2015 BMW X5 xDrive35i
I’ve gotta be honest with you. I loved everything about the 2015 Volvo XC90 and it has ruined me for all other SUVs. Nothing on the market has its combination of modern style, technology, room, and drivability. Which is sad, really, because, now I have to review the BMW X5, a car about which I might otherwise have said many nice things.
There was a fun hashtag game on Twitter today, called #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly. The purpose is to accurately describe actual events in a movie, while simultaneously missing the whole point of it. Here were my entries.
This weekend, I consolidated all of the RAW photo files from various external hard drives into a single Lightroom catalog that I can swap between my Mac and my PC. In doing so, I can across some pictures I’ve taken that struck me as interesting for one reason or another, so I decided to share them. So, here are some selected photos I’ve taken since 2012, that haven’t shared before.
The giveaway is over. Thank you to everyone who signed up.
Several months ago, I wrote about my fascination with alternative alphabets, the history of English-language reform, and an alternative alphabet named Quickscript, which I revised a bit. Since then I’ve gone back and played with my new version of Quickscript on occasion. But just on occasion. I mean, it’s not like I’m obsessed with it. I’m not a lunatic.
Here’s the second video from the Orange County International Auto Show.
This video is pretty much like my car reviews, except you get to hear me say outrageous things instead of just reading them. So please, watch the video. And click on the ads like a crack-addled monkey looking for his next fix. A photography post from the show will appear in due course.
2015 Volvo XC90 T6
I while back, in my review of the Volvo S60, I discussed the Swedish concept of lagom, which is the state of being acceptably good. The Swedes also have another, related concept, called Jantelagen. Basically, it means that, if you show your success too ostentatiously, you should be scorned and reviled. Frankly, the Swedes seem to hate and fear success, which seems a bit wacky. What this means in automotive terms is that, driving around in a high-status BMW X5 is a violation of Jantelagen, while driving around in a Volvo XC90 is not. And that seems wacky, too, because it’s totally wrong.
2015 Nissan Altima 2.5 S
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, reliable, mid-sized family sedan, you’ve probably got the Nissan Altima 2.5 S on your list of cars to check out. And, on paper, nearly everything tells you that it should be a serious contender. Sure, if you’re a serious car aficionado, you might quibble over the front-wheel drive, but practically everything in the class is front-wheel drive, and literally everything in its price range is. Everything else on the spec sheet should fill you with a bit of enthusiasm, though. Like I said, on paper, it looks good.
This weekend, the San Diego Festival of Sail was going on downtown in the harbor. Naturally, I went down for the picture-taking opportunities, and here’s a few of the shots I took.
So, here’s my deal: Thanks to some unexpected income, and a lack of knowledge about tax law, I found myself with a 5-figure income tax bill. Obviously some belt-tightening was in order, so I had to sell the GTO back to CarMax, leaving me with just my Triumph Trophy for daily transportation. That’s not a bad thing on a daily basis, but, sometimes, you just need a car. And I need a cheap car that I can buy outright, because the IRS is on my back. So, I had to enter the exasperating world of buying a beater car.
VikingCycle Skeid Jacket
So, here’s the usual thing with gear and apparel reviews, when you write for a web site like this one: someone sends you an item to review for free, and which you get to keep. In return, you are obligated to write a review of it. Most of the time, it’s no big deal. They send you a mid-range bit of riding gear, you write a review with mid-range approval, because they almost invariably send you an item that does the job it’s supposed to do, at a reasonable price. I mean, nobody sends you a piece of suck, expecting you write about it glowingly. If you care about your credibility, you don’t want to give something a glowing if it isn’t, and you don’t want to come off sounding like a company fan-boy shill. But, what happens if you get sent an item you really, really like?
2015 Triumph Trophy SE
BMW Motorrad has long had two boxer-engined motorcycles that were considered the top of their class: The R1200GS adventure bike and the R1200RT touring bike. Apparently, the Brits at Triumph Motorcycles found this enraging. Over the last century, the Brits have often found the Germans enraging, of course. Anyway, Triumph produced two bikes to compete directly with BMW’s offerings, the Tiger 1200 for the adventure crowd, and the Trophy for the touring rider.
Concept cars have been pretty boring in recent years. There are occasionally some interesting stylistic exercises, or some showcases of new technology, but for the most part, recent concept cars have been pretty dull. It wasn’t always that way, though. There was a time when concept cars were…insane.
For the past several months I’ve been collecting all of my automotive and motorcycle writing both from here and elsewhere, into a book, Now, I’m happy to say it’s a new Kindle book at Amazon. Which you can buy. Online. And read in Your Kindle!
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