Holy Smokes, Batman!

Back from a weekend in Vegas, took about 5 hours each way from Brawley. Because we thought there would be 4 adults, two with three weeks of luggage with them, we didn’t take the MINI but still made good time. Saw the extremes of gas prices whilst we were gone. In Needles, CA, the price of premium unleaded was an amazing $3.19!!! Contrast that to the prices posted on the CA/AZ border which was advertising the regular unleaded at just $2.03. Median price round here is still around $2.60 for a gallon of premium.

Parking on the Left

I realised the other day that I always park on the left hand side of a row of parking spaces. If I’m going down an empty row with the option of parking on the left or the right I always choose the left, I have to make a conscious decision to go to the right and it feels wrong to do so.

I’d be curious to know if others have a similar habit, er, compulsion.

Is the MINI Unreliable?

Last night I went to Borders bookstore to get a copy of the Reader and ended up flicking through some of the ‘car guide’ magazines to read their capsule reviews of the 2005 MINI. Almost all of them said that reliability was way below average and at first I was indignant, but then I thought about it, and all the problems I’ve had with mine and I realise they are probably right, at least as far as my experience goes. Its interesting that my perception of the car’s reliability is so tainted by my fondess of the marque.

Today I used the online configurator to spec out and price a new S convertible, looked great in purple with black bonnet stripes. I could afford it if I sold my Jeep (which I plan to do anyway) and traded-in my current MINI. Its tempting.

Auto-up Window Update

Three days into my auto-up enabled windows and I love it! It is so handy to be able to close them with such ease. If you don’t already have the circuit, get on to Ian at GBMini and order before he stops making them.

Finally Seen a Cabriolet

On the way to San Diego yesterday I was alongside an orange convertible Cooper for a while, got to check it out for a while. The differences is styling are subtle but noticeable – when I first saw it in my rear view mirror I knew it was a MINI but there was something odd about the front; I couldn’t pick out the differences but they were definitely there. Very cool looking car, I want one.

Auto-up Windows

Its taken me a long time to catch up with a good thing but finally this weekend I installed the excellent auto-up window circuit in Sarah. Here in the USA the MINI doesn’t come with a switch to put the windows all the way up, you have to hold them in until they are done. Ian over on the east coast solved this with his own circuit board design and, even for a botch-it artist like me, it was very simple to install. Hardest part of the whole install was getting the courage to pull on the dash to pop out the facia, I felt for sure with my ham-fisted style I’d break it. Excellent product, highly recommended if you don’t already have it.

$3 a gallon soon?

Last night I passed a gas station advertising their premium unleaded at $2.72!! I think thats the highest price I have ever seen, and the news reports are predicting it will go higher. The only ray of sunshine is the thought of all those H2 owners spending a lot more per mile in their hideous behemoths.