Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oil Bag should be standard equipment in every car!

I finally got around to getting one of these, $6.20 including tax at my local BMW dealer.  I'm a BMW and Porsche Fanboy but I really didn't care which brand it was.  The Bimmer bag is the best value, though!

 The bag looks like this, when filled with a standard quart bottle of oil: (front and back)

It fits neatly in the corner of my trunk, held in place by three long velcro strips.

Pics below show how the oil container fits inside, and, here's a tip, save the clear plastic bag that the Oil Bag comes in and put the quart of oil in it before inserting it into the nylon oil bag.  That way, it it leaks, it wont get messy.
Also shown is the included paper funnel and hand wipes!  All of this for six bucks.  What a bargain!  You'll never be on the road and see the oil light go on and be anxious about where youre going to get your oil ever again!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

911 New Batttery

Just came back from the dealer. They replace the battery with an Interstate MTP-91. I was surprised that it wasn't a Porsche branded battery. They billed me about $145.34 for the battery and $154.61 to test and replace the battery + tax. This was not covered by the CPO warranty, even though I drive the car more than the threshold 600miles per month. (They won't warrant the battery, even the original warranty, apparently, if the car is infrequently driven) I'm in the process of asking for some concession from the dealer.

I read the article in this month's "Excellence" magazine on battery issues like some other folks seem to. It made me wary of replacing the battery myself, but many others on this forum seem to have had no problems replacing the battery.

Some lessons learned:

1) If you get a jump starter box with a cigarette lighter adapter and a male-to-male cigarette lighter cable, you can maintain power to the car while changing the battery.

2) A really dead battery may not be successfully jumped with jumper cables from a car or even truck. I watched the Porsche roadside guy try with a plug in charger, then with jumper cables from his C Class Mercedes. He failed. The flatbed operator said many methods fail to start a really dead battery.

3) One of the few jump starter boxes that will jump a Porsche with a totally dead battery is the Snap-On red colored box. I watched the flatbed operator do it. The flatbed guy said he bought it a few years back for $300. The only model on Snap-on's website is blue in color and $200. I don't know if it is a different spec.

4) This was a huge PITA!

5) I'm buying a trickle charger. Don't know which one yet. My cousin in Canada who is doing research on battery longevity for a car mfgr is sending me one that they like. Will report back. Porsche charger is $$

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thunderbolt Raceway HPDE

just finished the HPDE (High Performance Drivers Education) at the NJ Motorsports Park Thunderbolt course, with the BMW Club. It was an eye opener.

Some photos...

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Blockbuster Riesling

I just had a mind-blowing delicious Alsatian Riesling: 2005 Marc Kreydenweiss's Alsace Riesland from Wiebelberg. A "fresh style" riesling had complexity and balance with spice (nutmeg)/butterscoth and plesantly oily viscousness. The spicyness reminded me of the Tiffenbruner Feldmarshall Muller Thurgau from Alto Adige.

It was $95 at The Modern restaurant at the MOMA. A great deal for a phenomenal wine.

Monday, June 16, 2008

First Impressions of the HF10

As usual, I dont' have much time for blogging, but I wanted to give a quick first impression of the HF10
  • Image quality is stunning when compared to a standard camcorder. Requires good light. Low light, like dimly lit restaurants, indoors with only a lamp or two, the quality gets grainy/noisy. Apparently, this is largely true for any camcorder.
  • It only saves to flash memory, and that's OK. It has internal memory and a SD card slot. I like being able to specify the SD card for photos, and using the 16 gig internal memory for videos
  • The internal memory holds 2 hrs of highest quality video. Plenty for me.
  • Transferring from internal memory is a slight pain. It requires the charger to be plugged in for USB mode, so if your charger is somewhere else, then you have to get it. I actually think an SD card would be much easier.
  • Very small for a camcorder. I was surprised and impressed. Its easy to carry around. With such a small form factor, its hard to keep it steady, as with any small camcorder.
  • Battery life isn't great. I haven't tested its limits, but it tells me i has about 75 min max. Since once isn't always shooting during those 75 min, the battery will be the limiting factor, not the internal memory.
  • Accessories: An extra battery pack may be necessary. I may try the external hotshoe mike for close to $200, but not right away.
  • Sharing the HD video will be difficult. Files sizes are massive. Compatiblity will be challenging. Downconverted to standard DVD for DVD players, AVCHD format on DVD to play on computers only. Blu-ray authoring using a good editing suite and buying a blu-ray burner.
  • Included with the camera is Pixela Imagemaster software. I haven't use it much yet.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Now, I'm fully 1920 x 1080. Whew!

It took awhile, but I'm finally there. 1920x1080. What does that mean? It means my Computer (incl. monitor), Plasma TV, Blu-ray disc and Video Camcorder are all what they call "Full HD."

How long has this taken? It seems like forever when looking back at the first murmurs of the new TV format called high def in what, the early 1990's? Affordable HD camcorders were the last piece of the puzzle, having come along in the last year-ish. Big, reasonably affordable HD tv's have only been around for the past two. Ditto for HD discs. Computers with the power to edit the new codecs, say 2 yrs also.

If I've got this equipment, you know that we as a culture have passed the point of inflexion. Because I'm not an 'early adopter', nor a 'laggard.' I jump on the bus when the price curve starts to flatten, and the standard appears in the distance, not a moment later.

Attention: We are now living in the HD World, and are never going back. We won't miss the SD world, though, it will probably be increasingly our visual code for nostalgia and history. So be it.

Well, I changed my mind. I bought the HF10 Why?

In an earlier post I proclaimed that I would be buying the HV30, even though the HF10 was, as I said, the one to get. Well, here's why I rethought that conclusion:

1) This baby is much smaller than the HV30. I didn't realize until I saw it in person and held it in my hand. The size difference (convenience) is significant. The smaller it is, the more likely I'll take it with me.

2) Though the "instant" backup inherent in a tape-based unit is convenient, it doesn't solve my backup problems for my digital photos and other random stuff. I accepted that I will have to have a digital backup strategy for those, and if so, I can incorporate the (significantly increased) requirements of digital video, too.

3) The picture quality is very, very close to the HDV format of the HV30 according to several reviewers. (Camcorder Info, Cnet)

4) The convenience of flash memory was getting more and more appealing over time.

5) I'm not worried about the editing issues of AVCHD format. It is truly the wave of the future. Editing programs will support it in the future, some do right now. And I have a Q6700-based PC, so I should (knock on wood) have enough horsepower to handle it. We'll see.

6) Front/Bottom mounted mikes. I'm starting to get a clue that sound quality is important to video. I may buy the $200 Canon directional mike, but I'll have to see if it is truly worth the money and hassle of shelppping it along.

I also made a choice between the HF10 and HF100, the latter offering no internal memory, a silver color, but being $160 cheaper. The internal memory was a nice feature (faster data transfer rate allow up to 1/2000 shutter speed vs 1/500 with the SDHC card). In the end 16GB of memory would cost around $80, so I paid $80 for black and the higher available shutter speed. In the end I really wanted black. Why? I want the camera to be as inconspicuous as possible. I believe this makes for less "self conscious" subjects.

I paid $860 plus $12 shipping and $20 for a modest Lowepro case, and no tax, shipped to my home in NJ, from B&H. This all in price was better than Costco or Amazon.

There! I fessed up!