Posts Tagged ‘Leonard borman’

The Nissan Leaf Test Drive

Posted 05 Mar 2012 — by admin
Category Uncategorized

Writing could wait. A purposeful trip to spend some quality time with my son’s family, and enjoy warm weather was underway. A treat awaited me. When I arrived at my son’s home in CA, a Nissan LEAF sat in the driveway. Being a lifelong Detroiter, knowing the up-to-date specs on cars was a must. My storehouse of car knowledge would have a new addition. Grandpa’s encyclopedic mind had room. A test drive in the new car would be a given. That way I could tell everyone back home a personal critique about the electric car. What’s giving up one day at the beach compared to driving about town in a state of the art auto in the environmental capital state?

My son encouraged me, at dinner, to drive with him the next day while he went about his business errands. I noticed earlier, the oversized electrical cord attached to the car. I’m not an engineer, but this car would be sucking in some serious wattage overnight, 6-8 hours being the normal charge time. Growing up in the Motor City meant you loved cars, and knew what belonged where. I walked around the car and surveyed the outside panel and trim. I peeked inside the car, and saw the trunk space. I imagined two sacks of groceries would be the limit. As to the spare tire, I didn’t see a compartment or a device to inflate the tire if it went flat. Maybe the tires were solid made from substitute rubber material.

We drove the next morning to school and dropped off the grandchildren. I paid particular attention to the dashboard, the mileage remaining being the key number. If it went to zero, the other transportation arrangement went into effect. Walking long distances on the freeway or strange neighborhoods was not my idea of good exercise or a fun vacation. Filled, the range was about 120 miles. That was deceiving. Turning on the air conditioner or heater lowered the drivable miles by 20 miles. I noticed using the turn signal lost 5 miles, as it blinked. Whatever you did started the ball to run downhill. Listening to the radio was a gas guzzler. If you ran out of electricity, no petrol based gas tank with engine bailed you out of possible trouble.

That console number was all that mattered to me.  My son reassured me that electric stations were being built all about town. My question to my son was, ‘Am I to believe you wait around for 6-8 hours at a station to refill the empty electricity storage tank?’ He replied, ‘stations provided fast charges, about an hour, to get you closer to your main supply.’ I mentioned I thought the system hilarious and convoluted.

Another sticky matter centered on watching the fuel remaining number. Laws are being passed by states to prevent drivers from using cell phones to text or even call, considered distracting and thus dangerous. What the hell do you think you’d do if you were down to your last drop of electricity, concentrate on traffic? Oh, and get your mind back to the main mileage meter. Am I to believe two persons weighing 250 pounds apiece have no impact on remaining mileage? Or what about a 50 pound suitcase in the trunk?

Back home, some friends I consider to be car experts said the payback to break even compared to gas automobiles was measured in years, like five years or longer. Harsh winters are not kind to cars, especially golf carts trying to look like automobiles. I can imagine an electric car driving in a snow storm. The car is lightweight and traction would be difficult. An accident in wintery conditions would be a total wreck for the car, with severe injuries possible. For $40,000, I’d prefer to purchase a standard model and love it. The variables for owning an electric car are many and not disclosed. In cold weathered MI, golf carts are not recommended. To me the car was not safe.

“I suggest you complain to your congressional rep.” I might just tell Washington I test drove an electric car and prefer safe cars.

A bit of photo fun

Posted 05 Oct 2010 — by admin
Category events

Here are a few takes from the Magers & Quinn reading event on Wednesday, September 29, in Minneapolis.

KFAI! A Radio Appearance!

Posted 01 Oct 2010 — by admin
Category Our Jewish Robot Future, events

Recently I was on KFAI’s Write On! Radio. A show that takes place in Minneapolis and hosted by Ian Graham Leask (my publisher), Steve McEllistrem, and Lynnette Reini-Grandell.

Have a few laughs: Check out the audio here:

Click here to play streaming audio

Maintaining That Girlish Figure

Posted 18 Aug 2010 — by admin
Category Uncategorized

People often ask how I’ve maintained my girlish figure for so long. If you saw me, no bulging stomach droops over the belt. No fat arms hang from the biceps. Genes count, and I attribute a lot of success to my parents. They passed me genes which never allow a 10 pound overweight condition. (By the way, my parents never looked overweight.) That’s about as scientific as it gets.

Now that I’ve reached a senior citizen age, nothing has really changed. I look trim. I drink alcoholic beverages and eat rich food. I sometimes overindulge, eating fatty and other high caloric foods. Sometimes I notice the waist on my trousers get a bit tight, and have to notch out the belt. My arms develop a muscular fat of a wannabe body builder. My facial cheeks puff, as does my backside cheeks. No, I’m not using steroids.

A bell rings, alerting me that I have reached the extra 10 pound overweight limit. I march in front of a mirror and confess I look like Porky Pig, complete with ears atop my head. Eventually a gatekeeper appears, holding up a sign, saying I’m not allowed to enter into the overweight domain. He cautions me to slow down on eating. I listen, preferring my clothes to wear from use, not ripped stitches. An automatic switch flips, waking my metabolic genie who says, ‘I’m back. I’ll take it from here.’

Truthfully, the pounds didn’t dissolve by themselves. It started with my wife pointing out, ‘You’re overweight. The seams on your pants are ready to split.’ Her underlining warning means I’d have to buy a new wardrobe. Her silent warnings were, ‘How much mortgage money do you plan to spend on new clothes?’ or ‘I can’t stand your fat ass. I’m looking for a younger man.’ Simultaneously, my inner voice speaks about practical measures. ‘Have you priced clothes lately?’ Or my armchair medical voice warns. ‘You’re vulnerable to Onset Diabetes.’ With my full attention gained, weight control becomes my main priority.

I dusted off my weight reduction remedy. Read More

Struggles and Triumphs of Writing My First Book

Posted 16 Apr 2010 — by admin
Category Uncategorized

The biggest struggle I faced writing my book, was learning how to write English. As a business executive, writing quality reports to my superiors or clients proved easy. My mind and my ability to compose words melded. Words on the page jumped out at the reader. Magic would describe the process. I’ve heard that many touts at racetracks are illiterate, except when reading the racing forms or odds boards. For now, call me a semi-illiterate.

My effort to complete a mature work, connecting action to thoughts was passionate. Needed was instruction and serious practice. I scribbled compared to writing business reports. I tried to connect with an editor to help. When interviewing prospects, they looked at my drafts and politely said I had a long way to go. I knew the samples were poorly written. The problem went further: What are you talking about? The subject matter is incomprehensible. Find another editor.

I eventually found my writing coach and editor, Ian Leask, who understood my thinking. At first, our relationship worked similar to a TV show or movie, as if I roomed in an insane asylum. I wasn’t actually locked up in a cage in a guarded building. He role played, metaphorically being a doctor, dressed in a white uniform, visiting his patient in a locked room. After reviewing a draft I’d sent, his opening mantra was consistent; did I know what sort of rubbish I submitted? The time allotted listening to my response was limited to one minute. My nonsensical response was to understand why the chapter I submitted had so many editing marks on the margins. Hearing his response, I dared not ask at what grade level my writing belonged. I needed strength to rise above my doldrums. Compose good sentences and logical paragraphs; you’ll be set free from the asylum and allowed to live with your family. That was the agreement. Read More