2007-02-11

Random snippets

Watched Invincible this weekend. Good sports movie that has all of the typical feel-good elements that a sports movie has. I believe that it was well executed. If you like this kind of movie, you won't be disappointed.

Since I don't have any sort of entertainment connection aside from my DSL connection, I am often behind the times when it comes to the stuff I'm interested in. The British car show Top Gear did a segment on the Bugatti Veyron, arguably one of the fastest production cars ever. They've had 2 segments concerning this vehicle, the first a courier race between the aforementioned car and a private aircraft delivering a package from Alba, Italy to London, UK. My understanding is that the man driving the Veyron won handily.

The second, and much more interesting (in my opinion) segment that they did was testing the claimed top speed of the vehicle. Sucessfully. Roughly 250 miles per hour. Faster than most purpose built racing vehicles. The video above is a copy of that segment. It's rather impressive.

I caught this from Stumble Upon, which is one of the most informative time-wasters on the net, second only to Wikipedia. I've found more interesting car wallpaper and tech data that's good for my current job with StumbleUpon than I have with any other tool. It's available for IE and Firefox, so there's really no excuse to not at least try it.

I finally had to replace the mainboard on my game rig, as it had succumbed to the failing caps that it was using. I had played around with doing a full system upgrade, but decided that I need to replace my daily driver before I do that, (I'm looking for a Miata BTW. Closest thing you can get to a rear drive sports car that's affordable and fun to drive, in my opinion. The Mustang is a Pony car, and it's solid rear axle, while charming, moves it out of the sports car category. Ditto the Camero. But I digress...) as it is the second tool in my toolkit for work, the first being my brain. I managed to find a derivative board of the original for $90 delivered. Kind of expensive, considering that it's still a Socket A mainboard, with AGP video bus, but I suspect it will be as reliable as it's predecessor. Hopefully, moreso if the capacitor problem has been worked out.

The Maxima is doing allright, considering. It's getting time to replace a bunch of stuff on it, tho. The outer CV joints on both axles are shot. The only thing holding up the right front corner is the spring, as the strut is toast. These are just the pressing issues that need to be resolved, not including the rest of the work (AC, power seat belt motor intermittent, power steering, oil and transmission leaks... the list goes on) that it would take to make it a nice vehicle to drive again. My boss questions my sanity in driving it as a daily, but doesn't give me too much static about it. He did volunteer his wife's car for me to drive on a south Florida run because of the car, tho.

His wife drives a 2006 Mini Cooper S convertible. Shortly, it's a mixed bag. I don't think I could justify spending the coin on it, but the experience might be different with the hard top version.

The S motor is fairly potent. Coupled with the 6 speed auto, it's enough for you to know that it has the muscle to push the "little" (in parentheses due to it's curb weight of over 3000 pounds) car around with authority, even if it does have the 4 cylinder whine behind it.

The transmission has nice close ratios, and the bump-shift option makes an acceptable substitute for a clutch. I still think that a real clutch would make the vehicle launch much better.

The convertible top up makes it nearly impossible to see anything on the right side of the vehicle, even with mirrors adjusted. I lost a vehicle in that corner while passing it on the interstate. It has the usual complaints about convertibles (loud while the top's up, wind noise, blah blah blah), and I suppose the massive blind spot comes with the territory, but it's an awful price to pay in my opinion. The blind spot problem goes away with the top down, and the rest just fades, as you get the idea behind a convertible, but using it for a daily... I think I'd go mad. If it was a weekend car, or something that I just tracked with the top down, I think I'd overlook all of these problems. It's just too expensive to have as a "fun" car, tho.

I do like the cheeky sticker that's on the convertible top's button guard. I need to take a photo of it, but it says something to the effect of "Is it necessary to put the top up? Be honest." I felt that it was hilarious, if incongruous (It is made by BMW, after all) statement that was in the car.

Not that I was considering this as a replacement vehicle anyway, but it was just something that crossed my mind while I was typing here... So sue me, I'm a stream-of-consciousness writer.

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