Monday, 30th of June, 2003
We all gather at the St. Louis International Airport, ready to go. Our journey over to Europe via United Airlines first takes us up to Chicago, then Frankfurt, Germany, and finally to Budapest, Hungary on Lufthansa.
A view over Lake Michigan from the Boeing 777 we took.
We arrive in Budapest at 9:20, so we all tried to sleep on the plane so we could be rested for our first day in Budapest!
The sun casted a nice soft red glow through the window of the plane.
Wednesday, 25th of June, 2003
Sunday, 22nd of June, 2003
"The term 'e-boost' may sound like dot.com hype. But, in fact, it describes a tantalizing concept in automotive supercharging. Like a conventional supercharger, e-boost forces more air into the combustion chamber, to mix with commensurately more fuel for added power. Unlike a supercharger, though, the e-boost compressor isn't crankshaft-driven. It's electrically powered via the engine's alternator."
"Quick response is one advantage. Visteon's Torque Enhancement System claims a transient response time of 330 milliseconds. Programmed boost on demand is another benefit. Engine-management software can recognize conditions and anticipate boost requirements. In fact, it can learn through experience to fine-tune these predictions. Packaging of e-boost offers benefit as well."
Saturday, 21st of June, 2003
Thursday, 19th of June, 2003
Wednesday, 18th of June, 2003
After rehearsal, it's time to pack, measure, and weigh the sound equipment. Since we got kicked out of Reed School early, we had to use a bathroom scale and the Ginsburgs' driveway/front lawn to accomplish this.
Tuesday, 17th of June, 2003
Saturday, 14th of June, 2003
Now the go-karts, on the other hand, was also a unique experience - the 9-hp engines made them really fast, and handling on them was very neutral. Even though the track was a boring oval, it was lots of fun.
The other part of the Rev It Up event was test driving cars. A Mazdaspeed Protoge MP3 and a 6-speed miata were available for playing on a closed course. They set up a nice slalom for us, and the MP3 was not so impressive off the line - you can hear the blow-off valve and all, but it only sounds like it's going fast, it feels about as fast as a good V6 car. Handling was another issue - it exhibited oversteer characteristics, which can be quite fun, and quite impressive for a stock setup. The Miata and it's open-top experience was great. The handling blows away the MP3, I took it around the course faster than the MP3 and it was completely under control the whole time - could have pushed it harder even.
Picture - Tonight the activity at Andrea's house was Scrabble.
Picture - We played in teams, though Beth left early to do late-night violin practicing.
Picture - Amie and Matt came by later to cheer us on.
Friday, 13th of June, 2003
Tuesday, 10th of June, 2003
There was quite a thunderstorm last night that sent a power surge that did something really strange to my Dad's computer - the computer booted fine but the keyboard and mouse didn't work or get picked up on bootup. Since that was seemed to be the only problem, I plugged in a USB mouse to see if that worked, and it did. As a temporary keyboard solution (so we could log in while I waited on a replacement motherboard), I went to get a USB keyboard for it. Upon plugging it in, the PS/2 keyboard and mouse started working again, and continued to work after the USB devices were unplugged. Weird... I guess we don't need a new motherboard anymore - the power surge just did something strange I guess.
Monday, 9th of June, 2003
The brake pedal was also very firm - and positioned too closely to the left. Being the first automatic transmission I'd driven since December, twice we banged our heads against the windshields as I stomped my left foot on the brake in the attempt to disengage the clutch. On other cars, at least I'd stomp down onto the dead pedal or something.
Handling was pretty good - we drove one that was blinged out with the optional 17" wheels and 215/50 17 Michelin tires. It was very neutral with traction controlled turned on - the rear end tended to have delayed reaction in response to what the front end did. Once the traction control was turned off, though, it can be flinged around to tire-screeching understeer just like all the other heavy FWD sedans out.
The V6 power is ok, but I wouldn't consider it a performance car from that alone. It occured to me later that the 3.0L V6 is just a Ford Duratec engine that powers the Ford Taurus and Escape. Given that the Taurus has the same curb weight, and nobody's calling the Taurus an exhilarating car off the line, we'll let that one go. The steering wheel is nice and small so it feels a little sporty, but boy does it get hard to crank around at very slow speeds when parking. Our interior was blinged out with carbon fibre trim, and the seats were nice and supportive - it was easy to adjust the power driver's seat to a comfortable position too. It's a pretty solid car, no surprises.
Saturday, 7th of June, 2003
Friday, 6th of June, 2003
Picture - By no coincidence there was the largest display of fog tonight after the movie. Without the fog I can see all the street racers out on the streets trying to duplicate some of the movie stunts. Let's start by turning the flash off of my camera - clearly the flash is just going to reflect off of all the water droplets in the air.
Picture - Wow, it sure is pretty though! Visibility, obviously, is like somewhere between 1/16 mile to 20 feet depending on your elevation.
Picture - Well that hill sure looks like it goes nowhere - a car drove down there with the famous last screams of the passenger - "Slow down! We're going to die!" Actually the driver probably lived there and knew where the road went. That ended up helping me out too - it was definitely no coincidence that I made 6 abnormal trips up and down Olive Blvd. that far out in the last 3 days so I knew every part of the road very well.
Picture - The Eclipse Spyder was definitely a little odd in the movie, but at least it was driven well. This one, on the other hand, is somewhat amusing, with its red painted drum brakes.
Picture - Looking across the parking lot of the theatre, and you see... not much!
Picture - And the real ricer scene - in the fog.
Thursday, 5th of June, 2003
Wednesday, 4th of June, 2003
Turns out Joe did find that SODIMM later upstairs, but I had marked it as a 32MB SODIMM - I had forgotten what size it was all along. Owell :)
Monday, 2nd of June, 2003