Friday, February 19, 2016

Couldn't Find the Head

I was hiking in Zion National Park a few days ago.  The weather was perfect, with highs in the low 70s.  I came across the remains of some poor creature.

That's Progeny Peak in the background.

Many locals told me about the enormous crowds and horrible traffic jams that happened on the preceding holiday weekend.  I enjoyed the park with hardly any people there.  The parking lots were practically empty.  The only full parking lot I saw was at The Grotto, where people parked to hike Angels Landing.

Firefighters were doing a controlled burn in south campground.

Here's a shot I took from part way up South Ariel Peak.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Terrafirma Rock Sliders Paint Peeling

The paint on my Terrafirma T818 Rock Sliders is peeling.  Only on the ram direction surfaces, where the sliders would be struck by sand and grit from dirt roads.

I installed them in March of last year, so less than a year ago.  And in the last year I didn't drive off road near as much as I normally do.  I had applied the Gtechniq Exov2 coating to the longitudinal tubes, but I don't think I applied any to these short cross-members.  My bad.

I'll try to paint them up a bit before it becomes noticeable at eye level.  This time I'll top it off with Exo or clearcoat.  I need to make the rover look nice if I want to sell it.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Why I Can't Wait For Self Driving Cars

I love to drive.  It makes me feel good.  I like going places, seeing and experiencing things that aren't within walking distance.  I enjoy the act of driving there.  The journey is part of the experience.  Sometimes, the journey is the experience.  Having said all that, it surprised me when I realized that I'm looking forward to the arrival of self driving cars.  

Let me explain.  

Where I live, most of the roads are filled with drivers who are not good at driving.  They don't enjoy driving.  They don't want to drive.  How do I know this?  Because the majority of drivers are doing anything but driving.  They're talking on a cell phone.  Texting.  Eating (often with utensils!).  Putting on makeup.  Shaving.  Reading books, magazines, newspapers.  Relaxing and smoking a joint.  Playing an imaginary drum set.  Turning their heads to face their passengers, giving no attention to their forward path.  You can probably list more.

Many drivers have given up.  They seem to have abdicated their responsibilities to operate the car safely to the myriad electronic nanny systems.  They love their backup cameras, parking sensors, blind spot monitors, lane departure monitors, automatic headlamps, automatic windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control, and more.  These drivers are eager to blame the car manufacturer for their "accidents" and clutter up the courts with litigation.  These drivers don't like to drive.  They don't give it their attention.  They don't want to maintain or improve their skills.  They just don't care.  Simply put: most drivers are a threat to their passengers, pedestrians, and any person, pet or property nearby.  

I wouldn't go to a doctor (or dentist or lawyer) who isn't interested in doing a good job.  I don't want buildings and bridges to be built by engineers who don't care.  I could go on.  Those analogies fall apart, however, when you consider that those professionals are hired and payed to be experts in their field and that doesn't apply to random drivers on the road.

I'm excited about the future because, if we're lucky, these dangerous drivers will stop driving.  Self driving cars, along with the growth of ride sharing services like Uber, will help to get these people from behind the wheel and reduce the theat to the rest of us.

So, I have high hopes for Tesla, Google, and all the rest.  The future looks bright, even for those of us who will continue to drive our cars.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Time For a Change

I'm ready to move on and escape the land of rovers.  I want to sell my 2015 LR4.  Let me know if you've got any interest in a slightly used (11 mo old, 12.5k miles) car.  I plan to get a Gelandewagen (a used G500 or G550).