Bugatti Driver Possibly Toots Own Horn On Arizona Freeway

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/5g99vvveKjA

Youtube video “Bugatti Veryon High Speed Runs x7″

From the the Reuters article “Arizona authorities furious over 215 mph Bugatti video

Arizona police are seeing red over the driver of a Bugatti Veyron luxury car who seems to have given himself the green light to drive over 215 miles per hour on a public freeway.

A roughly three-minute video that surfaced this week purports to show the mystery motorist reaching those speeds during seven adrenaline-charged runs in 2009.

Best quote from the article:

“We have these clowns do this from time to time,” Graves said. “They don’t care about what could happen. They just want to toot their own horn.”

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My 1997 Ford Ranger Qualifies For The Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash For Clunkers)

There is nothing wrong with my 1997 Ford Ranger except that it’s getting up there in age (kind of like me). Since it’s my only vehicle I am always concerned about total failure or some expensive repairs that could be more than the value of my truck. I’m very interested in what the government’s CAR Allowance Rebate System (formally known as Cash for Clunkers) could do.

Cars.gov has the requirements for the program:

  • Your vehicle must be less than 25 years old on the trade-in date
  • Only purchase or lease of new vehicles qualify
  • Generally, trade-in vehicles must get 18 or less MPG (some very large pick-up trucks and cargo vans have different requirements)
  • Trade-in vehicles must be registered and insured continuously for the full year preceding the trade-in
  • You don’t need a voucher, dealers will apply a credit at purchase
  • Program runs through Nov 1, 2009 or when the funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.
  • The program requires the scrapping of your eligible trade-in vehicle, and that the dealer disclose to you an estimate of the scrap value of your trade-in. The scrap value, however minimal, will be in addition to the rebate, and not in place of the rebate.

According to the fueleconomy.gov website, my 1997 Ford Ranger qualifies for the gas efficiently requirements because they say it gets an combined gas miles of 16 MPG.

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I was surprised to see that the EPA says my truck gets such low gas milage. I can get at least 18 MPG in town and 22 MPG on the freeway. I was also surprised when I compared my 1997 model with a 2009 Ford Ranger that the 2009 model gets 1 MPG less.

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If I were to replace my vehicle under the CARS program, I wouldn’t replace it with a super fuel efficient vehicle. I would need to replace it with another truck (yes I do actually use my truck as a truck and utility vehicle). This doesn’t help me very much because nearly every new truck gets nearly the same gas mileage as mine. I compared my truck to a variety of similar trucks. I could find two that met the mileage requirements and only one actually qualified.

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The 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 15 Hybrid 4 wheel drive qualifies on the gas miles requirements as it gets 20 MPG. But for some reason it is a Category 2 or Category 3 truck and I cannot trade in my truck for own of those. I don’t know what they category requirements are but seems kind of silly on the surface.

The second possibility is the 2009 Toyota Tacoma 4 wheel drive. It barely gets 2 MPG more than my current truck netting me $3500 in rebate. Is it really worth it for me to trade in my perfectly good working truck for a new one?

Kelly Blue Book says it’s worth about $3000 in trade in value. CARS is not saving me much on the trade in. A new Toyota pickup will be about $26,000 leaving me for about $23,000. That runs just under $400 a month depending on financing.

I just don’t think it’s worth it to trade in a perfectly good pickup that may or may not have problems in the immediate future for a $400 a month payment.

Mcdonalds Sign Crushes Car In Window Rock Arizona

A couple driving from Tucson, Arizona to Chicago had their Chevy Trailblazer crushed when a Mcdonalds Golden Arches fell on it in Window Rock Arizona. 60MPH winds were apparently responsible for causing the sign to fall down. They were pretty seriously injured. This is probably part of the same storm that is in New Mexico now and I’ve had winds this fast at my house before. Imagine driving down the freeway with this kind of weather.

Window Rock is located on the Arizona and New Mexico border, north of Gallup New Mexico and north of Interstate 40. There’s a picture of Mcdonalds on Google Maps that could be the sign that crushed the car.

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Via Jalopnik

Skiing Weekend

On Friday I left for Taos. Mapopolis said it should only take about 3 hours to get to Taos from Albuquerque. Friends tell me I could get there in 2. It actually took me a little over 4 hours. I should have got up at 5am, which would allowed me to leave at 6. Instead I got up at 6 (darn snooze button) and left a little after 7. This meant I was stuck in Albuquerque traffic and there didn’t see t be a single road that lead to the freeway that didn’t have a accident on it.
Between Santa Fe and Espanola there’s construction building a nice new road. Unfortunately it’s not done and there was only 1 lane. I finally arrived in Taos sometime after 11. The good news is lift tickets were only 20 bucks, and rentals were only 11. Cheap! I skied for about 3 1/2 hours. To be honest I was getting sore so it’s probably a good thing I didn’t get there when they opened. Plus my right boot wasn’t fitting right, it was pretty uncomfortable and was cutting off circulation to my right foot at times. The track file (read at the bottom on how it was made) shows I reached about 38mph at points. Not bad. You can also see they have some very long runs. Once they get some more snow the skiing should be awesome, it wasn’t bad but wasn’t the best.
I left after 3:30 and began the trip home, which didn’t take quite as long as it did to get there. Next time I go I will probably plan on staying there overnight. It doesn’t seem worth it for the length of the trip.

On Saturday I went up to Santa Fe with some friends from work. Santa Fe will the primary location of skiing this winter since I purchased the Millennium pass. This pass is one step down from the Season Pass, yet is more than $500 cheaper. It gets you $10 off lift tickets, except in January where lift tickets are free. Guess where I will be in January? By the way, I picked up my pass which is a ID card with my picture, It’s the worse possible picture they could have taken.
RIght now lift tickets are $34, so it cost me $24. They also got new rental equipment, which cost $18 to rent for the day. I was very happy with the boots, they fit perfectly and are probably the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. I think I will be doing enough skiing this year that I really need to invest in my own gear.
One of the best part about skiing at Santa Fe is stopping at the little restaurant/bar located just up slope. A nice (and expensive) lunch just hits the spot about 11. Then come back every hour or two for a break and have a delicious Hot Buttered Rum. It’s not enough to get you drunk, but enough to get a buzz and warm you up.
I have to admit that I was still kind of sore from the previous day when we started and the pain continued though out the day. It wasn’t enough to keep me from skiing but was enough to keep me from really hitting the bumpy parts. Thats when you really put your leg muscles to work. The pain in my thighs did start to go away as the day went on. But even today I’m still feeling it. A few more times on the slopes and it won’t bother me anymore.
The right back was less comfortable since my legs were sore and I sat in the back of my friends Honda Pilot. It’s a nice enough SUV, just pretty cramped in the back seats for a long trip like that.
Santa Fe had 80% of the mountain open and I could tell they needed some more snow in parts. Hopefully the weather will cooperate because, well, you know where I will be every weekend.

If you’re interested in how I generated the speed tracking maps, click here. 

Santa Fe: Minimum $8.50/hr

Santa Fe, the capitol city of New Mexico, has tried to put a “living wage” in effect but was stopped by a lawsuit. The problem with Santa Fe is it’s very expensive to live there. Not only is it the Capitol but seems to attract a lot of the well-to-do.

Yesterday a judge said that the city can go along with it’s wage increase, “Our city council recognized that the $5.15 federal minimum wage just isn’t enough for working families in Santa Fe,” said Maria Cornejo, a local resident who has worked as a cleaner at Santa Fe hotels. Added Carol Oppenheimer of the Santa Fe Living Wage Network, which led the campaign for the ordinance, “With a living wage, the hard-working people of Santa Fe will be better able to support themselves and their families.” Now there are those that worry that businesses will leave Santa Fe for cheaper cites. Albuquerque is only a hour down the freeway. 

Movie Style Freeway Shooting

This looks like it came from a move, but it happened on I-10 in Arizona. Very near where I use to live.“This appears to be a load of undocumented aliens that was being hijacked or kidnapped from another group of smugglers,” Pinal County Sheriff Roger Vanderpool said. “It was clearly retaliation and to send a message.” The smugglers who were attacked near Casa Grande had kidnapped the immigrants from the assailants in southern Pinal County, he said. The suspected shooters later caught up to the other group about 8:30 a.m. as the smugglers headed toward Phoenix in a two-vehicle convoy. They opened fire from a van, killing four and injuring five others. The two vehicles carried 24 people.” It left the freeway in a bottleneck for 9 hours. It all has to do with the trafficking of Illegal immigrants. 

El Paso, Texas & Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

I wanted to take my Girlfriend and her boys to Carlsbad Caverns since none of them had been. I had been there once before. Since her sister lived in El Paso we decided to visit here for a day and go to Carlsbad the next day. I had never been to El Paso before and was expecting a dirty run down city. Being so close to the Mexico border and Juarez, Mexico. What I found there was a city bigger than Albuquerque and very historic.

IMG_3140The trip down Interstate 25 from Albuquerque to El Paso has nothing interesting to see. But it only takes about 4 hours. In El Paso you can see Mexico from the freeway. The Rio Grand is the border between Mexico and the US, and the river isn’t that wide at the border. Looking at the Mexican side of the border you see a lot of brightly painted houses and small streets. I can imagine what the US side looks like to the Mexicans with our tall buildings for shopping and industry. As if were mocking them with our prosperity.

IMG_3145We did not go into Juarez and the people we met there hadn’t been either/ They mostly told me that there wasn’t much there unless you want to go and party. On the next visit I don’t plan to go either. However on the next trip I hope to stay longer and check out the more historic parts of down town El Paso. On our way out of town there was a border patrol stop. It was interesting that it was there as it was. I wonder if they have one on every exit out of town. They just asked us if we were all Americans and then sent us on our way. It was a mostly boring ride down highway 62/180. But there was some interesting parts like Salt Flat, TX the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. El Captain is visible along the drive. Along the drive I saw quite a few abandoned gas stations and hotels. I often see them along I-40 when I drive to Arizona. I suppose there was a time in the early 1900’s that cars were less capable and it took longer to get from place to place so people needed to stay at hotels along the way.

IMG_3148The Caverns are just south of Carlsbad New Mexico. Prices are reasonable at the cave and they don’t charge for parking. It’s a long into the main part of the cave, half of which is just walking down. But don’t worry there’s is a elevator to take you back up. Bats live in the cave. At night there is a sitting area where people can watch the mass exodus. We did not stay to see that.

The drive back was the most horrible. I figure it takes 6 hours to get to Carlsbad going south of it via El Paso. There are no major high ways into Carlsbad and going north you have to take smaller state roads where the speed limit is 55-65 MPH. This makes a big difference on how long it takes and it must have taken us 9 hours to get back. Our route was north to Roswell the west to I-25. Since you pass through many towns along the way that slows you down even more, and just before we reached I-25 it seems like we had been driving for ever. Which we had. These sort of trips remind me that there was a time when people rode horse through this country with no road or stops along the way. There was some stuff to look at along the way and they were thinking I was lost. I kept assuring them I wasn’t lost, it just was taking a long time.

Lincoln New Mexico was in between Roswell and i-25. I had no idea this place even existed. There is a It is certainly a historic town, nestled in the middle of Lincoln Nation Forest. This National Forest is the birthplace of Smokey the Bear. If we ever go to Carlsbad again, for my Family’s sake I will drive south through El Paso