Saturday, January 26, 2013

Today's Belch... (UPDATE: 3.13.2013)

After a long time since my last post, I thought that I'd simply update that I have little to say...

With that, I must say that I haven't done much since the last post.

Finishing my retrofit was planned for tonight, but the vacuum forming plastic did not arrive on time, and will not be here until Monday. So I guess I won't be installing the headlights after they're finished until Sunday. I will have to upload some videos of the actual retrofit that I have now, and the new one once it is installed. I am quite excited to take the vids but it will take time nonetheless. I guess I shouldn't be bummed so much since I have been taking my sweet time with this retrofit anyway.
Anyway, here are some photos so the blog world can see what I have made:

Newest retrofit I am trying to finish...

 These are the LED switchback's this part turns off when signaling

This is the signal that comes on and flashes, the white part does not come back on until the signal turns off...

Here is the finished product after months of hard work and trial and error.

The finished product is being updated again. I have to pull the headlights apart in order to repair the LED drivers in the spotlights that have already burned out. I have decided to use the Audi DRL LED's again, but in a new way! Instead of keeping them the way they were on the Audi A4/S4, I pulled the LED strip and here is what it will look like.

 Since these are still in the build phase, I don't have any more than just this. I still have to find a way to secure them, but I think I have an idea.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

This Sabbath Day

Well, today is the Sabbath, and in posting this blog I listen to the sermon by Mr. Richard Ames "Distractions, Deceptions, and Detours".

Makes me think of my current situation now. Am I being distracted now? What distracts me? What is distracting me? How do I identify it? How can I defend myself against it?
Those who do know me, know that I have removed FaceBook from my life and eliminated that distraction. Well, I eliminated that distraction, but adopted a blog. Have I deceived myself into believing that I have eliminated a distraction by eliminating one and adopting another? Blogging? Distracting? NAH! But, is it? Perhaps it is a detour? What leads me to my point...

God's Holy Sabbath Day is a day to be revered and eliminating your everyday routine and essentially transforming your life around to being specifically and strictly focused on God. Does this mean that only ONE day a week I focus on God? NO! NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY! For EVERYDAY should be lived in the eyes of the LORD! What does this mean? Well, as it was described to me as a child, and the best way to describe it now, "For God there are no roofs, ceilings, walls, or doors. God see's all and knows all! You cannot hide yourself from the eyes of God!"
Not just because of this, I mean that because God see's all and knows all, what do you want God to see you doing? Do you want God to see you sinning or praying? Cursing or singing His praises? God Loves us all, and wants us to be a part of Him, and His lifestyle, His way of life! His way only instructs the way to protect ourselves, and live prosperously, and safely and happily! God's way doesn't yield any unhappiness, or sadness, or temptation! Satan leads us in this direction! For God and His way of life, depression does not exist! Depression is an emotion/sickness of the mind that Satan encourages and is Satans emotion invention! Why would he want that? Satan wants to destroy God's children, not help them! God said our bodies are the temple of God, and "do you not know that you are bought at a price, and that your body is not your own?" Yet, there are people who believe that homosexuality is okay and they're not hurting anything! Yet homosexuality is a sin against the body, and your body is NOT your own, and destroys the temple of God! Again, Satan wishes only to destroy this temple, this child of God! We are all children of God and Satan knows this!
Satan leads the distractions and deceptions. While watching and listening to this sermon, it helped me understand that there are too many distractions around me, and that I need to purge out Satan's influence of distractions. Which leads me back to my point, that God see's all and knows all! The fact that he see's all that we do everyday means that not just on His Sabbath day that he made FOR man, not MAN FOR THE SABBATH, that we should be doing everyday what we would be doing on the Sabbath. Now, in speaking of the Sabbath again, we understand that the Sabbath day should not be any different in your reverence for God, but what I was getting at was that the Sabbath is a day that God has allocated that it is Holy and that no work should be done, and none of your pleasures will be done on this day, because this day belongs to God! Since this day belongs to God it is a day that all your body mind and heart and soul should be specifically focused on Him, His law, and His teachings! If you give a birthday to your friends, family, or whomever, do you not make that day for them? Is that day not revered as a day that they are special, and that they are to be given happiness and congratulations and the focus remains on them? Why would you make a God of them on their birthday, yet you wouldn't make THE GOD's day revered in this way, but in a much higher respect? Birthday's are another discussion but they are traditions of the world and God does not observe them either. God told us, "thou shalt have no other Gods before me!" This means that on a birthday, that person is NOT to be made a God, and when you dedicate a day to someone for nothing only because they aged yet another year, you are making a god of this person and bringing gifts and offerings of cake. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this not how false gods are worshipped? With gifts, and foods of culinary specialties, sacrifices, and reverence?
It just leads me back to the point that God is to be revered in a way that no one or any thing would be revered! He is God and He made you! With all of your blessings, wouldn't you want to dedicate a day to Him in thanks for those blessings?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Todays belch..

so, nothing to report today. I am still waiting on April to get my hands on the 2014 Accord! I am saving ferociously to get the money I need for the down-payment. Not just any down-payment, but the kind that could buy any other car in-cash! Mainly because this Accord PHEV is well-worth the premium! Why? Well, because I have calculated that I could drive to and from work in all electric mode, and never use a drop of gas! This means that with only going to see Brandy's parents just once a week (on the weekends) that I will fill up once every four months!! This I have calculated to be a MASSIVE savings!

Look at it like this:

Currently my 2006 Accord EX V6
23MPG City (my actual MPG 21MPG):-/ only because there was considerable stop and go traffic frequently and city driving. Many of the miles are highway miles, so while it isn't hard on the car, it is hard on fuel economy.

Currently I fill up once a week:
$50*1 fill up/wk*4 weeks=$200/month & $2600/Yr
Before I moved here: $50.*4 fill ups/wk*4weeks=$800/month & $10,400/yr!!
Actual 2012 fuel costs was upwards passed $12,000!
@21MPG combined, and a little bit around 40,000 miles for the year.
I was driving around 2K miles a month' most months, the rest was the miles driven to and from long distance business trips. Roughly what this all works out to is 769.23 miles/wk. While the math here doesn't add up directly, since this is a fluctuation and there is a considerable amount less of driving that I will be doing since I have acquired my new place of residence.

So if we figure in what I am currently driving and can work this into the equation of how much better of an investment this will be for me, then I can justify the premium. Many believe that the premium isn't worth it, and rightly so I can say that a PHEV is the better choice.

So, I drive 12 miles to work and 12 miles back in under 60MPH traffic. This enables me also (since Houston is all flat surface driving) to drive in all EV mode to work, charge up in any of the many charging stations surrounding the Medical Center, and drive home in all EV mode! Using 0 gas, 0 emissions, means I am one more 100% clean driver and 100% less emissions from 1 more Texas citizen!

So to calculate:
12 miles in all EV to and from work 12 miles to and 12 miles from=24 miles round trip and 0 emissions and 0 fuel used for 5 days a week!

So, also since Honda's Accord PHEV is also rated SULEV20 and a TZEV, also means that I will have the ONLY car in the world to meet California's new less than 20 milligrams law that will be enforced in the coming years.

So when even when I go see my wifes parents, I can use all EV until I get on the freeway which is 90% of our commute, and switch to all EV on the winding roads to their house. Charge up fully when I arrive there, and leave in all EV until I get to the freeway. Drive in hybrid mode on the freeway 46MPG/105MPGe and then switch to all EV when I get off the freeway to home.

26.3 miles (according to Google Maps) to their house on the freeway only, and from their house freeway only. All the rest is all EV! 12.5 miles in all EV mode, and since these speeds are very low, I should be able to stretch the EV range! :-D

So! 26.3 miles one-way= 52.6 miles which means it will take 12 round trip visits to use one whole tank of fuel! Which = 12 weekends which = 3 months on one tank of fuel! And, I would be more than willing to bet that I could stretch that even further!

So what does that mean for me now? Well, let's examine my current fuel annual costs according to where I live now, and the commute to and from her parents, and since this is all gas, the entire trip.

29MPG Hwy of 52.6 & 21MPG city driving for 24.4 miles
1 gal for the city driving, and 1 gal for the hwy driving.
2 gals. total/17=8.5 total trips. However, since this same fuel is used to drive me to and from work, that number is drastically decreased. 24 miles round trip all gas city driving = 1.5 gal/day*/- x5 days for work, 2.5 gals.+/- /weekend visit which also should include errands that could otherwise be done in all EV mode with a PHEV.
Work week = 1.5 gallons
weekends = 2.5 gallons

Total weekly fuel consumption = 17.5+/- gallons/wk

Total tank capacity 17 gals (although when I am low on fuel it always fills only 14 gallons, but the manufacturer tank capacity is 17 gals.

Total weekly fuel costs (in today's fuel costs) = $50/wk x 4 wks = $200/month!
$3.25x15.25 gals/fill up = $50 +/- (this is my average fill up gallons)

Total yearly fuel costs: $2600/yr!

Accord PHEV
Work week = 0 fuel
Weekends = >1 gal. +/-
Total weekly fuel consumption = 1 gal. +/-
Total tank capacity 12.2 gals
Total weekly fuel costs = $0/wk x 4 wks = $0/month for three months! (all errands and other such things can be done in all EV mode, yielding 0 fuel consumption.
$3.25x10 gals/fill up = $32.50 +/- (based on the average of the current car of 2 gals +/- less of the total tank capacity.

Total yearly fuel costs: $130

Total PHEV savings /yr: -$2,470/yr back in my savings account!

Total five year fuel costs, (based on average time of 60 months to pay off a car, and assuming you will trade-in or purchase a newer car after this time)

Total five year fuel costs current car: $13,000!

Total Five year fuel costs Accord PHEV: $650
Total savings for five years : -$12,350

current car MSRP @ new: $31,000 +/-
Five year fuel costs: $13,000

Accord PHEV MSRP @ new: $40,570 - $3,334 Fed. Tax incentive = $37,236 (and even less if your state provides PHEV incentives also!)

Five year fuel costs: $ $650

Current car with fuel costs: $31,000 + $13,000 = $44,000
Accord PHEV with fuel costs: $37,236 + $650 = $37,886 - now subtract the fuel savings from this total and you shall see the premium benefits!

Total PHEV with fuel costs: $37,886 - fuel savings: -$12,350 = $25,536!!

So according to my calculations with my situations, and with my current car, I will be saving a TON!

Let me further this by including my intended down payment, after my savings and selling my car and paying off the remaining loan balance and what the actual costs will be for me to purchase this Accord PHEV over 5 years (without interest included).
Accord PHEV: $37,236
Down payment: $20,000
Actual loan amount: $17,236
Actual cost of car with fuel savings after five years: $24,886 ($37236 - $12,350) After down payment and five years with fuel savings, total loan amount: $4,886, this will be my actual costs to purchase this brand new Accord PHEV for loan payments.

How is this possible? Well, as you see, you figure in the total MSRP ($40,570) less the fed income savings ($3,334), less the down payment ($20,000), less the savings in fuel for five years($12,350).

Total Cost of loan after five years: $4,886

Still think the Accord PHEV premium or any other PHEV isn't worth it?

While there are those who like the Chevy Volt, which obviously borrowed its design from the Civic.

I cannot with an honest mind and heart recommend a vehicle from a company known for its unreliable cars, and thus went bankrupt as a result to this fact. To further my point here, let me ask this question. Would you pay $40,000 for a Chevy Cavalier/Cobalt/Cruze? Well, that is exactly what the Volt is! It is a dressed up Chevy Cavalier/Cobalt/Cruze engine, with an electric motor attached. Borrowed front fascia from Honda Civic, but alas it doesn't borrow the Civics much more superior reliability.

A review on the Volt would take to another post, and since I never recommend, nor will I ever recommend, any form of vehicle from the "big three", that may have to wait...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The first official post of 2013!

Finally the time has come for me to begin my blog!
Many may never see this, but that's ok too!

Let's see, about me... Well I am a MAC and PC Technician a little more advanced than just your typical "PC Tech" guy. I am not a geek squad or other such form of low-pay techs. No sir, I make a very nice salary, and it is all thanks to God almighty who found mercy in His heart for me and gave me this job and this terrific pay! I work at MD Anderson cancer centers of America in Houston. I service all Apple and PC systems collectively. I remain the last point of support for issues that need to be resolved throughout the medical institution.

I am in no means wealthy, but I am not destitute either. Let's put it this way, A Tesla Model S is not unattainable for me, and payments are something that will not be necessary.

In speaking towards cars, you may come to know me as a Honda enthusiast, and those who really know me well, know that I am by far the most extreme Honda enthusiast!
All my vehicle purchases (as long as Honda doesn't change their formula for making the most reliable, dependable, strongest residual value automobile on the market) will be Honda's or of the Honda family (Acura).
Currently I am awaiting the arrival of the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in to Houston in April, at which point I will be buying this car, and I am VERY excited! I do my research heavily on other cars and do not tolerate asinine comments that are not researched with facts!

Of all the reviews I have read regarding this new Accord PHEV, I have yet to hear negative comments. Now there are those who say it is ugly and blah blah blah! But, that's all in the perception of the person who says this, not everyone. An educated person would recognize that though it may be ugly or not as common as some of the other cars people are used to seeing; the things that seem "unsightly" or "ugly" are aerodynamics at work! The wheels, the front fascia, the undercarriage, even the little spoiler is all standard and aerodynamics designed to make the car break through the wind easier and save more fuel. It may not look all that pretty to everyone, but I don't care as long as it's helping KEEP money in my bank! I don't buy cars so others can enjoy it, I buy it because I want to enjoy it. When I say "so others can enjoy it" I mean the people who buy certain cars with certain names, so people will say "Oh! What a nice car, you must be rich!" Either to them, or by the reaction their minds tell them that they're getting from people. I NEVER give them the satisfaction of thinking I am looking at their car, I look the opposite direction as soon as they notice my approaching. This way there is never any thoughts in their minds that I am ogling their stupid car! Yes I mean BMW and Mercedes, no one can tell me they buy Merc's or BMW's because they're great cars! That's TOTAL BS! Those cars have made a MASSIVE reputation for breaking down and being very unreliable and have very VERY poor residual value.
I say the PHEV is fine, and cannot wait to get my hands on mine!!