyway, check out these HIGH gas prices ... ... and check out that mint Buick Skylark coupe ... for sale ... see sign in rear window! This was around Christmas 2013 and in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, which was once mostly Nordic and working class and, in the last few decades, became very in demand and full of new condos, like the complex beyond. Its balconies and windows would have a view of the either the Ballard Locks or the Ship Canal.
  9. Don't be so hasty to throw away old hardware. I knocked over a cordless pod on my desk, it barely tapped the side of my monitor, but didn't detach any of the wiring. I then noticed it wasn't working. At any rate, an HP monitor from 2009 just rescued one that is one or two years old. I've got a smaller screen and I'll examine the newer one when I have time, but at least I'm back and running. Any wonder if I am hanging onto my cast iron block / cast iron block 3800 V6 engine?
  10. As for the economic contraction, I'm not seeing much of an immediate one. It was really quiet outside from mid-March to mid-May and now the roads seem the same again. I think the contraction will be delayed. I have no idea as to how much and how long. Didn't take enough econ courses for that ... and am glad I did not! Unbelievable tonight. Crazy. I try to support places that are in developments to repurpose previously blighted areas. I was driving by one of these developments tonight and went in for dinner. It was almost empty. It took 1:10 minutes from when I ordered for my meal to arrive. Before it did, the waitress did tell me it would be free. It was at a known chain restaurant ... about $ 11 worth of food. I still gave her $ 3. The last few times I've gone into this place, and I sit by the windows to keep an eye on my car, the service has been quick and the food has been decent. Not sure if the free meal was worth the wait while I played with my phone for over an hour. I think most people would have walked out after eating and not tipped. I don't think it was her fault.
  11. Those are at the higher price points and I haven't seen reviews on them. The base LE is about $25,000, which is a decent price. I believe the rental was one grade up. I think one always has to pencil the cost differential versus the fuel savings over the period they intend to own the car. If it's about something else, like not contributing to GHG, then one doesn't need to take out the pencil.
  12. Photos: 1. The Toyota Rav4 at a roadside pull out 2. The overall interior environment upon entering; I'm not digging on the urethane steering wheel, nor its controls 3. The fairly firm and supportive front bucket seats, durable looking cloth fabric, headrests for which I haven't decided on their ergonomics, and a large storage area inside the center console 4. The overhead cabin light is more easily adjusted from the rear seat; the tonneau cover hides what you have in the storage area well 5. This is what the rearward view looks like from the driver's seat looks like; the seating area for those in the rear seats is very generous 6. The two main bezels make sense but other automakers have displayed the info in the middle in more logical groupings and colors, even the last-gen Ford Focus 7. Those two knobs were hilarious and the grooves in them look sort of dumb. Hey, I've found the radio! NOT. Those are temperature adjustments, and then some. I meant to mention that, while the air blows out of the center vents very well, the flow is weaker from the side vents ... even weaker than in the older domestic cars I've had. The "laptop left open" infotainment that is ubiquitous these days is up above the center stack. (Some of you probably wouldn't like the music I was streaming.) 8. These are the window and lock controls in the door armrest. There is another cup holder below, with a map pocket. 9. The height of the console is good relative to the seating position and the seating position is also good. You have cars, such as the now departed last-gen LaCrosse and which are favored by more mature people, where the console height has the drivers sitting in there like astronauts ... not so here. 10. The drive mode buttons are conveniently placed, as is the parking brake control, right above them. 11. One of the better vantage points for the Toyota Rav 4 - - - - - End of photos
  13. I had reserved a mid-size car. I would have it for a week. I arrived to pick up the rental and there were no cars that I could see. The gentleman helping me pointed to either a Toyota Rav 4 or a Nissan Rogue. I did see a Malibu and a Fusion parked further away, and asked if I could have those instead. I was told that one had a mechanical issue that needed fixing and the other one was already assigned. I looked at the 2 vehicles available and focused on how well the luggage area was covered. I picked the Toyota Rav 4. I see the reviews bill it as a "cross over SUV." The interior and the controls took some getting used to. It's very different from a domestic vehicle, or even other Japanese vehicles and Toyota passenger cars. The first things you notice is that the ride is controlled, the transmission shifts almost imperceptibly, and the steering is light. One review called it vague. I didn't think it was vague. The lightness in the steering proved to be useful in parking lot maneuvers. You can talk about ride, but have sound abatement be a different subject. You can talk about a transmission within a power train and, again, have the engine be a different animal. The ride was smooth and mostly unruffled but the noise control wasn't all that it could have been, especially when throttled. In most cases, the Toyota 2.5L inline 4 cylinder engine functioned competently for this hefty enough vehicle but, depending on the load or the incline, could be a little unpredictable. Most of the use was on the interstate with the adaptive cruise control engaged, but there were a few situations where I had to merge quickly or pass at highway speeds. It seems that the engine was more responsive for low speed passes than for high speed passes. The pedal is also light and, a few times, I felt it go the length of its travel. I've only experienced this once before, and it was in a much smaller Mazda 3. The interior was a mix of pluses and minuses. The pluses were the roominess, usefulness, and toughness of the materials, specifically the fabric in the seats. It looked like they were built to endure a lot of wear. The rear seat legroom was extensive and the trunk area, under a tonneau cover, was spacious. I did not care for the dashboard. Until I got used to it, these two large knobs in the center stack said radio "tuning." I turned the one to the left and it was the temperature control for the driver! Tuning and such was up higher, in or near the infotainment screen. It, too, was a little busier than I would have liked. I thought the steering wheel remote controls for audio and cruise control were also small and I sometimes missed making the intended adjustments. The adjustment for the interior light was not easy. I tried reaching back and found that it was easier to do than from the rear seat. Perhaps there was a control up front and I didn't see it. The location of the power window switches was different than what I'm used to. I often hit the buttons for the rear windows instead. I also did not like the graphics and displays in the main IP pods. I bring up these ergonomics because, even though I'm not a CUV/SUV customer and prefer sedans, or coupes, I've sat in similarly sized GMC and Chevrolet products at auto shows where the proportions, features, and finishes in the cabin, on the dashboard, and on the console were more pleasing to the eye, the touch, and eventual use. As for the electronics, they worked extremely well. The adaptive cruise control was overly sensitive and that proved to be a good thing. If behind a truck keeping a speed lower than posted, the sensation of decelerating really gave the driver an idea of who's doing what. The BSM (haha, I'm almost sure that means Blind Spot Monitor, ) was also very useful and seems to read the speed and trajectory of adjacent vehicles to light up at just the right time. Given the thickness of the rear pillars, I used the exterior mirrors and the BSM features to help me change lanes more than I would have liked. I prefer to rely much more on the old fashioned way of turning my head and looking. However, the Rav4 has thick rear pillars. Fortunately, I did not drive it much in any place resembling congested urban areas.The rear camera was large and useful. The different modes to use the drivetrain (eco, sport, etc.) were well marked and located on the console. In terms of its exterior, the front grille is overwrought, but then Toyota and Lexus are related. The side views are a little more angular than I like. The best views of this vehicle are the rear 3/4 view and the direct rear view. The fuel economy was commendable and, with 8 gears in the automatic transmission, the Rav4 could pull in 34 mpg going 65 or 70 mph, and with the air conditioning on. In other bigger cars, such as rented Dodge Chargers, I've had to baby them (set cruise at 63 and turn off the A/C) to get 31 mpg. Most of the professional review outfits look very favorably on the Toyota Rav4. I'm more in line with what KBB consumers think of the vehicle. They rate it at about 3.5/5. I'll save the best for last. I wasn't crazy about the decibel level in the cabin under throttle, the visibility to the outside looking rearward, and the layout and trim of the dashboard, controls, and doors. However, I liked the ride quality, the steering ease which still communicated what was going on, and the fuel economy the Rav4 could attain. I almost "loved" the automatic transmission and its shift quality. The Rav4 is also a good value for the price point and its legendary Toyota reliability, with base models having stickers in the mid $20Ks. - - - - - Photos forthcoming
  14. What? I wonder if the etymology of a "Gino" - the Canadian equivalent of a "Guido" - was a result of Gino Vannelli or was coined before his time in the limelight. You most likely have heard his music on the radio: Gino and William Shatner are both graduates of McGill Univ. That's impressive. His trademark mane of hair is extremely time stamped. Even humorous - both then and now.
  15. Can I say "deuce and a quarter" or has that joined the ranks of off-limits? *sigh* Because I loved "deuce and a quarters" that were outfitted right. Would have kept driving this sled instead of the GMC but the GMC was obviously new. Still prefer the Pontiac full-size coupe among the GM stablemates of that same year. If you think about it, Buick was clever in that the number of ventiports told you how many cylinders were on that "side" of the car.
  16. I don't do beer. Never acquired a taste for it. That said, Leavenworth, WA is indeed a cute town. Have been about 3 to 5 times. I have typically eaten the German comfort food, pastries, chocolates, and those sorts of things. And, whichever route you choose to get there, the drive to and and fro is also beautiful. Speaking of food, I went to a buffet today. A first ... on the first. I had a feeling that they would be doing the serving and have face masks and gloves. Fine with me. I'm all about choosing which items I want and to come back if I want more! There were paper cups for coffee/tea and plastic cups for soft drinks, juices, etc. Seats were spaced further apart. You could tell the employees were happy to be back at work. I left the lady a respectable cash tip. I have not been to a buffet in 5 months, so it knocked the wind out of me. I had to lay down!
  17. * just saw an anti-theft banner ad for certain types of catalytic converters * It's amazing to think that, for U.S. cars, the 2020 model year marks 45 years of the inclusion of a catalytic converter.
  18. And I've never been over there. I've just heard about it from exchange students or travelers who have seen this. So I guess it's true. And, damn, it's even funnier when their grammar is quite a ways off!
  19. In doing some photo organizing, I found this. (Someone once told me that, in Japan, "young" people wear t-shirts with some random English word on them, just to have something in English on their t-shirt. Whatever floats your boat.) You can see some random things in Europe, too, and here's a fairly goofy choice of words I saw on a Smart for Two in Sicily. This would be funny to most Anglophones.
  20. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I need to look at the birthday list regularly. You are joined by another member, Esther, who never posted a damn thing. (Happy birthday to Esther, too.) About the long, strange trip ... ain't that the truth? I can't believe some of the places I've lived, some of the schools I've attended (and even graduated from), some of the places I've worked, some of the people I've known, and some of the places I've traveled to. "Long, strange trip" might be a way to put it mildly. And many more to you.
  21. Dogs have one challenge we don't have. There are 10 pound dogs. Then there are 100 pound dogs. There are 200 pound people. But there are no 2,000 pound people ... that I'm aware of. Mostly, I've had negative experiences with chihuahuas and dachsunds. If I've known people who have owned them, these dogs didn't warm up to their guests. If you see them in shopping carts or in parked cars, they let you know their displeasure. Most Maltese and Havanese dogs (small) I've been around are friendly. It's medium sized and large dogs that are more amenable to letting people interact with them, from what I've seen. When people take these kinds of dogs to tourist sites or state parks, they seem happy to be around strangers and, based on their body language and asking their owners, you may be able to pet them. It's also based on breed. I don't think anyone knows a mean Labrador Retriever. The Belgian Sheepdog lines (Malinois, etc.) are not especially friendly among the herding/working dog breeds. I give Pit Bills and Rottweilers plenty of space, to be on the safe side. Very small dogs know they're small. That's why, when selecting a dog to own, you have to vet the breeds to find the one that's right for you or your family. Don't be punting any dogs, now.
  22. I know it's not a '76, but wasn't that GM metallic lime green that year a great color? Especially when they put in white bucket seats and the dash / console / seat belts / carpeting were also sort of a lime color? We'll never see that in a mass production domestic vehicle again. It lasted just one year. The following year, GM flipped over to a pale mint green for their interiors and trim options.
  23. Just my guess, they look like they could snap at someone they didn't know who might try to pet them. As for National Take Your Dog to Work Day, and assuming it's widespread, I wonder if any psychology or business faculty has studied how much work really gets done in places that go through with it. I'd be wanting to visit with people's dogs. So, if it's a large employer, one might as well add it to the roster of annual holidays (Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.)
  24. I was checking out automotive websites yesterday, on the hunt for any news of an impending Dodge Charger redesign. Somehow, I find myself at the Chrysler site. And, to my surprise, the Chrysler 300 is present this year. I was surprised to see that. I thought it would be gone by now. Has the discontinuation of the 300 been confirmed? In print? In looking at the "gallery" photos for 2020: what a fine looking interior environment. Nice! It would be great if they kept both the Charger and the 300 going with the next refresh, but I doubt that will happen. Still tapping my fingers for any news to break ...

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