Archive for the ‘Commuting’ Category

On the Dotted Line…

It shows how little I get out these days (thanks 18 month old who hates driving in the car!) that when driving to Huntington Beach via the 55, I noticed that for all intents and purposes, the entire carpool lane is now what I will dub an “In N’ Out.”  I’m sure there is some official name for them, but I attempted to Google it and am too lazy to research for more than five minutes.  If you have a lot of time on your hands, feel free to find out and let me know in the comments!

So instead of those nasty double yellow lines we’ve got dotted white ones pretty much all the way through. 

I love being able to go around the 87 year old set of grandparents (bless their hearts) who are going 62 mph on cruise control, instead of having to fume behind them for a couple of miles.

Everybody wins!

Now if only all of the HOV lanes could be like that. 

I mean, Arizona has In N’ Out carpool lanes, for chrissakes.  And when Arizona has managed to one-up us, then we know we are way behind the times.

Tesla Motors Open in Newport Beach: Amazing “Shock” of a Ride

This post comes courtesy of former OC Metblogger Mike at Mike’s Daily Lockup.  Enjoy!

Electric cars have come a long way, but one company still leads the pack when it comes to pure electric vehicles. That company is Tesla Motors.

Today, I had the opportunity to visit one of Tesla’s newest stores inNewport Beach. In a place like Orange County, where we don’t have to worry about 12 inches of snow, most of our worries are over traffic and where we left our sunglasses. Newport Beach is a great location for Tesla to have a store, right on the water, not far from Fashion Island, and close to the innovative companies headquartered nearby in Irvine. Tesla doesn’t call them dealerships, but uses the term stores, as they are more then just a place to purchase a car. They welcome the public to come and visit and to learn more about electric vehicles. Walking in to the store, you’re greeted by a clean and crisp showroom with the Tesla Roadster 2.5 and the Roadster Sport 2.5 presented in the middle. The maintenance bays are surrounded by glass and are visible from all angles (missing the noticeable stains of grease and oil that one would find in a high school auto shop). If you treat your roadster right the only time it will ever see these bays is for the once yearly check and every ten to replace the battery pack. In addition to the services at the dealer, for those of us who live busy lives, Tesla will come to you for servicing of your roadster and will work with your electric company to install a high-power wall charger (similar to a high power outlet for a dryer) for you to “top-off” your roadster with electricity.

Since one of my favorite shows is Top Gear, let’s talk numbers. The Tesla Roadster 2.5 and the Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5 both only have 12 moving parts. That’s right 12, that last line was not a typo (you can even fact check it here). I can say from a test drive that 12 moving parts was more then enough to fling my athletically-average American male body down the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), slingshot it through Laguna Canyon, and then back up PCH, but more on that later. Both of the Roadsters are a marvel of modern engineering, but the third generation on display today is even better.

Right, so you want numbers, the motor kicks out the gasoline equivalent of 248 horsepower and 276 foot-pounds of torque, which powers the rear wheels via a single-speed direct-drive transmission. The Roadster Sport has 288 horsepower and 295 foot-pounds of torque. All of this equals a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds in the Roadster and 3.7 seconds in the Roadster Sport. Trust me, it was more then enough to beat a gas-powered Lotus off the light near Fashion Island, but more on the test drive in a bit.

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ZOMG! 2.5 Bil for High Speed Rail from Anaheim to SF

The ZOMG is actually more in reference to the giddiness I would feel at being able to hop on a train/monorail/whatever the hell they come up with and be in SF in something under three hours.

2.5 billion sounds impressive until you hear the figure the entire project is supposed to cost, which is somewhere in the realm of 42 billion.  Even if California matches dollar for dollar the federal money they receive, it’s still a paltry amount compared to the final total.  And uh, last time I checked, the state has a pretty gnarly deficit.

We’ve got a long way to go, apparently.

Traffic Nightmare in Laguna Beach

Did anyone else get stuck in this mess this morning? It took me an hour and five minutes to go about 15 miles (Dana Point to Fashion Island). Needless to say I was 45 minutes late for my dentist appointment. If you need to travel on PCH you may want to check to see if the police have reopened the road.

Update 7:05 p.m.: Sorry if this came across as crass, totally not my intent. I was trying to be informative about the length of delay and to give those of you who may have needed to be on PCH earlier this afternoon a heads up. Obviously this was a very serious situation and I’m glad no innocent bystanders were injured.

Metrolink FTL

You guys remember a while back when I posted about my awesome trip to The Valley aboard the Metrolink? I even had another one just a couple months ago where I utilized the Gold Line to Pasadena! Both trips were fairly easy and made it so I didn’t have to drive through traffic. However, I had to plan a few days ahead of time, because as I’ve mentioned, Metrolink doesn’t exactly have a “regular” schedule. Well today Metrolink let me down not once, but twice.

To hear the reason, just follow the jump… (more…)

Life is Short. Save Time & Fly From OC to Hawaii!

Well, it’s been a while since I had anything constructive to say, school work and a record streak of posting in August and September nearly killed me (and you I suspect). Well your reprieve is over and I’m back baby! Buckle your seat-belts because it’s going to be a bumpy ride flight.

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Paid be to Allah because Continental Airlines will start non-stop service from Orange County to Honolulu beginning March 7! Hooray! Here’s one less reason to go to LAX. After Aloha Air went belly-up a while back i figured I was going to have to trudge up north to catch a flight to paradise but now Continental is here to save the day.

Will you be traveling on Continental’s new schedule? It’s almost enough to make me switch my frequent flyer program.

Squat Tawny Squat

See what happens when I leave town for a week? Tawny Kitaen was arrested in Newport Beach on Saturday for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKTiwCez6Zs[/youtube]

Kitaen was arrested at about 3 PM (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere) and should be booking her next stay in Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew any moment now.

A Taurus To Save Them All?

If you’re anything like me, then even the mention of the Ford Taurus leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I understand what the Taurus did for Ford and how many people absolutely loved it, but for me, I wasn’t sad to see it leave the fleet several years ago. Now however, it’s back. And I have to admit, it’s better than I could have ever imagined.

Can it really make up for it's past??

Can it really make up for it's past??


There’s a lot more info and pictures here: (more…)

Classic Car Show

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Did you know that every Tuesday the Fuddrucker’s in Lake Forest (the one on El Toro) has a car show?

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I didn’t.  I just happened to be driving by when I saw these gorgeous specimens in the parking lot.

Oh how I love Classic Cars.  They make me daydream, they make me fantasize, they make me coo softly to them. 

I whisper sweet nothings into their grills. 

See more of what made me melt after the jump…

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Basic Train-ing

Last Saturday, I was to meet my wife in Burbank in the afternoon, so we could go out in L.A. The problem was she already had a car, so if I drove, we’d have to take 2 cars home. I could have driven her up there at 7am, but who wants to do that? Luckily, Metrolink had a few trains running, several of which would get me up to L.A. right at about 4 o’ clock, which is when she would be done! I saw this as a nice opportunity to document what worked and what didn’t for those of you who may be a little weary of the trains. I made a video for your viewing pleasure. Here are a few things to note about the trains and the video before you watch:
-I’m sorry the walking bits are so shaky. It’s not easy to hold the camera steady when you’re rushing to catch the trains.
-Once you figure out how to read the train schedule, it’s fairly simple to figure out connections and the like, but there is definitely a bigger learning curve to Metrolink than say, New York MTA.
-The trains are NOT marked! The first time I attempted Metrolink travel I ended up on my way to the I.E. instead of Los Angeles! If there are trains departing just minutes from each other, ask the other riders around you to make sure the one at the station is the right one.
-Union Station need to label the trains better. According to the schedule online, my train to Burbank ended in Burbank, yet it was labeled the Lancaster train! I just made my train by literally less than a minute. I’m sure trains have been missed because of the same problem.
-Remember, if you plan to leave for home after around 7pm, don’t plan on the train. They don’t run at night.

And now, the video:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NR2-QbuOHs[/youtube]

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