Leased a Leaf

Last November we leased a Nissan Leaf, an electric car. My wife and I carpool 60 miles round-trip and the gas was more expensive than the lease-plus-electricity, so the decision was easy. It's a 3-year lease so that'll give them some time to improve the range and drop the price, hopefully. It would be hard to go back to a gas car, it turns out. (Though we still do have a gas car for longer trips, or if we lose power for a week or something.)

They claim the range is 100 miles but when we get home we have between 4 and 12 miles remaining. That 100 miles is not for highway speeds, it turns out. So the bad part is that we can't use the heater since that uses up battery power. We can heat the seats and the steering wheel though so that helps.

You have to buy a "quick charger" that lets the car charge in 6 hours (instead of about 22) but a government program paid for the charger and all but $200 of the installation. Thanks Obama! In return it sends our driving habits back to the government.

There are charging stations all over the place, and they are generally free. But you have to buy several different cards to access them since several companies make them, and those cards cost money. The money could be used to pay for electricity, but since they're mostly free that doesn't help us. We've been able to call the number on the stations so far to get a guest pass without a card.

We love that it doesn't have an engine, transmission, radiator, muffler, or all those other parts whose purpose is to contain explosions and then make them quieter and safer and less toxic. We love the keyless ignition along with buttons on the car handles that lock/unlock the door if the key is nearby -- no fumbling with keys. We love how quiet it is. We love wirelessly syncing to our iPhones.

We don't love the small driving range, and there is a terrible blind spot in the front left where there are big supports going up to the roof. But all in all we're really happy with it. I wouldn't recommend it for tiny commutes because the cost wouldn't be worth it, but for medium-length commutes it's great.

Women's fashions inspired by video games

Big Fish (my employer) commissioned an artist to draw some women's outfits based on popular male video game characters. It's quite a cool project (and the artist is the daughter of someone in my vanpool who recently graduated from art school, so it's doubly cool to give her a "break.") These are for our booth at Geek Girl Con, evidently.

tons to say, but for now just this

Hi all,
I finally replaced my computer, though I've had it for a little while now. I've been really busy but I'll give an update on the house robbery situation I mentioned previously.

So robbers broke in while I was at work back in February and took a van full of stuff. I wasn't too sad to lose the things but I really wanted my computer back. I had Dropbox installed on it (which lets me transfer files from different computers via "the cloud"), so when the thieves turned on the computer a couple days later it sent their IP address to my Dropbox website. "We've got them now!" I thought. I called the police who came to my house but it was Friday evening and they weren't in, so I left a message. Cut to 5 days later, with me calling every day, and they finally assign a detective to the case who calls me back. He says he'll write something up for a prosecutor who will take it to a judge who will issue a warrant (or something) to get Comcast to give them a physical address, but that it takes a while.

Skip to many phone calls and several months later and the detective calls again asking if they logged in again, and I say no. They probably wiped the drive? He says they got the address, and the people living there have a criminal history, but without further activity they can't get a search warrant. Grr! I don't need an arrest warrant, just search! Or forget the warrant and knock on the door and ask nicely.

So I guess my computer is gone for good (along with the back-up drive they took). I am not impressed.

But monetarily it probably comes out ok since the $500 deductible is covered by things I don't care about, so the other couple thousand dollars worth of stuff gets replaced sort of for free. And I wanted to replace the doors they broke anyway, and insurance covers that too. They won't pay for me to clean the carpets though. All in all though I am happy with the insurance company: I didn't lie about what was taken or the values, and they didn't lowball the replacement fees. Maybe I'm impressed after all.


I'm still running, slowly but surely. I started last November and just hit 240 miles, which is a far cry from my 10 miles/week goal but is way more than 0 miles/week. My 3-mile runs aren't getting easier but at least my leg muscles aren't perpetually sore any more, unless I go a couple weeks without running (due to injury or vacation).

240 miles puts me at Weathertop in the Hobbit's journey to Rivendell, where Frodo gets stabbed by a Nazgul. Just over half-way. (Day 14 for the hobbits.)

I've been wearing my iPhone on an arm band for the last few months since it's too warm for a jacket with pockets. By the end of my run it starts sliding down my arm, and I don't know if it is because I get sweaty or if it's because my life essence is leaking out like a Podling being drained by Skeksis.


- Went camping last weekend, was sore for a few days afterward from sleeping on the ground. But it was fun, and delicious, and had plenty of campfire. Now I'm tired.

- Very busy at work, my game should be done in a month or two.

- Rereading _Last_Call_, then I'll lend it out to people. (That's how I lost it last time, which is fine...)

"smart" ads

Last week I saw a really cool piece of technology -- a tiny cube that plugs into a smartphone that lets small-time vendors take credit cards. You can even sign your name using the touchscreen! It's evidently a venture co-founded by Mr. Twitter, whose name I don't care to look up.

ANYWAY, ever since I did a web search on this I've been getting "smart" ads about it on all sorts of web pages. I'm sick of seeing them! I have no need of this thing, I just thought it was cool tech. Smart ads have turned something that pleased me into something that irritates me. :/