I have a lot of crazy interests, including the following:
Cars -- Over the years, I've owned some interesting
1969 Camaro (SS, RS) -- Possibly one of the finest of the "Detroit
Iron" pony cars, the Camaro was reliable and lasted nearly NINE years
before metamorphosing into iron oxide... and yes, the police seemed to
"enjoy" the car as much as we did (my brother knows more about this aspect).
Best feature -- (TIE)
Burning rubber in all four gears
The second American car (after the 'Vette) to offer disk brakes!
Worst feature -- "What's a turn?"
1978 Cutlass -- The less said, the better. Unmitigated junk!
(And Detroit doesn't understand why people won't buy their cars?)
1978 280-ZX -- Fuel injection that works! A very good car, the ZX
was dependable and showed attention to detail in a "touring sedan".
1984 Maserati Biturbo -- Mussolini's revenge. The first car line
to use the "razor blade" model of business (service costs a LOT more than the
car itself)! Would you believe THREE fuse boxes in five years?
(That's right, fuse boxes, not fuses). The total service costs with two
years covered largely under warranty, $15,000! But, gee, it had
great air horns and made wonderful engine sounds!
1990 300-ZX Twin Turbo -- Nissan strikes back. The pre-1990 300ZX
may have been a disaster (sports-car wise), which led to the purchase of the "Italian
revenge". But the new Z style coupled with an incredible suspension and all
backed by 300 ponies got me wandering back to Nissan. Possibly the most dependable
car I have ever owned, I sold the car to a fellow worker and its his wife's daily driver
to this day.
Best feature -- Great handling in a wonderfully well-designed package
Worst feature -- "What's snow?" (Do NOT, under any circumstances, try to
drive this car in snow!)
1995 NSX -- It's everything you've heard about (and more). But I
still don't understand why the dealership won't publicize my idea for a $1,200 oil
change [includes new tires]. (For those who don't know, the car
tends to need new tires about every 5,000 miles...)
Best features -- Best handling car in the world and most beautiful dash!
Worst feature -- Haven't found one, although replacing tires is getting up there.
1999 Lexus -- "Trucks" (Part
one). The LS-400 was my first "truck", a car I used as a
general purpose hauler (people, stuff). I bought it through the
Internet, which solved a very big problem, how to get two cars to end up in
one place, when there is only one driver. The Lexus people in
Westminster delivered the car to my house, I signed some people, and they
left the car. The car was nice, but it had a few problems. The
transmission was a new five speed, nice, but it tended to work against the
new variable valve timing engine, meaning that the new torque was not easily
accessible. The car also tends to wallow in turns and is somewhat
"abrupt" in changing speeds. All of this got fixed in..
2002 Lexus -- "Trucks" (Part
two). The new LS-430 solved ALL of the LS-400's earlier problems, and
has very few faults. From the radar ranging cruise control to the
superb GPS, the car is a masterpiece of large scale design. They also
cleaned up the old LCD displays (now has LEDs), and a ride that is both more
comfortable and "crisper". The Mark Levinson sound system is
a bit better than the Nakamichi (in the 400), with a stronger high-midrange,
but possibly a bit less bass. They even managed to solve the only
problem I had with the car, a periodic burst of audio in the radio, probably
from cross-talk with the Lexus Link or the GPS radios... After looking
at the new BMW, the S Class Mercedes, and the Infiniti, the Lexus is still,
in many ways, the best choice (particularly if you like good audio).
Volunteer Work For some reason I have held a
variety of volunteer gigs. Included:
Sunday School teacher -- Many years ago, this was a lot
Chef at a Homeless Shelter -- A really wonderful
experience. Everyone should try something like this sometime. A great chance
to help (and feed) people!
All purpose store clerk, computer programmer, even mover for
the American Cancer Society's Corona del Mar
Discovery Shop. This is a great way to do volunteer work since it involves
everything from selling to moving. (...and I still have half the qualifications to
be a great mover -- a weak mind!)