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Open Thread - very entertaining and interesting.

Mirta and I were in Kaua'i for my oldest nephew's wedding. The first 3 days there were very pleasant, then it rained buckets for 2 days. My brother and his family all live in central Texas. One report said that we had 14 inches of rain, which is about what Austin had last year in total. Of course, Mirta and I are used to it in the Pacific NW, but the Texans were not. Funny thing was that the temperature varied little - 16 to 21, night or day, rain or sun.

Now we're in Honolulu. Had a deluge and a nice lightning show last night. Looking OK for some sight-seeing today and tomorrow.

As to turbodiesels (yesterday's OT), we have a Jetta TDI wagon. We average 44 mpg on the road, but we drive the speed limit. Town driving is probably mid-30s mpg, but, since we're rural, highway driving dominates. We'd get higher mileage, but my wife wants automatic trans only. Also, the wagon shape creates turbulent airflow - you can tell by the amount of crap that builds up on the rear window.

They solved the particulate problem (no diesel smell either) with some sort of capture system apparently. It passes California standards easily.

We like our car, except that they 'powered it up' - probably to increase their U.S. market share. The older TDIs here get 55 mpg. The more recent models have way too much horsepower. I can hit 80 mph from 55 in less than 2 seconds, but it's not needed in the least. (I just do it for fun occasionally when I'm passing someone.)

As to speeding in the Pacific NW, the rule is 5 mph more than the highway limit to avoid police problems. Interestingly, most people drive closer to the limit than that. I'm fairly mainstream at about 1 mph over.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Tue Mar 6th, 2012 at 02:10:12 PM EST

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