Tesla Model S

There is a myth out there that says, “Electric cars will either be prohibitively expensive, small, short ranged, or ugly, and will take forever to become practical mainstream vehicles.”

Well, Tesla Motors has been producing electric cars for years now. While many other upstart electric auto manufacturers (mainstream, not golf carts) have come and gone under the financial pressures associated with bringing an electric vehicle to the consumer at large, Tesla has been fine tuning its business relationships, buying factories, and debugging its initial test base, the Tesla Roadster (an electrified Lotus Elise). It’s been successful in doing it too!

Photo of the Tesla Model S, from the unveiling...

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So successful, in fact, that Tesla found resources to develop an additional model. That model is the Tesla S. It will be hitting showrooms in 2012.

While the Tesla Roadster was that small, expensive electric vehicle that everybody uses as justification in ignoring the “electric revolution”, the Tesla S is different. It is more main stream in design and is a larger, 4 door electric vehicle. It is also not prohibitively expensive. In fact, its price point is on par with luxury sedans out in the market now, such as Cadillac, Lexus, BMW, etc..

Watch this video for a better perspective on the Tesla S.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JUFfk7GxEuw

Hybrids have been paving the way in changing the psyche of American car buying public for years now. The combustion engine is not the exclusive offering the United States anymore. Electric cars, once ignored, are also now gaining ground in the American market. But, the electrics that have been introduced so far by the mainline manufacturers have left the public wanting,… wanting lower pricing, more space, more range, or a more aesthetically pleasing design.

The Tesla Model S is an elegant 4 door car and less pricey than the Tesla Roadster thanks to improvements in technology and supplier relationships. It’s range is 160 miles (options are available for longer ranges). Pricing comes in at $49,900 (after U.S. Federal Tax Credit). AND,… it’s fast! Times for 0-60 are listed at 5.6 seconds. A future performance model will lower that time closely resembling sports cars.

As the Tesla S starts selling, more development money will come in to Elon Musk, the owner, which in turn will aid in bringing other models to the Tesla line at even lower price points.

You can find another story about the unveiling of the car here.

Although it has been a long haul for Elon Musk, one that almost brought him to financial ruins, he has made a strong case for the beginning of electric car acceptance by the car buying public. In fact, the mainstream vehicle line-up of many manufacturers may include several electric models in the near future thanks to the efforts of Tesla Motors. So, now you will understand when I say electric cars are not as prohibitively expensive anymore,… and are becoming practical mainstream vehicles.

Bring Back The Hat!

Screenshot of Humphrey Bogart from the trailer...

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I have long believed that the hats need a resurgence. Not just any hats, but manly elegant hats. Baseball caps and infantry caps are everywhere. But the elegant hat is a thing of beauty and must be thoughtfully decided upon.

For many years I collected baseball caps. But, as I have matured so have my tastes in hats. Baseball hats are good for going to the game. But, what if you wear suits more often that you get the chance to go to the game? What’s appropriate then for the aging and slightly thinning hair on the man’s head?

This conundrum stirred me to learn something about different styles of hats. I learned about Fedoras, Pork Pies, Derbies, Top Hats, etc…

I currently have a a brown leather Fedora – think Humphrey Bogart. I’m thinking of adding another fine hat. I’m leaning towards a Newsboy or Ivy Cap.

Here’s a good place to learn about different styles of hats. Here’s an interesting article regarding the history of hats.

Fire Ben!

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The Super Bowl winning quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers needs to be fired! He is consistantly not performing.

He did well in years past because of the support around him. Now, however, his front line has injuries mixed with newbies that are still learning their way in professional football. Now that Ben does not have as many of the seasoned vets around him reality is hitting Pittsburgh – Ben Rothlisberger is not a good quarterback.

The Most Beautiful Military Aircraft Ever Made

F-14 Tomcat, an example of a variable-geometry...

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Picture courtesy of militaryphotos.net

In my honest opinion, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat was the most beautiful aircraft ever made.

It’s was a twin engine, twin tail, variable sweep wing fighter aircraft, for two (the Pilot and his EO- Electronics Officer or RIO – Radar Intelligence Officer) and a creative masterpiece.
The variable geometry wings (sweep wings) added drag by providing the extra wing surface needed for take offs and landings. When the wings were swept back the F14 Tomcat was a thinner vehicle and better able to reach supersonic speeds. Some say in swept wing mode the Tomcat could reach over Mach 2 with its twin Pratt and Whitney engines.
Grumman won the contract to produce the F-14 in 1969. It was continually modified over the years since then for different missions. It was eventually retired in 2006.
Hernandiesel’s Encounter With the F14:
My dad was in the NAVY way back when. That’s when I fell in love with the aircraft. My mom and I would go on base to pick my dad up and we would pull up near a hangar. These planes were around and caught the eye of the Hernandiesel. It’s profile and silouette were awe inspiring to me.
Then came the Top Gun movie in 1986. In it, Tom Cruise’s character, Pete Mitchell, piloted one of these machines. The scenes of this plane in action sealed the deal. I was one struck puppy.

The Search Is On!!

Picture courtesy of Autoblog.com

Back in 1977 there was a “Star Wars Space Fantasy Sweepstakes”. The Grand Prize winner won an amazing car, the Official Star Wars Celica.

The car was a 1977 Toyota Celica Liftback GT and it is now missing. Records of ownership have long since dissappeared, as has the car. But, somebody is looking for it.

You can find the stories about the search here at these two sites: http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2011/09/23/1977-star-wars-celica-have-you-seen-this-car/#more-6945

And here: http://www.autoblog.com/2011/10/01/the-hunt-is-on-for-an-official-1977-star-wars-toyota-celica/

I’m Fat

Mid drive fluid motion quantum elliptical trai...

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I’m not being hard on myself when I say, “I’m fat”. I’m just acknowledging reality. I need to lose 100 pounds to be the skinnier me I prefer. It’s a struggle. But, I don’t give up. In the meantime, I do my best to make fat look awesome!

Calorie Counting – Been there, done that. Too much of a pain to keep track. Even if I do keep track, then I’m constantly hungry because I’ve reached the limit for each meal. Being constantly hungry makes me grumpy. I don’t like being grumpy.

Adkins – Been there, done that too. It’s a little pricier buying so much meat. But, I enjoy meat so much that this was somewhat of a success,… until it wasn’t. I lost 30 lbs immediately and then plateued for months. Then I got bored since I didn’t have any further progress with it. I did like, however, that it opened up my understanding that eating healthier had to be a lifestyle choice and not a “diet”.

The Plate – Tried this too. Unfortunately, it was too close to the Holidays when I tried it. So, it didn’t last long. I should try sticking to the plate again, right after the brownie.

Exercise – This should be done (if doctor approved) with any kind of healthier eating plan. But, I’m just to busy. If I’m not busy, I am unable to afford a gym membership or a discounted membership to the local YMCA. I’m not against exercising. In fact, I enjoy it. It’s just that buying equipment for the home or signing up for a membership somewhere is not in my budget (feeding the kids and doing house repairs are barely there). I am thinking of getting a bicycle,… just as soon as winter’s over. Wait,… Fall only just started! All the same,… I’m keeping an eye out at Yard Sales.

The Kindle Fire from Amazon

Amazon launched the Kindle Fire a new reader, at a strong price point last week. It will begin filling shelves November 15, 2011, but pre-orders are already being taken for the $199 gadget. Accessories are also available for the Kindle Fire at this time on the Amazon site.

The Kindle Fire could become Apple’s IPads strongest competition. Although it is still not considered a tablet computer, the Kindle Fire has a multitouch 7 inch color display, a dual core processor, a hybrid Android operating system, runs flash, and will have access to books, movies, TV shows, music, apps, and games. With so much capability, the Kindle Fire may have just blurred the line between reader and tablet computers such as the portlier IPad.

Many that had been holding off on getting  Apple’s IPad due to financial concerns are suddenly thrust back into the possibility of getting a new gadget for Christmas. The $199 price point for the Kindle Fire is a lot more reachable by the non-Applegeek types who feel a small tablet like device is the way of the future but just can’t afford the current IPad (that is a few hundred dollars more).

The stock market also seemed to like the news of the Kindle Fire launch. It had a shortlived morning rally that day in a market atmosphere mixed with fears of global recession.