Are All Electric (EV) Cars ready for prime time?

Late last summer, Chevy Bolt owners received a notice from GM: They were not to park their cars within 50 feet of other vehicles. They shouldn’t charge their cars overnight. Fully charged vehicles, GM said, should not be kept in garages.

In a residential garage the fire of a Tesla blew the metal garage doors off and spread from one Tesla to another, causing more than $1 million in damage.  The explosion of an electric car battery can release a massive amount of energy — and the resulting fire can burn for hours, stretching longer and registering hotter than a fire in a car with an internal-combustion engine.

The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt has an EPA-estimated range of 259 miles on a single charge. It takes about 1 hour to charge a Chevy Bolt from empty to 80 percent using a DC fast charger.

 Consumer Reports says driving range goes down in cold weather are the impact on battery chemistry when parked and the drain in order to maintain battery temperature and supply cabin heat. Cold temperatures can reduce an unplugged EV’s range by about 20 percent, according to testing by the Norwegian Automobile Federation, and recharging takes longer than in warm weather. 

Toyota has doubled down on hybrid technology as the affordable alternative for low emissions vehicles for the motoring masses – and says while electric cars will be a part of our motoring future, they won’t suit everyone

I know I am not ready to make the swtich. Not prime time ready.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Every election results in one winner and losers.  The winner won the most votes.  That is the American democracy.  With two major political parties the winner will likely be a Republican or a Democrat.  The first national election was 1789.  The election system has made America the example for the rest of the world.

In Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe by a margin of 50.9 percent to 48.4 percent as of midday Friday. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Jack Ciattarelli by a nearly identical margin, 50.8 percent to 48.5 percent.

In Virginia, McAuliffe conceded defeat the morning after the election. In New Jersey, Ciattarelli refused to concede.

This is the new GOP response when their candidate loses an election. If we win no matter how close it was a fair election. If our candidate lost there was cheating and fraud.

This is all taken from the Donald Trump playbook.

If this becomes the standard then we can kiss the American democracy goodbye.

Dracula’s Castle

Bran Castle in Transylvania, Romania

Looking like it’s been carved from the cliffs it’s planted on, Bran Castle in Transylvania is the very picture of ‘spooky.’ Although much history has passed through and around this medieval fortress, one infamous historical figure—once intimately linked to the castle—is now thought to have never set foot in it. ‘Dracula’s Castle,’ as the Romanian tourist board began calling Bran Castle in the 1970s, wasn’t the home of Vlad the Impaler, the brutal 15th-century ruler of Wallachia. And Bram Stoker, author of the novel that Vlad inspired, didn’t base his Dracula’s Castle on this castle. (One of Vlad’s actual lairs was Poenari Castle, a mountaintop ruin about two hours west.)

While it turns out Bran Castle has little to do with the bloodsucking Count, it most certainly looks the part from the outside based on the movie version.

Based on my own family, on my mother’s side, the people of Romania in days gone by very superstitious. Hexes and threatened hexes or curses were part of the family that came to America. Sadly I have no powers. But then again perhaps people do sense there is something strange about me and few will be my friend.

The film was actually shot at Shea’s Castle, near Lancaster, California and does not look like the castle in the movie.

Bipartisanship? Not on My Watch!

I say green you say red. I say red you say green. That is the ways of the two major political parties in the United States.

We have laws requiring payment of taxes except we don’t want to fund the enforcement law if any of our supporters are impacted. Hence Republican Sen. Rob Portman said spending is officially off the table to help fund a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure spending bill. Now of course if the the spending bill was proposed by the GOP that would be a different matter.

Change the filibuster rules only if it is to our benefit. Many Republicans are thanking former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for a 2013 change that enabled the Democratic Party majority to approve the appointment of Supreme Court appointments by a simple majority.

When the Senate voted on President Donald Trump’s replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, just a simple majority was sufficient to get through the confirmation process. Gone is the filibuster rule that required 60 votes to move forward. Many Republicans are thanking former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid change in the rules in 2013. Today the G.O.P. says no to changes in the filibuster because it would enable Democrats to pass their agenda with a simple majority.

On April 1 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he sees Republican opposition to President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, and vowed to fight the broader Democratic agenda. “I’m going to fight them every step of the way, because I think this is the wrong prescription for America,” McConnell said at a news conference in Kentucky.

The budget for the next fiscal year (starts October 1) and raising the debt limit are two items that will be in the news in the next few months. You can expect major battles in congress. We will get through the stumbling blocks as we always have. This is no way to run a country.

Is this a Bubble or a Long Term Period of Inflation?

Since 2009:
– Food and beverage costs have increased by 18%
– Transportation costs have increased by 16%
– Housing costs have increased by 23%
– Medical costs have increased by 32%

Austin, Texas, is arguably the hottest real estate market in the country, with home prices up more than 40 percent since last April. According to Zillow the estimate of my home’s value in the San Fernando has increased by 5.1 percent in the past 30 days.

Car dealer lots have only a fraction of the vehicles — both new and used — that they typically have. That’s helping send prices to record levels and lifting the nation’s overall inflation rate. About two-thirds of car buyers paid within 5% of the sticker price in May, with some even paying above sticker.

Your next Costco run could be more expensive as the company warns of expected price hikes for key goods, including trash bags, cheese, plastic plates, and beef. My favorite Choice tri-tip steak has increased from $8.00 per pound to $11.00 per pound in the past six weeks.

Whether this is a temporary price bubble or a new long term period of inflation, one fact remains unchanged. The Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That wage was set on July 24, 2009.