Thursday, January 29, 2009

I should have taken some "before" photos...

Most of you have probably seen the before anyway. It was not very impressive. The "after" probably won't be very impressive, either. The "during" however, is quite a sight.

(Disclaimer: This is actually the neighbor's place, but it looks about the same as ours.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Now that I'm management...

Every time I start a new sailing class, I am always surprised at how difficult it seems to be for my students to stay near my flags. Take a look at picture #3 below to see how easy it is to spot one of these flags. They are bright orange; they say UCI on them; and compared to the height of the boats, they are pretty damn big. A lot of thought goes into placing these flags in the water, and if they stay near them the class goes really well. (Sailing 90 degrees off the wind is easy; anyone can do it immediately after getting in a boat for the first time. All other directions are more difficult [or impossible].)

Last week, I made everyone practice going around the flags on the dock. Not sure why neither flag is visible in this picture, but they performed this task flawlessly.

And the "dry" practice seemed to help with the actual sailing.
More January Blues

If the idea of intensive training to get ready for vacation sounds completely foreign, you might want to stop reading now.

Four weeks until New Zealand, and not much time for bicycling (being stuck at work for 60 hours each week has its drawbacks). Actually, that's not true, there is plenty of time for bicycling...just not much time when the sun is out. My four year old headlight is probably obsolete by now, but it is still mighty bright.

Night riding observations:

1) Newport Beach is really cold at night.
2) The tandem appears to shake a lot going uphill with a handlebar mounted head light.
3) Riding downhill at 40 mph is scary in the dark.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My God, that looks like an assembly line.


The 2e, Aptera’s two-seat, three-wheel vehicle,
gets the equivalent of more than 200 mile- per-gallon

Contact: PCGCampbell – Jeff Green (310) 224-4961 (

VISTA, Calif. (Jan. 21, 2009) -- The initial pre-production all-electric model from Southern California vehicle manufacturer Aptera Motors had rolled out the door of its Vista, Calif. production facility. Known as the 2e, the brilliant white two-seat commuter vehicle is the first of a burgeoning fleet of Aptera vehicles that will undergo internal and external evaluations for fit, finish, performance and durability as preparation for full production in October.

The pre-production vehicle is equipped with a lithium-based battery and features a number of vehicle enhancements such as front wheel drive, aerodynamic side-mounted mirrors and wider door openings that make getting in and out of the vehicle much easier than with previous designs. The aerodynamically-inspired 2e will go from zero to 60 in under 10 seconds, top out at 90 mph and get the equivalent of more than 200 miles-per-gallon based on a standard EPA driving cycle. Though the vehicle is still nine months from completion, Aptera has already received nearly 4,000 deposits and the 2e is attracting its share of accolades, including recognition from TIME magazine as one of the “Best Inventions of 2008” and USA WEEKEND’s proclamation as one of “2009’s most intriguing innovations”.

“We’re getting close to finalizing our final prime-time vehicle, but there’s still a lot of work to accomplish to manufacture an ultra-high efficiency vehicle,” says Aptera President and CEO Paul Wilbur, who boasts more than 25 years of product planning and development, marketing and finance experience for Ford, Chrysler and other manufacturers. “Just look at the 2e and you understand that it’s an aerodynamic marvel. We now have to make the final refinements in the upcoming months, squeezing out every ounce of positive performance, and then we’ll have the first safe, affordable all-electric vehicle on the market.”

With an expected cost between $25,000 and $45,000, and a driving range of more than 100 miles-per-charge, initial sales will solely be in California, with plans to distribute the Aptera to the rest of the United States by late 2010.

“With the 2e set to hit the streets later this year, and with additional models already on our drawing board, Aptera will create some 1,500 jobs and more than 100,000 vehicles in the next five years,” says Aptera founder Steve Fambro. “We hope to change everyday driving forever by offering incomparable mileage and innovative technology at prices people can afford.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

Restaurant Week III (part two)

Sunday: Pescadou Bistro. They do a nightly 3 course "blackboard special" for $28, so I'm not sure why we had never eaten there before. (You even get a little chalkboard for your table, in case you have difficulty remembering what the 3 courses are.) I found the food decent, and worth returning for. Nico was a little underwhelmed. Her taste buds may have been influenced by the very loud party of eight a couple of tables over that made the otherwise reserved restaurant sound like an amusement park.

"Very loud" is an incredible understatement. How loud were they? They were so loud that I kept looking around the restaurant for a very loud former colleague. So loud that both the busboy and the two 12 year old boys at the table next to us were complaining. So loud that when Nicole yelled: "This is not a McDonald's!", nobody could hear it.

[Brief pause at work today=time to finish this post.]

Monday: Oysters. The place you drive by all the time, but never seem to stop to eat at. Better than I remembered, and the crème brulée was the best of the week.

Tuesday: Took the night off. Work is exhausting; eating out every night is also exhausting.

Wednesday: Pasta Pomodoro. Far better than any other "budget" Italian. The butternut squash ravioli in brown butter was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten. Three courses plus a glass of wine for the bargain price of $20.

Thursday: Bayside. They never let me down...and to help stimulate the economy, Restaurant Week will be continued for the rest of the quarter! Anyone want to come and join us for dinner?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don't laugh, it's paid for

That's the four year old photo. I should post some "after" pics, I suppose.

Hey, no car payment until Aptera gets around to building my Aptera. Aptera: Do not take too long, I am not going to be as interested in driving an electric car if gas falls to $1/gallon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year...

(This post is very poorly titled, considering what I've been up to at work.)

Newport Beach Restaurant Week #3 (I'm too tired to hunt down my reviews of the last two...I'll give you a hint, they were last January and the January before that.

Here's my short list:

e--They don't seem to go all out for Restaurant Week, but it's always pretty good.
Sage--The menu looks a little better than Sage on the Coast. [If you're thinking of going to Sage on the Coast for the cougar action, you're close, but most of them will be across the parking lot at Javier's.
Pescadou Bistro--Not sure why we've never eaten here--it's within walking distance, and they do Tour de France cuisine during the Tour.
Port Restaurant--This is actually Nicole's pick. I'd place it in the "eh" category...
Zov's Cafe--Hey, that's a $20 dinner!
Tommy Bahamas--Apparently, the only restaurant offering wine pairings ($20 extra); this might be the only possible area in which Vancouver is better than Newport Beach.
21 Ocean Front--Always on my Restaurant Week list, but we never eat there. The menu usually looks a little dull, and my Ferrari is in the shop.
Nicole's picks are Palm Terrace and/or the First Cabin. Both are good restaurants and all, but they're inside hotels, and are likely to be empty. Empty restaurants give me the creeps.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Buy us beers, we're friends for life

Tim Quirk and I are now friends. I'm pretty sure my list of facebook friends is probably of no interest to anyone but me...really not even to me. I just thought I'd put it out there, in case Tim Quirk discovers my blog and forces me to change the name...for copyright infringement, or something. If that happens, I'll move the blog over to You can get away with anything in Mexico.

In other facebook news, this has to be one of the strangest emails I have ever received:
Nicole said on Facebook that you two are married. We need you to confirm that you
are, in fact, married to Nicole.

To confirm this relationship request, follow the link below:

The Facebook Team


They have put me in a rather precarious situation. If I answer yes, I may be breaking the hearts of old girlfriends everywhere. If I answer no, is Nicole allowed to submit a copy of our marriage license as proof? Is she allowed to track me down to hurt me? I see no upside here. Maybe I'll pretend I didn't get the email...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Christ, you know it ain't easy...

Alternative title: It's legal to buy it, it's legal to own it and, if you're the proprietor of a hash bar, it's legal to sell it.

I feel obligated to write new resolutions every year. I used to recycle them, but now that I have this blog, I'm always afraid someone is going to look back and say: "Hey, you did that thing with the car door yesterday."

1) Bicycle more: Our amortized cost on the tandem is still well over $1 per mile. Actually, it continues to rise, as our riding does not keep up with repair costs. And that does not even include vacation expenses that would not have been incurred if we did not own a tandem. (This just in: Paris to Amsterdafm 2010). [My apologies to any accountants if my misuse of the word amortize is making you crazy.]

2) Drink better wine: Because life is too short; unfortunately, we are going to have to drink through a lot of the weeknight wine before I can even start this one. Anyone want to come over this afternoon?

3) Watch more baseball: I did not make it to a single game last year. Top Deck is an absolute steal. Also, I'll be needing a bigger tv.