Monday, February 13, 2017

Time for another weekend ?


Lots of driving over the weekend. So much so, that I actually had to refill the petrol in the car that I picked up on Friday.
I don't have those. Yet.

Let's see ... pick up the car on Friday, back to Bristol and chill out for a bit (while checking out as many systems on board as possible). Wait 30 minutes on hold to Esure* to update the insurance before the chill out and then head up norf to go see the mum and dad.

(I will not be insuring with them again this year, an automated attempt at a survey plus that long wait is putting paid to that)

No Ben this time around. Definitely missing the old fella, especially with the little sounds that happen around houses. Are they house noises ? Or are they the little click and clack of paw claws on the ground. Things like that remind of what's missing. But it was the old fella's time to leave, he'd lost all of his energy and was having to take himself off for sleeps after only a couple of minutes of activity. Mum and dad were saying he'd lost all interest in walks and food. If they have lost all interest in life and they are obviously in pain, that's the time to let our furry friends go.

To other things !

It's always good to see the mum and dad, plus also good to see the sister and the Double D boys. Only one of them this weekend as we met up for munchies yesterday. I think Saturday's munchies were better.
I do apologise if my vegetarian readers had to take themselves off somewhere on seeing that :-). It was tastier than it looks and a bit bigger than expected too. All good steak too with none of the gristle that often mars steak. It's from a farm shop place near Sleaford, will give you the name if you want it. I'm currently munching on a bon bon from there.

I may have a bon bon addiction problem.

Oh and that wine was very tasty too. That's another potential addiction problem that I'm going to try and steer well clear of. I've found myself thinking about having the wine at home. I'm usually teetotal or close to it. I will not drink if I'll be driving soon. I don't drink at home because it would be a bad habit to get into. But it does taste good.

No. I'll stay with the diet coke/pepsi and irn bru, plus water.

I don't tend to talk about the family too much here (it's behind the privacy wall) but they're still doing pretty good. Dad's getting stronger after problems last year and the mum is healthy too.

How did the car do in its first weekend ?

It's as if they listed all of the criticisms of the Mk1 and fixed them for the Mk2, although there are a couple of features missing (beyond the different spec list) that I'd have liked to see retained. A couple ? I can think of one at the moment (in a bit).

The thing I look for most in a car is how it goes around corners. The CT was on rails, the last IS, not really so much. It's as if you had to drag it around corners, it was far more comfortable on the motorways than it was whizzing around the corners. The latest one is much better. There are a couple of corners near where the parents live that I treat kind of like reference corners. They're fast, sweeping bends and they'll test how good the road holding is. As in, they're tighter than motorway or most major road bends, so you're kinda hanging on when you take them at 70mph. Or 60. The new IS didn't really notice the main two, whereas the old one was asking me to slow down.

I was a bit sad that my own personal Eau Rouge corner (it's on the Spa Grand Prix circuit, a very fast sequence in a dip where the suspension compresses as you take the corner) was blocked by numpties turning off the road at that point. Boo hiss and no fun to them.

Sat nav is different - it's an odd one to advise people to have in a car but if it's free and comes as part of an infotainment system, then hopefully it's a good one. The mouse thingy of the last car has gone, replaced by a dial. I preferred the mouse thingy. The sat nav has got a mode back where it shows a big graphic on motorway exits and major roundabouts. I really like that and it seemed to have disappeared from the last car (I think I enabled a setting that disabled the big graphic).

New seats !

I have seat heaters again. I'd missed these, they're great on cold winter days, especially if you have a bad back. The comments from the weekend were that the seats were much improved, although I suspect that revamped rear suspension has something to do with that. When I travelled in the back of a car, it was quite disconcerting in some cars as you felt like you were sliding more than the car.

Drive by wire - apart from steering, the hybrids are drive by wire. You have the throttle and brake but these are linked to electronics rather than the carburettors or air intakes or brake cylinders of conventional cars. This has got better too, I used to avoid using Normal driving mode in town because the car would kangaroo hop into traffic lights as the drive by wire got confused as to whether it should be using mechanical brake or electronic brake. That's gone now, all sorted.

I can't think of much more ! Oh - Radar cruise control - bit weird but very nice. Lane Departure Warning System - nice for motorways, nasty for town (because it tries to steer you back into the parked cars you are crossing to lane to avoid).

I did take it out again today up to Cheltenham and back (I was a numpty on Friday and forgot one of the keys) but was too tired to want to stick around. I had thought about sitting in the cinema in Cheltenham with a bucket of popcorn but nothing suitable on at the right time. Oh well.

Promising films at the moment - Lego Batman : YES, The Great Wall - looking forward to it, John Wick 2 - interesting and I think there are a couple more too.

Chill out time for me now though. Back to work tomorrow and my brain still feels fried.

One last thought though ... the name.

Every car needs a name. Potentials at the moment are :

Ivy - because the Grey Ghost had the Voice of Moobot and Ivy took over from Moobot.
Kirk - because the last car made me think of Benedict Cumberbatch's character in Star Trek Into Darkness with the quote "Because I'm better", with the "better" sounding like he was spitting venom. Well, Kirk beat the "better" guy in every way ! So Kirk is a potential name.

Ahhh ... I think I got it.
There was an American aircraft carrier in World War 2 called USS Enterprise, nicknamed the Grey Ghost. It gave its name to a certain starship commanded by Mr James T Kirk ... and the starship that replaced it was NCC 1701 Alpha.

Grey Ghost 2 may well be called : Alpha.

Wotcha think ?

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