Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just For Fun...

This is a look at what happened in parts of New Brunswick Canada a few days ago. The reason I am showing them here is to just have people sit back and think for a few minutes - how are electric cars going to work in weather like this? Maybe one of them is buried somewhere in these photos ;) But seriously.. wow that's a lot of snow and it happens in various regions around the world, not just Canada (we really don't live in igloos ya know). I live in an area that's pretty rural and some of the roads are pretty scary in the winter. How is my little putt-putt elec car even going to start let alone plow through this stuff? I haven't seen snow like THIS in Alberta for a very long time, but I have had over a foot of snow in my backyard since December and we are having another week of -30C weather. It was in the -40s in Dec and Jan. So I am just asking - is the push to force people to conform and drive such vehicles even plausible in many regions? Where I live, it takes an hour to get to the next decent-sized town. It's very spread out. My bf drives 30 minutes out of town to get to work every day and trust me, a little wee car isn't going to cut it on those roads even if they were fixed up. Just food for thought because some people have this idea that everyone in the world is going to be bootin' around in Smart Cars someday in the near future and they are just sadly misguided. They tend to think inside the box, in their city limits, and not think about how the rest of the world actually works. I had someone not too long ago tell me that Albertans just don't want to conform! LOL! omg,,, yeah okay Mr Toronto Inner City - you bring your little car-car out here for the winter and tell me how you feel afterwards. Or maybe you should go visit New Brunswick right now and if you can even find your car in the morning, just try starting it and get back to me ;)

It's always fun when you have to dig yourself OUT of your house.Howdy Neighbours! Love the new roof!
Shall we have a patio party?
______________________
Now to be fair, it's difficult or next to impossible for regular cars to go anywhere in this mess either. But guess what can? Those dreaded 4x4 vehicles. When I was a kid this kind of snow did happen in Southern Alberta and the farmers would hop in their big trucks and go around to check to see if all the neighbours were okay. I remember a huge one pulling up my driveway like it was a tank lol. Our GMC Yukon loves snow :) There are a few Smart Cars in my city but I have not seen them on any of the bad icy days. Why not? Oh right - because they are crap in weather like this. But we have snow and ice for up to 6 months of the year so...... feasible? I don't think so.

6 comments:

  1. Ah, yes... been "enjoying" such NB weather this winter. Global warming, indeed. Nay, global cooling. Betcha it's somehow our fault, too.

    Took the day off last monday 'cause I couldn't get my car out of the parking lot in time and the boss said to stay home, and a whole lot of folks did, everywhere. It was chaos, complete chaos, all over the city.

    And the forecast is for even more this coming week. Oh, crap. Nothing goes right when there's a snowstorm. Every time there's a storm, everything seems to go wrong, one thing after another, and it's surreal. A miracle I don't go insane from it all.

    I understand, however, you've got it worse... yep, it's much colder where you live than over on the East Coast (I used to live in Sask, so I know something about how much worse it is).

    BTW, a pure electric vehicle wouldn't fare well in the cold. That's why they'll probably never replace the hybrids, which are now in demand and can be had for about 20 grand US right now (the Toyota Prius and the new Honda Insight). There's others, of course, including big trucks. They really do save a lot of gas, which is why, in Vancouver, there's a whole lot of Priuses as taxis, for they save the drivers a ton of money and can easily go to 400,000 KM and never break, never need a new battery, as they've found. Even if new batteries were needed, the Honda Insight's only costs 2 grand.

    Next, they'll be making hybrid subcompacts. Imagine the fuel efficiency in those!

    Pure electrics, I don't see that, not in colder climates, anyway. But in California, that's a different story. Plug-in hybrids, now, that's even better than regular hybrids, though then again, they'll tax the power grid and maybe cause blackouts!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's great to have a mix, have more choices, that's for sure. But I have had some aquaintances (all city dwellers) telling me that all gasoline/diesel/propane vehicles should be banned pronto. It annoys the hell out of me lol. My problem with the extreme ideas is that people really believe them for one (lol), but we just aren't there yet with the technology. We should keep working at it of course. But I see bills trying to go through in various cities stating 20% of vehicles be hybrid or electric in the next few years, shooting for 50% in less than 10 years, etc. IF some of those end up going through, there are going to be problems.

    People want this fixed now, want coal and gas gone NOW but without offering alternatives that are actually plausible at this time. It's frustrating!

    PS enjoy the weather lol. my family are all in McAdam, Gagetown, Frederiction, and Harvey ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Agreed. The unthinking folks who want stuff immediately without understanding that they can't have it immediately (or even at all) are being stupid as well as unrealistic, childish and annoying. They're pushing us, telling us what's supposed to be what, without knowing what they're talking about. Pushy folks who don't know what they're talking about... well, I know what it's like to be around them.

    Throwing about numerical/percentage figures just for the optics of having specific figures, in and of itself, is meaningless. Kind of like the Kyoto Accord, which was unrealistically extreme and scientifically worthless, really a radical, international-socialist political document designed to punish the industrialized Free World while boosting the developing/Non-Free World and transfering wealth from the former to the latter. A big neo-Communist scam.

    I have real roots in New Brunswick going way, way back. Saint John, Moncton, mostly. A rich local history, according to a book put together via feet-on-the-ground research by a late uncle. However, they mostly migrated westwards, mostly ending up in the Ottawa-Montreal area (Ottawa is where I've got my sights set, trying to leverage my connections to get something better than I've got now in S.J., and I'd really like to do something politically or media-oriented).

    Family is truly a blessing. No matter how imperfect it may be, one should cherish it, for it's worth more than we sometimes realize... much more. This I've come to realize recently, actually.

    Speaking of the weather, I'm dreading the coming couple of days. They're predicting snow, rain, ice pellets, freezing rain and wind. It's going to be nasty, to say the least, and such nasty winter weather tends to make pretty much everything, surrealistically, go wrong, like dominoes. It's a wonder I don't go crazy on storm days... when so many things go wrong inside of just one day, one can't help be astonished and a little grumpy, though one knows tomorrow will be a way better day as long as the storm goes away.

    And such weather, combined with the condition of the local roads and the lazy public works crews, makes me want to get a rugged, high-clearance 4x4 truck when my current lease is up on my fun-but-not-in-winter Chevy coupe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, yeah... btw, I often do believe that the right kind of vehicle to own is something with a suspension and drivetrain that will stand up to the roads it tends to encounter. And ground clearance and traction for when there's deep snow.

    If the state apparatus is lax wrt maintaining the roads in a timely fashion, or at all, then a regular car will only have problems with broken suspension components (happened to my car last year!) and the like, and tend to get stuck and hung up far more than something like your Yukon.

    I like the idea of the compact Ford Ranger pickup, particularly with 4x4. While it's an ancient platform and feels like an Eighties truck, it's still compact, cheaper and more efficient than a full-sizer, and will handle what the roads throw at it.

    After all, if the state apparatus wants us to drive super-efficient microcars, they ought to ensure that the roads will be decent enough for them to drive on, but they don't, so it's annoying that they tell us one thing, but don't make it feasible to go along with their demands.

    I mean, who's going to try to drive a Ferrari on the kind of roads we have in North America? Europe has better-maintained roads (The multi-lane, no-speed-limit, smooth Autobahn, Autostrada, etc) suited to cars, so is it any wonder that many North Americans naturally choose trucks, SUVs, raised-clearance crossovers, etc.??? It's not our fault they burn more fuel... why don't the politicians use fuel taxes to maintain the roads to be ok for ordinary cars, as is supposed to be the case?!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I forgot about Saint John lol. That's where my dad's family are pretty much centered. I was in SJ for NB's 200th bday when I was 12. Very cool celebrations!

    Anyway your point about keeping the roads and such clear is very good. Why? Because we have TERRIBLE snow removal in my city. No kidding here but the snow in my crescent has been there since December. None of our family that drives a car was able to park in front of our house for 2 months because a city garbage truck left massive ruts. I helped push 4 vehicles out of snow banks in 2 weeks. My bf leaves for work at about 4-5am and needs to take the main highway - the Trans Canada in fact lol.... and it is never plowed. When he picks up his big work truck and drives back through around 6-8 am, it's still not plowed or sanded or anything. No snow removal trucks seen anywhere. 6am is when a lot of people here are on the highway to get to work because #1 there are so many gas/oil companies just outside town, and #2 the largest military training base (for Canadians and British) is 35 minutes out of town on that road... hundreds (if not thousands) of cars trying to plow through tons of snow and ice, but no city plows to be seen. No wonder over half the vehicles seen in the morning are Ford F150s. They can't get to work if they are driving little wee compacts.

    Another little concern of mine when I saw some prototypes for smaller vans and trucks was for families with small children. Back when we were kids, they didn't even have seat belts in the back let alone gigantic car seats, so we could all fit in a small car and drive around with our parents. I remember my brother and I sitting on those little fold down seats in the back of my dad's Nissan truck. You can't do that anymore... The new standards for infant and child car seats and booster seats make them huge, very wide. So my family of two adults and 3 children (2 who need car seats) has enough trouble fitting in our Yukon as it is. I can't imagine trying to cram the 3 kids into the back of one of those smaller trucks. Some vehicles have built-in car seats that just fold down, but not many.

    It's just another practical issue. A lot of my friends have 3-4 children and it would be completely impossible for the whole family to go for a ride in one of the new smaller vehicles - unless the children were all older. It's just one problem, but it IS a problem. One of my friends had a cute little compact truck but the giant infant seat for his new baby wouldn't even fit in the back properly so he could not take her anywhere with him until she was 1 and in a forward-facing seat. It's just one of those moments where I say 'Is it practical?'. And certainly not the little electric cars I have seen. ARe people supposed to have less children now so they can fit in the cars that others are trying to force us to drive? It's an issue that comes to mind for me obviously because I have 3 kids and cannot imagine feeling safe with them crammed into a compact vehicle - IF I could even get them all in it in the first place. The people I personally know who are pushing for people to get rid of their SUVs and Minivans either have ONE child or NONE. Not one of the people I personally know with that agenda has more than one child. So maybe they should try driving mine around for a day and see how that goes lol.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I fall into the category of "one", meaning just myself (my landlord won't even allow cats). While my Cobalt could hold up to five in a pinch, the backseat is full of stuff still there since I moved from the family home to an apartment last summer, anyway, so I can see myself moving up to something bigger like a Ranger or Jeep Wrangler. The mini-"backseat" in the Ranger? Cargo storage, not passengers, though the Wrangler has the biggest back seat in its history, and is now available in an even bigger four-door, which looks cool, like a mini-Hummer. So I could see myself easily getting around in a Ranger or a Wrangler, whatever's suitable for myself and the occasional front-seat passenger.

    Your roads sound like mine, at least in the city. They've only just started to salt 'em now, and at first they didn't, and, well, the whole gosh-darned city was covered with five-inch-thick ice (not melting for a long time due to absence of salt for the first time ever), itself full of potholes that sometimes made for the most ridiculous bumpity-bumpity-BANG-bumpity-bump... ride I've ever encountered!

    Oh, and, once, I, despite having winter tires and driving carefully as usual, the fact that there was ice all over the roads caused me to, well, fishtail, overcorrect, do a 360 in one direction, overcorrect again, then do another 360 in the opposite... all over the road from curb to curb, ending with a stalled engine! Luckily, there were no other vehicles on the road as far as the eye could see, so I started 'er up and drove on to work carefully... whew! This happened because the city, for the first time since '78, when I moved here, didn't salt the roads for weeks!

    Those Leftists who want us to drive something like a "Smart" or even much worse, the Indian Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car (just $2000!) just now coming to market (not here, thank God!), they more or less hate children, are pro-abortion, etc... and they want us to be like them so much that they want to have Far-Left governments in place to impose their radical ideology on us (just on Friday, Obama decreed that all doctors must perform abortions regardless of their moral values, something Hitler himself did, also forcing doctors to do immoral, evil things to human beings against their will). I know- these folks are nuts. Actually had one walk right up to me as I was chatting with someone, and he said, "I don't like kids", as if it was normal to just go around saying such things. Same guy was wearing a digital sign hanging from his waist, covering his you-know area... a nutcase... damn, I got to get a better job in Ottawa, as the place I work for is full of moonbats, owned by big-L Liberal moonbats and so on... a miracle I've survived ten years with them, though I did go mildly nuts trying to get along with those nuts... and have, fortunately, recovered, realizing that there wasn't anything wrong with me, but rather with them... I gave 'em the benefit of the doubt for years, but the point came at which I couldn't help but say to myself, "These people really are nuts as well as very lazy-minded and dissociative with respect to reality... I'm astonished... it's true, it's for real, so surprised so many folks could be like this!

    Let me tell you, I have no doubt that folks who are "liberals" or "progressives", they indubitably do have a mental disorder. No doubt. I'd have to have one myself to deny the obvious truth after having it happening right before my very eyes over and over, year after year. The cause of this mental disorder in 'progressives' is largely environmental/social- they lazily allow themselves to be effectively manipulated and controlled by their environment, merely going with the current, not learning to think for themselves.

    Some of us, however, have absolutely had to learn to think critically and independently for ourselves to survive hardships, and hadn't enjoyed the luxury of being able to be blissfully ignorant of reality, just going along with society and so on and so forth, effortlessly, like "progressives"...

    ReplyDelete

*Disclaimer

These are my views and opinions. If you don't agree or think I am sadly misguided, that is your view. Feel free to share your thoughts but I also reserve my right to moderate content (IE foul language, excessive flaming, etc).

Financial Center Live Stock Ticker